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Author Topic: Microstock is a dead end because of you  (Read 2567 times)

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farbled

« Reply #25 on: July 03, 2022, 15:30 »
+1
It's funny, Terry & Annie, but five minutes ago on the subject of "niche" in another form I wrote this:

"At Adobe this week, I sold an image five times, which makes me wonder. Five times is nothing special per se. But: the photo shows a sky with clouds. Nothing else. There are 43 million results for the search term "sky". Countless of them are many times more spectacular and interesting. And yet mine has now made it to the second page of search results for "sky". I'm always amazed that very general images that don't cover any niches still somehow manage to get to the front. With 153 downloads, it's in 57th place in my portfolio. Now I'm curious to see how this develops. Because sky is always needed. But the algorithm has to do a lot to make sure that it can be found at all - and currently seems to be well-disposed towards me in this respect. Maybe it'll become a real bestseller someday."

Why the image is rated so well by the algorithm is an absolute mystery to me. But this much is clear: luck is also a very important factor.
I think one thing you (and Annie and Cobalt) have all capitalized on are images that are useful not only as a picture in an article of blog or whatever, but also within design elements themselves. As a former web developer, incorporating a sky into a web design was always a challenge finding that perfect look, colour, cloud placement. So when the places I worked at found a decent portfolio, we bookmark and share it with everyone. Not sure how much is luck or just solid work. :)
Congrats on the sales!


« Reply #26 on: July 03, 2022, 16:25 »
+2
Thank you for your kind lines, Annie and Terry!

Yes, it's true, I have always tried to pay attention to quality. Often that has succeeded, in some cases not. I am, Annie, not a good photographer. I am not a photographer at all. In fact, I can't photograph at all, if you measure it by the standards of the past.

But I am at least a designer, and I have learned image composition, design principles, color theory, contrast theory, and many other things. And assemble the images taking into account many common design principles.

These I have gladly and also often in the forums tried to convey. And, now to find my way back to the OP's question: this certainly has little to do with the death of microstock.

Nor is it the cell phones alone that are the problem. It's also the fact that today images can be generated from cheap compact cameras that used to require thousands of dollars in equipment.

It's the laws of a global market, but one that - in terms of revenue - is dominated exclusively by a handful of agencies that, for their part, were desperate to go public and therefore now have to do what the shareholders expect - maximum profits. If you then add to this the fact that creative people in particular usually suffer from commercial weaknesses, the disaster is obvious.

« Reply #27 on: July 03, 2022, 18:20 »
+2
To cut a long story short, I think the credit goes to smartphones.
These gadgets are seriously good at producing a decent image as we all know.
I started out saying the blame goes to smartphones, but that is not accurate.
Smartphones are just another extension in our digital world.
I use mine and upload with it. I have about the same acceptance rate (95%) as
I do with my Z9 and Z7 II.

farbled

« Reply #28 on: July 03, 2022, 19:04 »
0
To cut a long story short, I think the credit goes to smartphones.
These gadgets are seriously good at producing a decent image as we all know.
I started out saying the blame goes to smartphones, but that is not accurate.
Smartphones are just another extension in our digital world.
I use mine and upload with it. I have about the same acceptance rate (95%) as
I do with my Z9 and Z7 II.
Absolutely, heck my current phone takes better pictures than my old d200 did, some of which which still gets daily sales. I may have to start playing around with my phone more.

ETA: sigh, now I have to figure out my phone....
« Last Edit: July 03, 2022, 19:49 by farbled »

farbled

« Reply #29 on: July 03, 2022, 22:46 »
+1
Yes, Wilm. I agree. Luck is important on individual images. But, according to my experience and observations, overall performance of a whole portfolio is based on a number of consistent factors that is definitely under the control of the contributor.

You are a great photographer with very well executed images, and from what I remember from your port, you also have a lot of other images with high demand and  not a lot of competition, especially to the quality of what you are offering. That is consistent throughout your port, and why I would say, you do so well overall. 

There are a lot of different ways to succeed in this business (some by having a lot of images, some by having a lot less, some by being different, some by being better), and fortunately, a lot of them can be controlled by the photographer. Agencies and algorithms have a lot of power over us, but I truly believe that we have more power than most of us realise.

Annie hit the biggest determining factor to success here (highlighted by me), in my opinion.

« Reply #30 on: July 04, 2022, 06:04 »
+1
When i started doing stock photography 11 years ago i took a year before that and studied, learned and practice so i would get good results. There was not so much info online and i am a book guy anyway so i started with some good nice lecture. After a while of uploading and reaching 10000 online files the cash flowing from stock agencies was really good 2-3 salaries in a really good country. Somewhere around the road i started checking some stock forums and different websites where people were actually telling newbies what to do and how to jump over some extremely important steps that took me a lot longer to learn by my own. Everybody started doing stock photo, agencies were flooded and now with over 20k photos online the monthly paycheck cant even cover a low rent. This is the fault of everybody not caring for his business and teaching others = competition tips and tricks. In no business  you tell others secrets. Or you encourage them to do something what you do. This friendliness act got us where we are today as stock photography and thats a hole with no future. Hope everybody learned something from this for the next business they may have

I would be very interested to have a look at your port.

« Reply #31 on: July 04, 2022, 11:01 »
+2
When i started doing stock photography 11 years ago i took a year before that and studied, learned and practice so i would get good results. There was not so much info online and i am a book guy anyway so i started with some good nice lecture. After a while of uploading and reaching 10000 online files ..... now with over 20k photos online the monthly paycheck cant even cover a low rent. ....

I would be very interested to have a look at your port.

as we would be interested in seeing yours!


also OP's problem may be related to fact that starting w 10K files they've only added 10K more over 11 years!

« Reply #32 on: July 04, 2022, 14:52 »
+1
I think the biggest reason for the drop in agency sales is simple: there is a worldwide glut of free digital imagery on just about every subject you can imagine.
Right on. If folks want to place a blame, blame digital technology.
Improvise, adapt and overcome is the key to survival, even in the digital world.


 

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