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Messages - TreeOfLife

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Newbie Discussion / Re: Building my microstock portfolio
« on: February 12, 2009, 10:58 »
This thread has got me thinking now; perhaps I'm not being specific enough in telling models how their images may be used.  Up to this point I've only said that they could be used for commercial purposes, but that the buyer may not "defame" the model.  So what should I be telling them, exactly?  How detailed do you get?  What do you all tell your models?

Off Topic / Re: Custom Photo Calendars
« on: December 18, 2008, 17:09 »

I'll buy your calendar if it comes with 12 bottles of anti-depressants and some psychologist visits!  LOL  ;D

Sorry but I just had to chime in on this one!  Actually, I stopped getting the newspaper and watching the news for just that reason.  I know that terrible things go on in the world every day that are out of my control (mind you, I do all I can to make a positive impact), but I it's too depressing to be reminded of it constantly.  Good luck with the calendar, though, and let us know how you make out.

Dreamstime.com / Re: parents can't be witness?
« on: December 17, 2008, 10:45 »
I have four photos online with Dreamstime that have one parent as the "parent signature" and the other parent as the witness.  Three of those photos were uploaded 2 weeks ago, and everything went through fine.  Contact support; somebody missed the ball here.

iStockPhoto.com / Re: Can't Log on to Istock
« on: December 10, 2008, 09:30 »
I just tried to log in at 9:30am Eastern (US) time.  Same thing is happening; it takes you back to the front page.  So either it's not fixed, or I am also too insignificant!

Alamy.com / Re: Alamy Measures - Wow, usefull stuff
« on: September 20, 2008, 13:02 »
Thanks guys for your advice.  I will start researching the forums as suggested and learn all I can...then give it a go!


Alamy.com / Re: Alamy Measures - Wow, usefull stuff
« on: September 19, 2008, 11:53 »
Scott (and everyone else),

What program do you use to upsize?  This is opening up a whole new world now, and I know nothing.


Alamy.com / Re: Alamy Measures - Wow, usefull stuff
« on: September 19, 2008, 11:35 »
Interesting....I also have Nikon D50 and wasn't even considering Alamy because of the photo size required.  Upsizing from a 10mp camera is a lot different than upsizing from my 6mp camera, right?  I never even tried it; thought it would look terrible, and have therefore resigned myself to wait for the next camera.

I was on Photoshelter for 1 month before they closed and that really bummed me out.  I'd like to try Alamy as a replacement but I never thought I had a chance due to that darn file size requirement.  So there's hope??!!!

Cutcaster / Re: Cutcaster sales/payout/photo quality
« on: September 18, 2008, 14:34 »
Maybe it's the same glitch that is preventing me from even viewing the site today.  I get an error that says "Internet Explorer cannot open the site www.cutcaster.com   Operation aborted."

Weird...it worked fine yesterday!

Cutcaster / Re: Cutcaster sales/payout/photo quality
« on: September 17, 2008, 14:57 »
The positive vibes are coming through the computer!
Thanks everyone for your responses.

"I love to give a chance to newcomers because many times in my life someone gave me a chance too"

Whitechild, what you said here really struck a chord with me.  So true, so true.  You all are winning me over and I think I will give it a go.

John, thanks for your personal response.  I admire you for your positive attitude and your continuous involvement in your endeavor.  Much success to you! 

Cutcaster / Re: Cutcaster sales/payout/photo quality
« on: September 17, 2008, 10:22 »
Very nice reply, whitechild!  It's always helpful to get a fresh perspective.  :)

Cutcaster / Cutcaster sales/payout/photo quality
« on: September 17, 2008, 09:21 »
It was nice to see that photographer's payout helped her through "Ike."  I really didn't think people were earning that much already through Cutcaster!  I'd love to see her portfolio.

I've been toying with the idea of uploading to Cutcaster but so far haven't.  The reason?  I've looked through some portolios and have been horrified at the low technical quality that's been accepted.  I've only been doing microstock for about a year in my spare time and have been trained through the SS and IS "school of hard knocks."  Now I know what to look for and I'm my own worst critic.  I can't even look at a friend's photos anymore for fear they'll ask me "what I think."  (well, your white balance is off, the focus is soft and the composition is not very interesting.)  I'm in no way proclaiming to be a great photographer- far from it, but I'm always looking to improve and use rejections as a stepping stone.

So- back to the original dilemma.  I really love John's attitude and the way he's running things over there.  On the other hand, how can a site that offers lower quality for more $$$ compete with sites that have a high standard for less $$$?  But then you hear a story like "Fern" so obviously something is selling there...plus I joined Photoshelter about a month ago (may she rest in peace) so I'm still reeling from that one and wondering if it's worth my time to try another new site, especially with the above mentioned problems.

I really need someone to shed a fresh perspective on this.  Any thoughts?

Newbie Discussion / Re: Image management
« on: September 11, 2008, 13:42 »
I use an Excel spreadsheet.  I have columns for image number (example: DSC_1234), title of photo, keywords, "accepted at", "rejected at", notes, and the date.

For me, this keeps it all straight.  I'd be curious to know what others do, as I just made up my own system when I started.


Off Topic / Re: Please help me win the Canon Photo Contest!
« on: August 16, 2008, 20:13 »
Great photo!  It's an honor to give you my vote.  :D

Cutcaster / Re: Cutcaster customer base?
« on: August 15, 2008, 17:03 »
Hi Marburg,

I'm curious- what other sites are you on?  Any of the "Big 6?"  also- how many images do you have in your portfolio?  I only have about 40.

That is great to hear that you're getting sales there!  I'm still considering it; I think I will also try Photoshelter.  I've been intrigued with both Photoshelter and Cutcaster for a while now, and will probably give them a try.

