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Author Topic: Volume of Submissions Now Reducing?  (Read 12073 times)

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« on: September 22, 2010, 09:21 »
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I'm starting to see some evidence that the volume of new images being uploaded may actually be falling rather than relentlessly rising as it had been for the last 6 years.

Shutterstock's 'New images added this week' figure has dropped to about 70K per week for the last couple of months when previously it had been over 110K. Of course this may be due to vacations and/or a harsher review policy although I can't say I've noticed the latter.

Istock have increased upload limits too and not apparently on a temporary basis. Until the recent shenanigans reviews, even for independents, had been very swift so maybe the inspectors were somewhat under-employed.

Is the 'market' finally settling and finding it's own level? Are less successful contributors simply finding it not worth their effort?

Any thoughts?


« Reply #1 on: September 22, 2010, 09:44 »
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iStock's current pending images count is nearly 73,500 - pretty high considering levels over the last year.

 Lots of exclusives have been complaining about very slow inspection times in the last week or two (I have no personal data as I haven't uploaded since August). I think their management of inspection queues has been broken for a long time and periodically indpendents get faster reviews than exclusives. Exclusives complain, it gets better for a bit (usually after we're told there's really no problem) and then it happens again.

My point is that I don't think there's anything intentional about this (i.e. no plan to get more independent content on the site) - it's just a clunky messed up system.

« Reply #2 on: September 22, 2010, 10:10 »
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iStock's current pending images count is nearly 73,500 - pretty high considering levels over the last year.

I think you can rule out the last couple of weeks at Istockphoto. I have a feeling that the inspectors may be expressing their own disgust at having their commissions cut with a go-slow. Of course if they do it'll hit them even further in the pocket.

lisafx

« Reply #3 on: September 22, 2010, 10:26 »
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Interesting about volumes dropping in general.  I hope you are right, Gostwyck, and this turns out to be a trend, with Micro finally leveling out.

At IS, I would guess the longer waits for inspection are most likely due to inspectors going over the Agency collection with a fine tooth comb.  I am sure they don't want a repeat of what we saw when it was introduced last week.

donding

  • Think before you speak
« Reply #4 on: September 22, 2010, 10:27 »
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Do those current pending images at iStock include the "Agency collection"? I don't know if they have to be inspected by iStock, but if they do that could explain the increase in the pending pool.

Edit: Sorry Lisa I didn't see your post....exactly what I was thinking.

« Reply #5 on: September 22, 2010, 13:24 »
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Well SS have been rejecting a lot of abstract vectors recently - a lot of noise in their forum and elsewhere about that. Then you have DT with their increasingly unfathomable "Too many photos/illustrations on the same subject "

Personally my acceptance rate is stable - but uploading has suffered for family reasons not for any particular trend or lack of enthusiasm....or events at IS

IS,SS FT and DT seem to be about a day over usual inspection times in September though.
« Last Edit: September 22, 2010, 13:27 by Red Dove »

« Reply #6 on: September 22, 2010, 13:41 »
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Maybe they are just getting more selective.
After all, they have more than enough to choose from!

RacePhoto

« Reply #7 on: September 22, 2010, 14:38 »
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I'm starting to see some evidence that the volume of new images being uploaded may actually be falling rather than relentlessly rising as it had been for the last 6 years.

Shutterstock's 'New images added this week' figure has dropped to about 70K per week for the last couple of months when previously it had been over 110K. Of course this may be due to vacations and/or a harsher review policy although I can't say I've noticed the latter.

Istock have increased upload limits too and not apparently on a temporary basis. Until the recent shenanigans reviews, even for independents, had been very swift so maybe the inspectors were somewhat under-employed.

Is the 'market' finally settling and finding it's own level? Are less successful contributors simply finding it not worth their effort?

Any thoughts?

Yes, I pointed this out in the Spring with IS numbers dropping as far as annual upload totals and new member totals. Of course with the minor artists revolt going on, I'd expect it to be down even more. Not even sure if they changed the upload limits because of this? I see mine is now 18 in 168 hours. Whoopie Do.

I haven't watched SS or any other site for new uploads numbers by the month. Maybe someone else has been tracking it?

