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Author Topic: is this all our fault?  (Read 1704 times)

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« on: June 02, 2020, 09:22 »
+8
Excuse my english I will do as much as I can to be readable :D

Many of us did nothing when we saw Getty/Istock 0.002 royalty. Majority of us haven't closed their accounts. Including me.

We saw many new agencies offering downloads without daily limits. Many of us contributed to those sites.

Many of us (not me in this case but many) put their portfolios in some new never heard and never saw agency hoping for some quick cash without even checking lowest royalties.

Some of us (minority I hope) even put their images on free sites for likes and exposure.... Or giving away free images on paying sites to get portfolio exposure for future sales.

Now we have this.

After getty 0.02 people hope it will stay like that, of course it will not. Other sites followed.

Does anyone here really believes that other sites will not take this approach? Including the one people talking about like it's our last hope last few days.

It will be this way or no way for agencies, because they want be competitive anymore.

Then I see on shutterstock forums contributors with astonishing portfolios with highly commercial 50-100 thousands and even half of million great photos.

Today, in these times, with world connected like never before, internet, social media, emails, forums, messages... if we cannot organize and unite than maybe it should be this way.

We need to work hard and keep submitting? come one, this is kind of business where past work keep selling even if we all take on week or 3 away from photos to fight for our prices (no to say rights).

Agencies play on that card, that we are not able to organize and stand for ourselves and at this moment they are right.



MxR

« Reply #1 on: June 02, 2020, 10:10 »
+3
I know many people who have complained that at the same time they have unlimited downloads from their portfolio on Freepik. The answer is yes. As a collective there is no unity.

« Reply #2 on: June 02, 2020, 10:47 »
+3
No, that's victim blaming. I don't think anyone could have stopped this.

Even if the majority of contributors would stick together and value their work accordingly, sooner or later some soulless agency management will come up with some crazy plan to increase profits, as demanded by insatiable shareholders. A status quo in the industry would theoretically possible, unfortunately greed always rears its ugly head and some company will set things in (downturn) motion, making the rest of the industry follow.


memakephoto

« Reply #3 on: June 02, 2020, 11:13 »
+3
No, that's victim blaming. I don't think anyone could have stopped this.

Even if the majority of contributors would stick together and value their work accordingly, sooner or later some soulless agency management will come up with some crazy plan to increase profits, as demanded by insatiable shareholders. A status quo in the industry would theoretically possible, unfortunately greed always rears its ugly head and some company will set things in (downturn) motion, making the rest of the industry follow.

Then no one's to blame.

They don't care about your well being, they care about making money and they will take as much as you let them. If they take a little and nothing happens that just means they haven't hit the magic threshold of what you're willing to take so they take more. You let them do it and they take more. You still let them. Expecting a corporation to be altruistic and put you first and their profit second is naive.

Shutterstock was my #1 earner and I disabled my account. I didn't do it to stand up to them or send a message, I did it because I reached my threshold of what I'm willing to take and I'd rather earn nothing from them than to scramble for the scraps they toss to me. It's called self respect and if more contributors had it we'd all make more. On second thought, not true. Self respect is my reason to dump them but in crowd sourcing there's always going to be noobs willing to take it so they still wouldn't care and the earnings would still drop.
« Last Edit: June 02, 2020, 11:17 by memakephoto »

« Reply #4 on: June 02, 2020, 11:23 »
+4
No, that's victim blaming. I don't think anyone could have stopped this.

Even if the majority of contributors would stick together and value their work accordingly, sooner or later some soulless agency management will come up with some crazy plan to increase profits, as demanded by insatiable shareholders. A status quo in the industry would theoretically possible, unfortunately greed always rears its ugly head and some company will set things in (downturn) motion, making the rest of the industry follow.

anyone couldn't but everyone, or majority could, and still can.

there is no evil spirit or soulless agency, we all contribute to them and without our images they are soulless nothing. We are part of them, main part.

we all know about profits and shareholders, we know how it works.

We should, when see greed, immediately removed all of our images, and that agency will go bankrupt in several days.

We didn't do it because we thought if many remove, more money will stay for rest of us who stay there.

We are not trapped there, we are not victims, this is not stockholm syndrome, this is our decision to take last penny, last 2 cents, and that we don't care of whole stock photo community at all.

I am sure, if any agency loose 30-50% of their highest commercially quality images, and left only with rest of snapshots uploaded and forgotten several years ago, buyers will go somewhere else where they can buy what they need.

If there are still more then few millions images left on greedy agencies, that's because of greedy contributors.

Clair Voyant

« Reply #5 on: June 02, 2020, 12:00 »
+6
It's a combination of things that have created the perfect storm over the years. Technology, easy entry point, corporate greed and evolution of the industry as a whole from the buyers side to the content creator's side.

When I started stock photography as a viable career there was only RM and you got paid for usage and/or space rate. Each agency was owned by individuals and/or real people with accessible editors that you could talk to on the phone and they even had names. It was tougher to get in because you had editors. There were many local agencies that mainly dealt with the local market of ad agencies and magazines etc. Then there were the big boys Stone, Masterfile, Stone etc. They all marketed our images by producing catalogues, and if you had an image in a catalogue you more or less struck gold. These catalogues showcased the best images in any given category or subject. Royalties were an industry standard of 50-50. Back then they were actually an agent.

Then came RF and there was a bit of a sh!tstorm but it was contained because there was no way to have a b!tch session like there is today, forums such as this, Twitter, FarceBook et al. It was the end of the world for us as they prices were cheap for usage and/or space rate.

Now enter Getty Images, they realised there was a lot of money to be made in selling images. They came along and started buying the small agencies worldwide and even the big agencies world wide. That is how I got into Getty Images, they bought 4 agencies I was in. Two small agencies one in Hong Kong and the other in Toronto. The two big agencies they bought were Tony Stone in England and The Image Bank in New York. Enter the 60-40 and 70-30 split. Lots of protest by email but still no real social media to speak of. At that point it morphed from being our agents to being our image distributors... F***ing huge difference as it was the first step of seperation.

Photographers amazingly banded together and formed SAA or Stock Artists Alliance which basically went nowhere.

Now enter microstock, an idea that was basically to share work with each other but turned ugly very fast because the original goody two shoes saw there was money to be made and realized there was a cult following... which later turned out to be a sale to Getty Images - yep they strike again and so much for "the community" cause there is a cash grab to be made. Before that in the microstock world was Shutterstock that was founded by not a photographer at all but a guy who figured out the capabilities of the internet... enter subscriptions. Then there was the onslaught of way too many agencies trying to get into the "sudden and new" industry of selling images for uber cheap as RF and allow anyone with a "dream" and a camera to be a "professional" photographer. Enter the era of our images now becoming our assets... the final separation from image supplier and image distributor. Now there is no personal human interaction it's all done by forum and by outsourced people. You think you were chatting with Lobo, but were you?

I think there are so many moving pieces in this industry that have created the decline, it's like an evolution of sorts and sadly it is now so many sites, corporations, and suppliers trying to pull bones from the egg.



« Last Edit: June 02, 2020, 12:03 by Clair Voyant »


 

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