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Author Topic: Model on white background: still viable?  (Read 13801 times)

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« on: May 01, 2013, 20:15 »
0
Hello,

I'm trying to get into stock photography and have been researching on profitable/commercially viable subjects to start. Seems like "people" is one of the top seller. I have several questions in regards to this:

1- I'm wondering if images with models on white background in scenarios such as hold a bag of grocery, business & medical setting, beauty/spa etc still in demand given this type of photo is everywhere? Or the market constantly need this type of image and hopefully with a new model/face?

2- What's the return on such a shoot? I estimated around $1-1,500 up front cost (model, hair & makeup, studio, and retouching - I work in fashion so I can style). In return I'd like to get around 50+ images per session (multiple scenario, multiple angles). Can I make that money back with in 6 month or less, given it's well executed?

3- How do you handle the model payment? I'm leaning towards 1 time payment, instead of percentage base on sales, so it's a clean break. Otherwise I can set it at once every 6 month I cut a check to the model based on sales. What's the best?

Any insight and/or experience you can share would be greatly appreciated!

cheers.


tab62

« Reply #1 on: May 01, 2013, 20:25 »
+1
Hi Rgphoto-

Question 1

Here is the first page (popular) on Shutterstock with the keywords 'Business People' see link below

http://www.shutterstock.com/cat.mhtml?searchterm=business+people&search_source=search_form&lang=en&search_group=&safesearch=1&prev_sort_method=newest&sort_method=popular&page=1


Not too many on just white.

Now lets do search of 'People and Medical'

http://www.shutterstock.com/cat.mhtml?lang=en&search_source=search_form&search_tracking_id=uAUOGvcBWwFMT5xrOOyDig&version=llv1&anyorall=all&safesearch=1&searchterm=people+medical&search_group=&orient=&search_cat=&searchtermx=&photographer_name=&people_gender=&people_age=&people_ethnicity=&people_number=&commercial_ok=&color=&show_color_wheel=1

Still not that many on just white background.


Now "People and Spa"

http://www.shutterstock.com/cat.mhtml?lang=en&search_source=search_form&search_tracking_id=cn8HQpiaDxJH4bDvuZvDSg&version=llv1&anyorall=all&safesearch=1&searchterm=people+spa&search_group=&orient=&search_cat=&searchtermx=&photographer_name=&people_gender=&people_age=&people_ethnicity=&people_number=&commercial_ok=&color=&show_color_wheel=1

Not too many on white either. 

Cannot really address #2 but that seem a bit high for just starting out. Maybe use your family or friends to keep the initial costs down to see if it produces sales. The Stock companies have told us that they want regular (Believable) people instead of fashion models. I know a few companies that want more male models instead of women as well.

#3  Always pay up front and not against your sales- talk about a pain to track against your sales as well. Remember a good seller will go on for years thus you can see the headache involved if you go by the commission to sales things.

Hope this helps...

T

« Reply #2 on: May 01, 2013, 20:35 »
+5
2- What's the return on such a shoot? I estimated around $1-1,500 up front cost (model, hair & makeup, studio, and retouching - I work in fashion so I can style). In return I'd like to get around 50+ images per session (multiple scenario, multiple angles). Can I make that money back with in 6 month or less, given it's well executed?

If you're spending more than $100, you're not going to make it back.

« Reply #3 on: May 01, 2013, 20:42 »
0
Thanks for your reply tab62!

Yes, I looked thru a few sites with my proposed scenario but white background is most feasible now due to location cost.

I'm willing to pay for a good model for a profitable return, my estimation includes model fee. Want to play, gotta pay.....

Agree with you about up front payment. If I choose to pay based on percentage, it would be for 12 month only, with 2 payments at 6 and 12 month interval, based on the shoot date, not publish date. After that, I want to be clear of any further ties - and hopefully continue to profit.

cheers!

tab62

« Reply #4 on: May 01, 2013, 22:08 »
+2
Rgphoto-

Listen to Sean's comments since he is very knowledgeable/experienced in the model  usage.

« Reply #5 on: May 02, 2013, 04:41 »
0
My portfolio is almost all isolates of models on white. Mostly men as market is saturated with women. Singles don't sell well. If you want to be successful you need to do groups!

« Reply #6 on: May 02, 2013, 10:44 »
+2
2- What's the return on such a shoot? I estimated around $1-1,500 up front cost (model, hair & makeup, studio, and retouching - I work in fashion so I can style). In return I'd like to get around 50+ images per session (multiple scenario, multiple angles). Can I make that money back with in 6 month or less, given it's well executed?

If you're spending more than $100, you're not going to make it back.

That's not entirely true, you can spend over $100 on a shoot and make it back, but I will say this, you won't break even spending $1,500 to produce only 50 white background style shots. Don't even try that.

If you're gonna drop over $1,000 on a shoot - it better be a location shoot producing more than 50 shots.
« Last Edit: May 02, 2013, 10:48 by cardmaverick »

« Reply #7 on: May 02, 2013, 10:50 »
+2
That's not entirely true, you can spend over $100 on a shoot and make it back, but I will say this, you won't break even spending $1,500 to produce only 50 white background style shots. Don't even try that.

If you're gonna drop over $1,000 on a shoot - it better be a location shoot producing more than 50 shots.

That's what I meant.  Sorry if it wasn't clear.  There's a guy on IS with thousands of white bg shots.  I don't think he gets many sales at all.

