pancakes

MicrostockGroup Sponsors


Author Topic: ex-Istock Exclusive discovering freedom (and the pain that goes with it)  (Read 5955 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

« on: February 21, 2013, 07:29 »
+3
Hello everyone,
I decided to drop my crown as an exclusive istock contributor last month, after many weeks of hesitation and wondering. I felt pretty good about that decision.
Then, I started uploading to other sites a few days ago. It's all new and exciting to me, as I have only known Istockphoto in my photographer life.
Of course, I was  expecting to suffer a little, as i was not any longer used to wait for inspection, for example, nor to get rejections. Actually, i was pretty confident about rejections, as i had read here and there that istock inspectors are the hardest - and they are pretty kind to me (after the first years, where they massacred me of course).
First, i was happy to discover that Fotolia is pretty reactive : the inspection time was quite short. But the answers were very disconcerting ! 18 rejections / 8 acceptance so far. All images that were accepted no problem on istock, and i consider some of my best work. Even images from the Vetta Collection ! Here are a few examples :
newbielink:http://francais.istockphoto.com/photo-22817017-chania-harbour-in-crete-island-greece.php [nonactive]
newbielink:http://francais.istockphoto.com/photo-18791294-paris-arc-triomphe-rue-france-voiture.php [nonactive]
newbielink:http://francais.istockphoto.com/photo-13235503-voiture-paris-vieux-citroen-citroen-2cv.php [nonactive]
newbielink:http://francais.istockphoto.com/photo-18010050-cabine-plage-nuage-pluie-colombages-cahute.php?st=ef40612 [nonactive]
The reason is always the same : technical problem. After having struggled with istock high standards, i thought i knew what a technical problem for stock photography is. I'm starting to have doubts about it. There is definitely something i don't understand. Am i too used to istock standards that i don't see something obviously wrong with these images. Are my style or my favourite subjects wrong for Fotolia (or stock in general) ? Should i focus on other sites ?
If you have time to read that post and to answer, your help would be very much appreciated.
Thanks,
Ivan.


steheap

  • Author of best selling "Get Started in Stock"

« Reply #1 on: February 21, 2013, 07:40 »
+2
Don't get worried about Fotolia and their rejections. I recently uploaded about 70 images (Florida, California, Hawaii and Rome travel images. Probably 55 were accepted on Shutterstock (usual rejections on trademark/property release issues), but on Fotolia I had 6 accepted and 64 rejected for technical and composition reasons. Fotolia likes isolation and studio shots and really come down hard on any travel type image (and no editorial either). Funny thing is - those travel shots are the ones that sell if they ever get on the site!

Steve

BTW - I do review the earnings on each site each month on my blog. It may help you decide which one to try next

« Reply #2 on: February 21, 2013, 07:45 »
0
Good luck with the new non-exclusive venture.  Each site has it's quirks / likes and dislikes, I'm sure you'll learn them soon :)

« Reply #3 on: February 21, 2013, 08:18 »
+1
Same for me Ivan
so far for SS i have accepted 90 and rejected 63, also some were vettas and E+ on istock, everything i have uploaded so far is from my iStock acceptances.
i have 4/4 accepted on Fotolia, 20/20 on GLStockImages and just got accepted as a contributor to Alamy and no clue what to upload there.
I wish you much luck, may the force be with you

« Reply #4 on: February 21, 2013, 08:36 »
+1
I feel iStock is better at looking at the image overall and if the content was great, they would be a little more lenient on the technical side (noise, blur, banding etc).  Fotolia, Shutterstock and Dreamstime get out the magnifying glass to check quality.  Creative use of focus or noise is generally out of the question.

« Reply #5 on: February 21, 2013, 08:47 »
0
if you got a big portfolio that listed in istock..

I will suggest u drop a link to those reviewer in other site..or put a comment with link to shutterstock during submission.

If it has been able to have good sales in istock, it may help to convince the reviewer. Make their job easy.

