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Agency Based Discussion => iStockPhoto.com => Topic started by: mirkic on February 05, 2012, 17:44

Title: Nervous breakdown - Istockphoto, what else? Exlcusivity etc...
Post by: mirkic on February 05, 2012, 17:44
Hi to everyone here. My name is Mirko Pernjakovic aka Mirkic and I'm exclusive with Istock in video, audio and photo and I'm on a verge of a nervous breakdown cause of it. Here's my portfolio as an introduction and a bit more on myself.

http://www.istockphoto.com/search/portfolio/1104769/?facets=%7B%2225%22%3A%226%22%7D#142a61d5 (http://www.istockphoto.com/search/portfolio/1104769/?facets=%7B%2225%22%3A%226%22%7D#142a61d5)

Don't know how to shorten the link... sorry.

Anyways, I'm with Istock since 2006 and started out as a photographer mainly because there weren't audio or video at the time. When that kicked in, I stopped with photography and started with video and then audio. It was a healthy relationship until last year and now, I won't repeat everything regarding new RC stuff and sales slowing etc. But here's the deal - I depend on Istock's and Getty's income (getty footage) around 50% a month. I live in Serbia where a 1000-2000$ is a lot of money (well, it used to be and now it's a bit less but it's still serious money) and I cannot gamble loosing that amount of monthly income (much less than a 1000$ since summer 2011) but I cannot sit calmly and wait for a miracle to happen. I had a burst of uploads in summer/fall/winter and nothing happened with those. They tanked big time. Just my old files keep selling ("keep selling" is a relative term, remember, much less than a 1000$).
Anyways, I had a bad luck with my equipment three years ago (I was conned by a man that sold me my equpm. in the first place) and since than my uploads got thinner and so did the sales.
I picked up myself somehow and invested in new equipment, got a bank loan (very expensive one) and started working again and then Istock tanked even more for me.

I contacted every single person I know (video and audio, inspectors and managers)  including top, top, top contributors form audio and video mostly, asking them plain and simple about the future and telling them with most honest intent that I just don't know what to do anymore. I got various answers. Most contributors (top) told me the same story - we'll hang in there to see if it's a trend for another two, six, twelve months and after that we'll see... but they all report a down curve on sales. Pretty big one. And most of the management that I know told me that it's solely my decision to stay or go but they want me to stay off course. And don't get me wrong, I got an average portfolio and I'm a small fish...

Anyways, I was calmed to a point. Started thinking again to give them another chance... but that just varnished last night when Audio announced what they announced. That was over the top.
My video sales are horrid - if I'm lucky I'll get 20 sales a month...

Here's the last year numbers for video sales in 2011:
Jan 10
Feb 19
Mar 24
Apr 11
May 16
Jun 12
Jul 14
Aug 17
Sep 15
Oct 20
Nov 17
Dec 9

And just as an example, dl's for 2010 are 300% - 400% bigger and even more for 2009 depend's on the month. Audio's been more or less the same but dropping in the last months and the only thing that kept 2011 money the same were Getty footage sales that equaled the numbers from the past.

Sorry for such a big introduction and for the long reading but my question is down to this - from your experience, could I make more than 20 freaking dl's a month if spread my portfolio around? Got a 2000+ video clips. Not all on istock due to rejections. I'm considering to drop audio too but that's even more exotic story than this one...

Sorry again for the long reading and if there is any videographer reading this or anyone got something clever to say (everything right now is more clever than I can think of), please share your thoughts.
Thanks in advance.
Mirkic
Title: Re: Nervous breakdown - Istockphoto, what else? Exlcusivity etc...
Post by: djpadavona on February 05, 2012, 17:49
Nobody can tell you what decision to make. It's your financial risk. I will point out that there are many videographers who claim to make more money from Pond5 than they do from iStockphoto. And I would think that if you combined Pond5 with Shutterstock video, you would be increasing your chances to keep or improve your current income level.

I don't envy your position. Good luck.
Title: Re: Nervous breakdown - Istockphoto, what else? Exlcusivity etc...
Post by: mirkic on February 05, 2012, 17:56
Thanks for that. And you are right, it's down to a person to make their own calls... I am aware of every single agency and already in the motion with some of them. And that's the only question I'm asking - is it possible to make those numbers with this kind of portfolio and new content coming in? And I know, one cannot give that answer because there are many things involved but just an insight into possibility... Thanks anyway!
Title: Re: Nervous breakdown - Istockphoto, what else? Exlcusivity etc...
Post by: cobalt on February 05, 2012, 18:15
I wish you all the best! This must be a terrible decision.

I only started video recently and have been uploading as a video independent since 18th Nov 2012. I only have about 50 clips. And my results so far:

Pond 5: 2 sales, total of 74 Dollars
SS: 2 sales total of 45 Dollars
istock: 2 sales total of 26 Dollars

So personally I am very optimistic, but my life doesnīt depend on it.

My portfolio is completly different to yours, so it does not really help you. But I think my modest sales are a good start. Even if I was still exclusive, I would have made a lot less and I donīt know if I would have had that many more sales. there is very little video content (yet), only a few hundred thousand files in total, so I doubt that best match is so important. A customer who is looking for something can easily drill down and discover your file.

The best thing is the very, very fast turnaround time! 1-3 days on SS, 1-3 weeks at Pond5, 24hours at clipdealer, 2-4 weeks at clipcanvas (but there was the Xmas break)

I still havenīt uploaded to Fotolia, revostock and many others. A friend told me that Fotolia has the fastest turnaround time (4 hours for him!) and he already had sales there.

Also many agencies take editorial video that you cannot sell on istock.

I only quit my video exclusivity because the waiting time was so terribly long at istock, even for exclusives. I am a video newbie and really want to learn about it, so I need fast review times to learn about video and the market. I was hoping to become video exclusive again in maybe 2 years, when I have more experience and my videos are good enough for the Vetta collection. But now I am not so sure, especially after they let go of a video inspector. Maybe it is good that the extremly long waiting time in the summer frustrated me to quit exclusivity.

I think it is great that I can set my own prices at pond5 and clipcanvas.

Donīt you have a good friend who shoots similar video to your own, or a friend who is starting out where you can follow his/her progress? Maybe if you work with a friend for three months and then you compare results you will be in a better position to make such a critical decision.
Title: Re: Nervous breakdown - Istockphoto, what else? Exlcusivity etc...
Post by: sharpshot on February 05, 2012, 18:30
The problem with going non-exclusive is that it could take a long time to get sales going on the other sites.  Can you afford to live on much less money for several months?  I like Pond5 but the other microstock sites haven't been great.  My portfolio isn't very commercial though, I have seen other people report good sales with SS.

Alamy are going to have video soon.  I presume istock exclusives will be able to sell RM video clips there?  I'm sure it will take a long time to get sales going there though.  I have seen people mention other RM video sites, they might be worth trying.
Title: Re: Nervous breakdown - Istockphoto, what else? Exlcusivity etc...
Post by: aeonf on February 05, 2012, 19:33
May I ask what is your %% for video and audio ?
Title: Re: Nervous breakdown - Istockphoto, what else? Exlcusivity etc...
Post by: mirkic on February 05, 2012, 20:06
Thanks for the replay's guys! They do help to get a different perspective on the matter!

@Cobalt
All those things you wrote are pros for me to turn non-exclusive! Faster review times, constant flow of things, new markets etc. Also, it sounds unbelievable to me that I cannot reach that amount of dl's on all other agencies but hey, I had a record with 11 days without a single dl in 2009 soooo everything is possible and that's why I'm asking for opinion from people already "somewhere" else.
And regarding friends and co-workers  starting out or working with other agencies, believe it or not, two of my close friends and my brother are quitting exlc at Istock or already did it in the last couple of days so, no, I cannot follow anyone's progress and that's why I'm here. And I know it's already been talked about and maybe even too much and also it's rude to just jump in and ask for people to tell you how are they doing elsewhere so one can jump boats but that's why I'm telling my own numbers just to help anyone else that is thinking the same thing about microstock global... Thanks Cobalt for the info.

@Sharpshot
Yeah, that's the main problem, to make a stand where I could "rest" for a month or two regarding money... But staying like this, it's my sanity and Istock or to just blew it all away and jump hard (and I can do that really well, work and warm up the seat :) ) on other sites...
Already comunicating with Alamy, SS and few others that have option to send in a hard drive with CSV metadata and they would do all the keywording and uploading for that amount of clips etc...
I think I can survive a couple of months, till the summer tops :) And I know, I'm smiling but it's a serious matter but what else can I do :)

@Aeonf
If you are asking for RC levels - Audio was at 35% and fell down to 30% in 2012 and video was silver before the RC's and now it's, well 25% or default :(
Title: Re: Nervous breakdown - Istockphoto, what else? Exlcusivity etc...
Post by: ShadySue on February 05, 2012, 20:30
If you are asking for RC levels - Audio was at 35% and fell down to 30% in 2012 and video was silver before the RC's and now it's, well 25% or default :(
No help to offer, I'm afraid, but you are one that was really shafted by the splitting of media.
Is there any real benefit in being exclusive for video? Would you consider becoming exclusive for one (video) to test the waters?
Title: Re: Nervous breakdown - Istockphoto, what else? Exlcusivity etc...
Post by: mirkic on February 05, 2012, 20:46
If you are asking for RC levels - Audio was at 35% and fell down to 30% in 2012 and video was silver before the RC's and now it's, well 25% or default :(
No help to offer, I'm afraid, but you are one that was really shafted by the splitting of media.
Is there any real benefit in being exclusive for video? Would you consider becoming exclusive for one (video) to test the waters?

Well, the bigger part was me without a proper equipment but that changed and I gave a big shoot at working again but Istock gave a shoot at my head with everything (mine and several more people I know)...
I didn't understand your question, did you mean - consider becoming non-exclusive? If that's the question, than hell yes! I'm not considering it, I'm on a verge of doing it but my common sense is telling me that I need another opinion of other people on other markets itself cause being exslusive so long is a bit blinding for the world around you. I don't know anything except what I read in the forums (last couple of months)...
Title: Re: Nervous breakdown - Istockphoto, what else? Exlcusivity etc...
Post by: antistock on February 05, 2012, 21:21
what did you guys expected ?

soon it will be impossible to make a living with microstock alone unless you're an agency or a top seller living on the shoulders of their big portfolios.

if that matters i see a steady decline also in macro RM sales, my feeling is many customers have simply cut their budgets to the bone, or switched to Flickr/piracy/CC/public-domain altogether.

and it's so sad reading a few designers forums where these guys even complain about micro images being too expensive ! yes, people is actually claiming 5$ for an image is too much ! wasting 50$ in beers with their friends instead is good and cheap !
Title: Re: Nervous breakdown - Istockphoto, what else? Exlcusivity etc...
Post by: velocicarpo on February 05, 2012, 22:42
Hello Mirko,

I know exactly what you are talking about and you really touched me with your words. Companies like istockphoto are not only gambling with their numbers, but with our income and our lives. Many of us, including myself, are living in zones of the world where it is not really easy earning money, especially not an amount which enables you to live in a own place, being able to go out etc.

But now to your situation: Your advantage is that you produce not only Photo, but too video and audio. this means that you can give up exclusivity "piece by piece". It will be a hard switch, yes, but I think you will have to make it if you want to survive. Audio: I do not know much of the Audio stock world, but seeing that you have good sales with audio I suggest you stay exclusive with Audio and abandon exclusivity with video, since Pond5 video sales are alot better than istocks (for me). So you can balance a potential loss of istock sales volume with new other sites like pond5 or revostock.

Besides: Abandon exclusivity with Photo. It does not seem to be a big deal for you, so you can start to play with it, apply and upload to the otehr big ones, and you will notice you can compensate ALOT of istock losses with sales at e.g. shutterstock.

Hard choices....I know.

Furthermore: I have to say for many stockers here and out there it is a hard time. Including myself. Dropping sales is increasing my anxiety about the future and although I work like crazy, the returns seems to be stuck on a low level or even falling. At least the possibility to spread out due to no exclusive agreements gibes me more stability.

Good luck and welcome here!
Title: Re: Nervous breakdown - Istockphoto, what else? Exlcusivity etc...
Post by: lagereek on February 06, 2012, 01:26
The excuse so far and for many years have been " hang in there" or "ebb and flow", etc, etc,  well I am sorry but as the poster above says, when they start gambling with your lives and incomes, its time to quit, time to move on to other avenues. No point in  lingering.
Ofcourse its a gamble but so is everything and the grass isnt perhaps much greener on the other side of the fence but at least it carries more nutritions and vitamins.

best of luck
Title: Re: Nervous breakdown - Istockphoto, what else? Exlcusivity etc...
Post by: StockCube on February 06, 2012, 04:40
Hi Mirko,  I left exclusivity with iStock in October 2010 and since then have been blogging about my new sites and experiences with full dollar transparency.  You can find my blog here if you are interested,

http://stockcube-stockcube.blogspot.com/ (http://stockcube-stockcube.blogspot.com/)

Best of luck,
Bridget
Title: Re: Nervous breakdown - Istockphoto, what else? Exlcusivity etc...
Post by: john_woodcock on February 06, 2012, 05:40
Quote
believe it or not, two of my close friends and my brother are quitting exlc at Istock or already did it in the last couple of days so, no, I cannot follow anyone's progress

Surely you will be able to follow their progress once they are established as independents though? It may be that waiting 3 months to follow their progress would be worthwhile, rather than doing anything hasty. I have read very varying accounts of giving up exclusivity, so best to be very wary of listening too much to others, and if you have people close to you and whom you can trust to give honest feedback on their progress, I would hang on and follow their progress first.
Title: Re: Nervous breakdown - Istockphoto, what else? Exlcusivity etc...
Post by: lagereek on February 06, 2012, 05:58
Quote
believe it or not, two of my close friends and my brother are quitting exlc at Istock or already did it in the last couple of days so, no, I cannot follow anyone's progress

Surely you will be able to follow their progress once they are established as independents though? It may be that waiting 3 months to follow their progress would be worthwhile, rather than doing anything hasty. I have read very varying accounts of giving up exclusivity, so best to be very wary of listening too much to others, and if you have people close to you and whom you can trust to give honest feedback on their progress, I would hang on and follow their progress first.

I agree with you!  dangerous to listen too much to others. However, out of all the exclusives that I personally know, the only ones making any revenue are the ones heavily involved in Vettas,  all the rest are way down and I am talking diamond and gold levels here.
Title: Re: Nervous breakdown - Istockphoto, what else? Exlcusivity etc...
Post by: ShadySue on February 06, 2012, 06:03

I agree with you!  dangerous to listen too much to others. However, out of all the exclusives that I personally know, the only ones making any revenue are the ones heavily involved in Vettas,  all the rest are way down and I am talking diamond and gold levels here.

However, the OP is mainly involved in audio and video, so his experience will be different, whether he stays or becomes indie.
Title: Re: Nervous breakdown - Istockphoto, what else? Exlcusivity etc...
Post by: Synonymous on February 06, 2012, 06:12
wow.  this is my first post here but I feel so sorry for your situation.  It really brings me to tears to see so many suffering like this.
Title: Re: Nervous breakdown - Istockphoto, what else? Exlcusivity etc...
Post by: mirkic on February 06, 2012, 06:36
Thanks to all that replied and gave their two cents on the matter!

I will follow closely my friends and my brother but their portfolios are waaaay different than mine and smaller for that matter. Also, I cannot linger for another three months and end up in a summer slope at istock. That's the main problem! If the sales were "ok" or "steady" flat line... I would wait. But like this, no matter what I do, it's like someone pressed a button that say - BELLOW1000$GUY!

Also, I re-lived in my head all the possible (most of) scenarios, all the variations of leaving, not leaving, working 100% on this and delaying that, even staying with Istock and working harder and smarter than before... but hey - I remember last year when I invested in my equipment with such confidence - Istock going down? My sales with 3.500 files online going down... No way! I will always have enough to pay for the bank loan and for the car and bills... I was saying that and I jinxed (cursed) it! Moron! Who could of known!
I could swear that I wouldn't ever fall bellow 500$ a month... and bellow 300 at getty... and wallaaaaa! I did last summer! And in november with getty! 140$ month!

