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Author Topic: Quantity never beats quality  (Read 20524 times)

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« Reply #25 on: May 07, 2012, 11:11 »
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My sister doesn't want me to upload lots of pictures of my niece, and I have no idea what a nieche is. :) If you mean niche - then that is a good idea, and getting enough images (quantity) so that nobody else notices it is an available niche is a good idea and so you cover whatever needs there might be in that niche.

There is a saying "quantity has a quality of its own" or something like that. Of course quality (defined in microstock by selling) is better than not quality, but you need quantity too. That doesn't mean 100's of near identical images of the same model in the same clothes, that means 1000s of different images of different models and objects and situations and props and clothes (or whatever niches you might find).


Ed

« Reply #26 on: May 07, 2012, 11:19 »
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agreed - but then why oh why do some of the MS agencies go ape$h!t in rejecting images that may have a small flaw when viewed at 200%?
Riddle me that Batman...

Because that's what the "management" tells the reviewers to do...and it's not just in microstock, it's also in tradtional stock.

What's funny is if you watch Creative Live, invariabley at each session, the person giving the talk will tell the audience straight out "not all of my images are in focus".  Don Giannatti even showed up to the workshop with a 60D and went on for about 20 minutes about how his 10D was good enough for a magazine spread.  He even went on to say how art directors are full of it when they decide one camera is better than another for a photo shoot...and he's right.

I know that Christa Meola said not all of her images are in focus (and she outsources all her retouching) and Sue Bryce said in her session that not all of her images are in focus.

We pixel peep because the agencies make us in order to get accepted...and in the mean time, the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times are assigning their folks iPhones so they can get snaps for the paper.

lisafx

« Reply #27 on: May 07, 2012, 13:12 »
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The image isolated over white is my best seller at Shutterstock.

Want to know a little industry trade secret...the folks that are successful at this and do it for a living...they would take the first image, upload it.  They would isolate it as I have...and they will upload it.  They will take an image of an American Flag, and upload it it.  They would isolate the image of the American Flag, and upload it.  They would take the isolated image of the American Flag and the isolated image of the score board, and combine them, and they would upload it.

The guy that was the master at this was Bob Mizerak (RJMIZ).  He passed away a couple of years ago...his portfolio lives on at DT.

So....to get back to your original point...quality vs. quantity.  Based on the example above...5 images modified (quantity) or 2 images straight out of the camera (quality)?

It takes folks a while to figure this out.  It clicked with Wisconsinart on DT yesterday per his recent blog post...some folks have been doing this for years (and it was much easier to get away with in the early years).

Well I don't see any top contributors doing it.

What you're saying is not quantity over quality issue, well at least not exactly. It's not about taking and also uploading 5x more shots that you normally would (if you had an assignment or had to pick out the best images), but rather about composing images, making 3 out of one etc.


I happened across the portfolio of one of the top folks doing this.  They outsell me by a wide margin and have tens of thousands of images to my lousy 7k.    And they composite stuff together.  A LOT.  I was genuinely shocked at how many of this individual's best sellers are people on white composited together and layered in every conceivable combination. 

I tried with a couple of images and it took me a long time to get the composites right and seamless.  I don't think doing that sort of thing in volume would be easy money at all.  Took me quite a bit longer than just editing and uploading images from a shoot.  I am sure this individual actually has a team that does this kind of photoshop work. 

But still, it is being done and some folks are maximizing every single shoot in every conceivable way. 

« Reply #28 on: May 07, 2012, 13:17 »
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Quality always wins. I agree that the less photos in  a shooting, the better sales. But here we are not talking of an artsy quality but of an specific and very different "stock quality" that most of us should be able to indentify at first sight. "Surprises" with "bad" photos that shouldn't sell but sell are every day more scarce, and most of them in starved feed niches.

helix7

« Reply #29 on: May 07, 2012, 14:55 »
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Quality always wins. I agree that the less photos in  a shooting, the better sales. But here we are not talking of an artsy quality but of an specific and very different "stock quality" that most of us should be able to indentify at first sight. "Surprises" with "bad" photos that shouldn't sell but sell are every day more scarce, and most of them in starved feed niches.

Bingo.

Of course there will always be exceptions to the rule, but the rule always has been and always will be that quality wins.

