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Topics - PaulieWalnuts

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Alamy has copied the micros with a carrot/stick jump through the flaming hoop tiered commission model. Enjoy.

General Stock Discussion / 123RF Selling Our Email Addresses?
« on: February 09, 2021, 08:13 »
Every time I sign up for a new account I use a unique email address that goes to a catchall email account. Received an advertisement email from Netflix using the unique 123RF address. So looks like 123RF is selling our data. Or maybe hacked?

Site Related / Where is Everybody?
« on: November 30, 2020, 20:42 »
MSG used to be pretty active. Now there's a handful or less of new posts or replies daily.

Off Topic / Joe Rogan/Bill Burr on Artists Being Screwed
« on: June 16, 2020, 18:20 »
This is NSFW but interesting hearing these two rant about agents, partners, managers and others ripping comedians off. Some of it sounds similar to stock.

I'm not familiar with the company. How do you feel about companies taking this firm of a position in politics? Reading further into this shows it's not really about supporting Biden but removing Trump. Would you continue to support them if they firmly were against your preferred candidate? What if it was one of the top three micros wanting to get rid of Biden?

I have a feeling this will quickly go off the rails into hate but I wanted to see if we could have some debate on companies openly trying to influence elections.

This Company is Giving Away 100,000 AI-Generated Portraits for Free.

As it's improved it will probably expand into landscapes, wildlife and quite a few other subjects in stock photography. Or even art, paintings and prints.

What's this mean for the future of stock photographers? Or even traditional camera sales which are already nose-diving as a whole.

How much do you need to grow your portfolio annually to maintain your current income with microstock? Just curious if much has changed with running on the hamster wheel and into the growth wall.

I was going to do a poll but there are too many variables. I'll start

Average Portfolio Size: 450 (down from about 2,500 a few years ago)
Years Doing Stock/Micro: 12
Photo/Video/Illustration/Other: Photo
Annual Portfolio Growth Needed: Around 25%

Got contacted by yet another vulture asking for free images in trade for name credit. You can't blame them for trying. If I walked into a gas station and said "LOVE your gas. It's amazing. Could I fill up my tank and in exchange I'll put your company logo in my car window?" and almost all gas stations said yes, I would ask every gas station I went into. And that's the problem. So many photographers say yes that people think it's normal to approach any photographer and ask for free usage.

So I had a thought. What if more photographers were turned into sellers so the answer to vultures would always be no. It would increase competition. Would it also decrease vultures and effectively increase buyers?

This is for micro photos only. Don't include macro, POD/print, video, illustration or non-photo stats.

What is Return Per Image Per Month? It's the calculation of how much you earn for each image you have per month. This can be measured for each micro site or all sites combined. For this poll use all sites combined. This ins't scientific but just a loose figure of where you're at. I realize you may have 1,000 images at SS and 500 at IS and your income may vary from $100 to $500 each month. Loose average of the two combined is fine and using the past year stats should be fine. 

Why is RPIPM helpful? Because if you keep track of it month-to-month or year-over-year it can give you trending of how each site is performing or how you're performing overall. So if in 2015 your RPIPM was .10 cents, 2016 was .15 cents, 2017 is 20 cents, it's likely 2018 will be 25 cents if your efforts have been consistent. If it was instead .15, .10, .05 good chances are it will be around .02/.03 for 2018. So in other words, is the trending showing you growth or that you're wasting your time? To some of you who have been here a while I know RPIPM doesn't matter. For me it has been really helpful it knowing where to focus my time. It can also help newer people answer questions like "is this worth my time" or "can I make a living at this?".

Calculation examples

You earn $1,000 USD on average per month across all micro sites and have an average of 1,000 images with all of them.
$1,000 divided by 1,000 images = $1 RPIPM

You earn $100 USD on average per month across all micro sites and have an average of 1,000 images with all of them.
$100 divided by 1,000 images = $.10 RPIPM

So let's say the poll shows that most people earn $.25 cents RPIPM. If you need to earn $60,000 to quit your day job you could use the $.25 cents RPIPM to calculate that you'd probably need around 20,000 images. 20,000 images x .25 RPIPM = $5,000 Per Month x 12 = $60,000 Per Year. You can then use that to calculate how long it would take you to get there. If you can get 10,000 images accepted per year it would take two years. If you can 1,000 images accepted per year it would take 20 years.

