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Author Topic: Jim Pickerell story on Micro: Daniel Laflor shines  (Read 27809 times)

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CarlssonInc

« Reply #100 on: January 17, 2011, 02:52 »
0
My respect to Daniel and Yuri to clarify and apologies if any offence was taken. Yuri is certainly a bigger person than me by having a direct competitor in-house, most be a great friendship - all the best to you both.

I'm still surprised and sad to learn that many seemed to be ok with hypothetically screwing their exclusivity agreement if financially beneficial to them.

    If you spent as much time shooting as you do trying to get someone at Istock to shut down Daniel Laflor, you might have a different point of view. You seem to have some sort of reverence about the sanctity of Istocks' various agreements and the "spirit" inherent in them. I believe that a photographer can and should use every means available to sell their images. I can also tell you with over 30 years in this business that my assistants were and are always encouraged to use my studio, my props and my equipment. Believe it or not, I get more out of their enthusiasm and energy than they ever get out of using my studio. I can give you a whole list of photographers that I helped start out, and it does make for a lasting friendship. As for Istock, they have proven over and over that they could care less about you, so it may be time to rethink that "spirit" you're so full of...

Spent no time trying to shut down anyone. The article that this discussions stems from sparked a discussion, which was kept here and only here as far as I know. I've already apologized to Yuri and Daniel if they were offended. The article did elude to a striking and unusual amount of similarities, even down to the website design. Only one thing separating the two of them, that one was independent and the other one exclusive. That in my curious mind raised a lot of questions - how close is too close to be in breach of the exclusivity agreement.

Helping out and teaching might be one thing. Having trained, and later house a direct competitor in so many aspects (locations, models, props, high-end equipment, subject matter and style) is as I said making Yuri a much bigger person than me - that I wouldn't. At least they have publically stated the official reasons/circumstances to what many could only speculate about.

Regarding iStock and rethinking the spirit I'm so full of....as I said. I respect an agreement whether I feel the other party have stopped doing so or no, if I felt completely screwed over I most likely cut the ties and walk away, either that or punch them straight in the face. I'm not the kind of person that would screw someone over for any short- or long-term gain if for a moment thinking I could get away with it, that is just plain sad and speaks volumes of a person who would engage in such behavior.


Yuri_Arcurs

  • One Crazy PhotoManic MadPerson
« Reply #101 on: January 17, 2011, 02:53 »
0
My respect to Daniel and Yuri to clarify and apologies if any offence was taken. Yuri is certainly a bigger person than me by having a direct competitor in-house, most be a great friendship - all the best to you both.

I'm still surprised and sad to learn that many seemed to be ok with hypothetically screwing their exclusivity agreement if financially beneficial to them.

    If you spent as much time shooting as you do trying to get someone at Istock to shut down Daniel Laflor, you might have a different point of view. You seem to have some sort of reverence about the sanctity of Istocks' various agreements and the "spirit" inherent in them. I believe that a photographer can and should use every means available to sell their images. I can also tell you with over 30 years in this business that my assistants were and are always encouraged to use my studio, my props and my equipment. Believe it or not, I get more out of their enthusiasm and energy than they ever get out of using my studio. I can give you a whole list of photographers that I helped start out, and it does make for a lasting friendship. As for Istock, they have proven over and over that they could care less about you, so it may be time to rethink that "spirit" you're so full of...

I completely agree. (The istock talk i don't know much of, but the rest is 100% spot on). I exercise the same spirit in my approach.

CarlssonInc

« Reply #102 on: January 17, 2011, 03:15 »
0
My respect to Daniel and Yuri to clarify and apologies if any offence was taken. Yuri is certainly a bigger person than me by having a direct competitor in-house, most be a great friendship - all the best to you both.

I'm still surprised and sad to learn that many seemed to be ok with hypothetically screwing their exclusivity agreement if financially beneficial to them.