There's a certain person who almost exclusively sells images at SS (voluntarily) and boasts a 10k image portfolio and huge sales. It was recently discovered that his "huge" sales are generally in the neighborhood of 50-60 DLs per weekday at SS. Not the numbers you'd expect with a portfolio of that size. They're mostly crap images, which is why they aren't selling well. 10k high-quality images would earn the guy a nice high 4-figure monthly income. 10k crap images, as evidenced here, just maybe gets you enough to cover your car payment. Maybe.

lagereek

« Reply #30 on: May 07, 2012, 15:04 »
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Quality always wins. I agree that the less photos in  a shooting, the better sales. But here we are not talking of an artsy quality but of an specific and very different "stock quality" that most of us should be able to indentify at first sight. "Surprises" with "bad" photos that shouldn't sell but sell are every day more scarce, and most of them in starved feed niches.

Bingo.

Of course there will always be exceptions to the rule, but the rule always has been and always will be that quality wins.

There's a certain person who almost exclusively sells images at SS (voluntarily) and boasts a 10k image portfolio and huge sales. It was recently discovered that his "huge" sales are generally in the neighborhood of 50-60 DLs per weekday at SS. Not the numbers you'd expect with a portfolio of that size. They're mostly crap images, which is why they aren't selling well. 10k high-quality images would earn the guy a nice high 4-figure monthly income. 10k crap images, as evidenced here, just maybe gets you enough to cover your car payment. Maybe.

You think thats odd?  well get this. I know a guy in the RM, he has got around 45 shots in his port and he earns around 45K, per year.

wut

« Reply #31 on: May 07, 2012, 15:42 »
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Quality always wins. I agree that the less photos in  a shooting, the better sales. But here we are not talking of an artsy quality but of an specific and very different "stock quality" that most of us should be able to indentify at first sight. "Surprises" with "bad" photos that shouldn't sell but sell are every day more scarce, and most of them in starved feed niches.

Bingo.

Of course there will always be exceptions to the rule, but the rule always has been and always will be that quality wins.

There's a certain person who almost exclusively sells images at SS (voluntarily) and boasts a 10k image portfolio and huge sales. It was recently discovered that his "huge" sales are generally in the neighborhood of 50-60 DLs per weekday at SS. Not the numbers you'd expect with a portfolio of that size. They're mostly crap images, which is why they aren't selling well. 10k high-quality images would earn the guy a nice high 4-figure monthly income. 10k crap images, as evidenced here, just maybe gets you enough to cover your car payment. Maybe.

You think thats odd?  well get this. I know a guy in the RM, he has got around 45 shots in his port and he earns around 45K, per year.

That's what I'm talking about!!!

Finally, some ppl get it. I'm so happy! :D

Ed

« Reply #32 on: May 07, 2012, 15:55 »
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It's interesting that in this thread - when we say "quality" the reference is always to Shutterstock.

...and you know, I know a guy that sells RM images, who currently has more than 85k images in his portfolio, and he makes over $100,000 per year and has been since 1998...and the majority of his images are "crap" when it comes to what the micros perceive as quality.  He tried RF one afternoon - he shot about 2,000 images and uploaded them.  He found RF wasn't worth the money (as others have found).

I can point to that person though a press release...can you name the person, the portfolio, etc.?

http://www.alamy.com/pressreleases/2011/earn_money_from_your_photos.asp

« Reply #33 on: May 07, 2012, 15:58 »
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You think thats odd?  well get this. I know a guy in the RM, he has got around 45 shots in his port and he earns around 45K, per year.

That's what I'm talking about!!!

Finally, some ppl get it. I'm so happy! :D

That's fine. Now just tell me the secret of shooting images that are each guaranteed to make $1,000 a year and I'll get on with it. Until then, I suppose I'll just have to keep churning out my LCV stuff.

lagereek

« Reply #34 on: May 07, 2012, 16:00 »
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You think thats odd?  well get this. I know a guy in the RM, he has got around 45 shots in his port and he earns around 45K, per year.

That's what I'm talking about!!!

Finally, some ppl get it. I'm so happy! :D

That's fine. Now just tell me the secret of shooting images that are each guaranteed to make $1,000 a year and I'll get on with it. Until then, I suppose I'll just have to keep churning out my LCV stuff.


