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Author Topic: Is anyone getting any work done?  (Read 14225 times)

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lisafx

« on: March 15, 2011, 18:11 »
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I don't know about the rest of you, but the latest round of drama has me completely dispirited and unmotivated to shoot, upload, or repeat.  I have only done ONE photo shoot this year, and can't muster even the tiniest drop of enthusiasm to do any others. 

I've been forcing myself to edit and upload some of my backlog of images, but it feels like drudgery. 

I remember when this used to be FUN!  Wonder if it will be again, and if so, when? 


« Reply #1 on: March 15, 2011, 18:18 »
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I don't know about the rest of you, but the latest round of drama has me completely dispirited and unmotivated to shoot, upload, or repeat.  I have only done ONE photo shoot this year, and can't muster even the tiniest drop of enthusiasm to do any others. 

I've been forcing myself to edit and upload some of my backlog of images, but it feels like drudgery. 

I remember when this used to be FUN!  Wonder if it will be again, and if so, when? 

I totally understand your position, and even though I only have 5 photos left at istock, the drama continues to affect me in one way or another. Not to yours and some others' degree, for sure, but everything is relative.  :)

But I must say that since I started my own website, I have actually been motivated to shoot again. I have a bunch to post-process and upload.

I can understand how you feel and have read how others at istock feel much the same way. I wish, somehow, the drama would go away, but I can't say that I have much faith.

Hugs to you.

« Reply #2 on: March 15, 2011, 18:24 »
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I feel your pain. I stopped uploading to IS because of the royalty changes, ditched Fotolia, stopped uploading to SS because of lack of growth and was giving DT a break because I grew so fast there and I have a lot of Level 1 images. And had been working on getting my own site working right. All that kind of turned micro on its head for me. I think I'm getting refocused now though.

« Reply #3 on: March 15, 2011, 18:25 »
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Well, I'm not a contributor or photographer, but it sure has been one hell of a distraction from my work. (But then again, I'm always looking for distractions, so this is a perfect excuse.)

I do wish you guys luck. This whole situation has stunk for far too long.

jbarber873

« Reply #4 on: March 15, 2011, 18:29 »
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    I've been doing this a long time, and have seen my share of sea changes in the photography business. The one thing I can say for sure is that when one door closes another opens. It may not be apparent at his point , but it's coming. It's certainly not going back to the point where anyone with a digital camera can take a picture of every hamburger they ever ate, and make money off of it. But microstock has empowered a lot of people that may never have been able to break through the barriers to the old world and find the artist within, Lisa being a perfect example- of the artist- not the hamburger shooter :)  You can't give up and you can't worry about the way it used to be. There great things right around the corner. Go shoot!

« Reply #5 on: March 15, 2011, 18:30 »
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I started uploading editorial images as I'm curious to see how they do - didn't start until they went live as I didn't want to waste time if it was going where Logos went.

That means grabbing things I already have (for the moment) rather than shooting new stuff, but it's been absorbing - particularly the need to do a little research, and keep a record of it, for the caption information. Takes my mind off the D-R-A-M-A a little.

But yes, the current situation is deeply demotivating :(

microstockphoto.co.uk

« Reply #6 on: March 15, 2011, 18:43 »
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Travelling is the only thing which still motivates me to shoot, and edit/upload when I'm back home.

Otherwise, I find it increasingly difficult to shoot new pictures for stock. Yes, it used to be more fun in the beginning - not sure if it's just the current situation or that I get easily bored at doing the same things for a long time.
« Last Edit: March 15, 2011, 18:48 by microstockphoto.co.uk »

« Reply #7 on: March 15, 2011, 18:44 »
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I'm in between. I'm not shooting much, but planning, cleaning up files and other piddley stuff. I have had quite the  distraction of my daughter recovering from a tonsillectomy

« Reply #8 on: March 15, 2011, 18:44 »
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I have actually found it to be a huge motivator to do more...

I deleted everything from my Fotolia account and closed it.  I also closed my accounts on all sites where I wasn't making at least half of the minimum payout each month (except for DT which I have a thing for).  Instead, I am using the time I use to waste on those sites with being more effective on the sites where I am staying.  I am more diligent about keywording, spending more time doing research, and spending more time learning to improve my production quality.  And it's paying off...  I've doubled my sales on one site and increased my sales by at least 50% on two others.  By taking a solid month to go over my entire portfolio and re-keyword (on the sites that allow it), I have seen a significant rise in sales.  And I have significantly reduced my rejection rate by spending more time and effort on quality.

I renewed my Linda.com account and have been having a blast learning about how to use Lightroom and Photoshop better.  I've watched literally hundreds of tutorials on YouTube and Vimeo on better lighting technics, posing models, etc...  And I'm a major Craiglist addict, having upgraded several of my lenses at very little cost (selling the old once, buying new ones).  I don't think I've had more fun and the wife/family have noticed the difference in my attitude.

« Reply #9 on: March 15, 2011, 18:52 »
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As you all know by now, I'm the smallest fish in the pond.  My photos, however, are great :-)    Over the past 2 years I chipped away at microstock and got to a point where my acceptance rate is very high, and my photos mostly all sell.  But none are blockbusters - they're niche things.