    If you spent as much time shooting as you do trying to get someone at Istock to shut down Daniel Laflor, you might have a different point of view. You seem to have some sort of reverence about the sanctity of Istocks' various agreements and the "spirit" inherent in them. I believe that a photographer can and should use every means available to sell their images. I can also tell you with over 30 years in this business that my assistants were and are always encouraged to use my studio, my props and my equipment. Believe it or not, I get more out of their enthusiasm and energy than they ever get out of using my studio. I can give you a whole list of photographers that I helped start out, and it does make for a lasting friendship. As for Istock, they have proven over and over that they could care less about you, so it may be time to rethink that "spirit" you're so full of...

I completely agree. (The istock talk i don't know much of, but the rest is 100% spot on). I exercise the same spirit in my approach.

Yuri, I am in awe regarding your approach as mentor/friend/businesspartner. I just can't see myself training/teaching someone all the inner works of and branding of Business A, just for them to set up Business A under different name just down the street - that would severely make me feel screwed over, but perhaps I'm looking at this the wrong way about. Anyway, if you guys are fine with it I wish you well. Hopefully neither you or Daniel took any great offense, and can accept my apology.
« Last Edit: January 17, 2011, 03:31 by CarlssonInc. Stock Imagery Production »

rubyroo

« Reply #103 on: January 17, 2011, 04:43 »
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Actually, if I were in Daniel's shoes, I'd ask Jim Pickerell to edit the piece, to limit the chance of misinterpretations spreading further around the Internet.

Well, we do already have this angry mob assembled, so we might as well go after him next.  ;D

That wasn't my intention at all.  As I said early in this speculative thread - it's important to hear the real story from the people concerned.  Equally, now that I've read their side of the story,  I feel that this issue is between Daniel and JP.  I would feel that way if I had concerns regarding an article written about me.  Daniel may feel differently, but it is for him to decide how important or otherwise it is to address the issue.  It's none of my business how he deals with it, that's just how I would deal with it.

So... my intention was about as far from lighting a fuse as I can get in my own mind.  I imagined such a conversation to be a mature, professional and friendly one, seeking to clarify things at source.  No hostility at all.   I'm sorry if it's been interpreted differently.
« Last Edit: January 17, 2011, 12:37 by rubyroo »

jbarber873

« Reply #104 on: January 17, 2011, 08:32 »
0
I believe that a photographer can and should use every means available to sell their images. I can also tell you with over 30 years in this business that my assistants were and are always encouraged to use my studio, my props and my equipment. Believe it or not, I get more out of their enthusiasm and energy than they ever get out of using my studio. I can give you a whole list of photographers that I helped start out, and it does make for a lasting friendship...

Just curious, if your friend photographers "use every means available to sell their images" and put you out of business, would they would help pay your mortgage at that point?

  I think that if my assistants "put me out of business", it says more about me than it does about them. Competition is a natural part of business, and longevity justifies nothing. There are plenty of people who would like to put me out of business, but I have advantages that they need years to overcome. If in that time I sit still and do nothing, then it's my fault, not theirs. It is an odd thing about microstock that the old timers who got in first have a sense of entitlement about their status and sales, whether or not their images can stand up to the competition coming from new photographers. When I came to NY years ago to be an advertising photographer's assistant, we would all get together after work and compare notes, exchange ideas and techniques, and talk about where the oppourtunities were. It was our style of "forums" such as this. We competed with each other, but we did not resent each other. When I started my studio, one of the photographers I worked for would lend me equipment, and even film, when I had a job, even though I was competing directly with him. I took accounts away from him, but we remained friends, because that is the way business is. Your attitude of "pull up the gangplank now that I'm in" , is wrong.

« Reply #105 on: January 17, 2011, 10:20 »
0
  I think that if my assistants "put me out of business", it says more about me than it does about them.

Oh heck, not that old chestnut.  You'd think people want to live on the street when the "nothing wrong with someone beating me at my own game" thing pops up.  Well, I guess one has to deal with what they create.  I'll just stick to what I am doing, and keep away from training people.