Anyways! Thanks everyone for their opinions! They do mean a lot to me! And helping me making my descision... I will post here when things changes and how will they change...
Title: Re: Nervous breakdown - Istockphoto, what else? Exlcusivity etc...
Post by: ShadySue on February 06, 2012, 07:12
If you are asking for RC levels - Audio was at 35% and fell down to 30% in 2012 and video was silver before the RC's and now it's, well 25% or default :(
No help to offer, I'm afraid, but you are one that was really shafted by the splitting of media.
Is there any real benefit in being exclusive for video? Would you consider becoming exclusive for one (video) to test the waters?
I didn't understand your question, did you mean - consider becoming non-exclusive? If that's the question, than hell yes! I'm not considering it,
[/quote]
I meant, would you consider becoming indie for video first, since it seems you have less to lose by keeping exclusive with audio for a while and trying out independence with video. There seem to be quite a few sites that do as well as, if not better than iStock for selling video; but like anything else, it will depend how well your particular content matches with the particular buyers who use any particular site. Also how the market/sites/buyers change in the future.

Good luck whatever you decide.
Title: Re: Nervous breakdown - Istockphoto, what else? Exlcusivity etc...
Post by: antistock on February 06, 2012, 08:54
I could swear that I wouldn't ever fall bellow 500$ a month... and bellow 300 at getty... and wallaaaaa! I did last summer! And in november with getty! 140$ month!

then look at the long term scenario : the only ones surviving in stock photography will be the few agencies left, and a few dozen top sellers with huge portfolios.

it's math, people don't realize it because the decline is so slow and month by month with up and downs in the middle but it's just a matter of time.
this in turn will kill the actual oversupply as new contributors will not spend a long time uploading and editing when they face a meager or zero return.

it's the same in every market actually.
RM/RF stock has simply reached the end of the road, both by quality and quantity.
Title: Re: Nervous breakdown - Istockphoto, what else? Exlcusivity etc...
Post by: lisafx on February 06, 2012, 09:46
Mirkic,  I wish I could give you good advice. I don't shoot video, so any experience I have would not be relevant to you. 

Just wanted to express my sympathy with your situation.  It's so sad to see how real people's real lives are affected by the decisions that the bean counters at the top are making, just to pad their already obscene profits....

FWIW, Shadysue's suggestion about going indie with video first to test the waters, while leaving photos and audio exclusive makes a lot of sense to me.  With multiple types of media, you are in an excellent position to try out being indie with one media, and see how it works out for you. 

Wishing you the very best, whatever decision you make.
Title: Re: Nervous breakdown - Istockphoto, what else? Exlcusivity etc...
Post by: Anyka on February 06, 2012, 11:40
Is it possible for your to add wedding-videos, or are you already doing that?
Title: Re: Nervous breakdown - Istockphoto, what else? Exlcusivity etc...
Post by: Synonymous on February 06, 2012, 18:36
I could swear that I wouldn't ever fall bellow 500$ a month... and bellow 300 at getty... and wallaaaaa! I did last summer! And in november with getty! 140$ month!
it's math, people don't realize it because the decline is so slow and month by month with up and downs in the middle but it's just a matter of time.
this in turn will kill the actual oversupply as new contributors will not spend a long time uploading and editing when they face a meager or zero return.

it's the same in every market actually.
RM/RF stock has simply reached the end of the road, both by quality and quantity.

if it really is the end of the stock work then what? what is left?  pack up our bags and go home?
Title: Re: Nervous breakdown - Istockphoto, what else? Exlcusivity etc...
Post by: antistock on February 06, 2012, 19:56
if it really is the end of the stock work then what? what is left?  pack up our bags and go home?

it's gonna take a few years to reach the point of non-return but the die has been cast.

agencies can survive without too many contributors, but contributors can't survive without agencies.
the OP has 3500 images on IS and he's starving, soon you will need 5000 images, then 10.000, and then it will be finally financially unsustainable and people will give up.

this industry has been completely cannibalized and it lived on his laurels for too long.
there's simply no more cake to eat and buyers are screaming for even  cheaper prices (!).
Title: Re: Nervous breakdown - Istockphoto, what else? Exlcusivity etc...
Post by: antistock on February 06, 2012, 20:04
the paradigm here is  ... the stock industry is on its last leg because of the internet, not because of digital.

the actual oversupply and overabundance of saleable images should not be blamed just on modern cameras and photoshop but first and foremost on the internet, which allows everybody in a worldwide scenario to join the market at zero costs and in real-time.

you're not competing with your local or regional photographers, you're actually against the whole world army of photographers shooting the same subjects and using your same gear !

so it's definitely a buyer's market now and it's not gonna go back.
top-tier photographers who can produce both quality, quantity, and innovative concepts will survive and succeed but all the others will have a very hard time to stay afloat as due to oversupply the bar has been raised consistently in the last few years and i can't see any space left for newbies or amateurs.
Title: Re: Nervous breakdown - Istockphoto, what else? Exlcusivity etc...
Post by: PaulieWalnuts on February 06, 2012, 20:13
if it really is the end of the stock work then what? what is left?  pack up our bags and go home?

it's gonna take a few years to reach the point of non-return but the die has been cast.

agencies can survive without too many contributors, but contributors can't survive without agencies.
the OP has 3500 images on IS and he's starving, soon you will need 5000 images, then 10.000, and then it will be finally financially unsustainable and people will give up.

this industry has been completely cannibalized and it lived on his laurels for too long.
there's simply no more cake to eat and buyers are screaming for even  cheaper prices (!).

Plus, on top of buyers being spoiled by cheap images, there are plenty of image users that don't buy. A ton of stuff is copied/pirated. I recently saw some pirating stats, and can't remember the numbers, but the percentage of pirated images on the net is unreal. A lot of those people are ignorant to copyright but a lot of them steal intentionally because they don't believe they'll be caught or even punished even if they are caught.

If supply continues to increase, prices continue to drop, and there's no easy and cost effective method of tracking and recovering pirated images, it's going to be pretty challenging to be profitable moving forward.
Title: Re: Nervous breakdown - Istockphoto, what else? Exlcusivity etc...
Post by: djpadavona on February 06, 2012, 21:28
agencies can survive without too many contributors, but contributors can't survive without agencies.


Seriously? What agency sold you that line? Look at http://www.terragalleria.com (http://www.terragalleria.com) and try to convince me this guy needs an agency.
Title: Re: Nervous breakdown - Istockphoto, what else? Exlcusivity etc...
Post by: antistock on February 07, 2012, 00:52
agencies can survive without too many contributors, but contributors can't survive without agencies.


Seriously? What agency sold you that line? Look at [url]http://www.terragalleria.com[/url] ([url]http://www.terragalleria.com[/url]) and try to convince me this guy needs an agency.


he's a case apart.

for starters his web site has 30,000 "organic" unique visitors a day !
and his site is basically an e-commerce selling fine-art prints and the odd stock photo.
he started 10 yrs ago, but he would never make it starting in 2012 unless he's willing to invest huge amounts of $$ in SEO, paid links, and paid advertising just like any other e-commerce sites.
judging by his blog he's also well connected and networked with academic insitutions, governance, and rich clients, which helps a lot !
Title: Re: Nervous breakdown - Istockphoto, what else? Exlcusivity etc...
Post by: antistock on February 07, 2012, 01:01
Plus, on top of buyers being spoiled by cheap images, there are plenty of image users that don't buy. A ton of stuff is copied/pirated. I recently saw some pirating stats, and can't remember the numbers, but the percentage of pirated images on the net is unreal. A lot of those people are ignorant to copyright but a lot of them steal intentionally because they don't believe they'll be caught or even punished even if they are caught.

If supply continues to increase, prices continue to drop, and there's no easy and cost effective method of tracking and recovering pirated images, it's going to be pretty challenging to be profitable moving forward.

fully agree !
and the worldwide thieves' mafia seems to be rampant and supported by the biggest brands including google and wikipedia screaming against SOPA and other proposed laws against piracy.

and what potential buyers should think if even the top-10 biggest sites openly support piracy with the usual lame excuse of sharing information, freedom, and yadda yadda ?

it's not enough they destroyed the music business, now they're up against photographers as well.
but unlike musicians we cannot play live gigs or sell t-shirts with our name !

i mean, you'll hardly make a vernissage or exibition with microstock images or cross-selling on POD sites (postcards, calendars, etc).
that's ok if you make "fine art", not stock.
Title: Re: Nervous breakdown - Istockphoto, what else? Exlcusivity etc...
Post by: lagereek on February 07, 2012, 01:17
agencies can survive without too many contributors, but contributors can't survive without agencies.


Seriously? What agency sold you that line? Look at [url]http://www.terragalleria.com[/url] ([url]http://www.terragalleria.com[/url]) and try to convince me this guy needs an agency.


he's a case apart.

for starters his web site has 30,000 "organic" unique visitors a day !
and his site is basically an e-commerce selling fine-art prints and the odd stock photo.
he started 10 yrs ago, but he would never make it starting in 2012 unless he's willing to invest huge amounts of $$ in SEO, paid links, and paid advertising just like any other e-commerce sites.
judging by his blog he's also well connected and networked with academic insitutions, governance, and rich clients, which helps a lot !


No, agencies can not survive without contributors, thats their life-blood, has always been and will always be. having said that, ofcourse they can survive without millions of copycats but the specialized, nieched contributor is always needed.
I do agree with you, that its the internet which eventually will destroy the stock-business.
Title: Re: Nervous breakdown - Istockphoto, what else? Exlcusivity etc...
Post by: cobalt on February 07, 2012, 04:52
The internet has brought us millions of new customers and is allowing me to sell my pictures from Wladiwostok to the South Pole.

Without the internet I would never have been able to enter the world of stock - I would need to rely on the buddy, buddy system and hope that one day I would get to know the cousin of the nephew of the mother in law that will get me into a "real" agency.

I love things just the way they are.
Title: Re: Nervous breakdown - Istockphoto, what else? Exlcusivity etc...
Post by: lagereek on February 07, 2012, 05:28
The internet has brought us millions of new customers and is allowing me to sell my pictures from Wladiwostok to the South Pole.

Without the internet I would never have been able to enter the world of stock - I would need to rely on the buddy, buddy system and hope that one day I would get to know the cousin of the nephew of the mother in law that will get me into a "real" agency.

I love things just the way they are.

Hi there!

Well I cant argue with you on that point, certainly, without the internet, micro wouldnt be possible but at the same time, look at the magnitude of it all, the supply is outstripping the demand by lightyears and because agencies open their arms to millions of applicants, along comes spamming, keywording, billions of generics and ofcourse tons of irrelevant material, just hanging in there.
Title: Re: Nervous breakdown - Istockphoto, what else? Exlcusivity etc...
Post by: mirkic on February 07, 2012, 06:26
Just a bit of clarification on the matter in hands.

50% of my failure is my own fault that happened in my life by a odd streak of circumstances, bad luck, depression, lack of confidence in my own work and a bit of laziness etc... Other 50% I blame on Istock!
Also, there is a lot of "my own choice" regarding piracy that I wouldn't ever do! I'm sure things would be different if I had gone down that road and copied successful portfolios etc... I didn't. I think (another story about ideas, copyright and inspiration and stuff)

I picking my self up and starting to do again what I have done my whole life - being creative for the sake of my own feelings and dopamine or whatever is the chemical that our brain is pumping into our body (or vice versa) so we could feel "happiness and pleasure"... I lost "that" feeling somewhere down the road chasing money and well being for me and my family... I can blame internet to a point, hyper production, not getting into your own work with enough of your soul etc... one can argue that stock is business and only that, and it should and can be done just like that - cold, sterile, strategic, smart, calculated etc... I agree... but it CANNOT be only that. At least not for me. And there I've lost it down that road. Only me to blame for that...

Other 50% of Istock guilt I don't wanna repeat cause we all have some down's with them so it would be boring to chew on that story again.

And to clarify something else - I got around 1300 videos, 2000 audio's and less than 200 photographs... So my portfolio CANNOT be taken (to a point) into discussion with photographers portfolios. It's a mash-up of medias and my work (portfolio) is "mediocre", "good" and a few examples of "excellent" works (by my standards and mostly in audio, few in video and few in photos) so I'm the biggest critic of my own work and I'm sorry now that I let some of the clips into my library but other part of my brain is telling me - hey, that can be useful to somebody, you are (me) not a trend-guru so you can pinpoint stuff that will sell and stuff that will not... etc...

I think you get point... It's on the individual to decide when is enough of "this, that"... It's a net of choices and circumstances that lead to a certain event but in this story it's the same thing with one more side involved in those circumstances :) Istock.

Thank you all for your clever thinking and words and time writing and replaying in this topic...
Yes, I feel welcome here :)))
Title: Re: Nervous breakdown - Istockphoto, what else? Exlcusivity etc...
Post by: antistock on February 07, 2012, 06:37
Without the internet I would never have been able to enter the world of stock - I would need to rely on the buddy, buddy system and hope that one day I would get to know the cousin of the nephew of the mother in law that will get me into a "real" agency.

just go to a photo-fair like PhotoKina, talk with the main stock agencies in their booths, ask them if they're in search of new talents and how you can eventually apply as a contributor, how to show them your portfolio, where to send prints/slides/negatives etc etc

it was the same for every industry i've worked for, even videogames in the late '80s !
all face to face, eventually followed by phone calls, fax, and floppy disks sent by mail :)
Title: Re: Nervous breakdown - Istockphoto, what else? Exlcusivity etc...
Post by: cobalt on February 07, 2012, 07:33
Well, now I am already part of the club ;). getty is working well for me, need to feed them more content though.
Title: Re: Nervous breakdown - Istockphoto, what else? Exlcusivity etc...
Post by: Synonymous on February 07, 2012, 07:45
if it really is the end of the stock work then what? what is left?  pack up our bags and go home?

it's gonna take a few years to reach the point of non-return but the die has been cast.

agencies can survive without too many contributors, but contributors can't survive without agencies.
the OP has 3500 images on IS and he's starving, soon you will need 5000 images, then 10.000, and then it will be finally financially unsustainable and people will give up.

this industry has been completely cannibalized and it lived on his laurels for too long.
there's simply no more cake to eat and buyers are screaming for even  cheaper prices (!).


i am at over 4500 images and I too am starving.  I think 5000 or 10000 would not stop me from starving.  i am with less than twenty percent my value from a year or so ago
Title: Re: Nervous breakdown - Istockphoto, what else? Exlcusivity etc...
Post by: helix7 on February 07, 2012, 07:57

I'm a bit confused by all of these posts about how big of a portfolio you'll need to not starve in the future. When has anyone ever benefited from simply increasing their portfolio size without regard for marketability? As much as some folks are starving with 3,500 image portfolios, some people are thriving with as many images, sometimes far fewer.

It seems like sheer madness to me to look at your portfolio and think, "Well, I'm starving with 3,500 images, but maybe with 7,000 of the same images I'd be doing ok."

I could be totally wrong about this, but I'm venturing a guess that quantity isn't the factor that's going to distinguish the starving artist from the thriving one in the future of microstock.