To me, it's simple.  I now know that if I come up with a good idea and spend an hour (and a few dollars for props) on it, it will eventually pay off - but it might take a long time, like a couple of years.   I have no confidence that these companies will be stable for 2 months, much less 2 years, and I think they're probably just going to keep whittling away the commissions and moving buyers to subscription plans that give us only token payments.

Although IS makes me the most money, I feel like contributing to them now is working against my best interests, because they're systematically trashing the business.

So I, too, have lost the motivation to do more microstock, because it feels like a losing game - a sucker bet.  Who wants to make a serious investment in time and effort to get into this now, when the arrows are all pointing down?  

« Reply #10 on: March 15, 2011, 18:56 »
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I've uploaded a few images this year, cant really be bothered. Had a blast shooting my daughters school social, doing some landscapes that have little stock potential, doing other stuff, keep thinking I should get back to stock but cant really be bothered.

« Reply #11 on: March 15, 2011, 18:57 »
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I know what you mean.

I guess I'd be classified as a "hobbyist" since I don't do this full time or for a significant amount of my income.  On the other hand, I got pretty serious about this about 3 years ago because I thought I'd eventually get pretty good at it and build a large enough portfolio to support me when I decide to retire from the high-pressure day job in a few years.  It's become clear to me that's never going to happen now.

My income peaked two years ago.  Even though the quality of my photography has increased tremendously and the size of my portfolio has more than doubled since then, my income continues to degrade.  With the recent changes I'm seeing an even bigger drop than in previous shake-ups.  I expect my income will be down over 20% this coming year even if I maintain my current upload rate.

It's killed a lot of my motivation.  I've not been shooting much new stock stuff at all since January.  

On the other hand, instead of always shooting for stock and feeling the pressure to feed the beast, I've been shooting lately just to please myself.  I've been experimenting with new styles and techniques and it's been a lot of fun.  Most of it would never be accepted by the micros but I'm finding I don't care.  I like some of what I'm producing very much.  So right now I'm just concentrating on enjoying what I'm doing and ignoring the profit motive.

helix7

« Reply #12 on: March 15, 2011, 18:58 »
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For now, I'm out. Microstock just isn't where I see my business going long-term.

I'll stick around the forums, stay active and up-to-date on industry changes and all that, but as far as creating new work for microstock goes, I'm done. I have very little optimism anymore regarding the future of this business and the feasibility of making a living as an illustrator in microstock.

Who knows where I'll end up in the next year or two, and it's possible I might return to microstock at some point or just use it to fill some downtime. But for now and at least for the next 6 months at least, I'm not producing anything for microstock.

Xalanx

« Reply #13 on: March 15, 2011, 19:19 »
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It's spring asthenia, people.

lisafx

« Reply #14 on: March 15, 2011, 19:21 »
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It's kind of nice to see I am not alone in feeling demotivated.  You know, misery loves company... Really interesting perspectives so far.  Thanks for posting them :)

If there is a trend emerging, perhaps it is that some of you are turning your creative energies to other aspects of photography besides just microstock, and getting inspired that way.  

I think that is a great idea!  I should probably follow suit.  Been taking some pictures for my church, but I don't count them because they aren't moneymakers.  Just for fun and charity.  But certainly I feel my efforts are much more appreciated there.

Maybe that's the way to go for awhile, at least until things at micro sort themselves out.  

« Reply #15 on: March 15, 2011, 19:27 »
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Lisa,

I joined an "artist group" here in my local town that is renting booths at various art fairs, farmer's markets, etc... where we can sell artwork.  So I've been printing some of my images, framing them and selling them.  It's nice to get out of the house and interact with actual people you can see, touch and hear their voice.  I mostly break even, but on a couple of occasions I've had a banner day (sold 2 large framed prints for $300 each).  I also have entered numerous photo contests and managed to place in several where the prizes were nice (got a free 1-year family pass to my local zoo).

So there's other stuff around to get involved with.

jbarber873

« Reply #16 on: March 15, 2011, 19:43 »
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It's kind of nice to see I am not alone in feeling demotivated.  You know, misery loves company... Really interesting perspectives so far.  Thanks for posting them :)

If there is a trend emerging, perhaps it is that some of you are turning your creative energies to other aspects of photography besides just microstock, and getting inspired that way.  

I think that is a great idea!  I should probably follow suit.  Been taking some pictures for my church, but I don't count them because they aren't moneymakers.  Just for fun and charity.  But certainly I feel my efforts are much more appreciated there.

Maybe that's the way to go for awhile, at least until things at micro sort themselves out.  

  My first job after being kicked out of college was shooting pictorial church directories. I travelled from town to town in the midwest, doing headshots and family groups for about 6 months. I didn't make much money, but the company i worked for made a ton. I got fired when they found out I wasn't 21 and wasn't eligible for a company car.  ;D  The point is, there's always a way to make money as a photographer. All this gloom and doom is the wrong way to look at it.