« Reply #8 on: September 22, 2010, 18:32 »
0
I'm starting to see some evidence that the volume of new images being uploaded may actually be falling rather than relentlessly rising as it had been for the last 6 years.

Shutterstock's 'New images added this week' figure has dropped to about 70K per week for the last couple of months when previously it had been over 110K. Of course this may be due to vacations and/or a harsher review policy although I can't say I've noticed the latter.

Istock have increased upload limits too and not apparently on a temporary basis. Until the recent shenanigans reviews, even for independents, had been very swift so maybe the inspectors were somewhat under-employed.

Is the 'market' finally settling and finding it's own level? Are less successful contributors simply finding it not worth their effort?

Any thoughts?

I believe microstockers are leaving HONESTLY or just left their portfolios up and not uploading... I hope more will go :P

« Reply #9 on: September 22, 2010, 18:35 »
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iStock's current pending images count is nearly 73,500 - pretty high considering levels over the last year.

I think you can rule out the last couple of weeks at Istockphoto. I have a feeling that the inspectors may be expressing their own disgust at having their commissions cut with a go-slow. Of course if they do it'll hit them even further in the pocket.

Like some contributors, maybe they don't care about the money. Maybe it's the principle of the whole thing and they are staging their own little protest.

« Reply #10 on: September 22, 2010, 20:40 »
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Interesting thread. My guess would be that it is indeed vacations. If sales slow down in the summer for that reason, it makes sense that submissions would also. But if it is not just seasonal, and the flood of new submitters has crested, that would be interesting news indeed.
Shutterstock's 'New images added this week' figure has dropped to about 70K per week for the last couple of months when previously it had been over 110K. Of course this may be due to vacations...

RacePhoto

« Reply #11 on: September 22, 2010, 21:28 »
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Interesting thread. My guess would be that it is indeed vacations. If sales slow down in the summer for that reason, it makes sense that submissions would also. But if it is not just seasonal, and the flood of new submitters has crested, that would be interesting news indeed.
Shutterstock's 'New images added this week' figure has dropped to about 70K per week for the last couple of months when previously it had been over 110K. Of course this may be due to vacations...

That's what it was that I calculated for IS last year. New members per year, and it has dropped off steeply, if the site statistics are accurate.

I hate to sound like I'm defending my cut in pay on IS, but maybe they also discovered what you and others have guessed. There are many people who stopped uploading new material, so this was a way to cut the payments to dormant contributors. Of course that wasn't what the rules were when people started and the whole, building a portfolio for the future theory, just got shot to bits.

Reminds me of people calculating long term values for collections and photos, and some trying to sell theirs and get out. People here warned that the commissions were not guaranteed and things could change. Sellers wanted years of future income. I hope no one got stuck on those deals, because it has all changed.

Oh that and the Equinox is tonight, full Moon tomorrow night, for those who care about such things. :D

donding

  • Think before you speak
« Reply #12 on: September 22, 2010, 23:22 »
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 the Equinox is tonight, full Moon tomorrow night, for those who care about such things. :D

Hmmm I wonder how loud the wolves will be howling tomarrow???? :D

« Reply #13 on: September 23, 2010, 08:46 »
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Are we sure we are differentiating uploads and acceptances?  Standards seem to have risen significantly in the last year.

RacePhoto

« Reply #14 on: September 23, 2010, 13:58 »
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Are we sure we are differentiating uploads and acceptances?  Standards seem to have risen significantly in the last year.

I'm not. :) This has always been an unknown. We don't know how many are submitted and how many are new files. I'm not sure there's any way to tell how many files are being reviewed and how many accepted. There's no percentage or tracking of that.

My acceptance ratio hasn't changed, and may be better now that I've improved my guessing at what's going to pass and what won't. Still I get some rejections for content and copyright issues, even when there is none. But that's their game. Otherwise the usual vague "lighting" or color balance. Yes, Fall colors, shot at Sunset will have a golden tone! ;)

Just had another good selling image removed from IS, but that's OK they left it up for sale on ThinkStock. Not the first time this has happened.

