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Author Topic: Microstock self-distribution OR traditional rf via Getty???  (Read 5415 times)

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« on: October 18, 2011, 09:56 »
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Hi,

I guess I can consider myself lucky to have a house collection contract with Getty Images for both RF & RM. ('House Collection' meaning I am not restricted to Photographer's Choice). Most of my stuff on Getty is standard editorial/travel photography.

I'm currently looking into doing some illustrations in 3d. Straight-forward, iconic imagery / easy concepts. Kind of similar to these:

http://www.istockphoto.com/stock-photo-17334146-bullseye.php?st=26bd918
http://www.istockphoto.com/stock-photo-16705954-3d-small-people-compass.php?st=26bd918
http://www.istockphoto.com/stock-photo-17911764-coins.php?st=26bd918
http://www.istockphoto.com/stock-photo-15064848-billboard.php?st=26bd918
http://www.istockphoto.com/stock-photo-12249338-map-of-france.php?st=26bd918

The question for me is: Where should I submit that kind of imagery to maximize profit?
Straight to Getty (meaning it'd probably end up in one of their RF collections)
Or 'self-distribution' to several Microstock Agencies.

I guess I could always do a test, but that would also mean waiting for about 6 months before could do a representational sales analysis  :(

Any ideas / guesses?


« Reply #1 on: October 18, 2011, 10:08 »
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No to be discouraging, but the micros have a lot of those images. So, they may get rejected. I just saw a thread somewhere of someone complaining about their little sphere headed man images getting rejected for "too many on the site".

« Reply #2 on: October 18, 2011, 12:40 »
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I won't be doing ANY "sphere headed men" or the like. I just meant these links as some kind of visual reference.

If I had to describe my ideas with words, it'd be
white background
3d "clay style" rendering with maybe 1-2 colours (red + black, or blue + yellow,...)
simple subject matter (i.e. 2-3 objects), to illustrate a concept

« Reply #3 on: October 19, 2011, 04:59 »
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I think the number of people here who have the option of submitting directly through Getty are pretty few (a handful if any).. so not sure many people would know how the two compare.

If you do test it out I'd be interested in hearing what you find :)

« Reply #4 on: October 19, 2011, 06:01 »
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True I didnt' think of that. But what about Getty's "Vetta" collection? Are overall sales through Vetta better than through self-distribution?

« Reply #5 on: October 20, 2011, 06:08 »
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I'm not sure where you're coming up with this 'distribution' distinction.  You're either licensing RF at micro or macro prices through an inspector/editor controlled channel or RM through an editor controlled channel.  There is no 'self distribution'.  Anyways, Getty won't likely be interested in simple 3d renders.  There's plenty of all shapes and sizes on the micros as anyone in the world with a computer can make them.  Which is why I don't waste much time on 3d anymore.

« Reply #6 on: October 20, 2011, 07:26 »
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Getting into Vetta on istock is extremely difficult. The rejection rate is over 90%, at least that is what I hear. I dont know if your renders would be suitable. Have a look at the renders in the collection and then decide for yourself if you can meet the editors expectations.

« Reply #7 on: October 20, 2011, 11:02 »
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I never submitted to Vetta back when I was exclusive, but they did randomly select some of my prior images / new normal submissions from time to time, and I let most of them stay there just to test it.  They did indeed sell fairly well (back then, it may have changed... this was about a year ago or more).  In fact a large decrease in my income when I rescinded exclusivity was due to my vetta files becoming normal files, which represented about as much of a decrease in earnings as did my royalty reduction.

« Reply #8 on: October 22, 2011, 10:44 »
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I have a question about Getty: how can I become a contributor there?
I was checking the site out, but only find a way to registrate as buyer.

lagereek

« Reply #9 on: October 22, 2011, 11:06 »
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Take my word for it. Unless you can get into the main-core of the Getty-RM, just forget the entire venture and the Getty-main RM, is today almost a closed shop, unless you are either famous or have unique material beyond belief.
All the rest, RF, etc, is just too much work for too little.

best.

« Reply #10 on: October 22, 2011, 11:11 »
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I have a question about Getty: how can I become a contributor there?
I was checking the site out, but only find a way to registrate as buyer.

dont know much but I guess there are a few options:
- flickr
- IS exclusivity
- having files in an agency that has getty as a partner

if anyone knows I would love to hear about it

« Reply #11 on: October 25, 2011, 05:43 »
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is today almost a closed shop, unless you are either famous or have unique material beyond belief.

