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Author Topic: Steve Allen's views on shooting for stock with some interesting stats  (Read 7096 times)

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« on: June 04, 2013, 23:13 »
+2
Here are some of those stats.

"My overall income from all the agencies I submit to has dropped a huge amount over the last 8 years. In 2006 I earned $512,000 from shooting stock, now I earn around $100,000. A massive drop!"

"This time last year I had about 2000 less images on sale at DT, yet up to the point where DT dropped levels from sub sales, my average earnings where around $675 per month.
(so now, at $500per month, I get roughly $175 per month less from 2000 more images !!)"
 
http://blog.dreamstime.com/2013/06/04/my-view-on-shooting-for-stock_art39079


gillian vann

  • *Gillian*
« Reply #1 on: June 04, 2013, 23:44 »
+4
I think the "every man and his dog" comment is a big part of it.
portrait and wedding photographers are also moaning about the price drop they have to make to stay competitive with those non-pros who've entered their world, dropped standards and dropped prices.

« Reply #2 on: June 05, 2013, 02:02 »
+2
Yep, almost everyone finds money is harder and harder to come by. It's called deflation.

« Reply #3 on: June 05, 2013, 03:04 »
+3
With income like that I find it surprising that he pursued the micro's at all.  Perhaps he was scared and decided to test the waters when he saw his income falling, but still.. a bit surprising.

« Reply #4 on: June 05, 2013, 03:37 »
+3
He is actually very good and has adapted well and his images are amazing.

Many of the old schoolers who have problems have not adapted.

So in this case it is not because he cannot compete.
It is globalization and internet distribution that has hit him as the rest of us.
And it is getting worse.
There are some interesting threads on the ss forum.


« Reply #5 on: June 05, 2013, 10:04 »
+7
With income like that I find it surprising that he pursued the micro's at all.  Perhaps he was scared and decided to test the waters when he saw his income falling, but still.. a bit surprising.

The fact that he was able to earn $500K+ in 2006 ... and now he is down to $100K ... just tells me he was being massively overpaid previously. The restricted entry to market and absurdly over-priced images worked nicely for those lucky enough to be in the club but badly for buyers and all other photographers.

When I say 'over-priced' images I'm talking about prices that bore absolutely no relationship whatsoever to either the cost of production, the skill involved or the scarcity of the image. All image licenses were very expensive ... just because they were.

Amazingly it was only in October 2005 that Jupiter Images paid $20M for Banana Stock, which basically consisted of 15K RM images and which have been languishing in the bargain-bin at TS for the last few years. That worked out at something like $1300 per image! What would they be worth now as a 'collection'? Would anyone pay more than $10 per image? I certainly wouldn't.

You can still earn $500K+ in microstock __ if you're good enough and work hard enough. You just have to have the extraordinary talent to justify such earnings.

Personally I doubt that the total sums earned in stock photography are any less than they used to be, it's just that the money is being more evenly spread to more photographers. Good.

« Reply #6 on: June 05, 2013, 10:28 »
0
contributing only to DT doesn't seem reasonable if he really wants to jump into microstock

DT was 3.7% of my income in 2012

500$ (3.7%)
13513$ (100%)

instead of 100k he would have around 270k

« Reply #7 on: June 05, 2013, 10:40 »
+2
.
« Last Edit: May 12, 2014, 13:14 by Audi 5000 »

« Reply #8 on: June 05, 2013, 10:55 »
0
contributing only to DT doesn't seem reasonable if he really wants to jump into microstock

DT was 3.7% of my income in 2012

500$ (3.7%)
13513$ (100%)

instead of 100k he would have around 270k
"I also submit to several other mainstream agencies and 4 'microstock' agencies"

sorry but can you tell me where have you read that? (ctrl+f and haven't found that)

anyway I found him at SS (0 pictures) and FT (268) and DP (2897 - 520 sales)
« Last Edit: June 05, 2013, 11:04 by luissantos84 »

