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Author Topic: This worries me more than free pictures sites :-(  (Read 20097 times)

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lisafx

« Reply #25 on: June 05, 2010, 13:28 »
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cclapper. I don't think any agency give credit line. Only Getty once I see . Maybe I am wrong.

Yes, you are wrong.  All major micros show who the artist is and offer a link to more of their porfolios. 

Thinkstock doesn't, but they are unique in that and they are definitely NOT a major micro. 

Thinkstock is Getty. And new. So maybe it is too soon to make judgement with Thinkstock.

Uhm...  You seem to have completely missed the point.  The point is that micro sites DO, in fact, credit the the contributors.


« Reply #26 on: June 05, 2010, 13:28 »
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If your costs per shoot were several hundred dollars or more and many hours of planning and shooting,  then you might feel very differently...

Some of my shoots fall into that category and some don't. I was merely making the point that before microstock, I made $0 from my camera. Not the case now. However, I didn't take into account the difference in quality in what I produce now vs then.

So thanks everyone for jumping down my throat for expressing my opinion.

« Reply #27 on: June 05, 2010, 13:34 »
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One of my photos appeared in a major magazine and I was given a credit line with my name AND the agency's name. I earned a nice EL commission for that (after having to email support because at first I did NOT receive the EL commission...the circulation of this magazine is over 4 million. But that's a whole nuther story.)

But in addition to the EL commission, I would like to think that if a buyer saw that photo and could reference my name with it, they might go ahead and check out the rest of my portfolio. Without my name being there, that might not happen.

Anyway, it's a little off topic, but certainly related.

Edited: to exclude specific names to keep the story generic, to avoid any repercussions.
« Last Edit: June 05, 2010, 15:18 by cclapper »

« Reply #28 on: June 05, 2010, 13:37 »
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I make $0 from my lawn mower.  Doesn't mean I want to mow my neighbors lawn for free just so they'll tell people I did it and for the possible benefit of someday, possibly making $.25 each time if they abuse me enough.  People wouldn't download if they didn't get some benefit out if it.  Why give that away?

lisafx

« Reply #29 on: June 05, 2010, 13:38 »
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If your costs per shoot were several hundred dollars or more and many hours of planning and shooting,  then you might feel very differently...

So thanks everyone for jumping down my throat for expressing my opinion.

I just reread my post that you quoted and not sure if you are including me as having "jumped down your throat".  That was certainly not my intention. In fact my comment was directed to someone else.  

Can we still disagree around here without being "disagreeable"?  :)
« Last Edit: June 05, 2010, 13:50 by lisafx »

« Reply #30 on: June 05, 2010, 13:41 »
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I make $0 from my lawn mower.  Doesn't mean I want to mow my neighbors lawn for free just so they'll tell people I did it and for the possible benefit of someday, possibly making $.25 each time if they abuse me enough.  People wouldn't download if they didn't get some benefit out if it.  Why give that away?

I agree sjlocke. If buyer not pay 25 cents for picture, why let them take it for free. Crazy .

« Reply #31 on: June 05, 2010, 13:54 »
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No, Lisa, not you! You're one of the few that are unfailingly polite and I do appreciate that. There's not much common courtesy left in the world.

« Reply #32 on: June 05, 2010, 13:55 »
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Microstock is changing, and for the simple apple on white or tape measure around the waist shot - of which there are thousands, possibly tens of thousands - buyers will get the shot the cheapest way possible. That's pretty similar to what happened with traditional agencies when micros came along - they could no longer charge high prices for easy to produce shots.

If you want to churn out high volumes of those types of objects and people on white, then you're stuck with modest returns from subs sites and better keep your production costs low.

For anyone hoping to compete on something other than price, putting your high quality stuff on the race-to-the-bottom sites doesn't help. You shouldn't think that 25 cents is better than zero, but that if you let it go for 25 cents, over time, you're eliminating your ability to charge more. If buyers need stuff that they can't get on the high volume sub sites, they'll go find them at the cheapest price possible (i.e. other micro sites, if not there, then macro sites, if not there then commission a photographer for custom work).

I don't (and won't) participate in the partner program - i.e. no Thinkstock or photos.com. My expectation is that doing so will slowly pull buyers away from the place where we get a good return on our work.

lisafx

« Reply #33 on: June 05, 2010, 14:01 »
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No, Lisa, not you! You're one of the few that are unfailingly polite and I do appreciate that. There's not much common courtesy left in the world.

Thanks for posting that!  I was worried I had offended you and since you are one of the folks around here I have a lot of respect for I would have hated to do that :)

lisafx

« Reply #34 on: June 05, 2010, 14:07 »
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You shouldn't think that 25 cents is better than zero, but that if you let it go for 25 cents, over time, you're eliminating your ability to charge more.