I'm glad you put the word "almost" in. I'm not famous, and my material isn't unique beyond belief. But I got accepted as a contributor to Getty house collections. But you have to have a reasonably strong portfolio within your subject matter, AND a proper website not a 'community based' website. Presentation is half the job, as we all know...
When I applied, I sent them an e-mail with a link to my website. Took a while, but two months later I got a reply from one of their editors & was sent the contract by email.

« Reply #12 on: October 25, 2011, 05:50 »
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I have a question about Getty: how can I become a contributor there?
I was checking the site out, but only find a way to registrate as buyer.


http://lmgtfy.com/?q=contribute+to+getty+images

« Reply #13 on: October 25, 2011, 05:52 »
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« Reply #14 on: October 25, 2011, 05:53 »
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I'm not sure where you're coming up with this 'distribution' distinction.  You're either licensing RF at micro or macro prices through an inspector/editor controlled channel or RM through an editor controlled channel.  There is no 'self distribution'.

So what do you call it, if a photographer decides to send the same set of images to a number of stock agencies on a non-exclusive base, of course.
If I upload an image to iStock, dreamstime, fotolia, shutterstock,... then I (!) am distributing the images, hence I call it "self-distribution".
OK, there are editors between me and the actual upload but that's always the case, even with companies: LonelyPlanet images (or any other library for that matter) may mention Getty as one of their distribution partners, but not all LP images make it onto the Getty platform. (Either due to image quality, or the distribtion contract they have with each other i.e. Getty might say they only take on 1000 images a month).

« Reply #15 on: October 25, 2011, 06:13 »
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So what do you call it, if a photographer decides to send the same set of images to a number of stock agencies on a non-exclusive base, of course.
If I upload an image to iStock, dreamstime, fotolia, shutterstock,... then I (!) am distributing the images, hence I call it "self-distribution".

Call it whatever you want - self distributor, independent contributor.  Point is, there's no difference contributing to Getty or IS.  They are both submit, approve, put up.  Maybe you just wrote the thread title in a confusing way.

« Reply #16 on: October 25, 2011, 09:47 »
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Call it whatever you want - self distributor, independent contributor.  Point is, there's no difference contributing to Getty or IS.  They are both submit, approve, put up.  Maybe you just wrote the thread title in a confusing way.

Yeah, I guess I was confused as well. I would say independent contributor too. I think of self-distribution as owning your own site. No middle man, but selling right to the buyer.


« Reply #17 on: October 26, 2011, 15:42 »
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Hi BelIblis,

 In Macro agencies you cannot submit the same work to different agencies the Macro market asks for exclusivity of your image. Maybe Alamy does I'm not sure but again that isn't Getty or Corbis. All the major agencies will only take your images as exclusive and they will not let you redistribute any similar images from the same shoot anywhere else even if they didn't accept some frames from your shoot. Even those extra frames they didn't take cannot be redistributed by you with the exception of Fine Art sales directly by yourself and that is not the case with every agency. I hope this helps explain the difference in the Micro and Macro world of stock.
 A third party agency that is represented by Getty would be one route to gain access, many of these agencies distribute your work through many of the top agencies ( 100+ ) as they have the ability in their contracts to do so but as a single photographer that option is not available. The third party option offers a very broad market for your work and can quite often return higher sales than being signed to a single agency. Keep on shooting :)

Good Luck,
Jonathan

« Reply #18 on: October 26, 2011, 17:11 »
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Jonathan,

I have a question: the macro agencies take the files on an exclusive basis - but then they license them all over and freely to each other. So what is the point of this form of "exclusivity"?

It cannot be having "exclusive" content to attract buyers, can it?

I really have spent a lot of time doing image research in my subject field and in the end it always seems to be that a very large portion of the collection is shared with everyone.
« Last Edit: October 27, 2011, 05:20 by cobalt »

« Reply #19 on: October 28, 2011, 06:24 »
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So what do you call it, if a photographer decides to send the same set of images to a number of stock agencies on a non-exclusive base, of course.
If I upload an image to iStock, dreamstime, fotolia, shutterstock,... then I (!) am distributing the images, hence I call it "self-distribution".

