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Author Topic: Just when you thought It couldn't get worse.  (Read 28012 times)

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« Reply #25 on: July 14, 2016, 08:07 »
+1
i am just thinking of branching out...
find someone to supply me with marijuana so ss ppl will flip the switch for my portfolio
increase my sales in exchange i supply them with the stuff they have been smoking for months.


alno

« Reply #26 on: July 14, 2016, 08:28 »
+3
I'm a newbie. I'm still learning a lot of things about lighting, titles, keywords, color grading, stock sites and English language :) Thanks to this great forum. But I've already learnt one thing for sure: there are no eternal businesses or market niches. 15-year old with his or her iphone sometimes makes technically much better pics and videos than highly paid pro's in late 1990's (no offense to anybody). It's useless to complain your candle business is sinking with light bulb invented.     

PaulieWalnuts

  • On the Wrong Side of the Business
« Reply #27 on: July 14, 2016, 08:30 »
+11
There are three things you can do with frustration. Change it, accept it, or leave it.
« Last Edit: July 14, 2016, 08:41 by PaulieWalnuts »

Shelma1

« Reply #28 on: July 14, 2016, 08:31 »
+4
Many oversee that Shutterstock itself DOESNT HAS A PROBLEM AT ALL. When i read this it looks like Shutterstock is dying. But Shutterstock is growing every year. There is no way in near future that SS goes out of business. I guess they will only upgrade and expand. The problems mentioned here have nothing to do with Shutterstocks position.

It is a contributors problem. More competition.... more images....

Anyway i dont like in general that contributors are all the time pointing at other contributors. Complaining that there are to many and so on...... SS is for everyone and everybody has right to register and submit photos.

I think you're reading things that aren't there. None of us "old-timers" (I've been with SS for 4 years) are saying all new work is bad (some of it is great), nor are we saying we're the greatest (I'm sure not, though I'm fairly successful); we're pointing out recent changes to the site that have been adversely affecting more established contributors.

Those of us who've been with the site for several years and have relatively large portfolios can spot issues because we've been at this for a bit and pay careful attention to our rankings, new work, competition, industry trends, and the functionality of the site. If you have hundreds or thousands of sales per day it's more obvious when sales suddenly plunge 25% after years of steady growth, and if you're familiar with the way sales trend over the year (slower after xmas and in summer, etc.), you can spot when there's an anomaly.

Rinder probably made the comment about newbies because new people just haven't been around long enough to have a feel for the market and see the anomalies. I sure wouldn't have been able to see them four years ago.

« Reply #29 on: July 14, 2016, 08:32 »
+6
Many oversee that Shutterstock itself DOESNT HAS A PROBLEM AT ALL. When i read this it looks like Shutterstock is dying. But Shutterstock is growing every year. There is no way in near future that SS goes out of business. I guess they will only upgrade and expand. The problems mentioned here have nothing to do with Shutterstocks position.

It is a contributors problem. More competition.... more images....

Anyway i dont like in general that contributors are all the time pointing at other contributors. Complaining that there are to many and so on...... SS is for everyone and everybody has right to register and submit photos.

We know that Shutterstock doesn't have a problem with it's bottom-line profit. They are making more money than ever, when the contributors are seeing declining sales due to increased competition, both from other stock sites and an ever-growing library. That's business!

The point is though, that business strategies can be great in the short term and damaging in the long term. Sometimes a business needs to take a longer term view, and I really think this is one of those times, unless of course, they are looking to sell out and let a new owner sort out the mess they are making.

On a side note, I used an example portfolio to illustrate a point, and took care not to indicate in any way who the contributor was. I also don't like laying blame onto other artists or complaints of 'too many contributors' - competition is healthy and it forces us to strive for excellence, which is always a good thing. My problem here has never been to do with other contributors uploading 18000 icons - that is their prerogative provided they are staying within the guidelines set by the site. My problem is purely with Shutterstock's tactical change which now allows this to happen.

