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Messages - Asthebelltolls

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General - Top Sites / Re: I'm the guy with the grey beard
« on: May 22, 2022, 17:09 »
Glad to have you back  :)
Just here for a little. But thank you. :)

Annie. I've been a Type 1 since 1964. Just me and Neil Young still around. You
and me share the Zen mode when looking through the viewfinder. Thanks for sharing!

"Share your work and start earning. Join the SS's global community of contributors and earn pennies doing what you love."

General Stock Discussion / Re: Best sellers from March 2022
« on: April 04, 2022, 19:02 »
     Very creative and informative presentation, fotoroad. Thanks very much for sharing. Are your clips sales a combination of HD and 4K? Do you work with Pond5?
     All my clips are HD. I was working with Pond5 and Shutterstock. Very disheartening lately because sales were once frequent and now sales are almost non-existent. My income is derived exclusively from images now. My agencies that I still work with are Depositphoto and Dreamstime. They work well together when submitting. I still have images with 123RF......
     Thanks again fotoroad! Well done!

Interesting but strange he starts with Dreamstime....

My guess is that Yuri is attracted to Dreamstime rates. The agency has always
plodded along for me although this month sales have dropped off the cliff....

Cameras / Lenses / Re: Equipment you use
« on: February 12, 2022, 10:09 »
The original question prompts another question. What do you want to achieve?

There is nothing in my camera bag that's going to impress anyone. I started with
a Canon T3i and its' original lens before graduating, 6 years later, to a T6i. I
bought an additional Canon 55mm-250mm and decent tripod. I'll continue to use
it until it (or me) gives out.....I've earned approx. $75,000us over the past 12 years so earnings have far surpassed equipment expenses and reached my personal expectations.

I submit regularly to Dreamstime and Depositphoto. I have 5000+ images with
Studdershock and 123rf. All images were captured while cycling. A nice way of
keeping in semi-decent shape and being creative. The Canon equipment held up
well despite rough handling on a bicycle.

My T6i will be reaching maximum shutter actuations soon. I'll be sticking with
Canon and graduate to a professional level Canon 18-250mm and sell off the old
lenses knowing my earnings will far exceed the cost and the equipment holds up well with my lifestyle.

I don't submit to thieves so I couldn't care less what level I am on!
     I was reviewing my earnings with the SS and came across something that I thought was an image.
     I "earned" $0.50. A little more than the paltry $0.10 that I usually get. Further investigation revealed that it was a clip that sold for a minimum $65us.
     I think jjneff's "thieves" description is understated.

Shutterstock.com / Re: Highest price for a photo on Shutterstock.
« on: December 29, 2021, 09:26 »
It would be interesting to pole contributors and find out how many are dependent on SS earnings and how many are not. A drop in commission does not effect me but how many contributors in small eastern European countries or African countries or South American countries depend on extra income in US dollars from the SS to feed their families, pay their rent or help their extended families? Did dropping the basic commission from $0.35us to $0.10us have a direct effect on photographers relying and dependent on stock photo income? Is this a moral issue as well?

Shutterstock.com / Re: Highest price for a photo on Shutterstock.
« on: December 27, 2021, 09:38 »
     What I find surprising in this post is that some contributors
appear to have no problem allowing the SS to manipulate and
change the original agreement you had with the agency when
you first signed up with them.
     I signed up with the SS in 2009. The signed agreement stated
that I would receive a minimum of $0.35us and I would start as a
Level 1 contributor. If I sold more than 10,000 images I would
move up to Level 2 and earn a minimum $0.38us per image, etc.
HD videos, at the time, started at a minimum $23us per clip and,
like images, increased when you achieved a certain amount of
     There was nothing in that agreement that stated the SS could
lower commissions or do whatever they * well pleased. It may be
in your agreement if you signed up more recently but in my
original agreement there is nothing stating that the SS would lower
my commission or drop me back to Level 1 whenever they * well
     This was a binding agreement. Changing that agreement arbitrarily
is illegal and unethical.
     My hopes that we would launch a Class Action lawsuit against the SS
will not happen based on this post. My apologies if I upset a few
     I've learned a lot in this particular post.