« Reply #15 on: September 23, 2010, 14:20 »
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During the past 12-18+ months the percentage of newbie photo startups in the traditional portraiture field have been increasing steadily here in the US. I know quite a few of these shooters started out in microstock and are now trying to move into the higher paying non-stock fields. Most are not doing well at making the transition when it comes to style and technique but they are working on it and as a result it is taking their time away from messing with micro. The thing hardcore micro-shooters might be interested in knowing is that even if these shooters fail horribly at switching to non-stock portraiture, they can still produce an income from 1 weeks work equal to what they made in micro over the entire year. This gives them reason to keep trying. I can't say how many micro shooters are making the move here in the US but I have helped close to 100 photographers with their business plans in the past year or so who fell into this category. My guess is that if statistics were taking from all the pros here in the US who offered workshops, mentoring, etc.,  you would see a similar trend. If there has been a decrease in micro activity from previous contributors then this could be one of many reasons why. At the same time, I think there would be micro-newbies to take their place and fill up the slack.
« Last Edit: September 23, 2010, 14:22 by Randy McKown »

vlad_the_imp

« Reply #16 on: September 23, 2010, 14:26 »
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Quote
they can still produce an income from 1 weeks work equal to what they made in micro over the entire year.

They couldn't have been very good at microstock then.


« Reply #17 on: September 23, 2010, 15:08 »
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During the past 12-18+ months the percentage of newbie photo startups in the traditional portraiture field have been increasing steadily here in the US. I know quite a few of these shooters started out in microstock and are now trying to move into the higher paying non-stock fields. Most are not doing well at making the transition when it comes to style and technique but they are working on it and as a result it is taking their time away from messing with micro. The thing hardcore micro-shooters might be interested in knowing is that even if these shooters fail horribly at switching to non-stock portraiture, they can still produce an income from 1 weeks work equal to what they made in micro over the entire year. This gives them reason to keep trying. I can't say how many micro shooters are making the move here in the US but I have helped close to 100 photographers with their business plans in the past year or so who fell into this category. My guess is that if statistics were taking from all the pros here in the US who offered workshops, mentoring, etc.,  you would see a similar trend. If there has been a decrease in micro activity from previous contributors then this could be one of many reasons why. At the same time, I think there would be micro-newbies to take their place and fill up the slack.

I sounds like new path in photographic education. Instead of going to school people apprentice on microstock market. When they fill strong enough they are going to the field :-) Like with everything else some will succeed some will not.

« Reply #18 on: September 23, 2010, 15:54 »
0
During the past 12-18+ months the percentage of newbie photo startups in the traditional portraiture field have been increasing steadily here in the US. I know quite a few of these shooters started out in microstock and are now trying to move into the higher paying non-stock fields. Most are not doing well at making the transition when it comes to style and technique but they are working on it and as a result it is taking their time away from messing with micro. The thing hardcore micro-shooters might be interested in knowing is that even if these shooters fail horribly at switching to non-stock portraiture, they can still produce an income from 1 weeks work equal to what they made in micro over the entire year. This gives them reason to keep trying. I can't say how many micro shooters are making the move here in the US but I have helped close to 100 photographers with their business plans in the past year or so who fell into this category. My guess is that if statistics were taking from all the pros here in the US who offered workshops, mentoring, etc.,  you would see a similar trend. If there has been a decrease in micro activity from previous contributors then this could be one of many reasons why. At the same time, I think there would be micro-newbies to take their place and fill up the slack.

I sounds like new path in photographic education. Instead of going to school people apprentice on microstock market. When they fill strong enough they are going to the field :-) Like with everything else some will succeed some will not.

Actually I encourage people not to start out in micro then make the switch because they will be more likely to fail. Completely different consumer and the styles and habits you acquire from being involved in micro will get you nowhere fast. It doesn't matter what level you are at in micro. You can be at the very top in micro and quickly fall to the very bottom in portraiture. If you are producing highly marketable micro images of people then chances are you're doing everything a normal client will look at and think .. those photos are so bad it's not even funny. That's why I mentioned that most of the shooters are having a hard time making the transition.
A person going into any of the traditional fields is way better off staying completely away from micro and once they have established their style and workflow then they can implement it into their business strategy. If they're already in micro then they need to distance themselves from it and redevelop their entire style of shooting.

lisafx

« Reply #19 on: September 23, 2010, 18:17 »
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The thing hardcore micro-shooters might be interested in knowing is that even if these shooters fail horribly at switching to non-stock portraiture, they can still produce an income from 1 weeks work equal to what they made in micro over the entire year.