ShadySue

« Reply #106 on: January 17, 2011, 10:55 »
0
  I'll just stick to what I am doing, and keep away from training people.
Och, Sean, just when I was getting all psyched up to be your long-distance apprentice.  :'(

« Reply #107 on: January 17, 2011, 11:04 »
0
Och, Sean, just when I was getting all psyched up to be your long-distance apprentice.  :'(

You haven't seen his infommercial late at night for how to make money in micros?  ;D

rubyroo

« Reply #108 on: January 17, 2011, 11:05 »
0
  I'll just stick to what I am doing, and keep away from training people.
Och, Sean, just when I was getting all psyched up to be your long-distance apprentice.  :'(

 :D :D :D

rubyroo

« Reply #109 on: January 17, 2011, 11:05 »
0
You haven't seen his infommercial late at night for how to make money in micros?  ;D

...and again!  :D :D :D

« Reply #110 on: January 17, 2011, 11:16 »
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You haven't seen his infommercial late at night for how to make money in micros?  ;D

Call now, and I'll throw in a George Foreman Grill and a circular polarizer!

« Reply #111 on: January 17, 2011, 11:28 »
0
Id like to give all of you some information about how this article came about. At the beginning of the year there was a thread on Microstock Group that asked how 2010 had been. While many reported so-so years, Daniel Laflor reported that he had added 5,500 images to his iStock exclusive collection and that he had a 1461% increase in income. These two numbers seemed fantastic. I thought it would be interesting to know a little more about the photographer who could post such numbers. It would be particularly interesting to my macro readers who keep saying you cant make a money in microstock.

The first thing I did was go to iStock and look up Laflor. If he had started the year with a couple hundred images a 1461% increase would have been interesting, but not all that surprising. But he has had over 96,000 total downloads. Doing the math that means he had over 89,000 downloads in 2010. That is impressive. Only a handful of iStock photographers exceeded that number. Going to his blog, I discovered that he didnt start shooting microstock until the beginning of 2009.

At that point I emailed a series of questions to Daniel to try to get a better understanding of his business. I also expressed an interest in doing a story on him for Selling Stock. He responded cordially, acknowledged that he was good friends with Yuri, that Yuri had helped him get started in microstock and that they sometimes shoot together. He also said, I would appreciate that you do not tell 'my story'. (Just so we are clear this story or this post was not authorized by Daniel or Yuri.)

I felt this story was important. I had enough information from publicly available sources, even if I had no quotes, to supply some important information to the photo community and particularly the macro community. I felt Daniel had left the impression with his earlier post on Microstock Group that it is easy to be successful (generate significant income) shooting microstock. I thought a little balance was needed. I told Daniel that I could not honor his request not to do a story, but I did send him a draft of the story I had written asking for comments and corrections and told him that if I didnt hear from him I would publish the story later in the week.

I have the greatest respect for what Daniel and Yuri have been able to accomplish, separately and independently. The comments made by both Daniel and Yuri on this thread are a very important addition to what I had to say and I only wish I had been able to integrate them into my story. I urge everyone to flip back, find those comments and read them carefully.

One of the things we learned from the comments is that while Daniel has certainly earned a lot of money his business is not yet profitable and he expects it to take another year to break even. We also learned that Daniel was a very experienced photographer before he got into microstock and that he has studied the business very carefully before jumping in.
 
One issue that has been touched on here, but not explored in any great depth is how it is possible to upload so many images in one year. Are there certain exceptions that allow some exclusive photographers to post more images than others? Or have the rules been changed? Does iStock need to change its exclusive requirements given what it is doing with the Agency collection? Is there any logical reason why a photographer should not be allowed to have other images (not those on iStock) in other royalty free collections?
Isnt image exclusive better than photographer exclusive for all involved.

Another thing which a few who have made comments here seem to have missed is how significant the income per download increase is for exclusive photographers compared to non-exclusive photographers. The higher prices for Exclusive, Exclusive+, Vetta and Agency make a big difference. People with images in these categories may make somewhat fewer sales, but the revenue increase per download seems to more than make up for the lost sales. I have information from one exclusive photographers who averaged $4.95 per download in 2010 and another who averaged $8.60. That is a big difference from $2.40 to $2.80.