Anyone else noticing a lot of the mentality that what sold in the past should still sell as well today? Browse the various forums and you'll see lots of complaints about how someone used to do so much better, meanwhile they're barely uploading anything different than what they shot years ago. If you're still uploading isolated fruit or smiling business people and seeing falling income, quantity is definitely not your problem.
Title: Re: Nervous breakdown - Istockphoto, what else? Exlcusivity etc...
Post by: gostwyck on February 07, 2012, 07:59
if it really is the end of the stock work then what? what is left?  pack up our bags and go home?

it's gonna take a few years to reach the point of non-return but the die has been cast.

agencies can survive without too many contributors, but contributors can't survive without agencies.
the OP has 3500 images on IS and he's starving, soon you will need 5000 images, then 10.000, and then it will be finally financially unsustainable and people will give up.

this industry has been completely cannibalized and it lived on his laurels for too long.
there's simply no more cake to eat and buyers are screaming for even  cheaper prices (!).


i am at over 4500 images and I too am starving.  I think 5000 or 10000 would not stop me from starving.  i am with less than twenty percent my value from a year or so ago

It's not quantity that counts but quality. Quality trumps quantity every time. The contributors who will survive are the ones who produce the best images in their subject matter, not the most images.
Title: Re: Nervous breakdown - Istockphoto, what else? Exlcusivity etc...
Post by: Synonymous on February 07, 2012, 08:29
if it really is the end of the stock work then what? what is left?  pack up our bags and go home?

it's gonna take a few years to reach the point of non-return but the die has been cast.

agencies can survive without too many contributors, but contributors can't survive without agencies.
the OP has 3500 images on IS and he's starving, soon you will need 5000 images, then 10.000, and then it will be finally financially unsustainable and people will give up.

this industry has been completely cannibalized and it lived on his laurels for too long.
there's simply no more cake to eat and buyers are screaming for even  cheaper prices (!).


i am at over 4500 images and I too am starving.  I think 5000 or 10000 would not stop me from starving.  i am with less than twenty percent my value from a year or so ago

It's not quantity that counts but quality. Quality trumps quantity every time. The contributors who will survive are the ones who produce the best images in their subject matter, not the most images.


it is actually a combination of both.   every submitted image isn't going to be the highest quality.  also even with the highest quality image, you will need more than just a few.  this sweet spot is going to be different for each contributor.  also, the value of the amount earned is going to be different.  for me I my images aren't the best but they are pretty darn good yet they have disappeared from the best match over the last year or so.  you may have the most awesome perfect image ever but it is useless if no one can find it.
Title: Re: Nervous breakdown - Istockphoto, what else? Exlcusivity etc...
Post by: gostwyck on February 07, 2012, 08:46
it is actually a combination of both.   every submitted image isn't going to be the highest quality.  also even with the highest quality image, you will need more than just a few.  this sweet spot is going to be different for each contributor.  also, the value of the amount earned is going to be different.  for me I my images aren't the best but they are pretty darn good yet they have disappeared from the best match over the last year or so.  you may have the most awesome perfect image ever but it is useless if no one can find it.

True enough but what you are also highlighting is the danger of being exclusive with one agency (which I presume you are from what you have written?). Your best images may disappear on Istock, with a few lines of code changing the best match, but on other agencies they can continue to sell and sell. It also never fails to amaze me how, from a series of images, the individual images can perform completely differently on different agencies. The best selling image on IS may be largely ignored on SS and vice versa. FT is even weirder in that relatively few images sell in any quantity but those that do can make staggering money. Your income is likely to be much more stable if your portfolio is spread across a number of agencies.
Title: Re: Nervous breakdown - Istockphoto, what else? Exlcusivity etc...
Post by: PaulieWalnuts on February 07, 2012, 09:07
if it really is the end of the stock work then what? what is left?  pack up our bags and go home?

it's gonna take a few years to reach the point of non-return but the die has been cast.

agencies can survive without too many contributors, but contributors can't survive without agencies.
the OP has 3500 images on IS and he's starving, soon you will need 5000 images, then 10.000, and then it will be finally financially unsustainable and people will give up.

this industry has been completely cannibalized and it lived on his laurels for too long.
there's simply no more cake to eat and buyers are screaming for even  cheaper prices (!).


i am at over 4500 images and I too am starving.  I think 5000 or 10000 would not stop me from starving.  i am with less than twenty percent my value from a year or so ago

It's not quantity that counts but quality. Quality trumps quantity every time. The contributors who will survive are the ones who produce the best images in their subject matter, not the most images.


it is actually a combination of both.   every submitted image isn't going to be the highest quality.  also even with the highest quality image, you will need more than just a few.  this sweet spot is going to be different for each contributor.  also, the value of the amount earned is going to be different.  for me I my images aren't the best but they are pretty darn good yet they have disappeared from the best match over the last year or so.  you may have the most awesome perfect image ever but it is useless if no one can find it.

How is quality defined? Highest resolution? Prettiest colors?

I think the future has little to do with quantity or quality. We already have a gazillion images floating around the internet and tens of millions of "quality" images available as stock. Do we really need more? I've only seen a handful of people who seem to have a handle on the future.
Title: Re: Nervous breakdown - Istockphoto, what else? Exlcusivity etc...
Post by: helix7 on February 07, 2012, 09:15
...my images aren't the best but they are pretty darn good yet they have disappeared from the best match over the last year or so.  you may have the most awesome perfect image ever but it is useless if no one can find it.

I hate to state the obvious here, but if we're talking about only having your work at istock and no one is finding it, then I think we know what the real problem is, no?

And I'm not even suggesting that exclusivity is all-around bad. Apparently some people do well with it. It escapes my understanding as to how, but for some, it works. But if you're only selling through istock and you're not happy with the results, maybe you're one of the folks like me who exclusivity just doesn't work for. You have to do what works best for your unique portfolio and workflow.
Title: Re: Nervous breakdown - Istockphoto, what else? Exlcusivity etc...
Post by: stockmarketer on February 07, 2012, 09:32
It's not quantity that counts but quality. Quality trumps quantity every time. The contributors who will survive are the ones who produce the best images in their subject matter, not the most images.

I say neither quantity nor quality are ultimately that important.

Having a huge port isn't going to make buyers choose your stuff.  And being technically the best at what you do isn't going to cut it either.  Face it... there are thousands of contributors whose skills are just as good or better than yours.

Instead, there are two qualities that will sell your pics today, and they're of equal importance:

1. Images that buyers need.  You can have a giant port, but if today's customers don't need them, you don't see sales.  On the contrary, you can have a small port, and if those images are in great demand, you'll have sales through the roof.  

2. Images that stand out.  You can be an award-winning photographer or illustrator, but in a market where quality is in over-supply, all it does is get you in the door.  It won't make buyers click on your stuff.  You need images that are unlike anything else out there.  Quality won't be what gives you the edge.  A unique style or perspective on an in-demand subject is key.

What do I know?  Here's an anecdote.  I just checked in at a registration desk... I won't tell you where... but staring me in the face was a giant poster of one of my pics.  I don't have a huge port, so the size of my collection didn't sell that image.  And the pic itself isn't technically anything special.  It sold because it did an effective job of communicating the unique message this venue had to convey, and there are no other images like it available anywhere.  That image owns the market for its subject, and I'll be the first to say it's not very good.

If you keep blindly racing to upload more stuff than the next guy, or being anal about details with the goal of technical perfection, your sales will continue to plummet.  For success these days, you must be two things, and nothing else really matters: be in demand, and be different.
Title: Re: Nervous breakdown - Istockphoto, what else? Exlcusivity etc...
Post by: velocicarpo on February 07, 2012, 09:45

I'm a bit confused by all of these posts about how big of a portfolio you'll need to not starve in the future. When has anyone ever benefited from simply increasing their portfolio size without regard for marketability? As much as some folks are starving with 3,500 image portfolios, some people are thriving with as many images, sometimes far fewer.

It seems like sheer madness to me to look at your portfolio and think, "Well, I'm starving with 3,500 images, but maybe with 7,000 of the same images I'd be doing ok."

I could be totally wrong about this, but I'm venturing a guess that quantity isn't the factor that's going to distinguish the starving artist from the thriving one in the future of microstock.

Anyone else noticing a lot of the mentality that what sold in the past should still sell as well today? Browse the various forums and you'll see lots of complaints about how someone used to do so much better, meanwhile they're barely uploading anything different than what they shot years ago. If you're still uploading isolated fruit or smiling business people and seeing falling income, quantity is definitely not your problem.

I totally agree. This is what I noticed for myself just a few weeks ago. Before complaining about freedom of speech (wasn`t it the foun dation for our society? Do you wanna move to north corea, antistock?) check your own skills.

Yes, imho much damage is done by the current agencies. But they will disappear before the contributors. There will be always a market for stock media. So there will be always a possibility for artists. The stock market it into transformation, as almost everything on our planet right now, and compared to many other industries we still do very well...
Title: Re: Nervous breakdown - Istockphoto, what else? Exlcusivity etc...
Post by: antistock on February 07, 2012, 09:46
quantity might be of secondary importance but on the other side nobody is starving with 10,000 images in portfolio.
Title: Re: Nervous breakdown - Istockphoto, what else? Exlcusivity etc...
Post by: PaulieWalnuts on February 07, 2012, 09:56
quantity might be of secondary importance but on the other side nobody is starving with 10,000 images in portfolio.

I would disagree. I've seen people with 10,000+ image portfolios and 20,000 downloads. Unless those people are living for free in their parents' house anywhere in the world they couldn't possibly be profitable.
Title: Re: Nervous breakdown - Istockphoto, what else? Exlcusivity etc...
Post by: Synonymous on February 07, 2012, 10:39
quantity might be of secondary importance but on the other side nobody is starving with 10,000 images in portfolio.

i also disagree.  10000 in the portfolio does not make you successful.  i want to change my position from a little earlier also and say that I agree it's not quality or quanity that really counts either.  it is placement.   you can have 5000 great images on page 200 of best match and you will starve.  you can fave some crappy images one best match page one and you will thrive.  for the most part your success is defined by the matrix.
Title: Re: Nervous breakdown - Istockphoto, what else? Exlcusivity etc...
Post by: luissantos84 on February 07, 2012, 10:46
quantity might be of secondary importance but on the other side nobody is starving with 10,000 images in portfolio.

I would disagree. I've seen people with 10,000+ image portfolios and 20,000 downloads. Unless those people are living for free in their parents' house anywhere in the world they couldn't possibly be profitable.

talking about IS right? once there are no stats for SS, the lowest on IS with over 10k files has 27k downloads (5 years), actually its the only one, after its 39k

the discussion of survival is interesting but quite hard to be accurate once we all live in different countries and have different spending habits
Title: Re: Nervous breakdown - Istockphoto, what else? Exlcusivity etc...
Post by: helix7 on February 07, 2012, 10:47
quantity might be of secondary importance but on the other side nobody is starving with 10,000 images in portfolio.

Totally false. Just look at the guy over at the SS forums who is always bragging about his 10k image portfolio, meanwhile me makes a few hundred dollars per month.
Title: Re: Nervous breakdown - Istockphoto, what else? Exlcusivity etc...
Post by: luissantos84 on February 07, 2012, 10:54
quantity might be of secondary importance but on the other side nobody is starving with 10,000 images in portfolio.

Totally false. Just look at the guy over at the SS forums who is always bragging about his 10k image portfolio, meanwhile me makes a few hundred dollars per month.

perhaps if he havenīt quit all other agencies..

p.s: not to mention that half of them are the same pics with ROOM FOR TEXT!
Title: Re: Nervous breakdown - Istockphoto, what else? Exlcusivity etc...
Post by: cobalt on February 07, 2012, 11:06
I have a question for the OP: have you considered really working very, very hard and uploading totally desirable kick ass content for a year to istock, instead of going independent? You said yourself, 50% is your own fault - why not work on that first?

Even if you want to go independent you will need that content for all the other agencies.

The other thing - how reliable are the payment systems of other agencies? With istock I have always been paid on time, no problem. I still donīt have experience with payouts at other sites.
Title: Re: Nervous breakdown - Istockphoto, what else? Exlcusivity etc...
Post by: gostwyck on February 07, 2012, 11:28
I have a question for the OP: have you considered really working very, very hard and uploading totally desirable kick ass content for a year to istock, instead of going independent? You said yourself, 50% is your own fault - why not work on that first?

Even if you want to go independent you will need that content for all the other agencies.

The other thing - how reliable are the payment systems of other agencies? With istock I have always been paid on time, no problem. I still donīt have experience with payouts at other sites.

On the other hand the OP might as well accept the inevitable. Istock's sales are down nearly 50% in the last year for me and many others. It seems that only contributors who are not reporting such declines are those who have uploaded a massive number of images, relative to their portfolio size, in the last year or so. At what point will the slide in sales stop? All the issues that have caused the buyers to go elsewhere remain. There doesn't even appear to be anybody in charge of Istock __ just some anonymous committee calling themselves 'iStockHQ'. Presumeably being in charge of Istock is either too dangerous or too embarrassing to admit to nowadays.

I have found other agencies to be no more or no less reliable than Istock with regard to payments.
Title: Re: Nervous breakdown - Istockphoto, what else? Exlcusivity etc...
Post by: cobalt on February 07, 2012, 11:44
Iīm no fan of the invisible istock HQ manager, as you know. But walking away with all your files can be financial suicide if you are not prepared. 

Unfortunately I understand too little about the video/audio/illustration markets.

But I do see that istock seems to be favoring new content at the moment, so why not take advantage of that while looking around? Especially if the OP has several media types to work with.

Maybe it is worth keeping one file type exclusive and moving others, like some here have suggested?
Title: Re: Nervous breakdown - Istockphoto, what else? Exlcusivity etc...
Post by: thesentinel on February 07, 2012, 11:59
I think one thing is for certain - winding yourself up to a state of nervous breakdown is not conducive to making well considered actions in either the creative process or the decision making process. Have a break from it all for a few days.
Title: Re: Nervous breakdown - Istockphoto, what else? Exlcusivity etc...
Post by: lagereek on February 07, 2012, 12:29
There is Valium you know, or a burnt single malt, makes you feel less nervous and far better in the morning ;D
Title: Re: Nervous breakdown - Istockphoto, what else? Exlcusivity etc...
Post by: jamesbenet on February 08, 2012, 00:38
I am in a very close situation to the OP... ;)

However I have not experienced that huge a drop in sales as he explained.  I contribute to every media type with over 1500 videos. The RC did cut my income by 34% over night and I have seen a slide in sales ever since.

My advice is: Put a time limit in your portfolio to perform or fail at iStock. If it gets better stick around and work your ass off, if the downside continues try Non Exclusivity and if non of it works then change your strategy and or career while doing this as a hobby on the side.

For trying non exclusivity be sure to have a pre-emptive plan that has most of your content live or metadata filled on other top sites first. It will be suicide to move without having firm ground.

In the end you can always return to Exclusivity if you feel it serves you better. 

As long as you have your health it serves you nothing to worry and maybe fall into a stress related panic attack or opportunistic disease.  It goes without saying that times look hard ahead but things have a way of working out in the end. 

Wish you the best in your decision.
Title: Re: Nervous breakdown - Istockphoto, what else? Exlcusivity etc...
Post by: pixel86 on February 08, 2012, 01:11
I have a question for the OP: have you considered really working very, very hard and uploading totally desirable kick ass content for a year to istock, instead of going independent? You said yourself, 50% is your own fault - why not work on that first?

Even if you want to go independent you will need that content for all the other agencies.

The other thing - how reliable are the payment systems of other agencies? With istock I have always been paid on time, no problem. I still donīt have experience with payouts at other sites.

I have been with at least three other agencies (sometimes more) since 2005, and have had little or no problems getting paid on time.
Title: Re: Nervous breakdown - Istockphoto, what else? Exlcusivity etc...
Post by: cthoman on February 08, 2012, 01:28
The other thing - how reliable are the payment systems of other agencies? With istock I have always been paid on time, no problem. I still donīt have experience with payouts at other sites.

I haven't had any problems with payments either. I think I've gotten payouts from 12+ agencies, and they've all paid out in a fairly reasonable amount of time.
Title: Re: Nervous breakdown - Istockphoto, what else? Exlcusivity etc...
Post by: cobalt on February 08, 2012, 03:51
We'll that is good to know. I sometimes feel when I read around here that there are a lot of payment problems or delayed payments. But I suppose the impression was somehow exxagerated.
Title: Re: Nervous breakdown - Istockphoto, what else? Exlcusivity etc...
Post by: antistock on February 08, 2012, 04:49
I think one thing is for certain - winding yourself up to a state of nervous breakdown is not conducive to making well considered actions in either the creative process or the decision making process. Have a break from it all for a few days.

the problem is, videos are maybe harder to sell than photos nowadays.
i've met a couple guys months ago doing both videos and photos and they were on assignment for an NGO but they were depressed about the video market, much more than about the photo market.
Title: Re: Nervous breakdown - Istockphoto, what else? Exlcusivity etc...
Post by: antistock on February 08, 2012, 04:56
my impression ? anything digital is losing value quickly nowadays, to the point that soon if something can be digitalized one day it will become worthless, it will be pirated everywhere and finally it will be considered "public domain".

may we like it or not, people shooting weddings have a much more robust business-model compared to us stockers.
Title: Re: Nervous breakdown - Istockphoto, what else? Exlcusivity etc...
Post by: mirkic on February 08, 2012, 05:18
I am in a very close situation to the OP... ;)

However I have not experienced that huge a drop in sales as he explained.  I contribute to every media type with over 1500 videos. The RC did cut my income by 34% over night and I have seen a slide in sales ever since.

