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Topics - Randy McKown

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1 / I almost don't believe it !!!!!
« on: May 19, 2010, 21:49 »
I got my final crestock payout today LOL .. it only took them 1/2 year to get it to me. So I'm happy to say that all ties are now cut .. I'm not waiting for them to pay up and my images will never be distributed through them again (actually I had the images removed about 3 months ago) ... WOOO I've never been so happy to get a piddly @ss 60 bucks LOL

Off Topic / Swipe credit cards on iPhone
« on: April 07, 2010, 02:17 »
For anyone here who does more than micro .. we just ordered one of these. It's a small accessory you just snap your iPhone in and it allows you to accept credit card payments from clients anywhere. Say you need to meet with a client for them to place an order when you're out on location you can meetup at a starbucks .. take their order .. swipe their card .. grab a caff mocha .. and be on your way.  ;D .... it's a VeriPhone product so no worries

Adobe Stock / Is FT giving us a very poor deal?
« on: April 06, 2010, 20:29 »
Recently a buyer contacted me and happened to mentioned they had purchased an image from me through a FT partner .. they had bought it at non-sub prices ... got me curious so I looked in my FT earnings and saw that FT paid me for a sub sale. I looked a few pages deep and found more partner sales ... all of which I was paid sub-sale percentages. I'm thinking ok a 8% commission is just not cool.

Then I started looking into FT's new project Photoexpress. Through Photoexpress a buyer can get a subscription for $10 a month and have access to all of FT's free files plus 1 premium download. In other words FT is selling one of your images for $10 through a subscription process on a partner site which they own. So this made me ask .. ok can FT now sale our images for $10 a pop and pay us a 3% commission? This is a huge concern for me so I contacted FT about it.

I asked FT if one of my images uploaded to FT was sold through Photoexpress as a premium download what would I be paid? ... here was their reply ...

"Thank you for your e-mail. Please note that we are a separate company and we have no Photoxpress customer service department here. For more information please contact the Customer Service department from the Photoxpress site."

That sounds like a stupid reply ... why would Photoexpress tell me how much FT is going to pay me?

Ok so I emailed them again further explaining I do not have an account with Photoexpress and that my images showing on Photoexpress are premium images in my FT account .. I didn't put them there FT did and when I get paid on a partner sale FT is going to be the one who pays me .. now tell me how much I am going to be paid?

and here's FT's next reply ...

"Please note that some of your files were added into our API Free section, and they have been payed to you by Fotolia already. PhotoXpress is a sister website of Fotolia and all free files are currently showing on the same data base. For more information please contact PhotoXpress customer service."

What the F**K are they talking about ?!?!?!?! These are premium files in everyone's accounts that we make our living from. They are not free files. I made it clear I was talking about the premium files they are selling so why don't they want to tell us how much they are going to pay us.

Ok at this point I'm thinking it's a bunch of total BS but I'm going to play along and contact the Photoexpress people just for giggles. I ask how much will FT contributors be paid on PREMIUM image sales.

and here we go with the Photoexpress (AKA FT) reply ...

"Dear Randy, Thank you for your e-mail. Unfortunately PhotoXpress does not provide any royalties to members. Please note that Fotolia has already payed the contributors for those images, when adding them into the Free API section. Kind regards, PhotoXpress C.S. Department"

If I was a postal worker I'd be loading my gun right now. I feel like I'm talking to Sean Penn in a bad remake of I am Sam. Are these employees IQs so incredibly low that they cannot understand the difference between .. "How much will I be paid for a Premium sale?" and "Will I be paid for free image downloads?" ... I don't think so .. that would be pretty F'in bad. The only logically conclusion I can come up with is that ... FT does not want us to know how much they intend to give us ... if anything at all. At this point I would totally not be surprised if images were being sold and not reported.

I have absolutely no trust for FT at this point. I strongly urge everybody here to start paying attention to what's going on. How much money have you lost? For those who FT is your highest earner .. you should REALLY be looking into this .. because chances are you're getting the big stiff one harder and faster than everybody else.

Everyone should remember that yeah FT makes a lot of sales ... but if we don't upload to them the buyers go elsewhere .. they don't just up and shut their design businesses down. If FT was unable to produce fresh content buyers would just move over to SS, DT and IS ... which would mean more sales and faster payouts. The problem is too many hobbyist and the lack of microstockers organizing into a collective where we can have the power to make demands. At this rate I'm seeing this as my last year in FT.

Ok I'm done. If anyone doubts FT's intentions contact them for yourself and see if they give you the runaround too. I'd love to see some black n white facts on how exactly we are being paid for partner sales and FT's new Evil Empire Photoexpress.

Don't be a bunch of punks and just stand there .. or should I say bend over .. and let FT smack it to ya. Do something about it.

