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Messages - Pauws99

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1
No chance in hell I am going to ruin some of my bestsellers by offering them for free. If it's worth it for you, then good for you, take the offer. But for me it's a question of "Do you want 500$ for that image or 5$"? And that's not a hard choice for me. I have nominated a few images that don't sell well anywhere. In these cases 5$ is better than 0$. Doubt Adobe will pick them in the end. But I am not going to give away any image that sells regularly for me on other agencies for free for a meager 5$.

I don't know your port but I am convinced that $500 for an image these days is more like a fantasy even for the best contributors.
I am not for giving away anything for free but I understand that for a contributor with say 10k images caching in $1k upfront for 200 images that just sit there for many years is a good choice. In a few years, not so many, we will be proud and thankful if someone chooses them for free.

After all, nobody is forced to do anything they don't want to.
I would guess a fairly typical serious contributor would have around 3,000 images at $500 per annum they would be making $1.5m dollars ;-). Even $50 per image is a very high estimate for most  I would say.

2
"Anticipating what sells is as simple as making subjects that are needed."   The key for the real stars is knowing what will be needed i.e getting ahead of the curve...its not so hard to see what sells now....what will sell in six months not so much. Those people who followed events closely were probably pumping out Covid related images months before the rest of us.....see also Crypto etc.

3
reading some of these replies, I'm rather shocked no one mentioned this...

The pendumlum swings back when you learn how to do your OWN marketing, and be EFFECTIVE at it.

Most artists (and I get this) don't like marketing, because it is "work". But once you figure out a formula that WORKS - so start seeing nice returns.
While "stock agencies" are nice (and I 100% admit I use them myself) - they aren't the only way of making $$$ from your work. Start seeing that, learn & apply, and you'll see increased $$$.

and just HOW do you propose someone do this???  there are NO NICE RETURNS anymore from self hosted microstock sites
Microstock and the internet are not the only sales channels.

4
The question was "...when do you think the pendulum will swing back." and who works for who. NOT producing art or high value art. Please follow? Because of technology, the methods of marketing and distribution of Music, photography and many other artists works, are now global, via Internet, electronically, not through, shipping or mail, for physical products.

The pendulum will never swing back. And what I said was, we work for ourselves, not the agency and the agency doesn't work for us. We are independent producers. We must find the way to be seen and to market our work. Some do that on their own, some with large representative agents and some on Microstock.

I think the pendulum will never swing back in our favour because the markets already "corrected" themselves years ago.
There's not a single reason for a product like Stock that anyone can cheaply produce in big quantity to become expensive.

In order to return being expensive you need scarcity, and that's why i mentioned FineArt, while there are millions of stockers there are not millions of photographers able to make FineArt, at best they can make Creative images but not Art, big difference.

In any case even doing Art you won't have the same audience as microstock and neither the same quick sales.

There are still many ways to get your images seen around but it won't happen with common microstock images, it can only happen with creative non-stocky photos.

Most of the microstockers will give up, sell their gear, and keep photography as a hobby shooting with their phone.

I agree with this scenario and this can be seen to be happening at the moment.

I think Art is the way forward and this requires quality, which a great many Microstockers are going to fine difficult if not impossible to do.

Personally this is the way I have been moving in recent years, the treadmill of the agencies is finished, though on saying this I suspect that some of the agencies will move, and have moved into high end quality photography and graphics.

I think Adobe is one of these agencies, obviously SS and Getty/istock are bottom feeders and in the long run finished.
The only thing Art and Microstock have in common is marketing. People that can anticipate what sells and can execute it well and market it effectively will always do well. Technical and Artistic ability are secondary. Look at the most popular images that hang on peoples living rooms.........

5
I was watching Noel Gallagher on a chat show recently and he was saying that back in the 90s when Oasis made it big, the record company worked for them, but now with the new bands and streaming services it is the other way around.

Really the whole gig economy that has arisen in the last 15 years has flipped work on its head, and the returns in the creative industries have been stolen by a small minority.

My question would be, when do you think the pendulum will swing back.

What could be the catalyst for this?
Noel Gallagher may have said it but its not really true for all but very few in the Music Industry which is notorious for ripping off and controlling artists. So its a false premise.   In the arts only a tiny minority have ever "made it" financially. One exception was a short period when microstock was in a fast growth phase rather than vice versa.