Shutterstock.com / Re: Highest price for a photo on Shutterstock.
« on: December 26, 2021, 11:17 »
My highest this year: 72$, 66$, 64$, 48$ and plenty in the 15-25$ range (level 4)
My highest ever: 98$

Highest for video: 120$ (this month, level 2)

What a complete and totally useless topic and response. Share with us Dumc, how much would you have made pre-2018 before the SS slashed commissions? Are you an agent working for the SS? When you cuddle up to them do you thank them each time for being so generous? You have no idea how all of us collectively are delighted to learn your SS story and success. Just goes to show it doesn't matter how much the industry slashes commissions when you're a brilliant photographer and videographer. You'll still make 72$, 66$, 64$, 48$, 15-25$, 98$ and 120$.

General Stock Discussion / Re: Do you guys move every few years?
« on: December 19, 2021, 10:42 »
     I'm a bike photographer. All my images are taken while cycling.
It's an excellent way of getting some much needed exercise and seeing
everything on a far larger scale. I cycle about 30 kms. a day and have
moved locally 7 times since the mid 1990s. Everywhere locally from big cities
to small towns so the subject range is very, very wide. Everything from
paramedics working on drug addicts on the street to Hereford cows grazing
in the field and everything in between. The changing seasons and weather
can also add dramatic changes to the same thing you photographed 4 months ago!
Every day I come home with about 150 snapshots and pick, what I think,
are my five best before submitting. A fun routine that I love!

General - Stock Video / Re: Shutterstock video sales
« on: December 14, 2021, 10:54 »
     Does anyone know what "pre-roll" is? Do you pan or tilt up or down simply because you can or is there a reason for the movement? Do you use a good tri-pod
for smooth panning and tilting or is everything handheld? I-phone or a camera that shoots HD and higher? What's your basic pricing with Pond5 when submitting?  How many clips are with specific agencies? Nothing here to criticize. I just want to learn.

Shutterstock.com / Re: Anyone get paid from Shutterstock yet?
« on: December 13, 2021, 23:31 »
Congratulations to everyone who got paid! It does not matter what time of year this occured .
So many were affected and many dependant on the earnings  to maintain  their lives. Was it Shutterstock? Did the pandemic play a part? Huge daily submission volume and staff dieng
and/or resigning? Who knows? It is up to Shutterstock to explain to  ALL their contributers what
happened. Otherwise, it is the same SS. Good luck to everyone who are still waiting. At least you know things are happening!

Shutterstock.com / Re: Anyone get paid from Shutterstock yet?
« on: December 09, 2021, 22:38 »
I, like some others, received my payment on Dec.6th. My payout goes to Paypal. Is this the same with all of those who haven't received payment? Is Pioneer the problem?

Pond5 / Re: Signing Out of Pond5
« on: December 03, 2021, 22:33 »
     Many thanks, Level 6! Your Pond 5 advice for logging out worked! This is the first time I've had difficulty logging out anywhere with any program or Photo Agency.
     I've been submitting since 2009 and doing whatever I could to earn without
emptying my bank account but the SS appears to be doing everything they can
to pass the expenses on to the Contributor.
     And of course you look over to the right the SS is at the top of the list so that's
going to keep the flock where they are.
     My income with Photo Stock after 2 years submitting to 5 agencies was $20,000
a year. My expectation was that my income would continue to rise.
     Why in the world people sign up and continue to contribute is beyond me.
     My HD rarely sells anymore and I wasn't willing to invest in the latest, greatest camera. I spent a HUGE amount of effort and time to develop HD submissions and then bing! 4K suddenly erased the effort.
     The only thing I would suggest to new contributors is develop your own website.If you're good you'll do well.
     Thanks again Level6!

Pond5 / Signing Out of Pond5
« on: December 03, 2021, 14:51 »
     I have no problem signing into Pond5 but I discovered I now can not sign out. The site has no "logout" message. I still use Windows 7 on an old PC. Your help and/or insights would be appreciated.

Years ago I lived by the US border and regularly cycled the boundary to take pictures and submit to agencies. When I described the image as a US farm I was being technically accurate. The border has official markers indicating exactly where the border is and I would many times step into the US to improve the framing of my shot. One day a US Patrol Officer drove up after I stepped back into my country. He explained that the rules were strict. I apologized and told him that that would be the last time. He was very good about it and even allowed me to take a photo of him standing beside his patrol car. That all changed very quickly. US Border Patrol
helicopters began following me every time I cycled the border. I think they didn't like what I was doing and would do whatever they could to make me uncomfortable.

