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Topics - epixx

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Shutterstock.com / Title rejected, scratching my head
« on: January 05, 2018, 02:58 »
Usually when I get rejections, I just move on. Most or all of my photos are accepted by most of the agencies anyway, so usually I don't waste time trying to get it accepted everywhere. However, this time I've received one from SS that makes me scratch my head. It reads:

"Title -- Title must be descriptive of the subject matter and must be in English. Titles cannot contain special characters, spelling/grammar errors, or repeat words/phrases in excess."

The title of the photo is:

"Reclining Buddha in Myeik, Myanmar"

Here's the photo:

General Stock Discussion / Shooting film for stock?
« on: September 19, 2017, 21:27 »
From a purely financial point of view, this doesn't make sense, but as I'm getting tired of reading about new revolutionary cameras that I "must" have to stay competitive, I went back to my Nikon F6 and Fuji GX680 to shoot a few rolls of film, mostly Portra 160 and 400. When I received the results back from the lab, I was struck by the quality of the output and the fact that at 6-10MP, they looked as good as or better than any digital file, but with the big difference that colours, contrast etc. look great straight out of the box.

So I would like to shoot some film for stock too, just for the satisfaction of doing it, and because there is actually something called "film look". Yes, I know there are plugins available for this, and yes, I know that would be cheaper, but it's not nearly as fun.

Has anybody submitted film shots to microstock lately and had it accepted?

iStockPhoto.com / Can't find my portfolio
« on: March 10, 2017, 17:09 »
Maybe I'm not too smart, but it's typical that this happens at iStock and nowhere else. Where on earth do I find my portfolio om iStock. Is there any way at all to see the performance of each image?

Interestingly, I can now log in to ESP with my old password (through iStock) and my new password (through Getty). Is there some deeper purpose of this that is beyond my comprehension as well?

Yes, I have stopped uploading there, and I guess it's time to leave.

iStockPhoto.com / Amounts disappeared from Stats Page
« on: December 29, 2016, 18:14 »
Suddenly I can only see the number of photos sold, not the amounts, on my stats page at iStock, for the current as well as previous months. The account balance has also disappeared from the line at the bottom of the browser window. I can see it on the Financials Page though.

Anybody else had this happen?

I recently uploaded some shots of 450 year old Buddha images from an old temple ruin in the Rakhine State in Myanmar. They were immediately rejected at SS with the claim that I need a property release. Has anybody experienced that before? I mean, the artist must have been dead for at least 400 years and with the the current state of affairs in Myanmar, getting a property release for these is probably as simple as negotiating a peace treaty in the Middle East.

I get:

"Your access to Fotolia.com has been blocked due to unauthorized activity.


even when I'm not trying to log in to Fotolia. Anybody else get that?

I'm in Vietnam at the moment, and don't know if it's a problem from other countries as well.

General Stock Discussion / How to find my TIN
« on: July 06, 2013, 02:22 »
I'm going to register with a couple of new stock agencies, and can't figure out how to find my US Tax Identification Number (I've just moved, so papers are well hidden in boxes). Any idea?

Microstock Services / URGENT: Moneybookers scam
« on: June 30, 2013, 03:28 »
I don't usually fall for phishing emails, but this one was very professionally done:
The text starts with "We would like to inform you that your account is pending closure for failing to accept the new Skrill (Moneybookers) Account Terms of Use and the Privacy Policy until the 31th of May, 2013." From and Reply-to emails are both [email protected]. When I clicked on the link, I was led to a website that looks exactly like moneybookers.com. The only difference was that I was asked for my birth date on the second page, which made me check the domain name. The domain name is http://www.moneyboiokers.com.

I would recommend anybody who have gone through their login procedure to log in to their real Moneybookers account and change the password immediately.

Shutterstock.com / Editorial at SS
« on: January 05, 2010, 12:07 »
Earlier, I've been reluctant to upload editorial photos to micro agencies, but last autumn, I decided to give it a go to see if there was any change. There was. Particularly SS is selling editorial photos at a healthy rate now. I don't know yet if it really pays off long term, but so far, it looks promising.

The requirements, particularly at SS are rather strict, and they mostly accept photos from current events, but that doesn't necessarily mean that they won't sell in the future as well. DT is another candidate for this, but their upload volume restriction is an obstacle. They also review slower.

Veer / Veer, the new Crestock?
« on: August 04, 2009, 00:56 »
I've sent my ten photos to get accepted by Veer, mostly industrial and travel, since this is what I sell the most of. Since they asked me to send my ten best, I only sent photos that have been accepted by all other agencies, and only photos that are top sellers, which in my case means hundreds of sales. Many of the photos are motives that give zero hits when searching at Veer.

All rejected for different reasons, flat lighting being the most common. While Veer is obviously free to head in any direction that they want, I get a sneaking feeling here that somebody has had the brilliant idea that they are going to become something unique within this business.

