MicrostockGroup Sponsors


Author Topic: start again?  (Read 13814 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

« Reply #25 on: February 11, 2009, 10:25 »
0
Hey jmich,
I used to feel the same about iStock but although I'm just a hobbyist photographer and first of all a designer/buyer, I managed to reach bronze and a few payments on IS with only 60 images. The upload process is a big turn off but that's only the cherry on the cake because my real problem is the amount of time spent on post-processing specifically for IS. My acceptance rate is around 60% and almost all the rejections are for artifacting with resubmit option. I never resubmit though, I prefer to upload again on a new slot if I ever decide to correct an image. For your encouragement, I have to mention that I shoot jpg with a 6MP ..bridge camera  ::) *blush*
So, nothing is impossible, it only depends on your dedication/motivation.
As for subjects, just try to have diversity in your portfolio and if you cannot shoot people for various reasons, try to shoot only body parts. It's still better than isolated red apples  ;)
I'm just a tiny little contributor but I hope you can find some use in what I wrote. Good luck!
 


lisafx

« Reply #26 on: February 11, 2009, 10:53 »
0
My experience on istock is that more and more it is about whether you are uploading exclusive images, rather than the quality of the images you are uploading. 

I have been there over 4 years and maintained over a 90% acceptance rate.  Lately that has sunk to more like 50%.  In spite of having better gear (5D I & II, L lenses, full studio with strobes etc.)and turning out much better quality work they are rejecting images for things like "isolation too feathered or rough", "artifacting" and anything else they can throw in - including keywords male and man on a picture of a man from the neck down.  You aren't going to convince me that the head is essential to identifying a person as a man, LOL. 

I have had very good luck when I have bothered to submit to Scout, but unless it is something I REALLY want to be in my port there I rarely bother. 

No offense intended to the majority of exclusives - they are extremely talented and produce beautiful work - but judging from SOME of the images getting approved in the exclusive queue, there is a big difference in what will be accepted from exclusives vs. non. 

It is painfully obvious from both the ever shrinking UL limits and increasing rejections that istock is trying to weed independents out and increase the proportion of their exclusive collection.

I am one that still reports istock as my top selling site, but the bulk of my portfolio was uploaded when they still wanted non-exclusive images.  If I was just starting out I don't think I would waste too much time trying to upload to them. 

« Reply #27 on: February 11, 2009, 11:04 »
0
I resubmit almost every photo that is allowed. Working as a graphic artist I will sometimes go through seven rounds of revisions on a project so IS asking to fix something on a photo and resubmit seems totally normal. In about a year on IS have 276 photos online. Probably about 1/2 of those were resubmitted.

yecatsdoherty

« Reply #28 on: February 11, 2009, 12:24 »
0
Lisa - that sucks. because I am exclusive, I rarely look at things from a non-exclusive perspective. I would guess that you are correct, because I know you well enough to know that you wouldn't suggest something simply as a conspiracy theory to stir things up. if they are going to treat non-exclusiives as inferior, they should clearly delineate those policies so that people can make educated decisions about their exclusivity.



« Reply #29 on: February 11, 2009, 12:32 »
0
I am one that still reports istock as my top selling site, but the bulk of my portfolio was uploaded when they still wanted non-exclusive images.

Same here. All that gets downloaded is my old crap from 2-3 years ago. My recent stuff doesn't get any downloads at all.

lisafx

« Reply #30 on: February 11, 2009, 12:41 »
0
Lisa - that sucks. because I am exclusive, I rarely look at things from a non-exclusive perspective. I would guess that you are correct, because I know you well enough to know that you wouldn't suggest something simply as a conspiracy theory to stir things up. if they are going to treat non-exclusiives as inferior, they should clearly delineate those policies so that people can make educated decisions about their exclusivity.


Thanks Stacey :).  I agree, it would be nice if the policies were more clearly stated. 