« Reply #9 on: June 05, 2013, 10:59 »
0
.
« Last Edit: May 12, 2014, 13:14 by Audi 5000 »

« Reply #10 on: June 05, 2013, 11:01 »
+1
contributing only to DT doesn't seem reasonable if he really wants to jump into microstock

DT was 3.7% of my income in 2012

500$ (3.7%)
13513$ (100%)

instead of 100k he would have around 270k

"I also submit to several other mainstream agencies and 4 'microstock' agencies"


sorry but can you tell me where have you read that? (ctrl+f and haven't found that)

anyway I found him at SS (0 pictures) and FT (268)


Also on his Bio on DT;

" I have around 31,000 images on sale and have my work on the following mainstream agencies:

 Image Bank - Brand X - Stone - Digital Vision - Photodisc - Riser - Stockbyte - Creatas - RM Photolibrary - Foodpix - NHPA - Photoshot - Alamy - Science Photo Library

 And also the following Microstock agencies:
 Dreamstime - DepositPhotos - Pocketstock - Photolia
"

http://www.dreamstime.com/mrallen_info

« Reply #11 on: June 05, 2013, 11:02 »
+1
http://www.steveallenphotography.com/


was there but jumped into the pictures, yes 4 microstock agencies but mainly he is at DT

« Reply #12 on: June 05, 2013, 12:13 »
-2
With income like that I find it surprising that he pursued the micro's at all.  Perhaps he was scared and decided to test the waters when he saw his income falling, but still.. a bit surprising.

not at all.

the predictions of us "macrosaurs" in 2006 were right, simple as that.

the shocking thing is that even his macro earning are in free fall.

« Reply #13 on: June 05, 2013, 12:15 »
0
" I have around 31,000 images on sale and have my work on the following mainstream agencies:

 Image Bank - Brand X - Stone - Digital Vision - Photodisc - Riser - Stockbyte - Creatas - RM Photolibrary - Foodpix - NHPA - Photoshot - Alamy - Science Photo Library

 And also the following Microstock agencies:
 Dreamstime - DepositPhotos - Pocketstock - Photolia
"


in short, he's on Getty, Alamy, DT, and Photolia.

« Reply #14 on: June 05, 2013, 12:18 »
0
Yep, almost everyone finds money is harder and harder to come by. It's called deflation.

it's going downhill everywhere in the creative markets actually.

and then i recently talked with a few aussies telling me there are jobs in the mines in NW Australia paying up to 15K $ per month + benefits + 1 month of paid holiday !

what ... ???

« Reply #15 on: June 05, 2013, 12:20 »
+1
" I have around 31,000 images on sale and have my work on the following mainstream agencies:

 Image Bank - Brand X - Stone - Digital Vision - Photodisc - Riser - Stockbyte - Creatas - RM Photolibrary - Foodpix - NHPA - Photoshot - Alamy - Science Photo Library

 And also the following Microstock agencies:
 Dreamstime - DepositPhotos - Pocketstock - Photolia
"


in short, he's on Getty, Alamy, DT, and Photolia.

still white at FT (less than 100 full downloads) so you can take FT too

« Reply #16 on: June 05, 2013, 13:09 »
0
http://www.steveallenphotography.com/


was there but jumped into the pictures, yes 4 microstock agencies but mainly he is at DT


Suprising. He seems to eran 90% less per exposed image that I earn uploading at just one microstock site, IS.


« Reply #17 on: June 05, 2013, 13:13 »
+1
The fact that he was able to earn $500K+ in 2006 ... and now he is down to $100K ... just tells me he was being massively overpaid previously. The restricted entry to market and absurdly over-priced images worked nicely for those lucky enough to be in the club but badly for buyers and all other photographers.

When I say 'over-priced' images I'm talking about prices that bore absolutely no relationship whatsoever to either the cost of production, the skill involved or the scarcity of the image. All image licenses were very expensive ... just because they were.

Amazingly it was only in October 2005 that Jupiter Images paid $20M for Banana Stock, which basically consisted of 15K RM images and which have been languishing in the bargain-bin at TS for the last few years. That worked out at something like $1300 per image! What would they be worth now as a 'collection'? Would anyone pay more than $10 per image? I certainly wouldn't.