« Reply #8 on: May 02, 2013, 10:55 »
+1
Paying models on a % is really only feasible with ONE site. You'll go nuts doing that with micro, assuming you get sales.

« Reply #9 on: May 02, 2013, 11:07 »
+1
Yes, I looked thru a few sites with my proposed scenario but white background is most feasible now due to location cost.

You can shoot in a white background and then add backgrounds later in PS. You should start building a background library to do that.

And regarding the idea about paying models based on sales, in the long run you'll spend more time tracking down sales then shooting new images.

« Reply #10 on: May 02, 2013, 11:31 »
+1
Yes, I looked thru a few sites with my proposed scenario but white background is most feasible now due to location cost.

You can shoot in a white background and then add backgrounds later in PS. You should start building a background library to do that.


I wouldn't recommend composite backgrounds for micro. Too much time required, and most people suck at compositing.

What do you think a location goes for?

All the top selling "people pics" are location shots. Very few white background shots ever become high sellers. If you want to separate yourself from the pack, location shots are a must, not an option.

« Reply #11 on: May 02, 2013, 11:37 »
-1
.
« Last Edit: May 12, 2014, 14:12 by Audi 5000 »

« Reply #12 on: May 02, 2013, 11:39 »
+1
No.

« Reply #13 on: May 02, 2013, 11:42 »
0
.
« Last Edit: May 12, 2014, 14:12 by Audi 5000 »

Poncke v2

« Reply #14 on: May 02, 2013, 11:43 »
0
No.

Of course not. What a redundant question.

ShadySue

  • There is a crack in everything
« Reply #15 on: May 02, 2013, 12:02 »
0
It has to be the 'right model'.
Although buyers say they want natural looking models, they in fact don't. They want American-looking models with perfect skin, whitened teeth and whites of eyes, conventionally 'beautiful' features. Even older models have to be unusually attractive to sell well.
Other models sell, but nothing like as well.

« Reply #16 on: May 02, 2013, 13:36 »
+2
A while back I actually did a little experiment - shot some white isolations and then composited a few, uploaded them and then compared after many months. In every instance, the location composite version outsold the white isolation, by a far margin - even though the composites were actually uploaded a few months later... With that said, a GOOD composite just takes too much time and in the long run costs far more than just shelling out up front for a real location to work with. Also keep in mind that no one will buy a bad composite... so you can't just rush them thinking that they will sell.
« Last Edit: May 02, 2013, 14:00 by cardmaverick »


« Reply #17 on: May 02, 2013, 13:56 »
0
Rgphoto, I'm a newbie to the microstock (Started in January this year) and first of all, from my point of view if you pay 1500 for each session it will be very very hard to get it back, why? Altought it could be stellar shots you would had to compete against great names in the Micro world (Many located in the forum) plus a lot of clients like to deal with specified photographers due to their unique style. So in general view and unless you have a unique style that pop's from the rest or you have a huge library then you will have a hard time getting some revenue out of a single session. I have a few models not top models unfortunately but they are rather cheap, some are friends others I give them a free portfolio in exchange of a session (That really cuts out the cost) ,having to paid a hairdresser that can do all sorts of things besides hair, like manicure or make up it also cuts the costs. But about the viability of the white background I can't really help you that much but from the point of view of the more experienced I think they are right outdoors have been selling a lot more.

Just my 20 cents. Hope it helps.

 
 

« Reply #18 on: May 02, 2013, 14:00 »
0
I would assume Sean would pick one of the better photographers who does a lot of isolated on white shots to make his point and the people that do it well get a lot of downloads.  Look at Lisa with around 3,000 isolated on white or the guy with 300,000 sales he has 17,000 isolated on white images or look at Yuri with 1,000 isolated on white.  Anyone can shoot bad shots and not get sales but that can be said about every single subject and doesn't add anything to the discussion.  Speaking of adding nothing to the conversation, thanks for chiming in.

These aren't the best examples - they are all people who got started a long time ago. The guy on IS with the 320K sales has been active on IS since 2002 - that's 11 years.

Let me repeat it one more time.... 11 years of production and sales. Find someone of similar portfolio size and history with mostly location shots and I'm sure you'll see a stark contrast in numbers.

« Reply #19 on: May 02, 2013, 14:03 »
+1
2- What's the return on such a shoot? I estimated around $1-1,500 up front cost (model, hair & makeup, studio, and retouching - I work in fashion so I can style). In return I'd like to get around 50+ images per session (multiple scenario, multiple angles). Can I make that money back with in 6 month or less, given it's well executed?

Among those who publish their numbers in blog, it appears there is a base line of about $1 per image per month as return within microstock. That is, if you are established at the agencies at higher than the starting royalty levels. And there are no guarantees to get that return.

Based on that you're looking at a potential return of $300 over six months with 50 images. But probably you'll end up with less, especially when you're just starting.

I do agree, a shoot worth more than $1000 should be on (a good) location and with more than one model to pay off. But even then you're likely to see no break even for more than a year.

« Reply #20 on: May 02, 2013, 14:14 »
0
.
« Last Edit: May 12, 2014, 14:11 by Audi 5000 »

« Reply #21 on: May 02, 2013, 17:42 »
0
Thanks everyone for your advise!

Great point on location and group shots. Unfortunately I'm in NYC where location is even more expensive than a plain studio so I'll have do some location scouting, or find another solution. Compositing can get tricky, I better master it before I make an attempt.

