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Author Topic: Sad day for photographers  (Read 38931 times)

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« Reply #100 on: August 03, 2009, 16:40 »
0
Although I'm obviously not a big fan of IStock, that wasn't really the point I was trying to make.  IStock did introduce a second tier of pricing with Vetta, but it's of no use to me, because I can't choose to sell my images that way - only they can, and only if you're an exclusive.

So, the point is valid, it just doesn't apply to you.  Sorry.


« Reply #101 on: August 03, 2009, 23:20 »
0
Although I'm obviously not a big fan of IStock, that wasn't really the point I was trying to make.  IStock did introduce a second tier of pricing with Vetta, but it's of no use to me, because I can't choose to sell my images that way - only they can, and only if you're an exclusive.
Stockastic,
Is that not the point of a collection within the library, a selection of images that the site owners not artists feels have an added value, the inclusion will have guidelines and will be subjective, if everyone was allowed to submit thier images the management of the collection would have a much higher cost to maintain, at the moment the cost is minimal as the reviewers have to review all images, and they can just mark any that they feel qualify for the collection.

General Observations:
If you feel you have images that are to good for microstock then there are the midstock and macrostock agencies where the sales are slower but the return is higher, if they are niche then there are often niche agencies, if they are of local interest then there is self promotion, the world is much bigger than microstock.

Sure the agencies and thier customers want higher value assets at rock bottom costs to be purchased at low low prices to bring in new customers I would want that for my business, the question here is should anyone supply them under these terms?

This is a huge business and Istock was the lower end microstock, Getty are the top end traditional, they are missing the middle tier of customers, to target them through Getty would devalue the brand so they have launched vetta, and the other websites will follow this model, the returns will be less than placing the images with specialist middle tier agencies and once they have a big enough share they can squeeze costs and the artists options will be suffer or leave there will always be another artist to fill any gaps.

Microstock was created by photographers to hurt the big agencies that refused the part-time photographer by supplying free images and now the circle is complete they are hurting photographers, it did take some customers from the big agencies but that was not the value of the model, the value they stumbled on was in opening up the market to many millions of new small buyers like me, buyers that buy an image for a blog or article, or small businesses that need a flyer, the IT consultant that needs an image for the website or presentation, the fast growth has now peeked and there is no new markets for microstock so they are looking at getting a foot hold into other existing middle tier markets.  

When these agencies say they talk to buyers they don't mean the majority of small bread an butter buyers but a couple of hundred designers, editors and art directors that make a small part of the business and they are like the agencies the greedy ones that want high value low cost images, the rest of us buyers can find the image we want to add value to our blog, website or presentation are more humble and more than happy with the quality of the images we can licence for a couple of bucks.

If you have assets that you value above microstock the answer is not to get taken in by the hype, but to look for other markets where the image is a better fit, and will get a better return.

David  ;)
  
 
« Last Edit: August 03, 2009, 23:28 by Adeptris »

nruboc

« Reply #102 on: August 03, 2009, 23:45 »
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Istock is hilarious... they can't figure out what they want.... half my rejects were for not stock related, and then look what they post as image of the week from an exclusive:

http://www.istockphoto.com/file_closeup.php?id=9881724


« Reply #103 on: August 03, 2009, 23:59 »
0
Yes, it is sad,
because it might be boring, it might be a great shot of a guy on a rock,
but one thing is for sure, it is definitely woth more than a dollar.
Thats the problem here, : what is photography woth.

also:

Are you a great amateur photographer, that wants to make additional money by selling stock. Microstock sites are a great way to do this.
But are you a professional photographer who wants to base your children education and your health and life on making money with photos, than run. Run as fast as you can, and never, never discredit yourself by selling out your hart and valuable work on Microstock.

Now this is a hart statement, and some would say, wait a minute. I make money.
Again I will ask you to differentiate your work. Look at it from the balcony.

You must know, that every professional produced photo sold on a Microstock site is one job less given to a photographer, one job less for a photo model, one job less for a stylist, and one job less for an art director etc. Now selling your professional photo multiple times, is a disaster for the industry.You can draw the picture here youself. It results in a insane decline on the demand for professional photography.

