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Author Topic: iStock Exclusivity vs. Agencies which may be a better match  (Read 7546 times)

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« on: May 05, 2019, 22:48 »

(First, how does the link to my iStock page become active? I copied the link to my 'signature' but it doesn't show up on my post. Until I fix this, my name on iStock is June Jacobsen.)

New to stock (long time shooter, have portrait studio since 1984), and I have 550 pics on iStock, mostly wildlife from around the globe, some travel, a little food and drink, and so on. Given the time commitment to submitting images to ONE agency, I'm slow to start up with others. Are there agencies that would be better suited to my subject matter? Also, how does one graduate from iStock to GettyImages (from micro to macro)?

I've read iStock's exclusivity deal, read other opinions, etc., but haven't asked a forum. I'd like input before I continue down this particular road and get socked in even more. Thanks in advance for any suggestions, direction, and stock wisdom. Appreciate it! [nofollow]
« Last Edit: May 06, 2019, 08:46 by jjpd747 »

« Reply #1 on: May 06, 2019, 05:02 »
Try it, with your luck! I feel more difficult

« Reply #2 on: May 06, 2019, 12:52 »
Your links won't become active until you've have made more posts (don't recall what the magic number is, but it's an anti-spam measure). Anyone can get to your portfolio, but will have to cut and paste

Stock licensing is different from other types of photography - I'm sure you've read about it already. Your images are lovely, but may not have the sales potential of things are are more boring to look at but are useful as part of a design, web site, annual report, text book, etc.

You'll get lots of opinions about exclusivity, but I wouldn't dream of it today - and I was an iStock exclusive for a few years back when it really was an excellent option.

You don't graduate to Getty per se - and you'll find lots of threads here about minuscule royalties from Getty's various deals. This thread talks a little about other non-micro options

You can get your work on Getty via EyeEm (or other partner sites), but that's a pretty slow as well as indirect route and the money is then split three ways.

As far as the difficulty of submitting to multiple sites, iStock has long held the crown for the biggest pain in the butt - they're not all that hard and some are really straightforward.

As far as agencies best suited to what you like to shoot, if your goal is to develop a regular income, it might be a better approach to shoot things that will sell better. If it's not really about the income, possibly finding one of the specialist macro agencies and offering exclusive images (not artist exclusivity)

Good luck

Modified to add a couple of additional links to threads here you might find interesting:
« Last Edit: May 06, 2019, 15:24 by Jo Ann Snover »

« Reply #3 on: May 06, 2019, 13:11 »
Hi Jo Ann,

Thank you so much for the great response! So appreciated!

I will re-read your post and look up that link you supplied. A bit of background: A friend who shoots similar to me was picked up by Getty years ago when they got contributors from flickr, I believe. She says she makes about $800 a month on Getty, RM and the smaller stuff. She uploads photos regularly and had encouraged me to apply, though she didn't realize how things have changed over the years with regard to being in iStock first, etc.

As I mentioned, I have a portrait studio on Long Island, so that's my main income, though business has fallen off in the past several years (like much else in the photo biz). I would just love to do something else with my wildlife pics than to have them languish (haha) on my hard drives, as is the case with most shooters.

Thanks again for the informative and generous reply.

June Jacobsen

« Reply #4 on: May 06, 2019, 13:20 »
Hi again, Jo Ann,

I hope this second reply also is directed to you. Your site is very interesting, lovely lovely photos, great social/lifestyle appeal, and I have to look at that more later. Also, wherever you're shooting your beach scenes, haha, could be here on Long Island!



« Reply #5 on: May 06, 2019, 14:17 »
I would just love to do something else with my wildlife pics than to have them languish (haha) on my hard drives,

You can check around on the various sites, but you'll find that "wildlife" is an oversaturated theme, since many, many hobbyists like to photograph nature.  Best to concentrate on more saleable work if you want to get into the game.

« Reply #6 on: May 06, 2019, 14:24 »
Hi Sean,

Thanks for the reply, and yes, acknowledge that the internet has a glut of wildlife, and will explore more before I spend more time uploading a ton of stuff.



  • There is a crack in everything
« Reply #7 on: May 06, 2019, 14:27 »
iS would have been a good site for you back in the day, but now ...  :(

If you can keep up a good supply of wildlife, particularly the more unusual species, why not try to get into one of the specialist wildlife agencies? But the best ones (i.e. I see them reguarly used here, youre location will have different publications, so do your own research) require a regular supply, you'd probably need to be more or less full time to keep up with their requirements.

You can only do your own trials and find out which site/s work best for you. But even that can change, e.g. with a change of search algorithm.
Like Jo-Ann says, you don't graduate from iS to Getty. Maybe some people do it, but I've only read of people who applied and were told to stick with iS. Maybe if you'd applied to G first? Who knows.

Good luck, love your images.

« Reply #8 on: May 06, 2019, 16:44 »
Hi ShadySue,

Thanks very much for your reply, and just reading a few replies on here, I believe the direction WOULD be specialist wildlife agencies. Also, thank you for the nice comment. I have wildlife from every continent, so most of the work is not uploaded, e.g. mountain gorillas, penguins, lots of wildcats, etc. Glad to hear the iStock comments and opinions before I spend gobs of time on that site.

And I do think that I applied to Getty, not iStock, so, that was that. I mentioned to Jo Ann that a friend had encouraged me to start stock because of all the wildlife and travel I shoot. The friend is with G since they drafted contributors off of Flickr, I believe, and that's years ago. She says she makes about $800 a month on Getty, RM and RF. So, of course, I was encouraged to start, especially since our subject matter and styles are similar.

I will start to do more research, and thanks again for the helpful and informative reply.



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