Funny thing is I tend to be one that discounts conspiracy theories in general. 

I will admit I am a bit PO'd at the moment about my latest slew of rejections.  But I really have noticed a striking increase in apparently random rejections from IS the past few months.  If it isn't a desire to thin the non-exclusive herd then it might be the result of large numbers of new inspectors who are still getting their "sea legs". 

Whatever the cause, it is discouraging, and I don't want relative newbs to think it is just them.  It's happening to us old-timers too.

« Reply #31 on: February 11, 2009, 14:01 »
0
I will admit I am a bit PO'd at the moment about my latest slew of rejections.  But I really have noticed a striking increase in apparently random rejections from IS the past few months.  If it isn't a desire to thin the non-exclusive herd then it might be the result of large numbers of new inspectors who are still getting their "sea legs". 

Whatever the cause, it is discouraging, and I don't want relative newbs to think it is just them.  It's happening to us old-timers too.

Yep, happening to me too. It wasn't so long ago that IS inspections were extremely predictable and a credit to the training and consistency of the inspectors. Nowadays I think they must 'inspect' my images by flipping a coin and then inventing 'artifacts' out of nowhere if the coin comes up tails. I also get the impression there's a lot of anti-independent inspectors out there __ especially when you see some of the horrors that exclusives can get away with.

I get virtually no rejections from anywhere else. I've been doing this for more than long enough to know when an image may be 'borderline'. I shoot with a 1Ds MkIII so if there is any potential technical issues I 'll just shrink the image down to ensure the 'problem' disappears.

yecatsdoherty

« Reply #32 on: February 11, 2009, 15:13 »
0
well, if it alleviates any fears, a good friend of mine who is exclusive and one of the top earners regularly gets ridiculous rejections lately, all of which have been overturned by Scout.

and I had a whole slew of images rejected of the same model because the inspector claimed they could not read my 300dpi, 2K pixels by 3K pixels model release. it turned out to be their technical issue. the files have all been accepted now. I think they must have hired new inspectors or something, who knows.

I do think non-exclusives are getting pushed away gradually. I can't imagine why, though I do feel exclusivity should carry perks, I also believe that some of the best work on iStock is from non-exclusives who are big earners for the site.

whatever, I am too busy licking my wounds today from my unfortunate forage into the best match thread waters today. I have been avoiding IS forums, but made the mistake of going in again today. stupid stacey.

lisafx

« Reply #33 on: February 11, 2009, 18:15 »
0
well, if it alleviates any fears, a good friend of mine who is exclusive and one of the top earners regularly gets ridiculous rejections lately, all of which have been overturned by Scout.


Actually, it does help to know it is not just independents getting the baffling increase in rejections. Glad your friend was able to get them overturned.  Wish me luck in my current Scout tickets...

Quote
whatever, I am too busy licking my wounds today from my unfortunate forage into the best match thread waters today. I have been avoiding IS forums, but made the mistake of going in again today. stupid stacey.

I haven't checked their forums today, but I am sorry to hear you got slapped again.  If it makes you feel any better I am very happy you discovered this group.  I, for one, always appreciate your articulate, well thought out postings and outspoken manner.  I am sure I am not the only one :)

« Reply #34 on: February 11, 2009, 19:36 »
0
Well, thanks for all the replies everybody...

I'm not about to dump my camera just yet. I just "upgraded" from a d70 to a d80 not too long ago. I realize thats not a huge leap, but a small step forward in my book. I like it much better than the d70. But I don't make nearly enough money to upgrade just yet. I'll keep truckin along with what I have - it's been doing me well more recently anyway. I don't mind  post work really...if it requires too much then its probably not very good to begin with. If I start making more money from my photography, not just from stock, but from other ways, Id love to upgrade. Its just not in the cards right now.