I definitely agree casting is very important. While I will not hire an agency model due to cost and logistics, I'm willing to allocate a chunk of my budget to find a commercially viable model.

Also the cost includes retouching. While I can handle almost all of my retouching, however if I do shoot beauty, I'll have to farm out the skin retouching.

Thanks again for all your help, I truly appreciate it!

« Reply #22 on: May 02, 2013, 17:46 »
0
@MFCA

Thanks for sharing your insights. Luckily, I do have someone I worked a lot with before that can handle both hair & makeup to cut cost. And I will take your advise and offer images as part of payment.

« Reply #23 on: May 02, 2013, 17:56 »
+1
Also the cost includes retouching. While I can handle almost all of my retouching, however if I do shoot beauty, I'll have to farm out the skin retouching.

For micro, you can not outsource something like skin retouching.  And it doesn't really require it either, imo.  I touch up a few blemishes and do some blur.  You can do that.

You need to keep costs low.

« Reply #24 on: May 02, 2013, 18:10 »
0
Thanks sjlocke, I didn't know outsourced retouching is not allowed. That'll cut the cost down quite a bit.

ShadySue

  • There is a crack in everything
« Reply #25 on: May 02, 2013, 18:33 »
+1
Thanks sjlocke, I didn't know outsourced retouching is not allowed. That'll cut the cost down quite a bit.
It's allowed, but it's almost certianly not financially viable.
(Psssst, from someone who doesn't do beauty work but have used this technique: 'negative clarity/midtone contrast' does wonders for skin. But don't make it look to plasticy - that is so 2011.

« Reply #26 on: May 02, 2013, 18:44 »
0
Thanks ShadySue, I'll give that a try! I really hate dealing with skin cos there's really no quick fix method that's why I rather outsource that portion.


« Reply #27 on: May 02, 2013, 19:02 »
0
What she said.  'Can not' as in 'If you want to make money in micro on simple shoots, you can not outsource work.'.

Ed

« Reply #28 on: May 02, 2013, 19:39 »
0
Real people in real situations will earn you more money.

I've got a ton of images over white...haven't licensed one in quite some time.

I agree on not spending more than $100 on a shoot - even less if you can.

For skin, If you have Lightroom, use the brush tool, set it to soften skin, move the clarity slider to 70%.

gillian vann

  • *Gillian*
« Reply #29 on: May 02, 2013, 19:42 »
+1
Thanks ShadySue, I'll give that a try! I really hate dealing with skin cos there's really no quick fix method that's why I rather outsource that portion.
I think it can be done quickly if you set up steps that you follow, and don't muck around. :)

a quick skin retouch:
remove blemishes/freckles/moles: up to 30 seconds
reduce under eye bags/dark area 20 seconds
reduce lines if needed, up to 20seconds
dodge/burn eyes and brows if needed, 20 seconds
run my skin softening action and paint in skin softening 1-3mins depending on how much.

you can chose to also:
brighten/saturate eye colour, 20 seconds
add shimmer to hair 20 seconds
of course there's a million more things you can do, but that's the trap.

I've made an action for my basic facial retouch with blank layers for these things, so i just go in and do what's needed on each layer. If you follow a routine it's quite fast.


Beppe Grillo

« Reply #30 on: May 03, 2013, 04:07 »
0
Hi Rgphoto-

Question 1

Here is the first page (popular) on Shutterstock with the keywords 'Business People' see link below

http://www.shutterstock.com/cat.mhtml?searchterm=business+people&search_source=search_form&lang=en&search_group=&safesearch=1&prev_sort_method=newest&sort_method=popular&page=1


Not too many on just white.

Now lets do search of 'People and Medical'

http://www.shutterstock.com/cat.mhtml?lang=en&search_source=search_form&search_tracking_id=uAUOGvcBWwFMT5xrOOyDig&version=llv1&anyorall=all&safesearch=1&searchterm=people+medical&search_group=&orient=&search_cat=&searchtermx=&photographer_name=&people_gender=&people_age=&people_ethnicity=&people_number=&commercial_ok=&color=&show_color_wheel=1

Still not that many on just white background.


Now "People and Spa"

http://www.shutterstock.com/cat.mhtml?lang=en&search_source=search_form&search_tracking_id=cn8HQpiaDxJH4bDvuZvDSg&version=llv1&anyorall=all&safesearch=1&searchterm=people+spa&search_group=&orient=&search_cat=&searchtermx=&photographer_name=&people_gender=&people_age=&people_ethnicity=&people_number=&commercial_ok=&color=&show_color_wheel=1

Not too many on white either. 

Cannot really address #2 but that seem a bit high for just starting out. Maybe use your family or friends to keep the initial costs down to see if it produces sales. The Stock companies have told us that they want regular (Believable) people instead of fashion models. I know a few companies that want more male models instead of women as well.

#3  Always pay up front and not against your sales- talk about a pain to track against your sales as well. Remember a good seller will go on for years thus you can see the headache involved if you go by the commission to sales things.

Hope this helps...

T


Now
People + Business + White
People + Medical + White
People + Spa + White

Don't you think that it changes a lot?
;)

ShadySue

  • There is a crack in everything
« Reply #31 on: May 03, 2013, 06:17 »
0
Pointless checking at SS anyway, as you can't see the actual figures, so 'most popular' is only relative.
Try iS or DT. However, the figures there are historic, and give no indication as to whether a particular subject/style is currently popular.

