Microstock Photography Forum - General > Photo Critique

iStock Exclusivity vs. Agencies which may be a better match

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(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!

https://www.istockphoto.com/portfolio/JuneJacobsen?assettype=image&autocorrect=none&sort=best [nofollow]

[email protected]:
Try it, with your luck! I feel more difficult

Jo Ann Snover:
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:



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

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!




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