Off Topic / Re: Hippos a thread to environment
« on: October 17, 2021, 21:47 »
Imagine one of those beast's farts? Then imagine dozens of those beasts farting after a hearty feed. That's some serious gas being pumped into the environment.

That may sound funny, but it does happen to be true!

Gosh....I wonder if hippos outnumber cars?

Pond5 / Re: How has Pond5 been in 2021?
« on: October 04, 2021, 12:50 »
     This topic is, for the most part, useless unless you include the following information in your response: Format submitted. HD? 4K? 5K? Are you a professional videographer by trade or a "wanna-be" submitter? What kind of clips do you submit? Nature? Sports? People? All of the above?
     Personally, I don't upgrade format because agencies provide little or no incentive
so it's still HD. I'm a professional videographer by trade but feel stock submitting a total waste of time. Agencies provide little or no incentive.
     Oh, and by the way, most stock clips submitted are, IMO, a pile of pooh.


Contributors: Provide millions of images to low paying sites.

Also Contributors: The problem is that for some reason low paying sites have millions of images so theres no point trying to improve our lot by stopping uploading to low paying sites.


Indeed, we are our own worst enemy.  But I think there are a couple of dynamics in play for those who upload continuously. 1. They rely heavily or solely on that income and cannot just easily walk away and 2. many contributors shoot average assets or low commercial value work and MS is a good platform for that kind of content.  Honestly, I liked the way Istock used to really scrutinize images and limit how many could be uploaded each week.  It was harder for LCV to get by the reviewers and it kept the collection a bit cleaner.  But those days are gone and here we are.

Totally agree. Stock photography was once a place where the motivation for learning and improving was far greater but even then, when I first started, there were 3 million contributors and counting! That was 12 years ago! I dumped the SS after they dropped commissions and still find my existing portfolio providing hundreds of dollars payout every month. I stick with two agencies, Depositphoto and Dreamstime. They compliment each other making submission protocol very fast and easy. I continue to do what I enjoy with half the hassle. No regrets. I think a lot of veterans will find an ongoing income. Slowly decreasing but always there.

123RF / Re: Is 123rf upload page down?
« on: September 25, 2021, 13:44 »
123rf has the most absurd page structure and protocol. More cr*p then you can ever possibly shovel. Are you STILL submitting to that agency? 

Thanks, Jo Ann. Appreciated.

     They have the technology for spotting problems when contributors submit an image already in their portfolio but they can't spot thieves stealing your image and placing it in their own bogus portfolio? You think it might be time for a class action lawsuit?

Pond5 / Re: So has anybody sold any images on Pond5?
« on: September 09, 2021, 17:56 »
     Personally, I wouldn't bother submitting images. P5 is best known for clips. Very hit and miss agency for me and VERY miss lately. With just over 3000 clips I've managed 18 sales @ $226.00 total with 3191 views over the past year.
     The best thing about P5 is you can change/alter the price of your work if they decide to lower the commission which I did a few years back. I don't know if increasing the price of each clip by $5 had a direct effect on sales but the agency is definitely on the decline for me.

Shutterstock.com / Re: No payment mail yet?
« on: September 07, 2021, 15:25 »
Each month this year payments from the SS have arrived no earlier than the 5th and no later than the 9th.

Thanks Brightonti for sharing. The presentation, personally, makes me realize just how boring drone shots have become. They're so common. So unoriginal that there's nothing that really has that special appeal. Something that really stands out from the rest of those cluster of landscape-seascape-cityscape,etc, etc. drone shots. Personally, I don't do "drone" shots but when I look at the presenter's examples of what's good and what isn't, I tend to disagree. It's my opinion that, like any image, a good drone shot provides a good story. A 30 second sequence that starts high above a city devastated by Hurricane Ida and ends with a family clustered in front of their flooded home. A 30 second sequence that begins high above a beautiful summer Italian village and ends outside a restaurant where a young couple are enjoying a romantic interlude. IMO, the examples the Presenter gave us was the "same-old-same-old". Nothing special. Boring.

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