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Author Topic: New to stock, need some advice re: agencies.  (Read 10344 times)

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« on: April 25, 2011, 14:06 »
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Hello.

I am currently a Getty contributor through Flickr and its really going great for me. The problem however is that the review times and such are getting longer and longer apart, so over the past year I have managed to add only 47 images. I am happy with the arrangement, but am interested in going a little further.

So, I signed up for Alamy a little while back and got approved. I am thinking of going forward with that. Getty doesn't accept editorial at this point (from me anyway) so I was really looking at alamy as a place to put my editorial type shots (rallies, events, city shots...etc).

Also, I shoot a lot of animals (not literally!) and they sell really well for me. I can fire off 100's of animal cutouts with interesting themes without a problem. I have access to different animals and settings. But again, Getty is just too slow.

How would I fair with Alamy? I really want to keep this simple and want to stay with one or two good options. It cuts down on the confusion and lets me focus more.

Are there any other options for animal shots? Any good animal stock libraries?

My website is http://www.chadlatta.com (just getting going) and http://www.flickr.com/chadlatta, if you want to see any of my work.

Any and all advice would be appreciated.

Chad
« Last Edit: April 25, 2011, 14:42 by Chadlatta »


donding

  • Think before you speak
« Reply #1 on: April 25, 2011, 14:13 »
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Hello.

I am currently a Getty contributor through Flickr and its really going great for me. The problem however is that the review times and such are getting longer and longer apart, so over the past year I have managed to add only 47 images. I am happy with the arrangement, but am interested in going a little further.

So, I signed up for Alamy a little while back and got approved. I am thinking of going forward with that. Getty doesn't accept editorial at this point (from me anyway) so I was really looking at alamy as a place to put my editorial type shots (rallies, events, city shots...etc).

Also, I shoot a lot of animals (not literally!) and they sell really well for me. I can fire off 100's of animal cutouts with interesting themes without a problem. I have access to different animals and settings. But again, Getty is just too slow.

How would I fair with Alamy? I really want to keep this simple and want to stay with one or two good options. It cuts down on the confusion and lets me focus more.

Are there any other options for animal shots? Any good animal stock libraries?

My website is http://www.chadlatta.com (just getting going) and http://www.flickr.com/chadlatta, if you want to see any of my work.

Any and all advice would be appreciated.

Chad


I'm not even done looking at your website and I had to say you do some real beautiful work!!! I'm on Alamy but only sale very little and I'm not on Getty. The big boys and girls here have to give you advice on that....I just had to say...your animal pics are awesome!!

« Reply #2 on: April 25, 2011, 14:42 »
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Thank you. I appreciate the comment.

« Reply #3 on: April 25, 2011, 15:36 »
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Love your animal pics!

Another contributor here, Warren Price, does well with his niche photography (not animals) on Cutcaster, so maybe you want to check them out? He can give you more insight.

« Reply #4 on: April 25, 2011, 15:49 »
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Lovely pictures!

You can do a search on istock and see how the other animal photographers are doing.

I always think of globalp

http://www.istockphoto.com/user_view.php?id=902692

But he does them mostly on white.

If you go exclusive with istock, then any images that get accepted into the Vetta collection will be mirrored on Gettyimages.



Your pictures are excellent examples what can be done with animal photography.

« Reply #5 on: April 25, 2011, 20:32 »
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I am really unsure about microstock. I have chosen to stay away from Istock and others because I have heard alot from others about how much work is required for so little return.

I am not against work, but I would go nuts trying to put together such a HUGE portfolio to make any decent money. Where I am at with Getty, I make at least 5 times more than some of my friends with thousands more images online (I currently have 46?). So, I am trying to stay away from micro as long as possible. As it is now, I shoot stuff I enjoy, and it makes me money. I don't have to sit at home on a weekend photographing stuff specifically for stock. I get to be creative with Getty. This is the direction I want to go, but it produces less images (for me anyway)

Which is why I considered alamy as a second choice.

CutCaster looks interesting. I guess it is still micro, but maybe better royalties and higher pricing? I would be able to put up a decent portfolio if I felt it would be worth it. I don't know how to get a hold of Warren Price. It would be great to ask him some questions. Or, if anyone else has any input on CutCaster.

« Reply #6 on: April 25, 2011, 21:23 »
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Looking at your group of dog images on your site, I think you would do better searching out people who want images of their pets.  There are 20 million or more images on Alamy.  I doubt you'll make much there with pet pictures.  Everyone on micro has pictures of their dog or cat or their brother's rabbit or whatever.  So unless you want to get away from the animal thing or get more stock-ish like dogs player poker or something, you probably won't have much luck selling many.

"I would go nuts trying to put together such a HUGE portfolio to make any decent money. "

And yes, you do need to work hard to create a portfolio that makes decent money.

« Reply #7 on: April 25, 2011, 21:43 »
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I shoot pet portraits for fun (and money) and also shoot ads for many local vets and dog related businesses. It all started when I used my dogs as models to test lighting setups, and then it just spiraled out of control from there.