« Reply #32 on: May 03, 2013, 09:07 »
0
My experience has been that white isolations sell just great but only if you find an underserved niche.   I'd say from my top 10 selling photos of the last two years, six are white isolations but they have very little competition in the same subject.   If your photo isn't in a unique niche, you can also get sells by doing something that looks different in terms of unique composition.

« Reply #33 on: May 03, 2013, 09:31 »
0


I wonder how "woman vacuuming sky on top of hay bale" images are selling these days?

Might be a good niche to explore.

« Reply #34 on: May 03, 2013, 11:40 »
-8
Thanks ShadySue, I'll give that a try! I really hate dealing with skin cos there's really no quick fix method that's why I rather outsource that portion.
I think it can be done quickly if you set up steps that you follow, and don't muck around. :)

a quick skin retouch:
remove blemishes/freckles/moles: up to 30 seconds
reduce under eye bags/dark area 20 seconds
reduce lines if needed, up to 20seconds
dodge/burn eyes and brows if needed, 20 seconds
run my skin softening action and paint in skin softening 1-3mins depending on how much.

you can chose to also:
brighten/saturate eye colour, 20 seconds
add shimmer to hair 20 seconds
of course there's a million more things you can do, but that's the trap.

I've made an action for my basic facial retouch with blank layers for these things, so i just go in and do what's needed on each layer. If you follow a routine it's quite fast.

talk, talk and talk! why don't you upload? really I love hearing pros when they do the work like Sean per example, other I just find it ridiculous, sorry! ;)

Poncke v2

« Reply #35 on: May 03, 2013, 12:15 »
0
^ Was that comment really necessary ?

ShadySue

  • There is a crack in everything
« Reply #36 on: May 03, 2013, 12:26 »
+1
talk, talk and talk! why don't you upload? really I love hearing pros when they do the work like Sean per example, other I just find it ridiculous, sorry! ;)
What a stupid post.
If you or anyone else only want Sean to answer, they can PM him directly.
The OP didn't specify who they wanted to answer.


« Reply #37 on: May 03, 2013, 12:27 »
+1
^ Was that comment really necessary ?

Ron I have nothing against you but have you became a saint now? I really believe people should talk about stuff they really know or at least are trying hard, I don't think we should talk in every possible forum/topic just to seek attention

Poncke v2

« Reply #38 on: May 03, 2013, 16:10 »
+3
^ Was that comment really necessary ?

Ron I have nothing against you but have you became a saint now? I really believe people should talk about stuff they really know or at least are trying hard, I don't think we should talk in every possible forum/topic just to seek attention
I am nowhere near a saint but Gillian just added to the discussion, I am not the only one thinking your comment made no sense.

How do you know she isnt putting in the work?

I have nothing against you either but you always seem to hand out little jabs and cover them up with smileys. I am not falling for it. Thats all.

Cheers.

lisafx

« Reply #39 on: May 03, 2013, 17:01 »
+3
I agree^^.  No reason to take a shot at Gillian.  She may be relatively new to microstock, but I believe she is an experienced photographer.  Her posting history is intelligent and helpful, IMO.

« Reply #40 on: May 03, 2013, 17:33 »
-4
^ Was that comment really necessary ?

Ron I have nothing against you but have you became a saint now? I really believe people should talk about stuff they really know or at least are trying hard, I don't think we should talk in every possible forum/topic just to seek attention
I am nowhere near a saint but Gillian just added to the discussion, I am not the only one thinking your comment made no sense.

How do you know she isnt putting in the work?

I have nothing against you either but you always seem to hand out little jabs and cover them up with smileys. I am not falling for it. Thats all.

Cheers.

believe you shouldn't talk about jabs, anyway I won't leave forum and come back as v2

Poncke v2

« Reply #41 on: May 03, 2013, 17:40 »
+1
You should

« Reply #42 on: May 03, 2013, 17:42 »
0
You should

I really believe you should have a life outside forumS

Poncke v2

« Reply #43 on: May 03, 2013, 17:47 »
0
Thats just laughable, you know my portfolio,  the images are not shot from my couch.  ;) (see what I am doing there with the smiley)

gillian vann

  • *Gillian*
« Reply #44 on: May 04, 2013, 01:33 »
+9
I do work as a photographer as my main job, and I do lots of facial retouching as part of it.... I do stock as a byproduct of what I shoot for clients, and then in downtimes I try to set up shoots specifically for stock. It doesn't return as much for me yet but I am addicted to it.  I work every day either shooting or editing. I'm also professionally trained in both photography and photoshop.

Sean may not have the time, nor be willing to share any of his retouching skills, and I wanted to offer some help to the OP by saying retouching faces/bodies doesn't have to take that much time. And I did that with a demonstration of what that meant. One of the more helpful things our teacher did for us was to set up a 5min timer and force us to edit fast.

I can (and do) have plenty of life skills outside of this forum group. I also don't hide my work and endeavour to post honestly and helpfully.

edit: must I also add   ;) to show I'm really a nice person?
 
« Last Edit: May 04, 2013, 05:43 by gillian »

« Reply #45 on: May 04, 2013, 05:09 »
+2
I do work as a photographer as my main job, and I do lots of facial retouching as part of it.... I do stock as a byproduct of what I shoot for clients, and then in downtimes I try to set up shoots specifically for stock. It doesn't return as much for me yet but I am addicted to it.  I work every day either shooting or editing. I'm also professionally trained in both photography and photoshop.

