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Author Topic: iStock - To join or not to Join  (Read 11201 times)

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« Reply #25 on: April 05, 2011, 15:10 »
Cripes.  My wife sometimes calls me "Mr Doom and Gloom".  But I fit right in here!    :)


« Reply #26 on: April 05, 2011, 15:44 »
If I were just starting today, I don't think I would bother with Istock.  They have become the most contributor (and customer) unfriendly site in the business, and they are rapidly getting worse every day. 

A number of us who have been there for years have become reliant on the income and it makes it difficult to leave, but just starting out you have the opportunity to just do business with only sites that treat you well and where you get a fair percentages of your sales. 

« Reply #27 on: April 05, 2011, 16:00 »
If you are not going to be exclusive elsewhere (what woudn't do much sense, in my opinion), why not? Istock pays less to independents, but sells image sizes at an higher price point. Maybe you'll get the odd 0.08 dollars sale, I don't know, but you will also get 3 or more dollars for big sizes. At many other subs sites, you'll just see subs, yes, 25 or 30 c, but for all your sales, small, big and superbig. Istock has the subs sites thinkstock, but you can opt out. And redarging the subscripcions at istock, you can get, as I'm got 35 dolar for a small... as odd as the 0.8 c, but real. Besides that, istocki s one of th agencies that sell more, probably number two in quantity and one in money.
That said, don't dream in instant money, not at istock not elsewhere. It is true that you are a bit late. To get a decent income will take you some time.

« Reply #28 on: April 05, 2011, 16:22 »
I'm not photographer - photos are only very few percent of my portfolio. But as I worked for years in studio with professional photographers I learned a lot. I know in theory everything I need about ISO and white balance etc. But in spite of it I don't think that my photos are good enough for iStock (at least most of them), especially for initial approval and especially for initial approval for nonexclusive. No offence - I admire your enthusiasm and passion -  but to be honest I don't think that any of your images would get through this procedure. I think you should learn by mistakes and make huge number of photos and postpone your decision about iS for next year.

« Reply #29 on: April 05, 2011, 17:55 »
I have been doing stock for 4 months or so and do submit to istock.  I basically use up the 18 per week allowance by submitting 3 a day, which takes about 5 minutes and means you build up a portfolio slowly (50-60% acceptance rate for me).  Once I passed 100 or so in my portfolio sales become more regular (1-2 per week, so not loads).

As a relative newbie to stock, I would say yes, it is worth joining but don't rely on istock for a lot of income unless you go exclusive (which takes time- you need ?250 downloads).  Saying that I have had more extended license sales there than elsewhere.

I definitely recommend shutterstock-  they have very tough selection criteria and getting accepted is tricky but once you're in you will develop fast- the 3 day review times and unlimited uploads are advantages and you will learn what does well.  Since developing my portfolio there, I have done a lot better on other sites- it is like being on a training course in itself.

Good luck
Another Tom :-)

« Reply #30 on: April 05, 2011, 19:52 »
Tom like we have talked before here in the forum, take a step back or take ONE step and then aother..!

You can browse my portfolio, take a look at my pictures, take a look at my blog, 5k is a huge milestone, thats something beyond you can ever imagine, you have started months ago, still working to get approved at IS, still looking to improve your photograhy and deal with agencies.. you are thinking too fast, hold on buddy, things wont be that easy and you maybe never reached that (myself too for sure)!

I have started exactly 2 years ago, I have never heard of stock before that, I wouldnt actually pick a SLR, I had a compact camera and didnt know anything regarding composition or other, stock is after that, you need to see the other part before, I am still looking to it, to produce better pictures.. and you are thinking of 5k salary in 5 to 10 years?

After this two years I have achieved a lot of things (some that I guess never would) but overall I am far far away from success and earn a decent money, I had around 650$ for the month of March (after 2 years...).. It is hard every month, everyday always wanting more but money wont enter without great photos and hard work!

Nobody becomes a good photographer on a heart beat, take little steps, they will perhaps get you further but dont dream to much! You may be able to do it but there might be HUNDREDS that are doing stock for 4 or 5 years and yet far from that 5k salary and they have stunning pictures!
« Last Edit: April 05, 2011, 19:54 by luissantos84 »


« Reply #31 on: April 05, 2011, 22:41 »
Once again great comments across the board. I have been very conservative on my camera equipment with a simple Rebel T2i and a fair lens 17-55 IS F/2.8 with basic lighting equipment - my total investment has been around 3k which includes CS5 (Student Edition). I have friends that make the same money as I do in the federal govt that have spent over 20K on their high end Canon Mark III or IV and they leave the camera in Auto mode - basically  point and shoot mode but just want to look good while taking photos. I feel that lighting, composition and being creative is more important than going out and buying a ton of high end camera stuff. Let's face it if all you had to do was go out and get a Mark IV to make 60K a year in this business we all would run out and get that Mark IV.

In the last six months I have learn so much from sites like this one and taking courses to include CS5, camera raw and photography. I am going to take a lighting course this week and looking forward to shooting even better. It would be funny to make some good coin on just using a Rebel Canon. Kind of reminds me of my fishing days- I had a small tackle box with only 2 silver spoons and a few spinners and yet I could out fish the big shots that can in from the cities with thousands of dollars of Orvis equipment. They use to follow me when fishing because I could read the water, know exactly where to place my lure and how fast to retrieve it. I would come home with dinner almost every time! Now I must admit that my Grandfather taught me everything thus telling me that I didn't need a fancy pole or other things - He told me that I have to have the Passion and Desire that would lead to success. That included going out on the worst days in storms to nail the smart (large) trout while 90% of the other fishermen stayed home. My Grandfather was a master!

Thank you all for being so honest and right to the point. If I don't reach my goal no biggie but at least I will know how to take good photos and have fun which my day job doesn't provide LOL!


« Reply #32 on: April 06, 2011, 03:06 »
^^^ Now I think you got it right. Forget the money. Be a pro at what you do, and most important ENJOY what you are doing. IMO follow these 2 rules and money will follow, be it in stock or else where.
Good gear would maybe give you an edge over your competition but it's not the gear that brings in the $$$.

I was surprised to hear for example that Sean uses one of the cheapest strobes on the market!
I think the best money you can spend is on education, that by far will have the greatest return on the money IMO.
Another course of action you can take is trying to get a job or volunteering as an assistant for an established pro photographer, that's how you really learn the business.

« Reply #33 on: April 06, 2011, 04:51 »
The Rebel T2i is great for stock.  I really think good quality lenses are more important than an expensive camera.  If I was just starting out now, I wouldn't bother with photoshop.  The Gimp is free and does everything I would need for stock.  I still use Photoshop elements and a few free add ons.  That has saved me a lot of money that I spent on better quality lenses.

« Reply #34 on: April 06, 2011, 05:45 »
I would encourage you to join IS for one reason, the learning experience.  Their acceptance criteria will teach you alot about image quality.  I would forget about making money with IS; my sole reason for recommending you join IS is for the learning experience.

You can only upload 18 images a week, so it will take forever to get a port online.  If you get 10 images a week accepted, you will only have 550 images after one year with IS; if you don't start now, you will have zero images on IS after then next year.


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