I have lots of ideas and a lot of resources I could use. Dogs, themes, settings, people....I am confident I could put together a good fairly unique portfolio regarding pets and animals. But, that wouldn't be my only focus.

I guess what it comes down to is this. I enjoy shooting and submitting to Getty because I can shoot what I like, be creative and have fun. I don't have to worry so much about numbers as I would with microstock as the higher rates make up for lower volume. But I am limited to so many images a month and its a really slow process with not a lot of feedback.

If I shot microstock, I would focus more on "stock" type images, in large numbers. That just seems a lot less fun for me. So, I am looking for the best possible way to go about this where those less interesting stock images would get the most income.

I don't really like the "feel" of alamy. I don't know exactly what I don't like, it just doesn't feel right to me. So, I want to look at other options that don't pay .20 an image and would also allow for editorial.

does that make sense? Maybe I am just conflicted and don't know what to do....
« Last Edit: April 25, 2011, 21:45 by Chadlatta »

« Reply #8 on: April 25, 2011, 21:51 »
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You have really nice photos. I am not sure if you will see quick returns from Alamy if you plan to upload 100 images on similar subjects, such as pets.

If you are doing well at Getty, why not focus on building a substantial portfolio there first?

« Reply #9 on: April 25, 2011, 22:09 »
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You have really nice photos. I am not sure if you will see quick returns from Alamy if you plan to upload 100 images on similar subjects, such as pets.

If you are doing well at Getty, why not focus on building a substantial portfolio there first?

The problem with Getty is that when I was invited, I really had no idea what I was doing. At that time, it was a great opportunity to build a portfolio. Images were needed and it was easier to get into the collections. Review times were around 2 weeks and upload limits were at 100 a month. But, as time went on and the collection started filling up, things started getting more difficult. Now, the submission limit is 25 a month (there are other ways to get images in, but its not as easy), review times are months and and competition is stiff. I really feel I have no control over any of it. Everything is so up in the air as to how long reviews take, what is being accepted and why images are rejected. The only consistency is payday, the 20th of each month.

My acceptance rate is about 60%, which is pretty good for that collection. But like I said, I just get random emails here and there saying, we want this and that....its just really unpredictable.

Now that I have a better idea of what I am doing, I want a little more control. I want to be able to upload images, see stats and use all that info to get better. I want to be able to have a better feel for what is happening and how I can change things up to make more sales.

I am still building my Getty portfolio and have no plans of stopping, but its a little like if an agency said, "we will stop by your place sometime and look through your photos to see what we want". You never know when they will stop by, what images they will take and what they want next time they stop by, or when they will be back again. 

It's growing, but slowly.

« Reply #10 on: April 25, 2011, 22:39 »
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In my humble opinion, I would give Alamy a shot. I have about 200 pics there and just made my first sale. Very nice Monday surprise.

Do what feels comfortable for you and your pace. Your shots are amazing.

« Reply #11 on: April 26, 2011, 06:16 »
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I am really unsure about microstock. I have chosen to stay away from Istock and others because I have heard alot from others about how much work is required for so little return.

I am not against work, but I would go nuts trying to put together such a HUGE portfolio to make any decent money. Where I am at with Getty, I make at least 5 times more than some of my friends with thousands more images online (I currently have 46?). So, I am trying to stay away from micro as long as possible. As it is now, I shoot stuff I enjoy, and it makes me money. I don't have to sit at home on a weekend photographing stuff specifically for stock. I get to be creative with Getty. This is the direction I want to go, but it produces less images (for me anyway)

Which is why I considered alamy as a second choice.

CutCaster looks interesting. I guess it is still micro, but maybe better royalties and higher pricing? I would be able to put up a decent portfolio if I felt it would be worth it. I don't know how to get a hold of Warren Price. It would be great to ask him some questions. Or, if anyone else has any input on CutCaster.

If you go through some of the threads (do a search for cutcaster and he has probably posted there), then you can send him a private mail here.

steheap

  • Author of best selling "Get Started in Stock"

« Reply #12 on: April 26, 2011, 07:42 »
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I've had some success with isolated cat shots on Shutterstock - three Enhanced Downloads at $28 in the last month as well as a steady stream of 36c sales. The same images are on Alamy and the other sites, but much less interest. Maybe it is just luck how particular images get picked up and then become popular and then become more visible etc.

Here are the images that sold for me: http://www.backyardsilver.com/2011/04/best-selling-images-in-april-2011/

I've often thought that if you could just identify the images that sell well, and only upload those, this would be a much easier way to make money!!

Steve

« Reply #13 on: April 26, 2011, 10:16 »
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I do wildlife, pets and some stock.  I recently moved from Russia (personal assignment); as a full-time stock photographer, I need to make money to live and eat, hence shooting regular stock (in Russia, I could survive on little money, in USA, not so easy).

My passion is wildlife; I love shooting pets also.  My wildlife and pet images have done moderately well on microstock but not well enough to call it a living.