« Reply #6 on: February 21, 2013, 09:02 »
0
Don't get worried about Fotolia and their rejections. I recently uploaded about 70 images (Florida, California, Hawaii and Rome travel images. Probably 55 were accepted on Shutterstock (usual rejections on trademark/property release issues), but on Fotolia I had 6 accepted and 64 rejected for technical and composition reasons. Fotolia likes isolation and studio shots and really come down hard on any travel type image (and no editorial either). Funny thing is - those travel shots are the ones that sell if they ever get on the site!


I'd agree with Steve. I get the impression that FT look at your ranking before looking at your images and that colours their decision accordingly. They are especially hard on what they perceive as 'newbies' even if, as in your case, they have been successful elsewhere for several years. If you can get to Gold status or above then you'll probably never have another rejection again ... the difficulty is getting enough images accepted to achieve that.

You have a superb portfolio Ivan and any agency should be snapping it up. They are mainly niche subject images, from a 'volume stock' viewpoint, but they are also very high quality. With so many European images, which is FT's main market, I'm sure they would sell well if only they would accept them. I can only advise you to persevere and wish you the best of luck.

PS: Have you tried Fine Art America yet? Many of your images look ideal material for their platform.

http://www.microstockgroup.com/product-resale-forum/faa-the-largest-art-site-in-the-world/

« Reply #7 on: February 21, 2013, 09:04 »
0
As an independent newbie my most common rejection is from SS for focus, so have increased sharpening and downsized to 4MP which seems to get them through. Handful of DT rejections all seemed fair, I couldn't argue with any of them! 123RF seem extremely cautious on copyright for unbranded everyday objects, but upload process is great. Fotolia started out being very fussy then the next batch suddenly all got accepted, so no idea what happened there. GL are very fair and rejected only a handful - all justified. Alamy accept everything! It is an interesting learning curve hope it gets easier with experience.

« Reply #8 on: February 21, 2013, 09:12 »
0
.
« Last Edit: May 12, 2014, 15:32 by Audi 5000 »

« Reply #9 on: February 21, 2013, 09:43 »
0
Welcome to the wild world of independence!  You're going to have an interesting ride.

I think iS inspectors generally are the best in the business as far as providing feedback.  They often have been very helpful to me with very specific rejection reasons, sometimes including an enclosure to show the point that allowed me to identify the problem and how to fix it - and how to avoid it in the future.  They have really helped me improve my photography.  Rejection reasons at other agencies are sometimes mystifying and often hard to decipher.

One thing I think many former iS exclusives are going to find out is that in addition to faster reviews they are also more lenient.  As Leaf pointed out, they are more likely to look at the overall image, while most other agencies will focus on every technical detail.  This will now change for you at iS as well - I'm pretty sure that if you submitted those same images to iS as a non-exclusive they would very likely be rejected for being overprocessed.  I had a couple of overprocessed rejections this week for images that were much less processed than yours.  I think their standards for non-exclusives are much higher than they are for exclusives - you will see whether this is true with your next submissions.  If you really want opinions on possible technical problems you'll need to post 100% crops.  In the first one it looks like there is a halo around the light, possibly from a shadows/highlights adjustment.  Some of the others might get dinged for lighting - you'll get more specific feedback if you submit to Shutterstock.

I agree with others that at FT they really like isolations but are much more difficult for outdoor/nature shots.  However, I've had a near 100% AR there lately including a lot of outdoor shots so it can be done, just took a while to figure out what they wanted.

At SS you are going to meet the Focus Nazi and the Composition Nazi - that agency has made me paranoid about focus, they are much stricter about that than at iS (even for non-exclusives).  Not sure how to please the Composition Nazi, since the same images that get rejected for composition at SS often sell fine elsewhere.  SS reviewers also don't like strong shadows in my experience.

Have fun sorting this all out.  If you get frustrated with the reviews you can post some with 100% crops here or to the SS forums - you will get a lot of good advice.  I think your images look great and will sell well once they get past the reviewers - and I agree with gostwyck that they are perfect to try on FAA.

