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Messages - Darren Green

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1
Well lads I dropped him an email, (mostly to suggest that he signs up here) and asked him about your queries.

As for pricing, apparently he used to charge more however he lowered the price to compete with the Asian market as not many photographers are willing to pay more when they can get it done in Asia for peanuts.

As for your equations Xanox $2000 USD equates to about 1400 per month, less payable taxes on that comes out with around 1280 per month.

Now when I was working as a van driver over here I was making 8.25ph on a 40 hour week averaging 1320 per month before taxes and that was considered a good wage for the position.  My wife works as a care assistant in a care home and only gets 7.25 per hour.

Salary compared to cost of living in the UK means that the majority of the UK workforce are barely just above the bread line these days.  primarily since the EU deals where all the eastern europeans came over and started taking jobs for half price, meaning that the labour pools got flooded and employers could pay next to nothing.  If it wasn't for minimum wage laws the a massive majority of the UK would be living in poverty.

Anyhow I digress,  Mike is retired, got bored with retirement, so offers the service primarily to stay busy and help top up his pension.

He does not outsource and states that he is plenty busy but will always accept a job if he can do it in a timely fashion.

When I mentioned the forum he also mentioned that he would welcome you guys to drop him a couple of samples to see if you like the quality of his work.

I say what have you got to lose?

Peace to all.

Once again you can reach him at keyimageservice@gmail.com



2
I haven't tried the Indians or Asians for keywording as there are too many reviews that aren't too favorable for them.

Instead I use Mike.  He was recommended to me by a colleague after I came back from a 2 week trip with 1500 images to edit.

He offers all kinds of services for image editing from basic stuff to full background changes as well as key-wording services.

I use his basic service which includes (and I quote from his email):

Exposure correction, White balance correction, Noise reduction, dust and scratch removal (within reason), logo / TM removal. 15-30 keywords embedded in the meta data and brief, accurate description.

For all that I pay just $1 per image, the same rate that these indian & asian companies are charging and this guy is UK based.

He does not advertise anywhere as he has more than enough custom just through word of mouth but still turns jobs around in just 2-3 days in most cases and I send him 50 - 200 images a time

I can honestly say I doubt there is a better service out there.

If you want to give him a try his email is keyimageservice@gmail.com

Peace to all.

P.S. forgot to mention he does 2 free images as a sample for each person so you can see if you like his style.

3
Well now you've all moved this well off topic, I will attempt to bring it back a little towards subject  ::)

I made the decision but not lightly, out of the 15 agencies I have finally decided to remove my ports from 5.

 Not 'may as well leave my pics there and see' attitude, they have had more than their time to perform and still do not So to quote Suggsy 'They failed miserably, you're fired!'

I say no more chances for underperformers, they reserve the right to pick and choose which of your pics they want and still can't sell them? Give them the boot!

By dropping a third of the agencies this really does let me just focus quality time with the ones that have always looked after me well.

Having done the math there is no great loss to me in this culling and the time saved and put into performing agencies should more than make up for it.

4
General Stock Discussion / Re: Photospin- Is worth Joining?
« on: April 24, 2013, 04:27 »
ha, it is amusing to think this way, i think they are not even really paid in commission of certain percentage or blah blah basically the sales details is not clear.. like u will even get sth like $0.0x cents.. do u can about what is your percentage of the few cents?

Well perhaps trying to understand them will give us a better understanding of what you're trying to say!

5
I wonder how many buyers read the legalese or even absorb it.

I wonder how many contributors bother to read the 'contributor agreements' or even absorb it.

You know as well as I Sue that contracts are always going to favor the agency.  The only hope we have is to police our own images but even when we do find misuse there is still not a hell of a lot we can do about it except nag the agency to deal with it.

