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Poll

I'd like to get into Microstock, what do you think?

Great Idea: Be a part of one of the world's fastest growing imaging phenomenons - microstock photography.
1 (0.9%)
It's hard work but if you invest the time and effort, and work smart, and learn, you can earn some money.
17 (15.7%)
You can make some money, but I'd look at Microstock as a side interest, don't depend on that income or growth of the market.
57 (52.8%)
Don't do it, find something else.
33 (30.6%)

Total Members Voted: 102

Voting closes: January 01, 2023, 10:45

Author Topic: You have a good photographer friend, who says...  (Read 6188 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Uncle Pete

  • Great Place by a Great Lake - My Home Port
« on: December 14, 2021, 10:45 »
+5
Just wondering what anyone thinks of the current situation, the future of and Microstock in their opinion. One vote, what would you tell someone you know, if you were being an honest friend?


« Reply #1 on: December 14, 2021, 10:57 »
+4
Just wondering what anyone thinks of the current situation, the future of and Microstock in their opinion. One vote, what would you tell someone you know, if you were being an honest friend?

Sell all your photographic equipment as soon as possible and forget about it - and never bring it up again.

Uncle Pete

  • Great Place by a Great Lake - My Home Port
« Reply #2 on: December 14, 2021, 11:05 »
+1
Just wondering what anyone thinks of the current situation, the future of and Microstock in their opinion. One vote, what would you tell someone you know, if you were being an honest friend?

Sell all your photographic equipment as soon as possible and forget about it - and never bring it up again.

LOL yeah, I forgot  to answer for myself. Later...

I'll tell some off story (how unusual for me, right?) How I got started. Or maybe that's another thread idea? Really short, someone I knew was doing that referral thing that so many did, when Microstock was new. She was trying to earn as much as possible from recruiting new people and getting a percentage of their earnings. Smart lady, she was in early.

She was also a reviewer at one point. "hey Pete (the review notes) you can't just throw a bunch of stuff in a pile and shoot it, you have to arrange things."  :) A reviewer who gave useful feedback and good advise.

SVH

« Reply #3 on: December 14, 2021, 11:11 »
+5
Just wondering what anyone thinks of the current situation, the future of and Microstock in their opinion. One vote, what would you tell someone you know, if you were being an honest friend?

Microstock is just side income. I bought really expensive lenses with Microstock income as an excuse for my wife. But in the end it's just photographing what makes my heart tick preferably with the best equipment out there. And if Microstock pays for some of my expenses it's more then welcome. And also the recognition when companies buy your photo for whatever reason  8)

thijsdegraaf

« Reply #4 on: December 14, 2021, 11:41 »
0
Just wondering what anyone thinks of the current situation, the future of and Microstock in their opinion. One vote, what would you tell someone you know, if you were being an honest friend?

Microstock is just side income. I bought really expensive lenses with Microstock income as an excuse for my wife. But in the end it's just photographing what makes my heart tick preferably with the best equipment out there. And if Microstock pays for some of my expenses it's more then welcome. And also the recognition when companies buy your photo for whatever reason  8)

Have a website since 2004. About my garden plants and especially about insects and spiders (Pete knows that  :) ). On a paid provider formely with a small profit from some requests for an advertising link. With the rise of Facebook, blogs these advertising links disappeared. The website is now a bit outdated for that.
And I had photos on Flickr, but when I had to pay for that from 2019 (above 1000 photos) I stopped and put the photos on Shutterstock. Before that I knew nothing about Stock. Insect photos are not very commercial, I also started photographing other things.
After the 10 cent settlement I posted photos on Adobe and Alamy. I see it as a nice hobby, from which I pay my provider with the proceeds and have some money left over. My goal is to sell and earn a little more next year. But it remains a hobby, which is more fun than a newspaper route.

I don't know if you should recommend it to anyone. Someone, who is very talented, can still make money from it. I didn't recommend it to my son, but he still occasionally posts a photo or illustration on Shutterstock. He doesn't listen.  :-\
« Last Edit: December 15, 2021, 09:39 by thijsdegraaf »

Brasilnut

  • Author Brutally Honest Guide to Microstock & Blog

« Reply #5 on: December 14, 2021, 12:07 »
+2
Interesting question.

I voted for "It's hard work but if you invest the time and effort, and work smart, and learn, you can earn some money."

My reasoning is that since Microstock has no (practically) barriers to entry it can be a smart/easy way for my friend to earn a "free education" on the basics of a good commercial / editorial stock photo. If any $ is made is just a bonus.

I'd advise my friend to try to quickly discover a niche within micros as the market is already oversaturated with pets, flags, sunsets...unless done extraordinarily. Then try to get out of micros!

