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Messages - Elnur

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I will have my 10 minutes on the topic "Lifestyle Design for Professional Microstockers". My main point is how one can have a full-time job, and be one of the most productive microstock  photographers, how to manage and organise the team, and how to streamline the production.

Anything specific, you want to hear? Let me know.

Looks like this one will be the best microstock conference ever !! 
See you there !!

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It boggles the mind that a "pro" would go to the Russia of all places, and instruct them on how to take away even more of the business already claimed to be lost.  Was it for the opportunity to write off a sight-seeing trip?  Makes no sense to me.
Sean,
This may come as a surprise to you, but shouldn't really. Russian microstock community is the most active community in the internet, much more active than english-speaking communiuty despite English being the language of internet, and specifically, microstock. There are three internet forums which are more popular than this english-speaking forum.

You shouldn't really worry about new competition emerging in Russia after Jonathan's visit (after all, you have a great portfolio). Microstock is not about attending one master-class, and you know it. There are already enough of microstock heavy-weights in Russia (or rather former Sovier Union).

Yes, it is competitive market, we all compete against each other. But I prefer to fight competition by making myself stronger, and not by weakening the competitors (or depriving them of growth). I would respect myself more if I lose to a stronger competition, than being a leader among the weak. For the last 4 years, I have been very active contributor to microstock forums, openly sharing my knowledge and how I organise my workflow. Yes, I did educate a lot of my competitors, but then that kept me in constant search for even better and more efficient ways to run my microstock hobby/business. I will share those, and will continue to improve my work. In the long run, I will improve more than any of my competitors.

I really enjoyed meeting Johnatan in Moscow, and with his tacit permission I would quote him here (loosely) "Sharing knowledge is good, because it makes you learn something new to share" . Well said!!


One other point.... There is a persistent myth among western microstockers than doing business in this part of the world is easier or cheaper. This is not true at all. If I look into my workflow and cost of living, there is only one aspect which will be more expensive say, in States, than in Azerbaijan (where I live) - that will be professional model hire (which I don't do anyway). Other expenses, and cost of living are higher.

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Shutterstock.com / Re: Any SS EL's today?
« on: January 06, 2010, 13:18 »
Got 6. Well done to shutterstock !! Otherwise, early Jan is pretty dismal so far.

4
Я тоже панимать па руски чуть. И разгаваривать тоже чуть. Итого, чуть-чуть  ;D

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Shutterstock.com / Re: What SS Tier Are You In?
« on: May 15, 2008, 10:53 »
I reached top tier within 1 year.... they need to add new levels beyond $10000 which they will probably do at some point.

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Shutterstock.com / Re: Stagnant sales at SS
« on: May 15, 2008, 10:48 »
Despite actively trying to build my SS portfolio by submitting...
The answer is very simple one - you're not trying hard enough. You have 184 images online... that's what I upload in 2 weeks (soon I will upload more than 200 a week).  I will upload around 300 photos next week after 3 weeks of rest. It is a competition and you have to compete with many folks like me who produce more than you.

There are more than 40000 new photos added to Shutterstock each week. Most are crap but it is still a lot which makes your small portfolio invisible to buyers.

184 photos online and 40000 photos added each week. You can't expect good sales if you do some math with these numbers. I don't understand people with small portfolios complaining about slow sales. You haven't put enough effort into this - where the sales would come from? I have portfolio of about 3500 photos and after 3 weeks without new uploads my sales are down 3 times. But I don't complain - I was lazy and here is the punishment.

I know I sound very harsh - but it is a reality - unless you're really talented, you need to put effort to get good results. No pain - No gain !! There is no longer easy money at microstock.


7
LuckyOliver.com / Re: anyone need $2
« on: May 11, 2008, 06:03 »
I need 70 cents for a payout. If anyone wants to buy my photo, I would appreciate it  ::)
Link to my portfolio http://www.luckyoliver.com/portfolio/Elnur

cant get in at the moment but I will get there though :)
that will leave me 2 tokens ($0.60) if that helps anyone.  (couldnt find contact details for suzym)

I'm now over $25  ::)  Many thanks for buying !

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LuckyOliver.com / Re: anyone need $2
« on: May 10, 2008, 12:13 »
I need 70 cents for a payout. If anyone wants to buy my photo, I would appreciate it  ::)

Link to my portfolio http://www.luckyoliver.com/portfolio/Elnur

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General - Top Sites / Re: The Russians have arrived......
« on: May 05, 2008, 13:11 »
I don't shoot people (in any sense! ;) ), does it make a very large part of your costs?
Regards,
Adelaide
Neither do I, so I face the same competition. In fact, when it comes to fruits and vegetables, folks in UK have much better-looking stuff in Asda's and M&S's than I can get here..... but it doesn't taste as good as it does here  ;)

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General - Top Sites / Re: The Russians have arrived......
« on: May 04, 2008, 08:16 »
Living costs are very cheap.
This is a misconception. Yes, there are some places in former USSR and Eastern Europe which are cheap, but big cities and most capital cities are very comparable to Europe, and usually more expensive than US (except for CA and other expensive states). Go to Moscow, Kyev and you will see.