As a contributor who is also a buyer I find myself turning elsewhere for material, because the Shutterstock search presents me with pages and pages of images with minuscule variations, and my 'paid client work' doesn't afford me the time to wade through all of this in the hopes that I'll find what I'm looking for.

« Reply #30 on: July 14, 2016, 08:41 »
0
I just was completely inactive last month due to personal reasons (i mean i dont upload any image), so it is pretty logic for me to have a very low incoming.

I believe all of you when say that the business is going down for contributors; but i have a question... in one hand i never totally understand how Microstockgroup Earning Rating is calculated (the column that you can see at your right), in the other I had never seen SS so high in the Earnings Rate, is at 105,6 now! it was always between 85-95.

« Reply #31 on: July 14, 2016, 08:41 »
0
I will say this. First, Shelma is right. For me I do not attack others, disparage others because I choose to be anonymous.  But I will fire back when someone disparages me, it's human nature.  That being said, several posts here are spot on.  Rinder, like others, are very frustrated.  I have about 10 years in this business and 38 years in a specialty area of photography, but Rinder, for example, has a lifetime in this business. I can completely empathize with him, but I don't necessarily agree with everything he says.  Some newbies are killer artists and ARE willing to accept 38 cents.

For me, I consider my port to be what seems to be called here "average". Aside from some of my underwater work, as an average quality & concept producer in this for 10 years, I see huge declines, and SS is on that list.  I am getting $6 days, then $80 days, but mostly now $13-$18 days with almost 5,000 assets on SS. But, listening to my business side (I do continuous improvement and business process design for a living) I have made shifts in my strategy to create a wider breadth of subject matter and have delved into video to help offset what amounts to a 30% decline in revenue for my still work.  So even as an AVERAGE producer I am feeling the pinch of ROI.  This is not an "old timer", super experienced contributor issue.  I think most everyone who closely follows their business sees some decline....I said mostly not all. I think Rinder looks at others' work and compares it to his knowledge and talent and puts it in a category, whereas the artist is submitting something that is good in their eyes and, in fact, could be a nice seller even though it is called mediocre work by some.

Well said

« Reply #32 on: July 14, 2016, 08:43 »
+1
snip
IMO, Shutterstock has opened the flood gates and lowered the standards, and this is clearly working for their bottom line profits in the short term. Longterm, the question is will they manage to keep contributors engaged if the contributor only earns $72 for 18000 images? Eventually, they will only manage to keep the contributors producing mediocre content, as the rest of us will have sought out alternative opportunities for revenue. I sincerely hope they realise the path they are on is not sustainable before it's too late.

Most definitely there is a problem with SS that doesn't have anything to do with whether one is old or young, or has a new portfolio or has been there for years. Some of the previous posters think it's "cool" to disrespect someone like Laurin, who has more talent in his left pinky than they will in their entire lives, but the bolded statement above says it all. The cream of the crop talent will find other more profitable venues, and the low to mediocre talent will remain in microstock, dispelling the theory that one has to be a "hipster" just to produce saleable, relevant content. Good is good no matter how old you are or how long you have been in the business.

I see the word entitlement being thrown around...and yet the notion that "old" people should go rest and smoke their bongs and leave the real talent to the young hipsters, to me, is the epitome of the definition of entitlement. Maybe a little humility would go a long way. Some of you hipsters might have to go google that word.  ;)

If you are referring to my comment above, I think you are overreacting but that is my fault.

First of all, I have a great respect for Laurin and his work.

Second, when I say old (in this context), it doesn't mean less valuable, it only means that the new generation has much more tools for creative work from an early age on. Graphic design (without being hipsters) takes many years of study and much, much time to learn, which older people don't have. Uploading vectors along with photos diversifies a port big time. So, it's no need to make a mountain out of a molehill for the use or the word "old".
No,  old people should NOT "go rest and smoke their bongs......", they should try to learn diversify their port if they still can and kip up with the trend. This is what I need and find it very hard to accomplish.

On a side-note, this is an international forum where not all of us are English speakers. No offense, it would be nice to use a simple vocabulary instead of sending people to g00gle but it's just my 5c.
It's obvious that you are an intelligent person, I, on the other hand have some limitations when it comes to correctly express what I think in English.