I am a professional photographer for 30 years in stillife, and recently bought a digital SLR to have some fun. I learned as a consequence a lot of what is going on on the internet and must say it is depressing.

It seems basic economic principles are not understood by all this creative hart working wonderful people.
They recognise often way to late what is going on, and than it is getting suddenly very hart to pull of the expensive productions from the  Micro stock sites. They no very well why they don't want you to easy delete your submitted pics.

Stock photography is a old thing, and it exists basically since photography was utilised in advertisements. It was always very conceptual but seldom really specific. Many things have changed. Nowadays photographers are suddenly competing globally.
Any smart lobbyist would immediately pull the emergency break here, the OPEC would reduce its oil output drastically to stabilise prices, the unions would establish minimum wages to ensure that the workers can still feed their families.

The microstock is a cone, carried out by the photographers themself.

The entire Microstock phenomenon is based on the opportunity to sell your creative work several times. That lures the photographer in. Now wait a  Minute, if I can sell my artwork several times, doesn't this mean there is more demand? And if there is more demand, should i not get more money than usual? Why do we get so little for our artwork and productions. Millions of photos are competing with each other, given to this stocksites for nothing. through this huge oversupply of photos the value of each foto is down to nothing.
Sites need to get as many photos as possible to create a sufficient base. Than they start separating the ash from the corn. They try to leave the area of amateur contributor and enter into a more professional level.
Istockphoto is the best example. And every professional sold photo on stock is one job less for a professional photographer.

I read several times this week in several blogs photographers discussing their income from stock sites. I must say i am embarrassed for how little photographers are working, this is worse than slavery. There are few, very  very few Microstock photographers that can make a living from it. Many People have 500 photos on a site and get 2 or three times a payout per year. Thats sounds great, but it is actually nothing, its probably less than the upload time has taken calculated in hourly minimum wage. not to speak about the production of the photo. this is em baressing. Please forgive me my English i am German.

So think twice, before you sell out your work on microstock. And if you sell your professional production shots on stock, don't blame others when no agency wants to pay your Daily honorar anymore.

But there are positive ways to market your pictures. Get a unique stile, and offer this photos exclusively for royalty on a site. Art directors are sitting in the same boot, they are the next target by those modern slavemakers. Do not worry, they will stop using Microstock as they see advantage for their industry by paying good money and supporting their industry.

Sincerely, Lisa

« Reply #104 on: August 04, 2009, 00:16 »
0
Well put Pixelbytes,

 I am right there with you, this is definitely not an anti Istock site.

Best,
Jonathan

« Reply #105 on: August 04, 2009, 00:30 »
0
Hello everybody, I started this blog to give some inside into microstock.
but first things first. Are you a great amateur photographer, that wants to make additional money by selling stock. Microstock sites are a great way to do this.
But are you a professional photographer who wants to base your children education and your health and life on making money with photos, than run. Run as fast as you can, and never, never discredit yourself by selling out your hart and valuable work on Microstock.

Now this is a hart statement, and some would say, wait a minute. I make money.
Again I will ask you to differentiate your work. Look at it from the balcony.

You must know, that every professional produced photo sold on a Microstock site is one job less given to a photographer, one job less for a photo model, one job less for a stylist, and one job less for an art director etc. Now selling your professional photo multiple times, is a disaster for the industry.You can draw the picture here youself. It results in a insane decline on the demand for professional photography.

I am a professional photographer for 30 years in stillife, and recently bought a digital SLR to have some fun. I learned as a consequence a lot of what is going on on the internet and must say it is depressing.

It seems basic economic principles are not understood by all this creative hart working wonderful people.
They recognise often way to late what is going on, and than it is getting suddenly very hart to pull of the expensive productions from the  Micro stock sites. They no very well why they don't want you to easy delete your submitted pics.

Stock photography is a old thing, and it exists basically since photography was utilised in advertisements. It was always very conceptual but seldom really specific. Many things have changed. Nowadays photographers are suddenly competing globally.
Any smart lobbyist would immediately pull the emergency break here, the OPEC would reduce its oil output drastically to stabilise prices, the unions would establish minimum wages to ensure that the workers can still feed their families.

