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Messages - Sunnygirl

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Sounds like you've already decided to stay no matter what.

I didn't. I'm not a typical stocker, nor have a massive collection of assets. So... no. Unless I get accepted to Stocksy, I probably will remain here for good.

What @everest said made so much sense!

One thing you didn't say - what happens to past MRs done on paper for IS and Easy Release? Do all agencies require their own releases to be signed? If so, what do models do for people that are not exclusive? Sign like 10 releases? :O

Software / Re: Xpiks - open source software for microstocker
« on: October 15, 2020, 09:24 »
I have mistakenly activated the trial version. Since I'm exclusive to istock, I'd love to have it cancelled until I can test the program properly (if I go non exclusive that is).

How all of you istock quitters are doing, after a year or so?

I'm asking because I have been hating them for years... but still, getting files to upload only to one agency that still pays something every month (used to be four digits, now it's just to pay the bills) is kind of viable. It doesn't hurt at least.

I understand they are shady, greedy, no live stats, nothing to boost your desire to work.

BUT, seeing the poll results on this site kind of explains why many big players and lots of people still remain with them - exclusives reported 108.8 points in earnings. If you combine almost all other agencies, you will get to the same number, slightly higher. Meaning, you'll have to work hard to just catch up with what istock excl. alone made for you.

So I'm heavily reluctant at what to do. Seeing what SS and Alamy have been doing lately (changing models, owners etc.), I'm not at all sure if the grass is greener at the other side anymore. Except for maybe not holding all eggs in the one basket and having a live stat?

What did you do with all those MReleases? There's a ton of mind-killing bureaucracy work if they don't accept EasyReleases or past istock ones. What to do with old releases when trying to upload those files to new agencies? Some models aren't even available anymore to sign anything new.

Stocksy / Re: Is it so simple to get in?
« on: August 19, 2020, 17:38 »
If you want to be accepted by Stocksy desaturate a little the colors of your photos and make them a little brownish that's all

+include some transgender santaclaus wearing a plastic horsehead, shot on kodak portra. They like to accumulate unique stuff that's guaranteed to make that 0.1 sale / year.

While a nice sarcastic joke, it's amazing how this hits home on so many levels. And not only for Stocksy. Others as well. I can speak of Getty too.

Make some images of transgender, gay, tattooed, bearded hipsters acting deranged, use some 95 year old grannies acting like they are 16 and making fool of themselves and woohoo life is good and so funny - and you're covered. Possibly even featured on some of their contributor newsletters.

Dreamstime.com / Re: 101$ after 2 years
« on: August 23, 2019, 13:19 »
And what new blood, worth mentioning did we get in this industry?


Hipster driven (not that Getty is any better tbh, but at least not that artsy-fartsy), closed, cult-like community, where nothing is ever heard from. Like some super secret organization where you cannot guess, nor see if it's worth it at all. Somebody would think they know how to make millions, but truth is probably other ways around and are playing on a prestige card.
To be clear, I have nothing against high standards, selections and tests. But we know nothing about them except that they play "cool". You see some of their artists that have very mediocre, almost instragram quality work. Who buys that? If it does, is it worth it? Silence.

iStockPhoto.com / Re: July stats
« on: August 19, 2019, 18:03 »
And it's another disappointment.

Basically 40% of stuff is sold for peanuts (or less). Very low.

The other like 60% is sold for very little money.

Fat GI sales are nonexistent or few and far between. A FAR CRY from 2-3-5-X years ago.

As far as I see this, this "business" is doomed. It's stalled, tired, oversaturated and creatively staged and fake. They are out of ideas for new horizons and businesses, just milking while they can.

Thanks again guys.

Well, for now I guess I will stick to the exclusivity. However, bear in mind that if some of you left exclusivity 2-3 or more years ago, you did it almost in the prime time of Getty - when they used to pay good mid-stock prices per download and fixed subscriptions.

Getting on your feet then seemed harder than now. Now they are micro. I'm not sure it will be better in the future. The evidence so far shows that $/dl ratio is getting down and there's no rule in the pricings at all. The pricing list is almost obsolete, cosmetic item now. However, there's also a strong possibility that all other agencies are suffering or will suffer too.

I guess I will wait for this year to pass to draw the line.