« Reply #33 on: July 14, 2016, 08:50 »
+4
... because I choose to be anonymous.  .

Mr. Mantis, I'm afraid you are not really anonymous as long as you publish the same profile picture here and on iStock.  ;)
« Last Edit: July 14, 2016, 08:52 by Zero Talent »

« Reply #34 on: July 14, 2016, 09:00 »
+5
If you are referring to my comment above, I think you are overreacting but that is my fault.

First of all, I have a great respect for Laurin and his work.

Second, when I say old (in this context), it doesn't mean less valuable, it only means that the new generation has much more tools for creative work from an early age on. Graphic design (without being hipsters) takes many years of study and much, much time to learn, which older people don't have. Uploading vectors along with photos diversifies a port big time. So, it's no need to make a mountain out of a molehill for the use or the word "old".
No,  old people should NOT "go rest and smoke their bongs......", they should try to learn diversify their port if they still can and kip up with the trend. This is what I need and find it very hard to accomplish.

On a side-note, this is an international forum where not all of us are English speakers. No offense, it would be nice to use a simple vocabulary instead of sending people to g00gle but it's just my 5c.
It's obvious that you are an intelligent person, I, on the other hand have some limitations when it comes to correctly express what I think in English.

As has been already mentioned, it doesn't matter if you use your phone or an expensive, high end camera, or are young and new to microstock, or have been here for years...talent is talent. The problems at SS are a combination of things, mostly WAY out of the contributors' control.

As far as diversifying one's port, there are plenty of people who are doing that, and sales are STILL tanking. Blaming Laurin or any other contributor for the problems just doesn't make sense. If you are critiquing a person's port one-on-one, diversifying might be a perfectly legitimate criticism. But the sales problems are so widespread among all different portfolios, I just don't think that is what is going on here.

« Reply #35 on: July 14, 2016, 09:10 »
+2
its good to hear from a pro that things are down (its not just me!)

No, it is not good. If things are down because of oversaturation it is much, much worse than in the case when you or somebody else are having a poor month or a quarter.
In the second case, things could always improve for you, you may increase your port, etc. In the first case it is more or less Game Over. I have seen quite a few sites fade away but I have never seen a site making a spectacular come back.
Therefore I'd rather have a situation when "it's just me" than when "it is bad for everybody".

it isn't really a saturation point. anymore than having 10 supermarkets in the same district. there is always sales to be made.
the problem here, as lauren points out to consensus widely, the switch is off the established contributors ie  those who earns a higher %age of commissions.
we still make, but make only as much as we did as a newbie in our earliest years, even though
our port has lifted the bar to much higher and numbers abound, our sales do not reciprocate to our inventory and standard.

as lauren says it so implicitly, "Jon, go please the 25 cts brigade ...of marijuana and apple and repititious vectors ports...
push the factories ...
penalize the ones who made ss where it is today.
..
all that to please some major shareholders now getting ready to short the ss stock.

by the time they take profit and go elsewhere to scavenge and leave ss as yet another roadkill,
you too will not be there to rescue Oringer.
he too might pull an Istock and leave with the money in his wallet

and all we will be left with is fotolia, alamy, whatever...

sorry sight. apocalypse now !!!

Rose Tinted Glasses

« Reply #36 on: July 14, 2016, 09:13 »
+4


As a contributor who is also a buyer I find myself turning elsewhere for material, because the Shutterstock search presents me with pages and pages of images with minuscule variations, and my 'paid client work' doesn't afford me the time to wade through all of this in the hopes that I'll find what I'm looking for.

I have been saying for years this will be the ultimate problem with all microstock. The complete lack of editing and the crowd source model will devour itself and dilute the collection to a needle in a haystack. The other thing that will devour itself is the 5hitty royalty rates paid combined with the saturation of imagery = less money to the average contributor. I think the real talent will go to where they get paid accordingly and the skim on the surface will remain on micros.


