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Author Topic: Uniting contributors for better royalty, price control and safeguarding this industry  (Read 8990 times)

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drd

« Reply #100 on: March 30, 2019, 05:05 »
+6
Why don't you take your vintage collection and go with it to another thread? It is free to create a new thread!

The original post is about UNITY between contributors and not self-interest of particular individuals.


« Reply #101 on: March 30, 2019, 06:58 »
+1
Why don't you take your vintage collection and go with it to another thread? It is free to create a new thread!

The original post is about UNITY between contributors and not self-interest of particular individuals.

My original post was actually meant to suggest that we (at least those who have the guts to do it) start with an own virtual shop, and then have them all coalesce into a sort of portal that might give a healthy headache to the agencies - and to offer my help if needed.

Regrettably though due to lack of interest the subject drifted away, but that's not of my doing, sorry.

swisschocolate

  • A girl from the Alps
« Reply #102 on: March 30, 2019, 07:10 »
+2
(at least those who have the guts to do it)
...
Regrettably though due to lack of interest the subject drifted away, but that's not of my doing, sorry.

Thanks for the reminder that we have no guts :D Very nice of you.

And when I raised practical questions about "the subject", btw, not expecting you to answer, because my guess was that you don't have those answers.
It came out that you have them, but to get them I should go to your website and spend time there figuring out where are they hidden.

Maybe 10 years ago you could open a shop in internet and make a portal of it, and do whatever you want.

But now it takes much more legal work:
I live in European Union and it is practically impossible (without tools like Shopify) to track VAT transactions for every sale from every country, because % changes by customer's location. And keep all the info about transactions/customers for few years, in the meantime being complied with GDPR, etc. And all the tax work that follows it - you can't do it without an accountant.

I'm not even talking about customer service, which you think isn't necessary for doing business...

Agencies are there for a reason. If you do your business legally and expect more than few sales, you'll realise how much work agencies do actually.
« Last Edit: March 30, 2019, 07:31 by swisschocolate »

« Reply #103 on: March 30, 2019, 07:38 »
+7
It doesnt take guts to start ones own website. It takes lots of time, marketing and advertising expertise, and money. There are a bunch of people here who did this years ago, unfortunately not too successfully. It takes money to compete for search engine visibility, against the big guys. And no, I am NOT saying it cant be done. I am saying that most people are photographers and want to spend their time taking photos, NOT sitting behind the computer 24/7 farting around with website work. Good for you if you have it all and can be successful at it.
« Last Edit: March 30, 2019, 08:39 by cathyslife »

« Reply #104 on: March 30, 2019, 08:09 »
+2
Q How do we push agencies like SS, istock, getty to offer a fair share of royalties
A We cannot

Q How do we work with the agencies to prevent the race to the bottom
A We cannot

Q What agencies are inherently unfair - low pricing, very low royalty, that should be boycotted
A We cannot

Q How can we create enough of an impact to make the agencies correct this
A We cannot

The ONLY way to answer "WE CAN" is to choke the agencies of content, particularly from those contributors who drive high-sales for the agencies.  To accomplish this "broad-brush" style would pigeon hole so many artists who make their sole living at photography/videography/illustrations that it makes influencing agencies to the extent of this thread title impossible. The idea of unions is nice, but completely impractical this far into the maturity of the MS business.  Microstock is well beyond the peak of the S-Curve and the leverage is lost from an industry standpoint.  Sure, there are instances where we can stand up to a single agency and make some waves, but from the broader goal of yielding a much more robust model that better benefits the artist across all agencies, that opportunity is over.  It's probably a good idea to expand into specialty (Stocksy) or macro stock, in addition to self-hosting (if you have the discipline and technical savvy to do that). But micro stock is as we see it....a declining market being chewed up by mass inflow of content which provides serious leverage to the agencies, not the artists. 

« Reply #105 on: March 30, 2019, 08:34 »
+1
But now it takes much more legal work:
I live in European Union and it is practically impossible (without tools like Shopify) to track VAT transactions for every sale from every country, because % changes by customer's location. And keep all the info about transactions/customers for few years, in the meantime being complied with GDPR, etc. And all the tax work that follows it - you can't do it without an accountant.