Hard core porn, name of the game me old mate, hard core porn. ;D

« Reply #35 on: May 07, 2012, 16:07 »
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Good agencies and marketing trump quantity and quality.

wut

« Reply #36 on: May 07, 2012, 16:19 »
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You think thats odd?  well get this. I know a guy in the RM, he has got around 45 shots in his port and he earns around 45K, per year.

That's what I'm talking about!!!

Finally, some ppl get it. I'm so happy! :D

That's fine. Now just tell me the secret of shooting images that are each guaranteed to make $1,000 a year and I'll get on with it. Until then, I suppose I'll just have to keep churning out my LCV stuff.


Hard core porn, name of the game me old mate, hard core porn. ;D

Yes, but it has to be niched. Something like giant * midgets, 3 titted hoes etc ;)

« Reply #37 on: May 07, 2012, 20:52 »
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We dont determine if its quality or not, thats up to the viewer to decide. All we can do is hope thats some of our work is regarded as, quality. The quality concious buyer will look and pay for quality but really? how many quality concious buyers do you think exist in the micro world? I will bet, 8 out of 10, havent got a clue about quality, nor the amount of work you have put in for an image selling for a buck.

I mean whats quality?  Warhols, Campbell soup cans? Heinz beans cans?  yet you wouldnt get one under a million bucks. A pictures quality is like beauty, its in the eyes of the beholder.

Some would argue: its taken by an HD4, Binuscan PP, etc, etc, expensive hard and softwares, so, it must be quality, but in reallity, it dont mean a thingy.

DUDE!! Keep spreading this gospel. The more believers you attract..., the happier I am.  8)

« Reply #38 on: May 09, 2012, 03:07 »
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Isnt this discussion a bit pointless, since microstock is all about volume.
Degrees of volume.
I would say that in this pop world of volume, precision on keywords are more important than quality.
Considering there actually is a review proces that sets a certain minimum quality that is good enough for the customer.

Noodles

« Reply #39 on: May 09, 2012, 05:15 »
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You think thats odd?  well get this. I know a guy in the RM, he has got around 45 shots in his port and he earns around 45K, per year.

That's what I'm talking about!!!

Finally, some ppl get it. I'm so happy! :D

It's not just quality, it's also originality! If you can combine the two into one image then you almost certainly have a hot seller (on IS at least). Whether you prefer 1 image making $100/mth or 100 images making $1/mth each, makes little difference in the short term. But I think in the long run it well, because quality normally lasts longer and LCV's fade away. I acknowledge there are always examples that will break this theory but in general I think there is truth in it.

wut

« Reply #40 on: May 09, 2012, 05:24 »
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You think thats odd?  well get this. I know a guy in the RM, he has got around 45 shots in his port and he earns around 45K, per year.

That's what I'm talking about!!!

Finally, some ppl get it. I'm so happy! :D

It's not just quality, it's also originality! If you can combine the two into one image then you almost certainly have a hot seller (on IS at least). Whether you prefer 1 image making $100/mth or 100 images making $1/mth each, makes little difference in the short term. But I think in the long run it well, because quality normally lasts longer and LCV's fade away. I acknowledge there are always examples that will break this theory but in general I think there is truth in it.

Indeed, what I meant under quality is not IQ, well that too, but most importantly, originality, great concept, composition, lighting, authenticity, good models (that can do what you ask of them)...

« Reply #41 on: May 09, 2012, 05:27 »
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You think thats odd?  well get this. I know a guy in the RM, he has got around 45 shots in his port and he earns around 45K, per year.

That's what I'm talking about!!!

Finally, some ppl get it. I'm so happy! :D

It's not just quality, it's also originality! If you can combine the two into one image then you almost certainly have a hot seller (on IS at least). Whether you prefer 1 image making $100/mth or 100 images making $1/mth each, makes little difference in the short term. But I think in the long run it well, because quality normally lasts longer and LCV's fade away. I acknowledge there are always examples that will break this theory but in general I think there is truth in it.

And how long before originality is copied to death? I've seen it happen with my own stuff, where a good seller suddenly finds that there a load of imitations. I can think of one where every single element in a set-up has been copied precisely by a fairly high-up iStock exclusive and lots of others have produced very similar stuff. Consequently, a one-time hot seller is now dead in the water.