« Reply #37 on: July 14, 2016, 09:15 »
+2
Many oversee that Shutterstock itself DOESNT HAS A PROBLEM AT ALL. When i read this it looks like Shutterstock is dying. But Shutterstock is growing every year. There is no way in near future that SS goes out of business. I guess they will only upgrade and expand. The problems mentioned here have nothing to do with Shutterstocks position.

It is a contributors problem. More competition.... more images....

Anyway i dont like in general that contributors are all the time pointing at other contributors. Complaining that there are to many and so on...... SS is for everyone and everybody has right to register and submit photos.

I think you're reading things that aren't there. None of us "old-timers" (I've been with SS for 4 years) are saying all new work is bad (some of it is great), nor are we saying we're the greatest (I'm sure not, though I'm fairly successful); we're pointing out recent changes to the site that have been adversely affecting more established contributors.

Those of us who've been with the site for several years and have relatively large portfolios can spot issues because we've been at this for a bit and pay careful attention to our rankings, new work, competition, industry trends, and the functionality of the site.

well said shelma, you read my mind.
and for those smug newbies who think they are doing well ,
let us remind you, all newbies are given a honeymoon where they too think they
are suddenly as good as yuri , sjlocke,etc..
sell big time.

but that's only because you are given that flip of the switch to make it look like you are the
flavour of the month.
once you fed the beast with more new work, you will not be as smug as you are now,
the moment they flip your switch and give that honeymoon suite to the next
newbie batch.

« Reply #38 on: July 14, 2016, 09:18 »
+4
Been in the business since 2008... man i thought I'm invisible from all the gloom and doom thing people posting until these past several months. these time it is real.

Good luck everyone.

Plan B, plan B... no I don't have fckin plan Beee!

« Reply #39 on: July 14, 2016, 09:23 »
+3
As has been already mentioned, it doesn't matter if you use your phone or an expensive, high end camera, or are young and new to microstock, or have been here for years...talent is talent. The problems at SS are a combination of things, mostly WAY out of the contributors' control.

As far as diversifying one's port, there are plenty of people who are doing that, and sales are STILL tanking. Blaming Laurin or any other contributor for the problems just doesn't make sense. If you are critiquing a person's port one-on-one, diversifying might be a perfectly legitimate criticism. But the sales problems are so widespread among all different portfolios, I just don't think that is what is going on here.

I agree with everything you said here, except one thing: nobody attacked Laurin before he attacked others, in his very first sentence.
As I said before, I admire Laurin and learned a lot from him just by reading his posts during the years. Most of all, I admire his ability to revigorate and create commotion on both forums.
« Last Edit: July 14, 2016, 09:48 by Dodie »

« Reply #40 on: July 14, 2016, 09:31 »
+1
Yup, this year something's definitely up. SS is clearly being set up for a sale, IMO. They opened the floodgates to lower-quality work when they loosened the entry standards; went after huge ports of similar, very simple icon images that they then uploaded all in one day; allowed spammy titles all over the place to disrupt the search; either did something weird to the search or the search broke and they haven't bothered to fix it. I think they also changed the algorithm to favor newer ports over older ports in the extreme, so they'd pay out less in royalties (paying 25 is better for them than paying 38, after all).

Clearly they're trying to quickly inflate the library while keeping a larger percentage of the royalties.

Oringer has little incentive to stay tied to the site. He's a programmer, not a stock artist, and he started the site to make money. It must have been exciting to identify that market niche and grow his own huge company so quickly, but now he is beholden to investors and has to listen to them. If I were him I'd have taken my billion dollars and skipped out years ago.

WE HAVE SEEN IT ALL BEFORE, NO???

read my lips...
ISTOCK !  dejavu

the writing is on the wall.
-ignore the experienced contributors
- ignore the CONTACT US (yes, no reply for almost a month already)
- reject the experienced contribution with the slightest error ( poor composition, wb, blur,etc)
yet flood the new images with tons of similars in vector and factory works of weeds,
poor exposure, LCV, etc.

there is a double standard , definitely,
and this is the same thing as the owner of a sh*thole apartment rental property
filling his bldg with full vacancy of welfare recipients and druggies
so the buyer thinks he is getting a great deal,
without knowing that there are repairs overdue for months hidden behind the walls
and ceilings ready to cave-in due to water-damage.

same method of whitewash, different business... but same method.
... we have xxx xxx xxx xxx new images every day (mostly weed and simplistic vectors)
 
i reiterate,
read my lips... deja vu ISTOCK!!!

