MicrostockGroup Sponsors


Show Posts

This section allows you to view all posts made by this member. Note that you can only see posts made in areas you currently have access to.


Messages - ComfortEagle2095

Pages: [1] 2 3 4 5 6
1
Shutterstock.com / Shutterstock and Model Releases
« on: December 11, 2017, 23:38 »
Did Shutterstock change their criteria for accepting model releases?  Suddenly all new images I'm submitting with the release form I've used for years are getting rejected for not having a valid release.

I checked the contributor blog and saw this on the page where the listed the releases they would take (i.e., their release and releases from specific other agencies):

"All other model and property releases, English

We generally do not accept English releases that are not on this list; however, we may choose to accept these releases on a case-by-case basis."


I've never had any problem with my own release before and it has all the same information on it that the Shutterstock release has.  I don't really want to use one of the agency's releases -- I want to use the one I developed for my company -- and I don't want to make models fill out multiple releases.  Anybody know if this is a new restriction or maybe just an over-reactive and poorly trained reviewer?

2
iStockPhoto.com / Re: $ 0.00077 Lowest Earning on Istock
« on: July 07, 2017, 19:59 »
Face it, at 2 cents a download you are losing money, not to mention these fractions of a cent "streaming" payouts. 

Consider the time it took to take the photo, process it, upload it, keyword it.  How many of those 2 cent or less downloads would it take to even pay you a minimum wage? 

If you are happy to just get "something" instead of nothing, your economic reasoning is faulty.  You're not getting something -- it's costing you money.  Get a job at McDonalds instead.  You'll be ecstatic.

3
It's way past time that these articles can hurt.  The damage is done.

When I started in stock in 2005 SS was taking in about 3000 new photos a month.  Now they are taking in over a million new photos each month.  Nothing you can do -- improving quality, doing research, upping your volume -- will keep your income from dropping.

My income peaked in 2008 and it's been down hill ever since.  There were times when I got motivated, shot a lot, worked on improving quality but nothing turned the tide even for a little while.

I don't even care any more.  My income is 25% of what it was in 2008 and continues to erode.  I just shoot what I want to shoot these days and upload when I fee like it.  For money I concentrate on the day job.

4
Bigstock.com / Re: Web Uploader not working on Big Stock
« on: May 02, 2017, 23:22 »
Not working for me on Chrome now.  Actually it hasn't worked right for like a year.  I've not been able to upload 2 or 3 files at a time.  Now it won't upload anything. 

On IE I was able to upload 2 files at a time but it hangs up every time and I have to go back to the main page to see what it got.

5
Canon / Re: 5d mk4
« on: September 02, 2016, 00:46 »
I've shot a 5D III for several years now.  I've been saving up for the 5DS R because I want the high resolution for my landscapes and studio work.  I expect to use the 5D III for my carry-around camera and for what little event, concert and sports type of work I do.

When I decide to replace the 5D III I'll probably go mirror-less since that'll make more sense in a walk-around camera.  I expect to keep shooting the 5DS R in the studio and for landscapes for several years.

So, no real interest in the 5D IV for me.

6
Shutterstock.com / Re: SS Clawback
« on: August 17, 2016, 09:01 »
It's a screw-up but it's not really a clawback.

Clawback generally refers to cases where a sale was made and credited but then the agency removed the credited sale because:

1) The buyer used a fraudulent account or credit card and the agency took the money back after the fact.
2) The buyer changed their mind after the purchase and asked for a refund.

In those cases, our content was delivered to a customer and then our earnings were taken back.  This case is different.

I have never had SS actually do a clawback.  Other agencies do it a lot (e.g., IS, DT)

Just sayin.

7
I use Model Mayhem a lot.  It works well for the most part although I get a number of no-shows and last minute cancellations.  Generally I plan to do three shoots on the same day and expect at least one no-show.

For normal commercial work I pay $75 for a two-hour shoot, sometimes less for models with no or limited experience.  I do some fine art nudes that I typically pay $200-$300 for two hours depending on experience.

I also try to get people I meet in public and offer TF.  That works sometimes but cancellation/no-show percentage is probably 75%.

Some people swear by Craig's List but I've had no luck that way.


8
General Photography Discussion / Who Pays and How Much
« on: February 23, 2016, 00:33 »
I thought this was interesting....

Who Pays Photographers (and how much):
https://www.format.com/magazine/articles/who-pays-photographers-jobs

9
Newbie Discussion / Re: A question about flowers..
« on: January 16, 2016, 22:16 »
I live in Arizona so I have a number of native desert wildflowers and plants in my portfolio.  About 20% of them sell very well, the rest rarely or never.  I always try to make sure I include all the common names and the scientific names in my titles and keywords.

Looking at the SS Image Gallery Stats gallery it appears that there is rarely a scientific name used to find one of my images.  It's only happened twice that I can see.  Common names are used more frequently but it's still rare.  If a name is recorded as a search term it's usually a generic name like "poppy" or "rose" rather than the type.

