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Author Topic: Should i sell my photos on Microstock  (Read 6029 times)

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« on: August 03, 2009, 23:30 »
0
Hello everybody, I started this blog to give some inside into microstock.
but first things first. Are you a great amateur photographer, that wants to make additional money by selling stock. Microstock sites are a great way to do this.
But are you a professional photographer who wants to base your children education and your health and life on making money with photos, than run. Run as fast as you can, and never, never discredit yourself by selling out your hart and valuable work on Microstock.

Now this is a hart statement, and some would say, wait a minute. I make money.
Again I will ask you to differentiate your work. Look at it from the balcony.

You must know, that every professional produced photo sold on a Microstock site is one job less given to a photographer, one job less for a photo model, one job less for a stylist, and one job less for an art director etc. Now selling your professional photo multiple times, is a disaster for the industry.You can draw the picture here youself. It results in a insane decline on the demand for professional photography.

I am a professional photographer for 30 years in stillife, and recently bought a digital SLR to have some fun. I learned as a consequence a lot of what is going on on the internet and must say it is depressing.

It seems basic economic principles are not understood by all this creative hart working wonderful people.
They recognise often way to late what is going on, and than it is getting suddenly very hart to pull of the expensive productions from the  Micro stock sites. They no very well why they don't want you to easy delete your submitted pics.

Stock photography is a old thing, and it exists basically since photography was utilised in advertisements. It was always very conceptual but seldom really specific. Many things have changed. Nowadays photographers are suddenly competing globally.
Any smart lobbyist would immediately pull the emergency break here, the OPEC would reduce its oil output drastically to stabilise prices, the unions would establish minimum wages to ensure that the workers can still feed their families.

The microstock is a cone, carried out by the photographers themself.

The entire Microstock phenomenon is based on the opportunity to sell your creative work several times. That lures the photographer in. Now wait a  Minute, if I can sell my artwork several times, doesn't this mean there is more demand? And if there is more demand, should i not get more money than usual? Why do we get so little for our artwork and productions. Millions of photos are competing with each other, given to this stocksites for nothing. through this huge oversupply of photos the value of each foto is down to nothing.
Sites need to get as many photos as possible to create a sufficient base. Than they start separating the ash from the corn. They try to leave the area of amateur contributor and enter into a more professional level.
Istockphoto is the best example. And every professional sold photo on stock is one job less for a professional photographer.

I read several times this week in several blogs photographers discussing their income from stock sites. I must say i am embarrassed for how little photographers are working, this is worse than slavery. There are few, very  very few Microstock photographers that can make a living from it. Many People have 500 photos on a site and get 2 or three times a payout per year. Thats sounds great, but it is actually nothing, its probably less than the upload time has taken calculated in hourly minimum wage. not to speak about the production of the photo. this is em baressing. Please forgive me my English i am German.

So think twice, before you sell out your work on microstock. And if you sell your professional production shots on stock, don't blame others when no agency wants to pay your Daily honorar anymore.

But there are positive ways to market your pictures. Get a unique stile, and offer this photos exclusively for royalty on a site. Art directors are sitting in the same boot, they are the next target by those modern slavemakers. Do not worry, they will stop using Microstock as they see advantage for their industry by paying good money and supporting their industry.

Sincerely, Lisa


« Reply #1 on: August 04, 2009, 02:22 »
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....Interesting argument.....

« Reply #2 on: August 04, 2009, 02:32 »
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The same old argument we have heard over and over again.

« Reply #3 on: August 04, 2009, 02:37 »
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Good shooters will always have quality paying work if their connected and throw good parties.

Micro provides a good test bed for designs, experiments and advanced visual development.

Technology has clearly opened numerous new uses for images with a new and growing customer base whom most generally cant afford a pro shoot, however that same customer may someday grow and achieve higher successes and desires to hire a pro or maybe even the person whom made the micros with all the profits from their grass roots startup using micro images.

Cheer up!  Make some new and fresh images ! 

« Reply #4 on: August 04, 2009, 06:42 »
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Like any company: adapt or die. You just talk about the falling market due mostly to internet (micro) but you forgot to mention all the new selling opportunities too. In Micro, you need to learn to reduce the cost of making your photos. I'm not doing this full time but I know many who does and are living a nice life.

« Reply #5 on: August 04, 2009, 07:48 »
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Any post that tells others not to join the micro model, I give thumbs up to.  I don't need the competition.  
« Last Edit: August 04, 2009, 07:55 by sjlocke »

« Reply #6 on: August 04, 2009, 08:17 »
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Lisa, you are going to join microstock yourself eventually.

Internet has changed the price for everything. Photos and illustrations is not the only thing that got cheap! Basically go to ebay and buy what you couldn't buy for those prices 10 years ago.

And stop telling people what to do & what not to do, like they are some kind of idiots who are not aware of what's going on as much as you.  :D

Stop this people!

Stop "the microstock" or I am going to have to join in myself ;D That's what I read in your post.

