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Messages - grapegeek

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1 / Re: Poor start to 2014
« on: January 26, 2014, 11:58 »
This is the worst month for me in years. I just reactivated my SS portfolio and it's doing much better than IS this month. Probably the worst month for me in like 8 years...

2 / Re: 20 Million new files on IS in 2014?
« on: January 16, 2014, 23:24 »
I think that's what we are all up against. I think the days of a 1 person shop shooting stock and making decent money at it are over. It's hard to tell, but there must be teams of people working together pumping out huge volumes of crap. Unfortunately, they too will not make any money...

3 / 20 Million new files on IS in 2014?
« on: January 16, 2014, 00:10 »
I thought things were out of control over at SS, but some people have calculated that IS is accepting 400k images a week right now. For 3 years before 2013 they averaged 3 million new files. 2013 they accepted 9 million and at the rate they are going this year, they will add 20 million new files in 2014! Somehow I don't seem them double or tripling their sales to keep up with the influx of new files. Seeing how older images still reign supreme, I don't see the point of uploading new images until they figure out a way for new files to get downloads...

2004 is not very far after 1999 and I am still selling quite a few of my early IS photos. They are generic and of timeless subjects. I'm not a photographer that shoots models. I do landscape, food, backgrounds and scan in some doodles. Doubtful you could look at them in 15 years and tell me when they were shot. YMMV.

They aren't rejecting much these days at IS and over at SS they are adding 200,000 images a week. I remember when IS stop accepting sunsets, kittens and flowers for a while. Maybe it's time to go back to that?

@bunhill I know a lot of people that search Google for a particular image. If there is no watermark, they download it and use it. I just had my son's teacher send out a newsletter that was clearly downloaded from Google using this exact method because she forgot to clear out the url so when you clicked on the image it brought you right to that website she got it from!

 I run a couple of blogs, mostly food related, and I take my own images of the food. I put a small watermark in the bottom right corner but that doesn't seem to scare anyone off. I have one image that has been stolen hundreds of times for a particular product. Some people chop off the watermark or blur it out and others just don't even care and just use it... Not much I can do since most of them are not in the US!

As a good friend of my says: "You have to know when to be a good ender" Not quite there yet, but unless things change in the next year or two I could be really done with it...

8 / Re: iStock accepts almost any image now?
« on: January 14, 2014, 11:47 »
I ran across someone that just joined last summer and was drawing these cartoon character illustrations. Uploaded thousands of them in the past four months and I think they've sold maybe 200 in six months. The flood gates are open. I can only see a couple of reasons why they would do this. A) To supply the lower end partner sites. B) to pad their numbers so they look like they have as many images as their competition. C) They plan on something we can't foresee. My gut tells me it's A but we need to see sales pick up on the PP and it looks like they screwed that up...

9 / Re: iStock accepts almost any image now?
« on: January 14, 2014, 10:52 »
I can possibly fathom why IS would basically accept anything and then not sell it. What a waste of time and money. I've done some spot checking of portfolios of big time seller to small time sellers and nobody is selling new images. I'm sure if they have sinister intents on those new images but unless the best match brings new images up in the search (Fresh Match doesn't work either) then it's all for nothing...

I agree on the trend towards more reportage style photography as stock and couple that with the Instagram aesthetic and I think if it looks good on a iphone than it will be acceptable for 90% of the needs 10--20 years down the road. These stock agencies must have an idea what they are doing adding 200k new images a week...

11 / Re: iStock accepts almost any image now?
« on: January 13, 2014, 14:14 »
@ShadySue... just looked at your portfolio and filtered down to just the Editorials. It's true! You are getting at least some downloads on recent editorials. Is that the way to go? I have a ton of those...

I was looking at my retire option in a few years and if these stock agencies are around still in 15-20 years and I can build up my profile to the point where I am creating some good money, I am going to use my portfolios as residual income to supplement whatever I have for my retirement (401k, Social Security or whatever). I would not get into Microstock at this point trying to make a living without deep pockets and a ton of resources.

13 / Re: iStock accepts almost any image now?
« on: January 13, 2014, 12:45 »
I'm with you then... what's the point of uploading? Just put my images on a competitor's website and get downloads that way if they aren't going to address the problem!

14 / iStock accepts almost any image now?
« on: January 13, 2014, 12:06 »
If you aren't following my saga. I was in iStock from the beginning and always had a small portfolio. Took a few years off pursuing other things and now have more free time to shoot and upload. I have uploaded a fair amount of images (for me) in the past few weeks. Zero rejections. Over on SS, I am getting a few rejections where they used to take just about anything. Also, acceptance times are measured in minutes and not the weeks it took a couple of years ago. What is the rationale behind accepting everything? The downside is that none and I mean NONE of the images have even had a single view. Some are going on two months being live. It's like everything that has been uploaded in the past year or so is put on ice and not getting downloads while my images from back in 2005 get constant downloads... argh!

15 / Re: Over 200.000 new files added weekly :(
« on: January 13, 2014, 10:44 »
I think Instagram and Flickr are the biggest competition for Microstock. There are so many free images there under the creative commons licensing structure and many not half bad. Where I used to see people pay pennies for an image at SS for a web size image, now they just go to Flickr and download for free. People will always seek out high quality images and will pay for them but I think that percentage of the people is shrinking every year. Sure more images are being downloaded, but they are mostly for the web and print is shrinking away.