On another note, you seem to be up on the contracts Sue so perhaps I should put you on retainer for when I find my images abused  ;)

6

I will contact IS and ask them about the max web resolution for images sold via TS.
And I will tell the buyer that by posting professional high-resolution images to FB they are playing with fire, since if something goes wrong, FB and TS will make the buyer responsible.
I have not bothered to review the contributor contracts prior to quoting you here but I seem to recall that by checking the 'I Agree' box with most agencies you completely indemnify them from and legal issues resulting from usage of your image (as long as you have been paid)

Just a thought.

7

Nearly all the examples of agencies "doing fancy trades" and "polluting" the marketplace are from the top agencies - the big moneymakers. If protecting your content and keeping it from winding up all over the place in mysterious partnerships is your primary concern, you would be better off NOT to upload it to the top earning agencies.

You're not wrong on that count.  WHen I started with DT 8 years ago I accidentally (cause I wasn't reading small print too closely) agreed to the 'free image' selection for low / non performing images.

Just last month I reviewed all contracts and have withdrawn from all 'partner site' opt ins and all 'free image' opt ins.

To clarify a little I was a full time stock photographer in 2005 - 2009 before a serious accident saw me hospitalized for a few years so I am just picking up where I left off.

When I started reviewing my DT port I had over 400 images in the 'free selection' some of these were landscape shots of the Slot Canyons that had been free downloaded over 350 times - prior to these going into free selection the shots I had of the same scene in portrait mode had been some of my top performing images and went dead almost as soon as the landscape images went 'free'

Pollution of the pool is more to do with contributors 'opting in' to every deal on the promise that it will increase their sales.  I have found this approach to be negative and find that 'partner sites' are these small upstart sites that don't have the contributors that SS / IS / FT etc have.    By the time the partner has sold it for $1 paid 50% to the site you uploaded to and then they have paid you 25 cents or sometimes less dependant on commision structure agreement  is it really worth opting in?

By my reckoning (and only when the opt out is available) if we don't agree to partner sites then these fly by night operations will wither and fade and there will be less 'pollution' of the market place.

8
My images are already keyworded, sometimes I have to add a release, but I don't submit to any site that requires more than a bare minimum of effort.

Steve

Yes Steve, all of my work is also already keyworded, however as 90% of my work is lifestyle 9 out of 10 do require the time to add releases, also on each individual site I will add the categories and any other options the site feels it need, orientation etc.

I can not adopt the 'bare minimum' attitude as I want to give each image its best chances of success.

9
General Stock Discussion / Re: Better understanding editorial
« on: April 17, 2013, 04:59 »

One consideration is the quality of those old images. If they were shot with a 35mm camera,  most likely the scanned material wouldn't satisfy the latest acceptance criteria.

EOS 1RT & EOS 1RN, - Velvia and Extachrome 100 - Fuji Drum-scanners.  Producing images up-to100mb at 300ppi. 

Digital results far surpassing many of the 'main stream' digital cameras that are accepted by agencies today.

A large portion of my online ports are scans.   I have had far less scans rejected than digitally shot images.

The question is not the quality of the work, it is the legally acceptable usage.


10
General Stock Discussion / Better understanding editorial
« on: April 16, 2013, 10:47 »
Some years back (before digital) I spent a few weeks touring Scotland photographing castles.  This was at the time just a pet project as I am a bit of a history buff.

When I started uploading to agencies I submitted some images of famous buildings (certain London landmarks) where the building was the main focus of the shot, not just part of a landscape.  The images were rejected as I did not have Property Releases (Yes I did submit them as RF)

I have read so much now on property releases on different sites, and some of them seem contradictory,  that I'm now slightly confused.

So am I right to understand that if you upload an image of a copyrighted building, for example the Chrysler in New York, that as long as it is uploaded as an editorial image only and not RF then all is well in the world?

Thanks in advance for clearing things up?

11
I will start by saying that I am not exclusive to anyone so I have no idea whether or not that would help promote images on any site.

Now to my main ponderance,  I have portfolios with 15 agencies from the bigger players to some of the newbie agencies.

I have noticed that of thes 15 that 5 of them produce on average over $200 per month, 4 of them approx $100 per month, 1 of them approx $50 per month and the rest are lucky if produce $10 per month.

