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Author Topic: Sales slump  (Read 65439 times)

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« Reply #175 on: August 17, 2010, 12:51 »
0
There are plenty of "real" looking ordinary people in microstock. 

Problem is they are nearly impossible to find, drowned as they are in a sea of Yuri's and Monkeybusiness's  perfect looking, cookie cutter images. 

If the micro sites don't find a way in their search engines to allow the real people type images to see the light of day, they will continue to lose buyers to Flikr and the like.   And adding the keyphrase "real people" isn't helpful because buyers don't know to search for it. 

Although there is some demand for 'real people' there surely has to be a much greater demand for the cookie-cutter type images (which mostly make me puke) otherwise they wouldn't dominate the search results and/or Yuri et al would be doing them as well. You know what they say "Stock photography is largely about portraying the world as we'd like it to be, not how it is". Can you imagine the classic 'girl wearing headset' shot being a popular seller if it featured an overweight, bored-looking individual who is most probably the sort of person you usually get to speak to. Now that would be real.

'Real people' is a good start to defining the less set-up style shots although it is such a subjective judgement I don't know how it could be accurately policed. After all just about every successful stock image has been very carefully set-up. The only significant difference is how much the photographer paid out for their sets and models.


lagereek

« Reply #176 on: August 17, 2010, 13:06 »
0
There are plenty of "real" looking ordinary people in microstock. 

Problem is they are nearly impossible to find, drowned as they are in a sea of Yuri's and Monkeybusiness's  perfect looking, cookie cutter images. 

If the micro sites don't find a way in their search engines to allow the real people type images to see the light of day, they will continue to lose buyers to Flikr and the like.   And adding the keyphrase "real people" isn't helpful because buyers don't know to search for it. 


Hi Lisa!

Exactly!!!!!!   but as you say, they are well and truly hidden. Micro has to wake up to the fact the Barbie and Ken era is over. The RM has realized it!!

lagereek

« Reply #177 on: August 17, 2010, 13:10 »
0
There are plenty of "real" looking ordinary people in microstock. 

Problem is they are nearly impossible to find, drowned as they are in a sea of Yuri's and Monkeybusiness's  perfect looking, cookie cutter images. 

If the micro sites don't find a way in their search engines to allow the real people type images to see the light of day, they will continue to lose buyers to Flikr and the like.   And adding the keyphrase "real people" isn't helpful because buyers don't know to search for it. 

Although there is some demand for 'real people' there surely has to be a much greater demand for the cookie-cutter type images (which mostly make me puke) otherwise they wouldn't dominate the search results and/or Yuri et al would be doing them as well. You know what they say "Stock photography is largely about portraying the world as we'd like it to be, not how it is". Can you imagine the classic 'girl wearing headset' shot being a popular seller if it featured an overweight, bored-looking individual who is most probably the sort of person you usually get to speak to. Now that would be real.

'Real people' is a good start to defining the less set-up style shots although it is such a subjective judgement I don't know how it could be accurately policed. After all just about every successful stock image has been very carefully set-up. The only significant difference is how much the photographer paid out for their sets and models.

Nope!  this time your slightly wrong. We are led to believe so by the glossiness but in reality I woulod say its pretty much on par. I see it every day.

donding

  • Think before you speak
« Reply #178 on: August 17, 2010, 13:14 »
0
There are plenty of "real" looking ordinary people in microstock. 

Problem is they are nearly impossible to find, drowned as they are in a sea of Yuri's and Monkeybusiness's  perfect looking, cookie cutter images. 

If the micro sites don't find a way in their search engines to allow the real people type images to see the light of day, they will continue to lose buyers to Flikr and the like.   And adding the keyphrase "real people" isn't helpful because buyers don't know to search for it. 

Yes there are and they are buried. Most buyers don't want to dig to find them. They are buried under the model shots simply because those are still popular and were popular in the past and have been downloaded time and time again. I don't know how a site would be able to separate the two. You do a search for most popular...you get the most downloaded. You do a search with best match...it's going to pull up a variety, but the most downloaded will probably be on top..If you do a search by the newest.....you might find some and maybe not. Buyers don't feel like digging through the pages and pages of images just to find that one shot.