My advice is: Put a time limit in your portfolio to perform or fail at iStock. If it gets better stick around and work your ass off, if the downside continues try Non Exclusivity and if non of it works then change your strategy and or career while doing this as a hobby on the side.

For trying non exclusivity be sure to have a pre-emptive plan that has most of your content live or metadata filled on other top sites first. It will be suicide to move without having firm ground.

In the end you can always return to Exclusivity if you feel it serves you better. 

As long as you have your health it serves you nothing to worry and maybe fall into a stress related panic attack or opportunistic disease.  It goes without saying that times look hard ahead but things have a way of working out in the end. 

Wish you the best in your decision.

Well that's about how I summed it at the end!

There is a time limit on Istock now and it's not short and not to long so I wouldn't "relax" to much... After more and more talk and thinking, I'm staying with Istock and do my best of the best ever! After that period I will be certain that it wasn't me, it was something else responsible for this and that.
I calm my self down more than I could ever imagine with a little help from my friend (his name is not Valium :))))
Thanks everyone for your advices and opinions!
Anyways, I'll keep you guys posted about things (if any that matters really appear).
Thanks everyone again.
Title: Re: Nervous breakdown - Istockphoto, what else? Exlcusivity etc...
Post by: helix7 on February 08, 2012, 07:35
...the problem is, videos are maybe harder to sell than photos nowadays...

Just my opinion, but I get the feeling that the perceived demand for video content was over-inflated when video became a much more prominent part of web content, especially news content, a few years ago. Somewhere around 2007 or 2008 everyone (myself included) looked at all the video content on the web and thought "people are going to need a lot more stock video". In reality, the demand for stock video was probably exaggerated. We all wanted the demand to be there, but the reality is that video content delivery networks and websites just aren't including much stock video with their own original content. At least that how it seems to me. 
Title: Re: Nervous breakdown - Istockphoto, what else? Exlcusivity etc...
Post by: Sean Locke Photography on February 08, 2012, 07:58
Agreed.
Title: Re: Nervous breakdown - Istockphoto, what else? Exlcusivity etc...
Post by: pixel86 on February 08, 2012, 08:22
We'll that is good to know. I sometimes feel when I read around here that there are a lot of payment problems or delayed payments. But I suppose the impression was somehow exxagerated.

I think it's like anything else...you never hear from the thousands who are receiving their payments on time, only from the minority that have issues. I, too, have read about others having issues but personally, I haven't experienced it. I am sure there must have been at least one or two glitches over the years, but apparently they weren't too traumatic since I don't remember them.
Title: Re: Nervous breakdown - Istockphoto, what else? Exlcusivity etc...
Post by: helix7 on February 08, 2012, 09:51
...The other thing - how reliable are the payment systems of other agencies? With istock I have always been paid on time, no problem. I still donīt have experience with payouts at other sites.

I have no problems with any of the 20 agencies I get payments from. In fact, most are easier to deal with than istock. SS only allows one payout per month, but they do it automatically and like clockwork every month. No action required on my part. The ones that allow payouts any time generally pay out within a few days of the request. Some even same-day or within 24 hours many times.

Never missed a payment, lost a payment, or had any reason to contact any agency about a payment. And the only company that I ever wonder about whether or not I'm getting paid the proper amount at is istock.
Title: Re: Nervous breakdown - Istockphoto, what else? Exlcusivity etc...
Post by: Jo Ann Snover on February 08, 2012, 10:30
...The other thing - how reliable are the payment systems of other agencies? With istock I have always been paid on time, no problem. I still donīt have experience with payouts at other sites.

I have no problems with any of the 20 agencies I get payments from. In fact, most are easier to deal with than istock. SS only allows one payout per month, but they do it automatically and like clockwork every month. No action required on my part. The ones that allow payouts any time generally pay out within a few days of the request. Some even same-day or within 24 hours many times.

Never missed a payment, lost a payment, or had any reason to contact any agency about a payment. And the only company that I ever wonder about whether or not I'm getting paid the proper amount at is istock.

There have been payment problems at other sites, but never more than a temporary hiccup - as has been the case several times at iStock.

Some sites (I think FT is still like this) don't have a set schedule and don't seem to be able to deliver a set number of days after a request, so that makes for a lot of "where's my payment" questions. They always end up paying in the end though.
Title: Re: Nervous breakdown - Istockphoto, what else? Exlcusivity etc...
Post by: lisafx on February 08, 2012, 11:42
We'll that is good to know. I sometimes feel when I read around here that there are a lot of payment problems or delayed payments. But I suppose the impression was somehow exxagerated.

Occasionally one or another site will be a bit slow in paying out.  By slow, I mean over two weeks.  But never more than about three weeks.  I have never failed to be paid by any agency. 

Baldrick had a big problem getting paid from one agency, but that was a special circumstance related to where he lives (not that it makes it okay).  If you live in a country where you can get paypal or moneybookers you shouldn't have any problems. 
Title: Re: Nervous breakdown - Istockphoto, what else? Exlcusivity etc...
Post by: jjneff on February 08, 2012, 16:51
I have been where you are now. I decided to stay and work harder. My earnings keep going up as I focus and work. I love only uploading to one agency. Now this may not work for you or even be the best decision follow your gut and focus on your work.
Title: Re: Nervous breakdown - Istockphoto, what else? Exlcusivity etc...
Post by: dbajurin on February 08, 2012, 17:47
Just to share, I quit exclusivity few days a go. I am FREE now!
I can't take it any more.
- no editorial video
- unreasonable video rejections
- the lowest commission
- sales going down every month

So SS and POND5 I am coming! Thanks SS and POND5 for such a great uploading procedure and for very easy transition period.
In 30 days witch I have to wait because of Istock contract I will upload all clips to SS and POND and just wait that last second on Istock to press button "FOOTAGE OPT IN" on SS and "PLEASE REVIEW" on POND5.
Title: Re: Nervous breakdown - Istockphoto, what else? Exlcusivity etc...
Post by: lisafx on February 08, 2012, 19:05
Just to share, I quit exclusivity few days a go. I am FREE now!
I can't take it any more.
- no editorial video
- unreasonable video rejections
- the lowest commission
- sales going down every month

So SS and POND5 I am coming! Thanks SS and POND5 for such a great uploading procedure and for very easy transition period.
In 30 days witch I have to wait because of Istock contract I will upload all clips to SS and POND and just wait that last second on Istock to press button "FOOTAGE OPT IN" on SS and "PLEASE REVIEW" on POND5.

Congrats on trying something new :)

I'm confused though.  Your activity dial for DT looks like you have images uploaded and are producing sales already...?
Title: Re: Nervous breakdown - Istockphoto, what else? Exlcusivity etc...
Post by: luissantos84 on February 08, 2012, 19:25
I'm confused though.  Your activity dial for DT looks like you have images uploaded and are producing sales already...?

He/she isnīt exclusive on pictures I guess, should have the crown right?
Title: Re: Nervous breakdown - Istockphoto, what else? Exlcusivity etc...
Post by: dbajurin on February 08, 2012, 19:46
Yes he and she :), as company name OPIS , we are manging two separate accounts (just to separate our production clips from co-production ones) and we have never be exclusive for images, just for video. My main work is in 3D animations and video and I am feeling so relief after leaving exclusivity on istock.

Dario - video
Jasmina - photo
Title: Re: Nervous breakdown - Istockphoto, what else? Exlcusivity etc...
Post by: mirkic on December 22, 2012, 08:21
Well, almost one year later, I pushed all I had into producing new videos (that time, money and my newborn daughter and five year old son allowed) to Istock and 800 videos later (650 online, 300 pending) my income was dropping and now my crown is too! The money I reported in the beginning of this thread, when I was considering dropping exclusivity is now halved! Yup! So, when the graph hits zero sales, we get zero $$$

I gave up exclusivity for photo and video at Istock yesterday and the day before!
I gave them the best I could in this year and they gave me RR....

Already uploaded my whole port to three other sites and waiting the "excl time" to end. Doing two more sites. For now, got over 2000 files approved on each! That's awesome! Also, being able to upload and to see what "internet" and "programming" can do to a "upload and keywording process" is equivalent to a seeing a spaceship in my parking lot! Happy as a dog with a beefsteak! It took me two days to keyword (from excels copy/paste spreadsheet) almost 1500 files at Shutter! I couldn't believe it! And maybe a bit over 5 minutes to get the job done at Pond5 with csv upload! For 2500 files!!! Revelation! I hope the sales follow these "good vibes" I'm feeling! But it won't be hard to get over the 400$ mark that my Istock sales are sitting right now (without Getty/SFX Apple sales, those are bringing some good money but video sales are one month non existent and one month over 500$ so "waiting" for those to happen and couldn't be able to relay on those also added up to dropping my excls). We will see.

So, just wanted to let you guys know that I'm done with "nervous breakdown" :) Whatever happen, I'm really confident that I will do good!

Feeling a bit scared (six years looking at one site, many hours per day, every day) cause it's a bit traumatic :) Heck, I'm scared sh****s! But don't have much to lose! I think I can only gain by doing this! 

Keeping my Audio exclusivity for now cause the guys at audio sector are doing fair job for now... with some minor glitches.

Oh, and RR letter got me a bit over the edge, I forgot about that :)
Cheers guys! Will let you know how it goes!
Title: Re: Nervous breakdown - Istockphoto, what else? Exlcusivity etc...
Post by: ShadySue on December 22, 2012, 08:25
Good luck!
I don't sell video, but from what I read, video excusivity at iStock was never a great option, especially after they split media in counting RCs.
You should do better with video independence.
Keep us informed.  ;D
Title: Re: Nervous breakdown - Istockphoto, what else? Exlcusivity etc...
Post by: gostwyck on December 22, 2012, 08:28
Welcome to the dark side Mirkic and the very best of luck to you! Brave move but I am sure that in a year from now you will know you made the right decision.
Title: Re: Nervous breakdown - Istockphoto, what else? Exlcusivity etc...
Post by: traveler1116 on December 22, 2012, 10:25
Good luck!
I don't sell video, but from what I read, video excusivity at iStock was never a great option, especially after they split media in counting RCs.
You should do better with video independence.
Keep us informed.  ;D
I agree.  There are other options for video that pay a better rate which isn't really true for photos.  If I can ever get serious about doing video I'll drop exclusivity for that.
Title: Re: Nervous breakdown - Istockphoto, what else? Exlcusivity etc...
Post by: Jo Ann Snover on December 22, 2012, 12:43
Good luck with the transition. Hope the sales are good for you
Title: Re: Nervous breakdown - Istockphoto, what else? Exlcusivity etc...
Post by: Pixart on December 22, 2012, 15:36
Just so sad that it has come to this for you, but good for you for having the bravery to toss the crown. 
Title: Re: Nervous breakdown - Istockphoto, what else? Exlcusivity etc...
Post by: leaf on December 22, 2012, 15:42
Thanks for the update, keep us posted how it goes.  I'm guessing it won't take long before you know you made the right decision.
Title: Re: Nervous breakdown - Istockphoto, what else? Exlcusivity etc...
Post by: gillian vann on December 22, 2012, 17:50


you're not competing with your local or regional photographers, you're actually against the whole world army of photographers shooting the same subjects and using your same gear !

as the OP pointed out, he's in Serbia and $1000 is a lot to him. like all crowdsourcing, we're competing against those who are happy with a much lower rate of pay. perhaps the agencies are dreaming of an army of african photographers, willing to work for $1/day.
Title: Re: Nervous breakdown - Istockphoto, what else? Exlcusivity etc...
Post by: mirkic on December 22, 2012, 18:58


you're not competing with your local or regional photographers, you're actually against the whole world army of photographers shooting the same subjects and using your same gear !

as the OP pointed out, he's in Serbia and $1000 is a lot to him. like all crowdsourcing, we're competing against those who are happy with a much lower rate of pay. perhaps the agencies are dreaming of an army of african photographers, willing to work for $1/day.

You've missed the point of Antistock's comment here (btw it is from February) and the reply you wrote isn't really something you should so easily write without further exploration, knowledge or experience so please edit it. I'm no African but I would love to be one right now and ask you what did you mean with this remark about Africans! Also, country standards in the world differs a lot from one continent to another, but so is intelligence, education and knowledge. And for example, my video clips, sound effects, songs or photographs - cost as much as yours or anyone else for that matter on every single agency! So it's work, socialization, learning and not working for rotten and corrupted agencies that wouldn't gave you a chance on breaking certain figures (earnings)!
 
Also isn't microstock all about quantity of MICRO payments? 25c per image x 100, let's say, Shutterstock? Or odd istockphoto 7c sales? You, me or anyone else is competing with everybody in microstock but mostly with ourselves (laziness, stupidity, fear etc), and I don't see how a photographer from, let's say Serbia who is "happy" with 1000$ (but I just don't see a person in the world that would stop there - heeeey, got 1000$, I'm done for this month, ain't working no more till the next one) is a threat to you?

Great photo/video/sound/illustration/whatever/ can be a gold mine and it will sell no matter the origin or state of residence of a photographer may be! Also, mediocre/bad/forced/material will not sell and it will never sell! Maybe I'm wrong with what I'm writing here but please, READ AGAIN what you've wrote. Ok?
Title: Re: Nervous breakdown - Istockphoto, what else? Exlcusivity etc...
Post by: cidepix on December 22, 2012, 19:23
best of luck with your decision.. I am sure it will go much better for you..

just make sure you spread your portfolio to as many agencies as you can.. (especially top and middle tier.. don't bother with the rest just yet.. you have no time to waste.. once you are settled well with top and middle tier, then feel free to experiment with any others..)

uploading and keywording is lightyears ahead of istock on all agencies..

I will also answer a question Sue asked on another thread.. didn't have time then, or forgot to answer it.. but this thread reminded me that question and it is very relevant..

she asked me if it was better submitting to less agencies than 18 that I am submitting now and spend more time creating new images.. because she probably thought uploading and keywording would take too much time..

well here is the answer: uploading to 16 agencies "combined" is faster than istockphoto alone :) I would rather not upload to istock, than dropping any other agencies If I wanted to speed up the already fast process at all.. anyway, thanks to istock's policies I am not uploading there now, so it's all fast and smooth..

You were right when you said: "it's like a spaceship landing in my parking lot"..

There is really that much difference.. istock's technology is 10000 years BC while almost all other agents are star trek generation :)

I am excluding graphicriver which can rival istock's slow upload process and I don't upload there anyway because:
1- their upload process is pretty bad,
2- I don't like their vector pricing
Title: Re: Nervous breakdown - Istockphoto, what else? Exlcusivity etc...
Post by: lisafx on December 22, 2012, 19:45
Congratulations on a brave decision!  I am sure it will work out for you.  Wishing you all the best :)

Well, almost one year later, I pushed all I had into producing new videos (that time, money and my newborn daughter and five year old son allowed) to Istock and 800 videos later (650 online, 300 pending) my income was dropping and now my crown is too! The money I reported in the beginning of this thread, when I was considering dropping exclusivity is now halved! Yup! So, when the graph hits zero sales, we get zero $$$

I gave up exclusivity for photo and video at Istock yesterday and the day before!
I gave them the best I could in this year and they gave me RR....

Already uploaded my whole port to three other sites and waiting the "excl time" to end. Doing two more sites. For now, got over 2000 files approved on each! That's awesome! Also, being able to upload and to see what "internet" and "programming" can do to a "upload and keywording process" is equivalent to a seeing a spaceship in my parking lot! Happy as a dog with a beefsteak! It took me two days to keyword (from excels copy/paste spreadsheet) almost 1500 files at Shutter! I couldn't believe it! And maybe a bit over 5 minutes to get the job done at Pond5 with csv upload! For 2500 files!!! Revelation! I hope the sales follow these "good vibes" I'm feeling! But it won't be hard to get over the 400$ mark that my Istock sales are sitting right now (without Getty/SFX Apple sales, those are bringing some good money but video sales are one month non existent and one month over 500$ so "waiting" for those to happen and couldn't be able to relay on those also added up to dropping my excls). We will see.

So, just wanted to let you guys know that I'm done with "nervous breakdown" :) Whatever happen, I'm really confident that I will do good!

Feeling a bit scared (six years looking at one site, many hours per day, every day) cause it's a bit traumatic :) Heck, I'm scared sh****s! But don't have much to lose! I think I can only gain by doing this! 