As for rejection reasons...this was months ago...could have been a slew of things from what I remember. I remember some lighting, noise, and limited value or something along those lines. Like I said before, I may have uploaded a lot of old junk...I think when I get some time I will definitely try again. I'll have to post how that works out for me - possibly with examples and rejection reasons if there are any - and then see what you all have to say.

I appreciate all the replies though. :)

« Reply #35 on: February 11, 2009, 19:43 »
0
@ Jmich,
hi there, nice to meet you :)
I'm a newbie, just like yourself and started uploading to IS a few months ago. It only took me a few weeks to absolutely hate them.
1. Uploading process is painful and a complete failure.
Nothing works as it should, except for the-annoying-the-hell-out-of-me reminder page with : I truly am the only one owner, definitely there are no people in my image and no, I swear! I did not steal any parts of this work.
The darn thing comes back at you, again, and again, and again ...  
2. Rejections are so absurd it becomes clear what their real meaning is - we don't want you here, get out!
Please resubmit?
I've heard some horror stories about resubmitting. I have never done it and don't think I ever will.
3. Pending time can be over 2 weeks long. Longer than anywhere else I've submitted and yes, it goes on my nerves to have to wait that long.
4. Both sales and views are the lowest.
Please keep in mind that I'm a newbie with a portfolio of only about 160 images. This info may not be relevant, but the numbers are there. IS is the lowest.
5. Their search engine is heavily biased and it is not for the benefit of the buyer. The best image doesn't win. Instead, regardless of quality, relevance and beauty, the exclusive one does.
6. Their entire site, their forum, the community, has a feeling (to me) of anger. They're like a pack of wolves and there is nothing artistic, generous or friendly about them.
They're constantly at each other's throats, caustic and cinic.
Ugly.
Before you make up your mind I want to direct your attention to Lisa's post.
Read it again.
Upload to IS if you want to, but be aware of everything she said.
It happened to a diamond, it will happen to you too.
Best of luck!
Anna

« Reply #36 on: February 11, 2009, 20:00 »
0
GAH! I just replied to you Anna and was logged out before I posted. Therefore, lost a long post. I guess I'll just make this one short.

I took everyones advice and decided to try a few more. I just uploaded 3 of my recent files that have been accepted at 3-4 other sites that I think may be more of what they are looking for. I'll try it out, see what happens and move on if it doesn't work out. I'm not going to make a big thing out of it. If they dont want me, they dont have to have me. Alls well. I hate their upload process anyway! So there! Haha. It's really a matter of my being lazy and not wanting to have to keep uploading through their awful process if I get no where.

I appreciate everyones posts. Maybe when I have more recent information (like, what happens with these files) I might be back for some feedback. ;)

yecatsdoherty

« Reply #37 on: February 11, 2009, 22:29 »
0
Anna - I think you are making a whole lot of generalizations, based on little knowledge of the company, its policies or its processes. though I am certainly the wrong person to defend iStock right now, I will anyways because most of what you said is pretty far off. there are things they are doing wrong right now IMO...and I can see a newbie having the impression that there is anger. but there is also a huge community of people willing to help others, as long as you have a good tolerance for sarcasm and the odd a55hole chiming in...

you can think whatever you want about anything, but posting a list of problems with a site you know little about makes no sense.

I think non-exclusives and exclusives are bonded more than ever right now, because so many of us are losing sales.....real experience and not anecdotal surmising should be the bulk of posts as far as I am concerned...
« Last Edit: February 11, 2009, 22:31 by yecatsdoherty »

bittersweet

« Reply #38 on: February 11, 2009, 23:25 »
0
whatever, I am too busy licking my wounds today from my unfortunate forage into the best match thread waters today. I have been avoiding IS forums, but made the mistake of going in again today. stupid stacey.

Ouch. To be honest I have been purposely avoiding that thread. As is always the case, those on top will attempt to drown out the cries of those on bottom. I followed it for about the first 8 or 10 pages and then felt that it was pointless as the new best match is not in place and it was just stressing me out keeping up with all the drama. I checked back after reading your post, read from the last page back to your last post, and see that it's still a pointless thread.