You can be at the very top in micro and quickly fall to the very bottom in portraiture. If you are producing highly marketable micro images of people then chances are you're doing everything a normal client will look at and think .. those photos are so bad it's not even funny.

Randy, I don't doubt the trends you are talking about.  You are in a much better position than I am to know what's going on in portraiture. 

However the two statements above seem to be contradictory to me.  Someone who is able to make the same at portraiture or weddings in a week as they would have made in a year in microstock is a really unsuccessful microstocker.  Definitely not the "very top". 

Also, I really don't see how the lighting and people skills learned photographing people for micro would not translate to portraiture.  Certainly the flat, stereotypical "micro" lighting might not be ideal, but anyone who has become skilled enough to get to the top of the micro market shooting people should have also picked up the skills to light practically any location or create most studio lighting they need for portraits.  And surely the skills of directing models should translate to portraiture too. 

What am I missing?

« Reply #20 on: September 23, 2010, 20:28 »
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The thing hardcore micro-shooters might be interested in knowing is that even if these shooters fail horribly at switching to non-stock portraiture, they can still produce an income from 1 weeks work equal to what they made in micro over the entire year.

You can be at the very top in micro and quickly fall to the very bottom in portraiture. If you are producing highly marketable micro images of people then chances are you're doing everything a normal client will look at and think .. those photos are so bad it's not even funny.

Randy, I don't doubt the trends you are talking about.  You are in a much better position than I am to know what's going on in portraiture. 

However the two statements above seem to be contradictory to me.  Someone who is able to make the same at portraiture or weddings in a week as they would have made in a year in microstock is a really unsuccessful microstocker.  Definitely not the "very top". 

Also, I really don't see how the lighting and people skills learned photographing people for micro would not translate to portraiture.  Certainly the flat, stereotypical "micro" lighting might not be ideal, but anyone who has become skilled enough to get to the top of the micro market shooting people should have also picked up the skills to light practically any location or create most studio lighting they need for portraits.  And surely the skills of directing models should translate to portraiture too. 

What am I missing?

It's because in the first post I wasn't referring to top micro shooters .. more like those who fall into the $2000-3000 a yr range .. which is probably still above the average micro contributors level. In the second post I was just emphasizing on the fact that the two types of consumers targeted are completely different. A top contributor would need to completely re-invent their personal style or else they would quickly drop to the bottom of the barrel. Not saying the top shooters couldn't do it .. just that they would need to take the time to develop the new style.

It's less technical and more the style/atmosphere of the compositions where a lot of people have said they had trouble. You get to where you have a personal style that just comes natural and then you have to suddenly change it.

The people skills required are also a lot different because in many cases you will be manipulating two different emotions in multiple people at the same time. Take grad portrait sessions for example. You need to be controlling the seniors+friends emotions and also the parents, specifically the mom. For the grad you are controlling an upbeat atmosphere .. keeping it fun, exciting, pre-selling product concepts you want them to buy to make all their friends jealous. At the same time you need to be manipulating the mom in reverse. You want her to enjoy watching but at the same time you want her standing there a bit depressed .. making her realize that her child does not depend on her as much anymore and forcing her to think about things like soon she won't see her child as often .. they'll be off to college, etc. Once you get in the sales room you kick this depression into overdrive. My goal with every mom is to make her cry because I know the harder she cries the more she is going to spend because it is her last attempt to hold onto memories of her child as a child.
Tackle a client with a micro session psychology and they will be a $400 client .. the other method will almost always double or triple that figure. This is where shooters really need to make adjustments when switching over. It's not about keeping things flowing and upbeat. It's about creating an emotional bombshell.