Sean may not have the time, nor be willing to share any of his retouching skills, and I wanted to offer some help to the OP by saying retouching faces/bodies doesn't have to take that much time. And I did that with a demonstration of what that meant. One of the more helpful things our teacher did for us was to set up a 5min timer and force us to edit fast.

I can (and do) have plenty of life skills outside of this forum group. I also don't hide my work and endeavour to post honestly and helpfully.

Thanks for having shared info on your workflow Gillian. It is valuable to me and many here.
Best
Jean

« Reply #46 on: May 04, 2013, 07:21 »
+2
edit: must I also add   ;) to show I'm really a nice person?

No, that's obvious without any graphic enhancement.
« Last Edit: May 04, 2013, 09:06 by disorderly »


« Reply #47 on: May 04, 2013, 08:37 »
+1
Thank you very much Gillan and everyone else that gave me valuable advise on this topic. I definitely appreciate it!

cheers,
rg

« Reply #48 on: May 04, 2013, 12:28 »
+2
95 very simple pictures done in 2 hours (shooting) with zero editing (model on white)

Revenue   $ 1555.28
Downloads   3177
Assets   95
Creation   Feb 15, 2011
Agency   Shutterstock
RPI/m   $ 0.59
RPI   $ 16.37
RPD   $ 0.49
STR   92%

can I add a ;) now?

« Reply #49 on: May 05, 2013, 15:05 »
0
95 very simple pictures done in 2 hours (shooting) with zero editing (model on white)

Revenue   $ 1555.28
Downloads   3177
Assets   95
Creation   Feb 15, 2011
Agency   Shutterstock
RPI/m   $ 0.59
RPI   $ 16.37
RPD   $ 0.49
STR   92%

can I add a ;) now?

Care to show us these images  ;)

« Reply #50 on: May 05, 2013, 19:12 »
0
95 very simple pictures done in 2 hours (shooting) with zero editing (model on white)

Revenue   $ 1555.28
Downloads   3177
Assets   95
Creation   Feb 15, 2011
Agency   Shutterstock
RPI/m   $ 0.59
RPI   $ 16.37
RPD   $ 0.49
STR   92%

can I add a ;) now?

Care to show us these images  ;)

not that hard to find ;)

« Reply #51 on: May 05, 2013, 20:39 »
0
You must have good looking model(s)  ;)

gillian vann

  • *Gillian*
« Reply #52 on: May 05, 2013, 21:54 »
0
man or woman?

I see lots of male pics...

« Reply #53 on: May 06, 2013, 04:34 »
+1
95 very simple pictures done in 2 hours (shooting) with zero editing (model on white)

Revenue   $ 1555.28
Downloads   3177
Assets   95
Creation   Feb 15, 2011
Agency   Shutterstock
RPI/m   $ 0.59
RPI   $ 16.37
RPD   $ 0.49
STR   92%

can I add a ;) now?

wow... you can fit 4 shoots like this in a single working day... and youre at it for more than 2 years...
you must be a millionaire by now  ;)

« Reply #54 on: May 06, 2013, 06:45 »
0
SS has sets, only have 1 with 95 files ;D

not a millionaire, where I am at this point I cannot shoot models but I believe we all know how good people sell

« Reply #55 on: May 06, 2013, 08:18 »
0
95 very simple pictures done in 2 hours (shooting) with zero editing (model on white)

95 images in 2 hours? That's almost 1 image per minute! wow! I want to be like you! I'm far from that and I have to do a lot of post afterwards.

gillian vann

  • *Gillian*
« Reply #56 on: May 06, 2013, 21:41 »
-2
SS has sets, only have 1 with 95 files ;D

not a millionaire, where I am at this point I cannot shoot models but I believe we all know how good people sell

you could have just answered the question: that set is of a male model. different story.



« Reply #57 on: May 07, 2013, 19:49 »
0
I buy a lot of lifestyle stock and I rarely use models isolated on white. What I am always looking for are natural looking people, not posing, not looking at the camera. I want to see an instant of real life captured. I want great lighting, and artistic flair. As the boomers age, there is definitely a growing market for good looking, active older people. Shopping, golfing, eating, drinking, biking... It sounds cliche, but I need those images all the time, and most of what is available is awful.

« Reply #58 on: May 07, 2013, 20:44 »
0
I buy a lot of lifestyle stock and I rarely use models isolated on white. What I am always looking for are natural looking people, not posing, not looking at the camera. I want to see an instant of real life captured. I want great lighting, and artistic flair. As the boomers age, there is definitely a growing market for good looking, active older people. Shopping, golfing, eating, drinking, biking... It sounds cliche, but I need those images all the time, and most of what is available is awful.

Sounds like you need either assignment work shot for you or higher end RF / RM images. You won't find many microstock photographers who can create those kinds of images in bulk.

Poncke v2

« Reply #59 on: May 08, 2013, 02:16 »
0
I buy a lot of lifestyle stock and I rarely use models isolated on white. What I am always looking for are natural looking people, not posing, not looking at the camera. I want to see an instant of real life captured. I want great lighting, and artistic flair. As the boomers age, there is definitely a growing market for good looking, active older people. Shopping, golfing, eating, drinking, biking... It sounds cliche, but I need those images all the time, and most of what is available is awful.
Maybe I have some stuff for you as I have people in real life situations, elder people, if you are interested to see my portfolio, let me know, and I'll PM you. I will also have the chance to shoot more stuff soon, a family on a camping site.

gillian vann

  • *Gillian*
« Reply #60 on: May 08, 2013, 03:59 »
0
if only my olds had "the look". I tried some shots last time we were all together, with their new caravan no less, but it just wasn't good enough.