First of all, thank you all. Lots of interesting and useful insights and observations.

Like Sean said, you will sleep better.

One of my friends, Michael Zwahlen, recouped his istock exclusive income after only 6 months. If you look at his blog, he also writes about his journey. But he was extremly well prepared and is overall a very hard worker.

For others it took more than 2 years, although considering that their istock income would have been dropping, they probably crossed the line to making more earlier than that. The goal was to regain their original income, from when they left.

Yes, I have known Michael Jay for quite some time and followed his blog. I'm fully aware that having all up and running would take time. What I'm the most concerned about is that I have a small portfolio that earned quite a bit of money. The thing is, I'm not a heavy uploader nor do I make thousands of hundreds of images. My portfolio is about 1,6k large or small, depending how you look at it, but it worked for me.

I'm still doing ok as an exclusive (albeit, worse than before), but I find harder and harder to make content with sales being peanuts on mid-stock site and terrible subscription prices on iS. My doubt is whether other agencies like Adobe Stock or SS would "tolerate" my workflow or would demand typical stock images in large amounts in order to sell there.

I hope it works out for her in the end. But I have to admit that with the shrinking market share of gettyimages, I am not that optimistic.

What you can do is go non exclusive with video and illustrations first, then build reliable portfolios on the new sites and once you have 4000 clips or illus online, then make the jump.

But if you go indie, without preparing your port and dont have a very realistic understanding that you have to actively fight your way back to the top, perhaps staying where you are and getting a new day job is better.

Ditching exclusivity for video could be my first goal, yes. I'm not into video that much, but yeah, could take that to my advantage with minimal negative effects on the income. Good luck to your friend btw.

This issue has been bothering me for quite some time. The truth is, I always had the best time doing iStock. Because images used to sell for the longest period and quality mattered more than quantity. Then Getty came and I was cautious but optimistic. Hey it's Getty! Sure it's not RM but RF, but still they were one of my inspirational agencies! I was doing quite well for several years. Then new "improvements" started to go live, one by one, from no-counter to ESP platform and new "exciting" pricing models. It all went downhill for me.

Since Getty is getting microstock sales, cheaper and cheaper as the days go by, I'm wondering if the time has finally come to wave GI/IS exclusivity g'bye?

I used to earn solid four digit numbers every month at is/getty doing lifestyle portraiture. I'm now struggling to reach 1k let alone return to my previous levels.

Buuuuut. There are several caveats:

1. If Getty is doing bad or worse than before, it can also be a sign that other agencies are struggling too.
2. Nobody can firmly say that doing 3-4 agencies will make more money than being exclusive at IS/GI.
3. Most big stock players are still being exclusive to iS/Getty. I know, they are a minority, but still means that exclusivity offer them more than doing other top tier agencies. Some also regretted and eventually came back. Grass do looks greener on the other side, you know.

On the other hand:

1. Working for Getty/IS is getting frustrating and tiresome month after month.
2. Doing briefs, getting S+ nominations doesn't mean much. Is it good? Of course. But ultimately does not guarantee any boost in sales, adding more to the overall frustration level mentioned above.
3. Terrible subscription and "premium" prices, going from few cents to a few dollars and almost NO mid-stock priced sales at GI. The only thing still doing well are the credit sales at iS that are still good but are diminishing in numbers and take like 30% of total sales.

Don't know if Microstock poll results are legit in any way, but I do remember seeing iStock exclusive ratings to be much higher than now.

Anyhow, I'm on the cross-road, trying to see whether to keep going the exclusive path or turn left and go in all sorts of directions... Being exclusive, having editors and briefs by my side do seem more professional and more promising, but those prices... ouch.

Stocksy / Re: Call To Artists is Open!
« on: October 24, 2017, 13:10 »
^ Thanks!

Is it possible to change our web address/social media contact that we added in the beginning?

Because I'd like to update it, and I can't find it anywhere.

Stocksy / Re: Call To Artists is Open!
« on: October 23, 2017, 12:40 »
Do we have to supply MR with the submission for CTA? Because quick start guide says we can provide them later?

I have all MRs but it would be a lot easier if we could provide them IF we are accepted to Stocksy at all.

The stories like these make me appreciate my istock exclusivity a bit more.