« Reply #14 on: April 26, 2011, 10:47 »
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... I want a little more control. I want to be able to upload images, see stats and use all that info to get better. I want to be able to have a better feel for what is happening and how I can change things up to make more sales....

Completely understandable, but you may have a hard time getting all the things you want. If that's the case, you need to think about priorities. Microstock can give you some of the things you want; Getty can give you some. If you can't find some niche agency that will (a) sell enough and (b) give you all the feedback you would like, you may have to choose the lesser of two evils.

lisafx

« Reply #15 on: April 26, 2011, 11:00 »
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First off, congratulations on some excellent photographs!  You have managed to capture the personalities of your subjects in a very whimsical way! Anyone can shoot animals, but not anyone can do it so brilliantly :)

Personally, I would not advise you to join the micros at this point.  Despite the quality of your work, the subject matter is not high demand and is completely oversaturated. 

Alamy is a very good option IMO.  They are slow to build, but over time you can establish yourself and do pretty well.  Combining that with what you are making on Getty and you will probably have a tidy side income in a year or so.

You might also try looking for smaller trad agencies who specialize in the type of subjects you are shooting. 

« Reply #16 on: April 26, 2011, 11:34 »
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Thanks for the compliments. Its funny you bring up the "oversaturated" word! When I applied at Getty, I didn't submit any animal shots. However, I was accepted and the only images they initially chose where from my photostream and all dogs! Since then, I submit a mix but more dogs than anything, becuase that is what I shoot alot of. I can pretty much say that a dog image I submit will most likely be accepted and sold at least once within two months. I guess right about 90% of the time and its based on a years experience. They sell very well. Each image I sell per month averages a 50-100 commission. My dogs have a nice little retirement fund!

There is no perfect stock solution IMO (at least for me). Getty works well and I love it, but there is ZERO feedback. Just a statement on the 20th for the previous month. No stats, views, etc. They take the image and send me money. No keywording or anything. That is great, but hard to "analyze"

I am seriously looking into Cutstock. I would love to be able to upload images, keyword them and see search results and views. It would be a great way to experiment in the industry.

As far as oversaturation, I agree. There are millions of animal shots in microstock. I have yet to find a niche animal stock agency.

Currently, I get a lot of requests from local pet related business to shoot small photos for adverts. I have charged and received credits for the past year or so, but I have all the pet services I need taken care of for at least 5-10 years. So I am thinking I could put together a portfolio on cutstock, control pricing and refer business to that site. I would receive less than if I licensed the image myself, but when you consider the time of shooting an ad and the amount they want to pay, it would just be easier to point them to a library and go from there. With the added bonus of having it "worldwide". I also wouldn't have to deal with hosting, distributing and all that stuff that sucks the life out of me.


« Reply #17 on: April 26, 2011, 11:35 »
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Sorry, I meant Cutcaster!

« Reply #18 on: April 26, 2011, 12:27 »
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I absolutely love your images.  Cutcaster would be happy to have them.  You can set your own price with us, though I do suggest setting them around $25 for the largest size.
 :D

« Reply #19 on: April 26, 2011, 17:29 »
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Animals, Animals, Animals is a stock agency with specialization in Animals.

« Reply #20 on: April 26, 2011, 17:44 »
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your pictures are stunning, there are only a few online at your website but they are very nice.. can you do like 50 to 100 monthly? you will do fine even with the IS exclusive photographer with 6k animal pictures.. in stock there is place for everyone, you do have potential, hard work and you are set, I can tell you that you wont hear many comments like mine, even people without animal pictures are afraid of competition :)

« Reply #21 on: April 26, 2011, 18:28 »
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Do you give lessons?  I would take a class from you on setting up proper lighting for animals - you have it down to an art. 8) 

I was going to tell you to submit to calendar agencies as well as greeting card companies, besides stock.  They do take submissions directly - you would need the PHOTOGRAPHER'S MARKET book (sorry if I shouldn't list it here) - it lists all agencies as well as their submission guidelines.  But, that's only for US and Canada - not sure where you are...

Again - fantastic shots!

« Reply #22 on: April 27, 2011, 15:19 »
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I was going to tell you to submit to calendar agencies as well as greeting card companies, besides stock.  They do take submissions directly - you would need the PHOTOGRAPHER'S MARKET book (sorry if I shouldn't list it here) - it lists all agencies as well as their submission guidelines.  But, that's only for US and Canada - not sure where you are...

LOL, Lola, you are always worried about what you can post to here.  If I can speak for the others, we actually find info useful -  unless you turn out to be the guy spamming Ipads and Viagara., - then we mind.   ;)

« Reply #23 on: April 27, 2011, 19:49 »
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Thanks! I have a lot of opportunities coming at me all at once, I really need to slow down and consider my options.

I will look into that book. Thanks

Chad

« Reply #24 on: April 27, 2011, 20:14 »
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Pixart - I'm just trying to be a courteous visitor.  ;D


 

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