« Reply #41 on: July 14, 2016, 09:38 »
+3
SS since 2006 - 8000 files, and yes, in the same boat as Rinder.  Declining sales since 2012.  One difference however :  I ALWAYS expect declining sales (even in 2012), simply because I'm a pessimist in nature.  So when everybody is talking about diversifying, I do that, but not within microstock, not even within stock photography.  When I left my day job end of 2011, I did not have the guts to put all eggs in 1 basket, so I started a portrait business.  Right now, I spend 90% of my time photographying belly&baby portraits and I love it.   And when I see an opportunity to shoot something fresh/new, I will shoot it and submit to SS and other agencies.  So I submit less than the early days, but no typical stock stuff anymore.  I'm glad I did, because if the decline in stock (not just SS!!) goes on like this, I'll be so happy I still have those bellies & babies  ;)


« Reply #42 on: July 14, 2016, 09:49 »
+1
... because I choose to be anonymous.  .

Mr. Mantis, I'm afraid you are not really anonymous as long as you publish the same profile picture here and on iStock.  ;)

As I have said previously, anyone who wants to find my port can do so pretty easily. Fotolia did and now we have no relationship.  I'm not really hiding, just don't post all my links here, not that they are special.

« Reply #43 on: July 14, 2016, 10:14 »
+3
I think it's an interesting phenomenon that some veterans seem to think the work of a veteran is automatically of higher quality than the work of a newbie could ever be.

This can't be further from the truth, whether we're talking music, photography, videography, etc...

The simple truth is that the tools are now available to almost anyone who wants to record music or take professional quality pictures. That was not the case 20-30 years ago when the so called veterans started and there was virtually no competition compared to today.

I see many talented 15-year-olds creating amazing high quality work while the work of some veterans looks like they discovered the Shadows and Highlights sliders in Lightroom for the first time and applied them to all their work...

As someone here posted a while back (don't remember who) - the time of making serious $$$ selling mediocre images is over, but the industry is definitely not doomed!

Up your game, competition is serious.
« Last Edit: July 14, 2016, 10:19 by increasingdifficulty »

Shelma1

« Reply #44 on: July 14, 2016, 10:28 »
+4
I think it's an interesting phenomenon that some veterans seem to think the work of a veteran is automatically of higher quality than the work of a newbie could ever be.

This can't be further from the truth, whether we're talking music, photography, videography, etc...

The simple truth is that the tools are now available to almost anyone who wants to record music or take professional quality pictures. That was not the case 20-30 years ago when the so called veterans started and there was virtually no competition compared to today.

I see many talented 15-year-olds creating amazing high quality work while the work of some veterans looks like they discovered the Shadows and Highlights sliders in Lightroom for the first time and applied them to all their work...

As someone here posted a while back (don't remember who) - the time of making serious $$$ selling mediocre images is over, but the industry is definitely not doomed!

Up your game, competition is serious.

Show us your work. ;)

« Reply #45 on: July 14, 2016, 10:29 »
+4
I think it's an interesting phenomenon that some veterans seem to think the work of a veteran is automatically of higher quality than the work of a newbie could ever be.

This can't be further from the truth, whether we're talking music, photography, videography, etc...

The simple truth is that the tools are now available to almost anyone who wants to record music or take professional quality pictures. That was not the case 20-30 years ago when the so called veterans started and there was virtually no competition compared to today.

I see many talented 15-year-olds creating amazing high quality work while the work of some veterans looks like they discovered the Shadows and Highlights sliders in Lightroom for the first time and applied them to all their work...

As someone here posted a while back (don't remember who) - the time of making serious $$$ selling mediocre images is over, but the industry is definitely not doomed!