The only problem, IMO, is that iStock is taking it to the other extreme....allowing just about everything in, stuff that shouldn't be allowed, and thus degrading the entire collection in the process.

While I agree with that, I look at it differently. It gives me freedom to edit freely and upload without thinking if my work will go down the drain during inspection. Of course, my post-process regime is very strict, rigorous, paying very special attention to detail and texture. My goal is to satisfy the buyer of that image, offering the quality for both the image and the post-processing. But I always played with selective focusing and many of my S+ images have shallow dof and sell really well. I guess they wouldn't even pass the inspection process at SS.

I remember long ago, it was 2006/7. I was at the beginning, my skills were basic and I was using much much inferior equipment. But istock's inspectors were way more forgiving, offering details and clues with rejections. The SS was more strict, stubborn and even restricted my access for several months because of the too many "mistakes". One of the reasons that I went exclusive at istock at that time was of my disagreement with Shutterstock's inspection policy and their best match that favoured new images with high level of sink rate.

The stories like these make me appreciate my istock exclusivity a bit more. I meticulously edit the files that I send, so I'd be really pissed to have them all rejected for a weird or extremely stupid reason like sunset/sunrise wb, noise or selective focus / shallow dof, after hours spent in the lightroom and photoshop. Total crap.  >:( Especially today since most of the images bought are in medium and large formats and none of the "imperfections" can be spotted or seen. It's just nonsense.

Yeah... and Yuri keeps stuffing and spamming the keywords like crazy.

Istock spent years explaining how to properly keyword a file, yet Yuri is utilizing every keyword possible... even if something is not even on the photo.

I got my "android" keyword removed from my image of a smartphone by inspector, but his girl can have "surfing" keyword even though she just spread her arms on the beach. There are much worse cases than this one. In one image father is holding a child with only sky in the background, but there are keywords like "water, beach" and other variants of the same thing.

Sadly, not only I can report decline of sales, but images that I've sent this month (beginning of May) have 0 views, let alone new sales. This didn't happen since 2013 and infamous best match failure.  >:(

The no.1 reason that is killing me at iS is the unpredictability and lack of new downloads and promotion. I'd rather have cheaper but more frequent downloads than few S+ DLs here and there.

My portfolio is very small but I consider it successful. Since January '14 I have upped it for about 20% or should I say 30% if I count only the material that gets most of DLs for me. But my income didn't increase. I didn't make more money or get more exposure for the other files. It's always more or less the same. If new files are being downloaded, older images suffer and vice versa. It's very frustrating.

iStockPhoto.com / Re: 100% Royalty Day May 14, 2014
« on: May 15, 2014, 08:41 »
One sale from S+ and that's all. It's good considering the whole iS best match ranking now...

iStockPhoto.com / Re: 100% Royalty Day May 14, 2014
« on: May 14, 2014, 06:09 »
Worst May for me, ever (used to be my no.1 selling month). No doughnuts for me today, 100% will go down the drain.

Stocksy / Re: Portfolio review
« on: May 14, 2014, 05:02 »
Great images, great post production! I like those with the kid waiting for the train and twinkle twinkle little light. I'd add more variety, but I think it's good to go.

iStockPhoto.com / Re: Dropping The Crown?
« on: May 13, 2014, 05:20 »
I guess this year, 2014. will be crucial for iS. They are firing on all cylinders and do all they can to stay current in the market.
I really don't see them firing on all cylinders.
They won't even put in the resources to sort long-standing, customer-facing bugs.
They show no intention of reinstating quality or especially keywording standards.
I'd like to see your indications of positive moves on their part to even stay in the market.

Well, I think that is all you can see from istock nowadays. It is what it is. My opinion is that they don't have enough of the resources to fix all the bugs, to add and promote new featured content, to answer all those contributor relations requests, fix getty connector transfer, etc. Let alone add something new and visionary for contributors and buyers. They are overwhelmed with just keeping the istock running. They need like 10 or so days to fix css settings of the site and months to sort best match issues. They are also desperately promoting subs with the yellow banner. Again, they honestly don't have the resources, enough of quality staff and artists to run this business. Istock is currently much bigger than the team who operates it. If this trend continues it will certainly backfire.

the only reason i remain exclusive is that i make money over there. for me  this is a business, and if i see the results fall below my expectations, then i am gone, simple as that. i ask myself daily, is it IS that is reducing the sales by their own selfish actions or is it an industry wide problem of cut throat activity, decreasing values on images, and an over saturated market. as much as i don't like IS or GI, they have much much more insight into the industry than i ever will. i personally think the market erosion is due to the factors i mentioned above. the whole industry is spiraling out of control.