« Reply #17 on: March 15, 2011, 19:52 »
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Working as ever, here. Uploading daily. Motivated enough, the only photo you don't sell for sure is the one you don't shot. I just look at the forums two times a day, and quite fast, after a while, argument are simply repetitive.

« Reply #18 on: March 15, 2011, 19:52 »
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It's spring asthenia, people.

its autumn here ;)

Xalanx

« Reply #19 on: March 15, 2011, 20:03 »
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It's spring asthenia, people.

its autumn here ;)

You're on the wrong side of the planet!

« Reply #20 on: March 15, 2011, 20:15 »
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lisa; is you wish to try you hand at some wildlife photography, you (and husband) are welcome to join me for a day of shooting at Ft. Desoto or Honeymoon Island or other places around Tampa Bay.  I will be back in town soon; I had to change my flight to come home sooner to see eye doctor, will be in town April 5.  Actually, if you do not have a long lenses (greater than 300mm), the pier might be best place to shoot as the birds are pretty tame and hungry for handouts.  It can be alot of tun to work with the animals and the light angles.  Oh, tell you husband to bring the pizza and pizza box; we can get some stock images of the birds trying to steal his pizza. ;D

I certainly have developed respect for you and the quality of your work, it would be fun to shoot together and help you refocus on new avenues of photography.

« Reply #21 on: March 15, 2011, 20:32 »
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I've been motivated to shoot, just hindered by my "day" job that sucks up most of my time.  I've been managing to upload regularly for the last several weeks to the point that I'm seeing some regular activity on a few of the sites and that's been encouraging me to shoot more, especially as I've been able to fine tune my sense of what works for stock a little bit more with each sale.  Since I'm new at this I have a lot of ideas, a long list of things I want to shoot, just need the time to shoot and edit.

The drama and overall industry trends are a bit discouraging, but I'm seeing my skills improve and I'm envisioning a wide range of opportunities that could open up in the future.  I may think differently a year from now, but at the moment the motivation is still there.

« Reply #22 on: March 15, 2011, 21:10 »
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V, if I lived in Florida, I would pay to shoot with you for a day! ;D

« Reply #23 on: March 15, 2011, 21:22 »
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V, if I lived in Florida, I would pay to shoot with you for a day! ;D

Where you live Blufish; I travel all over; no need to pay, we can shoot together.  I don't do workshops or other types of teaching; but happy to shoot together or help anyone out.

« Reply #24 on: March 15, 2011, 22:33 »
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Houston. When you're in the neighborhood give a shout. I'd love to. It's one of my favorite subjects.

« Reply #25 on: March 15, 2011, 22:36 »
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Cool, love Texas

RacePhoto

« Reply #26 on: March 15, 2011, 23:51 »
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I don't know about the rest of you, but the latest round of drama has me completely dispirited and unmotivated to shoot, upload, or repeat.  I have only done ONE photo shoot this year, and can't muster even the tiniest drop of enthusiasm to do any others. 

I've been forcing myself to edit and upload some of my backlog of images, but it feels like drudgery. 

I remember when this used to be FUN!  Wonder if it will be again, and if so, when? 

Lets see, I finally got my brackets filled out and I'll deliver them to the bartender tomorrow.  ;D

Made out my schedule for the Summer on a calendar that I picked up at a drug store. Yes I still carry and "analog calendar" that uses no batteries and I can read anywhere.

Applied for credentials for the first race I'm trying to shoot, in April. Scheduled race photo weekends and worker weekdays/weekends.

Then things get wild for six months, drop in to the office to do laundry and get clean clothes. Big excitement as I have a van and hope to sleep off the ground (and dry!) this year, instead of camping in the wet and cold. Maybe take it for a ride in the Fall to "Photograph America" major sites heading West for a month.

What that means is End of October and Begining of November, I'll have thousands of photos to edit and upload.

Looks like I'm still Having Fun! When it stops being enjoyable, entertaining and a challenge, it's time to quit and do something else.


helix7

« Reply #27 on: March 15, 2011, 23:53 »
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...If there is a trend emerging, perhaps it is that some of you are turning your creative energies to other aspects of photography besides just microstock, and getting inspired that way...

I think that's exactly where a lot of folks are headed. I don't know about anyone else here, but I found it pretty easy after a while to really just view microstock as the sole outlet for my work, when prior to microstock I had been doing the same work for clients, friends, or just for fun. You can get so absorbed in the microstock process of just creating and uploading, over and over again, that you easily forget how fulfilling it can be to take your work back down other avenues.

That's what I'm doing, and not only is it way more fulfilling than I've found microstock to be in several years, it's also proving to be more lucrative. As easy as it was for me to feel like the only outlet I had for my work was microstock, it was just as easy to forget that there are plenty of ways to make money using creative skills like illustration and photography. Especially now when it's harder than ever to make it in microstock, and even more so with all of this downward pressure from the agencies on artists to do more work for less. To me, it's just not worth it anymore.

« Reply #28 on: March 16, 2011, 00:25 »
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You guys are getting me down  ;) , I feel your pain and I continue to see lower income despite working even harder. I have started to be hyper critical and selective of my recent work to the point where Its not a lot of fun anymore.