« Reply #179 on: August 17, 2010, 13:28 »
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But how do you keyword these "real" shots? Do you use the keyword "real", or is "candid" more well known amongst buyers?

donding

  • Think before you speak
« Reply #180 on: August 17, 2010, 13:37 »
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But how do you keyword these "real" shots? Do you use the keyword "real", or is "candid" more well known amongst buyers?

Anymore I use "candid" "natural" "human".....as to rather that works or not I don't know because I don't have a portfolio full of people shots.

lagereek

« Reply #181 on: August 17, 2010, 13:44 »
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Look guys, when I said "real" people, obviously I dont mean candid shots of people looking wide-eyed, pimply and with crocked teeth but real people still looking good. Thats all.
The glossy stuff might be the most popular, sure but times are changing, maybe not now but in a few years time that will be it. So its important that micro is not lagging behind.
Take a long good look at some of the worlds leading brand names, how they have changed their advertising and PR language, changed their slogans, etc.
banking world for example, gone is the luxury car and bungalow, today its about security for the older couple just pensioned off or the ordinary young couple, happy with just having a decent job and some savings.
Its not Hollywood anymore. After all financial derpressions its more like skidrow.

donding

  • Think before you speak
« Reply #182 on: August 17, 2010, 13:59 »
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Look guys, when I said "real" people, obviously I dont mean candid shots of people looking wide-eyed, pimply and with crocked teeth but real people still looking good. Thats all.

Candid to me isn't snap shots. Candid to me is natural looking shots of people in natural environments, not appearing posed, but natural. I don't consider candid as wide-eyed, pimply person with crooked teeth smiling big at the camera. That to me is a snap shot.

« Reply #183 on: August 17, 2010, 14:03 »
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The glossy stuff might be the most popular, sure but times are changing, maybe not now but in a few years time that will be it. So its important that micro is not lagging behind.

Nope __ you forget that micro is a volume business. Getting the occasional sale on macro might be fine but it won't pay the bills at micro prices. The world isn't changing any time soon because humans are biologically programmed to like looking at beautiful people. Almost all the people you see on advertisements are so uncommonly good-looking that they are literally freaks of nature. I'll believe the world is changing when the most popular movie stars look like 'ordinary' people. Movies are largely about escapism (from the relative drudgery of ordinary life) and so is stock photography.

« Reply #184 on: August 17, 2010, 14:12 »
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Since I became exclusive, my sales went downhill.

After F5 alive, my sale number rarely changes when I hit F5. Now I am at the bottom.

It is so depressing.

« Reply #185 on: August 17, 2010, 14:19 »
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Perfect looking people are not real?    :'(

« Reply #186 on: August 17, 2010, 14:21 »
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Perfect looking people are not real?    :'(
Ever heard of 'Adobe Photoshop'?

« Reply #187 on: August 17, 2010, 14:25 »
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Perfect looking people are not real?    :'(
Ever heard of 'Adobe Photoshop'?
Ever heard of perfect looking people 100% natural?

« Reply #188 on: August 17, 2010, 14:30 »
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Ever heard of perfect looking people 100% natural?

Yes I've heard of them but, like fairies, mermaids and leprechauns, I've never actually seen any.

« Reply #189 on: August 17, 2010, 15:21 »
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The trend may be changing, but whenever I have done a search for a people-shot of some kind of profession or situation and sort the results by number of downloads, the beautiful/handsome people have the most downloads and the normal-looking people are at the end.  Not only are the bestsellers uncommonly good looking, but they're often better dressed and more excessively made up than real people would be.

Another problem is that "real" people tend to have real jobs and have no financial motivation to pose for stock photos, and don't particularly feel like giving away freebies to photographers.  And for professional reasons they do not want their picture showing up all over stock websites or worse in a billboard or magazine ad.

As for the scene looking fake or not ... the problem is that more "real" the situation is, the harder to control the lighting, the more people in the shot from whom model releases are required, and the more copyrighted or trademarked objects which appear.  I shot in a "real" elementary school classroom the other day and there was hardly a square inch that did not have copyrighted materials displayed.  I had to do a lot of re-arranging and the teacher was not thrilled at the number of posters, etc. that I took off the walls and the number of desks that I moved.  Even if you do all the work to create the lighting, get the model releases or shoo people out of the way, and remove and/or photoshop trademarks etc., such a photo might not sell - because the real world is chaotic and messy, but graphic artists need to tell simple, clear stories with the materials they create.  Often what they are selling is a product or service whose selling point is simplicity, clarity, ease of use, etc. so photos are required which help to give this impression.