The microstock is a cone, carried out by the photographers themself.

The entire Microstock phenomenon is based on the opportunity to sell your creative work several times. That lures the photographer in. Now wait a  Minute, if I can sell my artwork several times, doesn't this mean there is more demand? And if there is more demand, should i not get more money than usual? Why do we get so little for our artwork and productions. Millions of photos are competing with each other, given to this stocksites for nothing. through this huge oversupply of photos the value of each foto is down to nothing.
Sites need to get as many photos as possible to create a sufficient base. Than they start separating the ash from the corn. They try to leave the area of amateur contributor and enter into a more professional level.
Istockphoto is the best example. And every professional sold photo on stock is one job less for a professional photographer.

I read several times this week in several blogs photographers discussing their income from stock sites. I must say i am embarrassed for how little photographers are working, this is worse than slavery. There are few, very  very few Microstock photographers that can make a living from it. Many People have 500 photos on a site and get 2 or three times a payout per year. Thats sounds great, but it is actually nothing, its probably less than the upload time has taken calculated in hourly minimum wage. not to speak about the production of the photo. this is em baressing. Please forgive me my English i am German.

So think twice, before you sell out your work on microstock. And if you sell your professional production shots on stock, don't blame others when no agency wants to pay your Daily honorar anymore.

But there are positive ways to market your pictures. Get a unique stile, and offer this photos exclusively for royalty on a site. Art directors are sitting in the same boot, they are the next target by those modern slavemakers. Do not worry, they will stop using Microstock as they see advantage for their industry by paying good money and supporting their industry.

Sincerely, Lisa

« Reply #106 on: August 04, 2009, 01:02 »
0
When you answer my questions then I'll answer yours.



you are rediculous and childish

« Reply #107 on: August 04, 2009, 01:11 »
0
Istock is hilarious... they can't figure out what they want.... half my rejects were for not stock related, and then look what they post as image of the week from an exclusive:

http://www.istockphoto.com/file_closeup.php?id=9881724




I grant you that the image is arguably not stock - but that said I like the image very much indeed and if it didn't cost so much I would download it myself in a second but alas the veer collection is too pricey for me to download something just cause I like it ...  I can think of some uses for it but not in my area of publishing

« Reply #108 on: August 04, 2009, 01:15 »
0
Wow this one is a roller-coaster and my first comment.

The topic is not really about the rejection, as the answer reviewers are just people that get 0.05 for each image they review and the make mistakes, and the solution to resubmit has been rejected.

As an independant supplier I can offer my products or services to anyone I want at any price point I want, the stock site as an agency or merchant is my customer, and I do not have a contract with them where they must accept all I produce, I understand they look at each offering and decide if it fits their requirements and if they would like to represent it, if they turn it down I will offer it to my other customers.

The cost to produce my product is not a concern of my customers, I have read thier terms & conditions and scale of rates, I have agreed to these, to enable me to register and trade with them, if at any point I am not happy with what they pay I can withdraw my products from their market place.

As I have agreed and accepted the rate I will receive from my customer, what the stocksite sells my product on for is not important to me that is how they trade.

Like every other supplier I would like more for my product, but this is affected by an over supply of similar products from other suppliers and the agressive marketing policies of my customers.

As there are so many suppliers of a product that is easy to produce and get to market, there is no chance of a cartel or union to protect my interests, so I am left with the choices to either stop producing and push trollies, change the products I produce to ones with a higher market value, be more selective with customers and where I place my products, keep suppliing and look for new markets.

As much as the OP has thought it through, it has been said many many times before, everyone would love more money for their product but the market is driving the prices and revenue, and once again a topic that was meant to unite photographers will as usual divide them, because we are competitors in the industry and have our own agenda.

David  :P   

This is very nice you are writing, and the idea you would make more money by producing better photos is very cute. Is like at school. But boy this is only true in the short , very short run. Because as you prop up the quality level of your submitted images, others, many others will go along. The competiion is still similar, and the prices have not changed. The agency has better images to sell and makes more money, but the photographer competes as stongly with all those hight quality conpetitors. The price is regulated by the amount of supply. And supply is insane in Microstock. The demand side is caved out by the licensing principles and has little influence on the price.

