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Author Topic: How do you keep motivated?  (Read 8327 times)

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« Reply #25 on: November 16, 2010, 16:02 »
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Right ^ .  What motivates me is knowing that competitors around the globe are trying to get motivated.
This is what motivates me :P


« Reply #26 on: November 16, 2010, 16:09 »
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How about this for motivation...

Start a spreadsheet.  In one row put your current portfolio size, the average daily earnings (just a rough estimate  -- not your best day or your worst day, but somewhere in between), and a cell that divides earnings by portfolio size.  This is the row representing TODAY.

On the next line, add two images to the portfolio size, multiply it by the earnings/port size number and see how much those two images add to your daily take.  This is the row that represents TOMORROW.

Now add a row for a week from now, then a month, then 3 months, then 6 months, then a year, 2 years, 3 years, etc.  Hopefully you see the growth that is possible by just keeping the nose to the grindstone and adding new images to your portfolio everyday.  It's a great exercise, particularly when it feels like your daily work isn't moving the needle.  

Of course, as time goes by you'll need to go in and adjust your daily average number to keep the sheet realistic.  And many will tell you that we don't know what the future will bring for microstock.  Could be a bigger market, could crash and burn, or the agencies could cut our commissions down to 1 cent/download.   All you can do in predicting the future is use the facts you know.

You could go further and use that projection as a trend line on a chart of your real numbers.  This is the type of spreadsheet I keep, and it's a great help in keeping me focused on my goals.

helix7

« Reply #27 on: November 16, 2010, 16:16 »
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I agree. I took a break from microstock for several months and realized I missed it. If it was all business, my portfolio would be filled with a much different type of image. I'd probably make a lot more, but be completely miserable. A good balance is tricky, but rewarding.

I did the same thing, and when I came back to stock I realized that I needed to branch out if I was ever going to continue doing this for any extended amount of time. I've found lately to be fairly happy doing a mix of old stuff that I know sells well and is sort of my "bread and butter" style of work, alongside some drastically new stuff. The images I'm working on right now are nothing like anything else in my portfolio. I even did some character illustration recently, something I've never done before.

The balance between "bread and butter" work and the more commercially in-demand stuff has been working well for me lately. I think everyone will burn out eventually if they don't try new things and keep challenging themselves. I read somewhere recently that even Yuri is trying to reinvent himself as an artist. Even when you're the best, you can still get tired and burnt out on doing the same stuff over and over again.

helix7

« Reply #28 on: November 16, 2010, 16:20 »
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Start a spreadsheet.  In one row put your current portfolio size...

The problem with the spreadsheet and projected earnings is that for most people this is a business of diminishing returns. I wish I could say that with 300 images I earn $X.XX, so with 600 images I will earn double that amount, but it just doesn't work that way. If I could double my portfolio in one day, and do it with current, relevant, commercially in-demand images, then sure maybe I could accurately predict that my earnings would double. The problem is that over time, images become dated, fall out of favor with buyers, and just generally depreciate in value. While we're working hard to increase the size of our portfolios, old images are becoming less and less profitable. And on a long enough timeline, no one can out-pace the diminishing earnings of the older images.

jbarber873

« Reply #29 on: November 16, 2010, 16:42 »
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   I'm going on my 38th year making a living as a  photographer. Sometimes it's hard to manage cash flow, sometimes clients get you crazy, but one thing I can say is that i have enjoyed every day of it. I love what i do. There is always something to shoot. Each day you are alive is a gift, and you should make the most of it. As for microstock, there is no way to tell what will sell, but as long as you, the artist, are happy with your work, nothing else matters. Go shoot! :)

« Reply #30 on: November 16, 2010, 16:44 »
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Start a spreadsheet.  In one row put your current portfolio size...

The problem with the spreadsheet and projected earnings is that for most people this is a business of diminishing returns. I wish I could say that with 300 images I earn $X.XX, so with 600 images I will earn double that amount, but it just doesn't work that way. If I could double my portfolio in one day, and do it with current, relevant, commercially in-demand images, then sure maybe I could accurately predict that my earnings would double. The problem is that over time, images become dated, fall out of favor with buyers, and just generally depreciate in value. While we're working hard to increase the size of our portfolios, old images are becoming less and less profitable. And on a long enough timeline, no one can out-pace the diminishing earnings of the older images.