Most often recorded search words are things like "cactus" or "shrub" or often a color.  "Desert" and "Arizona" (for native species) are also common.

Even so, I intend to continue to put the scientific and common names in the titles and keywords for flower images.  If nothing else, I learn something from it.

10
Bigstock.com / Upload Images Broken?
« on: December 31, 2015, 11:32 »
Am I the only one getting an "Internal Server Error" when using the Upload Images form?  I've tried it on Chrome and IE.  This has been going on for several days.

11
For me FT has been up significantly every month since May.  Before that it was flat for like two years.  Now it's 4x what it was before May (but I only have a small portfolio there and it's always been one of my bottom sites--looks like that may change).

12
My Grandmother always said, "Never do anything you would be ashamed to see printed in a newspaper."  I would suggest that agencies shouldn't do things that they would be ashamed to see reported in this forum.

Also, since they are clearly monitoring here they have every opportunity to come here and explain the circumstances from their point of view.  If they disagree with Jo Ann and her post, let them come here and say so.

13
It might be cheaper to hire someone to take photos for you under a "work for hire" contract than trying to buy copyrights to already established images.

14
Photoshop Discussion / Windows 10 and CS6
« on: August 13, 2015, 01:13 »
I've updated several computers to Windows 10 and everything looks good so far.   However, I'm nervous about updating my photo editing machine where I'm running CS6 since if anything goes wrong I'm dead in the water until I can fix it.

Anyone have experience updating to Windows 10 with CS6?  Any problems?

I also use a Wacom tablet and several 3Tbyte USB drives from WD so it would also suck if any of my hardware stopped working.

15
Bigstock.com / Re: How Much I can Make with 500 images
« on: July 17, 2015, 14:25 »
In my experience the Pareto principle applies very well:  20% of my photographs earm 80% of my income.  It's been that way for 10 years.

16
It's not so much the cost of establishing an LLC...

I have one for another business so I know how to do it.  It's more the costs associated with tax preparation and insurance -- that kind of thing.

I didn't know that about Almay - I may look into it.  I'm not that thrilled with them though.  I put up a small portfolio of about 30 images five years ago just to see how things worked and never had a single sale.

17
There was another thread going around about having multiple accounts by different legal entities to get around exclusivity.  This reminded me about something I've been curious about for a while.

My stock accounts are all registered to my sole proprietorship photography business and most accounts are 8-10 years old.  I have a day job so I only do this on the side. I only have a couple thousand images uploaded.

Over the years I've naturally become a much better photographer.  Also, I find I have developed two distinct styles:  a traditional shoot-on-white-saturated-colors-happy-smiling-people type commercial stock and my more personal style which is much more artistic. 

In both styles I shoot both studio and outdoor shots with people and I also shoot landscapes.  The landscapes I shoot in my personal style are very different than the ones I specifically shoot for stock.  The people shots I do in my personal style is likewise very different from what I shoot specifically for stock.

Since my personal stuff is (IMHO) much more sophisticated what what I shoot for stock I've not wanted to mix it with the commercial style stock I've produced over the last 10 years -- especially since the older stuff from when I was learning is admittedly not very good.

So far, I've kept the more personal work out of my stock accounts and only sell it as fine art prints directly from my web site.

I think the personal work has the potential to get me accepted at Stocksy and I'd be willing to sell it exclusively there.  But, if a Stocksy reviewer saw it mixed with my "stock" photography I'd never be accepted.

So, I have thought about establishing separate accounts where I would selectively upload my newer, more personal work.  This would give me two "brands" -- my current "stock" work and my more artistic brand.  Once the artistic "brand" had enough content I could use it to attempt to get into Stocksy.

Thing is, I think most sites do not allow you to have two accounts for the same person.  Is there an exception?  Perhaps if I established a new business name?  Since I'm a sole proprietor and don't want the expense to establish an LLC, my tax ID number wouldn't change for the second business so maybe that wouldn't work?

Does anyone have any experience in this?


18
US Government property photographed from a public place should always be fair game (except military bases in some cases and possibly nuclear facilities).   However, SS and BS have both forced me to re-upload as editorial on a number of similar subjects.  IS has rejected a few as well.  It's their club so it's their rules even if it's not necessary legally.

19
The problem is only partly what a beginner could make.  The real problem is the trend.  If I had the portfolio I have now in 2008 I'd be making probably 10x what I make now.  So a beginner today might be able to squeeze out minimum wage but in a year or two it'll be half that.

20
Flagging can help but it won't solve the problem.  You need to move your subject far enough away from the backdrop so that when you meter from the back of your subject towards the backdrop, the f-number is the same as what you meter from the front of your subject towards the camera and front lights.  Or, you can reduce the light on your backdrop and also reduce the light coming from in front.  The point is to balance the light hitting the subject from the backdrop and the light hitting the subject from in front.   Then you don't get that flare.