6
There was a time when the highest profile contributors could do this Yuri Acurs being the obvious example. I doubt its a thing in the current climate.

7
I'm happy to participate with the full allocation of files accepted by Adobe.  My experience of Adobe over the last few years is that they have been one of the fairest and most professional of agencies.  I'm happy to go with their judgement.
Me too. I think money in the hand is better than trying to second guess what may happen everyone can make their own choice.

8
No one is going to pay for an image on one site that he can get for free on other sites

This seems true until you factor in laziness / apathy or pure ignorance that an image is available for free on the part of many buyers.
In addition the opportunity costs of scouring the internet for a free version outweighs the costs of getting the most convenient option and many buyers are constrained by coroprate rules around where they can obtain images. The fact that the same images can be available for zero to 10s or even 100s of dollars illustrates its an oversimplification.

9
You're doing better than me, I can't grasp Crypto at all.
One thing which interested me is that I've recently joined a couple of totally unrelated facebook groups, and noticed that both of them said in their 'group rules' that there was to be no discussion about Crypto on the groups, from which I'm inferring that there is some concerted effort by crypto-fans, or those who stand to benefit, to infiltrate internet groups.
I've been playing with microwallets and faucets to try and learn without paying anything but time. Its kinda fun and I have a bunch of what are politely called "poo coins", but I have little idea of what I am actually doing. I learned quickly that the airdrops are mostly scams used to pump up a coin and then dump it, so I am staying away from those. NFT's baffle me, but I will figure them out someday. I just wish I had the artistic chops to create them. Some are real money makers..

I think sooner or later some enterprising agency might provide an option to be paid in crypto, which might be interesting if we get to choose the currency.
Wemark had a go which ended in......nothing. I suspect crypto in time will become mainstream but not without some massive winners and losers....Elon Musk is gaming the market like a stradivarius at the moment.

10
Maybe its my age but I can just about grasp Crypto. NFT are a mystery to me....you seem to be paying for virtually nothing....
You're doing better than me, I can't grasp Crypto at all.
One thing which interested me is that I've recently joined a couple of totally unrelated facebook groups, and noticed that both of them said in their 'group rules' that there was to be no discussion about Crypto on the groups, from which I'm inferring that there is some concerted effort by crypto-fans, or those who stand to benefit, to infiltrate internet groups.
I get quite a few posts on totally unrelated Facebook groups urging me to make my fortune from various Crypto schemes.

11
Maybe its my age but I can just about grasp Crypto. NFT are a mystery to me....you seem to be paying for virtually nothing....

12
I agree on everything but on this point. It is not a couple of years. It has been now more than 5 years that I have not seen anything interesting in any of the known big stock sites. Yes lots of "useful" images. Quality nothing zilch nada. I remember as you said big names with amazing portfolios at Getty 10 years ago. People with published books and really powerful images. All this has been gone for a long time. Any serious photographer that want to make a name and loves photography does not walk but run away as fast as he/she can from stock photography nowadays.

I get that, I really do. But it seems to me that we are talking about two different industries. Why the heck would Joe's Diner need art (and pay a premium) when all they want is a picture of a sugar packet or a piece of toast? Or a picture of a tire for an article on car maintenance? What should a person be willing to pay for that, and how powerful does it really need to be to take up an inch of space in an online article?
Spot on.

13
So for all you haters out there, looks like Jon has fallen on hard times and is selling his more expensive home in the Hamptons and moving to Florida to one that's about $10 million dollars less value?  :o Poor guy, what's he going to do next?
Poor rich guy, maybe he will sell his car and buy a cheap one. :)

Yeah I just feel so sorry for his downsizing. I did like the infinity pool and the nice view. I mean seriously for someone who can actually take the time, and has the money, that would be enjoyable. I'm not doing sour grapes, but I like living in the country, trees, plants, nature, much more than anything city or modern.

I've had more than a few successful friends who bought condos in the city, upscale, converted old building, with security guards at the door 24/7. They can walk to the downtown entertainment, arena, bars and restaurants. Nice of you want to be something like living in a hotel your whole existence?

We had a cabin, on a lake, last one on a road, so nice and secluded with nature. I didn't get there enough because I'm almost always working weekends and some 10 day weeks. What's the use of paying taxes and upkeep, to go vacation four weekends a year?

