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Author Topic: Newbie - go for exclusive or submit to other sites?  (Read 5777 times)

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« on: April 30, 2009, 13:57 »
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First off, this forum is great, awesome information, glad that I found it.  I am so new to this - but have been photographing as a hobby since my year of high school photo classes.  I know that I am going to get many different answers to this, but having not found a thread on it (it may be somewhere) and having read tons of information, I have to ask.

I am on IS and have all of 3 files uploaded and no sales, no shock to me.  I need to spend more time going through existing photos, and more time shooting, etc., I will be getting to that soon.  Right now I am reading like a hawk, any and all books that I can get my hands on....this weekend, I shall be shooting!!!

Ok - so I am on IS.  I have a few photo's on Fotolia that have been there for years too - about 14 maybe, making like 25 sales a year, no biggie on those, and frankly, they aren't the best quality and were from a few years ago when I wasn't really as serious about heading into professional photography. 

QUESTION -- Should I just focus on IS and shooting for exclusive status there OR should I upload to all of the microstock sites?  I ask because I was reading posts about how it is really hard to go from being an established non-exclusive to an exclusive once you get thousands of pictures on other sites because you have to get them off the sites. 

I have a blank slate right now - and am weighing options.  I know that as a newbie, there is likely more promise in uploading to multi-sites, better for esteem, at SS supposedly newbies make some money a bit faster than at iStock, and well, from what I have read, there is just different performance from many of the sites.  But if I start doing SS, DT, and the others, will I get sucked in and never know what the earning potential or benefits of being an exclusive at IS would look like? 

Tough decisions....and possibly I should just chill out and concentrate on the photos for now : )

I have also read about time -- certainly you will be spending a significant amount of time uploading to more than 1 site.   


« Reply #1 on: April 30, 2009, 14:18 »
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Tough decisions....and possibly I should just chill out and concentrate on the photos for now : )

That's smartest sentence in whole post :-) You do need to worry about being exclusive for long time, first you need to have enough sales to be allowed to switch.

lisafx

« Reply #2 on: April 30, 2009, 15:36 »
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If you think you may want to be exclusive to istock I would suggest concentrating on getting your acceptance rate as high as possible and building your portfolio there so you can see if your sales justify exclusivity.

If you want to try other sites, I would stick with the ones that don't have a lock-in period for your images.  That leaves out Dreamstime and Bigstock.  As long as you don't have images locked in then you will have a fairly easy decision whether or not to be exclusive once you are eligible. 

OTOH if you decide not to be exclusive you really should have your images on DT and BigStock.  Dreamstime in particular is a big earner for a lot of us. 

m@m

« Reply #3 on: April 30, 2009, 15:42 »
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Lisa you took the words right out of my mouth, I was typing when your post came in, I agree with you 100%. There is plenty of time to think about exclusivity once you have a large enough portfolio and a high rating.
« Last Edit: April 30, 2009, 16:04 by m@m »

« Reply #4 on: April 30, 2009, 16:21 »
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I have never regretted putting my images on lots of sites.  Relying on just one would drive me crazy, as the earnings across lots of sites balance out a bit but individual sites can have huge earnings swings.  istock in the past has been one of the most inconsistent with my sales crashing several times when they changed the best match search.  I hope the new best match is an improvement but it is far too early to tell.

I like uploading to lots of sites and most of them don't take much time, istock takes much longer than most of them.

Another reason to remain non-exclusive is to keep the other sites competitive and not let istock dominate the market.  I don't think one big site and a few struggling small ones would benefit us at all.

lisafx

« Reply #5 on: April 30, 2009, 18:02 »
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Lisa you took the words right out of my mouth, I was typing when your post came in, I agree with you 100%. There is plenty of time to think about exclusivity once you have a large enough portfolio and a high rating.

LOL!  I hate that.  Just had the same experience on another forum where someone else was faster. 

Glad to hear we agree anyway :)

« Reply #6 on: April 30, 2009, 18:13 »
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sorry only my opinion never go only to one angency.. you have the big 6... some of them i really like *g

greets yvonne

« Reply #7 on: April 30, 2009, 19:32 »
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If you want a suggestion, try the top sites and then see if it's worth moneywise to become exclusive.  There are only two reasons for me to become exclusive:
- If I don't want or can not spend time uploading to at least 4-5 sites.
- If earnings from one site are so higher than others that the extra from being exclusive in that specific site compensates losing the income from the others.