This used to be fun and still can be but with a recession that won't budge on our backs along with tighter squeezes makes for a recipe of simple but direct melodrama.

I will have to go on a full time job again and I know it wont be ideal but what else can you do. It seems the house of cards got too high and even the higher ups cant keep up with the relentless pace of uploads and finite clients.

« Reply #29 on: March 16, 2011, 00:46 »
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For some reason, I thought this was going to be about Japan.

« Reply #30 on: March 16, 2011, 00:53 »
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I was thinking about this thread and you know what?   I realized if it wasn't for microstock I never would have learned to take a good picture.  I used to noodle around with snapshots here and there--always thought I could take a good picture but didn't have any other aspirations.  Looking back I shudder to remember what I used to think was a good picture.  

I was given my first digital camera as a gift.  One day, being bored, I uploaded a few snaps to a site  a friend mentioned to me.  Sometime later, someone bought one.  Maybe you know how great that can feel.  That $0.21 meant a lot to me then.

So I kept trying to get that feeling over and over again.  It kept getting harder all the time.  Microstock kept pushing me.  I kept improving, buying better equipment, learning more about tools, taking classes.

Now I think much of what I shoot is as good as anyone's.  I've done pro work outside of stock and have numerous publishing credits.  More importantly I have people who love photos I've made for them.  Someone told me recently that portraits I took for them are "treasures".  Maybe you know how satisfying that is.

So even though I no longer think I'll ever make my living from microstock I believe I could make a living with my camera some other way if I wished.  More importantly, I've a creative outlet that brings me great joy and satisfaction.  I've learned so much.  I see the world in ways I never imagined before.  None of this ever would have happened without the micros.  I'll always be thankful for that, at least.

« Reply #31 on: March 16, 2011, 03:48 »
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I have been very demotivated also. I didn't upload anything in february.

I just tried to upload some new stuff this month, and half of them got rejected at Shutterstock. They are implying that I don't know where to focus my images. Luckily that hasn't stopped me for being a pro photographer for the last 7 years.

I have a really had time to find some motivation. All the crap from IS (and FT), falling RPI, increasing rejections of totally good images etc.

« Reply #32 on: March 16, 2011, 03:52 »
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Motivated enough, the only photo you don't sell for sure is the one you don't shot.

Also the images that are rejected for some stupid reason doesn't sell.

microstockphoto.co.uk

« Reply #33 on: March 16, 2011, 04:12 »
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I realized if it wasn't for microstock I never would have learned to take a good picture.  I used to noodle around with snapshots here and there--always thought I could take a good picture but didn't have any other aspirations.  Looking back I shudder to remember what I used to think was a good picture.  

I was given my first digital camera as a gift.  One day, being bored, I uploaded a few snaps to a site  a friend mentioned to me.  Sometime later, someone bought one.  Maybe you know how great that can feel.  That $0.21 meant a lot to me then.

So I kept trying to get that feeling over and over again.  It kept getting harder all the time.  Microstock kept pushing me.  I kept improving, buying better equipment, learning more about tools, taking classes.

Now I think much of what I shoot is as good as anyone's.  I've done pro work outside of stock and have numerous publishing credits.  More importantly I have people who love photos I've made for them.  Someone told me recently that portraits I took for them are "treasures".  Maybe you know how satisfying that is.

So even though I no longer think I'll ever make my living from microstock I believe I could make a living with my camera some other way if I wished.  More importantly, I've a creative outlet that brings me great joy and satisfaction.  I've learned so much.  I see the world in ways I never imagined before.  None of this ever would have happened without the micros.  I'll always be thankful for that, at least.

Agree. I realised how bad my early photos were thanks to microstock.

Then, I realised how bad the microstock style is. Nevertheless, what I learned - regarding technical issues - is unvaluable, beyond microstock.

« Reply #34 on: March 16, 2011, 05:27 »
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I realized if it wasn't for microstock I never would have learned to take a good picture.  I used to noodle around with snapshots here and there--always thought I could take a good picture but didn't have any other aspirations.  Looking back I shudder to remember what I used to think was a good picture.  

I was given my first digital camera as a gift.  One day, being bored, I uploaded a few snaps to a site  a friend mentioned to me.  Sometime later, someone bought one.  Maybe you know how great that can feel.  That $0.21 meant a lot to me then.

So I kept trying to get that feeling over and over again.  It kept getting harder all the time.  Microstock kept pushing me.  I kept improving, buying better equipment, learning more about tools, taking classes.

Now I think much of what I shoot is as good as anyone's.  I've done pro work outside of stock and have numerous publishing credits.  More importantly I have people who love photos I've made for them.  Someone told me recently that portraits I took for them are "treasures".  Maybe you know how satisfying that is.

So even though I no longer think I'll ever make my living from microstock I believe I could make a living with my camera some other way if I wished.  More importantly, I've a creative outlet that brings me great joy and satisfaction.  I've learned so much.  I see the world in ways I never imagined before.  None of this ever would have happened without the micros.  I'll always be thankful for that, at least.