I guess it's something that will work for some and not others.  I've been able to keep at roughly the same growth rate for multiple years now, so I'm riding right along my projected goal line.  Not sure what the secret is, aside from meeting my daily quota, keeping an eye to the market to look for new marketable topics, and running my operation like a business.  I think diiminishing returns happens if your images are not unique, either in comparison to growing competition or your own new images.  You have to stay fresh, not duplicating content and cannibalizing your own work, and stay three steps ahead of copycats by constantly seeing new topics that they haven't spotted yet.  

lagereek

« Reply #31 on: November 16, 2010, 16:48 »
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Yes but somehow Im sure most of us with more then three years in this Micro game new the day would come when it really wasnt worthwhile anymore. Everything doesnt just come down to earnings, does it. Its all become a gigantic hassle, sites that doesnt work, search-engines that might as well be for the dead, part-time reviewers who cant tell the differance between color and b/w, takeovers just to bleed them dry and then leave them for dead.

Revenue wise I cant complain, every agency is pretty much bringing in the same dosh but seriously, the only two out of the major ones, who are maintaining some sort of profesionalism is FT and SS.
Im leaning more and more to spend my time with my RM and RF outlets, saves days on end in front of computers, saves having to go through lots of just irritating junk.

RT


« Reply #32 on: November 16, 2010, 16:54 »
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Without sugar coating anything, if you're new in this industry you're going to have to work very very hard ( a lot harder than when some of us started) and then after a while you'll reach a certain level where you'll still not be able to relax and will probably have to work even harder to maintain that level.

If you're struggling to find the motivation at this early stage I suggest you give up. Oh and don't worry about the huge, wicked, awesome portfolio - mundane, highly desirable, useable portfolio is what you want, this ain't art.

Told you I wouldn't sugar coat it ;)

Perhaps "motivation" was a poor choice of words.  I am extremely motivated, I've been working on my portfolio like crazy , and I'm generally enjoying this entire process.  But it's an interesting business, and I've always been an "instant gratification" type of person.  I'm never expecting to be able to sit around and eat bon bons while my account balance fills up, but it's interesting to see how other people have pushed themselves through the waiting period between tons of work ---> worthwhile reward, when you're just starting out.

PS I would describe "highly desirable and usable" as "wicked awesome" as far as microstock is concerned. :)

Then I think you've answered your own question - you're working hard and enjoying it, what more motivation could you want, apart from money of course!

lagereek

« Reply #33 on: November 16, 2010, 17:00 »
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Well Richard,  never mind the money, how about D4X, HD6, 6DM6, theres plenty of motivation.

RT


« Reply #34 on: November 16, 2010, 17:02 »
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M9 for me, but it's more lust than motivation!

« Reply #35 on: November 16, 2010, 17:18 »
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Another motivation is get a new toy. Ijust got a 105mm 1:1 lens. Soooooooo. Much fun!

lisafx

« Reply #36 on: November 16, 2010, 17:25 »
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Without sugar coating anything, if you're new in this industry you're going to have to work very very hard ( a lot harder than when some of us started) and then after a while you'll reach a certain level where you'll still not be able to relax and will probably have to work even harder to maintain that level.


LOL!  Exactly right! 

« Reply #37 on: November 16, 2010, 17:47 »
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I can't keep looking at the stats.  I learned a long time ago that obsessing over the stats is just too much for me.  I'm too A.D.D. for that sort of thing.  Don't get me wrong, seeing my sales jump and the dollars are a great motivation, but when I'm feeling a bit down and wondering why I haven't gotten a download in the last 4 hours (or day, or whatever) I change my thinking to what can I do to improve.  In other words, right now I am concentrating on working with new a different lighting techniques.  At first I really just needed to learn lighting- period.  Now I'm pretty good at the basics and am exploring sculpting and creating light effects.  Nothing dramatic, but it  is stuff I want to learn to improve my craft.  

Learning - always learning, that's what really motivates me - and the money ain't too bad either.  :)
« Last Edit: November 16, 2010, 19:37 by jamirae »

« Reply #38 on: November 16, 2010, 17:52 »
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My question is, how do you keep motivated in an inconsistent and unpredictable business?  

My answer is simple - shoot more and keep improving yourself!