Poncke v2

« Reply #61 on: May 08, 2013, 04:15 »
0
My dad is doing well as model. I just took photos of him when he was busy around the house, the images do well.

ShadySue

  • There is a crack in everything
« Reply #62 on: May 08, 2013, 05:39 »
0
I buy a lot of lifestyle stock and I rarely use models isolated on white. What I am always looking for are natural looking people, not posing, not looking at the camera. I want to see an instant of real life captured. I want great lighting, and artistic flair. As the boomers age, there is definitely a growing market for good looking, active older people. Shopping, golfing, eating, drinking, biking... It sounds cliche, but I need those images all the time, and most of what is available is awful.

Sounds like you need either assignment work shot for you or higher end RF / RM images. You won't find many microstock photographers who can create those kinds of images in bulk.
Or who would be willing to produce them for micro, given their limited sales potential.

gillian vann

  • *Gillian*
« Reply #63 on: May 09, 2013, 02:18 »
0
I buy a lot of lifestyle stock and I rarely use models isolated on white. What I am always looking for are natural looking people, not posing, not looking at the camera. I want to see an instant of real life captured. I want great lighting, and artistic flair. As the boomers age, there is definitely a growing market for good looking, active older people. Shopping, golfing, eating, drinking, biking... It sounds cliche, but I need those images all the time, and most of what is available is awful.

Stocksy...?
 ;D

« Reply #64 on: May 17, 2013, 17:20 »
0
I buy a lot of lifestyle stock and I rarely use models isolated on white. What I am always looking for are natural looking people, not posing, not looking at the camera. I want to see an instant of real life captured. I want great lighting, and artistic flair. As the boomers age, there is definitely a growing market for good looking, active older people. Shopping, golfing, eating, drinking, biking... It sounds cliche, but I need those images all the time, and most of what is available is awful.

I thought of this thread today as I was searching SS/Canstock for some realistic photos of a business meeting and all I could find in the first 5 pages were with a white background and people looking fake and smiling at the camera. So I wanted to chime in PLEASE no more isolated on white photos!! I'm sure people use them but the market is over saturated with them. I agree with fiftyfootelvis - I'm always looking for  candid photos of people in realistic situations and backgrounds for my graphic projects. I do a lot of non-profit work and that's the worst because it's hard to find 'real' looking diverse people to fit the not-happy-shiny-smiling content I'm designing for.

ShadySue

  • There is a crack in everything
« Reply #65 on: May 17, 2013, 17:59 »
+1
@ID, they would be in the first pages, because that's what apparently sells.
So perhaps look at less popular images (way down the page numbers).
But that's also why you don't find many. At micro prices it isn't worth the expense of setting up the sort of images that don't sell in big numbers.
If working with charities/non-profits, isn't it better to use their own staff in the images anyway? - far more credible than stock photos.

gillian vann

  • *Gillian*
« Reply #66 on: May 17, 2013, 18:29 »
0
I buy a lot of lifestyle stock and I rarely use models isolated on white. What I am always looking for are natural looking people, not posing, not looking at the camera. I want to see an instant of real life captured. I want great lighting, and artistic flair. As the boomers age, there is definitely a growing market for good looking, active older people. Shopping, golfing, eating, drinking, biking... It sounds cliche, but I need those images all the time, and most of what is available is awful.

I thought of this thread today as I was searching SS/Canstock for some realistic photos of a business meeting and all I could find in the first 5 pages were with a white background and people looking fake and smiling at the camera. So I wanted to chime in PLEASE no more isolated on white photos!! I'm sure people use them but the market is over saturated with them. I agree with fiftyfootelvis - I'm always looking for  candid photos of people in realistic situations and backgrounds for my graphic projects. I do a lot of non-profit work and that's the worst because it's hard to find 'real' looking diverse people to fit the not-happy-shiny-smiling content I'm designing for.

did you have a look at Stocksy? I know they've done a big push this month to add business and office images in. Absolutely no cheery people on white, they won't accept those images.


« Reply #67 on: May 19, 2013, 01:40 »
+1
@ SS, yeah, I always forget to check how the search comes up - popular, relevant, etc. I will start my searches from the last page now and look at the older photos.

This project wasn't for a nonprofit, it was corporate but even then I prefer photos with realistic backgrounds. For nonprofits, they never want to use their own staff and rarely have good hi res photos of their population so I have to use stock most of the time.

@gillian - totally forgot about stocksy since I never received anything when I signed up for more info. now that they have launched i will see what they have. thanks!