You can still earn $500K+ in microstock __ if you're good enough and work hard enough. You just have to have the extraordinary talent to justify such earnings.

Personally I doubt that the total sums earned in stock photography are any less than they used to be, it's just that the money is being more evenly spread to more photographers. Good.

Harsh, but true.

« Reply #18 on: June 05, 2013, 13:19 »
+2
http://www.steveallenphotography.com/


was there but jumped into the pictures, yes 4 microstock agencies but mainly he is at DT


Suprising. He seems to eran 90% less per exposed image that I earn uploading at just one microstock site, IS.


Hmm. His choice of microstock agencies seems a bit strange if he wanted to maximise his earnings. Especially when you consider that he entered microstock in 2009 __ well before a lot of the bad stuff happened.

« Reply #19 on: June 05, 2013, 13:20 »
0
http://www.steveallenphotography.com/


was there but jumped into the pictures, yes 4 microstock agencies but mainly he is at DT


Suprising. He seems to eran 90% less per exposed image that I earn uploading at just one microstock site, IS.


which means you are doing 290$ per pic / per year

« Reply #20 on: June 05, 2013, 13:23 »
+1
.
« Last Edit: May 12, 2014, 13:14 by Audi 5000 »

« Reply #21 on: June 05, 2013, 13:26 »
0
.
« Last Edit: June 05, 2013, 13:32 by luissantos84 »

« Reply #22 on: June 05, 2013, 13:33 »
+2
Not at all. That was a rough mental caculation, taking in account exposure (in his case, at different sites) and number of pictures (of course, I'm very far from the 31 k mark). Ok, pretty complicated, to do it without a calculator.

Knowing what I'm doing per picture/year in far more easy: 17,5 dollars.

« Reply #23 on: June 05, 2013, 14:16 »
+1
http://www.steveallenphotography.com/


was there but jumped into the pictures, yes 4 microstock agencies but mainly he is at DT


Suprising. He seems to eran 90% less per exposed image that I earn uploading at just one microstock site, IS.


Hmm. His choice of microstock agencies seems a bit strange if he wanted to maximise his earnings. Especially when you consider that he entered microstock in 2009 __ well before a lot of the bad stuff happened.

He joined DT a couple of weeks after they announced they will lower royalties for indies. If he is with just 4 micros, but mostly just 1 which is DT he's never really tried to make much with microstock, as he says himself in his post, "I upload to DT for one reason only.......to give a home to (and make at least something) from the many hundreds of images I have that I do not submit to my regular mainstream stock agencies or are not accepted by them."


OM

« Reply #24 on: June 05, 2013, 19:00 »
+1
Just had a quick look at Foodpix (not Steve Allen's photo's) and all I can say is that from a quick perusal, clients must be nuts to pay those prices for the outdated and sometimes naff stuff that's on there. Micro's like SS and.......well everyone micro-else....seems to have more attractive and modern stuff than is on there.

« Reply #25 on: June 05, 2013, 19:43 »
0
Just had a quick look at Foodpix (not Steve Allen's photo's) and all I can say is that from a quick perusal, clients must be nuts to pay those prices for the outdated and sometimes naff stuff that's on there. Micro's like SS and.......well everyone micro-else....seems to have more attractive and modern stuff than is on there.