Please don't make a big issue of everything. Professionally I do websites, daily privacy policies and GDPR compliance for my customers; there are ready-made plugins to make all you say, including VAT transaction for every country: not only that, but they also check it against the customer's IP address: it is really a breeze  :)

« Reply #106 on: March 30, 2019, 08:44 »
+3
But now it takes much more legal work:
I live in European Union and it is practically impossible (without tools like Shopify) to track VAT transactions for every sale from every country, because % changes by customer's location. And keep all the info about transactions/customers for few years, in the meantime being complied with GDPR, etc. And all the tax work that follows it - you can't do it without an accountant.

Please don't make a big issue of everything. Professionally I do websites, daily privacy policies and GDPR compliance for my customers; there are ready-made plugins to make all you say, including VAT transaction for every country: not only that, but they also check it against the customer's IP address: it is really a breeze  :)


But you have expertise..most here are photographers, not website gurus, and dont want to be. It kinda sounds like you are here to advertise and sell your services, not contribute to the actual topic of uniting photographers.   ::)

« Reply #107 on: March 30, 2019, 09:18 »
0
But now it takes much more legal work:
I live in European Union and it is practically impossible (without tools like Shopify) to track VAT transactions for every sale from every country, because % changes by customer's location. And keep all the info about transactions/customers for few years, in the meantime being complied with GDPR, etc. And all the tax work that follows it - you can't do it without an accountant.

Please don't make a big issue of everything. Professionally I do websites, daily privacy policies and GDPR compliance for my customers; there are ready-made plugins to make all you say, including VAT transaction for every country: not only that, but they also check it against the customer's IP address: it is really a breeze  :)


But you have expertise..most here are photographers, not website gurus, and dont want to be. It kinda sounds like you are here to advertise and sell your services, not contribute to the actual topic of uniting photographers.   ::)

No, you don't need me.
All you need is to get the (mostly free) apps and plugins to do automatically what only a few years ago required long hours and fluent profanity.
Long ago it took a professional chauffeur to maintain and drive a car; nowadays one still needs a bit of know-how to do that, but nonetheless just anyone does it: cars have become much easier to handle.
I know it's hard to believe it, but the world of the web is going the same way: in a few years what used to be awfully difficult has turned surprisingly easy.
I'm not advertising or trying to sell my services, just to help people look around and find out that the world has changed.

swisschocolate

  • A girl from the Alps
« Reply #108 on: March 30, 2019, 10:24 »
+4
Right, we dont need you, nor an IT, SEO, accountant, customer support, marketing, social media and advertising speacialists.
We can do it all by ourselves! What a wonderful world :)

Even updating those free plugins by third parties when the next WP update comes out can become a nightmare.

Please, dont make it seem so unrealistically easy, because its not.

It can be done!
But I want to do photography and videography :)
« Last Edit: March 30, 2019, 10:39 by swisschocolate »

« Reply #109 on: March 30, 2019, 10:38 »
+3
You forgot the lawyer who keeps updating about the latest problems in licensing, so you avoid that, plus being able to keep informing customers if something needs to be deactivated.

To sell direct you can just use photoshelter. Many people have thousands of images there.

Some people prefer to spend their time just shooting and uploading, other prople invest the time to build their own client base.

Or you mix both.

Thousands of people have a webshop for direct licensing.

Nothing wrong with doing that. My own provider photodeck has a built in webshop with all accountung software. And I know people who successfully run lucrative webshops via photodeck.

And maybe one day I will add that.

But for me at the moment, working with agencies works well.

So good luck with your shop and I hope you are successful.

« Reply #110 on: March 30, 2019, 10:52 »
+5
Right, we dont need you, nor an IT, SEO, accountant, customer support, marketing, social media and advertising speacialists.
We can do it all by ourselves! What a wonderful world :)

Even updating those free plugins by third parties when the next WP update comes out can become a nightmare.