That sums it up perfectly JoAnn!


I don't (and won't) participate in the partner program - i.e. no Thinkstock or photos.com. My expectation is that doing so will slowly pull buyers away from the place where we get a good return on our work.

^^Yep!  Once buyers are trained to go to the cheapest (or free-est ;) ) site, they may eventually stop looking at the higher priced site(s) altogether.  Sound familiar...?

« Reply #35 on: June 05, 2010, 14:10 »
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Microstock is changing, and for the simple apple on white or tape measure around the waist shot - of which there are thousands, possibly tens of thousands - buyers will get the shot the cheapest way possible. That's pretty similar to what happened with traditional agencies when micros came along - they could no longer charge high prices for easy to produce shots.

If you want to churn out high volumes of those types of objects and people on white, then you're stuck with modest returns from subs sites and better keep your production costs low.

For anyone hoping to compete on something other than price, putting your high quality stuff on the race-to-the-bottom sites doesn't help. You shouldn't think that 25 cents is better than zero, but that if you let it go for 25 cents, over time, you're eliminating your ability to charge more. If buyers need stuff that they can't get on the high volume sub sites, they'll go find them at the cheapest price possible (i.e. other micro sites, if not there, then macro sites, if not there then commission a photographer for custom work).

I don't (and won't) participate in the partner program - i.e. no Thinkstock or photos.com. My expectation is that doing so will slowly pull buyers away from the place where we get a good return on our work.

You make excellent point jsnover. I am in full agreement. Also I like make other point about production cost.
If you do stock for many years already you know how to mass production. Your workflow is perfected. You don't spend too much time to make pictures for uploading. For this, you can accept micro stock low prices.
Second observation too. For Istock I mark for partnership program because I go with Shutterstock also.
But I notice sale with Istock still mostly the higher commission and not many partnership program commission.
So, maybe it is not all the same buyer look for Thinkstock Photos.com and Istock.
This only my personal observation. Yes, I reduce production cost by streamline workflow for micro.

red

« Reply #36 on: June 05, 2010, 14:47 »
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For all the people who opt out of subscriptions and alliances, there are many more new shooters (often with better cameras) who will take their place. So, any decisions you make as to how and where you sell your images is a personal choice you must make based on your beliefs. That being said, it won't make a hill of beans of difference in the overall microstock model. To buyers.

I recently got a job at a high volume place that cranks out newspaper circulars - the ones for hardware stores, grocery stores, farm stores - that you get in your Sunday papers or throughout the week (in the US). They use microstock for lifestyle accents such as people gardening in the background behind summer plants, a pile of firewood to go with a chain saw, a horse to go with horse feed... They have a subscription at Shutterstock and at Thinkstock (which they were thrilled to find because of the low prices). They know of no other stock agencies and don't care to because they produce tons of pages and spend no more than a few minutes at either site.

They get in, find what they want, buy about a 4-inch size shot and get out. They buy no special licenses because their Shutterstock "rep" told them they don't need to (their exact words). I suspect the circulation of these flyers is below 500,000 but they use these same images year after year. They believe that once they purchase them they own them. They make sure they use up their subscription and store images they may need in the future.

They do not care about quality, about who shot the pic, about how creative it is, how much it took to set it up, the cost of the pic, or giving anybody credit for anything. It is a part of their workflow and they do not look at photos like we do. (I color correct and clip images all day and it's amazing to find that the quality of some of the purchased images is not up to snuff.) It is merely a means to an end. If one site goes away they will find another source but it has to be quick, easy and cheap. It's just reality. It might be different for big fancy ad agencies in NYC or London, but they probably get their photos from macro, or hire for a custom shoot.

So yes, don't put your good stuff on microstock. Find a different venue, and good luck with that.
« Last Edit: June 05, 2010, 18:23 by cuppacoffee »

« Reply #37 on: June 05, 2010, 15:39 »
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For all the people who opt out of subscriptions and alliances, there are many more new shooters (often with better cameras) who will take their place....
I recently got a job at a high volume place that cranks out newspaper circulars ...
They have a subscription at Shutterstock and at Thinkstock (which they were thrilled to find because of the low prices)....
and good luck with that.

Interesting anecdote about your new employer's buying habits - thanks.

Change is a constant for our business - and from a buyer's perspective, particularly something like newspaper circulars, they'd be nuts to pay more than they had to.

Fortunately, they aren't the sum total of image buyers (or I'd have made no sales).