BTW: this is a good tutorial (it's for portraits but the same applies for any object) https://youtu.be/IRbOZfmd7mE

21
General Stock Discussion / Re: Studio Space?
« on: March 26, 2015, 09:32 »
I have a fairly large studio and I use Alien Bees lighting.  I shoot pure white backdrops frequently using two B800 units set very close to the white vinyl backdrop.  Often I will use a B1600 for a key light (and a large octobox) and another B800 for fill (usually a medium softbox).  I usually meter for around f11 on the subject.  If the backdrop lights are turned up all the way that will usually blow the background out to pure white without it spilling back on the subject (at f16+).  You need some space, though because the subject can't be too close to the backdrop. 

More artistic lighting scenarios require anywhere from one to five lights for me.  I don't generally use the 6th light even though I have one.

My studio was too small at first (I'd say 13 feet by 17 feet) but I was able to knock down a wall to more than double the work space.  Now I have enough to do two lighting setups simultaneously which is a great time savings when you are paying a model by the hour.

I am fortunate to have been able to buy my own commercial building (it's an investment).  I did a lot of the remodeling work myself and it's really nice inside now.  Unfortunately to be able to afford to buy I had to purchase in an outlying area so it's a 35 minute drive from my house.

If you like, you can see my studio here: http://www.chriscurtisphotography.com/?page_id=304


Very Nice! So you mentioned having two Lighting set ups, how do you plan that out, speaking form no experience I just imagined that I would have some ideas in mind and have the models try the ideas and also just do things on the fly which would mean also figuring out lighting on the fly. Are you saying that you already have the lighting all set up exactly how you want it before the model shows up?

So are you making your living from photography? It looks like from your website that you do mostly Portraiture for people who walk in? Or are you making your living from Stock Photography or Both?


Yes, when I hire a model, it's for a specific concept.  I plan what I'm going to shoot and how I'm going to light it in advance.  Then I go to the studio the day before and set up the lighting  and the set.  Then when the model shows up, there are just tweaks to make.

Model time is expensive and I want to get the most shots possible so I do a lot of prep.

I don't make my living from photography currently.  Doing stock part time pays for all my equipment.  It also pays the costs to hire models or travel around to do art projects just for myself that isn't intended for stock.  But I'm not going to  be quitting the day job any time soon.

22
General Stock Discussion / Re: Studio Space?
« on: March 25, 2015, 23:26 »
I have a fairly large studio and I use Alien Bees lighting.  I shoot pure white backdrops frequently using two B800 units set very close to the white vinyl backdrop.  Often I will use a B1600 for a key light (and a large octobox) and another B800 for fill (usually a medium softbox).  I usually meter for around f11 on the subject.  If the backdrop lights are turned up all the way that will usually blow the background out to pure white without it spilling back on the subject (at f16+).  You need some space, though because the subject can't be too close to the backdrop. 

More artistic lighting scenarios require anywhere from one to five lights for me.  I don't generally use the 6th light even though I have one.

My studio was too small at first (I'd say 13 feet by 17 feet) but I was able to knock down a wall to more than double the work space.  Now I have enough to do two lighting setups simultaneously which is a great time savings when you are paying a model by the hour.

I am fortunate to have been able to buy my own commercial building (it's an investment).  I did a lot of the remodeling work myself and it's really nice inside now.  Unfortunately to be able to afford to buy I had to purchase in an outlying area so it's a 35 minute drive from my house.

If you like, you can see my studio here: http://www.chriscurtisphotography.com/?page_id=304


23
My payout was 20% less that it should have been.  I'm a US citizen with a W-9 on file so there shouldn't have been any taxes deducted.  Wrote to ask why but doubt I'll get an answer.  Hopefully there will be more info coming when they get around to publishing the accounting info.

24
General Stock Discussion / Re: What sells, and what doesn't
« on: March 13, 2015, 18:12 »
For a while I was concentrating on HCV type work but the cost of production was just too high.  I would spend money on a model shoot with solid commercial appeal from which I'd get a few images that would sell quite well.   It still took more than two years to pay back the costs of production.  On the other hand, I could take some photos of a piece of cheese I bought for a couple dollars that sold less than the model shoot but that paid back the cost of production in a month.  Turns out LCV shots of cheese are more profitable in the long run than HCV studio shots with models--at least for me.

These days I upload a lot of landscapes.  They're not big sellers but they don't cost me anything to produce either since I'd be shooting them anyway for fun.  It's more profitable for somebody like me.  I still do model shoots and more complex stuff sometimes for fun -- but I don't expect to do much better than break even on them.

Once I thought stock would allow me to retire early from the day job.  Now I just see it as a way to pay the costs of an expensive hobby.  Still, maybe someday I'll quit the day job and just concentrate on my photography business.  If so, it won't be stock that pays the bills.

25
Image Sleuth / Re: Theft of images
« on: January 22, 2015, 14:01 »
To change back to English, click on the little world icon on the bar at the top of your page.  It'll pop up a list of languages to choose from.

Pages: [1] 2 3 4 5 6

Sponsors

Mega Bundle of 5,900+ Professional Lightroom Presets

Microstock Poll Results

Sponsors

3100 Posing Cards Bundle