My sales have been wildly fluctuating, like falling through the floor for 4 consecutive days with barely any to no sales at all and then the next day having a huge spike, only to have a huge drop the next day again. I've been too busy to really care and my plan is to just ride it out in obliviousness until they officially announce that the new best match is in place. That's when I can form a real opinion about what kind of affect it is going to have on me long-term. Vectors have been getting the royal shaft for months now and so I've grown sadly accustomed to lackluster numbers. Seasonal images have kept me from completely bottoming out but January was pretty bleak, and about 40% down from December. This wouldn't have been an unusual drop, except that December was also about 30% down from November. That was more than a seasonal issue at play. A big part of it was the vector slam, but I really think it was more than that.

Anyway, I figure we'll know more within the next couple of weeks, and then we can assess our situation and make the best decisions we can.

yecatsdoherty

« Reply #39 on: February 11, 2009, 23:36 »
0
yup, for sure.....and then things will be okay until the next change and so on...feast or famine as they say

bittersweet

« Reply #40 on: February 12, 2009, 00:35 »
0
yup, for sure.....and then things will be okay until the next change and so on...feast or famine as they say

Well they are touting this thing as the end of the catastrophic wild swing changes. We shall see.

« Reply #41 on: February 12, 2009, 01:12 »
0
@Stacey,
generalizations? A whole lot of them?
No, I didn't.
I told the story from MY point of view and made it quite clear that on Istock I am a newbie.
Now take it or leave it, but this is the truth.  

1. Yes, their upload process is prone to all sorts of errors and is a painful experience.
2. Yes, their rejections are absurd. (Keywords? Clipping path not relevant to a file with a clipping path included?)
3. Yes, their pending time can be longer than 2 weeks, or more (the longest time I had to wait on any site)
4. Yes, their search engine is tweaked. It pushes foward exclusive images regardless of quality and showing no concern towards the buyers' needs. This may seem attractive to exclusives but it's shacky and in the long run it spells disaster
5. Yes, compared to all other sites, both my sales and my views on IS are the lowest.
6. Yes, I think their forum and community are hostile and seem somewhat desperate to me. I already made it clear that this is my personal opinion and others may not agree.
More over Stacey, no, Istock doesn't have the best image collection anymore. Those days are gone.
Vectors yes, they may still be the leading agency, but even that is changing by the second. You can be sure that I'm working hard and breaking Illustrator to pieces, to help it happen sooner.
When it comes to your personal misfortunes with the latest best match, remember one thing : as long as IS doesn't reward a file purely based on its qualities, you'll never have peace.
You depend on luck, up today, down tomorrow, head or tail.
You need to let quality shine. It is the only coin of truth and stands up against time.

@Jmich,
of course you don't have to believe me.
Just try IS for yourself and see how you feel about it.
Go ahead and upload, but be prepared for all sorts of nasty things coming your way :)
Phew, almot forgot!
The D80 is a fine little machine. No real need to upgrade and certainly don't do it just in the hope that you can beat IS reviewers.
They're a strange lot but I'm sure that given enough time you'll be able to beat them at their own game!
Best of,
Anna
« Last Edit: February 12, 2009, 01:24 by anaire »

« Reply #42 on: February 12, 2009, 02:01 »
0
@Stacey,
generalizations? A whole lot of them?
No, I didn't.
I told the story from MY point of view and made it quite clear that on Istock I am a newbie.
Now take it or leave it, but this is the truth.  