« Reply #109 on: August 04, 2009, 06:17 »
0

recently bought a digital SLR to have some fun. I learned as a consequence a lot of what is going on on the internet and must say it is depressing.





It seems that you dont understand the basic principles of a digital SLR and the internet yet which I think would be necessary before making such comments

Quote
It seems basic economic principles are not understood by all this creative hart working wonderful people....
I must say I am embarrassed for how little photographers are working, this is worse than slavery.

Not really...I knew nothing about photography 4 years ago.. so far I made $41,000.00 and still growing.
 See my thread "Happy day for a security guard" for a better response.
Probably only the top 1% of micro contributors are making enough to make a living. Maybe 2-6% are making a good supplemental income, but is that not the truth for all artistic or sports endeavors . I guess after a while if you cant make that top 6% it is up to you to give up and do something else. It is that simple. 

Denis

« Reply #110 on: August 04, 2009, 07:10 »
0
Wow this one is a roller-coaster and my first comment.

The topic is not really about the rejection, as the answer reviewers are just people that get 0.05 for each image they review and the make mistakes, and the solution to resubmit has been rejected.

As an independant supplier I can offer my products or services to anyone I want at any price point I want, the stock site as an agency or merchant is my customer, and I do not have a contract with them where they must accept all I produce, I understand they look at each offering and decide if it fits their requirements and if they would like to represent it, if they turn it down I will offer it to my other customers.

The cost to produce my product is not a concern of my customers, I have read thier terms & conditions and scale of rates, I have agreed to these, to enable me to register and trade with them, if at any point I am not happy with what they pay I can withdraw my products from their market place.

As I have agreed and accepted the rate I will receive from my customer, what the stocksite sells my product on for is not important to me that is how they trade.

Like every other supplier I would like more for my product, but this is affected by an over supply of similar products from other suppliers and the agressive marketing policies of my customers.

As there are so many suppliers of a product that is easy to produce and get to market, there is no chance of a cartel or union to protect my interests, so I am left with the choices to either stop producing and push trollies, change the products I produce to ones with a higher market value, be more selective with customers and where I place my products, keep suppliing and look for new markets.

As much as the OP has thought it through, it has been said many many times before, everyone would love more money for their product but the market is driving the prices and revenue, and once again a topic that was meant to unite photographers will as usual divide them, because we are competitors in the industry and have our own agenda.

David  :P   

This is very nice you are writing, and the idea you would make more money by producing better photos is very cute. Is like at school. But boy this is only true in the short , very short run. Because as you prop up the quality level of your submitted images, others, many others will go along. The competiion is still similar, and the prices have not changed. The agency has better images to sell and makes more money, but the photographer competes as stongly with all those hight quality conpetitors. The price is regulated by the amount of supply. And supply is insane in Microstock. The demand side is caved out by the licensing principles and has little influence on the price.

yep, we are already seeing this. Images that sold happily 2 years ago, no longer get accepted.

« Reply #111 on: August 04, 2009, 07:28 »
0

recently bought a digital SLR to have some fun. I learned as a consequence a lot of what is going on on the internet and must say it is depressing.





It seems that you dont understand the basic principles of a digital SLR and the internet yet which I think would be necessary before making such comments

Quote
It seems basic economic principles are not understood by all this creative hart working wonderful people....
I must say I am embarrassed for how little photographers are working, this is worse than slavery.

Not really...I knew nothing about photography 4 years ago.. so far I made $41,000.00 and still growing.
 See my thread "Happy day for a security guard" for a better response.
Probably only the top 1% of micro contributors are making enough to make a living. Maybe 2-6% are making a good supplemental income, but is that not the truth for all artistic or sports endeavors . I guess after a while if you cant make that top 6% it is up to you to give up and do something else. It is that simple.  

Denis

If we suppose to believe you.
$41,000 in 4 years, lets see that is $10,250 per year.  In the US you are below the proverty line and qualify for foods stamps and medicaid! PS: don't give up you security guard job.
« Last Edit: August 04, 2009, 07:36 by shutterdrop »

« Reply #112 on: August 04, 2009, 07:49 »
0

recently bought a digital SLR to have some fun. I learned as a consequence a lot of what is going on on the internet and must say it is depressing.