Change is coming to newspapers too - and in another decade I'd be surprised if anyone was producing all those bits of paper. Coupons won't be paper any more.
We will need to be adaptable - I'm a low priced ho, not a cheapie or free one :)

« Reply #38 on: June 05, 2010, 15:41 »
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clip: They buy no special licenses because their Shutterstock "rep" told them they don't need to (their exact words).

I have a suspicion that this may be true at some of the other sites, especially where large clients are concerned.

Here is a story: one of my images appeared in a MAJOR magazine...circulation of over 4 million. I was ecstatic when I discovered my photo and especially happy that my name and the agency's name appeared in a credit line on the side of the page. I started thinking about how big this magazine was and that I should have gotten paid an EL for it. Since I knew specifically where the mag bought the image, I checked my list of ELs. Guess what...no EL for it. OK, now I'm annoyed. I emailed support. Two and a half weeks later, I did get paid the EL. But I started thinking about how this isn't a magazine that I subscribe to and it was happenstance that I even bought the magazine this particular month. If I would not have seen the article, I likely would have gotten a $1.00 or $2.00 sale, instead of the $36+ EL. There are thousands of mags out there just like it. There is no way for me to monitor whether correct licenses are being purchased. And to the micro's defense, I don't think there is a micro rep monitoring the customer's purchases (or is there?)

I can totally envision (and you have confirmed my suspicions cuppacoffee) a sales rep at these microstock sites bargaining with clients to get their business and one of the best ways to bargain is to do exactly what was said above. Tell your client they don't need to purchase ELs...if a contributor finds their photo and they can track that they have not received an EL, no worries. We'll gladly apologize and give them the EL. What are the chances they are going to know? In the meantime, the sales rep has gotten the client and saved them a ton of money. You know the saying, it is better to beg forgiveness than to ask permission.

And I don't think this is an exclusive or independent specific problem. None of us can monitor every single magazine out there.

Disclaimer: I just want to say I am not saying, in my instance, that the agency has done that and I don't have any idea if this was intentional or just an accident. I AM saying that you can believe that this is a very believable sales tactic, as cuppacoffee has related.

« Reply #39 on: June 05, 2010, 16:21 »
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As far I expect, there will be many web-size images downloaded in future... They will take them cheap and then show them to whole world via their websites...
The question is that if prices of that images will rise or not. As far I think, there will be necessity that images are sold in original size under some 'normal' prices...
This about 19 or so cents is really under any real sense for wast majority of contributors. Just think if you are pro and how much you must invest in your equipment every year or so. Will you get that investment back or not under not certain prices thus you can expect that prices will fall  even more...

It is quite not an industry to invest in as startup for sure. But, some of us are already into it... Well, I hope we'll survive these crazy times!

« Reply #40 on: June 05, 2010, 23:26 »
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One of the biggest Croatian commercial television, their site:

http://dnevnik.hr/vijesti/zdravlje/grozdze-za-mozak-francuski-paradoks.html

See the label with a picture, everything is legal, TV house makes money, only we make cents... >:(


Finally I dig it up whats the catch 22
this and other portals stole some Getty images from google images.
There are lots of wanabe overpaid pompose letter creators and they need stock images
Not portals but writers e.g. search on google by images/pistures and compound it in they online story.
After that Getty black mail them to subscribe at ThinkStoka and then will not be law persuit.
Very very clever...............
So dont to be simpatic to view how BBC and Getty are licking them selfes.
So for BBC and other companies to avoid millionare judgements Gre(d)tty has solution. They must to sign up to ThingStoka.......
Cathch 22 is force up "big" houses to make contract with them.
And for all of us is big loose................

« Reply #41 on: June 05, 2010, 23:48 »
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Show of hands .. how many people have ever forked over the $25 for a yearly copy of the photographers market ... and actually used it  ???
Don't like $0.25 sales then take business into your own hands .. you don't have to belong to a single agency micro or macro or whatever to pull in bigger sales ... but it takes motivation and you have to treat it as a career. Treat photography as a hobby and you'll bring in a hobby income which is nobodys fault but your own.
Face it people, no matter how many "pro shooters" become contributors microstock will always be at the bottom of the barrel in the overall photography industry .. that's where it was designed to be and that's where it belongs .. take it for what it is.


« Reply #42 on: June 05, 2010, 23:53 »
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Great, reflective comments by so many above.

I also choose to NOT opt into partner plans,etc, that publish agency, but not the contributor's name. I'm very comfortable having my images sit out that dance.

« Reply #43 on: June 06, 2010, 03:12 »
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clip: They buy no special licenses because their Shutterstock "rep" told them they don't need to (their exact words).
Shutterstock sell far more EL's than any other site for me and twice they have taken legal action with buyers who didn't purchase an EL and they have compensated me.  Buyers don't need EL's for some uses and that was probably what the sales rep was mentioning.

