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Author Topic: Has anyone tried Photoshelter  (Read 27727 times)

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« on: September 25, 2007, 17:06 »
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I noticed they are spending up big on arranging meetings in the US between photographers and designers.

It is a pay site, do you think it has potential?


« Reply #1 on: September 26, 2007, 02:46 »
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I'd be interested in an answer to this, too, as I've been casting an eye over them.

« Reply #2 on: September 26, 2007, 03:09 »
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I have been accepted recently to submit to their collection.  This has no fees and sells photos for higher prices than microstock, so I am sending them some that are not on the micros.  They launch the collection in November.

http://mp.photoshelter.com/

« Reply #3 on: September 26, 2007, 03:09 »
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well you could sign up for the 50 MB account and check it out...

« Reply #4 on: September 26, 2007, 04:56 »
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I have been accepted recently to submit to their collection.  This has no fees and sells photos for higher prices than microstock, so I am sending them some that are not on the micros.  They launch the collection in November.

http://mp.photoshelter.com/


It looks like an interesting site.  Also interesting that they are looking for 'everyday' type images with 'feel' and not dry stock that is cold.

« Reply #5 on: September 26, 2007, 05:52 »
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I took a look at the PhotoShelter Collection Contributor's Agreement (@http://mp.photoshelter.com/about/policies/contributor).  Here are some of my comments:

"You may set the pricing for your Contributed Content; however, the minimum sale price for any image sold on the Website shall be $50.00."

This makes me think that they are looking for content that is different from what is normally submitted to most other microstock sites.  That elusive "midstock" that some people are talking about.  They don't mention it, but I wonder if they will take images that are on other microstock sites?  After all, a buyer might get upset to find that they paid $50 for an image when they could have gotten it for $1 somewhere else.

"All sales of Contributed Content are subject to a thirty (30) day return period."

Seems like an extraordinarily long time for a user to decide that they don't want a digital image.  IMO, seven (7) days should be more than sufficient for a return period.  After all, a buyer would only need to look at the image at full-size once they download it to make sure that it is of good quality.

"All payments to you will be made forty-five (45) days after the sale date."

Why is there another 15 day waiting period (after the 30 day return period) to receive payment?  Seems like an awful long time.

"No payments to you will be made in the event the buyer ... fails to pay for the purchase notwithstanding PhotoShelters reasonable efforts to collect payment within forty-five (45) days."

I'm baffled on this one!  Wouldn't the buyer be purchasing the image with credits that they already bought?  How would this clause ever get enacted?

"Any sales of Contributed Content made by you using the PhotoShelter e-commerce services or Website shall be subject to a fee of thirty percent (30%) of the sale amount (unless you are a Flagship Photographer, in which case our fee will be set by the Fee Schedule emailed to you by PhotoShelter at the time you first joined the marketplace site, or unless you are a Beta photographer, meaning you were accepted into the site prior to November 4th, in which case our fee will be 15% for a six-month period on all images submitted on or before November 4th, 2007, with that six month period beginning November 5, 2007 and ending May 4th, 2008, at which time our fees on all of your images will be 30%), which fee shall be payable to PhotoShelter."

So it seems that if you sign up before 11/05, that you will receive an 85% royalty for 6 months and then the normal 70% thereafter.  This is a little different than what they are touting on their front-page ("Earn 85% commission on all images submitted before November 5th").  But I still think that it is acceptable since it is on the high end of the commission scale.  I just wish that companies wouldn't try to twist things so much to get people to do things.

"You may elect to receive payments for sales of your Contributed Content by check, ACH, or PayPal. In the event you elect to be paid by check, PhotoShelter will issue your payment check no more than once each calendar month and only in months when the amount due to you from PhotoShelter is at least $100."

They don't seem to indicate the minimum payout for ACH or PayPal.  And they don't seem to offer Moneybookers at this time (this might be a problem for those that can't get PayPal).  They also don't seem to mention MassPay, so I'm not sure if there will be a fee upon payment.

What do you guys think???

« Reply #6 on: September 26, 2007, 06:10 »
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I think they compare more to a macrostock site like Alamy.  The $50 is a minimum, you can set prices higher.  I haven't been with Alamy long but looking at the forums, some people get a refund months after buying an image, if they haven't used it.

I am not going to upload any microstock photos there.  It would be bad to receive a nice payment and then loose it because I was selling the same photo on a microstock site.  I know some people do this with Alamy but it doesn't makes sense to me.

« Reply #7 on: September 26, 2007, 08:09 »
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I think they compare more to a macrostock site like Alamy.  The $50 is a minimum, you can set prices higher.  I haven't been with Alamy long but looking at the forums, some people get a refund months after buying an image, if they haven't used it.

I am not going to upload any microstock photos there.  It would be bad to receive a nice payment and then loose it because I was selling the same photo on a microstock site.  I know some people do this with Alamy but it doesn't makes sense to me.

I don't think there is too much of a problem selling an image for $50 on this site and on the micros as well.
Images don't sell on the micros for $1.00 very often.  It is more like $2.00-$10.00 for the buyer.  We RECEIVE $1.00.  So if an Xlarge image sells for $10.00 and an XXL image sells for $15.00 at istock, the $50 at photoshelter isn't really that different.