Keeping my Audio exclusivity for now cause the guys at audio sector are doing fair job for now... with some minor glitches.

Oh, and RR letter got me a bit over the edge, I forgot about that :)
Cheers guys! Will let you know how it goes!
Title: Re: Nervous breakdown - Istockphoto, what else? Exlcusivity etc...
Post by: gostwyck on December 22, 2012, 20:47
You've missed the point of Antistock's comment here (btw it is from February) and the reply you wrote isn't really something you should so easily write without further exploration, knowledge or experience so please edit it. I'm no African but I would love to be one right now and ask you what did you mean with this remark about Africans! Also, country standards in the world differs a lot from one continent to another, but so is intelligence, education and knowledge. And for example, my video clips, sound effects, songs or photographs - cost as much as yours or anyone else for that matter on every single agency! So it's work, socialization, learning and not working for rotten and corrupted agencies that wouldn't gave you a chance on breaking certain figures (earnings)!
 
Also isn't microstock all about quantity of MICRO payments? 25c per image x 100, let's say, Shutterstock? Or odd istockphoto 7c sales? You, me or anyone else is competing with everybody in microstock but mostly with ourselves (laziness, stupidity, fear etc), and I don't see how a photographer from, let's say Serbia who is "happy" with 1000$ (but I just don't see a person in the world that would stop there - heeeey, got 1000$, I'm done for this month, ain't working no more till the next one) is a threat to you?

Great photo/video/sound/illustration/whatever/ can be a gold mine and it will sell no matter the origin or state of residence of a photographer may be! Also, mediocre/bad/forced/material will not sell and it will never sell! Maybe I'm wrong with what I'm writing here but please, READ AGAIN what you've wrote. Ok?

No, I think you've missed the point of Vannphoto's post and taken offence when none was meant. All she was saying is that $1000 in one country might provide a considerably higher standard of living (or a living at all) than in other 'more developed' countries.

She, amongst other Australians, probably speaks with a certain rueful experience of that issue as their currency has almost doubled in value over the last few years in comparison to the US$. That means their microstock income has effectively halved in local purchasing power even if it has stayed the same in US$.

It is an undeniable fact that East Europeans, living in low-cost economies, have an economic advantage over their Western counterparts in microstock. Their models and their studio space cost considerably less but the images they produce sell for the same return. Not only that but the purchasing power of the profit is also far greater when spent in the local economy. With the money I make I'd be a rich man in Thailand but I'd probably struggle to get by in Norway. That's all Vannphoto was alluding to IMHO.
Title: Re: Nervous breakdown - Istockphoto, what else? Exlcusivity etc...
Post by: mirkic on December 22, 2012, 21:22
I agree to a certain point with Gostwyck. Also, would choose better comparison than "army of Afrikans happy to work for one dollar per day" :) Yet she was talking about agencies... never mind... it's not important! I'm kinda "touchy" when it comes to people rights and stuff :) Sorry for the offense, it wasn't on purpose and I don't want or have any time to argue or fight :) I misunderstood the post. 

Thank you all for kind words and wishes! I hope they all come true... and I hope I'll be able to endure! And again, minute ago I was browsing through some of the clips that are approved on Shutter and when I saw that you can click on a clip and pick out one out of ten or so thumbnails?!?!? I was deeeep under, slumbering... It's a whole different world out there alright :) I'm happy cause I can change thumbs... LOL...

One thing, when I click Portfolio: Approval status - I got some batches of clips since November with * to it? like this

616120 *   12/12/2012   17

And they all count into "pending approval" but when you click on them they don't have any thumbnails. Some don't even have names of the files. But when I'm on my contributor homepage I have minus all of those files with * next to them - pending.

Thanks people!
Title: Re: Nervous breakdown - Istockphoto, what else? Exlcusivity etc...
Post by: mirkic on December 22, 2012, 21:35
never mind the question, the clips are approved but weren't processed by the server... it's ok :)
Title: Re: Nervous breakdown - Istockphoto, what else? Exlcusivity etc...
Post by: JPSDK on December 22, 2012, 21:50
There is something worse than "africans".
That is rich amateurs who can afford to experiment and learn.
Hobbyists, do not work for a dollar or a bowl of rice.
They pay to play the microstock gamble.
Title: Re: Nervous breakdown - Istockphoto, what else? Exlcusivity etc...
Post by: leaf on December 23, 2012, 02:09
There is something worse than "africans".
That is rich amateurs who can afford to experiment and learn.
Hobbyists, do not work for a dollar or a bowl of rice.
They pay to play the microstock gamble.

Good point. The hobbiest is willing to work for free or at times would be willing PAY to be in Microstock.
Title: Nervous breakdown - Istockphoto, what else? Exlcusivity etc...
Post by: iStop on December 23, 2012, 10:15
I don't know why you all have your sights set so high. I am happy just to make enough to buy a lens cap. Thank you iStock for your wisdom and great inspiration. Without iStock I would have never known what I should be striving for in microstock as I spend hundreds of dollars on a model shoot for my iStock portfolio.
Title: Re: Nervous breakdown - Istockphoto, what else? Exlcusivity etc...
Post by: aspp on December 23, 2012, 11:17
Slightly /OT but I find it surprising than so many of the remaining agencies still choose to be incorporated in countries which levy such high corporation and other taxes.
Title: Re: Nervous breakdown - Istockphoto, what else? Exlcusivity etc...
Post by: JPSDK on December 23, 2012, 11:33
Those countries have the infrastructure, stability and legislation.
...and there are many ways for an international company to evade tax.
Thats common enough, to harvest the benifits in advanced societies and to promote the prices of less fortunate.
The whole world is doing that now.
Dont expect justice, just expect parasites.
Title: Re: Nervous breakdown - Istockphoto, what else? Exlcusivity etc...
Post by: gostwyck on December 23, 2012, 11:45
Slightly /OT but I find it surprising than so many of the remaining agencies still choose to be incorporated in countries which levy such high corporation and other taxes.

Almost invariably, when businesses talk about their reasons for being in one place or another, their #1 concern is the availability of employees with the necessary skills. A successful microstock agency is obviously a very technical business and needs highly skilled people to make it work __ just the sort of people you're unlikely to find on some remote tax-haven island.
Title: Re: Nervous breakdown - Istockphoto, what else? Exlcusivity etc...
Post by: JPSDK on December 23, 2012, 11:55
Which is why they emerge in North America, or Northern Europe.

... with southernly prices.
and global crowsourced content.

oh so smart...
Title: Re: Nervous breakdown - Istockphoto, what else? Exlcusivity etc...
Post by: velocicarpo on December 23, 2012, 11:58
Slightly /OT but I find it surprising than so many of the remaining agencies still choose to be incorporated in countries which levy such high corporation and other taxes.

Almost invariably, when businesses talk about their reasons for being in one place or another, their #1 concern is the availability of employees with the necessary skills. A successful microstock agency is obviously a very technical business and needs highly skilled people to make it work __ just the sort of people you're unlikely to find on some remote tax-haven island.
Nowadays you can find many skilled People around the world. It is not like they are all in the States or Europe. I would never ever, select a high tax counrty for setting up a itnernet business in these days.
Title: Re: Nervous breakdown - Istockphoto, what else? Exlcusivity etc...
Post by: JPSDK on December 23, 2012, 12:08
it is not about skilled people. Its about infrastructure and law.
You cannot make a company that lives from selling legal licences, if its not on stable ground legally.
That means rule of law.
The agencies benifit from that.
And also benifit from that they are not easily caught when they do not play by the rules ( currencies, roundups, and super secret accounting)
That all sucks, and many agencies can only thrive because the arm of the law does not reach them when they play dirty, at the same time as they benifit from the stability that comes from rule of law.

I detest that.
And I wont have it.


Title: Re: Nervous breakdown - Istockphoto, what else? Exlcusivity etc...
Post by: gostwyck on December 23, 2012, 12:10
Nowadays you can find many skilled People around the world. It is not like they are all in the States or Europe. I would never ever, select a high tax counrty for setting up a itnernet business in these days.

It's simply not true that you can find specialised technical skills 'all around the world'. You can't even find them all around the same country, even one as big as the US. Why do you think so many tech-businesses choose to set themselves up in Silicon Valley rather than Idaho or any other State where the rent and/or local taxes might be a fraction of the cost?

Tax is simply the price you pay for living in a secure, civilised society.
Title: Re: Nervous breakdown - Istockphoto, what else? Exlcusivity etc...
Post by: JPSDK on December 23, 2012, 12:13
When I think about it Shutterstock is the only agency that plays by the rules.
Which is why I have never said anything bad about them.
Title: Re: Nervous breakdown - Istockphoto, what else? Exlcusivity etc...
Post by: RT on December 23, 2012, 12:36
Slightly /OT but I find it surprising than so many of the remaining agencies still choose to be incorporated in countries which levy such high corporation and other taxes.

I agree with gostwycks answer - staff availability and infrastructure. I don't think tax is the uppermost concern for any large company, a good accountant will "sort" that side of things out.
Title: Re: Nervous breakdown - Istockphoto, what else? Exlcusivity etc...
Post by: aspp on December 23, 2012, 15:57
A successful microstock agency is obviously a very technical business and needs highly skilled people to make it work __ just the sort of people you're unlikely to find on some remote tax-haven island.

London, Ireland, Luxembourg, The Netherlands and much of Canada are all tax havens by many comparative standards. It's really just about different competitive models. No different from one city levying different local taxes than another.

Taxes are fine if they get spent well. But most of the high tax countries have hugely wasteful govts, often with very close (revolving door) relationships to the private sector and expensive military and secuity programs.

California, which you mentioned, has potholes everywhere and a state govt which is broke.
Title: Re: Nervous breakdown - Istockphoto, what else? Exlcusivity etc...
Post by: loop on December 23, 2012, 18:43
...The other thing - how reliable are the payment systems of other agencies? With istock I have always been paid on time, no problem. I still donīt have experience with payouts at other sites.

I have no problems with any of the 20 agencies I get payments from. In fact, most are easier to deal with than istock. SS only allows one payout per month, but they do it automatically and like clockwork every month. No action required on my part. The ones that allow payouts any time generally pay out within a few days of the request. Some even same-day or within 24 hours many times.

Never missed a payment, lost a payment, or had any reason to contact any agency about a payment. And the only company that I ever wonder about whether or not I'm getting paid the proper amount at is istock.

There have been payment problems at other sites, but never more than a temporary hiccup - as has been the case several times at iStock.

Some sites (I think FT is still like this) don't have a set schedule and don't seem to be able to deliver a set number of days after a request, so that makes for a lot of "where's my payment" questions. They always end up paying in the end though.

In almost a decade, I've never had a serious problem getting paid at IS. At most, maybe two o three times (over hundreds), one or two days delays for some technical problem related to istock or paypal.
Title: Re: Nervous breakdown - Istockphoto, what else? Exlcusivity etc...
Post by: leaf on December 23, 2012, 20:11
... And in other new I saw that Rasmus Rasmussen dropped his crown. (for those who that means anything to). He was a long time istocker and reviewer.
Title: Re: Nervous breakdown - Istockphoto, what else? Exlcusivity etc...
Post by: Jo Ann Snover on December 23, 2012, 20:18
theprint (http://www.istockphoto.com/search/portfolio/14376#73d8574) is his iStock user name, in case you can't match real world name with member name. He is apparently not in any hurry to get his portfolio up on other sites.

MichaelJay (http://www.istockphoto.com/user_view.php?id=1537218), formerly of the former Berlin office, has also dropped his crown. To be precise, both of them have started their 30 day clock although the crown isn't yet gonzo.
Title: Re: Nervous breakdown - Istockphoto, what else? Exlcusivity etc...
Post by: ShadySue on December 23, 2012, 20:24
theprint ([url]http://www.istockphoto.com/search/portfolio/14376#73d8574[/url]) is his iStock user name, in case you can't match real world name with member name. He is apparently not in any hurry to get his portfolio up on other sites.

MichaelJay ([url]http://www.istockphoto.com/user_view.php?id=1537218[/url]), formerly of the former Berlin office, has also dropped his crown. To be precise, both of them have started their 30 day clock although the crown isn't yet gonzo.


I do think it's significant when former iStock employees hand in their crowns. They probably have more insight into the inner shenanigans than the rest of us do.
 >:( ??? :o
Title: Re: Nervous breakdown - Istockphoto, what else? Exlcusivity etc...
Post by: Sean Locke Photography on December 23, 2012, 20:32
Interesting.
Title: Re: Nervous breakdown - Istockphoto, what else? Exlcusivity etc...
Post by: ShadySue on December 23, 2012, 20:35
I missed the posts about Ras and Michael Jay giving up exclusivity.
Does anyone know if Kelly is also becoming indie? I think I saw one or two unhappy posts from her recently about declining sales and income.
Title: Re: Nervous breakdown - Istockphoto, what else? Exlcusivity etc...
Post by: gostwyck on December 23, 2012, 20:46
theprint ([url]http://www.istockphoto.com/search/portfolio/14376#73d8574[/url]) is his iStock user name, in case you can't match real world name with member name. He is apparently not in any hurry to get his portfolio up on other sites.

MichaelJay ([url]http://www.istockphoto.com/user_view.php?id=1537218[/url]), formerly of the former Berlin office, has also dropped his crown. To be precise, both of them have started their 30 day clock although the crown isn't yet gonzo.

I do think it's significant when former iStock employees hand in their crowns. They probably have more insight into the inner shenanigans than the rest of us do.
 >:( ??? :o


Hmmm. Is the dam about to burst for Istock? As it happens 'The Print' is married to KCline and, judging by her recent posts, she's not exactly best pleased with Istock either.

Title: Re: Nervous breakdown - Istockphoto, what else? Exlcusivity etc...
Post by: Equus on December 23, 2012, 21:52
theprint ([url]http://www.istockphoto.com/search/portfolio/14376#73d8574[/url]) is his iStock user name, in case you can't match real world name with member name. He is apparently not in any hurry to get his portfolio up on other sites.


He'd put be crazy to put that portfolio on the other micros. I'm sure he must have other ideas.
Title: Re: Nervous breakdown - Istockphoto, what else? Exlcusivity etc...
Post by: gostwyck on December 23, 2012, 22:20
theprint ([url]http://www.istockphoto.com/search/portfolio/14376#73d8574[/url]) is his iStock user name, in case you can't match real world name with member name. He is apparently not in any hurry to get his portfolio up on other sites.


He'd put be crazy to put that portfolio on the other micros. I'm sure he must have other ideas.


I think he'd be crazy not to having now given up his crown. He could always have selected some images for RM whilst remaining exclusive. He hasn't uploaded anything to IS for over two years but, on the other micros, his entire portfolio would become 'new' again. I think he'd do very well elsewhere.
Title: Re: Nervous breakdown - Istockphoto, what else? Exlcusivity etc...
Post by: Equus on December 23, 2012, 23:10
theprint ([url]http://www.istockphoto.com/search/portfolio/14376#73d8574[/url]) is his iStock user name, in case you can't match real world name with member name. He is apparently not in any hurry to get his portfolio up on other sites.


He'd put be crazy to put that portfolio on the other micros. I'm sure he must have other ideas.


I think he'd be crazy not to having now given up his crown. He could always have selected some images for RM whilst remaining exclusive. He hasn't uploaded anything to IS for over two years but, on the other micros, his entire portfolio would become 'new' again. I think he'd do very well elsewhere.


I agree, he'd do very well elsewhere, but he'd be wasted on the sub sites. I don't want to say too much in a public forum.
I think Getty will be happy to see photographers of that quality handing in their crowns and uploading to macro sites, where they will compete on an equal basis, rather than undercutting Getty photographers.
Maybe this has always been their plan. Force the more creative people to leave IS and upload to the macros, the factories can sell subs.
Or then again, maybe they are just a bunch of idiots. Time will tell.
Title: Re: Nervous breakdown - Istockphoto, what else? Exlcusivity etc...
Post by: velocicarpo on December 24, 2012, 09:07
Nowadays you can find many skilled People around the world. It is not like they are all in the States or Europe. I would never ever, select a high tax counrty for setting up a itnernet business in these days.