« Reply #10 on: February 21, 2013, 09:44 »
0
I feel iStock is better at looking at the image overall and if the content was great, they would be a little more lenient on the technical side (noise, blur, banding etc).  Fotolia, Shutterstock and Dreamstime get out the magnifying glass to check quality.  Creative use of focus or noise is generally out of the question.

Funny, I would have said the total opposite!!

« Reply #11 on: February 21, 2013, 09:47 »
+1
You use an awful lot of filters and WB adjustments that other stock sites are not likely to like.  A lot of your pictures have the WB set a few hundred degrees too high (or have a red cast added through the use of a polarising filter), you may find you have to reprocess them to a neutral colour to get other sites to accept them.

For a long time iStock has been accepting heavily filtered or off-beat work as Vetta. I wouldn't be surprised to see your Hania harbour splashes getting rejected both for low commercial value and for poor lighting at somewhere like SS.

Pinocchio

« Reply #12 on: February 21, 2013, 10:06 »
0
....accepted as a contributor to Alamy and no clue what to upload there......


In the hope this helps you: Alamy's definition of RF is rather different from iStock; they appear to be more conservative about model releases.  For example, iStock will accept some unreleased images with people or body parts as RF; at Alamy, the lack of a release means that image would have to be offered as RM.  An editorial image at iStock would almost certainly be RM at Alamy, so you would have the same conflict.

You might find this thread http://www.microstockgroup.com/alamy-com/transfer-from-istock-rf-to-alamy-rm/ helpful.  Based on an Alamy comment in this thread, their approach seems to be if the image sold as RF anywhere, you should not subsequently offer it as RM.

Regards


ShadySue

« Reply #13 on: February 21, 2013, 10:12 »
+1
....accepted as a contributor to Alamy and no clue what to upload there......


In the hope this helps you: Alamy's definition of RF is rather different from iStock; they appear to be more conservative about model releases.  For example, iStock will accept some unreleased images with people or body parts as RF; at Alamy, the lack of a release means that image would have to be offered as RM.  An editorial image at iStock would almost certainly be RM at Alamy, so you would have the same conflict.

You might find this thread http://www.microstockgroup.com/alamy-com/transfer-from-istock-rf-to-alamy-rm/ helpful.  Based on an Alamy comment in this thread, their approach seems to be if the image sold as RF anywhere, you should not subsequently offer it as RM.

Regards


That's not how I interpreted the official Alamy post. I took it a being you could offer it as RM at Alamy if it had previously sold as RF, provided you were meticulous about keeping records, so that in the unusual case that someone wanted to buy exclusive rights RM you would be able to tell them you had previously sold it as RF, so had no guarantee of previous use.

Quote from: 1Stockman on February 12, 2013, 21:30
    I will deactivate at least a part of my portfolio at iStock and would like to sell part of it as RM on Alamy.
    Does Alamy accept images that have been RF somewhere else and that have sold as such before?

Yes, you can do this but you are ultimately responsible for managing your license history. EG, if you want to sell the images as RM, you need to make sure they are not for sale as RF anywhere else. Also, any RF images that have previously sold would not be available for an exclusive RM sale. These are however rare and in cases where an exclusive may be in the works our sales team would be contacting you to ask about the previous history on the image - if there were no conflicts we could proceed with the sale.

James Allsworth
Content Executive
Alamy

http://www.microstockgroup.com/alamy-com/transfer-from-istock-rf-to-alamy-rm/msg298698/#msg298698]
[url]http://www.microstockgroup.com/alamy-com/transfer-from-istock-rf-to-alamy-rm/msg298698/#msg298698
[/url]

Pinocchio

« Reply #14 on: February 21, 2013, 10:39 »
0
....accepted as a contributor to Alamy and no clue what to upload there......