Now it takes just as much effort to maintain databases with agencies that don't produce as is does for the ones that do produce.  So my question is do you think it is worth maintaining portfolios with agencies that seem to have no sales?

By dropping the 5 agencies that don't produce sufficiently I could save over 10 hours per week uploading, tagging, adding releases etc.  Time I personally feel could be better spent developing portfolios on producing sites therefor I am considering removing my portfolio from the non-producers.

What are your thoughts?  (and please do not state the obvious of $10 per month is better than nothing, I am looking for solid debates)
 
All the best  ;)

12
Yeah, I have found my stuff there before, wrote to them and they are a partner site. I cant recall it is either DT Fotolia or 123RF.

I personally think it disgusting that they are selling canvasses for over $100 and yet the site you submitted to is only paying you  .50 cents if that.

They also troll the 'Free Stock' sections to profit without expense.

I have recently notified all the agencies I have work with that I do not wish to participate in third party sites and I have stopped making images available for 'free' sections as too many of these sites are abusing the 'good will' of unwitting stock photographers.

I will happily admit when I started out I signed up for every partner program out there thinking it would boost sales, but since I have opted out I have noticed no real loss in revenue.

I have no objection to any company making $100 from a canvass of one of my images but I feel I deserve quite a bit more than a lousy .50 cents and I thoroughly disagree with them making profits from 'free' image sections.

Just my opinion.

Good luck.

13
Newbie Discussion / Re: Hello All - New to MicroStock
« on: April 13, 2013, 11:14 »
Hey Chris welcome.

I myself am quite new to the site but have well over a decade in stock photography so thought I'd toss in my 2 cents worth

A few sales have come thru but with only 100 uploaded or so I guess that should be the case.
 

Years back (before photography) I worked in advertising, then, your target was 1 sale per 100 people that saw an advertisement, according to  friends still in the industry these figures are still pretty accurate with 1-2 sales per 100 people. 
I use this as a guide for selling stock images, for every 100 'views' of an image I hope to achieve 1 sale.  If I have had an image up for a while and it is in excess of 150 views with no sales I either re-keyword it and try again or delete it if it's not a strong image.
Just a rough way to measure sales and not clutter up your portfolio.

Quote
My next step is to move more into the stock photography concept ----  Id like to do the 'man resting on holiday' type image.
Chris

A tip on keywording, you being an Aussie, and me a Brit, we speak proper English unlike our Yankee counterparts to me and you. 'Man resting on holiday' means just that.  To the Americans 'Holidays' are Christmas, Thanksgiving, Easter etc, they refer to our version of holiday as 'Vacation' so just remember when keywording the Americans make up a massive part of the market so make sure you aren't missing sales due to differences in languages.

All the best, Darren.

14
Newbie Discussion / Re: Model looking for work...
« on: April 13, 2013, 10:59 »
I want a model to hire me without having seen any professional work produced by me and pay me enough to buy a new car in exchange for shooting some portfolio shots for her.   ::)

I have used a lot of models over the years from ModelMayhem and have found some wonderful people to collaborate with.

I have never, nor will I EVER pay a model the first time we work together, simply because you never know how it will go.  It takes  more than a pretty face and a DSLR to produce commercially viable shots.  I have however always compensated them for travel and also treated them to lunch when it's been a long shoot (after all it is simply deductible expenses for a photographer)

My advice to you is two part:

1) Find a talented photographer in your area that has a portfolio of commercially viable images of models with their clothes ON, ask if they will help you with a TFP session in exchange for you shooting one or two of their concepts  for them (trade for trade is only fair)

2) Use only commercially viable images on your portfolio (not all us photographers are looking for skin and ass shots) - Once your portfolio is all nice clean well edited shots (you only need 10-12) email every PROFESSIONAL (put in capitals as professional photographers get paid to do a job and make their living from it) photographer in your area with a polite introduction, a few proof shots and a link to your MM portfolio and see what happens.