I'm glad I got into micro photography but I'm finding myself devoting less and less time to it as I'm going after greener pastures as you all may read on my blog. My next frontier.. a drone.

marthamarks

« Reply #6 on: December 14, 2021, 12:35 »
+1

Microstock is just side income. I bought really expensive lenses with Microstock income as an excuse for my wife. But in the end it's just photographing what makes my heart tick preferably with the best equipment out there. And if Microstock pays for some of my expenses it's more then welcome. And also the recognition when companies buy your photo for whatever reason  8)

That's me too!  (Substituting "husband" for "wife," of course).

The photography that "makes my heart tick" is of birds and other wild critters.

Non-lethally "hunting" and "shooting" gorgeous and/or intriguing living things that are free to move around on their own steam is the kind of challenge that keeps my blood flowing. I hope I never lose the ability to do that.

SVH

« Reply #7 on: December 14, 2021, 13:08 »
0
I'm glad I got into micro photography but I'm finding myself devoting less and less time to it as I'm going after greener pastures as you all may read on my blog. My next frontier.. a drone.

Just want to say a quick thank you, to you, for your blog. Keep up the good work and good luck!

And also big thanks to Tyler (and others if there are) for this site!

« Reply #8 on: December 14, 2021, 13:53 »
+1
I answered "you can make some money, but I'd look at Microstock as a side interest, don't depend on that income or growth of the market."
It's more like a hobby for me, but I learned some stuff on the way like :
mastering Adobe Photoshop (by the way I'm getting it for free from Adobe as a contributor),
improved my language skills (English is a second language for me),
improved my photography skills,
while write description about something I'm sometimes learning some interesting facts about subject.


« Reply #9 on: December 14, 2021, 13:59 »
0
I answered "you can make some money, but I'd look at Microstock as a side interest, don't depend on that income or growth of the market."
It's more like a hobby for me, but I learned some stuff on the way like :
mastering Adobe Photoshop (by the way I'm getting it for free from Adobe as a contributor),
improved my language skills (English is a second language for me),
improved my photography skills,
while write description about something I'm sometimes learning some interesting facts about subject.

Those were exactly my thoughts as well. :D

Plus for me, stock photography broadens the horizon.

« Reply #10 on: December 14, 2021, 14:01 »
+2
Nice topic Pete.

I voted  You can make some money, but I'd look at Microstock as a side interest, don't depend on that income or growth of the market.

Why? I wouldn't advice any of my friends with interest in photography Microstock as a valiable full-time income option. On the contrary.
But I would advice them to upload their work, (If they don't mind selling their content for cents instead of dollars, which would be for a lot of them a serious mental hurdle to take) and earn some extra money on the side, while improving their skills. 

Because that's what it did for me. I think it's fair to say that contributing to microstock improved my photography skills, admittedly, more on the technical side than on the creative side. But still. I became a better photographer and most certainly a better image editor. While becoming better, also my sales and earnings increased.

 



« Reply #11 on: December 14, 2021, 14:11 »
0
I would advice them to upload their work, (If they don't mind selling their content for cents instead of dollars, which would be for a lot of them a serious mental hurdle to take) and earn some extra money on the side, while improving their skills.
I have a few friends who take great photos while traveling and I keep asking them what are they doing with photos? Obviously they post photos on social media, have some prints for personal use, but almost all photos just stored on hard drives.

« Reply #12 on: December 14, 2021, 14:20 »
0
I have a few friends who take great photos while traveling and I keep asking them what are they doing with photos? Obviously they post photos on social media, have some prints for personal use, but almost all photos just stored on hard drives.
Well, that was me a few years back, except for the great photo's :-) And I still am, except for social media. 
The difference is that my prints now look way better than they did a few years back, and I made money on the side too.

Milleflore

« Reply #13 on: December 14, 2021, 14:27 »
0
I think the first thing I would say to a good photographer friend, is that its a lot, lot more than just being a good photographer. There is so much to learn, and secondly it depends on how much you want to earn.

If you want to earn tens of thousands of dollars a year, then yes, it can be done - but getting a hell of a lot more difficult. You really have to be one step ahead of the crowd. And its a very huge crowd nowadays. You have to be very positive and very proactive, and starting from scratch now, may still not get you the same rewards as if you started a few years ago. Maybe aim for thousands of dollars a year, instead of tens.  ;)

But despite what I said on the Getty thread, I still voted for number 2. But its not for the faint-hearted.
« Last Edit: December 14, 2021, 14:38 by Annie »

Pixingphotos

  • Don't fix it, if it ain't broke..
« Reply #14 on: December 14, 2021, 14:42 »
+2
Way too much work now, not what it used to be. Probably better to write a book about it !   ;)
« Last Edit: December 14, 2021, 14:44 by Pixingphotos »

« Reply #15 on: December 14, 2021, 14:46 »
+5
Microstock has made me a better photographer, but the enjoyment is the real answer. Any money is a fringe benefit.

« Reply #16 on: December 14, 2021, 20:22 »
+3
Just wondering what anyone thinks of the current situation, the future of and Microstock in their opinion. One vote, what would you tell someone you know, if you were being an honest friend?

