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Author Topic: Need your poinion of stock photo companies  (Read 4297 times)

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« on: August 24, 2008, 15:46 »
I'm new to selling photos though stock photo agencies. What in your opinion is the top three sites to place your photos on and what is our thoughts on Smug Mug site for having a web page. Thanks in advance for your help. :) Looking forward to you comments.

« Reply #1 on: August 24, 2008, 15:50 »



I don't think there will be much argument about that... except the upload limmits at istock are so small if you have a large portfolio to upload, fotolia or stockXpert would be better.

The poll results on the right side are pretty accurate... also the return per image poll lower down gives a pretty good idea of where all the sites stand.

Shutterstock is the best because they are very easy to upload to, and have good sales.

« Last Edit: August 24, 2008, 15:53 by leaf »

« Reply #2 on: August 24, 2008, 16:00 »
Shutterstock is the best because they are very easy to upload to, and have good sales.

But they can be a bit tricky to get into.  Some try quite a few times before getting in, and at a month in between submissions for initial review, it can take quite a number of months.  We were lucky and got in on our second try, but I've seen a few people say they took four or five submissions before they got in.

Bottom line... QUITE worth the effort to get into :)

« Reply #3 on: August 24, 2008, 16:00 »

Leaf's suggestions apply if your aiming to microstock market.  Personally I would not use SS because I disagree with the subscription model.  IS and StockXpert let you opt out from subs (but I would say IS' subs model is much more acceptable), DT and FT don't.

If you intend to market your own images, try FeaturePics too.  Compared to other sites, they have slow sales (some have almost no sales however), but they have very neat tools to embed in websites.


« Reply #4 on: August 24, 2008, 16:14 »
As for Smugmug ... they seem to be a good site for hosting a web page, and possible sales of photos.

Except for one thing.

I don't know if this has changed, but they don't deal with PayPal. No problem if you're in the States, where they're based. But I don't live there so I earn most of my photographic income in US dollars which gets paid into PayPal.

To use Smugmug I'd have to convert my money to UK pounds or Euros, then convert it back to dollars again to pay their subscription. The only people who gain from that are the bankers.

I e-mailed Smugmug about it and got a quick response, but they said they had no plans to use PayPal in the foreseeable future. Too bad. I went elsewhere.


« Reply #5 on: August 24, 2008, 16:55 »
My top 3 list would be IS, SS ad FT - for me, for the last year or so, FT easily beat out DT.

As far as earnings, IS and SS have been 1 & 2 in the earnings list, generally beating out everyone else by a wide margin. Extended license sales can skew a month's earnings, but all 3 have produced pretty regular EL sales, which is always good.

If you sell vectors, I'd be very wary of SS as there is a rampant theft problem (vectors uploaded to file sharing sites and or sold on CDs for a couple of dollars) they have been unable or unwilling to stop.

If you want flexibility, be aware that DT and BigStock have a 6 month and 3 month hold on your uploads.


« Reply #6 on: August 25, 2008, 02:25 »
In terms of pure earnings, most contributors will never come close to the performances of iStock and Shutterstock.  Both are difficult to get into these days, with Shutterstock being a bear.  Plan on a few months worth of attempts.

Dreamstime and Fotolia are clearly second tier earners to IS and SS, but they are both good producers.  I do much better at Dreamstime than Fotolia, and in general find their website and management team far superior.

Everyone else is third tier or worse.  I would still recommend looking into Stockxpert and 123RF, both of which have been coming on for me in recent months.  Bigstockphoto is a fairly reliable producer, but the other two seem to have passed them by.  Everyone else I would say you should avoid like the plague unless some reliable information is posted on these boards that sales have picked up.

« Reply #7 on: August 25, 2008, 04:37 »
Fotolia out perform Dreamstime for me too, but only just these days.  DT is catching up fast and FT are getting very picky with a lot of daft rejections of late. But those two after SS and IS are a must really.

« Reply #8 on: August 25, 2008, 07:08 »
Like most people here, SS is my best earner. Dreamstime is my 2nd best by a good margin. In August, StockXpert pass iStock to get my 3rd spot (very low month at iS which is now 4th). Then come Fotolia in 5th and 123RF in 6th. I also had my first sales at Yay and Zymmetrical in August and a sale at MostPhotos in July.

Of those sites, the uploading process is a PitA at iStock... very very painful. I can't wait for DeepMeta to be available on the Mac. The upload process at the other sites is relatively painless. Yay Micro and MostPhotos are probably the most painfree FTP uploading process.

« Reply #9 on: August 25, 2008, 12:01 »
I prefer istockphoto, dreamstime and maybe shutterstock (if the accept my ID). For macrostock, im uploading to alamy.


« Reply #10 on: August 25, 2008, 12:11 »
I have to agree with the general consensus here that IS and SS are the biggest earners, with DT and FOT neck and neck for the third spot.

But as Dan already mentioned, the management, site functionality, and customer/contributor service at Dreamstime are outstanding and so that would give them a definite edge over the rest of the competition IMO. 

« Reply #11 on: August 25, 2008, 12:56 »
Istock,  Shutterstock, Dreamstime, StockExpert. In my experience the others are mostly a waste of time and hope, combined representing less than 10% of my revenue.

« Reply #12 on: August 25, 2008, 14:57 »
Welcome to the gang, Michaelb!!!  .... as for me,  Istock my largest seller by dollars.   Shutterstock my largest seller by sheer volume (so the money racks up too, just about on par with IS).    StockXpert  now fills slot #3  for me.
As for DT, BigStock, FT, 123, and the rest,  all of them together don't add up to my #3.   However...  I would still put  DT and BigStock  ahead of the others.  I make peanuts at both, but...  the upload is simple and  I like the folks and service at BigStock.

Which is contrary to what others will post here.  Why?  You will find that your portfolio will settle into its own groove. What is good for me may be opposite of what is good for you or another MSG member.  As an example,  DT is very good for many folks here,  but for me...  it sux.  A lot will depend on what you're selling. I'm primarily landscape,  landscape doesn't sell well everywhere (like on DT).

Test the waters.  However, I wouldn't go too far off the proven course.   Look around the forum here at past threads and you will see for yourself,  some sites are just a complete waste of your time and effort.

As for macro...  I'm Alamy.    Nice to have you onboard!   8)=tom

p.s.  I can tell everyone else something for sure..    due to circumstances  beyond my control...   I haven't been uploading anything for 4-5 months.  Only 3 pix to SS  in  June...    and.....   ALL  my sales went directly into the toilet...   So yeah,   you want sales,  you have to continually be uploading...                 
« Last Edit: August 25, 2008, 15:06 by a.k.a.-tom »

« Reply #13 on: August 25, 2008, 15:10 »
For me IS is like 1000x worse than SS. 123RF and StockXpert usually yield 1/10 of what I got from SS every month. DT is slightly better than IS :-) This month I got zero from FT, BS, FP and CS. It's not hard to figure out a relation here. Higher rejection rate is the main reason in my case.  It's hard to make any money if you got 4 pictures accepted in a month :-) I probably be dead before I got portfolio similar to SS on IS :-)


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