It seems that you dont understand the basic principles of a digital SLR and the internet yet which I think would be necessary before making such comments

Quote
It seems basic economic principles are not understood by all this creative hart working wonderful people....
I must say I am embarrassed for how little photographers are working, this is worse than slavery.

Not really...I knew nothing about photography 4 years ago.. so far I made $41,000.00 and still growing.
 See my thread "Happy day for a security guard" for a better response.
Probably only the top 1% of micro contributors are making enough to make a living. Maybe 2-6% are making a good supplemental income, but is that not the truth for all artistic or sports endeavors . I guess after a while if you cant make that top 6% it is up to you to give up and do something else. It is that simple.  

Denis

If we suppose to believe you.
$41,000 in 4 years, lets see that is $10,250 per year.  In the US you are below the proverty line and qualify for foods stamps and medicaid! PS: don't give up you security guard job.


That is right, I haven't give it up yet. I made $3200 in 2006, $10200 in 2007, $15300 in 2008 and $12500 so far in 2009. That is a progressive thing. Who in this world will start a new business in photography from nothing and make $50,000 a year right from the beginning? Denis
« Last Edit: August 04, 2009, 08:17 by cybernesco »

« Reply #113 on: August 04, 2009, 08:00 »
0
Lisa from Germany, please don't start posting your lengthy rant in every thread you don't like.  It is annoying.

« Reply #114 on: August 04, 2009, 08:45 »
0
Cyber,
You've got the right idea and a great attitude. Your progression will continue as long as you persevere despite outside pessimism. That's true for microstock or any other endeavor. Your past occupation means nothing. Your view of the future is what counts. And the drive to achieve it. Good luck.

« Reply #115 on: August 04, 2009, 08:57 »
0
Cyber,
You've got the right idea and a great attitude. Your progression will continue as long as you persevere despite outside pessimism. That's true for microstock or any other endeavor. Your past occupation means nothing. Your view of the future is what counts. And the drive to achieve it. Good luck.

Thank you Louoates I share your though. Denis

« Reply #116 on: August 04, 2009, 10:10 »
0
Istock is hilarious... they can't figure out what they want.... half my rejects were for not stock related, and then look what they post as image of the week from an exclusive:
http://www.istockphoto.com/file_closeup.php?id=9881724


:D
I laughed at that too.  Sure it's a creative image, but...






« Reply #117 on: August 04, 2009, 10:22 »
0
If you have assets that you value above microstock the answer is not to get taken in by the hype, but to look for other markets where the image is a better fit, and will get a better return.

I think the concept of microstock is great - it's just been carried too far.  I like the idea of selling worldwide , easily, through a commerical web site, for low prices.  But the prices have been driven too low, and one price doesn't work for all images.  I'm not looking for $100 for my images, but 25 cents does nothing for me.  We can't all be doing images that sell 100, 1000 times - it's not mathematically possible, there aren't enough buyers.  Can't I do a photo that sells 10 copies, for $5 each?  No, not on microstock.
 
This pricing system only works for high-volume images and therefor cuts out a significant part of the market - as you point out. 



« Reply #118 on: August 04, 2009, 10:42 »
0
Lisa from Germany, please don't start posting your lengthy rant in every thread you don't like.  It is annoying.

Yes, by her own admission she is brand new to the world of digital and the internet.  

While everyone is entitled to their opinion, it would probably be smart to spend a year or two getting the lay of the land before deciding one is informed enough to be lecturing the rest of the industry.

Not to mention the inconsistency pimping her blog about how "great amateur photographers" can "make additional money selling stock" in one paragraph, and then decrying microstock as the destruction of the professional photography industry in the next paragraph.  

If she had bothered to do ANY research at all, she would know that most of the professionals she's advising to "run" from microstock started off as the amateurs she is encouraging to join it.   ::)

« Reply #119 on: August 04, 2009, 11:09 »
0
it would probably be smart to spend a year or two getting the lay of the land before deciding one is informed enough to be lecturing the rest of the industry.