Please, dont make it seem so unrealistically easy, because its not.

It can be done!
But I want to do photography and videography :)

Exactly. This has been tried with Symbiostock for years now and failed. It took a lot of work and was complicated for someone like me who has never done anything like it. And I didn't enter the tax mess, do a lot of Social Networking, etc.  It's not easy for someone outside the area.

Besides, I think this discussion should be taken to a new topic. There it could be discussed in more detail to those interested, being a project to unite photographers or to sell website services.

« Reply #111 on: March 30, 2019, 13:40 »
0

.

I'm aware that there are a lot of vintage images around: for me it is more a matter of passion than of business. An advantage is that most of my material is exclusive in the sense that some of my books are rare and their images seem not to be online. I'm crossing the fingers...

they're on adobe & DT but sales there are meagre -- the bottom seems to have dropped out of alamy's sales but I may start adding some newer scans there

2 good reasons -- passion & a niche  -- something that's needed to keep working in stock these days.  I've got several old atlases & civil war books that I've been slowly scanning, but SS doesnt take many of those these days.  afterwards I sell the individual maps on ebay.
Oh, that's sounds very interesting! Have you tried Alamy, Adobe and Dreamstime? They are my best sellers for the vintage images, Alamy on the top.

they're on adobe & DT but while adobe is steady it doesnt match SS (where my grandfathered maps still do well) and DT is near dead.  I haven't upl'd to alamy for awhile, but it's probably worth a shot.

« Last Edit: March 30, 2019, 13:49 by cascoly »

« Reply #112 on: March 30, 2019, 14:12 »
+1


Please don't make a big issue of everything. Professionally I do websites, daily privacy policies and GDPR compliance for my customers; there are ready-made plugins to make all you say, including VAT transaction for every country: not only that, but they also check it against the customer's IP address: it is really a breeze  :)


But you have expertise..most here are photographers, not website gurus, and dont want to be. It kinda sounds like you are here to advertise and sell your services, not contribute to the actual topic of uniting photographers.   ::)

but this TOPIC is about uniting! and one of the needs if we want to offer an alternative is to hear about successful approaches.  symbiostock was a good approach, but it never produced enough sales and growth stalled - we needed a thousand+ sites, not the hundreds we had in order to attract buyers.  it was a relatively easy path to setting up your own website so any new try must be even simpler

{rant}
as far as people not knowing how to work the web -- photographers have been moaning for decades now about how digital has ruined their lives.   if you dont learn the new ways you will always be at the mercy of those who do - whether agencies or unions.  the microstock BUSINESS is about more than 'just shooting'  - I doubt anyone spends more time shooting than editing and uploading - those are computer tasks everyone now takes for granted.  (how many non-photogs even know what iptc and ftp are?)  those tasks were simplified by LR and FileZilla, before that pioneers wrote their own apps.  new tools are arriving for building and maintaining websites.  we're not there yet, but the other choice (perfectly acceptable) is to continue to let the agencies handle all the fiddly bits.
{/rant}

« Reply #113 on: March 30, 2019, 14:38 »
+4
There is room for a Stocksy style coop for the common folk.  Stocksy has done a great job of creating an artsy boutique agency... a larger big tent coop could also succeed. 

Symbiostock failed because it did not unite everyone around a simple effective search engine and user interface.  A uniformed landing page with clear licensing terms would do better than a collection of different looking semi-connected portfolio templates.   