In the hope this helps you: Alamy's definition of RF is rather different from iStock; they appear to be more conservative about model releases.  For example, iStock will accept some unreleased images with people or body parts as RF; at Alamy, the lack of a release means that image would have to be offered as RM.  An editorial image at iStock would almost certainly be RM at Alamy, so you would have the same conflict.

You might find this thread http://www.microstockgroup.com/alamy-com/transfer-from-istock-rf-to-alamy-rm/ helpful.  Based on an Alamy comment in this thread, their approach seems to be if the image sold as RF anywhere, you should not subsequently offer it as RM.

Regards


That's not how I interpreted the official Alamy post. I took it a being you could offer it as RM at Alamy if it had previously sold as RF, provided you were meticulous about keeping records, so that in the unusual case that someone wanted to buy exclusive rights RM you would be able to tell them you had previously sold it as RF, so had no guarantee of previous use.

Quote from: 1Stockman on February 12, 2013, 21:30
    I will deactivate at least a part of my portfolio at iStock and would like to sell part of it as RM on Alamy.
    Does Alamy accept images that have been RF somewhere else and that have sold as such before?

Yes, you can do this but you are ultimately responsible for managing your license history. EG, if you want to sell the images as RM, you need to make sure they are not for sale as RF anywhere else. Also, any RF images that have previously sold would not be available for an exclusive RM sale. These are however rare and in cases where an exclusive may be in the works our sales team would be contacting you to ask about the previous history on the image - if there were no conflicts we could proceed with the sale.

James Allsworth
Content Executive
Alamy


[url]http://www.microstockgroup.com/alamy-com/transfer-from-istock-rf-to-alamy-rm/msg298698/#msg298698]http://www.microstockgroup.com/alamy-com/transfer-from-istock-rf-to-alamy-rm/msg298698/#msg298698]
[url]http://www.microstockgroup.com/alamy-com/transfer-from-istock-rf-to-alamy-rm/msg298698/#msg298698
[/url]


I assume you differ with my last sentence (....their approach seems to be ..); I agree your view is closer to what Alamy said.    Sorry...

Regards

ShadySue

« Reply #15 on: February 21, 2013, 10:47 »
0
You are very right, however, in Alamy's insistence that small body parts or even totally out of focus blurry background pixels which are technically people need releases or must be designated RF.

I'm sure I read somewhere official, but have no idea how I could find it - maybe it was a forum question or a FAQ in the blog or whatever - that a photo of a person doesn't count as needing an MR. So e.g. in the event you had your own photo of Barack Obama or whoever in a frame on a desk in a photo you were submitting (i.e. you had a PR for the photo) it wouldn't need an MR. Don't quote me on this, but it seemed so surprising, it stuck in my head.

« Reply #16 on: February 21, 2013, 11:13 »
+1
It's an adjustment process - in my case somewhat easier in that I'd been independent for 4 years prior to a 3 year stint as an exclusive (which ended June 2011).

 I also had a number of former Vetta shots rejected by SS for lighting - they really don't like dramatic shadows much. I also had a recent sunrise on a town waterfront shot rejected by SS for incorrect white balance - I resubmitted with a note that the light was that color because it was sunrise and they accepted it. That sort of thing seems truly asinine, but I guess when you're churning through large volumes of stuff, perhaps it's inevitable.

On the other hand, I don't have to deal with overfiltering rejections - the bane of my existence with iStock inspections. At Dreamstime, the issue will be seemingly crazy rejections for similars (and be careful there as your acceptance rate affects how many you can upload per week and is reputed to affect search placement too).

Give each agency some trial images of various kinds to feel out what they like and don't. And try to let the dents to your ego brush off - all the agencies are frequently off-base with inspections, but it's their sandbox, so they get to be right :)


« Reply #17 on: February 21, 2013, 12:30 »
0
really nice advice, i might resubmit with a note to SS, worth a try thanks for the tip

i am trying to find my way around Alamy's site, its not easy

Poncke

« Reply #18 on: February 21, 2013, 12:34 »
0
Don't get worried about Fotolia and their rejections. I recently uploaded about 70 images (Florida, California, Hawaii and Rome travel images. Probably 55 were accepted on Shutterstock (usual rejections on trademark/property release issues), but on Fotolia I had 6 accepted and 64 rejected for technical and composition reasons. Fotolia likes isolation and studio shots and really come down hard on any travel type image (and no editorial either). Funny thing is - those travel shots are the ones that sell if they ever get on the site!