It's simply not true that you can find specialised technical skills 'all around the world'. You can't even find them all around the same country, even one as big as the US. Why do you think so many tech-businesses choose to set themselves up in Silicon Valley rather than Idaho or any other State where the rent and/or local taxes might be a fraction of the cost?

Tax is simply the price you pay for living in a secure, civilised society.

Dream on....guess we do not live i the same world.
Title: Re: Nervous breakdown - Istockphoto, what else? Exlcusivity etc...
Post by: lisafx on December 24, 2012, 11:08
theprint ([url]http://www.istockphoto.com/search/portfolio/14376#73d8574[/url]) is his iStock user name, in case you can't match real world name with member name. He is apparently not in any hurry to get his portfolio up on other sites.

MichaelJay ([url]http://www.istockphoto.com/user_view.php?id=1537218[/url]), formerly of the former Berlin office, has also dropped his crown. To be precise, both of them have started their 30 day clock although the crown isn't yet gonzo.


This says it all, really.  I suspect these guys would never have given up their crowns if they had any hope that Istock would return to its former self. 
Title: Re: Nervous breakdown - Istockphoto, what else? Exlcusivity etc...
Post by: gostwyck on December 24, 2012, 11:23
theprint ([url]http://www.istockphoto.com/search/portfolio/14376#73d8574[/url]) is his iStock user name, in case you can't match real world name with member name. He is apparently not in any hurry to get his portfolio up on other sites.

MichaelJay ([url]http://www.istockphoto.com/user_view.php?id=1537218[/url]), formerly of the former Berlin office, has also dropped his crown. To be precise, both of them have started their 30 day clock although the crown isn't yet gonzo.


This says it all, really.  I suspect these guys would never have given up their crowns if they had any hope that Istock would return to its former self.


I came across this post recently from Abzee, on the RC announcement thread, back in Sept 2010. It turns out to have been amazingly prophetic;

"Just a note to Kelly JJRD Rogermexico and Lobo, as they have been in this thread so far.

After you have successfully executed the Getty Masterplan you too will likely feel what it's like to be shafted, I only hope you'll think it was worth it."

Only Lobo still there.

http://www.istockphoto.com/forum_messages.php?threadid=251812&page=23 (http://www.istockphoto.com/forum_messages.php?threadid=251812&page=23)

Title: Re: Nervous breakdown - Istockphoto, what else? Exlcusivity etc...
Post by: lisafx on December 24, 2012, 11:44

I came across this post recently from Abzee, on the RC announcement thread, back in Sept 2010. It turns out to have been amazingly prophetic;

"Just a note to Kelly JJRD Rogermexico and Lobo, as they have been in this thread so far.

After you have successfully executed the Getty Masterplan you too will likely feel what it's like to be shafted, I only hope you'll think it was worth it."

Only Lobo still there.

[url]http://www.istockphoto.com/forum_messages.php?threadid=251812&page=23[/url] ([url]http://www.istockphoto.com/forum_messages.php?threadid=251812&page=23[/url])


Wow.  He certainly called that one right!

Still saddens me that the very worst of the predictions about what would happen when Getty bought Istock are the ones that eventually happened.  There were plenty of opportunities for things to turn out more positively for everyone....
Title: Re: Nervous breakdown - Istockphoto, what else? Exlcusivity etc...
Post by: loop on December 24, 2012, 11:50
theprint ([url]http://www.istockphoto.com/search/portfolio/14376#73d8574[/url]) is his iStock user name, in case you can't match real world name with member name. He is apparently not in any hurry to get his portfolio up on other sites.

MichaelJay ([url]http://www.istockphoto.com/user_view.php?id=1537218[/url]), formerly of the former Berlin office, has also dropped his crown. To be precise, both of them have started their 30 day clock although the crown isn't yet gonzo.


This says it all, really.  I suspect these guys would never have given up their crowns if they had any hope that Istock would return to its former self.


I came across this post recently from Abzee, on the RC announcement thread, back in Sept 2010. It turns out to have been amazingly prophetic;

"Just a note to Kelly JJRD Rogermexico and Lobo, as they have been in this thread so far.

After you have successfully executed the Getty Masterplan you too will likely feel what it's like to be shafted, I only hope you'll think it was worth it."

Only Lobo still there.

[url]http://www.istockphoto.com/forum_messages.php?threadid=251812&page=23[/url] ([url]http://www.istockphoto.com/forum_messages.php?threadid=251812&page=23[/url])


You are assuming they all were shafted. That, probably, is not exact. I can't say more.
Title: Re: Nervous breakdown - Istockphoto, what else? Exlcusivity etc...
Post by: gostwyck on December 24, 2012, 12:13
Still saddens me that the very worst of the predictions about what would happen when Getty bought Istock are the ones that eventually happened.  There were plenty of opportunities for things to turn out more positively for everyone....


True. Even the effect of introducing the RC system was predictable enough ... for everyone it would seem other than Istock and Getty management.

One aspect of the Carlyle Group 'purchase' of Getty that wasn't widely discussed at the time was that Carlyle only bought just over 50% of the business. The rest of the money was stumped up by the Getty management, including Klein.

http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/08/15/us-getty-carlyle-idUSBRE87E0FE20120815 (http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/08/15/us-getty-carlyle-idUSBRE87E0FE20120815)

I can understand H&F 'harvesting' the business for short-term profit but surely it is now in Getty's interest to operate Istock with the longer-term future in mind. Yet they don't seem capable of it. According to RR the IS forum is "widely read" at Getty HQ. How is it possible that they read the thoughts of so many unhappy contributors and buyers ... and then press on with the same course regardless? Uncanny and yet apparently true.
Title: Re: Nervous breakdown - Istockphoto, what else? Exlcusivity etc...
Post by: MikLav on December 24, 2012, 13:18
theprint ([url]http://www.istockphoto.com/search/portfolio/14376#73d8574[/url]) is his iStock user name, in case you can't match real world name with member name. He is apparently not in any hurry to get his portfolio up on other sites.

MichaelJay ([url]http://www.istockphoto.com/user_view.php?id=1537218[/url]), formerly of the former Berlin office, has also dropped his crown. To be precise, both of them have started their 30 day clock although the crown isn't yet gonzo.


This says it all, really.  I suspect these guys would never have given up their crowns if they had any hope that Istock would return to its former self.



Not sure if it means much really as he isn't involved with microstock lately (according to his own blog his interest is with some other projects, and his most recent upload is from 2010)
Title: Re: Nervous breakdown - Istockphoto, what else? Exlcusivity etc...
Post by: Jo Ann Snover on December 24, 2012, 13:20
...I can understand H&F 'harvesting' the business for short-term profit but surely it is now in Getty's interest to operate Istock with the longer-term future in mind. Yet they don't seem capable of it. According to RR the IS forum is "widely read" at Getty HQ. How is it possible that they read the thoughts of so many unhappy contributors and buyers ... and then press on with the same course regardless? Uncanny and yet apparently true.


Jonanthan Klein has repeatedly been contemptuous of iStock and its "amateur" contributors - there are tons of quotes, but here's one thread (http://www.istockphoto.com/forum_messages.php?threadid=57763), and another (http://www.istockphoto.com/forum_messages.php?threadid=50110) and another (http://www.istockphoto.com/forum_messages.php?threadid=180721). I haven't been able to find some of the juicy ones I remember, but I need to run.

I think Klein figures that as long as he has the market sewn up, all roads will lead to one Getty property or another (and he doesn't care which). If there aren't enough other outlets, suppliers will come around (in his view) as they have no choice. I don't think he's right, but I think that's why they just don't care about unhappy iStock contributors much
Title: Re: Nervous breakdown - Istockphoto, what else? Exlcusivity etc...
Post by: gostwyck on December 24, 2012, 13:38
Jonanthan Klein has repeatedly been contemptuous of iStock and its "amateur" contributors - there are tons of quotes, but here's one thread ([url]http://www.istockphoto.com/forum_messages.php?threadid=57763[/url]), and another ([url]http://www.istockphoto.com/forum_messages.php?threadid=50110[/url]) and another ([url]http://www.istockphoto.com/forum_messages.php?threadid=180721[/url]). I haven't been able to find some of the juicy ones I remember, but I need to run.

I think Klein figures that as long as he has the market sewn up, all roads will lead to one Getty property or another (and he doesn't care which). If there aren't enough other outlets, suppliers will come around (in his view) as they have no choice. I don't think he's right, but I think that's why they just don't care about unhappy iStock contributors much


Yes, that's very true. I had forgotten that particularly endearing quality of Klein. Being as he only values his 'pro' photogaphers at a 20% royalty he's probably still quite miffed that many of those 'amateurs' are being paid well above that.
Title: Re: Nervous breakdown - Istockphoto, what else? Exlcusivity etc...
Post by: lisafx on December 24, 2012, 17:39


I think Klein figures that as long as he has the market sewn up, all roads will lead to one Getty property or another (and he doesn't care which). If there aren't enough other outlets, suppliers will come around (in his view) as they have no choice. I don't think he's right, but I think that's why they just don't care about unhappy iStock contributors much

Seems likely that this is his thinking, but as you point out, he is wrong.  These "amateurs" who were able to turn pro thanks to micro, all had other jobs or income sources before.  Many of us will most likely go back to what we were doing and stop producing stock professionally altogether, or else go back to submitting occasional snapshots rather than expensive shoots. 

I know I am not going to be investing a lot in upcoming shoots until I see the returns start to go back up. 
Title: Re: Nervous breakdown - Istockphoto, what else? Exlcusivity etc...
Post by: ShadySue on December 24, 2012, 19:21
Seems likely that this is his thinking, but as you point out, he is wrong.  These "amateurs" who were able to turn pro thanks to micro, all had other jobs or income sources before.  Many of us will most likely go back to what we were doing and stop producing stock professionally altogether, or else go back to submitting occasional snapshots rather than expensive shoots. 

I know I am not going to be investing a lot in upcoming shoots until I see the returns start to go back up.

You're not wrong.
I noticed to my surprise a wildlife 'snapshot' (not even species identified) uploaded months ago by an inspector who has been at iStock since not long after the start, and always did elaborate shots with property and model releases needed, way before I was ever on iStock.
Anyway, I just looked at their port, and this year s/he's only done a very few set up photos in the relatively few uploads they made this year.
Title: Re: Nervous breakdown - Istockphoto, what else? Exlcusivity etc...
Post by: jamirae on December 26, 2012, 21:06
theprint ([url]http://www.istockphoto.com/search/portfolio/14376#73d8574[/url]) is his iStock user name, in case you can't match real world name with member name. He is apparently not in any hurry to get his portfolio up on other sites.

MichaelJay ([url]http://www.istockphoto.com/user_view.php?id=1537218[/url]), formerly of the former Berlin office, has also dropped his crown. To be precise, both of them have started their 30 day clock although the crown isn't yet gonzo.


wow.  This is really sad.  I realize they may be moving on to other interests, but if it was really just that then why would they be bothering to drop the crown and spread their portfolios to other sites?  it seems the house of cards at iStock is really starting to gather momentum in its collapse or loss of talent.
Title: Re: Nervous breakdown - Istockphoto, what else? Exlcusivity etc...
Post by: aspp on December 27, 2012, 05:18
I realize they may be moving on to other interests, but if it was really just that then why would they be bothering to drop the crown

A person wanting to take their creativity in a new direction may very well find the IS terms which relate to their legacy images overly restrictive. People may sometimes give up exclusivity, whilst seemingly having no interest in putting the bulk of their old images with different agents, because they want greater freedom moving forward.

Perhaps they have content which they want to release under a CC licence; perhaps they are interested in promoting themselves at 500px; perhaps they want to use their images in a way which the IS licence prohibits - for example they are doing tutorials or books with downloadable content. Perhaps they see RF stock as where they have come from but not where they are going.

For many people that is going to be about the new work they want make going forward. Giving up IS exclusivity is not necessarily about wanting to be at other RF agents.
Title: Re: Nervous breakdown - Istockphoto, what else? Exlcusivity etc...
Post by: pro@stockphotos on December 27, 2012, 09:29


I think Klein figures that as long as he has the market sewn up, all roads will lead to one Getty property or another (and he doesn't care which). If there aren't enough other outlets, suppliers will come around (in his view) as they have no choice. I don't think he's right, but I think that's why they just don't care about unhappy iStock contributors much

Seems likely that this is his thinking, but as you point out, he is wrong.  These "amateurs" who were able to turn pro thanks to micro, all had other jobs or income sources before.  Many of us will most likely go back to what we were doing and stop producing stock professionally altogether, or else go back to submitting occasional snapshots rather than expensive shoots. 

I know I am not going to be investing a lot in upcoming shoots until I see the returns start to go back up.

It seems you are right here.  I know some to top istock exclusives who are in the bargaining phase of loss.   Some think they can make up their lost istock income (2010) on other sites...  wrong!!.  Some think they can run their own stock sites ... wrong!! except maybe yuri.   Many will have to get their old jobs back.   The resentment of the loss of huge earnings and future income possibilities at istock from their greedy moves will make a lot of people bail on the whole micro stock experiment.   Think about some contributors were making 100K+ a year for what was very little time and effort compared to normal jobs that pay that much.   There will be no investment in future shoots, equipment and etc.   Knowing that 60% of your effort is not enough and it stated as unsustainable was the start of the fall. 
Title: Re: Nervous breakdown - Istockphoto, what else? Exlcusivity etc...
Post by: JPSDK on December 27, 2012, 11:32
Ja, I never really understood why a share of more than 50% was not sustainable.

In my understanding, it is, if you grow the market.

But maybe thats what it is all about, the market could not be expanded after the financial crisis hit.
Title: Re: Nervous breakdown - Istockphoto, what else? Exlcusivity etc...
Post by: aspp on December 27, 2012, 11:47
some contributors were making 100K+ a year for what was very little time and effort compared to normal jobs that pay that much

For the record: low - moderately performing diversified portfolios of around 10K images at IS are currently typically making 100K PA including Getty sales. A well performing portfolio will make more. Some portfolios end up competing with themselves.

Sadly I cannot provide any evidence of this benchmark number therefore you will have to treat it with caution.
Title: Re: Nervous breakdown - Istockphoto, what else? Exlcusivity etc...
Post by: gostwyck on December 27, 2012, 13:06
For the record: low - moderately performing diversified portfolios of around 10K images at IS are currently typically making 100K PA including Getty sales. A well performing portfolio will make more. Some portfolios end up competing with themselves.

Sadly I cannot provide any evidence of this benchmark number therefore you will have to treat it with caution.

That's perfectly believable __ it's only $10 per image/year. Having said that there are not that many contributors with portfolios of 10K. Fewer than 30 according to microstocktime.ru and only 40 with 9K+ although I think that list is a bit out of date.
Title: Re: Nervous breakdown - Istockphoto, what else? Exlcusivity etc...
Post by: aspp on December 27, 2012, 13:29
That's perfectly believable __ it's only $10 per image/year. Having said that there are not that many contributors with portfolios of 10K. Fewer than 30 according to microstocktime.ru and only 40 with 9K+ although I think that list is a bit out of date.

I believe it very roughly works out as the basis for a pro - rata calculation too. So a low - moderately performing folio of 5K images would probably be worth about 50K PA etc. I would guess that a typical 5K folio is doing better than that including Getty.

I believe that on average, the larger a portfolio the better it is likely to perform. Because your 1st 1K images are probably not as useful as your 2nd. And so on. Although obviously we can all think of folks who upload a greater number of images which pass inspection but are seldom likely to sell and might better suit an RM collection. And there are people with big folios who might trend better on the search by uploading shorter series from any given shoot or by, at least, staggering their uploads rather than uploading all of a shoot at one time.
Title: Re: Nervous breakdown - Istockphoto, what else? Exlcusivity etc...
Post by: aeonf on December 27, 2012, 13:55
Those numbers may have been true before IS had started going south big time.
We are at ~25K for over 5K images and our photos don't suck that much :)
Title: Re: Nervous breakdown - Istockphoto, what else? Exlcusivity etc...
Post by: aspp on December 27, 2012, 14:40
Those numbers may have been true before IS had started going south big time.
We are at ~25K for over 5K images and our photos don't suck that much :)

You are looking at the average over how many months or years ?

If you try to figure this on a month by month basis this would make no statistical sense. In that context any recent down should be statistically insignificant in terms of the average (although you obviously need to keep a gimlet eye on the trend). Unless you have been completely wiped out which seems unlikely.