Adobe Stock / Opt Out of FT Partners Possible?
« on: March 31, 2010, 17:29 »
I'm trying to opt out of all these cheesy hole in the wall micro sites and I can't find a partner opt out anywhere on FT. Anybody know?

Microstock Services / Lookstat Alternatives ??
« on: March 08, 2010, 00:30 »
online services ... commercial software ... anything?

I need to start tracking royalties of certain images from multiple sessions organized into collections. I know lookstat does this however I have been testing it out the last month or two and figures are coming up way off. Lookstat is very cool but I need accuracy .. preferably something not still in beta. I don't need a service that can track every single agency. I'm only concerned with SS, DT, IS & FT .... and DT isn't so much a priority because if all else fails I can track royalties by setting up additional lightboxes.

I've googled my brains out and came up with nothing.

6 / Do they exam new photographers on DT?
« on: February 26, 2010, 20:05 »
I had somebody ask me about signing up there today and it's been so long I honestly can't remember. Does DT require you to upload shots for an application and not allow you to mass upload until being approved as a contributor or can you sign up and start submitting right away? It's been so long since I signed up with all of the big 6. I only remember doing that at SS.

Illustration - General / INTUOS4 - Anybody using one?
« on: February 18, 2010, 01:53 »
I'm thinking about buying the large model. How would you rate the INTUOS4? What do you personally use yours for the most .. illustrator, photoshop, painter? Any other recommendations to compare the wacom to?

Site Related / Shutterstock icon
« on: February 09, 2010, 21:38 »
When did the shutterstock profile icons disappear .. just noticed it today.

Adobe Stock / Fotolia's 28% tax ... Do What ?!?!?!
« on: February 04, 2010, 19:41 »
ROFLMAO !!!!!!!! my wife just logged into her account and noticed they were taking out 28% for taxes. C'mon how stupid is that? 1099 royalties are filed under self-employment and SE taxes are only 15.3% and if your total income goes over 106K that number drops all the way down to 3%

Conspiracy theory of the day
Let's say Fotolia takes the 28% that they would have normally paid you .. hold it until the quarter to report .. in the meantime that 28% is placed into short-term low-interest yet safe investments which draws interest on your money .. not noticeable to the individual contributor but think of this .... interest accumulated on 28% of a million sales would be the equivalent of Fotolia keeping 100% of all sales to themsleves ... or more !!!!!

Stay tuned for tomorrows conspiracy theory when I reveal the secrets behind the sex scandel between Bill Gates and dimestore tycoon Sam Walton which gave birth to a masked evil superpower which is known today as the new world order (AKA Wal-Mart)

General Stock Discussion / your cell phone is NOT a camera !!!!
« on: January 17, 2010, 15:42 »
I have reviewed several photographers this week who uploaded shots taken with camera phones ... this is just annoying .. ok actually it makes my job easier because it was a no-brainer to reject all their photos like a madman .. but come on people ... camera phones ?!?!?!?!?!

Software - General / iTag IPTC freebie
« on: January 15, 2010, 19:57 »
I've used Pro Photo Tools for ages and this morning it started freaking out on me. Instead of saving my description data it was taking the title data and duplicating it in the description. Reinstalling didn't work so I thought I'd browse around to see if anything new was out.

Found iTag and it seems to work pretty good for microstock purposes. Simple layout that doesn't clutter things up with text boxes for fields you never bother using anyway. You can apply batches. Not a bad little freebie for anyone interested.

General - Top Sites / 123 took spot #6
« on: October 06, 2009, 16:49 »
Just happened to glance over to the right and noticed 123 took a spot on the Big 6. When did they knock BigStock out of place?

Off Topic / what kind of spider is this???
« on: September 11, 2009, 11:54 »
Ok so I'm sitting outside on the deck taking a break and see this little spider .. then I take a closer look and thought what . is this? It's really small .. smaller than an eraser on a pencil. At first I thought it had a dead bug hanging off of it but it actually just has a funky body with spikes coming out of it. For the record I'm in missouri, USA .. most spiders here are normal little spiders. Anybody know what this type of spider is called or am I living too close to the nuclear power plant?

Microstock News / $500 For Every 500 Photo Guarantee
« on: January 30, 2009, 17:31 »
$500 For Every 500 Photo Guarantee .. New incentive program was just announced today.

General Stock Discussion / Get Paid Shooting Nothing
« on: January 28, 2009, 22:53 »
I get told a lot by photographers that the reason they dont become more active in microstock is because they do not have access to a studio or that they dont have tons of people they can have model for them. They basically think all the real money is made from business people and other portrait type shots. While I do have a great deal of people in my portfolio that's not where all my money comes from so I thought I would write a blog about how to make sales shooting things most people never think about shooting and require very little time. I think it's a good read for anyone who wants to boost their microstock income. Here's the link for anyone interested.

Get Paid Shooting Nothing

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