« Reply #114 on: March 30, 2019, 14:53 »
+1

Please don't make a big issue of everything. Professionally I do websites, daily privacy policies and GDPR compliance for my customers; there are ready-made plugins to make all you say, including VAT transaction for every country: not only that, but they also check it against the customer's IP address: it is really a breeze  :)

But you have expertise..most here are photographers, not website gurus, and dont want to be. It kinda sounds like you are here to advertise and sell your services, not contribute to the actual topic of uniting photographers.   ::)

but this TOPIC is about uniting! and one of the needs if we want to offer an alternative is to hear about successful approaches.  symbiostock was a good approach, but it never produced enough sales and growth stalled - we needed a thousand+ sites, not the hundreds we had in order to attract buyers.  it was a relatively easy path to setting up your own website so any new try must be even simpler

{rant}
as far as people not knowing how to work the web -- photographers have been moaning for decades now about how digital has ruined their lives.   if you dont learn the new ways you will always be at the mercy of those who do - whether agencies or unions.  the microstock BUSINESS is about more than 'just shooting'  - I doubt anyone spends more time shooting than editing and uploading - those are computer tasks everyone now takes for granted.  (how many non-photogs even know what iptc and ftp are?)  those tasks were simplified by LR and FileZilla, before that pioneers wrote their own apps.  new tools are arriving for building and maintaining websites.  we're not there yet, but the other choice (perfectly acceptable) is to continue to let the agencies handle all the fiddly bits.
{/rant}

As has been said a few times in this thread already, if someone wants to do something and present it and show how it will unite/benefit/make money for contributors and put the agencies out of business, I say bring it on. I dont see that happening.

You said it best... were not there yet.

And by the way, my other job was building websites, mostly html and wordpress, so I know how to build a site. Its not easy. When wordpress first came out, it was being marketed as software anybody could use to build a site. It just isnt that easy. And even after its built, its a full-time job marketing and getting customers. You were already in that whole business, so sure, when symbiostock came along, you saw opportunity and you took full advantage. It was easy for you. Not everybody has the same leg up.

And symbiostock did not do what it was marketed to do either. It was a try, it failed, no point in rehashing.


« Last Edit: March 30, 2019, 16:07 by cathyslife »

swisschocolate

  • A girl from the Alps
« Reply #115 on: March 30, 2019, 14:57 »
0
There is room for a Stocksy style coop for the common folk.  Stocksy has done a great job of creating an artsy boutique agency... a larger big tent coop could also succeed. 

Yes, Stocksy is a great example of a union :)

And how it would work for a big coop? Every photographer would own a share of the company? Board members?
« Last Edit: March 30, 2019, 15:07 by swisschocolate »

« Reply #116 on: March 30, 2019, 14:59 »
+3
Right, we dont need you, nor an IT, SEO, accountant, customer support, marketing, social media and advertising speacialists.
We can do it all by ourselves! What a wonderful world :)

Even updating those free plugins by third parties when the next WP update comes out can become a nightmare.

Please, dont make it seem so unrealistically easy, because its not.

It can be done!
But I want to do photography and videography :)


Exactly! Heck, practically every time wordpress has an update it breaks something in the few sites I maintain. Of course it can be done. But its a whole other career from photography.


« Reply #117 on: March 30, 2019, 15:40 »
+3
There is room for a Stocksy style coop for the common folk.  Stocksy has done a great job of creating an artsy boutique agency... a larger big tent coop could also succeed. 

Symbiostock failed because it did not unite everyone around a simple effective search engine and user interface.  A uniformed landing page with clear licensing terms would do better than a collection of different looking semi-connected portfolio templates.

pond5 still pays 50% for photos just like Stocksy, but you can set your own prices. If you want to organize something, why not on a place that already exists?

Maybe talk to pond5 and ask them if you can open a joint exclusive account or something like that, with a fixed price for all the content. Then you just have to organize people legally under one umbrella for that exclusive content and decide who will preselect and edit content.

Or just generally support pond5 and promote them with your content. Who knows, if their exclusive video content with 60% works well, maybe they will offer exclusive photos at some point?

Photoshelter also offers the option for producers to set up a virtual agency, where the content is pooled. So the framework for accounting etc...is already there.

https://photographersselection.org/what-is-a-virtual-agency/

Photoshelter pays out 90% or so, depending on the contract. I don't know how much they charge for the VA.

I don't know which place would give more sales, but at least being part of a much larger setup, means you don't have to go it all alone.

So basically, if a group of people wants to unite and pool their content at a certain price point, or over a certain theme, you can just go and do it. The tools are all available out there.