Yes, poor Jon. Hey maybe we should all get together and start mailing him dimes? That's what he gives us?
He has a Tesla an expensive car but not what you'd call realy high end
I doubt he has only one car........

14
Shutterstock.com / Re: Anyone get paid (April)from SS yet?
« on: May 13, 2021, 11:50 »
Just got an email technical error will pay you June 15... Something doesn't add up. It is MY money you are withholding and a technical glitch doesn't take a month to fix!!
They aren't going to bend over backwards by doing a special run for us not good but I wouldn't read more than that into it.

15
Laws tend not to be black and white....you may have a right to take photographs of people in public places but they also have a right not to be harassed by people coming up to them and poking a lens in their face. The grey area in between is why we have lawyers and courts. If someone doesn't want their photo taken and tells you that  then I think its a matter of common decency to respect that.

I couldn't agree more with you.

However, in the grey area there are countless photos that go to the world press photo and that do not contain the rights signed by the person photographed. This is the case of war scenarios, among others.

I recall that one of the most celebrated photographs of the last 100 years is Robert Capa's The Falling Soldier during the Spanish Civil War in 1936. Or even Napalm girl, the South Vietnamese-born Canadian woman best known as the nine-year-old child depicted in the Pulitzer Prize-winning photograph. Not to mention The Falling Man of World trade Center taken by Richard Drew.

The photos had no consent. This paddles to the terms of what is "common decency". You will see that have a lot of grey areas too.
Yes its not always simple

16
Laws tend not to be black and white....you may have a right to take photographs of people in public places but they also have a right not to be harassed by people coming up to them and poking a lens in their face. The grey area inbetween is why we have lawyers and courts. If someone doesn't want their photo taken and tells you that  then I think its a matter of common decency to respect that.

17
Shutterstock.com / Re: Anyone get paid (April)from SS yet?
« on: May 10, 2021, 00:46 »
Yep.....

18
Shutterstock.com / Re: Anyone get paid (April)from SS yet?
« on: May 09, 2021, 00:17 »
Whoops made the school boy error of forgetting the date on my Tax form is in US rather than UK format.....so will have to wait for my coffee till next month.  :o

19
Shutterstock.com / Re: Anyone get paid (April)from SS yet?
« on: May 08, 2021, 00:52 »
still waiting for my also.

no earning calculated email no payment

tax form up to date, minimum amount passed.
Should i email to SS?
Until the 15th which is the date they promise to pay an email will just get a standard response to wait.

20
Shutterstock.com / Re: Anyone get paid (April)from SS yet?
« on: May 07, 2021, 00:49 »
Not yet
How can we do? :-[

Make sure your tax forms are up-to-date.
Not got mine yet. Paypal, over the minimum,tax info up to date, no refunds, correct Paypal address in my account. Does say the 15th officially (even though it never is) so will give it a week and drop them a line.
Me too....I think once I didn't get paid till bang on 15th. So long as the money is sitting there I'm not going worry just yet.

21
General Stock Discussion / Re: European Union suing Apple
« on: May 06, 2021, 09:35 »
The European Commission said the tech giant was in breach of its rules by charging high commission fees in its App Store.

Could this be the thin end of the wedge, and help the Microstock creative sector fight back against the likes of Shutterstock and Getty.

Yeah, fight while ignoring the law of unintended consequences, which is teaching us that a potential royalty increase, definitely passed on to end-consumers, will lead to a price increase, then to a reduction in sales, and very likely, to a global earning reduction.

So... as they say, be careful what you wish for...  ;)
Its not definite that Royalty increases will be passed on...many industries absorb cost increases and maintain prices to consumers to retain or grow market share....thats how the market you keep talking about works.

Nah. The new government rules are applicable to every competitor.
In a competitive market there are always competitors with very thin margins and no option left but to pass the extra costs to consumers, or else go bankrupt.

Even if some more efficient competitors could absorb those extra costs (as you suggest), when competitors go bankrupt, they will have no more incentives to keep the consumer prices down, in a less competitive market!
So they will pass those extra costs to consumers to recover or even increase their original margins, because their market share will not be under threat anymore.

That's how the market works!  ;)

So, as they say, be careful what you wish for!
  They can reduce costs in other areas and also cut dividends and other payments...not inevitable at all. The opposite to when many cut contributor payments without cutting customer charges. The industry is expecting profit margins comparable with emerging technologies in reality its a commodity industry which has much lower margins.