I disagree. On a forum like this, I to see all sorts of opinions, even from those who started yesterday.  I feel I can separate the wheat from the chaff on my own. 

« Reply #120 on: August 04, 2009, 11:12 »
0
The local MacDonald's jobs start at 8.75 per hours with up to 29 hours. You receive a 25 cent raise after 90 days. Free food and drinks!!

8.75 per hour at 29 hours equal: $253.75 per week times 52 weeks for a total $13,195 per year.

Plus free food, drinks, and management opportunities!!!

Give up your Micro Stockings and join the Golden Arches.

Mickey Dee beat Micro Stock!

« Reply #121 on: August 04, 2009, 11:19 »
0
The local MacDonald's jobs start at 8.75 per hours with up to 29 hours. You receive a 25 cent raise after 90 days. Free food and drinks!!

8.75 per hour at 29 hours equal: $253.75 per week times 52 weeks for a total $13,195 per year.

Plus free food, drinks, and management opportunities!!!

Give up your Micro Stockings and join the Golden Arches.

Mickey Dee beat Micro Stock!

In my case,  microstock hours are very flexible which  I can work around my security guard job. I would not be able to do that at Macdonald. Plus, for me, microstock is way much more fun then working at Macdonald and now is more lucrative. Denis
« Last Edit: August 04, 2009, 11:57 by cybernesco »

ShadySue

« Reply #122 on: August 04, 2009, 11:23 »
0
The local MacDonald's jobs start at 8.75 per hours with up to 29 hours. You receive a 25 cent raise after 90 days. Free food and drinks!!

8.75 per hour at 29 hours equal: $253.75 per week times 52 weeks for a total $13,195 per year.

Plus free food, drinks, and management opportunities!!!

Give up your Micro Stockings and join the Golden Arches.


Even if free, I wouldn't call it 'food', and think of the smell.  :o

« Reply #123 on: August 04, 2009, 11:48 »
0
The local MacDonald's jobs start at 8.75 per hours with up to 29 hours. You receive a 25 cent raise after 90 days. Free food and drinks!!

8.75 per hour at 29 hours equal: $253.75 per week times 52 weeks for a total $13,195 per year.

Plus free food, drinks, and management opportunities!!!

Give up your Micro Stockings and join the Golden Arches.


Even if free, I wouldn't call it 'food', and think of the smell.  :o

That's right another reason for me to stay away from that place as I have some difficulties to keep my bad cholesterol low. Denis

« Reply #124 on: August 04, 2009, 16:34 »
0
Quote
It seems basic economic principles are not understood by all this creative hart working wonderful people....
I must say I am embarrassed for how little photographers are working, this is worse than slavery.

Not really...I knew nothing about photography 4 years ago.. so far I made $41,000.00 and still growing.
 See my thread "Happy day for a security guard" for a better response.
Probably only the top 1% of micro contributors are making enough to make a living. Maybe 2-6% are making a good supplemental income, but is that not the truth for all artistic or sports endeavors . I guess after a while if you cant make that top 6% it is up to you to give up and do something else. It is that simple. 

Denis
[/quote]

Dear Denis, I looked at this blog and found it interesting. Yoou write: I have 1100 photos online exept Istock 960. Does this mean yu have around 2000 pics online?
Would it be fair to say , that you took around 1 hour per picture to prepare, touchup, scan and upload etc ?
Ok, I calculate 2000 images times 1 hour makes 2000 hours. And the average rejectionrate on Istock is something like 50% as I was told, but we don't want to get picky. So lets say its 50 and forget about the rejections from all other sites.  So we end up with 3000 Hours pur sidework.
That is an interesting number. Lets assume you work 200 Days a year, so in 4 years you have worked 800 days. 3000 hours devided by 800 days makes you a constent contribution of 3.8 hours every working day to stock.

so you do dayly uploading etc of around four hours. You can do this, because you get payed for this 4 hoours becuase you are watching over someones property. i think this is a great concept to make use of your valuable time while doing this job. if youo are lucky yu have a night shift and are free of distraction to do this.

Beside this, you make nice good photos that are saleable. I am proud of your focus and happy for your success.

Cheers, lisa


 

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