You can say that again __ and most of the 'outdated and naff stuff' (painfully accurate description) is actually RM. In their dreams. The world, technology, skills and processing has moved on a long way. Sadly some of these dinosaurs don't realise it and they wonder why they are becoming extinct.

jbarber873

« Reply #26 on: June 07, 2013, 10:31 »
+9
  On behalf of the dinosaurs, I totally agree. It was fun while it lasted, but it's over. But to give stock images of that era a little credit, the pricing came about at a time when you had to shoot film, and there was no photoshop. Everything had to be perfect in the camera, and then you had to hope the lab didn't screw it up. Also, there was a great premium placed on exclusivity- the idea that a competitor could not use the image you were using, and that it hadn't been used before. This justified some of the pricing because that took an image out of circulation for a year or more.
   Having said that, it was an exclusive club that was hard to get into. Out of hundreds of submissions, you were often lucky to get 2 or 3 shots in a catalog. And 500 page catalogues weighing 10 lbs each had to be mailed all over the globe, and took 6 months to produce, costing half a million dollars at a time.
   So the big change, as was said earlier, was structural. Internet delivery, digital cameras, no film costs, and no interest in exclusivity. Getty was slowly moving in that direction when Istock came out of the blue and hit them over the head. I remember bidding on a job for an AR for an investment company. There were a series of small 1" x 1" shots of simple stuff- stacks of money, gold bars, like that. I think I bid something like $250 each, which was a cheap price at the time. the designer bought them on istock for maybe $10 each. That was the first time I had heard of istock, and believe me, i could see the future. It didn't mean I had to like it, i just had to deal with it.


« Reply #27 on: June 07, 2013, 10:45 »
+4
well if we talk about the future, it would be time that agencies selling digital products go on par with iTunes that means keeping just 30% for themselves instead of up to 80% as Getty does.






ShadySue

« Reply #28 on: June 07, 2013, 11:00 »
0
well if we talk about the future, it would be time that agencies selling digital products go on par with iTunes that means keeping just 30% for themselves instead of up to 80% as Getty does.

Make that "up to 85%", on Getty as well as on iStock:
http://www.istockphoto.com/article_view.php?ID=1509
 >:(

« Reply #29 on: June 07, 2013, 12:20 »
0
  On behalf of the dinosaurs, I totally agree. It was fun while it lasted, but it's over. But to give stock images of that era a little credit, the pricing came about at a time when you had to shoot film, and there was no photoshop. Everything had to be perfect in the camera, and then you had to hope the lab didn't screw it up. Also, there was a great premium placed on exclusivity- the idea that a competitor could not use the image you were using, and that it hadn't been used before. This justified some of the pricing because that took an image out of circulation for a year or more.
   Having said that, it was an exclusive club that was hard to get into. Out of hundreds of submissions, you were often lucky to get 2 or 3 shots in a catalog. And 500 page catalogues weighing 10 lbs each had to be mailed all over the globe, and took 6 months to produce, costing half a million dollars at a time.
   So the big change, as was said earlier, was structural. Internet delivery, digital cameras, no film costs, and no interest in exclusivity. Getty was slowly moving in that direction when Istock came out of the blue and hit them over the head. I remember bidding on a job for an AR for an investment company. There were a series of small 1" x 1" shots of simple stuff- stacks of money, gold bars, like that. I think I bid something like $250 each, which was a cheap price at the time. the designer bought them on istock for maybe $10 each. That was the first time I had heard of istock, and believe me, i could see the future. It didn't mean I had to like it, i just had to deal with it.

I would assume the other side of that is graphic design has changed just as much, so the customers are evolving and changing as well.

« Reply #30 on: June 07, 2013, 15:25 »
+6
well if we talk about the future, it would be time that agencies selling digital products go on par with iTunes that means keeping just 30% for themselves instead of up to 80% as Getty does.

This is the real problem, the thing that's going to destroy this method of selling images as a viable source of income for professional photographers - the greed of the agency owners. There's no need for these massive percentages when distribution, storage, payment, delivery, analysis and everything else is digital.

The stock photography business could work well for agents who'd get top quality pro images and the shooter themselves if the agencies were prepared to take a long term sustainable view.

« Reply #31 on: June 07, 2013, 15:46 »
+8
I think the power is still really with the contributor and when/if a good alternative ever comes along (good commissions, good sales) people will jump ship extremely quickly. It's only a matter of time before it happens.

« Reply #32 on: June 07, 2013, 16:03 »
+2
I think the power is still really with the contributor and when/if a good alternative ever comes along (good commissions, good sales) people will jump ship extremely quickly. It's only a matter of time before it happens.