Point is, there's no difference contributing to Getty or IS.  They are both submit, approve, put up.  Maybe you just wrote the thread title in a confusing way.

There is a very big difference between contributing to Getty or IS: Getty wants exclusivity. With most Microstock, exclusivity is an option.

« Reply #20 on: October 28, 2011, 06:31 »
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Hi BelIblis,

 In Macro agencies you cannot submit the same work to different agencies the Macro market asks for exclusivity of your image. Maybe Alamy does I'm not sure but again that isn't Getty or Corbis. All the major agencies will only take your images as exclusive and they will not let you redistribute any similar images from the same shoot anywhere else even if they didn't accept some frames from your shoot. Even those extra frames they didn't take cannot be redistributed by you with the exception of Fine Art sales directly by yourself and that is not the case with every agency. I hope this helps explain the difference in the Micro and Macro world of stock.

Hi Jonathan,

100% agree and I couldn't say it any better  but you're preaching to the choir  ;)
That's EXACTLY what I asked in my OP maybe I shall try to put things into different wording:

With said "illustrative" images (white background / conceptual / 3d renders / cutouts /... ), what's the better way to maximize profit?

1) Submit STRAIGHT to a Macro agency (= having to rely on their distribution network & NOT possible for me to submit ANYWHERE else)
2) Submit to several Microstocks myself (obviously under a non-exclusive contract)

Beliblis

« Reply #21 on: October 28, 2011, 06:33 »
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Ah, we've finally arrived at the question you were trying to ask.  I doubt you'll get many simple things into Getty in the first place, so you're more likely to get acceptances going non-exclusive with them.

« Reply #22 on: October 28, 2011, 07:17 »
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In my opinion, isolated simple work with white background suite for Micro. But maybe you can do it different far from your samples in IS. Then maybe they will sell good in Macro. If something easy to imitate, I prefer submit to Micro.

« Reply #23 on: October 28, 2011, 12:17 »
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Hi Cobalt,

 Good question and I wish I could answer it simply for you. Multi distribution in Macro RF did not start until a about 8 years ago before that everyone sold their own content directly. or they were purchased by a larger agency and then those images was exclusive with the new agency until the photographer original contract was up and then the new owners would send out a new contract and offer the original shooter a chance to sign on and keep selling their work.
 Some agencies that started multi distributing their Macro collections were a bit frowned upon at one point by the large agencies. Eventually I think the big agencies realized if another agency with professionals doing the key wording and the editing as well as building a corral of contributors that are very good at what they do made their job much easier.
 A third party agency sends in very relevant imagery and key wording taking some of the work load off the large agencies shoulders. To offer this to every photographer on an individual basis would create a lot of work with no extra reward to the major agency. The big agency now no longer has to keep as big a staff and the supply of strong selling content makes it worth their while to let those agencies multi distribute.
 Another angle is these niche agencies are just that, focused on a particular angle and if that angle is of interest to the larger agencies it makes for a win/ win situation. The larger agency is having all the work more or less outsourced and it does not cost them much to add the content. That is far from the same as individuals coming in thousands to someone like Getty. If they can get the best content without having to spend a lot to organize and produce the content then their overhead per image drops dramatically.
  A give and take of sorts and when you launch an agency the big agencies will offer you a better cut if you go exclusive with them. That is one of the decisions an agency owner has to make, will one big agency bring my contributors as much revenue as 100. You would think that is a simple question but it really isn't. Building a niche stock agency is more work than most would ever imagine but it can be done if you know the recipe. I hope that helps a bit, long winded as usual but a tough question to give a straight single answer to.

Best,
Jonathan
'

« Reply #24 on: October 28, 2011, 12:26 »
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Hi BelIblis,

 If you were already an established Getty photographer with a Getty contract I do not think they would be very interested in the style of work you shared here at MSG. I do not see much of this work in the Getty family with the exception of Istock where it seems to sell very well if you know what the market is looking for.
 Illustrations are not my strong suit so you might want to check for better information but I would say by what I saw you are creating Micro would be your best bet at this time. That isn't meant to be disrespectful towards your work I wish I knew how to do vectors and illustrations because they do seem to sell very well for some creators at Istock as well as many of the Micro agencies. Not much help I realize but if you do find information to the contrary please let me know as well as everyone here at MSG.

Best of luck,
Jonathan

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