Also, most people think they are better-than-average looking, they want to associate with other good-looking people, and they react more positively to pictures of beautiful people than of normal or ugly people.  The crude expression in English is "sex sells" but to give a more Darwinian definition, "good genes sell".  Curves, muscles, good bone structure, thick hair and robust youthfulness are all signs of genetic fitness and primates are naturally attracted to these individuals not only as potential mates, but as good providers from whom they could benefit by association.

But I'm not a graphic artist and I don't know any personally - I would still like anyone out there who buys photos regularly to add their comments and show what they consider to be good and bad examples.

KB

« Reply #190 on: August 17, 2010, 15:33 »
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If the micro sites don't find a way in their search engines to allow the real people type images to see the light of day
iStock's CV has the term real people in it.  ;D

But the problem with that is twofold: 1). Buyers don't necessarily know to use that term in their search; and 2). As always, there are plenty of photographers who, knowingly or not, include the term when it's quite obviously not relevant.

Both problems can be solved, but I haven't seen any effort made towards doing so lately.

lisafx

« Reply #191 on: August 17, 2010, 16:20 »
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The glossy stuff might be the most popular, sure but times are changing, maybe not now but in a few years time that will be it. So its important that micro is not lagging behind.

Nope __ you forget that micro is a volume business. Getting the occasional sale on macro might be fine but it won't pay the bills at micro prices. The world isn't changing any time soon because humans are biologically programmed to like looking at beautiful people. Almost all the people you see on advertisements are so uncommonly good-looking that they are literally freaks of nature. I'll believe the world is changing when the most popular movie stars look like 'ordinary' people. Movies are largely about escapism (from the relative drudgery of ordinary life) and so is stock photography.

I definitely take your point.  Mostly the movies still are full of the most beautiful looking people.  Particularly American movies. 

One reason I really enjoy watching British movies is that the actors are much more real looking.  If Judy Dench or Helen Mirren was American they would have had 20 facelifts each by now.  Thank God they haven't!

And even in (Independent) American movies, real people are starting to get more leading rolls.  Paul Giamatti and Steve Buscemi seem to be keeping quite busy. 

« Reply #192 on: August 17, 2010, 16:34 »
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There is a certain difference in advertising between USA and Europe. Here in Europe we tend to have more "normal" looking people in ads instead of the "too beautiful" that are seen in the USA. We here in Europe tend to think that the more realistic people are also more believable.

(NOTE: with "normal" I don't mean ugly people, just that they are not outlandishly exotic looking but still attractive in their own way)
« Last Edit: August 17, 2010, 16:36 by Perry »

RacePhoto

« Reply #193 on: August 17, 2010, 16:35 »
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The glossy stuff might be the most popular, sure but times are changing, maybe not now but in a few years time that will be it. So its important that micro is not lagging behind.

Nope __ you forget that micro is a volume business. Getting the occasional sale on macro might be fine but it won't pay the bills at micro prices. The world isn't changing any time soon because humans are biologically programmed to like looking at beautiful people. Almost all the people you see on advertisements are so uncommonly good-looking that they are literally freaks of nature. I'll believe the world is changing when the most popular movie stars look like 'ordinary' people. Movies are largely about escapism (from the relative drudgery of ordinary life) and so is stock photography.

I definitely take your point.  Mostly the movies still are full of the most beautiful looking people.  Particularly American movies. 

One reason I really enjoy watching British movies is that the actors are much more real looking.  If Judy Dench or Helen Mirren was American they would have had 20 facelifts each by now.  Thank God they haven't!

And even in (Independent) American movies, real people are starting to get more leading rolls.  Paul Giamatti and Steve Buscemi seem to be keeping quite busy. 

Hilary Swank is kind of "normal" looking and popular also.

Back on topic, I think marketing people will always want natural looking, above average appearance people. You want to make your product popular by association. Well dressed, intelligent, good looking people, use this = so should you!  ;D Phony or not, it's advertising, not reality or the truth.

cmcderm1

  • Chad McDermott - Elite Image Photography
« Reply #194 on: August 17, 2010, 16:54 »
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Yeah - definitely slower.  Summer slump or a longer term trend.  I hope for the summer slump!!!

vonkara

« Reply #195 on: August 17, 2010, 17:10 »
0
There are plenty of "real" looking ordinary people in microstock. 