« Reply #21 on: September 23, 2010, 21:29 »
0
The thing hardcore micro-shooters might be interested in knowing is that even if these shooters fail horribly at switching to non-stock portraiture, they can still produce an income from 1 weeks work equal to what they made in micro over the entire year.

You can be at the very top in micro and quickly fall to the very bottom in portraiture. If you are producing highly marketable micro images of people then chances are you're doing everything a normal client will look at and think .. those photos are so bad it's not even funny.

Randy, I don't doubt the trends you are talking about.  You are in a much better position than I am to know what's going on in portraiture. 

However the two statements above seem to be contradictory to me.  Someone who is able to make the same at portraiture or weddings in a week as they would have made in a year in microstock is a really unsuccessful microstocker.  Definitely not the "very top". 

Also, I really don't see how the lighting and people skills learned photographing people for micro would not translate to portraiture.  Certainly the flat, stereotypical "micro" lighting might not be ideal, but anyone who has become skilled enough to get to the top of the micro market shooting people should have also picked up the skills to light practically any location or create most studio lighting they need for portraits.  And surely the skills of directing models should translate to portraiture too. 

What am I missing?

It's because in the first post I wasn't referring to top micro shooters .. more like those who fall into the $2000-3000 a yr range .. which is probably still above the average micro contributors level. In the second post I was just emphasizing on the fact that the two types of consumers targeted are completely different. A top contributor would need to completely re-invent their personal style or else they would quickly drop to the bottom of the barrel. Not saying the top shooters couldn't do it .. just that they would need to take the time to develop the new style.

It's less technical and more the style/atmosphere of the compositions where a lot of people have said they had trouble. You get to where you have a personal style that just comes natural and then you have to suddenly change it.

The people skills required are also a lot different because in many cases you will be manipulating two different emotions in multiple people at the same time. Take grad portrait sessions for example. You need to be controlling the seniors+friends emotions and also the parents, specifically the mom. For the grad you are controlling an upbeat atmosphere .. keeping it fun, exciting, pre-selling product concepts you want them to buy to make all their friends jealous.

At the same time you need to be manipulating the mom in reverse. You want her to enjoy watching but at the same time you want her standing there a bit depressed .. making her realize that her child does not depend on her as much anymore and forcing her to think about things like soon she won't see her child as often .. they'll be off to college, etc.

Once you get in the sales room you kick this depression into overdrive. My goal with every mom is to make her cry because I know the harder she cries the more she is going to spend because it is her last attempt to hold onto memories of her child as a child.

Tackle a client with a micro session psychology and they will be a $400 client .. the other method will almost always double or triple that figure. This is where shooters really need to make adjustments when switching over. It's not about keeping things flowing and upbeat. It's about creating an emotional bombshell.

It is clear from your description that I am not cut out for non-stock portraiture, the thought of regularly making Moms cry would make me want to quit on day one.

RT


« Reply #22 on: September 24, 2010, 03:40 »
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Randy......
What am I missing?

You need to turn your BS filter on!

« Reply #23 on: September 24, 2010, 04:00 »
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fantastic work, turning people to depression and making them cry, think I'll stay earning millions less in the stock world.

Why don't you make some prints of their child and threaten to shred them infront of them if they don't buy them.

Maybe hold a magnifying glass up to sun and start slowly burning a track across the print towards their qute little faces.

BTW If you use any of my ideas I want some commission. :)

« Reply #24 on: September 24, 2010, 04:30 »
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I sounds like new path in photographic education. Instead of going to school people apprentice on microstock market. When they fill strong enough they are going to the field :-) Like with everything else some will succeed some will not.

That's exactly what it is. Many years ago iStock used to refer to itself as a training ground for people wanting to make the transition to iStockpro - an Alamy-style set-up. iStock was meant to be the kindergarten. The idea was overtaken by events. Istockpro died and was eventually reincarnated as Vetta.

I loved the idea that I was making tens of thousands of dollars while getting an education. The drawback is that you learn a lot about specialised areas and have big gaps in your knowledge that most people probably don't bother to find out about.

It's not surprising that people want to use upgraded skills in different directions


 

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