I agree

Yuri's site could have quickly morphed into a powerful collective if he had started accepting large groups of well known submitters. I think the sites are aware that this could happen and it could have contributed to the deal he & at least his father received.

« Reply #33 on: June 07, 2013, 16:03 »
+1
I think the power is still really with the contributor and when/if a good alternative ever comes along (good commissions, good sales) people will jump ship extremely quickly. It's only a matter of time before it happens.

Fully agree.  Hopefully, Picturengine or Symbiostock (or both) will be that alternative. 

« Reply #34 on: June 07, 2013, 16:23 »
0
I think the power is still really with the contributor and when/if a good alternative ever comes along (good commissions, good sales) people will jump ship extremely quickly. It's only a matter of time before it happens.

Fully agree.  Hopefully, Picturengine or Symbiostock (or both) will be that alternative. 

Yeah, something like symbiostock can be a turning point.  Stocksy is also a really ground breaking concept (or at least ambition initiative) but perhaps a bit too boutique to be a photographers primary income source... but time will tell.  I'm still hoping for the best

« Reply #35 on: June 07, 2013, 16:34 »
+2
I think the power is still really with the contributor and when/if a good alternative ever comes along (good commissions, good sales) people will jump ship extremely quickly. It's only a matter of time before it happens.

Fully agree.  Hopefully, Picturengine or Symbiostock (or both) will be that alternative.
Hopefully Symbiostock.  When will Picturengine launch properly?  Weren't we told it would be very soon sometime last year?  I have had enough of sites not being straight with me, unfortunately Picturengine will have to do a lot to prove to me that is isn't as bad as istock.  Symbiostock is different, no BS just a lot of hard work by Leo.  I see some real potential there.

« Reply #36 on: June 07, 2013, 16:41 »
+1
I think the power is still really with the contributor and when/if a good alternative ever comes along (good commissions, good sales) people will jump ship extremely quickly. It's only a matter of time before it happens.

Fully agree.  Hopefully, Picturengine or Symbiostock (or both) will be that alternative.
Hopefully Symbiostock.  When will Picturengine launch properly?  Weren't we told it would be very soon sometime last year?  I have had enough of sites not being straight with me, unfortunately Picturengine will have to do a lot to prove to me that is isn't as bad as istock.  Symbiostock is different, no BS just a lot of hard work by Leo.  I see some real potential there.

Justin said that Picturengine is very close to full launch.  I would rather he did it right than did it fast.  Hopefully, both of them will succeed.


« Reply #37 on: June 08, 2013, 02:54 »
+5
I think the power is still really with the contributor and when/if a good alternative ever comes along (good commissions, good sales) people will jump ship extremely quickly. It's only a matter of time before it happens.

Fully agree.  Hopefully, Picturengine or Symbiostock (or both) will be that alternative.
Hopefully Symbiostock.  When will Picturengine launch properly?  Weren't we told it would be very soon sometime last year?  I have had enough of sites not being straight with me, unfortunately Picturengine will have to do a lot to prove to me that is isn't as bad as istock.  Symbiostock is different, no BS just a lot of hard work by Leo.  I see some real potential there.

Justin said that Picturengine is very close to full launch.  I would rather he did it right than did it fast.  Hopefully, both of them will succeed.
The problem is that Justin was implying that Picturengine would be live soon back in November last year.  I no longer trust him, especially as the free trial period he offered us was absolutely useless.  It's bad enough putting up with nonsense from the sites.  Justin shouldn't of implied that Picturengine was almost ready several times last year when it clearly wasn't.

Ron

« Reply #38 on: June 08, 2013, 08:48 »
0
I remember PE would be ready in April, which has also past. Did anyone sink money into a subscription? I hope not. If it works its great, but 480 dollar is steep compared to Leo's network for free. I think the power behind SY is that everyone needs to put in an effort to make their own site and network work and the reward is 100% royalty. If you dont put in the work, your site will just be an image storage.


 

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