Sell all your photographic equipment as soon as possible and forget about it - and never bring it up again.

are you taking your own advice? if not, why post something you won't back up by action?


« Reply #17 on: December 14, 2021, 20:25 »
+4
...

My reasoning is that since Microstock has no (practically) barriers to entry it can be a smart/easy way for my friend to earn a "free education" on the basics of a good commercial / editorial stock photo. If any $ is made is just a bonus. ...

if there are no barriers, how can you learn?  in olden times that was true, but there's little to be learned when everything is accepted

For Real

« Reply #18 on: December 14, 2021, 20:53 »
+1
...

My reasoning is that since Microstock has no (practically) barriers to entry it can be a smart/easy way for my friend to earn a "free education" on the basics of a good commercial / editorial stock photo. If any $ is made is just a bonus. ...

if there are no barriers, how can you learn?  in olden times that was true, but there's little to be learned when everything is accepted

sad but true. no more initial tests that shutter had (7 out of 10 had to pass) back 10 or more years ago. Just get a smartphone and spray & pray method will work fine now!

For Real

« Reply #19 on: December 14, 2021, 21:08 »
+5
Just thinking-- if you recommend your friend to get into this business they cannot really be that good of a friend for you to do this to them  :-\

Pixingphotos

  • Don't fix it, if it ain't broke..
« Reply #20 on: December 14, 2021, 23:07 »
+1
Just thinking-- if you recommend your friend to get into this business they cannot really be that good of a friend for you to do this to them  :-\

Not a very friendly thing to do..  :)

« Reply #21 on: December 15, 2021, 09:53 »
+1

This was inevitable My friends and some of us saw the writing On the wall a Long time ago. 2011/2012 and Many Of us think it's a waste of time to even consider doing this at the level we were.......Negative? Ya and Honest.


He said it.

« Reply #22 on: December 15, 2021, 11:13 »
0
...

My reasoning is that since Microstock has no (practically) barriers to entry it can be a smart/easy way for my friend to earn a "free education" on the basics of a good commercial / editorial stock photo. If any $ is made is just a bonus. ...

if there are no barriers, how can you learn?  in olden times that was true, but there's little to be learned when everything is accepted

That's true, but the real motivation should not be in getting your content accepted, but in getting it sold.
I never cared about likes or comments on social (photography)media, but I do like the money I earn, and I can find it quite motivational to see my content being used.

Stiff competition pushed me into better or more out of the box compositions and higher technical quality.

thijsdegraaf

« Reply #23 on: December 15, 2021, 11:15 »
0
It depended on who the advice is for.
. On Flickr I know a number of photographers who I know would sell their photos on Stock as well. Then I would advise put them, just like I did, on Stock. A little more work, but then you get money for it instead of having to pay Flickr.
. I would advise somebody, who is not very talented to think about it very carefully. In any case, try it before you buy expensive equipment, which you probably won't earn back.
. A good illustrator is different again. I know it's hard to make good money when you're not very famous. But I would first focus on a job (eg in advertising, designing computer games) before targeting Stock.
. The country where you live also matters. For example, if you now live in Turkey where the value of the money drops, it is nice to be paid in dollars. If you're good, the merit pays off faster than in my country.
« Last Edit: December 15, 2021, 11:27 by thijsdegraaf »

Uncle Pete

  • Great Place by a Great Lake - My Home Port
« Reply #24 on: December 15, 2021, 11:22 »
+3
...

My reasoning is that since Microstock has no (practically) barriers to entry it can be a smart/easy way for my friend to earn a "free education" on the basics of a good commercial / editorial stock photo. If any $ is made is just a bonus. ...

if there are no barriers, how can you learn?  in olden times that was true, but there's little to be learned when everything is accepted

sad but true. no more initial tests that shutter had (7 out of 10 had to pass) back 10 or more years ago. Just get a smartphone and spray & pray method will work fine now!

While true on both, IS had a test, Alamy had a test, and both had standards for acceptance, back when. I don't do much with IS anymore, but I haven't gotten a rejection except for releases or Pro Sports, that kind of issue. Alamy, same what seems easier reviews, although I self review because I'm happy with my stars and don't want to get into that one fail all fail... lets upload everything all over again. DT takes everything now and for a couple years. (I ignore the rest)

Adobe is pretty much the last, general, open site that has serious quality reviews and human reviewers. Alamy/Stockimo has actually rejected some, but I have an iPhone SE which is far below current standards.

So test? Why? Spray and Pray with a cell phone is the truth. No barriers on the mass sites, there are some on the places like Arcangel, Stocksy, and Canva.

The agencies have changed, the values have changed, the whole market is different, including agency reviews with lower standards.

That's true, but the real motivation should not be in getting your content accepted, but in getting it sold.

 8)

There is so much to learn, and secondly it depends on how much you want to earn.

Or How much does someone want to work and learn? That will usually equal, how much they will eventually earn?  :)

There's no easy money in Microstock anymore.


 

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