SNP

  • Canadian Photographer
« Reply #112 on: January 17, 2011, 11:43 »
0
I believe that a photographer can and should use every means available to sell their images. I can also tell you with over 30 years in this business that my assistants were and are always encouraged to use my studio, my props and my equipment. Believe it or not, I get more out of their enthusiasm and energy than they ever get out of using my studio. I can give you a whole list of photographers that I helped start out, and it does make for a lasting friendship...

Just curious, if your friend photographers "use every means available to sell their images" and put you out of business, would they would help pay your mortgage at that point?

  I think that if my assistants "put me out of business", it says more about me than it does about them. Competition is a natural part of business, and longevity justifies nothing. There are plenty of people who would like to put me out of business, but I have advantages that they need years to overcome. If in that time I sit still and do nothing, then it's my fault, not theirs. It is an odd thing about microstock that the old timers who got in first have a sense of entitlement about their status and sales, whether or not their images can stand up to the competition coming from new photographers. When I came to NY years ago to be an advertising photographer's assistant, we would all get together after work and compare notes, exchange ideas and techniques, and talk about where the oppourtunities were. It was our style of "forums" such as this. We competed with each other, but we did not resent each other. When I started my studio, one of the photographers I worked for would lend me equipment, and even film, when I had a job, even though I was competing directly with him. I took accounts away from him, but we remained friends, because that is the way business is. Your attitude of "pull up the gangplank now that I'm in" , is wrong.

actually, I agree with this and wish things were like this now. but they're not...and my idealism about microstock has really done nothing but put me on the end of a good, regular, forum beating. microstock is more competitive...perhaps because there is less to be had...perhaps it's because the agencies pit us against one another. but it's not the same as the traditional photography, or the editorial groups I work with. in those groups the spirit is indeed far more giving, far less irreverent.

despite that, I have experienced generosity from individual peers within microstock too...I just wouldn't call it the spirit of microstock, nor would I call it the spirit of iStock anymore.

@Sean: I was struck by your comment that you wouldn't train people. I would have said that you spend an inordinate amount of time in forums doing precisely that. ;-)
« Last Edit: January 17, 2011, 11:45 by SNP »

« Reply #113 on: January 17, 2011, 11:53 »
0
You haven't seen his infommercial late at night for how to make money in micros?  ;D

Call now, and I'll throw in a George Foreman Grill and a circular polarizer!

I knew it.  You're the Slap Chop dude.   :o

ShadySue

« Reply #114 on: January 17, 2011, 11:55 »
0
Microstock is more competitive...perhaps because there is less to be had...perhaps it's because the agencies pit us against one another.
That's certainly the truth now at iStock. With their bellchart determining earnings, even someone in a totally different niche is now your direct rival for earnings. A very, very dated model, totally lacking in Spirit. Surely it's better to work together to achieve greater things?

« Reply #115 on: January 17, 2011, 12:09 »
0
I knew it.  You're the Slap Chop dude.   :o


HA. HA. I was actually thinking more Tom Vu.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GlPU-meGQtE&feature=related[/youtube]

SNP

  • Canadian Photographer
« Reply #116 on: January 17, 2011, 12:32 »
0
You haven't seen his infommercial late at night for how to make money in micros?  ;D


Call now, and I'll throw in a George Foreman Grill and a circular polarizer!


I knew it.  You're the Slap Chop dude.   :o


roflmao...ShamWow Guy in Jail (The video's owner prevents external embedding)
« Last Edit: January 17, 2011, 12:34 by SNP »


« Reply #117 on: January 17, 2011, 12:37 »
0
@Sean: I was struck by your comment that you wouldn't train people. I would have said that you spend an inordinate amount of time in forums doing precisely that. ;-)

That's just one component of my evil plan.  Mwa-ha--ha-ha...