I think you need to be looking at the average calculated over say the past 24 month period.
Title: Re: Nervous breakdown - Istockphoto, what else? Exlcusivity etc...
Post by: gostwyck on December 27, 2012, 14:50
Those numbers may have been true before IS had started going south big time.
We are at ~25K for over 5K images and our photos don't suck that much :)

You are looking at the average over how many months or years ?

If you try to figure this on a month by month basis this would make no statistical sense. In that context any recent down should be statistically insignificant in terms of the average (although you obviously need to keep a gimlet eye on the trend). Unless you have been completely wiped out which seems unlikely.

I think you need to be looking at the average calculated over say the past 24 month period.

From earlier posts I think aeonf is a relatively recent contributor who has been uploading heavily since they started. I reckon you only start to get anything like a meaningful 'average' once you hit the wall, usually after 5-6 years. Until you hit that point your numbers tend to be growing strongly each month-on-year and therefore earlier data becomes out-dated before it becomes useful (in terms of determining an 'average').
Title: Re: Nervous breakdown - Istockphoto, what else? Exlcusivity etc...
Post by: leaf on December 28, 2012, 18:00
theprint ([url]http://www.istockphoto.com/search/portfolio/14376#73d8574[/url]) is his iStock user name, in case you can't match real world name with member name. He is apparently not in any hurry to get his portfolio up on other sites.

MichaelJay ([url]http://www.istockphoto.com/user_view.php?id=1537218[/url]), formerly of the former Berlin office, has also dropped his crown. To be precise, both of them have started their 30 day clock although the crown isn't yet gonzo.


Thanks for linking that up
Title: Re: Nervous breakdown - Istockphoto, what else? Exlcusivity etc...
Post by: wolfman on December 29, 2012, 01:26
I reckon it's pretty much a given more defections are going to happen.

Quite a few high profile istockers I've been talking to are making plans - and if it does happen a couple of them will send a few shockwaves through Calgary HQ, unless of course they do special deals with specific contributors.
Title: Re: Nervous breakdown - Istockphoto, what else? Exlcusivity etc...
Post by: BaldricksTrousers on December 29, 2012, 04:57
... And in other new I saw that Rasmus Rasmussen dropped his crown. (for those who that means anything to). He was a long time istocker and reviewer.

A bit more than that, I think. Isn't he the guy who joined Istock as an intern from Norway under Bruce back in 04 and rapidly emerged as one of the star submitters and a member of the inner circle?
Title: Re: Nervous breakdown - Istockphoto, what else? Exlcusivity etc...
Post by: aeonf on December 29, 2012, 06:01
Those numbers may have been true before IS had started going south big time.
We are at ~25K for over 5K images and our photos don't suck that much :)

You are looking at the average over how many months or years ?

If you try to figure this on a month by month basis this would make no statistical sense. In that context any recent down should be statistically insignificant in terms of the average (although you obviously need to keep a gimlet eye on the trend). Unless you have been completely wiped out which seems unlikely.

I think you need to be looking at the average calculated over say the past 24 month period.

From earlier posts I think aeonf is a relatively recent contributor who has been uploading heavily since they started. I reckon you only start to get anything like a meaningful 'average' once you hit the wall, usually after 5-6 years. Until you hit that point your numbers tend to be growing strongly each month-on-year and therefore earlier data becomes out-dated before it becomes useful (in terms of determining an 'average').

Your thinking is correct, as you said it is hard to give such an average when over 150 images are added every month.
we have had over 5K images for over 3 months with an average monthly income of 1,850$
very far from the numbers being thrown here.
It does seem we hit some invisible "wall" but it also seems IS's performance is to blame and not our owns.
Up untill May/June everything was looking great.
Title: Re: Nervous breakdown - Istockphoto, what else? Exlcusivity etc...
Post by: gillian vann on January 06, 2013, 21:33


you're not competing with your local or regional photographers, you're actually against the whole world army of photographers shooting the same subjects and using your same gear !

as the OP pointed out, he's in Serbia and $1000 is a lot to him. like all crowdsourcing, we're competing against those who are happy with a much lower rate of pay. perhaps the agencies are dreaming of an army of african photographers, willing to work for $1/day.

 I'm no African but I would love to be one right now and ask you what did you mean with this remark about Africans!Maybe I'm wrong with what I'm writing here but please, READ AGAIN what you've wrote. Ok?

sorry, just saw this. Um, you are being a bit touchy I think?
I'm married to a Sth African so i have an insight into Africa too. I didn't mean anything awful, only to point out how cheap labour is there - much as it is in China now - and they will happily work for far less that what we will, because our cost of living is so much higher.
Title: Re: Nervous breakdown - Istockphoto, what else? Exlcusivity etc...
Post by: mirkic on January 08, 2013, 07:23


you're not competing with your local or regional photographers, you're actually against the whole world army of photographers shooting the same subjects and using your same gear !

as the OP pointed out, he's in Serbia and $1000 is a lot to him. like all crowdsourcing, we're competing against those who are happy with a much lower rate of pay. perhaps the agencies are dreaming of an army of african photographers, willing to work for $1/day.

 I'm no African but I would love to be one right now and ask you what did you mean with this remark about Africans!Maybe I'm wrong with what I'm writing here but please, READ AGAIN what you've wrote. Ok?

sorry, just saw this. Um, you are being a bit touchy I think?
I'm married to a Sth African so i have an insight into Africa too. I didn't mean anything awful, only to point out how cheap labour is there - much as it is in China now - and they will happily work for far less that what we will, because our cost of living is so much higher.

No, I'm sorry... as I stated, nervous breakdown :(
Anyways, point taken and right on spot :)

Few days and my ports will be live at, I think, nine agencies... I have a good feeling that it will all go better than "well"...
Title: Re: Nervous breakdown - Istockphoto, what else? Exlcusivity etc...
Post by: gostwyck on January 08, 2013, 08:08
Few days and my ports will be live at, I think, nine agencies... I have a good feeling that it will all go better than "well"...

Good luck with it! Make sure you stay as an independent for at least a year. It will probably take that long for your images to gain their rightful sort-order position, increase levels, etc. There's a few folk that have been so frightened by the initial loss of income that they've gone running straight back into Istock's arms. There's no future in that IMO.
Title: Re: Nervous breakdown - Istockphoto, what else? Exlcusivity etc...
Post by: mattdixon on January 08, 2013, 09:11
[Few days and my ports will be live at, I think, nine agencies... I have a good feeling that it will all go better than "well"...
Good luck!
How did you get your port onto 9 agencies so quickly?
Title: Re: Nervous breakdown - Istockphoto, what else? Exlcusivity etc...
Post by: mirkic on January 08, 2013, 12:39
@gostwyck

Well, I got nothing to lose, more to gain! My Getty sales are still higher than my Istock sales (footage) and they will remain to be higher cause I can only imagine how will my sales plunge after 30 days waiting period (even now I see few to no sales at all at Istock). But you never know with Getty. One month they are up 600% and the next they are non existent!
I know I'll make double at least what I make now at Istock, with 10 other agencies...
Also, prior to 2006 I was selling at SS, Fl, 123RF, CS, SC, BS, etc... Got accounts already and I know the "scratching head" feeling when some photos sell at certain agencies and others don't ... Different markets, different search placements, different buyers etc.

I gave Istock one whole year (almost) since starting this topic last year. And nothing. It wasn't me!
So, I'm more than willing to give more than one year to all the other agencies and see what will become out of that. Last year I was in doubt, and you can read that from my first several posts here! Now - no doubt :) Can't wait to start! 

@mattdixon

Got some wicked upload speeds and it's only limited by the agencies server speed. And I'm uploading since 26th November last year! Done with Pond5, Shutterstock, Motion Elements, Fotolia, ClipDealer, ClipCanvas. 2000+ clips uploaded at each agencie. All approved at SS, opted out of course, P5 keyworded and ready for inspection (a bit in dilemma there cause I don't know the review times there so I don't know when to "send them" for review). Clipdealer, awesome "thingy", they review the clips prior to entering metadata - so no "work for nothing"! Like that one a lot! Alamy hard drive with CSV already there, 123rf CSV also, as P5, RevoStock etc...

Shutterstock, Revostock, Canstock, 123rf, are "slower" for uploading, bellow 1, 2, mbs! Yet others are between 4 and 10 mbs! Fast enough for me! And all of my footage is rendered between 97 and 100 photo jpg mov so those files are laaaarge!

Still uploading to some agencies because of their server speeds (or whatever is causing slowdown in uploading) and entering metadata to the ones that doesn't have csv ability using DeepMeta! It's easy, I search my own portfolio, copy and paste keywords and rearrange some of those at some agencies that should be rearranged and that's it. Using IS model releases, contacted support of all the agencies involved asking if that's alright etc, positive answer, of course.
Alamy, SS, Revostock and ClipDealer were the fastest in "helping" to get my clips to them. Others I didn't have to contact cause it's more or less the same :)

So, got some week or so to keyword and do some heavy copy/paste/rearrange to do and then it will be, I hope, +-10 days that my portfolio will be online at all agencies making some well deserved money that Istock couldn't provide!

Also, can't wait to report here to anyone in similar situation as me, how things are going in the first month or two.

Cheers guys! And merry Christmas! Orthodox Christmas was yesterday here in Serbia so to anyone celebrating - have a blast this year and a lot of health and love! Also, to the people around the world that already celebrated in December - the same :))))

Cheers people! All the best to everyone!

Title: Re: Nervous breakdown - Istockphoto, what else? Exlcusivity etc...
Post by: gostwyck on January 08, 2013, 12:57
^^^ Good stuff! Keep us updated on your progress, there's a lot of people faced with the difficult decision on whether to take the plunge.
Title: Re: Nervous breakdown - Istockphoto, what else? Exlcusivity etc...
Post by: mirkic on August 12, 2014, 20:09
Hey guys! Two years and a few months after starting this thread I'm here with some info that may come in handy to someone in same situation like I was :)

Two years ago, Feb 2012, I was on a verge of a nervous breakdown regarding IS and it's new business habits. Money was way to low, sales were slow, no progress of any kind. Go to page one of this topic to refresh your memory for this one.

Anyways, that year started very clumsy and fearful but ended like my IS exclusivity. At the end of 2012 I've spread my footage portfolio (and some photos) to:
Pond5 (full port)
Shutterstock (full port)
Fotolia (full port but not all online. No csv support, high rejections and low prices)
123rf (full port)
Revostock (full port)
Clipdealer (few dozens of clips, very hard to do metadata, no csv support etc)
Canstockphoto (full port)
Depositphotos (full port)
Clipcanvas (few clips)
Lori.ru
and later that year to
Pixta (full port)
Motionelements (full port)
Dreamstime (last year I think, few hundred clips)

This year
Stockeon (several clips)
Dissolve (still uploading)


On most of the agencies, support was great, community (were exist) is cool and tech side of things is, well, ok.

My metadata (csv, xls) was a mess. File naming was as I exported them from premiere, ae or whatever. The stupid names like watertert01.mov, water02a.mov, mommywithdaughter.mov etc. So I had to rename all of those and match them with existing descriptions and keywords from IS. Did that manually. Through deepmeta. It got everything except original filenames of the files online. So one week after, I got my names and metadata right. Also, there are several programs out there that can help you guys with renaming files from text files and plain list files but that's another story.
Then my hard drive crashed and I lost over 600 files :( IS don't offer anymore dl of your own portfolio for money. They did opened the gates to my portfolio but only web resolution was available to dl. And I used that to download my whole audio portfolio cause that file naming was number id's and I knew that down the road I'm gona break the excl contract for audio too and that my audio metadata is even worse then footage so I used that benefit. And it payed out in 2013/2014 when I jumped the audio ship.

After a long intro comes even longer start :)

Files were uploaded to P5, SS, Fotolia and several others (can't remember) and keyworded (except the ones I wrote up). First mistake was the switch on SS to activate my whole portfolio. I think.
It sunken like a bag of rocks. No sales, no nothing. First week, month, second month, knees trembling, wife screaming, thinking to myself: “another mistake, you money hungry moron, now you have nothing...” and stuff like that... It never recovered and performed as I think it would if I was smart enough to pump in 50 after 50 after 50 files week after week. Later on more about SS.

Pond5 was a different kind of stress. Nothing was working. Views were broken, add to cart (stats) were maybe broken maybe not (added to cart with no views etc). But very quickly (relative), one month and longer, after first clips were online, some of them started selling. $70 a pop, $35 for me. I played a bit with prices to see how it goes and I settled on $60 per clip even though I sold several for $90 but long time passed between those sales. And then things started to shape up a bit on Pond5. I was levitating on $180 to $300 per month on P5. In my head that was a piece that was missing on IS. Month after month sales disappeared from IS. Footage sales. And P5 was making that right.

In that moment I had a downtrend regarding audio on IS. That was another disaster waiting to happen but more on that later on.

SS never woke up. I started getting sales every week. And it stopped at some $200 per month. That was a party breaker in my head. I have 2000+ files online and 10 dl's per month... bummer. At that point, even with much lower sales at SS and P5 than I expected, I passed the IS footage income just with those two. And I was still getting Getty footage sales which were about $200 to $400 per month depending on the mood of the guy that pushes the “give him some money for his clips” button at Getty HQ.

Other nice surprises were on the other, oooother side of the world. Asia. Pixta and Motion Elements were selling a clip per week for me. No mistake there. And I uploaded there cause in my head it was like – another market, different habits, different needs, maybe something will sell there. And it did and it still does. I'm gonna support those two that's for sure. Helpful, clean, smart, working, easy upload process, csv support. ... And Motion Elements is starting music (sound) and while I'm writing this, I'm finishing uploading my port there. When it will be live I don't know but it sure does sound tempting. Yet Shutter failed to deliver. They have announced music and partnered up with Rumblefish and that's it. No contribution, no nothing. I asked them on three different sides (four if you count forums) and answers were very different. Long story short – they wont be accepting music from contributors just yet OR they will be accepting and you can go to this link and apply OR what a great idea about sound effects Mirko, I'll let you know when we start accepting those, but not just yet :)))) Ok, I get it, it's a test balloon but I think (hope) they would skyrocket if they were to open the gates for audio guys... anyway, back on topic.

Asia – done! Awesome for starters.

Fotolia was/is very muddy if I can say it like that. I just can't get to finish my uploads over there. I keyword a batch and they reject everything, low commercial value. Several times like that and then they approve something and it get sold and I got like two bucks or something... just can't start with them properly but maybe I should give them a chance.

Canstockphoto and footage :)

Easy upload, everything online, a sale here and there. After one year, yesterday I made it to $100 :))) Enough said.

123rf.
Strange people I'll tell you. Nothing for weeks and then waterfall of sales. Nice ones. Since last year summer I'm getting payed every month there. And they have audio so that's a big plus for people like me. Double earning, footage plus sound. Will keep them that's for sure. And very easy upload process. Csv support, fast approvals, etc.

I know this is going into some kind of personal review of agencies but I'm just trying to explain how my non exclusive life was flowing for year and a half now. I hope you guys don't mind :)

Deposiphotos

They scared me when I finished uploading. Done the metadata, uploaded and they started adding it. The reviewers. Or someone else :) Don't know. They really tried hard to make things easier for contributor. I had several payments from them since.

Revostock

Great people, friendly, small company. Very, very helpful. I started there when they (I didn't know that at that time) were in a patent troll lawsuit over some piece of code on their website. Two years after, they won the lawsuit but were almost broke. And it was a one of a kind question for the contributors – could you guys wait with payments for a bit so we can stand on our feet (simplified and paraphrased  question from)? And all of the people there (almost) agreed to that. And we waited and got our payments after a short period of time. They are very transparent about were they are headed and what are their golds. A thing to admire in these times. I offered them a hand by proposing to do the sfx review for free for a couple of months cause they had to lay off the guy that was there doing it, and got several constructive conversation emails with Craig (owner) and I did that only because I knew they needed help at the moment. At the end I didn't do the extra work but I was glad my proposition was taken seriously and they needed a moral boost from every one. So, I gave them my part. Got a sale here and there. And they don't accept everything. That's good. Still have to do my audio port there and give that a chance. Big up for Revo from me.

Dreamstime.

They are hilarious. Started footage but their batch uploading process is (was I hope) a mistery for them too :))) I managed to upload several batches and I sold some clips there. Have to do all of them to see how it goes. No payment from them still.