Well, you are not welcome! I hope many people will listen to your suggestions, including you!  :)

bittersweet

« Reply #7 on: August 04, 2009, 09:01 »
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Hello everybody, I started this blog to give some inside into microstock.
but first things first. Are you a great amateur photographer, that wants to make additional money by selling stock. Microstock sites are a great way to do this.

I think you are lost, dear. Note the name of this site: Microstockgroup.com. Note the tagline: A meeting place for microstock photographers.

It is not a blog site. The people here have already made their decision. Please go and peddle your arguments where people have not yet decided. We would greatly appreciate your assistance in that matter. As Sean so eloquently stated, we don't need the competition.

Thanks, and have a nice day.  :)

« Reply #8 on: August 04, 2009, 10:28 »
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"Microstock ran off with my wife", "Microstock stole my dog" and "Microstock wrecked my trailer" are just some of the great songs on my new country western album, "Microstock Done Me Wrong". ;D

RT


« Reply #9 on: August 04, 2009, 10:35 »
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You must know, that every professional produced photo sold on a Microstock site is one job less given to a photographer, one job less for a photo model, one job less for a stylist, and one job less for an art director etc. Now selling your professional photo multiple times, is a disaster for the industry.You can draw the picture here youself. It results in a insane decline on the demand for professional photography.

You really haven't got a clue how either stock photography or commissioned photography works have you? Add to that you claim to have been in the business for thirty years and it amazes me that you haven't grasped even the basic fundamentals of how business works.

Still it's a free world and you're entitled to your opinion no matter how wrong it is.

« Reply #10 on: August 04, 2009, 10:55 »
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Just when I was starting to miss Old Hippy.  Now we have Lisas4s. 

Let the games begin, LOL.

bittersweet

« Reply #11 on: August 04, 2009, 11:07 »
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Still it's a free world and you're entitled to your opinion no matter how wrong it is.

It may be that her opinion is not going to be allowed here too much longer if Leaf catches on that she's copied and pasted the same lengthy rant three times now. I think there might be a rule about spamming the forum, but I could be mistaken. ;)

michealo

« Reply #12 on: August 04, 2009, 11:09 »
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As it was a long post I used auto summarize to get the gist of it :-

"Nowadays photographers are suddenly competing globally. "

« Reply #13 on: August 04, 2009, 13:00 »
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Great stuff.  Nothing I like better than hearing from yet another Long Time Professional who's threatened by change and thinks she can get the old world back by shouting at us to stop making small money so she can go back to making it big.  You've inspired me, Lisas4.  Think I'll stop by a Catholic church and tell them how they've got God all wrong.  That should go well.

« Reply #14 on: August 04, 2009, 15:15 »
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Like any company: adapt or die. You just talk about the falling market due mostly to internet (micro) but you forgot to mention all the new selling opportunities too. In Micro, you need to learn to reduce the cost of making your photos. I'm not doing this full time but I know many who does and are living a nice life.

If youo considder "saving reducing" discribed by you a nice life.
It is sad to sea, how many good phptographers are so bad economist.
Every new 1 dollar selling is another >1 dollar killing. Thats the problem here. And if you make hundret photojob-killings, you made 100 dollars.




« Reply #15 on: August 04, 2009, 15:49 »
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Thank you to everybody for responding to my post. It shows, there is at least some type of thinkingprocess going on.

Through, i found many responses extreme emotional ignoring just any facts i mentioned, or taking them out of context, I respect them very much.
I belive you people have to work a lot for your money and that makes you kind of tense.

One reader mentioned: Great stuff.  Nothing I like better than hearing from yet another Long Time Professional who's threatened by change and thinks she can get the old world back by shouting at us to stop making small money so she can go back to making it big.  You've inspired me, Lisas4.  Think I'll stop by a Catholic church and tell them how they've got God all wrong.  That should go well.

I love this statement. I ask you guys and girls please think abouot it, :  whats bad with making big money? What is bad with that?
Isn't it rather true, if the market is changed, so I can make big money, that all of you will make big money as well. Wouldn't this be great.
Or a bit more realistic expressed, would this be a step in a good direction?
There are plenty of examples out there in the world how to archive this. If there is a overproduction of Oranges, the ones that are to many get eliminated. Because putting them on the market would destroy a market and that doesn't help anybody.
The price would go down and medium and small producers will go bankrupt. The big ones that are well diversifyed will suvife and controle the market afterward, to compensate their losses they.....

But you guys are all so smart, do not need to learn anything from an old pro, who makes stupid big money, and oranges do not comply with photography anyway, am i right?.

Shure, if I have a tree, the tree produces me multipple sales, and an orange cost 50 cents, thats more or less what a sold picture makes. That is according to you emotional guys just ok. Am i right? And we all know, those pictures grow on trees like oranges, so they shuold be sold on a similar price level.

cheers, Lisa

« Reply #16 on: August 04, 2009, 15:59 »
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The same old argument we have heard over and over again.

and I never paid any attention to it, because ....

they are all wrong.