1. Yes, their upload process is prone to all sorts of errors and is a painful experience.
2. Yes, their rejections are absurd. (Keywords? Clipping path not relevant to a file with a clipping path included?)
3. Yes, their pending time can be longer than 2 weeks, or more (the longest time I had to wait on any site)
4. Yes, their search engine is tweaked. It pushes foward exclusive images regardless of quality and showing no concern towards the buyers' needs. This may seem attractive to exclusives but it's shacky and in the long run it spells disaster
5. Yes, compared to all other sites, both my sales and my views on IS are the lowest.
6. Yes, I think their forum and community are hostile and seem somewhat desperate to me. I already made it clear that this is my personal opinion and others may not agree.
More over Stacey, no, Istock doesn't have the best image collection anymore. Those days are gone.
Vectors yes, they may still be the leading agency, but even that is changing by the second. You can be sure that I'm working hard and breaking Illustrator to pieces, to help it happen sooner.
When it comes to your personal misfortunes with the latest best match, remember one thing : as long as IS doesn't reward a file purely based on its qualities, you'll never have peace.
You depend on luck, up today, down tomorrow, head or tail.
You need to let quality shine. It is the only coin of truth and stands up against time.


Hahahahaha

Love it!!!  This reminds me of the old In Living Color episodes "two snaps around the world"


« Reply #43 on: February 12, 2009, 12:51 »
0
Stupid me just realized that I can resubmit some of the files that were rejected from ages ago. I'll try fixing and resubmitting those too.

PS- Also didn't know I could look up reject reasons. So fyi- the two I resubmitted needed to be sharpened. The others I dont even want to bother with because they are real old and I'm sure they wont sell anyway. The quality I'm sure is not up to standard - some rejections for artifacts, a couple for focus and noise also.

« Reply #44 on: February 21, 2009, 16:04 »
0
As an "odd a55hole chiming in", i'm with yecatsdoherty on this one; anaire, I'm honestly sad to hear of your horrible experience on IS so far. Here are some of my suggestions:

1. Uploading process is painful and a complete failure.
Nothing works as it should, except for the-annoying-the-hell-out-of-me reminder page with : I truly am the only one owner, definitely there are no people in my image and no, I swear! I did not steal any parts of this work.
The darn thing comes back at you, again, and again, and again ... 

Try a third party application such as http://www.deepmeta.com/ [nofollow], its got some great features that will really make the task of uploading significantly easier. You can do batch uploading, and only have to click on "I agree" once for the entire batch to upload.

2. Rejections are so absurd it becomes clear what their real meaning is - we don't want you here, get out!
Please resubmit?
I've heard some horror stories about resubmitting. I have never done it and don't think I ever will.
 
When I considered myself a newbie, I took rejections as a way to learn from mistakes and to improve.  Besides from some human errors that may slip in from time-to-time, I have never received an unfair rejection while I was a non-exclusive.

3. Pending time can be over 2 weeks long. Longer than anywhere else I've submitted and yes, it goes on my nerves to have to wait that long.

Yes I agree that this aspect is frustrating, especially if you're new and want to move fast in the microstock industry and there is not much you can do as a non-exclusive. It does improve to up to 5 days when you are exclusive contributor.

4. Both sales and views are the lowest.
Please keep in mind that I'm a newbie with a portfolio of only about 160 images. This info may not be relevant, but the numbers are there. IS is the lowest. 

If you think logically about this you would agree that with a small portfolio your images are diluted out by millions of others, thus your visibility will be low in the beginning. On the other hand, there are contributors with the same portfolio size that are doing great with thousands of views/sales on some of their files. The old clich answer of "increase your porfolio size, to increases your visibility" should alleviate your situation over time. If you look at the statistics (although perhaps biased) for example from Alexa, you will see that IS still receives the highest traffic..

5. Their search engine is heavily biased and it is not for the benefit of the buyer. The best image doesn't win. Instead, regardless of quality, relevance and beauty, the exclusive one does.