If there's one thing that has been proven again and again, it is that uniqueness sells, but in tiny numbers, while those with large, complete selections of photos sell in large numbers. Like in iStock vs. Crestock or Dreamstime vs. Lucky Oliver.

Veer will possibly last longer than Snapvillage, but after a few searches for photos that I could use as a graphic designer, which is what I mostly do for a living, I'm not terribly impressed, and that goes for the flat lighting too.

Crestock.com / Crestock down?
« on: June 23, 2009, 23:24 »
When I try to access Crestock, I get a page with the following message up:

"Our servers will be down from 6.00am GMT until 6.30 GMT for routine maintenance"

This has lasted for a day or two now. Anybody else?

Crestock.com / What is happening at Crestock?
« on: October 27, 2008, 18:51 »
I shouldn't worry about what happens at Crestock, since it's a really, really low earner, but since they claim to be such a high quality agency, I'm wondering why:

- It's six weeks since I've heard anything about payout via Moneybookers. Other agencies have had hick-ups with MB too, but this is plain silly, and absolutely amateurish.

- The forums haven't worked for well over six months. There's a message on the forum page saying they will open again at the end of August, but it doesn't say which year. Every silly, little amateur website have a functional forum nowadays. What makes the Crestock forum so special. Will it include live video and smell?

- Subs payouts at Crestock are the lowest anywhere. If you sold photos like hotcakes, it would have looked better, but you don't. Your sales are slow as molasses, even compared to that other Norwegian agency, Scanstockphoto (who by the way pays 1 Euro per download).

- Now you're having a Photoshop contest again. That would be fun if the rest of your system was functional, but it isn't. You're ignoring your contributors, and that's bad.

Get your priorities right!

SnapVillage.com / $50 at SV, do they exist?
« on: September 13, 2008, 09:28 »
Yes, they do actually. I had my first one today, on a Saturday, no less. But it says something about my sales there that one $50 sale ($15 commission) generated an instant BME, all by itself   :-\

Dreamstime.com / No Moneybookers on DT
« on: September 05, 2008, 04:30 »
I just received an email from DT with the following text:

"Your request for payment has been refused and all earnings reverted back to your account.

Payments via MoneyBookers are temporarily disabled. Please use our alternate payment methods to post your payment request or wait until the Moneybookers' option is re-enabled."

Have any of you received this mail? I've mailed back to DT asking how long the problem will last.

New Sites - General / Microstockphoto.com... anybody there?
« on: August 22, 2008, 16:23 »
I'm not sure if they are up and coming or down and going, but I wonder if anybody are selling there. I registered there a while ago, but haven't uploaded anything yet.

General Stock Discussion / 2008 vs 2007 ytd
« on: August 04, 2008, 02:48 »
While doing my weekly statistics, I found that it might be a good idea to have a look at how well I've done with the micros so far this year, compared to 2007. Here are the results for week 1-31 2008 compared to the same weeks 2007. The figures are share of sales 2007, share of sales 2008, increase/decline of sales:

SS: 41.6 35.7, up 13%
IS: 17.8 17.0, up 26%
DT: 16.7 14.6, up 15%
FT: 7.4 11.9, up 111%
StockXpert: 4.9 7.2, up 94%
BS: 3.6 4.2, up 54%
rf123: 3.0 3.3, up 43%
FP: 0.6 1.6, up 228%
Scan: 0.9 1.6, up 130%
Cre: 1.2 1.1, up 17%
Can: 1.3 0.6, down 39%
Total increase: 32%

A few comments to the figures:
At the start of 2007, SS represented more than 50% of my revenue, while halfway through 2008, they are below 30%. Their relative decline is very steady, even though they have increased commissions twice during this period.
I stopped uploading to Crestock and Canstock almost a year ago, which probably influences the sales in a negative way.
Since Scanstock is the only one of these that pays in Euro, I haven't bothered to convert to dollars (I use 1 EUR = 1 USD here), so they are doing better than the figures indicate.  Their growth rate is correct though.

If there is any conclusion to draw from this, it must be that nothing has settled down yet. There are lots of fluctuations, and there is no way of telling which will be the top agency in five years.

iStockPhoto.com / 10 dollars extra, but why?
« on: July 12, 2008, 21:35 »
Yesterday, the balance of my IS account suddenly jumped 10 dollars for no apparent reason. No regular sales and no EL. Has anybody had the same experience?

Featurepics.com / FP increasing
« on: July 11, 2008, 19:30 »
While several microstock agencies have reduced my earnings lately by introducing subs, my FP sales are really soaring this month. It's only the eleventh, and I already have a BME. In addition, FP is on a fourth place, behind SS, FT and IS (just 20% behind IS), and way ahead of DT, StockXpert, BS and 123. This obviously doesn't reflect the number of sales, but my earnings, since FP pays a lot more than other agencies.

It's impossible to say if this will last, but I've seen a positive trend for some time now. This means that I will continue and increase promoting my portfolio at FP (1343 images). So far, I've linked to it wherever possible, and used it as a part of my email signature. It must be possible to do more.