There are only so many people in the world that need stock images. I'm sure these stock agencies have figured out a number (like 1 billion images) as the upward limit that makes them money. We are not there yet obviously...

16 / Re: down?
« on: January 09, 2014, 17:48 »
I was just submitting a big batch and it's locked up on me! argh!

I wonder if you can delete your account while you have a negative earnings amount? I think my 11 year old could run a company better than this BS!

Newbie Discussion / Re: New to Microstock
« on: January 08, 2014, 15:17 »
"I have thousands of shots on the computer and flashdrives. I am curious where I can take them. And what I can do with them"

Common advice is to throw away everything on your harddrive, at least as far as stock goes.  Especially if they were done on a P&S.  You can post some for critique to see if they stand up to current standards.  There may be some that make good prints, but that's a different market.

Customers want images they can use to tell a story or get a message across.

Ok, I hear you, but why would they not beable to say something with what was shot on a P&S? I have seen many photos taken on a P&S that blows away ones taken with an SLR. I think that is generalizing. I will look for a few and post them to see what others think. I have opened a Flickr account and posted some there as well, although I am not trusting of that site so I only put those that I feel dosn't have much to go for it.

Even on the 160, I use all manual and priority settings. I have full control of shutter speed and aperture settings, along with F/stop and ISO control. I can do pretty much everything with it that I can with the DSLR except change lenses out. And albeit, it weighs a whole lot less after carrying 45 pounds of gear on your back all day. Those few less ounces pays off.

My girl friends Ex designs camera and telescope lenses. He saw a picture I took of her with my other SX150. He told me with all the gear he has, he never would have been able to get that shot. It was the composition. I feel that is the big factor in  what makes or breaks a photo. Not the equipment. You can have the best equipment in the world, but  if you do not have composition, your lacking.

Anyway, I would like to give this  a go, and with the pictures I have now. But of course, not all of them. Im choosy.. ;D

One of my best selling images was taken with an old Canon P&S but it has to be absolutely perfect conditions and shot at ISO 100. You will find that many stock agencies will reject anything less than DSLR quality no matter the composition. I guess the only way you'l find out for yourself is to start tying to get accepted to some of these agencies and see how it goes, but you won't see any real income until you have hundreds of images on several agencies...


Newbie Discussion / Re: New to Microstock
« on: January 06, 2014, 11:44 »
I've been at this game for 9 years. While I don't have a large portfolio, I have been following the ups and downs of Microstock for a long time. When I started you would get substantial downloads with less than 100 images uploaded. Now the market is flooded with millions of contributors and I would say that unless you have a highly targeted niche and have about 1000 images you might get some downloads. Although I am exclusive at IS, I would stay away from them. I've been there so long my royalty levels are too high as an exclusive. Concentrate on SS, Fotolia and Dreamstime. Good luck and upload often and like others said, don't quit any real jobs you have!

21 / Re: Keyword order - heads up
« on: January 03, 2014, 15:00 »
Dredging up an old thread. Has anyone ever determined if keyword order makes any difference or not? Also, once a file has been uploaded, can you change the order? I have some older files that are getting few views, but should be getting much more and I noticed that on some of them the most relevant keywords are way down the in the order and was wondering if I could reorder them for more views. Thanks!

22 / Re: November and December sales
« on: December 21, 2013, 14:55 »
I pretty much ignored my exclusive portfolio on istock for a couple of years, but the past 4 months my sales have taken off. Gone up enough that I am shooting and uploading again. Everything that's going into my portfolio is Signature and above. But still no views or downloads on recent uploads. Hoping they tweak the search to expose more of the new stuff for exclusives. Anyway, the last three months have been my best sales and income for a few years!

23 / Re: iStock: Unreleased Private Homes
« on: December 13, 2013, 15:34 »
I think it must be bad enough for them to cut of a pretty big chunk of revenue!

24 / Re: Best Match heavily favoring Exclusives?
« on: December 13, 2013, 09:36 »
I just did it the old fashioned way and clicked on the image and looked for "Only on iStock" below the image. From what I'm seeing, exclusives dominate simple one keyword searches. I think when you get into multi word searches things break down a little.

25 / Best Match heavily favoring Exclusives?
« on: December 12, 2013, 14:37 »
Sorry if I am a little late to the party. As I mentioned before I've re-engaged in my portfolio with more time on my hands but it's been a good 3 years since I've uploaded anything... I am exclusive on IS but I used to be on SS, DT and Alamy.

I just did a simple search on IS for the world "flower". Had 800,000+ hits on that keyword. Just for photos, no video or illustrations. I had to scroll down to the 24th image to get to the non-exclusive image. Which I like cuz I'm exclusive, but that image was going for 1/10th the cost as the Exclusive images. I looked at my own portfolio and most of mine aren't up that high but why would I spend 10x more on an image when I can download a non-exclusive or so cheap? Is that what is killing all the exclusive earnings? I feel like a noob... been away too long...

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