This statement for me is probably the most severe generalization of them all. There are more than one way to search on IS, best match is not the only option. You can search by age, contributor, downloads etc. Yes the best match has been the topic of many debates and contributors are not always happy about the fluctuations is causes, but if you read the forums you would know that they are on the verge of implementing best match 2.0. IS is constantly working on improving the search engine, to the benefit of  the buyer, not necessarily for the contributor.And thats why correct keywording are so important, and why they will get rejected if you don't use them carefully.I also don't think that boosting exclusives in the search results are such a bad thing (shaky and spelling disaster as you put it), nothing wrong with that if the high level of quality is maintained. That being said, hundreds of non-exclusives have exceptionally profitable portfolios on IS, many times more so than myself.

6. Their entire site, their forum, the community, has a feeling (to me) of anger. They're like a pack of wolves and there is nothing artistic, generous or friendly about them. They're constantly at each other's throats, caustic and cinic.

I beg to differ, I've had several experiences on the forums that were really very helpful and friendly. One should not generalize the "entire site" according to one or two threads in the forum where things got a little heated. For example, what I gathered so far from reading the forums, IS reviewer comments are often considered much more helpful, compared to the other microstock agencies.

So to sum up: I hope that your experience on IS improves and that you would make some great friends in the IS community.


« Last Edit: February 21, 2009, 16:32 by volschenkh »

yecatsdoherty

« Reply #45 on: February 21, 2009, 16:18 »
0
whatalife, lol, you're not one of the odd a55holes....as far as I can tell  ;D I sure hope the wild swings are going to change. if so, would it kill them to tell us so? concretely, clearly state that the next change will be the last wild change.....so far everything has been so ambiguous and reeks of covering their bases...

« Reply #46 on: February 22, 2009, 02:37 »
0
---
« Last Edit: February 22, 2009, 02:38 by caspixel »

bittersweet

« Reply #47 on: February 22, 2009, 13:01 »
0
whatalife, lol, you're not one of the odd a55holes....as far as I can tell  ;D I sure hope the wild swings are going to change. if so, would it kill them to tell us so? concretely, clearly state that the next change will be the last wild change.....so far everything has been so ambiguous and reeks of covering their bases...

Well since, as I said, I haven't been following the thread for a while, I guess I'm basing this conclusion on clarifications following the original announcement:

Quote
Posted By kkthompson:
On 2008-12-09 15:09:33, bitter wrote:
For artists it means a massive shift. The results for everyone, are going to be very, very different.
Quote
Posted By kelvinjay:
Given that massive changes to the best match are one of the main complaints in any best match thread, it will certainly be interesting to see how this one pans out. I guess we'll just have to wait & see...
Quote
Posted By rogermexico:
Yeah, I know it's kind of a contradictory sounding message, but the goal is to have one last big shake so that we can move to something more stable. By blending this ranked keyword data into the algorithm, it should make it on the whole more stable. In the past we've been seeing really wild swings whenever the guys have gone into tweak the mix - this is aimed at alleviating those swings and giving us something more reliable.



yecatsdoherty

« Reply #48 on: February 22, 2009, 13:47 »
0
I hope so, assuming it all works....I've read those passages many times, but they are so carefully worded that who knows what to expect. the fact that they've been setting things up while adversely affecting the live database scares me. knocking back new files, how will anything uploaded in the last couple of months recover? that's a rhetorical question.

Gti861

  • Photographer & Motocyclist
« Reply #49 on: February 27, 2012, 01:33 »
0
I think it is good to be in Istock. DT and FT are ok. But it is a value to be in Istock.


 

Related Topics

  Subject / Started by Replies Last post
8 Replies
5525 Views
Last post July 17, 2015, 12:25
by DerekTac
4 Replies
3533 Views
Last post January 02, 2007, 15:46
by madelaide
10 Replies
9848 Views
Last post February 26, 2008, 10:18
by Waldo4
9 Replies
2190 Views
Last post May 21, 2012, 08:47
by lisafx
Very, very slow start!

Started by CD123 « 1 2  All » 123RF

41 Replies
9467 Views
Last post October 22, 2012, 09:22
by click_click

Sponsors

Microstock Poll Results