Yes, they can reduce costs by further cutting our royalties, indeed. ;)

What you didn't get from my previous post is that the cost cutting you are talking about can only be afforded by the most efficient competitors.
In any market, there are always, less efficient competitors, able to make a profit only when the government doesn't interfere, but unable to survive when additional expenses are imposed.

These less efficient competitors are critical, because they can keep the market in check, by holding to a certain market share.

When those fringe competitors are forced to close their shops because of the new, unaffordable expenses, the survivers have no more incentives to keep their prices down, because the competition is weakened. They will not only want to recover what the extra costs imposed by the government, but they might even go beyond that, since the consumwrs will have less choices.
Btw, this is how monopolies are created.  ;)

The basic truth is that trade tariffs, taxes, price control laws, and all other artifical costs imposed by governments are ALWAYS paid by the consumers.
That's simple economics. Everything else is wishful thinking, or an ideological falacy derived from the marxist class warfare.
Costs can be more easily cut by the least efficent competitors. Everything is ultimately paid for by consumers its not Marxist to think that the Government should ensure certain standards through taxation and spending.

22
General Stock Discussion / Re: European Union suing Apple
« on: May 06, 2021, 08:24 »
The European Commission said the tech giant was in breach of its rules by charging high commission fees in its App Store.

Could this be the thin end of the wedge, and help the Microstock creative sector fight back against the likes of Shutterstock and Getty.

Yeah, fight while ignoring the law of unintended consequences, which is teaching us that a potential royalty increase, definitely passed on to end-consumers, will lead to a price increase, then to a reduction in sales, and very likely, to a global earning reduction.

So... as they say, be careful what you wish for...  ;)
Its not definite that Royalty increases will be passed on...many industries absorb cost increases and maintain prices to consumers to retain or grow market share....thats how the market you keep talking about works.

Nah. The new government rules are applicable to every competitor.
In a competitive market there are always competitors with very thin margins and no option left but to pass the extra costs to consumers, or else go bankrupt.

Even if some more efficient competitors could absorb those extra costs (as you suggest), when competitors go bankrupt, they will have no more incentives to keep the consumer prices down, in a less competitive market!
So they will pass those extra costs to consumers to recover or even increase their original margins, because their market share will not be under threat anymore.

That's how the market works!  ;)

So, as they say, be careful what you wish for!
  They can reduce costs in other areas and also cut dividends and other payments...not inevitable at all. The opposite to when many cut contributor payments without cutting customer charges. The industry is expecting profit margins comparable with emerging technologies in reality its a commodity industry which has much lower margins.

23
General Stock Discussion / Re: European Union suing Apple
« on: May 06, 2021, 02:17 »
The European Commission said the tech giant was in breach of its rules by charging high commission fees in its App Store.

Could this be the thin end of the wedge, and help the Microstock creative sector fight back against the likes of Shutterstock and Getty.

Yeah, fight while ignoring the law of unintended consequences, which is teaching us that a potential royalty increase, definitely passed on to end-consumers, will lead to a price increase, then to a reduction in sales, and very likely, to a global earning reduction.

So... as they say, be careful what you wish for...  ;)
Its not definite that Royalty increases will be passed on...many industries absorb cost increases and maintain prices to consumers to retain or grow market share....thats how the market you keep talking about works.

24
Shutterstock.com / Re: Anyone get paid (April)from SS yet?
« on: May 06, 2021, 00:39 »
Not yet

25
Interesting read

To be honest Alamy and Adobe have both knocked that turd shitterstock in to the long grass for months now.

Alamy is always 1st now then Adobe 2nd and shittystock now a dismal 3rd (they used to be far and away 1st above all others) .  ...
as someone said:  Proof of this statement? - or is just your ONE datapoint? alamy barely shows up on the monthly poll

I know this is hard for you but do try to keep up  ::)

My datapoint is just that a single datapoint unlike the sweeping generalization based on nothing more than supposition.
  Data or rather a statement from a single user is completely useless though. If you look at SSs published figures which are audited and would land them in deep trouble if they were wrong its clear that despite what people would love to believe they are doing ok. I know its hard for you but wishing it were otherwise is a waste of energy. https://investor.shutterstock.com/news-releases/news-release-details/shutterstock-reports-fourth-quarter-and-full-year-2020-financial

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