And I 100% agree with you. That's the another side of this coin - the oversaturated market and ever-growing competition.

iStockPhoto.com / Re: Dropping The Crown?
« on: May 12, 2014, 15:58 »
I think diamonds and black diamonds have a hard time dropping the crown because the stronger you are on the iS the harder it is to leave exclusivity even if your income has dropped by 40-50%. For example, if you used to earn 2000$ a month and now you're down to 1200$ it is still quite a lot of money even though you had to change your lifestyle and cut the expenses. Going from 1200$ to just 500 or so as non-exclusive would be a serious no-no.

So, to sum it up, the weaker and smaller you are on the iS, the easier it is to go indie and vice versa. Especially if your family depends on the istock income. That complicates this issue so much more. But on the other hand you can bite the bullet and just go indie for the sake of challenge. But you'd probably have to work 3x as hard to achieve something you had in the past. I know I didn't help you much, but it's just my current view. Of course, if things go really bad for iS, other options will have to be considered. I guess this year, 2014. will be crucial for iS. They are firing on all cylinders and do all they can to stay current in the market.

I'm not into much of conspiracy stuff, but isn't it strange to have a month graph that looks almost exactly the same as the one of the previous year? Same "strange and sudden" highs, same lows. Almost like copy&paste with only few days apart. I've upped my portfolio for 30% and new images are selling quite nicely... but, the ones that used to sell stopped when new images started selling. So I'm more or less on the same income level, slightly higher. Pure coincidence, luck or something else?

Stocksy / Re: Another Stocksy Portfolio Review
« on: May 11, 2014, 03:36 »
Your portfolio looks better than majority of "modern" hipster stuff I've seen on Stocksy.

But if you want to look like "them" to be accepted then - desaturate your images, use "window light" as much as you can as your standard lighting, tone your images to look "different" or instagramy.

Stocksy / Re: Stocksy - where are they?
« on: September 04, 2013, 18:57 »
Thanks Nuno, glad to hear that!

Even though the criteria is currently unknown and many of those things are floating in the air, it is possible that Stocksy themselves are still searching for the exact look and variation they need, so they cannot say "we want this and need that".

However, they are one of the few stock site where you almost cannot see any junk. All other sites are plagued with junk stock photographs and it's beyond me why they keep accepting those kind of images in the first place. It's like they are shooting themselves in the foot.
No one will buy badly staged and produced photographs, it's a waste of space, buyer's time and a search engine. What's worse, prolific junk shooters are readily accepted and constantly plague newest images mode of the search engine.

So, I'm glad that Stocksy are the pioneers of a thoughtful stock selection, and I guess the designers will slowly begin to appreciate that.  It is true that over time, Stocksy may need less artsy images of some "boring" subjects (fruits on the white background anyone?). However, they can also say - hell, the clients can get those kind of images on all other sites and google... we'll focus on more unique things.

Stocksy / Re: Stocksy - where are they?
« on: September 04, 2013, 05:24 »
I don't check these forums very often, but I did want to say that it wasn't arrogance that prevented us from replying to everyone.  It was a technical failure on our part.  It's something we've apologized for in the past (in Facebook, over emails, etc.). We didn't have a mechanism to reply to the amount of portfolios we initially received. We've corrected that and now send emails after a Call to Artist submission or Application is reviewed.  It was a stupid mistake on our part and was not intentional.  We fixed it as soon as we could.

Does that mean that all of the applicants will get the response now, be it positive or negative?

For people that recently got involved with Stocksy, how many days did you wait for them to call?

I agree with everyone who said that it's not just about being accepted or rejected - I'd still have to think very carefully about breaking the exclusivity with iS and Getty. But I do want to know whether I'm in or out. I like almost everything about Stocksy so far and looks very promising! Keeping the fingers crossed.

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