Isn't doing something better than complaining how the industry takes advantage of you...? :)
« Last Edit: March 30, 2019, 17:00 by cobalt »

« Reply #118 on: March 30, 2019, 22:01 »
+4
Thank you all very much.

As far as the monthly "we should all unite for better treatment" threads go, this one was particularly entertaining.

« Reply #119 on: March 31, 2019, 05:50 »
+2
Thank you all very much.

As far as the monthly "we should all unite for better treatment" threads go, this one was particularly entertaining.

Don Quijote is still relevant

« Reply #120 on: March 31, 2019, 06:44 »
0
Quote
Don Quijote is still relevant

First thought was previous Adobe Premiere version splash screen with the Windmill. D*mn, my life is ruined from editing...

ok, offtopic. Never mind me.

:P :D

« Reply #121 on: March 31, 2019, 07:41 »
+2
It's perfectly possible to organise and make changes. It would just take some serious work by people with experience that know what they're doing. I mean not on a forum but actually making contact with people one on one, making personal connections etc.
Anyone serious about this needs to study up. Oh, and there aren't millions of contributors out there that need organising. If a significant chunk of the top 1000 people could be bought on board that would be plenty to make any agency stop and think.

ShadySue

« Reply #122 on: March 31, 2019, 08:47 »
+4
If people thought they'd be doing better at the sites which pay better, they'd surely be doing it already. In another group I'm on, someone said they would never submit to micro and claimed to be earning $$$$ monthly with a port of just over 2k. I checked out his port on Westend64 (can't remember if that's the name, but it's been mentioned on msg several times. Also I only checked his port there, I didn't check if he was represented elsewhere.) His port was perfectly adequate: people photos of the same style that have been on micros for over ten years, but with a bias towards simple portraits. So assuming he's telling the truth, it was interesting that people would pay so much more for the sort of image they could get elsewhere much cheaper, even if they only license a few images each month. I don't know whether he sells a  lot of exclusive rights, that must be attractive to some buyers.
But the point is that these options are available, so if trying to attract the big players, why are they not already pursuing these options?
« Last Edit: March 31, 2019, 09:34 by ShadySue »

Shelma1

« Reply #123 on: March 31, 2019, 08:59 »
+4
But now it takes much more legal work:
I live in European Union and it is practically impossible (without tools like Shopify) to track VAT transactions for every sale from every country, because % changes by customer's location. And keep all the info about transactions/customers for few years, in the meantime being complied with GDPR, etc. And all the tax work that follows it - you can't do it without an accountant.

Please don't make a big issue of everything. Professionally I do websites, daily privacy policies and GDPR compliance for my customers; there are ready-made plugins to make all you say, including VAT transaction for every country: not only that, but they also check it against the customer's IP address: it is really a breeze  :)


But you have expertise..most here are photographers, not website gurus, and dont want to be. It kinda sounds like you are here to advertise and sell your services, not contribute to the actual topic of uniting photographers.   ::)

No, you don't need me.
All you need is to get the (mostly free) apps and plugins to do automatically what only a few years ago required long hours and fluent profanity.
Long ago it took a professional chauffeur to maintain and drive a car; nowadays one still needs a bit of know-how to do that, but nonetheless just anyone does it: cars have become much easier to handle.
I know it's hard to believe it, but the world of the web is going the same way: in a few years what used to be awfully difficult has turned surprisingly easy.
I'm not advertising or trying to sell my services, just to help people look around and find out that the world has changed.


???

Cars have become much more complex over time, run by computers. I take my car to a mechanic for maintenance. Everyone I know does that (except my next door neighbor...hes a mechanic.)

Can you please start a new thread about your amazeball skillz and stop derailing this one?

Brasilnut

  • Author Brutally Honest Guide to Microstock & Blog

« Reply #124 on: March 31, 2019, 09:15 »
+6
I like the initiative.

My wackamole experience has taught me that you have to make a lot of noise to make anything happen and this is a good start. I will support it!



 

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