Groceries have that much different in prices in different stores.

« Reply #8 on: September 26, 2007, 08:11 »
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in response to geopappas.

I don't think i have a problem with any of their terms.  If they want to give a refund 6 months later that is fine by me.  they have to give money back as well, so it is not like they are ploying against the submitter - I feel it is more of a business decision on how they want to run things.

I like their style and site, so I think it could be good - now to see if they get any customers.  Too bad they weren't ready earlier for the fall rush.  They will be ready to go just in time for the january slump.

« Reply #9 on: September 26, 2007, 08:23 »
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The $50 is a minimum though.  It depends on the use and for a photo that might cost $10 on a micro, it might be closer to $150 with photoshelter. I don't feel comfortable selling the same photos at those different prices.

« Reply #10 on: September 26, 2007, 08:27 »
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i guess it depends on how their pricing structure works - which they haven't published yet.... we shall see.

« Reply #11 on: September 26, 2007, 10:27 »
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Most microstock sites sell the smallest size for 1 credit (which equates to about $1).  That would compare to the smallest size on Photoshelter for $50.  So their is a pretty large difference in pricing.

Larger sizes on the microstock sites sell for more (up to $20), but PhotoShelter will charge more for larger sizes as well.

Although I personally don't have a problem with people selling images for different amounts on different sites, many people do have a problem with it.

« Reply #12 on: September 26, 2007, 13:38 »
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Most microstock sites sell the smallest size for 1 credit (which equates to about $1).  That would compare to the smallest size on Photoshelter for $50.  So their is a pretty large difference in pricing.

Larger sizes on the microstock sites sell for more (up to $20), but PhotoShelter will charge more for larger sizes as well.

Although I personally don't have a problem with people selling images for different amounts on different sites, many people do have a problem with it.

where did you see that the smallest size was going to sell for $50.00.  I only saw that we could price our images for $50.00 minimum.  Perhaps they are only going to sell one size / which is the large size.

« Reply #13 on: September 26, 2007, 17:40 »
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Most microstock sites sell the smallest size for 1 credit (which equates to about $1).  That would compare to the smallest size on Photoshelter for $50.  So their is a pretty large difference in pricing.

Larger sizes on the microstock sites sell for more (up to $20), but PhotoShelter will charge more for larger sizes as well.

Although I personally don't have a problem with people selling images for different amounts on different sites, many people do have a problem with it.

where did you see that the smallest size was going to sell for $50.00.  I only saw that we could price our images for $50.00 minimum.  Perhaps they are only going to sell one size / which is the large size.

Well, I never thought of it that way.  I just assumed that they would follow the lead of the majority of sites and offer various sizes.

So I did a little more investigating and found the following statement in their Submission Guidelines:

We encourage you to submit the largest file size you have, up to 100MB. This will enable us to create the widest range of sellable sizes to buyer (e.g., from cell phones to billboards).

This seems to indicate that they will offer various sizes.

« Reply #14 on: September 26, 2007, 18:08 »
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Here is some more info from their Pricing Tutorial:

"RF images are priced according to size. Basically, we take the image you submit and create a size chart of available sizes for the buyer to purchase. This is why we recommend you submit the highest resolution image possible, because it allows us to sell a wider range of sizes."

"The system will not allow you to price any image for less than $50. If you want to sell your work for less, there are several microstock sites on the internet that are built for such low-priced imagery. However, professional buyers expect to pay more for high quality imagery and have the budget allocated accordingly. If imagery becomes commoditized, photographers will no longer be able to make a living from their work, and the whole industry will lose. Please have confidence in your work and price it according to industry standards - and never below $50."

« Reply #15 on: September 26, 2007, 21:09 »
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My first post here after lurking quietly for a while... (blush)

I went to PhotoShelter's Chicago seminar last week and signed up out of curiosity (post 3 to 10 eval images). I got accepted, then saw the pricing when I processed a few images.

I spoke with one of PhotoShelter's founders afterward (one of the coolest last names I have ever seen, "Sanschagrin") and heard some interesting background.

They seem to be comparing their offer to Getty (who has their share of trouble these days), more than running up against the microstocks. I still don't know what "midstock" is exactly, maybe this is in that vicinity.

For licensing, a contributor has to choose RF or RM as a single choice across all images. You can change the choice any time I think, and it applies to all future sales and images. There's a sample pricing wizard to see what RM rates would apply for different uses and volumes.

For each image, PhotoShelter defaults to a middle range out of three choices (whether you opt for RF or RM) and the contributor can keep the default or price each image lower or higher, and change pricing any time. (You can set "profiles" and reuse the profiles for certain types of images.) But you can't set an arbitrary price tag on images.

Compared to most microstock sites I've used the past few weeks (haven't uploaded many images yet) I was quite impressed by this process, usability, and quality of their site. Even the way they map keywords to an internal database seems to make sense. It takes a while to prepare an image though, comparable to IS.