Steve

BTW - I do review the earnings on each site each month on my blog. It may help you decide which one to try next
+1000

ShadySue

« Reply #19 on: February 21, 2013, 12:37 »
0
i am trying to find my way around Alamy's site, its not easy
'Managing Images' on Alamy is a total nightmare. In a counsel of perfection try not to have to many to manage at once or it's quite debilitating.
Don't drip them up day by day - they accept or reject everything in the queue. I.e. if one fails, everything you have in the queue fails. Or if you drip up e.g. ten a day, you could easily end up with 50 to manage, or even more when you're just starting.

« Reply #20 on: February 21, 2013, 13:40 »
0
I am sure it will help many people who are also considering dropping the crown (I am one of them and there are many more) if you can share any financial information with us as your portfolio grows at the rest of the MS sites.

And best of luck in your indy future!!
« Last Edit: February 21, 2013, 13:46 by aeonf »

« Reply #21 on: February 21, 2013, 13:46 »
0
I've been independent for 5 days, initially found it a bit of a shock to get such low royalties per download, IS downloads averaging $1 I think the first few months will be hard financial

« Reply #22 on: February 21, 2013, 13:57 »
0
I've been independent for 5 days, initially found it a bit of a shock to get such low royalties per download, IS downloads averaging $1 I think the first few months will be hard financial

What was your RPD while exclusive ? what about the number of downloads?  although 5 days is hardly enough time to tell.

« Reply #23 on: February 21, 2013, 14:18 »
0
just done the maths RPD on IS now is $1.93. When I was exclusive it was $8.32!

« Reply #24 on: February 21, 2013, 14:24 »
0
.
« Last Edit: May 12, 2014, 15:31 by Audi 5000 »

« Reply #25 on: February 21, 2013, 14:29 »
0
I knew it would be bad, wasn't sure how bad! Anyway no going back now.

« Reply #26 on: February 21, 2013, 14:32 »
-1
.
« Last Edit: May 12, 2014, 15:31 by Audi 5000 »


« Reply #27 on: February 21, 2013, 14:37 »
+2
thanks, IS is not a happy place to be anyway, so think I made the right decision
« Last Edit: February 21, 2013, 14:43 by Jogga0 »

« Reply #28 on: February 21, 2013, 15:41 »
+3
Just a little message to thank you all for taking the time to answer to me. I didn't expect to get so much help, I didn't even have time to read it all yet ! But i'm sure i'm gonna get a lot of good advice from you. So thank you very much, really.
The first thing i have to write in my "Becoming Indy" journal is : i don't understand Fotolia standards yet, but i've discovered a great place called Microstock Group. I love it there !

This "crown dropping" adventure is definitely going to be full of surprises. For example, i had my first answers from Shutterstock today. Out of 35 images... 35 were accepted (including all those rejected by Fotolia).
I still don't understand the logic in it, but well, it's a nice encouragement. And i already love Shutterstock !
To be continued.

Just a few words about the question of overfiltering/processing. I think it's hard to come to a clear point of view about it. When i started at istock, i got many rejections for that, and i read everywhere that i should do as little processing as possible. And then i saw all these beautiful images on the site that sold very well and that were definitely filtered (sometimes even heavily). So i thought "Why are they allowed to filter, and i'm not ?" So i came to the conclusion it is more a matter of how good you filter, not how much (i don't think it's proper english, i hope you see what i mean). I stopped getting rejections for over-filtering, althought i didn't stop filter. And all my Vetta selected images and my best sellers were processed and filtered images. All of them...