LA is full of talented photographers and pervs alike, YOU need to put in the work to sort the wheat from the chaff.

Develop a professional attitude, treat your industry contacts professionally and sooner or later they will start to treat you as a professional.

I wish you the best of luck with your future but seriously don't be expecting to get paid enough to buy a car from a shoot or two.  ;)

15
LMAO, the plugin has just totally made my system redundant   ;D

16
Just install the Google plugin and right click on any image if yours.

Which plugin?  Please hook us up. Are you talking images on the web or right clicking images in your desktop folders?

17
I will start by saying if I have posted in the wrong forum I apologize, still learning my way around here.  ???

As well all know it's nice to see image sales but also nice to see how the end user has applied our images so with that in mind I have found a useful little way to use Google Chrome to track where my images are used - this has also proved useful to track 'Non Authorized Usage'

Here we go - Step 1: Open your Google Chrome browser and your folder containing your stock images side by side:


Step 2: Select 'Image Search' on Chrome and type in your name - the result should pull up a bunch of your pictures (do note it may just pull up all kinds of random stuff not related to you but that does not matter)

Step 3: Click and hold on an image in your stock file and drag it over to the top of the Chrome search results (The box saying place image here will pop up)  Drop your image in the box


Step 4: Look through the results (you will of course see all the agencies representing the image) but also any internet references for the image



Step 5: Follow the yellow brick road - look through the links to see how your images are used.


A neat and quick way to track your images for your tear sheets, hope you find this useful.

Peace to all.  8)

18
Dreamstime.com / Re: Dreamstime Keyword Service
« on: April 03, 2013, 19:21 »
why don't you use the keyword tool at SS to see if you can improve your keywording
http://submit.shutterstock.com/darkroom/keywords/suggestions.mhtml


I never even knew that tool existed. Thank you so much for showing that to me as it looks fairly snazzy.


I have to concur, superb tip and a great service from SS.  Really helping my word development. Thanks so much.

19
Dreamstime.com / Re: Shutterstock Keyword Service
« on: April 01, 2013, 15:41 »

Are u confusing SS with DT?

OOOppps, yes i am, been flat out on red bull past couple of days, think brains given up!  I do apologize i did mean DT not SS.  Thanks for putting me straight.

20
Dreamstime.com / Dreamstime Keyword Service
« on: April 01, 2013, 14:23 »
Hey all,

I have been on SS for quite a long time now and have a port of around 900 images with them.  Some of them (and not the strongest ones at that) are selling well whilst some of my stronger images (from composition and aesthetic view point) have achieved one sale  in 5 years.

I think my key-wording is pretty good but still not getting the hits, also very low views compared to similar images by other photographers.

I know that SS has a key-word service for 60 cents per picture and I am considering using it for a few of my low performers.

Has anyone else used it? Any input?

Thanks in advance for any advice. :D

21
123RF / Re: How is your sales?
« on: March 29, 2013, 06:06 »

Ok. Fair enought. How about....I think my body of work is worth more than 123RF is willing to pay me.
Yep that will do :D
[/quote]

Worth? Your body of work is only worth what someone is willing to pay to use it - Just because someone is willing to pay $2 to use an image from a site like 123rf it doesn't mean that they are willing to pay $100 for the same image from Alamy for example. They will simply buy another photographers work on the same subject.

I of course use worth purely in relation to monetary value -  you cant bring sentimental value into it when dealing with microstocks.

The only person you are doing a favor to by deleting your portfolios are other photographers as you are reducing their competition, so from a personal point of view I say delete all your profiles as that is less competition for me (last sentence said with tongue in cheek.)

The harsh truth of the matter is if you aren't earning enough for a payout each month with a particular site it is because your portfolio isn't strong or large enough.

Anyhow, happy Easter all :D

22
General Photography Discussion / Re: Advise to boost my sales
« on: March 28, 2013, 19:05 »
<snip> be ruthless and do away with non selling images after say a 3 month period <snip>

I liked your post but I have to ask why delete non selling images?