« Reply #68 on: May 19, 2013, 04:23 »
-2
It sounds cliche, but I need those images all the time, and most of what is available is awful.

try Alamy RM, a recent sale i made was about an asian granny grilling chicken legs on the street and smiling at me with a few missing teeth, more than 100$ net for me, RM licence, you won't find such "obscure" and 100% realistic subjects on micros :)

« Last Edit: May 19, 2013, 04:26 by Xanox »

ShadySue

  • There is a crack in everything
« Reply #69 on: May 19, 2013, 04:40 »
0
For nonprofits, they never want to use their own staff and rarely have good hi res photos of their population so I have to use stock most of the time.
More and more I'm seeing the total difference in culture between the US and here. Whereas I can't find any local person who will model for stock, even on MM and PS, I've never found anyone working for or volunteering for a charity to be reluctant to have their photo appear in the charity's collateral. I must have upwards of 20 newsletters of different groups coming in, and they inevitably use photos of their own people and work. (Occasionally they might use a stock photo of a location or species in the case of wildlife charities, but never people.) I photographed a big charity event at the end of last year, with hundreds of participants, who obviously had to be given the right to opt out of publicity photographs. I was a bit concerned about that, because in group scenes, it would be difficult to remember who couldn't be used, especially as I knew none of them. However, not one opted out.

As an end user of these newsletters, I certainly don't want to see random photos of irrelevant people. I'd rather see no photos than that. I want to see the people and/or the projects. Reality is far more important than hi-res or high production values.

But clearly, it is just a totally, totally different culture and expectation. Over here, at the AGM, supporters would question why money was being spend on stock photos!

I hope you find what you want.  :)

« Reply #70 on: May 19, 2013, 05:07 »
-2
I thought of this thread today as I was searching SS/Canstock for some realistic photos of a business meeting and all I could find in the first 5 pages were with a white background and people looking fake and smiling at the camera. So I wanted to chime in PLEASE no more isolated on white photos!! I'm sure people use them but the market is over saturated with them. I agree with fiftyfootelvis - I'm always looking for  candid photos of people in realistic situations and backgrounds for my graphic projects. I do a lot of non-profit work and that's the worst because it's hard to find 'real' looking diverse people to fit the not-happy-shiny-smiling content I'm designing for.

try Flickr, Instagram, 500px, they're a goldmine and most of them will give away the pics for free.

problem is, it's gonna take a long time to find the diamonds in the rough, hours, or whole days as the images are not properly keyworded ... and of course they dont have any model release so it's a gray area in case you need it for advertising or commercial use and the risk is all yours.




« Reply #71 on: May 20, 2013, 03:14 »
0
For nonprofits, they never want to use their own staff and rarely have good hi res photos of their population so I have to use stock most of the time.
More and more I'm seeing the total difference in culture between the US and here. Whereas I can't find any local person who will model for stock, even on MM and PS, I've never found anyone working for or volunteering for a charity to be reluctant to have their photo appear in the charity's collateral. I must have upwards of 20 newsletters of different groups coming in, and they inevitably use photos of their own people and work. (Occasionally they might use a stock photo of a location or species in the case of wildlife charities, but never people.) I photographed a big charity event at the end of last year, with hundreds of participants, who obviously had to be given the right to opt out of publicity photographs. I was a bit concerned about that, because in group scenes, it would be difficult to remember who couldn't be used, especially as I knew none of them. However, not one opted out.

As an end user of these newsletters, I certainly don't want to see random photos of irrelevant people. I'd rather see no photos than that. I want to see the people and/or the projects. Reality is far more important than hi-res or high production values.

But clearly, it is just a totally, totally different culture and expectation. Over here, at the AGM, supporters would question why money was being spend on stock photos!

I hope you find what you want.  :)



@SS - Well you actually hit on something I've been thinking about. Since I'm really tired of not quickly finding the images I continually need to use and finding other designers that have the same issue, I'm doing research about the viability of jumping in the microstock pool and starting my own agency focused on these kind of images. I have some ideas for unique selling points that I know no other agencies are doing know it's crazy to start anything with the industry the way it is but I believe there is a huge need for images the other agencies don't/won't sell.

So I will eventually find what I want, even if it's a few years away. But until then thank you, I hope I do too! :)

@Xanox - nah those sites aren't worth the time. I spend enough hours searching through the pro photos, I'm not wasting any more on free ones. But thanks! :)

« Reply #72 on: May 20, 2013, 05:40 »
0
@SS - Well you actually hit on something I've been thinking about. Since I'm really tired of not quickly finding the images I continually need to use and finding other designers that have the same issue, I'm doing research about the viability of jumping in the microstock pool and starting my own agency focused on these kind of images. I have some ideas for unique selling points that I know no other agencies are doing know it's crazy to start anything with the industry the way it is but I believe there is a huge need for images the other agencies don't/won't sell.

You're not going to be able to gather together large multi-ethnic groups of paid models and really make it viable for microstock.  The party you shot likely did not even put up a sign or ask people if they cared to be in images - true "publicity" images could be used editorially to show off the event.  No release needed.  You might even be able to get away with putting them in a brochure.  Unless you're saying they did ask them - it's hard to tell from your post.

ShadySue

  • There is a crack in everything
« Reply #73 on: May 20, 2013, 05:55 »
0
@SS - Well you actually hit on something I've been thinking about. Since I'm really tired of not quickly finding the images I continually need to use and finding other designers that have the same issue, I'm doing research about the viability of jumping in the microstock pool and starting my own agency focused on these kind of images. I have some ideas for unique selling points that I know no other agencies are doing know it's crazy to start anything with the industry the way it is but I believe there is a huge need for images the other agencies don't/won't sell.

You're not going to be able to gather together large multi-ethnic groups of paid models and really make it viable for microstock.  The party you shot likely did not even put up a sign or ask people if they cared to be in images - true "publicity" images could be used editorially to show off the event.  No release needed.  You might even be able to get away with putting them in a brochure.  Unless you're saying they did ask them - it's hard to tell from your post.