All the best to you all.

Ivan.

« Reply #29 on: February 27, 2013, 08:36 »
+2
Salut Ivan,

I'm an independent contributor, i travel a lot and when i'm not i do objects macro and different crazy things in my little studio.

I also buy stock sometimes for my company and when i do so i want to be able to do my own filters on the pics i buy.

I think your example pics are awesome but they would sell more and get more accepted if there were almost no photoshop on it.

The thing is that in our times a lot of buyers want to do the photoshopping themselves and the more you put photoshop filters the less someone

else could do so on your pics.

If your white balance is perfect and the focus as well, just leave it like that and you will see the difference  in your result even on istock.

good luck!

« Reply #30 on: March 06, 2013, 06:50 »
+1
Hello gdvcom,
I understand your point. That is the kind of advice i read a lot when i started contributing to istock.
And of course, you're right, by filtering an image, i lose the buyers who want to do it themselves.
But i wonder : how many buyers don't have the time (or the skill) to do the processing themselves ? What is the proportion ?
I've spent a lot of time trying to improve my filtering skills, and i don't regret it. As i became better at it, i resubmited images that were already accepted in their unfiltered appearance on istock. And they immediately sold better. I often feel that an good filtering can give life to an image that you wouldn't necessarily notice if it wasn't.
Anyway, there must be some truth in both ways.
all the best,

ShadySue

« Reply #31 on: March 06, 2013, 06:58 »
+1
Apparently one of the most common customer queries they get on iStock is when photos aren't set at the dpi they expected and they don't know how to change the dpi. So I'm sure a certain proportion of customers do actually want a 'finished' product.

Most of my own 'found in-uses' are just slapped onto web pages as they were, so e.g. if I'd left copy space, but they weren't using it, they don't crop out the copy space. Look at how many don't downsize for web, but rely on the browser to do it, orphaning the large image on the web. Some have no idea of the very basics, so for example they have something facing left at the left hand side of their page, looking out ... so they don't know design principles 101 or they don't know how to horizontal flip. Etc

At one time you could do two or three versions of an image on iS - specifically colour and mono, then they said they wanted only one version, and it should usually be colour. So perhaps they regard the number of customers who can't do it (and bother to request it) to be negligable. From what I read, at least some of the other agencies are even more picky about even dubious 'similars'.

« Reply #32 on: March 06, 2013, 09:25 »
0
The market places are different.
Itsock is the nusery home and Shutter is the wild west.

I have been a contributor to both for 5 years, a small fish though.
I have seen many well earning ports on Istock, that would not have stood a chance on the free market. The pictures were too crude, not well lit not precise on topic and to a side photograhically.
But thats the kind of imagery istock promoted and sold for a high price. Keeping the dependants happy, as long as it worked.
it worked for a period of time, people got rich out of dumping their memory cards with a polaroid twist.

In the free world, the competition is much higher, you have to really nail the topic, the background and the light and produce an icon, you are not nutured in a glasshouse and you simply have to work smarter..

When you now bring your glass house port from istock out on the free market you will experience 2 things.
The value of the pictures are to be earned by keywords and downloads
Twists dont hold water.



« Reply #33 on: March 06, 2013, 09:34 »
0
The value of the pictures are to be earned by keywords and downloads

I had the feeling we needed to add keywords at iStock ::)


 

Related Topics

  Subject / Started by Replies Last post
7 Replies
3467 Views
Last post October 22, 2010, 18:00
by luissantos84
224 Replies
37023 Views
Last post February 27, 2011, 19:37
by ShadySue
11 Replies
7671 Views
Last post August 28, 2011, 19:23
by RacePhoto
27 Replies
11570 Views
Last post July 13, 2015, 16:19
by YadaYadaYada
Freedom of the press

Started by RAW « 1 2  All » Off Topic

27 Replies
5798 Views
Last post September 08, 2018, 17:36
by DallasP

Sponsors

Microstock Poll Results