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Author Topic: Microstock is a dead end because of you  (Read 14655 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.

« Reply #33 on: February 28, 2023, 01:19 »
0
Problem is, you have to photograph people doing different things, and most contributors cannot pay for models and get releases. I certainly have no money for that or the correct lighting equipment etc.

« Reply #34 on: February 28, 2023, 02:34 »
0
I think that AI will eventually kill stock photograpy. I have seen what AI can do now where it is merely in a "newbie" state. It will improve. If AI does no manage to kill stock photography, then pirates and low commisions will. We have not had the last "exciting news".

« Reply #35 on: February 28, 2023, 02:53 »
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.
Which smartphone is that?
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....

« Reply #36 on: February 28, 2023, 03:45 »
+2
... and now with over 20k photos online the monthly paycheck cant even cover a low rent.

Wow, if true, I am really successful!

« Reply #37 on: February 28, 2023, 10:11 »
+3
I think there is more money at microstock as it was 11 years ago.
But its not so easy to collect some of this money as it was 11 years ago.
You either need more images or better images now.

« Reply #38 on: February 28, 2023, 11:22 »
+4
Microstock is a commodity market. High volume and low prices. So you need to be shifting a lot of product to make decent money. Quality and volume are key. It really is as simple as that.

ADH

« Reply #39 on: March 06, 2023, 20:17 »
+1
And this is nothing, AI is here to stay, dominate and put this circus of greedy agencies, contributors, stockphoto YouTubers, keywording sites etc. out of business. Soon customers will ask AI in google for the images they want and instantly (for free) they will get a bunch of similar images to choose from. Probably with much better looking models than the originals for sale in photo stock sites.

"Google, give me a sunset Nikon Z9 35mm 2.8 photo of a smiling group of Swedish nurses wearing lab coats looking at the camera......"  will be available very soon, very soon
« Last Edit: March 06, 2023, 20:21 by ADH »

« Reply #40 on: March 06, 2023, 22:38 »
+1
I don't understand this worshipping of AI. Even if it gets so much better, it will still produce thumbnail size crappy quality images.

Justanotherphotographer

« Reply #41 on: March 07, 2023, 04:12 »
0
I don't understand this worshipping of AI. Even if it gets so much better, it will still produce thumbnail size crappy quality images.

No reason to think this. Quality is increasing in leaps and bounds. AdobeStock's Insights is already showing lots of AI heavy portfolios. We need to not be complacent about this.


Uncle Pete

  • Great Place by a Great Lake - My Home Port
« Reply #42 on: March 07, 2023, 13:49 »
+3
And this is nothing, AI is here to stay, dominate and put this circus of greedy agencies, contributors, stockphoto YouTubers, keywording sites etc. out of business. Soon customers will ask AI in google for the images they want and instantly (for free) they will get a bunch of similar images to choose from. Probably with much better looking models than the originals for sale in photo stock sites.

"Google, give me a sunset Nikon Z9 35mm 2.8 photo of a smiling group of Swedish nurses wearing lab coats looking at the camera......"  will be available very soon, very soon



They need to work on faces and people?  :o

The Set:

https://www.shutterstock.com/generate/sunset-nikon-z9-35mm-2.8-photo-of-a-smiling-group-of-swedish-nurses-wearing-lab-coats-looking-at-the-camera?format=ALL&id=5263182d-e044-4377-86f4-52b224260cd8

I don't understand this worshipping of AI. Even if it gets so much better, it will still produce thumbnail size crappy quality images.

So far that's true.

Do these AI images get downloads or are they just filling up space?
« Last Edit: March 07, 2023, 13:51 by Uncle Pete »

« Reply #43 on: March 07, 2023, 14:09 »
+1
I don't understand this worshipping of AI. Even if it gets so much better, it will still produce thumbnail size crappy quality images.

have you actually looked at any of these apps? they produce quality images accepted by AS & DT (and previously by SS). they sell.  images start at 1000x1000 - hardly thumbnail!  and easily upsized with no loss of quality

« Reply #44 on: March 07, 2023, 15:15 »
+5

I don't understand this worshipping of AI. Even if it gets so much better, it will still produce thumbnail size crappy quality images.

So far that's true.

Do these AI images get downloads or are they just filling up space?

According to AS Recent Top sellers, they are selling well. And yeah, "lovely" swedish nurses. For Halloween. :D

« Reply #45 on: March 07, 2023, 15:24 »
0
I don't understand this worshipping of AI. Even if it gets so much better, it will still produce thumbnail size crappy quality images.

have you actually looked at any of these apps? they produce quality images accepted by AS & DT (and previously by SS). they sell.  images start at 1000x1000 - hardly thumbnail!  and easily upsized with no loss of quality

Yes, I know they are accepted by some sites. And yup, I tried it but not too much, I admit. Even at 1000x1000 px they look like they are already upscaled from some smaller size. With all strict rules for reviewing photos and illustrations, now it is at least surprising that MS sites are accepting images upscaled so much that pixels are falling apart. OK, maybe not the case with ALL examples, but that's what I saw so far.

« Reply #46 on: March 07, 2023, 17:16 »
+3
Ai has a long way to go.

I have around 300 accepted files on DT and Adobe and have generated 1000s of images to have enough material to make a selection. And then postprocess it in photoshop etc

For some of the really interesting stuff I ended up writing prompts that look like a short article.

Yes the possibilities are endless, but even if the ai improves I think for many years it will mostly be a tool used by creatives.

You do a group shooting of nurses in the evening, but want it to look like daylight in winter? The ai can change that for you.

Want the group to be wearing different clothes , the ai can change that for you.

Want the group to stand in central London, the ai can relocate them for you

And maybe with video ai, the group can be animated to smile and wave at the camera and you can create a small clip from the scene.

Personally, I think this will be the next step for ai. To be a useful tool for creatives, to redo and adapt already existing work.

No more shooting before greenscreen, you just do your shoot and then relocate the actor/model, the food, your pet to a different location, a different historic time, into a fantasy world etc

And I doubt many customers have the time to do this themselves.

Just like customers can easily take many photos or take a few clips with their phone, but they prefer to buy our content because they have no time.

Personally I believe for the next few years ai will allow us to create content we could not have done before or which would have been too expensive to produce.

Also there might be some very clever customers who will buy a stock image, then use the ai of the agency to twist and perfect it for their needs. But they will still appreaciate a huge selection of content from the agencies for the starting image or clip.
« Last Edit: March 07, 2023, 17:29 by cobalt »

« Reply #47 on: March 07, 2023, 17:39 »
+1
Downloads....dead

Dollars.... dead

Reviewers.... dead

Everything.... everyone.... dead



Just_to_inform_people2

« Reply #48 on: March 07, 2023, 18:34 »
+2
Downloads....dead

Dollars.... dead

Reviewers.... dead

Everything.... everyone.... dead



Not so negative. Unless this is your only income, then you are screwed. Try to see it positive. Everytime someone buys your photo/video/vector it means that this person values your work. He/she/it has looked for something, saw different options and has chosen your work. Forget about the dollars, think of that one client that values your work :)
If you only focus on the dollar sign then things will only get worse, right? If so then get out and do something else. You have millions of competitors and growing. It's a lost cause.

« Reply #49 on: March 08, 2023, 03:41 »
0



They need to work on faces and people?  :o


Obviously, or which planet are these women from?


 

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