I still make more with shutterstock than any other site, not using subs would reduce my earnings by at least 30%, I don't think subs are the problem, its sites like thinkstock holding back the commissions.  Hopefully they will follow istock and raise prices and commissions every year, then the gap between subs and PPD will close.  I think they will do that because it will make them more money and that seems to be their aim.  Keeping commissions this low should stop a lot of us using them and might limit their buyers.

« Reply #44 on: June 06, 2010, 05:14 »
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In case of me, I take 25 cents any day with Shutterstock because each month my total is bigger than Istock.  But for other agency I don't think it is worth my trouble.
Other people here , you agree?
Basically yes. If you're shots are usable, you will be soon in the 33 and 36 cents range on SS anyways. Not to mention the ODs and the ELs there. If it has to be (or below) 25 cents, I'm not interested any more. Certainly not on StinkStock that has nothing to offer in my niches anyways. I can as well offer them for free on a site with added content and reap the associated Google ad rewards. I'm trying that now for my editorials/snapshots, along with some textual content, and it looks good. This requires an integral approach in which stock only plays a part.
« Last Edit: June 06, 2010, 05:27 by FD-amateur »

« Reply #45 on: June 06, 2010, 06:00 »
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Show of hands .. how many people have ever forked over the $25 for a yearly copy of the photographers market ... and actually used it  ???
Don't like $0.25 sales then take business into your own hands .. you don't have to belong to a single agency micro or macro or whatever to pull in bigger sales ... but it takes motivation and you have to treat it as a career. Treat photography as a hobby and you'll bring in a hobby income which is nobodys fault but your own.
Face it people, no matter how many "pro shooters" become contributors microstock will always be at the bottom of the barrel in the overall photography industry .. that's where it was designed to be and that's where it belongs .. take it for what it is.

Quite right Randy. Didn't RF stock used to be the dumping ground of shoot leftovers?

« Reply #46 on: June 06, 2010, 06:07 »
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Show of hands .. how many people have ever forked over the $25 for a yearly copy of the photographers market ... and actually used it  ???
Don't like $0.25 sales then take business into your own hands .. you don't have to belong to a single agency micro or macro or whatever to pull in bigger sales ... but it takes motivation and you have to treat it as a career. Treat photography as a hobby and you'll bring in a hobby income which is nobodys fault but your own.
Face it people, no matter how many "pro shooters" become contributors microstock will always be at the bottom of the barrel in the overall photography industry .. that's where it was designed to be and that's where it belongs .. take it for what it is.

Quite right Randy. Didn't RF stock used to be the dumping ground of shoot leftovers?

To be honest, when I tell pro photographers that I shoot for microstock they are  all disgusted in some way. On the other hand, they all say they used to earn more few years ago, and they are not satisfied now. So, it seems that most people are not satisfied with their current earnings, at least when photography business is in question.

« Reply #47 on: June 06, 2010, 06:35 »
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Show of hands .. how many people have ever forked over the $25 for a yearly copy of the photographers market ... and actually used it  ???
Don't like $0.25 sales then take business into your own hands .. you don't have to belong to a single agency micro or macro or whatever to pull in bigger sales ... but it takes motivation and you have to treat it as a career. Treat photography as a hobby and you'll bring in a hobby income which is nobodys fault but your own.
Face it people, no matter how many "pro shooters" become contributors microstock will always be at the bottom of the barrel in the overall photography industry .. that's where it was designed to be and that's where it belongs .. take it for what it is.

Maybe you threat photography as a hobby, maybe someone don't, that isn't matter...
Professional quality cost more in every business...
Is important that big companies do not use our images for their hobbies,they use for  their promotional purposes on their web sites...

So, subscription plan can remain as a kind of an offer in Microstock, but RF licenses HAVE TO be quite different for any kind of business promotion,not strictly commerical...
Is a big difference between example in my first post here and some student's blog....

I'm not happy when I see my picture (my 25 cents) at the site of some large corporation, where  2-inch near ad-space cost thousands of dollars...
« Last Edit: June 06, 2010, 06:38 by borg »

« Reply #48 on: June 06, 2010, 12:07 »
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Consider this photo of red wine could have been bought XSmall at Istock, and paid as low as $0.16 to the contributor...  ::)

« Reply #49 on: June 06, 2010, 12:30 »
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This isn't my photo, maybe this photo isn't so professional, never mind, but on Microstock is a lot of pro photos for a few cents...
But hope is here, OD, Veetta, etc.  ;)


 

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