I don't have to pay to host them?  What does it cost me to have them in the agencies files?

As an agency I could see the logic in this, but as a contributor I don't understand your logic. As a newbie I would like to understand.

Glenn

My logic is sort of 2 part, so let me try to explain as follows.

By keeping your collection sharp, and only having your best images up you can better gauge your ROI (return on image) - thats the personal benefit to you.

Also when your collection is made up of nothing but the very best you have to offer when a potential buyer looks at an image of yours that isn't quite what he's after he would be more tempted to possibly check your portfolio to see if YOU have something suitable, even if you don't but he sees nothing but top end images from you you could end up with an email requesting a commission be undertaken (important to have contact details available in your profile with all sites) whilst this hasn't happened to me personally I know it has happened to two other photographers I have worked with.

Then from the agency point of view, all their statistics are automated so if you have 200 images that are getting no views or purchases these are lowering your rating on that agencies site and making it very difficult to move up.

Remember stock images that sell are quality, it's not about the quantity.

Hope that clarifies my point a little more but as it's mid night I'm going cross eyed so I may have rambled on a bit.

23
General Photography Discussion / Re: Advise to boost my sales
« on: March 28, 2013, 15:56 »
In a world long forgotten (prior to digital photography) when we used to shoot on film, the rule of thumb as a stock photographer was $1 per image per year that you had on file with a stock agency so if you had 1000 images with a reputable agency you could reasonably expect a return of $1000 per year from your portfolio.

Since the advent of digital photography the learning curve for stock photographers has become seriously quick, if you shot on film you had to wait to get it back to see if it was decent enough to be accepted, with digital however and instant replay you know within seconds if you have it or not and can re-shoot till you got it in the bag.

The other point to remember is that with microstock agencies selling our work so cheap in some cases they are keen to have as many images as possible on file, (I remember the race for the first agency to reach 1 million images on file) that they accept almost anything.

Another factor to consider from my advertising days is that in advertising your response is 1% - so out of every 100 people that see your image 1 person will buy it. - This can be used to gauge your success quite well in stock photography

Example 1: your image has had 100 views and has been downloaded 3 times = this is a good selling image as it is above the 1% response rule

Example 2: Your image has had 300 views and no downloads = you should delete it from your portfolio as is is obviously not upto standard.

A small experiment I carried out a while ago was when I uploaded a below average picture of a girl in a bikini to a site and used key words such as 'hot sexy female'  the image had 744 views in the first month alone but not 1 single download so it shows how some people are just browsing for a cheap thrill, the moral of this exercise  is to be as ruthless with your keywords as you are with your image editing - 10 accurate keywords are 1 million times better than 100 vague keywords as accurate keywords show how many times your image is viewed based on relevant subject matter as far as the person browsing for the image is concerned.

I guess in short I'm saying its a numbers game, the more images you have the more you will sell - be ruthless and do away with non selling images after say a 3 month period and always use the features on the sites that allow you to see the images that are frequently downloaded so you can see whats trending and get some shoot ideas.

Hope some of this makes sense to you.

Cheers, D

24
Used to do tear sheets all the time but for some reason the past few years I didn't bother - so many thanks for this thread it sent me on a little hunt and here's a couple of mine.



Mine is the Amur Leopard in the top right corner - purchased from alamy.com and I must say I am well proud to have been featured on a first class stamp! :D



Not sure which agency they bought it via as it is with 4 agencies but nice to have a magazine cover :)



Book cover for David Bruce - Funniest people in television - purchased through Dreamstime.

Found dozens and dozens used on websites and probably about 60% of those were bought through fotolia so a shout out to them.

Hope you enjoy, Cheers, D

25
Microstock News / Re: Absoltuvision - Help - Warning!
« on: March 28, 2013, 12:49 »
http://www.absolutvision.com/aboutus.php/
has all their emails


Thanks :D I have looked at their site a dozen times in 2 weeks and couldnt find that info - kept getting error 404 - but via your link SUCCESS so a thousand thankyous!

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