Agree. I realised how bad my early photos were thanks to microstock.

Then, I realised how bad the microstock style is. Nevertheless, what I learned - regarding technical issues - is unvaluable, beyond microstock.

yes, I am a better photographer for doing stock. But I did a weekend with Bobby Deal (photoshow, which I'd recommend if anyone is in Vegas) and looked at his pics and realised that for the past few years all I'd looked at was good selling stock and remember how good some different styles are - like stuff with lots of shadows :)

I also did the school formal a couple of weeks ago. I walked in knowing that I was giving the images away so no worries about needing perfection or stunning photos or the cost of the shoot, and having done a few shoots with this year group was pretty comfortable with them and they with me. I did formal shots when wanted but mostly the kids stuffing around with their mates (I'd also taken in a few sets of angel wings and other props), I tried to shoot while doing the nutbush and the timewarp, twice was literally on the floor laughing so hard etc etc. Anyway we 'decorated' the gym partly with A0 prints of each of the kids (waist up so larger than life size), I took the shots a few weeks before, ran portraiture over them, processed 30 pics in under 2 hours, less than half would technically be good enough for stock, a number were soft, most were between 10-15mp crops (one was 6mp), another dad printed them on photo paper (his expertise is click b&w and then print). They were absolutely stunning, yes get 6 inches away and you could see the softness but really who cares? everyone (including another photographer was amazed) so I am looking at the technicalities of stock, tiny amounts of noise or artifacts that I struggle to find at 100% on a 24mp image and asking is it really an issue on an image that sells for a few dollars? throw that in with istock and fotolia and it is hard to be motivated (I'm sure in a month or two I'll feel better about it again :))

« Reply #35 on: March 16, 2011, 05:29 »
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Just carrying on. The things that bother me most are Japan, Bahrain, Yemen, Libya, interest rates, the exchange rate (not only Fotolia's!), the economic crisis in Greece, Ireland, Portugal and Spain, and my loss of a small fortune in currency and stock market transactions as well as the state of the UK housing market. With all that going on, I'm already too depressed to have any positivity to lose about being shafted (as usual) by my agencies.

« Reply #36 on: March 16, 2011, 05:42 »
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I continue to see lower income despite working even harder.
For me it's the opposite. Every time I start working harder my income starts growing and that keeps me motivated.


« Reply #37 on: March 16, 2011, 05:54 »
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Agree. I realised how bad my early photos were thanks to microstock.

The new motto:
Microstock - Yes, you did really suck.

;)

« Reply #38 on: March 16, 2011, 06:03 »
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I have no motivation to continue with istock.  Fotolia is almost as bad but I wont stop uploading there until their next commission cut.  It isn't all bad news though.  I have really enjoyed getting in to video, especially doing timelapse.  My earnings with Pond5 aren't bad, especially as most of my clips are just landscapes.  They pay 50% commission and will be accepting images soon.  I am also still motivated to use alamy, they pay 60%.  There's a few other sites, like Graphic Leftovers and Stockfresh that still seem to want to give their contributors a reasonable deal.

It's been a horrible winter in the UK and I have lost motivation to do the isolated objects and concept photos that I used to produce but I'm going to work harder during the summer.  If I can compensate for my losses with istock and the sites that have cut commissions, I can continue with stock.  If my earnings are down a lot by the end of this year, I will be looking at other ways to make money.

I wonder how much istock have lost by demotivating a lot of us?  They had 80% of all my future microstock earnings, now I don't upload there.  I'm sure there are lots of us in a similar position and it has also made some exclusives leave and go to their rivals.  Buyers are also leaving istock, I think their commission cuts will lose them money.
« Last Edit: March 16, 2011, 06:05 by sharpshot »

« Reply #39 on: March 16, 2011, 07:35 »
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Agree. I realised how bad my early photos were thanks to microstock.

Then, I realised how bad the microstock style is. Nevertheless, what I learned - regarding technical issues - is unvaluable, beyond microstock.

Agree.

I've been learning more about lighting. Doing some photo shoots for clients' websites. Did some photo shoots with 2 classmates for their portfolio work. Making a little money, having some fun, trying to refocus away from the whole istock debacle. There is life away from istock!

Quote
From Baldricks Trousers
Just carrying on. The things that bother me most are Japan, Bahrain, Yemen, Libya, interest rates, the exchange rate (not only Fotolia's!), the economic crisis in Greece, Ireland, Portugal and Spain, and my loss of a small fortune in currency and stock market transactions as well as the state of the UK housing market. With all that going on, I'm already too depressed to have any positivity to lose about being shafted (as usual) by my agencies.

Yep, there is all of that, too.

« Reply #40 on: March 16, 2011, 10:46 »
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I wonder how much istock have lost by demotivating a lot of us?  They had 80% of all my future microstock earnings, now I don't upload there.  I'm sure there are lots of us in a similar position and it has also made some exclusives leave and go to their rivals.  Buyers are also leaving istock, I think their commission cuts will lose them money.