Photography Equipment / Is Ebay a Waste of Time?
« on: August 18, 2017, 00:35 »
I have some prints listed there. Just put a camera there up for bid. Seems like nonstop drama. Winning bidders want to cancel orders constantly. Product is delivered but buyer suddenly decides they need the money for something else and want to do a return. Anybody else finding Ebay a waste of time?


I don't remember getting an announcement from 500px about this. Why does that not surprise me?

General Photography Discussion / Drone Commercial Exam
« on: December 14, 2016, 07:13 »
Has anyone here passed this exam? Difficult? Exam prep suggestions?


Apple just increased app developer share from 70% to 85%. So if Apple takes now takes 15% and developers end up with 85% why is stock photography the exact opposite?

ETA: Looks like that link now has a paywall so try this

I've been looking into other ways of selling prints. I've researched for weeks trying to find the cheapest print lab here in the US. Even looked into labs in China but after shipping the cost isn't much different.

Most of the stuff that's on Ebay is listed at a price lower than what it costs me to buy the print. And I mean true cost. Costs for the print plus shipping, taxes, Ebay listing fee, Ebay 10% sale fee, and Paypal fee. If a cheapo print lab lists the price at $20, by the time you add in all of the fees the cost is really $40. And I see similar stuff on Ebay for $15. I cant see how these people are making a profit. Even if they found an ultra cheap supplier, for say $7, the true cost is still probably $15.

Anybody here selling prints profitably on Ebay?

General Photography Discussion / Adobe Behance?
« on: May 27, 2016, 07:25 »
This is Adobe's online portfolio sharing site. It has been around for a long time and I've heard almost nothing about it. Anybody use it? If so, do you ever get contacted by buyers?


So Google can scan and shows books freely on the internet. The argument seems to be it only shows part of the book which falls under fair use and this helps to sell books. And the US Supreme Court agreed. But it's halfway there. How long before they figure out a way of getting around the remaining roadblock and showing the whole book?

And the bigger question is, how long will it be before they use the fair use angle with photos? And does this help or hurt photographers?

General Photography Discussion / Do You Use Pro Support?
« on: March 19, 2016, 11:55 »
Canon, Nikon, Sony and other camera manufacturers offer an option for pro support. You need to meet certain requirements but get discounted repairs, faster turnaround and other benefits. Have you used any of these and how good or bad are they?

Was out shooting in a city I hadn't been to before and ran into trouble. I noticed a guy across the street checking me out. Sizing me up. Then he started following me. When I went to go back down the street he crossed the street and stood in my way yelling something. I stopped and he was about 15 feet in front of me. He was probably in his early 30s, strong build, and may have been homeless, on drugs, or just a mouthy thug looking for a victim. I'm a pretty big guy and just stared him down until he backed off. He still followed me and kept yelling.

I've had a few minor run-ins with people but nothing as close to a brawl as this. When I'm in my hometown I carry a knife. Can't do that when traveling on an airplane.

Ever have any problems like this? You carry any extra protection while traveling?

This article just dumbfounds me.

Maybe this kid's family is rich and he doesn't need the money but I kinda doubt it. So he probably could have licensed these images to pay for some or even all of his tuition but didn't. He could be making money but instead is okay seeing others make money from his work. And it looks like he has paid for all of the equipment and travel out of his pocket. And wait for it... he's going to be an accountant. He's going to advise people on what to do with their money. I think he better hold on to that camera. He may need it to make money after the accountant thing doesn't work out.

It amazes me that there are so many people out there who are probably barely getting by working multiple jobs just to live check to check. And as a hobby they gladly give away their photography that they could be making money from. Why don't they just also go to their job every day and refuse to accept a paycheck? Why do I never see beauticians, mechanics, carpenters or any other person who provides a service freely give away their work? I don't get it.

20 / Cancelled Istock Exclusivity
« on: July 13, 2015, 08:43 »
I turned in the crown. I appreciate the opportunity but since I joined in 2007 things have changed. It's time to move on to be free to pursue other opportunities.

I know there are at least a few people here that also cancelled (Jo Ann Snover? Cobalt?). I read that the premium stuff like E+/Vetta still stays at But I was offered a separate Getty contract through Istock so any idea what happens to that?