« Reply #17 on: August 04, 2009, 16:10 »
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I ask you guys and girls please think abouot it, :  whats bad with making big money? What is bad with that?
Isn't it rather true, if the market is changed, so I can make big money, that all of you will make big money as well. Wouldn't this be great.
Or a bit more realistic expressed, would this be a step in a good direction?
There are plenty of examples out there in the world how to archive this. If there is a overproduction of Oranges, the ones that are to many get eliminated. Because putting them on the market would destroy a market and that doesn't help anybody.
The price would go down and medium and small producers will go bankrupt. The big ones that are well diversifyed will suvife and controle the market afterward, to compensate their losses they.....


You seem to be harping back to the 'closed shop' days when the few lucky ones made big money and everybody else got nothing.

Now we have a true meritocracy and there many microstockers making 'big money' and lots of others making good money. If your photography skills mean you cannot compete in the market then maybe you'll be the one going bust.

Maybe you could start growing oranges instead if you think that is a fairer market?

« Reply #18 on: August 04, 2009, 16:51 »
0
It is sad to sea, how many good phptographers are so bad economist.
Every new 1 dollar selling is another >1 dollar killing. Thats the problem here. And if you make hundret photojob-killings, you made 100 dollars.

It is also hard to see how average photographers can also be such poor debaters.

« Reply #19 on: August 04, 2009, 21:15 »
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Thank you to everybody for responding to my post. It shows, there is at least some type of thinkingprocess going on.

Through, i found many responses extreme emotional ignoring just any facts i mentioned, or taking them out of context, I respect them very much.
I belive you people have to work a lot for your money and that makes you kind of tense.

One reader mentioned: Great stuff.  Nothing I like better than hearing from yet another Long Time Professional who's threatened by change and thinks she can get the old world back by shouting at us to stop making small money so she can go back to making it big.  You've inspired me, Lisas4.  Think I'll stop by a Catholic church and tell them how they've got God all wrong.  That should go well.

I love this statement. I ask you guys and girls please think abouot it, :  whats bad with making big money? What is bad with that?
Isn't it rather true, if the market is changed, so I can make big money, that all of you will make big money as well. Wouldn't this be great.
Or a bit more realistic expressed, would this be a step in a good direction?
There are plenty of examples out there in the world how to archive this. If there is a overproduction of Oranges, the ones that are to many get eliminated. Because putting them on the market would destroy a market and that doesn't help anybody.
The price would go down and medium and small producers will go bankrupt. The big ones that are well diversifyed will suvife and controle the market afterward, to compensate their losses they.....

But you guys are all so smart, do not need to learn anything from an old pro, who makes stupid big money, and oranges do not comply with photography anyway, am i right?.

Shure, if I have a tree, the tree produces me multipple sales, and an orange cost 50 cents, thats more or less what a sold picture makes. That is according to you emotional guys just ok. Am i right? And we all know, those pictures grow on trees like oranges, so they shuold be sold on a similar price level.

cheers, Lisa


I am very open to a change to traditional / macro licensing.  But for me if I have 1000 images ready to go, it is easier for me to say ok these will average out at $10 each per year if I put them on the micros and then do so as I have everything all set up. With a limited capacity to produce I am more likely to stick with what I know and where I roughly know the return for my images.

Very simply where do I get information? is there a site like this for macro where I can found out how well sites are doing? the ins and outs of submitting, images styles etc etc and more importantly how much images are making (not gee this one image made me $1000 (and they dont mention that 2000 images made nothing), I havent looked much for a couple of years but all could find then was most agencies wont even look at you and work on $1 per year per image (about 3 years ago I saw guy complaining he was making about $7 rpi with exclusive images on age, he was told he was above average ???). 

I will be doing some experimenting over the next 12 months with some macro images, but it is experimenting as there is so little information out there and may well cost me potential income based on what I could have got from the micros. I respect your opinion and we get someone here every few months saying the same thing.  But the message is always the same "just dont do micro", there never is any 'hey go here for info', 'no have a look my portfolio', 'no heres how much people are making (whole portfolio, not one image)'.

Basically if you want to change what people are doing, you have to show them a better way, not just tell them to stop.

« Reply #20 on: August 04, 2009, 22:12 »
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I will be doing some experimenting over the next 12 months with some macro images, but it is experimenting as there is so little information out there and may well cost me potential income based on what I could have got from the micros. I respect your opinion and we get someone here every few months saying the same thing.  But the message is always the same "just dont do micro", there never is any 'hey go here for info', 'no have a look my portfolio', 'no heres how much people are making (whole portfolio, not one image)'.

Basically if you want to change what people are doing, you have to show them a better way, not just tell them to stop.

Well, they won't.  Traditional guys want to keep their numbers to themselves.  I want to keep my numbers to myself.  It's all cool, but certainly don't expect to find it all laid out there like here.

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