That's a good point. It was definitely demotivating and probably damaging. It's funny because it seems like they could have easily gone the other way and increased things for contributors and put the dagger in their competition. Whoops. Hopefully, they and the other micros are learning from this. I still think there is a ton of untapped potential in micro.

lisafx

« Reply #41 on: March 16, 2011, 11:17 »
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It's very positive to see how many have used their skills from microstock to branch into other areas of photography - serving clients and/or selling prints, etc.  Nice to know there is life after microstock for any of us who want to get off this particular roller coaster ride. 

Visceral, I am PMing you.  Sounds like fun!

« Reply #42 on: March 16, 2011, 18:17 »
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I feel the same.  I have hardly contributed anything since the infamous September 2010 announcement, and we have had additional anvils dropped on our heads since then.  I'm still with Fotolia but I am going to have a tough decision to make with my next payout.  Honestly the only thing which has me interested is building our own site and taking matters into our own hands.

I'm starting to get the feeling that microstock agencies will be dropping their image quality requirements back a few years.  I don't hear of a lot of people pulling portfolios yet, but it clearly looks from this thread like many significant contributors have ceased uploading and are on the brink of pulling out with the next disappointment.  So the agencies might be looking at a lot of inexperienced contributors carrying a larger load than normal if they want fresh material in the future.

« Reply #43 on: March 16, 2011, 20:55 »
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It's been two years since I lost my motivation for microstock. :)

« Reply #44 on: March 17, 2011, 00:24 »
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I got de-motivated back in mid-November.  I just got burnt down and out and had to take a break.  I'm finally back to making vectors but want to expand my photography skills soon.  I get tired and bored really easy but I have to keep going as this is the only income I have right now.  I wish I could make better images to make better money but I need some things before that will eventually happen.

I try my best not to work on micro Friday - Sunday.  Saturday is my drinking and listen to hard rock/metal night.  Seems to have helped me out a bit concerning my creativity and my motivation.  I've been blasting through all of my unfinished illustrator files in the last few days and got that folder down to around 15 left to either trash or finish.

I can agree that it's extremely hard to find motivation when companies are cutting commissions and rejecting a ton of stuff lately and I'm sure it's not all our fault that this crap has been happening in the last 6-9 months.  Take a bit of a break and do something else that you like to do.  I knit and crochet on the weekends as well and I always come out of it refreshed and ready to take on the next week.

I think sometimes we need to just take a step back and figure out really who we are and what we want to get out of this game.  I've had my fair share of rejections and frustrations and ups and downs.  Just gotta pick yourself up and say "You will not beat me".

Take some time for yourselves.  Go and shoot stuff that isn't for stock just for you.  Go draw that graphic for yourself and do with it what you wish no one's gonna reject it if you love it.

That's all I gotta say (eventhough I think I was just rambling on for the most part ;)

« Reply #45 on: March 17, 2011, 00:52 »
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Anita, do you knit or crochet while you are drinking and listening to rock music on Saturdays?  ;)

lagereek

« Reply #46 on: March 17, 2011, 02:34 »
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Im not letting any of this have an effect on my better business judgement! I mean GM and SAAB,  didnt stop to produce cars when all hell broke loose. Its at times like these when you really have to start to dig in.
The old Ad-agency adage: In bad times you need to spend even more on advertising. We need to upload and concentrate even more when the going gets rough. Its called survival.


« Reply #47 on: March 17, 2011, 04:49 »
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Nice to know there is life after microstock for any of us who want to get off this particular roller coaster ride. 

I'd like to think that there is life WITH microstock, it's not really all that depressing is it? :)

rubyroo

« Reply #48 on: March 17, 2011, 05:02 »
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Anita - couldn't you knit or crochet a hard-drinking heavy metal band, put them in various poses and photograph them? ;)

ShadySue

« Reply #49 on: March 17, 2011, 05:45 »
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The old Ad-agency adage: In bad times you need to spend even more on advertising.
To hijack and re-purpose that point, I find it interesting that iStock has massively cut back it's advertising. Since last I noticed this and posted, I have bought three magazines where iStock used to advertise and no iStock adverts were there. Fair enough for one, it was a medium-high end phography mag, and I always used to think that wasn't a sensible target market. One was a high end web designer's magazine and one was Computer Arts. I guess they may have run their figures and decided they weren't getting a good ROI from them. But even a smaller advert rather than the previous two page inside front cover would at least keep the name in front of the punters.

« Reply #50 on: March 17, 2011, 07:26 »
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Nice to know there is life after microstock for any of us who want to get off this particular roller coaster ride. 

I'd like to think that there is life WITH microstock, it's not really all that depressing is it? :)

I agree. For the most part, the depressing part for me is the demise of istock. Fortunately, I still have others I can submit to and still get a payout from.

rubyroo

« Reply #51 on: March 17, 2011, 07:27 »
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"One bad apple don't spoil a whole bunch girrrrrl"  :D

I think that's right... I'm putting a much bigger effort into other agencies.  They all seem as stable as ever.
« Last Edit: March 17, 2011, 07:40 by rubyroo »

« Reply #52 on: March 17, 2011, 07:39 »
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It's very positive to see how many have used their skills from microstock to branch into other areas of photography - serving clients and/or selling prints, etc.  Nice to know there is life after microstock for any of us who want to get off this particular roller coaster ride. 


