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I currently use Paypal for payments from Shutterstock & Adobe. This has worked well, and I tend to just leave the money in my Paypal account and then use it to pay for things online (I do a lot of travel with my work, so can use it for hotels etc.) - so I never need to transfer it to my bank. 

Having just signed up to iStock, there is an additional option there of Payoneer.  I have tried some googling to see if there are any recommendations. I did find some various opinions, including an Indian one that found they received substantially more using Payoneer and paying the fee to transfer rather than using Paypal and their exchange rates.  Whether this would still be in the case if the money could be left in the Paypal account I'm less sure. 

I did wonder if there were any British people with experience of both who could share any opinions. Very happy to hear from others too, I just didn't know if the currencies were impacted differently  :D

Thanks for any thoughts.

2 / iStock keywords query
« on: June 06, 2020, 08:04 »

I have been a stock photographer for several years on other stock sites, and am trying iStock for the first time. I have uploaded a test image to ESP just to see how the system works etc.  I am reading through their user guides too, but would really appreciate some clarification from others on a couple of points.

1. I have the message 'Keywords in red not found. Click for suggestions, remove, or recommend a new keyword' and a lot of keywords in red.  These are keywords I've used successfully on Adobe, Shutterstock, Alamy etc.  They are fairly normal words.  Do I need to make sure that I only use iStock specific keywords? If so, how do people manage this practically?  Do you learn the keyword system over time and keyword your iStock submission differently to those going to other agencies?  Or do you just upload and edit once you see which are red?

2. The 'title' field hasn't come across from Lightroom, although the description field and keywords have.  Is this named as a different field in Lightroom? I am aware you can select different metadata fields to show and normally have it set to 'EXIF and IPTC'. I also see from their guidelines that they prefer short titles, although they allow 255 characters. Do people generally shorten their titles for iStock?

3. This is a more generic than just iStock - but I hadn't noticed such a big deal made of it in other site guidelines.  Do you complete a fresh model release every single day you shoot?  For example, I regularly shoot my daughters in images, and previously had used a single model release for a range of dates, and then just updated every so often.  This seemed to be acceptable to other sites, or at least it was never queried.  I will have to do a new model release form here anyway as the previous ones are on Adobe papers - but do people re-sign a form for every single photo? Obviously I would do that anyway for external models.

I do appreciate any answers and time. Please do feel free to point out anything else you'd suggest I know with adding on iStock!
Take care


Is there a list anywhere of minimum commission levels at different agencies?  I currently sell quite a lot with Shutterstock, and also quite a few with Adobe & Alamy and am thinking of trying one or two others. I have been accepted with iStock, so may try that - but then found an article with someone saying that they had commission of just 2-4c on some photos.  I feel that's too low to be worthwhile, and so am now wondering whether to get started with them or not.  With Shutterstock I sell a lot at 25c, which is also the lowest amount (also quite a few at $1.88 and a few other prices). Adobe seems to state a minimum of 33c - although I generally get more per image, and Alamy has averaged vastly more.

If anyone can let me know what iStock (non-exclusive) generally pays per image and if there are some very low commission options, are these common.  Or for any other agency I may try.

Thanks for your time.

I'm really new to stock photography, but have sold a few photos at AdobeStock over the past few months.  I believe they only sell as Royalty Free, with full model/property releases so that it can be used for commercial/editorial - so this must be the licence mine are sold as.

I've more recently joined Alamy to just see how it works at a different agency, and also so that I can try some of my non-model released pictures for sale (as editorial only). As they do both Royalty Free and Rights Managed (and either can be editorial only), I've been reading all about this to get my head around it. I've gone through their forums and found that the majority of experienced sellers recommend RM.  I thought therefore I'd try a mixture of RM and RF to see what happens.

However, if I have the same image on Adobe Stock and Alamy, does the fact that it's RF at Adobe mean that it has to be RF at Alamy?  I'd asked Alamy a related query, and this is the impression I get from them.  But it wasn't clear, and so I wanted to ask other experienced sellers what they knew - rather than being steered towards an answer.  Is it just that a buyer may be annoyed if they buy a photo on one site as RM, and then find it elsewhere as RF - or is that legally the same photo cannot be sold on different bases?  If legally, is this in the contract with the relevant stock agencies, or something to do with copyright law?  To be honest, I was hoping even at Alamy there would be an option to offer photos on either licence, so that the customer could choose whether to pay more for the RF and full-size - or just limit it to certain uses/sizes and pay less with RM; but this clearly isn't an option. (I haven't ticked the exclusive box BTW on the Alamy images).

Thank you for any thoughts on this matter, or any other thoughts on selling the same image at multiple stock sites.

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