Problem is they are nearly impossible to find, drowned as they are in a sea of Yuri's and Monkeybusiness's  perfect looking, cookie cutter images. 

If the micro sites don't find a way in their search engines to allow the real people type images to see the light of day, they will continue to lose buyers to Flikr and the like.   And adding the keyphrase "real people" isn't helpful because buyers don't know to search for it. 

This is exactly my problem most of times. This and having several different images from the same model, in different situation. What I dislike the most with perfect shot, it's the nonexistent shadow everywhere in the image. I won't even talk about the blown out, that you cant recover easily.

Those perfect images are the same as those info-publicity at television. It's only good when you advertise H2O Vacuum's and try to hide the truth, it's a crappy product...

lagereek

« Reply #196 on: August 17, 2010, 17:14 »
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The glossy stuff might be the most popular, sure but times are changing, maybe not now but in a few years time that will be it. So its important that micro is not lagging behind.

Nope __ you forget that micro is a volume business. Getting the occasional sale on macro might be fine but it won't pay the bills at micro prices. The world isn't changing any time soon because humans are biologically programmed to like looking at beautiful people. Almost all the people you see on advertisements are so uncommonly good-looking that they are literally freaks of nature. I'll believe the world is changing when the most popular movie stars look like 'ordinary' people. Movies are largely about escapism (from the relative drudgery of ordinary life) and so is stock photography.

I definitely take your point.  Mostly the movies still are full of the most beautiful looking people.  Particularly American movies. 

One reason I really enjoy watching British movies is that the actors are much more real looking.  If Judy Dench or Helen Mirren was American they would have had 20 facelifts each by now.  Thank God they haven't!

And even in (Independent) American movies, real people are starting to get more leading rolls.  Paul Giamatti and Steve Buscemi seem to be keeping quite busy. 

Hilary Swank is kind of "normal" looking and popular also.

Back on topic, I think marketing people will always want natural looking, above average appearance people. You want to make your product popular by association. Well dressed, intelligent, good looking people, use this = so should you!  ;D Phony or not, it's advertising, not reality or the truth.

Sure but were not talking movies, opera, Hollywood, gucci, valentino or Armani here, were talking Micro, you know, the last resort for somebody who doesnt have money to spend on shots.
Lets not overestimate the macros and micros, theres nothing exclusive about it and theres no reason to go deep down in the philosophy.
Its just a bottomless pit of pictures off the peg, thats all.
The glossy stuff will ofcourse always be there but the natural look is getting more and more used, in fact in the world of big-time advertising, corporate its pretty often preffered, then again its right here the big money is.

« Reply #197 on: August 17, 2010, 21:48 »
0
Back on topic, I think marketing people will always want natural looking, above average appearance people.
Quote
It has been said that image buyers want real people, guys and gals nextdoor. Plain friendly people that everybody can identify with. But that's simply not true. What they like and what viewers of advertisement like are models they wished to live nextdoor, not the ones that actually live nextdoor.
( from What sells?)

lagereek

« Reply #198 on: August 18, 2010, 00:37 »
0
Back on topic, I think marketing people will always want natural looking, above average appearance people.
Quote
It has been said that image buyers want real people, guys and gals nextdoor. Plain friendly people that everybody can identify with. But that's simply not true. What they like and what viewers of advertisement like are models they wished to live nextdoor, not the ones that actually live nextdoor.
( from What sells?)



Well right this moment ( hence this thread)  the supply is outstripping the demand by far. IS buyers seem to have run for cover and its the same right across the board. Doesnt say very much for the glossy or natural stuff, does it?
I mean theres got to be a sure sign of lousy market when buyers ask to remove the Vettas from mainstream and yet they only cost, what? about 30 bucks, isnt it?  and its not because of summertime, its been and gone.
« Last Edit: August 18, 2010, 00:39 by lagereek »

« Reply #199 on: August 18, 2010, 01:15 »
0
Quote
It has been said that image buyers want real people, guys and gals nextdoor. Plain friendly people that everybody can identify with. But that's simply not true. What they like and what viewers of advertisement like are models they wished to live nextdoor, not the ones that actually live nextdoor.
( from What sells?)

Exactly!  I Agree 100% 


 

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