Lisa it sounds like you need a bit of a break. Stop shooting for microstock, don't upload anything, ban yourself from the forums (sorry Tyler!) and just plan out what you want to do for a while. Re-evaluate your position in 3-6 mths time.

The nice thing about it is that unlike a regular job you can just stop working and the income won't stop when you do. You might see a drop in income of about 10-20% when you're not "feeding the beast", but that initial drop will level out pretty quickly, and the change to your levels of well being will more than compensate.

I had a very slack time in terms of uploads between July 2009 to Aug 2010 - less than 100 uploads in 12 months - but the income didn't really drop correspondingly. This wasn't a conscious decision but I think becomes inevitable if you're feeling the way many are feeling at the moment. I know others who have taken similar breaks to start businesses where the set-up costs are subsidised by their ongoing microstock income.

LSD72

  • My Bologna has a first name...
« Reply #53 on: March 17, 2011, 08:15 »
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I have basically taken 4 months off from stock shooting. Learning new skills like Machine Sewing. Going back to old skills of Soap Making and just being a Daddy. Now I am getting ready for spring to come into bloom and get shooting again. Even started sewing up a Custom Photographers Vest so I wont have to lug the Camera Bag around. Slowly getting a Etsy shop going as an outlet to try to make some money too. So, my time off was not wasted.  ;D

« Reply #54 on: March 17, 2011, 09:28 »
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@Pixart I actually did that two weeks ago.  Drank my wine listened to some metal and worked on my large crocheted blanket :)

@Rubyroo you crack me up!  That would be something if I could actually do that wouldn't it ;)

@LSD72 I'd like to get my Etsy shop and my Zibbet shop going but where we live the closest post office is in the next towns either west or east.  We don't have one for some reason.

Can't wait for spring either when we can actually go out walking and I'll drag the camera with me.  All of the interesting stuff seems to be in everyone else's yard ;)

LSD72

  • My Bologna has a first name...
« Reply #55 on: March 17, 2011, 09:56 »
0
@LSD72 I'd like to get my Etsy shop and my Zibbet shop going but where we live the closest post office is in the next towns either west or east.  We don't have one for some reason.


If you get mail delivered to your home, you can print off first class postage within paypal. I just found that out. Used to be just Priority Mail. Print it, tape it to the package and hand it over to your mail man or you can schedule a pick up too. Only restriction is the weight. Over a certain weight has to go across the counter at the post office.

They even told us we could get shipping boxes and stuff mailed to us all for free. Have not checked it out yet but apparently you can go to usps.com and create an account and order the stuff. Will look into that in a day or two.

« Reply #56 on: March 17, 2011, 10:38 »
0
It's very positive to see how many have used their skills from microstock to branch into other areas of photography - serving clients and/or selling prints, etc.  Nice to know there is life after microstock for any of us who want to get off this particular roller coaster ride. 


Lisa it sounds like you need a bit of a break. Stop shooting for microstock, don't upload anything, ban yourself from the forums (sorry Tyler!) and just plan out what you want to do for a while. Re-evaluate your position in 3-6 mths time.


I think taking a break is a great suggestion.  Sometimes it's just necessary.  I took a break about 2 years ago for reasons not worth going into here.  I stopped uploading and rarely visited the forums.  I'm back in the game now though.  Like most others I too have been horribly discouraged by all the bad news lately, however, I also have an urge to take pictures.  My poor camera misses me.  My break is over and I'm ready to get back to work.  Sure, it's bad timing given the current state of things but it's just time for me. 


« Reply #57 on: March 17, 2011, 10:57 »
0
If you get mail delivered to your home, you can print off first class postage within paypal. I just found that out. Used to be just Priority Mail. Print it, tape it to the package and hand it over to your mail man or you can schedule a pick up too. Only restriction is the weight. Over a certain weight has to go across the counter at the post office.

They even told us we could get shipping boxes and stuff mailed to us all for free. Have not checked it out yet but apparently you can go to usps.com and create an account and order the stuff. Will look into that in a day or two.

OOOO!  If that's the case then it might be worth getting back into that.  After I posted I realized that my account is like 3 years old and haven't done anything with it so I'm not sure if it's even there anymore.  I'll have to check that later on this afternoon.

RacePhoto

« Reply #58 on: March 17, 2011, 11:06 »
0
Demise of iStock?

My sales are up compared to the last two years. They may have cut the percentage but I'm making more money. I know, small time contributor but for some strange reason my sales are up. Maybe it's people pulling out and removing their images? I keep wondering if the whole negative vibe and attitude thing here is making things seem worse than they are? I mean, numbers are numbers, the rest of the sites, the forums, (I never was a fan of their forum) I don't care about the politics.

They change the plan at IS PP and give us more money. People found something wrong with that.

Some people are driving buyers elsewhere. People are pulling images. Exclusives are dropping that status. There's a general protest that's often self defeating, constantly fault finding and criticizing. Some advocate removing all links to harm IS. And there's more, no matter what Getty does, it's wrong. Then the same people turn around and say sales and income are down? Oh and yes, blame the Partner Program for all of the problems?