« Reply #42 on: May 09, 2012, 05:34 »
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make it difficult to copy.
Work inside niches with setups and procedures that cannot so easily be copied.

rubyroo

« Reply #43 on: May 09, 2012, 05:42 »
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I totally agree with that JPSDK.

Very much enjoying all your posts today.  :)

« Reply #44 on: May 09, 2012, 05:43 »
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Thanks ruby.

« Reply #45 on: May 09, 2012, 06:33 »
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make it difficult to copy.
Work inside niches with setups and procedures that cannot so easily be copied.

You're creating a lot of problems for yourself. Niches are LCV (or very high cost), otherwise everybody would already be there, special setups could well be expensive and you will expend a lot of time and effort on producing something that may not get copied but probably won't sell well.

I'd be very interested to see an example of a microstock cheaply-produced, hard to copy, big-selling, niche image, because I think that is full of contradictions.

I know there is a guy doing traditional video stock who has spent more than $250,000 on special stabilisation equipment to shoot from helicopters and reckoned this was going to be lucrative niche ... but I don't think that is a microstock option.

Noodles

« Reply #46 on: May 09, 2012, 06:33 »
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It's not just quality, it's also originality! If you can combine the two into one image then you almost certainly have a hot seller (on IS at least). Whether you prefer 1 image making $100/mth or 100 images making $1/mth each, makes little difference in the short term. But I think in the long run it well, because quality normally lasts longer and LCV's fade away. I acknowledge there are always examples that will break this theory but in general I think there is truth in it.

And how long before originality is copied to death? I've seen it happen with my own stuff, where a good seller suddenly finds that there a load of imitations. I can think of one where every single element in a set-up has been copied precisely by a fairly high-up iStock exclusive and lots of others have produced very similar stuff. Consequently, a one-time hot seller is now dead in the water.

That is rather annoying. It has happened to me on a few occasions and I did resolve them. I don't have a large portfolio like yours to monitor tho!

« Reply #47 on: May 09, 2012, 06:43 »
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It's not just quality, it's also originality! If you can combine the two into one image then you almost certainly have a hot seller (on IS at least). Whether you prefer 1 image making $100/mth or 100 images making $1/mth each, makes little difference in the short term. But I think in the long run it well, because quality normally lasts longer and LCV's fade away. I acknowledge there are always examples that will break this theory but in general I think there is truth in it.

And how long before originality is copied to death? I've seen it happen with my own stuff, where a good seller suddenly finds that there a load of imitations. I can think of one where every single element in a set-up has been copied precisely by a fairly high-up iStock exclusive and lots of others have produced very similar stuff. Consequently, a one-time hot seller is now dead in the water.

That is rather annoying. It has happened to me on a few occasions and I did resolve them. I don't have a large portfolio like yours to monitor tho!

I don't try to monitor it. I stumbled across this particular stuff and I haven't bothered reporting it because I really don't believe iStock will punish one of their elite diamond exclusives to do me a favour. One day, if I am feeling in a particularly foul mood, I may expose the culprit (since there is absolutely no way it could be accidental, the others could claim accidental imitation but not this guy).

lagereek

« Reply #48 on: May 09, 2012, 07:24 »
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Yes but spending thousands on studio set-ups is totally crazy, even if you achieve nieched studio shots it will only take minutes before someone copies it and perhaps even better.
There is no way one can find a nieche within models, studio, lifestyles, business, etc, its been clobbered to death. I think the secret is to either, get-in, or find places, things, where the normal photographer cant gain entry or access.  Ofcourse, this means you have to know clients, customers, businesses, etc, build up a solid client/photographer relationship based on mutual trust,  shoot stock during commissioned work, etc,  I mean finding a nieche, especially in the stock world, well? 6-7, years back, yes!  today,  almost impossible. :)

« Reply #49 on: May 09, 2012, 08:38 »
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I think the secret is to either, get-in, or find places, things, where the normal photographer cant gain entry or access.


Yes. And while you are at it, shoot everything with exceptionally great light and styling. And if you shoot some activity, be sure the persons in the image does everything correctly so that no professionals will laugh at the image (see my post http://www.microstockgroup.com/general-stock-discussion/getting-things-done-correctly-research-before-the-shoot/ ) The images would be very difficult to copy by an average microstock shooter because they will fail in some aspect if they try to copy the image(s).
« Last Edit: May 09, 2012, 08:42 by Perry »


 

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