I think you're mixing up her post with the event I spoke of. Obviously when participants signed up they had to indicate if they were not willing to have their photo used for the charity's publicity (by default, consent is assumed with an opt-out ticky-box, but I bet that reverses in the next few years), and there were signs on site on the night in case they'd changed their mind. This has been the case in all organised events here (in Scotland, I don't know about the rest of the UK), charity or otherwise for a few years now.

The non-ticked sign-up seems to cover the organisers for their own non-editorial use, e.g. promoting future events on their website/posters/adverts. In fact, that must be the only reason for the opt-out, as the photos could be used editorially in any case, as long as the event was held in a public place. At the festivals held in public parks in Glasgow (council-run or council-supported), a notice is put up at each of the entrances so that random joggers, (dog-)walkers etc not participating in the event can be informed of the photography with a polite suggestion to the effect that if they are not willing to be incidentally in the background of an event photo, they might like to walk/jog elsewhere, or else they have to 'inform a steward' (who will thereby have to cover them with a cloak of invisibility, presumably).

I do definitely agree that ID would find it difficult to run sustainably an agency supplying the sort of images she wants for clients with a limited budget. I also agree that the sort of images she wants aren't available, although there is a definite demand for them; but the reason is financial unviability.
« Last Edit: May 20, 2013, 06:19 by ShadySue »

« Reply #74 on: May 20, 2013, 05:59 »
0
I totally misquoted that.  Sorry!

gillian vann

  • *Gillian*
« Reply #75 on: May 20, 2013, 07:14 »
0
I had a great job last year shooting the rebranding of a charity. the downside was they used a lot of (watermarked) stock to fill in the gaps to give me an idea of what they wanted. Of course the stock models were far nicer than the real people I encountered (bar 2) but we used the real people because it gave authenticity. (A nice creamy soft filter over it all helped.)

ShadySue

  • There is a crack in everything
« Reply #76 on: May 20, 2013, 07:17 »
0
Of course the stock models were far nicer than the real people I encountered
How could you tell?


Poncke v2

« Reply #77 on: May 20, 2013, 07:58 »
0
It sounds cliche, but I need those images all the time, and most of what is available is awful.

try Alamy RM, a recent sale i made was about an asian granny grilling chicken legs on the street and smiling at me with a few missing teeth, more than 100$ net for me, RM licence, you won't find such "obscure" and 100% realistic subjects on micros :)
Actually you do, as editorial.

« Reply #78 on: May 20, 2013, 08:22 »
0
It sounds cliche, but I need those images all the time, and most of what is available is awful.

try Alamy RM, a recent sale i made was about an asian granny grilling chicken legs on the street and smiling at me with a few missing teeth, more than 100$ net for me, RM licence, you won't find such "obscure" and 100% realistic subjects on micros :)

just looked at her and mouth is closed! now Marco tell me why twitter and facebook are for losers but forums are a lot of fun ;D
« Last Edit: May 20, 2013, 08:24 by luissantos84 »

« Reply #79 on: July 23, 2013, 03:58 »
0
Of my people images, it still makes up about 30% and sells regularly, but not outrageously. I think there will be a market for it always, but not as top-selling imagery.

« Reply #80 on: July 23, 2013, 05:00 »
+1
I buy a lot of lifestyle stock and I rarely use models isolated on white. What I am always looking for are natural looking people, not posing, not looking at the camera. I want to see an instant of real life captured. I want great lighting, and artistic flair. As the boomers age, there is definitely a growing market for good looking, active older people. Shopping, golfing, eating, drinking, biking... It sounds cliche, but I need those images all the time, and most of what is available is awful.

I thought of this thread today as I was searching SS/Canstock for some realistic photos of a business meeting and all I could find in the first 5 pages were with a white background and people looking fake and smiling at the camera. So I wanted to chime in PLEASE no more isolated on white photos!! I'm sure people use them but the market is over saturated with them. I agree with fiftyfootelvis - I'm always looking for  candid photos of people in realistic situations and backgrounds for my graphic projects. I do a lot of non-profit work and that's the worst because it's hard to find 'real' looking diverse people to fit the not-happy-shiny-smiling content I'm designing for.

I've had the same frustration as a designer. My clients don't sell people. They sell products or services, and that's really what the pictures need to convey. Isolated shots emphasize the people, but completely ignore the working environment.

For white-collar professions, I'd rather have a generic office with blurry file cabinets, copying machines, and the like in the background, as opposed to white. These shots are harder to come by in microstock, probably because they require access to an office environment for the shoot rather than just a white backdrop. That's understandable, but still a bit frustrating.

The other problem is that if I want to maintain design continuity across the site, I want some consistency between the pictures used on the various pages (and even more so, pictures used on the same page). This means that I need more than one picture, most of the time; and I want the pictures to have similar "feels" to them. Microstock reviewers, however, often reject pictures simply because they are "too similar" to other pictures in a batch, not thinking that for reasons of maintaining design continuity, many designers would jump for joy if they could find want multiple, similar pictures of the same models in the same environment.

That's the main reason why I've often wound up using pictures with white backgrounds even though I really didn't want to. There simply weren't enough good shots with more realistic business backgrounds for me to maintain design continuity, so I resigned myself to using isolated on white. It wasn't my preference, but it was the best I could do considering what was available image-wise.

-Richard


 

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