To support the idea, this is an anecdotal story I've heard about the Great Depression (don't know if that's a true one): one French emigrant was producing wine in the US during the Great Depression, and he succeeded and his business has grown. When he was asked later how he managed to do so well during such hard times he responded that he came from France not knowing much English. So he didn't read the newspapers and didn't listen to the radio, and he didn't know much about the Great Depression. He just kept working.

Whether it's a true story or not, there are real true success stories. Basically, those companies who not only survived but did well and grew during the Great Depression are those who continued to act as though there were nothing wrong and that the public had money to spend.
More details can be found here: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB124145607475383935.html
and here: http://answers.google.com/answers/threadview?id=178334
« Last Edit: November 17, 2010, 03:17 by MikLav »

lagereek

« Reply #39 on: November 17, 2010, 02:34 »
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Miklav, is right in a way, dont listen or hear anything, just keep on working. Only, I can understand the anxiety and especially in the Micro business. The entire Micro, seems to be run by investment-bankers, computer nerds and fast-buck operators and well, you know? aint all that easy to relax then is it?
Imagine being exclusive and with thousands of uploads, nowhere else to go?  BOY!  then I would feel worried, if not crazy. Must be extremley worrying to be totally dependant on this, nowdays.

« Reply #40 on: November 17, 2010, 05:20 »
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I try different things.  I'm obsessed with timelapses at the moment.  They aren't selling but I will carry on until I find something that does.  I am also doing more video clips, as I have been getting sales with Pond5 and that makes up for some of the drop I have experienced in my microstock sales this year.  Next year I will find something else.

I was motivated by my earnings for a few years but with StockXpert closing and istock making it unsustainable for me, I have given up doing the more popular microstock images that I didn't enjoy.  Now I'm going to earn less money but I will have fun and hopefully one day stumble upon something that sells well.  Alamy is looking more and more appealing, I used to be thinking how a photo would sell on the micros but lately I have switched to thinking about alamy buyers.

RT


« Reply #41 on: November 17, 2010, 06:18 »
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I was motivated by my earnings for a few years but with StockXpert closing and istock making it unsustainable for me, I have given up doing the more popular microstock images that I didn't enjoy.  Now I'm going to earn less money but I will have fun and hopefully one day stumble upon something that sells well.  Alamy is looking more and more appealing, I used to be thinking how a photo would sell on the micros but lately I have switched to thinking about alamy buyers.

Every year (normally more than once) me and the family hire a cottage somewhere in your neck of the woods, whilst on holiday I make a point of not doing any work related photography except maybe one or two which I later put on Alamy, every year one of those images sells which pays for the holiday. If I lived where you do I'd be shooting the area like mad, admittedly there's thousands upon thousands already on the site, but normally they're not that great, I've seen your work and you'd wipe the floor with most of the guys who shoot stuff there.

« Reply #42 on: November 17, 2010, 07:32 »
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Thanks Richard, I have sold a few of Cornwall and have lots more to upload.  Your encouragement will keep me motivated :)

donding

  • Think before you speak
« Reply #43 on: November 17, 2010, 15:53 »
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I am taking a Photography I class. We're shooting with a black and white film camera, developing the film ourselves and printing ourselves. I have to say that I have reaffirmed my love for photography (not microstock) in addition to learning a lot of things.

It's nice to go back to the basics every now and then. I did it in college and loved it. I did the balck and white with the developing. I never did the color which is a totally different developing process from what I understand. There is no way better to display an impact than with black and white photography. I'm glad you've been doing what you love.

As to the motivation part....well it's hard to be but I love what I do and have been concentrating on other avenues of stock. I love taking pictures and I love those people shots so I'll continue to do it rather it's for microstock or just for myself.

« Reply #44 on: December 19, 2010, 14:28 »
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My motivation: bills that keep appearing in my mailbox.

Yeah, what's up with that, they keep sending them, every month!!

You should move!

Moving is an option ;D

PaulieWalnuts

  • On the Wrong Side of the Business
« Reply #45 on: December 20, 2010, 08:02 »
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My motivation: bills that keep appearing in my mailbox.

Just tell them that you don't have any money but you'll gladly give them exposure by placing their company name somewhere.
« Last Edit: December 20, 2010, 08:10 by PaulieWalnuts »


 

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