FP is the obvious long-term alternative for me. They may not off instant gratification, but if the growth continues, there'll be nothing like it in a couple of years   :)

Dreamstime.com / Subs increasing, volume is not
« on: July 10, 2008, 17:50 »
My worst fears are about to become reality at DT. Subs represent practically 50% of my sales there now, and earnings per sale so far in July is down to $0.59, which is the lowest since I started there two years ago and down from $1.22 in January. My maximum was $1.49, in August last year.

So far this month, DT is my sixth best earner, down from a very steady third place over the last two years. Even FP is better for me (50% more) so far in July.

From being one of my favourite agencies, DT has reduced themselves to one of the mediocre once. If the trend continues, I can easily see myself stop uploading to them, since they are reducing the value of my microstock portfolio.

Sorry for the rant, but reality doesn't look nice at DT at the moment, and no symbolic rise is going to change that.

I've recently activated a cool feature on my Moneybookers account: SMS warnings. Now, every time money is deposited into my account, I get an SMS on my mobile phone with a copy of the email that they're sending out. Great when I'm just waiting for the last transfer (SS in this case) before transferring to my regular bank account.

Last night, this happened just as I was going to bed, which meant I was able to get up again, transfer the money, and receive it on Friday, before the weekend, instead of on Monday.

Since Fotolia has jumped on the subscription bandwagon as well, I found it interesting to have a look at what has happened at DT after they did the same. I've used one image as example, which isn't fair of course, but it's still a good example what can happen when customers have the possibility to buy images for next to nothing.

The image in question is a vector, which represent some of my most profitable objects. Here's the sales development:

So far this year, the total of all sales combined is less than each of the two last sales of 2007. Each of those sales generated 20 times as much as a subscription sale at DT. What I fear will happen now after all the major agencies have joined the subs, is that they will start competing on price. It's a stupid thing to do, but so far, none of them have shown much intelligence.

There's only one place to send the bill for a price-war: to the contributors. I'm not going to accept that. I will still keep my microstock accounts alive for the time being, and upload a few images each month, but my main emphasis will be on macrostock. I may not gain much to start with, rather the opposite actually, but I see this as an investment in future sales.

I'm considering uploading RM only to macrostock, leaving the option open to go exclusive at IS for RF content, if they maintain a healthier view on subscriptions. Time will show.

Just to illustrate how things are developing in total at DT for me, here are my sales statistics:

My portfolio at DT has increased with more than 50% the last 12 months, and the quality of my photos is much better than a year ago.

SnapVillage.com / New "feature" at SV
« on: May 01, 2008, 19:58 »
When I click "View your portfolio" at SV, and choose the default "most recent" option, my photos now appear in a random order. Not completely random apparently, since more or less the same photos appear on the first page every time, although in different sequence, but still.

I have no idea what they are thinking at SV, but seeing my images with the newest ones first, is actually quite useful sometimes.

Oh well... I suppose we just have to let them do their thing. The microstock agency of one of the world's leading stock agencies have now been in beta for close to a year, after entering the market very late. And still, they screw up on a regular basis. If I had been on the board of that company, I think I would bring an ax to the next board meeting   :D

SnapVillage.com / The worst thing about SnapVillage
« on: April 22, 2008, 23:53 »
SV can be criticized  for many thing, but most of them, I've learned to live with, and sales seem to be increasing anyway. There's one thing however, that I find so outright stupid, from a photographer's, a designer's as well as from SV's view, that I feel something should be done:

Medium resolution at SV is 1600x1200 pixels, which is around 2MP. Very small, and not enough for a good quality, full page print. Large resolution is 3000x2300 pixels, which is just under 7MP.

That means, that images from 6MP cameras, and there are lots of them about, some of them of very high quality, which would normally print very well full page (A4 format), are reduced to the measly 2MP size (or at least, that is how it looks to the customers).

An obvious result must be that designers fail to download images that may or may not be large enough, but since the designer can't know that, it's safer to go somewhere else. In the end, all involved lose. The photographer, because he loses a sale, SV likewise, and the designer, because he has to search further for a usable photo.

I tried to take this up with SV support around 6 months ago, but to me, it seemed like they didn't understand what I was saying. Does anybody else have thoughts around this?

SnapVillage.com / Ghostvillage?
« on: March 31, 2008, 19:47 »
Is it only me, or....?

Until February, I had very slow, but rather regular sales at SV. Not so anymore. In March, I haven't had a single sale, and even the number of views seem to slow down. This is one of the high seasons of the year, so I would believe that it should be the time for SV to get going as well. Have they forgotten where they've hidden the key?

Crestock.com / Emails of sold photos
« on: March 12, 2008, 23:27 »
Until recently, I received an email every time (like once per month) I had a sale at Crestock. However, when I checked my account there today (to see if it could be true that I had zero sales so far in March, just like in February), I actually had a couple of sales at the beginning of the month, but no emails.

Anybody with similar exprience?

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