« Reply #118 on: January 17, 2011, 12:42 »
0

He also said, I would appreciate that you do not tell 'my story'. (Just so we are clear this story or this post was not authorized by Daniel or Yuri.)
....
 I told Daniel that I could not honor his request not to do a story, but I did send him a draft of the story I had written asking for comments and corrections and told him that if I didnt hear from him I would publish the story later in the week.
....

Oops!... :-)  Someone is just too successful for their own good:) 

« Reply #119 on: January 17, 2011, 12:47 »
0
He also said, I would appreciate that you do not tell 'my story'. (Just so we are clear this story or this post was not authorized by Daniel or Yuri.)

Weird.  So, against his wishes, you wrote this anyways.

Quote
I felt this story was important. I had enough information from publicly available sources, even if I had no quotes, to supply some important information to the photo community and particularly the macro community.

Ah, the paying audience.  That's why.

Quote
One issue that has been touched on here, but not explored in any great depth is how it is possible to upload so many images in one year. Are there certain exceptions that allow some exclusive photographers to post more images than others?

Yes.  The higher cannister you have, the more downloads you get.  At 200 a week, I could upload 10000 a year.

Quote
Does iStock need to change its exclusive requirements given what it is doing with the Agency collection? Is there any logical reason why a photographer should not be allowed to have other images (not those on iStock) in other royalty free collections?  Isnt image exclusive better than photographer exclusive for all involved.

Because that's not how IS exclusivity works.  If we were "image exclusive", theoretically, I could load up series on other sites, and IS would lose the USP of having just my images (if my images count for anything in the grand scheme of things).  So, for all involved (IS specifically), it is not better.

SNP

  • Canadian Photographer
« Reply #120 on: January 17, 2011, 12:56 »
0
@Sean: I was struck by your comment that you wouldn't train people. I would have said that you spend an inordinate amount of time in forums doing precisely that. ;-)

That's just one component of my evil plan.  Mwa-ha--ha-ha...

lol...I knew it! and + 1 on your post above...

RT


« Reply #121 on: January 17, 2011, 13:23 »
0
He also said, I would appreciate that you do not tell 'my story'. (Just so we are clear this story or this post was not authorized by Daniel or Yuri.)

Well in one respect he got his wish, you didn't tell 'his' story you told your version of it.

I felt this story was important. I had enough information from publicly available sources, even if I had no quotes, to supply some important information to the photo community and particularly the macro community.

Of course it's important, it means you get to write another blog for your paying audience, beats trying to make a living in the industry you speculate about eh!

Personally I like to read the ( free) blogs of people like John Lund and Tom Grill, I get the feeling they know what they're talking about because they're out there doing it successfully.

« Reply #122 on: January 17, 2011, 13:54 »
0
...One issue that has been touched on here, but not explored in any great depth is how it is possible to upload so many images in one year. Are there certain exceptions that allow some exclusive photographers to post more images than others? Or have the rules been changed?...

The upload limits change, but I think for much of the year they were 120 per week for gold and 150 per week for diamond exclusives. That's 6240 and 7800 per year. I think Daniel went from gold to diamond some time in 2010. Given the quality of his images, I don't think he'd need any special rules to have ended up with 5,500 approved images during 2010.

ShadySue

« Reply #123 on: January 17, 2011, 14:05 »
0
I felt this story was important. I had enough information from publicly available sources, even if I had no quotes, to supply some important information to the photo community and particularly the macro community.
So you wrote a long piece, which you hoped people would pay for, which only said, "If you work with Yuri, you can do well in micro."
Nice work if you can persuade people to pay for it.

« Reply #124 on: January 17, 2011, 14:24 »
0
...One issue that has been touched on here, but not explored in any great depth is how it is possible to upload so many images in one year. Are there certain exceptions that allow some exclusive photographers to post more images than others? Or have the rules been changed?...

The upload limits change, but I think for much of the year they were 120 per week for gold and 150 per week for diamond exclusives. That's 6240 and 7800 per year. I think Daniel went from gold to diamond some time in 2010. Given the quality of his images, I don't think he'd need any special rules to have ended up with 5,500 approved images during 2010.

Thanks for explaining that.


 

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