The huge difference with PhotoShelter is the contributor keeps 70% of the sale. (To ramp up, they are offering 85% of all sales for images uploaded before sometime early Nov.)

They have budgeted to spend around $1M in a first round of advertising, at launch. It's one thing to have images and a solid site; but another to bring a volume of buyers.

Interesting discussion here about what images would be posted exclusively or not, on lower vs. higher cost sites. I don't have my mind made up on this.

« Reply #16 on: September 27, 2007, 02:31 »
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thanks for the info cameraB

I am guessing though you will not be able to switch back and forth between RF and RM.  if an image is sold as RF there is NO going to RM after that as the rights are no longer managed.  The first buyer all ready ruined the possibility of controlling the rights.

I also guess that if they are starting pricing at $50 for a smallish sized RF image, then they would be classified as macrostock.  Alamy sales for small images net pretty small amounts too - and they are considered macro.

Another thing to consider about pricing is the rights they offer. Alamy image sales offer many right - making it almost an extended license equivalent at the micros.

« Reply #17 on: September 27, 2007, 05:49 »
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For licensing, a contributor has to choose RF or RM as a single choice across all images.

My understanding is quite different.  The way I understand it, you choose a license type (RF vs RM) for each image.  The online Pricing Tutorial makes the following statements:

"In our system, you must first select a license type for an image, and then price the image according to that license type."

"Some photographers will price all of their images according to one license type, but some will use a mix; pricing certain types of images as RF and others as RM."

You can change the choice any time I think, and it applies to all future sales and images.

Once again, that is not my understanding.  Here is a quote from the online Pricing Tutorial:

"Bear in mind that once you sell an image as RF, you cannot subsequently sell it as RM."

« Reply #18 on: September 27, 2007, 08:00 »
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The way I understand it, you choose a license type (RF vs RM) for each image.

Oops, you're right, GeoPappas, I misunderstood this, at first it looked to me like a global choice. You can select Rights Managed or Royalty Free on a per image basis. Sorry about the confusion.

From one of the FAQ's:

Which License Type is Right for Me?
The PhotoShelter Collection is a marketplace for commercial stock imagery, and our buyers are generally sophisticated photo buyers who license images for a living. They are very familiar with all of the various licensing methods. Deciding which license type is right for you is a personal business decision that you must make.

Our research shows that commercial photo buyers do not favor one license type over the other; they just have a need to come up with a price quickly and easily. The PhotoShelter Collection pricing system for both RM and RF provide them with the quick and easy pricing the need, no matter which method of pricing you choose.

If you are not a full-fledged professional photographer, you are new at pricing, and you are not sure what kind of demand there will be for your work, we recommend that you follow our suggested default pricing categories in either in RM or RF.

Some photographers will price all of their images according to one license type, but some will use a mix; pricing certain types of images as RF and others as RM.

Also, dont be shy about asking your peers for help or opinions. Check out the Forums for discussions on the topic of licensing and pricing. Youll soon find out that this is a very hot topic, as some people tend to feel passionately about one license type over another.

« Reply #19 on: October 01, 2007, 14:12 »
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just uploaded to photoshelter - one photo... ouch
It is like istock - except worse.... very time consuming.  I can understand how it will be good for the buyers to have all the info, but the implementation is also sort of cumbersome so it goes slow :(

I guess if they get the sales it will be worth it but...

« Reply #20 on: October 02, 2007, 16:42 »
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"No payments to you will be made in the event the buyer ... fails to pay for the purchase notwithstanding PhotoShelters reasonable efforts to collect payment within forty-five (45) days."

I'm baffled on this one!  Wouldn't the buyer be purchasing the image with credits that they already bought?  How would this clause ever get enacted?

In Shutterpoint, a buyer doesn't buy credits, he simply buys a photo.  I think they (SP) only accepts CCs and Paypal for payment, yet they pay us only 30 days after the purchase.  I don't know if there is any accounting reason to explain this (other than keeping our money for a few days).

Regards,
Adelaide

« Reply #21 on: October 02, 2007, 16:50 »
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What is the connection between

http://www.photoshelter.com/ 

and

http://md.photoshelter.com/ ?

The first has a link to the second, but is a site with a large portfolio already.

Regards,
Adelaide

« Reply #22 on: October 02, 2007, 16:54 »
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the first one is a 'pay per file online' site - where i believe you can upload basically what you want.

the second is more of a typical setup where it is free to have images online, they accept or reject images and take a cut of the sales.

« Reply #23 on: October 02, 2007, 17:02 »
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Leaf,

Thanks for the clarification.  So it's more or less like Shutterpoint vs KeenImages.

Any experiences with the original (paying) site?

Regards,
Adelaide

« Reply #24 on: October 02, 2007, 22:57 »
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Leaf,

Thanks for the clarification.  So it's more or less like Shutterpoint vs KeenImages.

Any experiences with the original (paying) site?

Regards,
Adelaide

The paying site is something similar to Smugmug, but more directed towards pro's. You can sell prints etc. through them. They are considered to be very professional, but also relatively expensive. Good solution for sports-photographers etc. who sell many prints.


 

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