Neither are my case, so I am still not considering exclusivity.

« Reply #8 on: April 30, 2009, 19:40 »
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I've thougth also about this point some month ago. I do nearly all of my earnings at Fotolia but they changed their mind and way of doing business that often in the last months i decided for my own not to trust in one agency. Even if it takes longer und means to accept lower profits.

A second reason for delivering different agencys is my ego. I can't accept pictures of me are being refused by selectors i didn't know and what gives me meaningless rejecting reasons. So every rejected picture is marching from one to the next agency until it is on the market :-) (roundabout 850 pictures done, only 1 of them wasn't placed unil now). But as i told, it's just an ego-thing, it takes time and don't deliver much profit (at least in $ i mean).




tan510jomast

« Reply #9 on: April 30, 2009, 19:44 »
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If you think you may want to be exclusive to istock I would suggest concentrating on getting your acceptance rate as high as possible and building your portfolio there so you can see if your sales justify exclusivity.

If you want to try other sites, I would stick with the ones that don't have a lock-in period for your images.  That leaves out Dreamstime and Bigstock.  As long as you don't have images locked in then you will have a fairly easy decision whether or not to be exclusive once you are eligible. 

OTOH if you decide not to be exclusive you really should have your images on DT and BigStock.  Dreamstime in particular is a big earner for a lot of us. 

lisa, don't forget Alamy also requires time before deletion. as Racephoto pointed out, 6 months after request of deletion.

« Reply #10 on: April 30, 2009, 19:53 »
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You should most definitely go exclusive to IS as soon as possible and so should everyone else too (except me obviously!).

« Reply #11 on: May 01, 2009, 04:56 »
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The biggest are not exclusive. There is no agency that will give you as much as 10-15 agencies together.

« Reply #12 on: May 01, 2009, 05:12 »
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There is no agency that will give you as much as 10-15 agencies together.

If it comes down to total earnings, it sounds you are perfectly right.

Though, I think the question is if people prefer to focus on one agency to save time on uploading, keywording, analyzing etc. and spend more time on taking images. That's a personal decision, of course. But you might end up with more money as you might have more time for shooting.

But I wouldn't really recommend a starter to focus on one agency. Experiences are too different for everybody, so some will find an agency is selling better for them than for other photographers. Just be aware what kind of contracts you are agreeing to. There are sites who ask you for more than you might want to give and some people only find out when they want to get out later.

lisafx

« Reply #13 on: May 01, 2009, 10:18 »
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lisa, don't forget Alamy also requires time before deletion. as Racephoto pointed out, 6 months after request of deletion.

I wasn't including Alamy or the other trad agencies but of course if you contribute RF anywhere you should find out the terms for deletion before uploading if you think you might want to be exclusive at IS.

« Reply #14 on: May 01, 2009, 10:37 »
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There is no agency that will give you as much as 10-15 agencies together.

If it comes down to total earnings, it sounds you are perfectly right.

Though, I think the question is if people prefer to focus on one agency to save time on uploading, keywording, analyzing etc. and spend more time on taking images. That's a personal decision, of course. But you might end up with more money as you might have more time for shooting.

But I wouldn't really recommend a starter to focus on one agency. Experiences are too different for everybody, so some will find an agency is selling better for them than for other photographers. Just be aware what kind of contracts you are agreeing to. There are sites who ask you for more than you might want to give and some people only find out when they want to get out later.

I agree completely.

DanP68

« Reply #15 on: May 02, 2009, 01:58 »
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If you want to try other sites, I would stick with the ones that don't have a lock-in period for your images.  That leaves out Dreamstime and Bigstock.  As long as you don't have images locked in then you will have a fairly easy decision whether or not to be exclusive once you are eligible. 

Don't forget Stockxpert too.  If you opt-in to their affiliate sales, you will be stuck for approximately 3 months which is just as long as Bigstockphoto. 

If you want to have the option for exclusivity, the only Top 7 sites you should focus on are IStock, Shutterstock, Fotolia, and 123RF.


 

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