Like you, I have also been impressed with Cutcaster's replies and "hand-on" attitude.  I'm just hoping that they raise the bar as far as images are concerned; I've seen some really nice stuff on there but also have seen some dreadful photos.  I also hope they get a good crew on to make sure keyword spamming doesn't take over.  I read Photoshelter's policy on that and was impressed.

Cutcaster / Re: Cutcaster
« on: August 15, 2008, 08:53 »
OK, I got it to work, but there's a minor glitch:

In order to click on "members" you first have to unclick "photos."  It would be better if you could just click on "members" and the check mark would move from "photos" on it's own, with out having to uncheck the "photos."

I'm also going to have to agree with a previous poster (sorry I forget who) who suggested that you raise your quality standards for submissions.  I'm not a great photographer, but even I would not have submitted some of the photos I saw (big time white balance and focus issues, not to mention photo titles spelled wrong).  If you want buyers to have a look around, you're going to have to give them quality to choose from.  Otherwise I think they're going give up and go elsewhere.
*trying to be helpful, not critical*

For anyone else that wants to buy a tripod in the future, don't forget your local camera shop that may carry used equipment.  I got a Manfrotto tripod for $100 used.

Cutcaster / Re: Cutcaster
« on: August 14, 2008, 20:29 »
I clicked on the "Advance Search" (should that say "Advanced?")and I still don't see a search by photographer button.  Am I looking on the correct page?

Cutcaster / Re: Cutcaster
« on: August 14, 2008, 14:29 »
I don't know anything about websites, but I came up with two suggestions:

1.  Can there be a "search by photographer" option?  Sometimes it's nice to see someone's entire portfolio, especially if you like their work.

2. I'd like to be able to see the larger version of the photo just by putting my mouse over top of it, instead of clicking on it.  Is that possible?

Cutcaster / Re: Cutcaster customer base?
« on: August 14, 2008, 11:56 »
Interesting feedback!  I guess it can't hurt to go ahead then and take a chance.  Plus, being relatively new to all of this,  it's not like I have hundreds of photos to go through to upload.

Thanks for all of your insight!


Cutcaster / Re: Cutcaster customer base?
« on: August 14, 2008, 10:56 »
So to those of you who did sign up with Cutcaster- are you continuing to upload the same images at other agencies (including subscriptions)?

That's why I was asking about exclusives.  It seems to me that if I upload all of my images everywhere, I'm just shooting myself in the foot; a buyer will just go the "cheaper" site to get the image instead of downloading it from Cutcaser.

Is this making any sense at all?  ???

Cutcaster / Re: Cutcaster customer base?
« on: August 14, 2008, 07:59 »
Thanks for the replies.  To answer your question, the sites I'm currently on are Shutterstock, Istock, Dreamstime, Bigstockphoto, and Fotolia.

Any other suggestions for a change of direction?

Cutcaster / Cutcaster customer base?
« on: August 13, 2008, 20:47 »
I know this question has been asked to some extent before in the mid-stock forum, but I never really see a clear answer.

Tell me why a customer would choose to use a site like Cutcaster as opposed to the "cheaper-priced" sites like any of the Big 6?

Is Cutcaster looking for exclusives?  Is there some other big plus that I'm overlooking?  I've decided to stop uploading to Fotolia so I'm looking for a replacement.  In reading these forums, I've been impressed so far with the hands-on, can-do attitude of Cutcaster's founder.

So, those of you who have already signed up- are you satisfied with your decision so far? Are you uploading exclusives?  I'm trying to figure out which direction to direct my energy.  Any info is appreciated!

iStockPhoto.com / Re: iStock rejections - again...
« on: January 23, 2008, 10:28 »
That's "Mrs. TreeOfLife" to you... ;)"

I bought the "Noise Ninja" program and it has worked out great.  One of the things I really like about it is the "undo" noise removal tool.  The program will take out noise from the whole photo, then if you see areas that are too "soft," you can undo those areas by using an undo brush.

Last summer I took a photo of an ostrich with a point and shoot camera.  There was a good amount of sky in the photo, and a lot of noise as a result.  I ran it through Noise Ninja- it took the noise out of the sky, but left me with a soft looking ostrich face.  I then used the undo tool to put the noise back on the ostrich (to give it more sharpness) but left the sky noise-free.  The photo was accepted yesterday at SS.   Pretty good for a point and shoot camera.

When I first submitted to SS I got rejected for "overuse of noise reduction software," so make sure you don't go crazy with it too.

iStockPhoto.com / Re: iStock rejections - again...
« on: January 21, 2008, 17:29 »
Here is my experience with IStock:

1st submission: 1 accepted, 2 rejected
2nd submission (only have to submit 2): 1 accepted, 1 rejected
3rd submission (only have to submit 1): 1 rejected

and TODAY- 4th submission: 1 accepted!!!

The review process only took an hour or two; they were very quick.  From my experience I can tell you that they do review your images, especially since they would approve 1, reject 1, and not reject them all at one time.

Now that I'm officially "in" I'm more nervous than ever about submitting, with all that I've been through trying to get accepted in the first place.  I got accepted at SS on my second try, so this was the hardest yet.

Shutterstock.com / Re: Trouble with initial acceptance at SS
« on: January 02, 2008, 09:15 »
When I first submitted to SS, only 6 were accepted (needed 7).

I then asked the question on the SS forum what I should do for my next try- resubmit the 6 that got accepted plus 4 new ones, or submit 10 new ones.  I got a reply from a SS reviewer that said to submit 10 new ones.  That's what I did, and 7 got accepted.  I then went back and resubmitted the ones from the first batch that were "accepted," and wouldn't you know, some of them got rejected the second time around.  Oh well.

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