What demise? IS doesn't seem to be gone or suffering. Could be what others have said, an attempt to keep the high selling producers and drive away the hobby shooters and people with sub-standard images. Collateral damage is losing some of the fine people who counted on the best selling, best producing agency to keep supporting them. But in some ways IS is still the best around if it brings in more income than any of the others except SS?

Yeah the theft of images sucks, so they have a small panel to explain what's going on and there's an eight page thread of people nit picking everything from the NDA to who gets picked to participate, and missing the point, that IS could have said nothing as a private security issue. Doesn't matter what they do or how they try to communicate, it's going to get called a failure and picked apart for every tiny flaw including some that don't exist except in a critics negative and gloomy outlook.

No it's not perfect and there are flaws and people are unhappy that the income and sales that they had previously and expected to continue forever haven't. (seems some of us called that last year as stabilizing and leveling off.) There was easy money and like a gold rush, the early people in, profited, but now the market is flooded, many professional "image factories" have taken over.

The times and the market have changed!


Nice to know there is life after microstock for any of us who want to get off this particular roller coaster ride. 

I'd like to think that there is life WITH microstock, it's not really all that depressing is it? :)

I agree. For the most part, the depressing part for me is the demise of istock. Fortunately, I still have others I can submit to and still get a payout from.

« Reply #59 on: March 17, 2011, 11:31 »
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Demise of iStock?

I wouldn't say demise either, but my numbers have definitely been slipping. Whether that is because of not uploading or something internal at IS, I don't know. I haven't really been uploading anywhere, so that really shouldn't be a factor at IS. Anyway, iStock moved from my dominating number 1 to my barely number 2 in the last several months. Regardless, I'm not rooting for IS to go away because I don't think DT, FT or SS are better options, and that's where buyers are likely to go. If they were flocking to GL, clipartof or my own site, then I might be feeling different.

helix7

« Reply #60 on: March 17, 2011, 12:28 »
0
"One bad apple don't spoil a whole bunch girrrrrl"  :D

I think that's right... I'm putting a much bigger effort into other agencies.  They all seem as stable as ever.

True, and my decision to take a break from microstock isn't based solely on istock. It has been a decision based more on the state of the business overall. No doubt working with istock leaves a bit of a sickening feeling in my stomach these days, but istock is a separate issue. Right now I have very little motivation to do any new work for microstock at all, not just specifically for istock.

« Reply #61 on: March 17, 2011, 12:29 »
0
Demise of iStock?

My sales are up compared to the last two years. They may have cut the percentage but I'm making more money. I know, small time contributor but for some strange reason my sales are up. Maybe it's people pulling out and removing their images? I keep wondering if the whole negative vibe and attitude thing here is making things seem worse than they are? I mean, numbers are numbers, the rest of the sites, the forums, (I never was a fan of their forum) I don't care about the politics.

They change the plan at IS PP and give us more money. People found something wrong with that.

Some people are driving buyers elsewhere. People are pulling images. Exclusives are dropping that status. There's a general protest that's often self defeating, constantly fault finding and criticizing. Some advocate removing all links to harm IS. And there's more, no matter what Getty does, it's wrong. Then the same people turn around and say sales and income are down? Oh and yes, blame the Partner Program for all of the problems?

What demise? IS doesn't seem to be gone or suffering. Could be what others have said, an attempt to keep the high selling producers and drive away the hobby shooters and people with sub-standard images. Collateral damage is losing some of the fine people who counted on the best selling, best producing agency to keep supporting them. But in some ways IS is still the best around if it brings in more income than any of the others except Shutterstock?

Yeah the theft of images sucks, so they have a small panel to explain what's going on and there's an eight page thread of people nit picking everything from the NDA to who gets picked to participate, and missing the point, that IS could have said nothing as a private security issue. Doesn't matter what they do or how they try to communicate, it's going to get called a failure and picked apart for every tiny flaw including some that don't exist except in a critics negative and gloomy outlook.

No it's not perfect and there are flaws and people are unhappy that the income and sales that they had previously and expected to continue forever haven't. (seems some of us called that last year as stabilizing and leveling off.) There was easy money and like a gold rush, the early people in, profited, but now the market is flooded, many professional "image factories" have taken over.

The times and the market have changed!


Couldnt agree more. Im making more now than last year. and many times more than what i made 2 years ago. I am what you would say a newcomer shrinking that big piece of the pie. Theres more joining everyday and that brings me to a thought i had when i first started contributing 3 years ago. Is the open door policy of microstock really sustainable? Theres only so many buyers in the world.

Unfortunately, its human nature to be bitter and upset when the income you come to depend on slowly starts shrinking. At least this forum is around for people to vent their frustrations. But I do honestly get annoyed with some posters who constantly whine and complain about the same stuff over and over again in what seems like every post.

As far as Demise of istock... i think its all relative to who you ask. Im sure the newly ingested Agency photographers dont think its a demise at all. For all their recent f ups, it sure feels like it from where im standing too.


 

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