Free usage. This came up in another post so I decided to start a new topic. Seems that creatives just give work away and that's just the way it goes. But lately I've been noticing a lot more ranting and backlash about it. - Does a pretty good job of showing how ridiculous it all is - A classic - Harlan Ellison -- Pay the Writer (NSFW)

I get contacted constantly with requests for free usage, exchange for exposure, and other usually meaningless offers. Some creatives get angry and respond angrily. Some creatives ignore the requests. Some creatives just give-in and hand over their stuff for free. I don't do any of those. I respond politely but firmly and work toward getting them to pay. I think this industry as a whole needs to stop the freebies and move more toward an exchange of equal value. You don't give unless you get. And I mean money. Not exposure or credit. Not all people end up buying but a decent percentage do. You just need to politely say no and tell them what you're willing to accept.

Now if they're willing to offer something tangible I'd consider it. Maybe it's a new local restaurant and they're willing to offer $200 in gift cards to cover my $200 licensing fee. Great! But I've had restaurant owners propose I spend thousands of dollars out of my pocket for me to put prints in their restaurant because it's a "high traffic restaurant and would be great exposure for you". Hahahaaahhaaha, no. Here's a few examples of what has worked for me and this also applies to discount requests.

[The Make You Famous] Our super well-known company would like to use your image and we'll give you credit. This will be great exposure for you.
[Me] Sounds great. Using my images requires a very reasonable fee of $XX in addition to giving me credit. Would this work?

[The Small Broke Company] I'm starting up a small business and don't have any money but would like to use your image. 
[Me] Totally understand. I'm a small business too and my fees are affordable for any budget. That image is only $XX. Would that work?

[The Carrot] We'd like to use your image. We always hire photographers and will make sure to add you to our list for future work.
[Me] Sounds great. What I'd like to propose is you license the image for a very reasonable fee of $XX now and after that we can discuss discounts for future work.

How do you usually respond and what's worked for you?

I've been talking in some other posts about new contributors earnings and how very few people probably even make what's considered minimum wage where this law exists. I posted this back in 2010 about expectations for newer contributors and I think it still applies. The people who responded said it was pretty accurate. That was when the average return per image per month (ARPIPM?) was around .25 cents US. I'd say it's closer to .10 cents now.

I think the one thing that may have changed is acceptance rates. Standards we're a lot tougher back then. Now I think the average rejection rate may be lower. Even so, it would change the per hour rate only by cents.

If you do well, build up a few thousand sellable images, and get to 100% approval, over time the recurring revenue will start to boost the hourly rate.


For someone who just got a DSLR and is learning the ropes here are some measurable expectations.

So, on average

    About 5% of the images you shot will be sellable
    You spend 30 minutes per image in an image editing program like Photoshop doing post-processing, keywording, etc
    You start with about a 20% acceptance rate, 80% rejected
    You earn .25 .10 cents US per accepted photo per month

So let's say...

    You spend two days, about 16 hours, shooting 2000 images
    You select 100
    100 images x 30 minutes processing each = 50 hours
    Because of poor focus and other issues you find only 80 are usable
    You submit 80 images
    16 images get accepted (20% acceptance rate)

So for your 16 approved images

    Youve worked 66 hours that month and 16.5 hours per week
    Youve earned $4 $1.60 for the month and $1 .40 cents for the week (.25 .10 cents per accepted photo per month)
    Based on a 40 hour work week, youve earned .02 .10 cents US per hour for your efforts

ETA: Corrected a calculation

This is why my focus this year is my own site and building my personal brand and direct sales. It's almost impossible to keep up with all of the shady changes at all of these sites.

"Alamy, it seems is trying to establish a perpetual and irrevocable contract with images that they have previously sold on our behalf at a time when this was not the case, which allows them to continue selling them even after the contract with the photographer has been terminated. While this may have advantages for Alamy it has significant disadvantages for the photographer. The provision would last for the full term of copyright and we see it as unreasonably extensive."

From PetaPixel "Flickr Opens Up 50 Million Creative Commons and Licensed Images for Flickr Wall Art"

So I haven't been able to find much information on this and because of that here's my guess. I hope I'm wrong.
  • Flickr is making money on this
  • The company doing the printing is making money on this
  • The buyer is getting a nice print
  • The image creator is getting nothing

ETA: Okay so looks like some people will get something

Selling Stock Direct / Average Sale Price Selling Direct?
« on: October 17, 2014, 18:23 »
I'm running some numbers for possibly selling direct and am trying to figure out what the average price per sale might be. I'm currently IS exclusive so I send any leads from my website to them. I just went back through most of the leads and to my surprise I had over 75 so far this year. Neither IS or GI are doing all that great for me so I'm looking at Plan B.

So for all of you who sell direct what's the average price per sale?

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