Up your game, competition is serious.

Show us your work. ;)
Why?

« Reply #46 on: July 14, 2016, 10:44 »
+9
I think it's an interesting phenomenon that some veterans seem to think the work of a veteran is automatically of higher quality than the work of a newbie could ever be.

I don't think that anyone is trying to imply that. There are fabulous and poor contributors, be they newbies or veterans.

I would consider myself a veteran, as I've been a submitter for over 10 years. The only advantage I have over a newbie is meaningful statistics over time with which to back up my arguments.

We all know the heady days of uploading the contents of your hard drive for instant gratification are long since over. But time in this industry gives me an insight into past and new trends, sales patterns, seasonal uploading, etc. that a newbie has yet to experience. Upping my game has been something I've striven to do every step of the way, both in terms of content quality and business strategy.

When my income halves overnight, and I now longer earn sufficient to cover my outgoings, I am most certainly going to attempt to up my game. However, as many will attest to, the new stuff isn't selling - it is getting buried in searches under a slew of mediocrity.  It doesn't really matter how much you 'up your game' if your work never sees the light of day.

« Reply #47 on: July 14, 2016, 10:46 »
+1
I think it's an interesting phenomenon that some veterans seem to think the work of a veteran is automatically of higher quality than the work of a newbie could ever be.

I don't think that anyone is trying to imply that. There are fabulous and poor contributors, be they newbies or veterans.

I would consider myself a veteran, as I've been a submitter for over 10 years. The only advantage I have over a newbie is meaningful statistics over time with which to back up my arguments.

We all know the heady days of uploading the contents of your hard drive for instant gratification are long since over. But time in this industry gives me an insight into past and new trends, sales patterns, seasonal uploading, etc. that a newbie has yet to experience. Upping my game has been something I've striven to do every step of the way, both in terms of content quality and business strategy.

When my income halves overnight, and I now longer earn sufficient to cover my outgoings, I am most certainly going to attempt to up my game. However, as many will attest to, the new stuff isn't selling - it is getting buried in searches under slew of mediocrity.  It doesn't really matter how much you up you game if your work never sees the light of day.

Excellent post.

Rose Tinted Glasses

« Reply #48 on: July 14, 2016, 10:52 »
+6

The simple truth is that the tools are now available to almost anyone who wants to record music or take professional quality pictures. That was not the case 20-30 years ago when the so called veterans started and there was virtually no competition compared to today.



You are joking right? or is this just your complete inexperience talking? The competition was much more fierce 20-30 years ago than today.

The entry into selling stock today and being a "professional" is one image accepted, and my cat can do that with her tail tied in a knot.

Back then rejection was completely normal, not like the entitled shooter of today with everything accepted and no editing in place. To get into any agency back then you really had to have your game on, or else get rejected. What did you do?  You kept going on and getting better until you go accepted because the competition was based on merit and ability.

That is not to say the work is any better back then or today, there has always been some really great shooters and there still is. The only difference between 20-30 years ago and the current times is the overall quality has actually dropped immensely on average. Most of what is on any microstock site today is mediocre at best. They sure as 5hit might have 80 Million +++ images, but considering most of it is crap says a lot.

Back in the good old days if you got 10% acceptance on any agency your were doing well, now if you are getting one image rejected it's an ordeal that fills pages of "support" on forums from the "pros".


« Reply #49 on: July 14, 2016, 10:52 »
+1
When my income halves overnight, and I now longer earn sufficient to cover my outgoings, I am most certainly going to attempt to up my game. However, as many will attest to, the new stuff isn't selling - it is getting buried in searches under a slew of mediocrity.  It doesn't really matter how much you 'up your game' if your work never sees the light of day.

that's true!
except for the handful here who insist you /we old f@rt$ should learn to make better images
since we do not have the clout to be cousins' cousins' cousins of those
elites who are immuned from mass rejections regardless of the slew of mediocrity they produce.

but they also refuse to show their portfolio here to back their walk is as loud as their talk
...
c'mon cousin, we need to learn where we are going wrong!



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