Lori.ru

Mother Russia :) Nice people, nice agency, no sales.

Clip dealer and Clipcanvas
Nothing to say there

Stockeon

Very slick layout and strange for an agency. I'll give them a shoot cause I got a friend who sold several clips there. And every dime counts for me, sadly. They got csv for clips but for nothing else for that matter.

Dissolve
Aggressive approach to with all the adds popping everywhere on the net. Got a looooong write off with  George and several other people there and I hope they rise to be a strong and serious player in this world. They sound like that, look like that and I hope they will sell like that. I'm uploading my port there too. Very, very helpful and friendly folks. Also, some of them you know from IS.
I think we'll be seing more of them in the future (agency, not IS people :))

Now, after this strange list, I would like to say I didn't upload ALMOST one single new clip to any of the agencies for one whole year. There were some uploads but nothing that would keep the flow going (money). Guess what? It didn't rise and it didn't fall. The money is the same as it was one year ago :))) That's awesome. But not so awesome for someone like me who, last year in July, gave their resignation to the company they worked for over ten years as a layout editor for magazines in Ringier Axel Springer Serbia. Yes. I was imagining the day when I quit my day job and when I start doing stock full time. And it happened. Accidentally :) I had a fight (verbal) with one of the directors about something I didn't do, and I went to my vacation. Got and email on Sunday evening that my payment for June is being lowered 5%. And I dropped my job as I dropped my IS excl status. My wife was behind me all the way. One child 6 and the other several month old at that time. Five bank loans, living in rented apartment, paying off my camera, car, and credit cards and several phones and gadgets that we picked up on our way. Before, we had very little money. After that we had no money at all except stock and my wife's salary. Good timing, right :)))

Well, this is a follow up letter/post whatever :))) You guys said to keep you posted so here you go :)))

Anyways, nothing happened (crucial) till December last year when we found out that we are pregnant again :) Wife with baby, me with beer :) Then I realised that now there's no turning back! It was fun, but I had my job and stock was giving more boost in our lives but now it was over. No job, stock wasn't going up or down (thank god), and we're going to have out third kid :))) Wake up, wake up, wake up!!!

So in January I broke of audio exclusivity and started uploading everywhere. My index finger got injured from copy/paste. For real. No kidding here. I calculated that I pressed over 40.000 times the same buttons in one week. It took several months to heal.

Started shooting again, recording, playing music, doing everything. And for the first time in my life, I disregarded everything that was distracting me (news, fb, I wanna have my own blog, I want my own agency, I want to go fishing, I want to watch tv)... and started doing some serious things. I saw it as a business for the first time in my life. Ok, a bit fun in it, that's for sure but it was all fun for me back then. Now it's not so funny anymore.

Digression (not really)
Istock started selling my files on Iphone tone store since the beginning of the tone store in 2012. I was always in the top 10 or 50 files there. And it was some good money in 2012. Over 30.000 sales only from those 5 files there. And 30.000 people has my sounds for their notifications :))) How cool is that. Anyways, the Apple sales dried out. They are 5 to 20 per day now. And they were 100 to 150 per day back in 2012. Getty sales are still there. Sometimes $500 sometimes $1500... Sometimes $0... Can't figure those.

And yesterday I did my math (not meth) and here we go. 2013 was $3000 better non exclusively with IS and Getty counted in than just IS and Getty Excl in 2012. IS still counts but much less than before.

Could I done better? Hell yes! Shutterstock “portfolio switch” is a no no! Don't do it! Who ever is out there wondering the same thing, upload, keyword but send 50 by 50 everyday. And that's for all agencies, and google and caching and algorithms and best/fresh/newest match etc... That's only my opinion.

Pond is striking hard these days. SS also. I started working like a horse these past couple of weeks. Got over 1000 new clips and over 4000 new audio clips. And I'm preparing them for winter :))) 100 by 100. Uploading and sending to curator/reviewer :)

One year of doing nothing was still better than one year of doing everything at IS. And I didn't add anything to IS. Just for the record. And still got some great friends there at HQ.

Anyways, guys, I know this is a bit confusing but overall, being non exclusive is demanding a bit more work when you look at it that way but, he who uploaded 5000 clips to IS and disambiguated them knows that every single uploading system is easier than that one at IS. So, as I've said, a bit more work and it's paying off.

I wish sometimes to have only one agency and to work just with them (that's were Stocksy fit in but im not in yet) but that's just wishful thinking :)

My wife should give birth to our second daughter every day now. I gave her a green light, I said I was ready :)))) Trying not to fall under influence that I must read this and that and watch this and this and do that and that on the web. Just focusing on stock. Bought the cms account script from Anton. Got my own agency :))) For me only, no contributors etc. It's doing great. I bought several files from my self in the past couple of months and I'm always first in every search :))) Hehheheh. Didn't uploaded videos yet, but I'm on it. Just some photos and audios. Rigged it with Amazon s3 for storage and it's awesome like that. No cost, no slow servers etc. And I'm not a web programer, designer but I managed to make it happen. It's videoaudiostock.com. Need to change some colors, but it's kinda cool to have your own place. Also, I'm making my blog (don't know what to write but I'm making it that's for sure) about sound in microstock. No one is doing that right now. It's microstocksound.com. Not active. Just Hello World from WP. But I'm gonna invite you guys to my grand opening:)

And now, when stock is my only source of income and I can say, my job, it's getting even harder to think and not get stressed. Where we'll be in the next decade? 100 million files agencies? What search engine....
Trying not to think that much. Anyways, I salute you all, I'll say my prayers for Robbin Williams, he was my favorite actor and I'll go to sleep now.
I hope I helped someone out who is trying to get away from some nasty situation. Also, I hope I didn't put to sleep too many of you with this short retrospective :)

Yes, dropping the crown payed off. Yes, I'm balder and fatter than before :)
I would do it again.
Choice is a great thing.
Deciding is better.
Money is the best :)))

Cheers guys. Sorry for the long post. Got many info on most of the agencies now so if anyone wants to know something about footage or sound and certaing agencies, please, do ask.

Mirko.
 8)



Title: Re: Nervous breakdown - Istockphoto, what else? Exlcusivity etc...
Post by: cobalt on August 12, 2014, 21:10
Whow Mirko, what an adventure! Congratulations for getting the results you wanted and best of luck with the new baby :)

Thank you for sharing your experience.
Title: Re: Nervous breakdown - Istockphoto, what else? Exlcusivity etc...
Post by: mirkic on August 13, 2014, 04:56
No prob :) Sorry for the long read. This morning, I remembered many things that I have forgotten about that one year journey. Will fill in the details later on.
Title: Re: Nervous breakdown - Istockphoto, what else? Exlcusivity etc...
Post by: fotoVoyager on August 13, 2014, 05:02
Experiences like this are always interesting and relevant to read, not to mention extremely useful and encouraging to others going through the same process.

Great report - thanks for sharing!
Title: Re: Nervous breakdown - Istockphoto, what else? Exlcusivity etc...
Post by: bunhill on August 13, 2014, 05:19
If there was a donate button - I would donate a few $ for that interesting post. Value for value.
Title: Re: Nervous breakdown - Istockphoto, what else? Exlcusivity etc...
Post by: Monty-m-gue on August 13, 2014, 05:40
Thanks Mirkik. My daughter is just setting on the road to submitting stock footage. I just sent her the link to your post. Good luck for the future.
Title: Re: Nervous breakdown - Istockphoto, what else? Exlcusivity etc...
Post by: Petr Toman on August 14, 2014, 03:34
What a story. Congratulation for the hard work you have done, it payed off :)

I was just wondering, did you ever consider Alamy? As I dont see it on the list.
Title: Re: Nervous breakdown - Istockphoto, what else? Exlcusivity etc...
Post by: mirkic on August 14, 2014, 13:44
Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaand last nigh, Wednesday, 13th of August, at 23:06, in Belgrade, my third child, second daughter, inhaled her first breath :)))) Whooooooohooooo! Enough about that, back on topic... well, this is on topic, it's a nervous breakdown, but positive :))))

Anyways, @Toopy

I considered Alamy several years ago when I was still excl at IS and year after year I remember them (being midstock agency, I figure, hey more money for me) but I just cannot shake off the feeling - send us your hard drive and we'll do the rest... man, I live in middle ages regarding country and geographic location (stupid politicians broke the time machine dialer) and some of my fellow citizens act like they live in middle ages (almost) but to send a hard drive with my whole port by mail?!?! Even if it's a DHL or UPS or whatever... I don't think so. I know that many other agencies do that (getty) and that several years ago that was the least painful way of sending 1 tb of stock footage to an agency, but I just didn't do it. I pop in to check from time to time if they came to their senses and managed to implement FTP or web uploader for footage but nothing... You have to contact them, send them a link to your port, they review it and then they contact you and decide if they want or they don't want to work with you. Again, this is my personal decision and from the business side view, it's bad. I'm not selling through them cause I have a problem sending a hard drive to them... maybe I should talk to myself about that. Now that I think about it, I'm the one being jackass.
And I don't know anyone selling footage through them. Would like to know about pricing, percentage and how are sales there.

@Monty-m-gue
Just tell your daughter to keep uploading EVERY DAY. Even if it's just one clip, let it be one clip per day. But more something like 10 per day... I was told something like that regarding audio and best match at IS. So I just implemented it to everything else. Continuity. Every day, one, five, ten clips and in a year or two, she will feel good about her port. Again, just my personal observation. I'm faaaar away from some mega super seller etc :))) But I think that this advice can't hurt her.
And everything about the agencies I wrote in my "big post" is something I brushed off my mind at the time writing it. There's much more to each agency, good and bad. Don't take it for granted. We all have some opinion and, well, bugs in our heads that are influencing our working and living habits (I have a problem sending in a hard drive to Alamy and I'm missing some sales and money because of it, yet I talk about serious approach and working hard and bla,bla,bla,... get my point?).

@fotoVoyager
+1

@cobalt
Thanks! It's been a bumpy ride and it aint over yet :) Just starting.
Title: Re: Nervous breakdown - Istockphoto, what else? Exlcusivity etc...
Post by: mirkic on August 14, 2014, 13:46
@bunhill

That's a good idea :)
Title: Re: Nervous breakdown - Istockphoto, what else? Exlcusivity etc...
Post by: etudiante_rapide on August 14, 2014, 14:36
Experiences like this are always interesting and relevant to read, not to mention extremely useful and encouraging to others going through the same process.

Great report - thanks for sharing!

and 2 yrs l8er he comes back to relate this to us.
yes, definitely +1 , +10 if allowable here.

hello mirkic,  we don't know each other, never heard of you b4 today,
n i m sure u never heard of me either.
  :D :D :D
i read what u wrote with bevy . it is as fotov says great report.
also a lesson 2 show us, just bcos everyone say xxx site is great and zzz site is AWOT
does not mean it is going to be that way with urself.

congrats n much happiness re ur family n new addition(s).
it is a good read u sent us here aug 12
toast 2 u ,sir  8)

postdata-
1)  u r only in audio and footage, right?
nothing in photos, or were u in photos too with IS exclusive and the mentions of ss, ftl,dt.
2)also like 2 say, the initial curveballs u faced would have made many just throw in the towel.
but u didn't.
  u got strong stomach , dude ! 8)
Title: Re: Nervous breakdown - Istockphoto, what else? Exlcusivity etc...
Post by: mirkic on August 14, 2014, 16:38
@etudiante_rapide

Hey there! Nice to meet you :)

Yes, it's all individual regarding agencies except the obvious stuff (dpc at fotolia, istock doing an istock on itself, getty being getty etc...) People express their opinions and thoughts and others agree cause of the similar experiences with the matter in hand or they don't and then we talk to each other trying to get to the bottom of things.
I know that I never understood Istock to the core. Ever. No matter what I did, I was mediocre there (still am) compering myself to some of my friends with much, much more money and success (IS exclusives). But when I jumped the ship, a whole new world opened up to me. Sometimes scary and sometimes wonderful. It kinda showed me where I can end up. With low sales and me not working - dead end. I might as well stayed at IS and linger on. But when I start working and thinking about what I'm working on and why I'm working - sales start pouring in (well, not really but I had days like, 20 audio sales and 5 video sales on one agency at morning, and the other ones were just warming up for that day/week - that happened maybe twice and with not the exact numbers but it was a wind in my back. Earning a $700 for a day is a great deal for me. Also, earning $500 a month from all agencies is a big deal)
I got problems with some agencies and I feel free to express that problems publicly so I could show some week spots or mistakes I've made during the process of rebuilding my Istock earnings on other sites so someone could avoid them or someone could point out at some other stuff or just help with the those problems.
By all means, everything here is 100% truth and it's also only my opinion derived from two years of experience dealing with stuff that I was afraid to deal with in the beginning of this thread. I also think that there are many people asking the same questions I was asking myself when I was at IS. I hope I can help :))

I started with photos at IS in 2006, and it was a hilarious start, I can say :) Wasn't exclusive from the beginning but when footage kicked in, I was all IS. Had much more photos but deleted almost a half cause I divorced my wife back then and just didn't want to have those online (it was a great divorce and beautiful marriage, believe me, we just lost ourselves during the journey and continued as great friends) and that was a mistake cause few years later she told me something like "are you crazy, we all need that money, put those photos online again..." :) something like that. But I didn't. It wasn't fair to her even though she wanted them back online:)  And, those were my bestsellers :(  Trashed half of my video portfolio also... Anyways, enough personal chit chat. I was selling back then till 2008, everywhere. LuckyOliver, Featurepics, SS, Ft, Dt, Bs, IS, Inmagine, etc... It was ok, but video just blew all that out of the water. Money x4 in several months when I started contributing to IS. I stopped doing photos almost right away.

And audio... well, I love it. Went to Las Vegas on first AudioLypse. All expenses paid by IS. Made some great friendships and learned a lot. Got to know SJLocke there for some 15 minutes in some irish pub as I remember :) I asked him - how do you pronounce your name (that was a mystery for me when I had to say it out loud when I was talking to a living person, not writing on my comp), and I think I asked him something like - what's up with the IS forum attitude man? (he, as always, had some witty comment about everything and some people liked him and some liked him a bit less... :) Something like that. Can't remember.
Back OT. I was convinced that it will NEVER END. Me and ISaudio. But it did. Sadly.

And regarding curveballs, I don't know. crap happens. (sorry for the language). You just take it and that's it. Don't know what else to say about it :)

Look at me, writing miles again. Sorry for that. Just feeling good and I'm still sober :)
Hope this helps.

Title: Re: Nervous breakdown - Istockphoto, what else? Exlcusivity etc...
Post by: etudiante_rapide on August 14, 2014, 17:41
@etudiante_rapide

Hey there! Nice to meet you :)
...
Look at me, writing miles again. Sorry for that. Just feeling good and I'm still sober :)
Hope this helps.

i wanted 2 say that too, in my first comment to u ( that here is someone refusing 2b victimized and beaten, ... easier 2 say, he comes in totally-pissed, but he isn't.
not pissed-off, neither pissed.)

u won , so it's ur victory ... n u r allowed 2 write as many miles as u wish.
2 years of battle won.  n as u said, it's not just all roses.

very inspiring. congrats n i m sure this is just the beginning 4 u. footage n audio.
seems like u r on the right track since Oringer too, seems 2 b looking at audio (HELL !!!  :D :D :D)
thx much 4 the long story. it 's the best read i had here in a long time.
goes very well with my wine  ;)
Title: Re: Nervous breakdown - Istockphoto, what else? Exlcusivity etc...
Post by: Hobostocker on August 14, 2014, 22:32
@mirkic

sending a hdd to alamy is no problem, just use a decent courier like UPS or EMS or DHL.

but the issue is they will consider the entire hdd as one single batch, so if for whatever reason their feel some of the images are not up to their QC standards they can reject the whole hdd !

another way is to send them a pack of CDs or DVDs, like 50 or 100 DVDs, in that case they told me each DVD will be accept as a single batch, so if rejection happens you won't lose everything, of course burning 100 dvd is going to take a sh-itload of time compared to hdd ...

they probably accept also memory cards, but that's not the point, the point is Alamy should seriously get their sh-it together, it's pointless to reject entire batches of 100K images because one of their underpaid QC guys in India feels so !