I've been in Kyev and it was very cheap granted it's now seven years ago maybe it changed that rapidly. Nevertheless the extras/models and locations have been extremely cheap.
For sure equipment costs are the lowest in the US and Hongkong but you can always order overseas. I doubt it so easy to send a model or a location by parcel  ;)
7 years is really a long time for countries in transition stage - property prices have gone up 10 times in my city, Kyev is probably the same.

Yes, you can order overseas but custom duties (25-30%) will eat any difference.

I don't think there are many contributors paying their models. Usually, these are top microstockers who has no reason to complain - they can get models for free anyway. Or even get paid for shooting.




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General - Top Sites / Re: The Russians have arrived......
« on: May 04, 2008, 04:22 »
Living costs are very cheap.
This is a misconception. Yes, there are some places in former USSR and Eastern Europe which are cheap, but big cities and most capital cities are very comparable to Europe, and usually more expensive than US (except for CA and other expensive states). Go to Moscow, Kyev and you will see.

Let me compare - I live in Baku, Azerbaijan which is 4th or 5th biggest city in former USSR. If I look at my spending pattern, I can confidently say that Baku is marginally more expensive than UK (except for London) and more expensive than most of US. Cars are 20-30% more expensive, electronics are 20-40% more expensive, housing is comparable, food is comparable. Clothing in US is much cheaper. Petrol in Azerbaijan is 75 cents a liter. It is cheaper than UK but comparable to US. Internet is much more expensive. I pay $120 bucks for 512/512 line, just a few month ago this would cost 250 bucks.
 
I had to buy all my photo equipment in US or UK to get a better deal. I have been waiting for 5 months for someone to hand-deliver my D300 from US. Buying it here is a rip-off. I just bought 3 Bowens 500 strobes in Moscow. I bought it for about $3300. Do a math and compare to prices in UK. I just bought reflectors, flash holders, hard drive, usb memory sticks from UK and my friend would deliver it next week. It would be 2-3 times more expensive to buy these locally.

I lived both in UK and US, and traveled a lot in former USSR, so my comparisons are from my own experience.


But the bigger question is "what living costs have to do with microstock activity?" Everyone want to maximise their income from micros, does it matter how much I pay for petrol or bread?  Not a lot of people pay models, so I would discount this as a factor.

So why do you think, it is easier to do microstock business from this part of the world ? I pay more for my equipment, for my internet, many people struggle with their English, do not understand market trends in western world, and many other reasons.

12
Adobe Stock / Re: bold keywords?
« on: April 12, 2008, 03:51 »
Does anybody know why are some keywords in bold?
more popular...

13
Shutterstock.com / Re: What's your all time total!!!
« on: April 06, 2008, 03:15 »
only 46545 since July 2006.  I sell mostly white pixels ;D . No people shots, shooting people is illegal in my country....

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123RF / Re: this site is a joke!
« on: April 05, 2008, 11:01 »
Sometimes designers need an image to illustrate that inexpensive microstock means low quality. This image will suit them perfectly  ;D

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Shutterstock.com / Re: Interesting topic at SS forum
« on: March 19, 2008, 13:48 »
I think that most high-earners remain pretty quiet about it, and I would do the same if I were them.
come on, you're !!

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Adobe Stock / Re: NEWS - And The Winner Is ...
« on: March 01, 2008, 14:50 »
bestseller has only 31 sales.... 

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General Stock Discussion / Re: Most likely to go under
« on: February 12, 2008, 12:43 »
I will only vouch for 123, FT, DT, SS, IS, StockXpert to survive another 2 years. Others do not show any signs of recovery or growth... Industry doesn't need too many sites offering the same content at the same prices at the same convenience.
Remember many internet search engines a few years ago.... now there are only top 2-3 worth mentioning.
I have the same advice about there is too many agencies. But the big six must survive over 2 years. I don't understand exactly your point? After 2 years, what microstock will become if the big 6 is also not there?
must by my English... third language  :D

I meant that only big 6 will survive 2 years and more... others I'm not sure.

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General Stock Discussion / Re: Most likely to go under
« on: February 12, 2008, 11:34 »
I will only vouch for 123, FT, DT, SS, IS, StockXpert to survive another 2 years. Others do not show any signs of recovery or growth... Industry doesn't need too many sites offering the same content at the same prices at the same convenience.
Remember many internet search engines a few years ago.... now there are only top 2-3 worth mentioning.

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Shutterstock.com / Re: Interesting topic at SS forum
« on: January 31, 2008, 15:35 »
And not meaning to pick a fight Elnur - but looking on dreamstime you have only averaged uploading 15 shots per month - with this month have 0 uploads.  I realize that you may have not been very active for lots of the time, but when we are talking about over the long term I think we also have to take into considering how long we can keep up a pase of X amount of images each month.

Dreamstime is not a good example. They have very tedious categorisation process and account for only 4-8% of my earnings, so I have suspended DT for time being. I have about 700-800 photos pending there  ;)

If you need comparison... here are some stats for this month..... I added:
293 photos to Fotolia
297 to 123rf
293 to Shutterstock
114 to istock (they have limits below my productivity  :))
232 to stockxpert
783 to Bigstock (no typo here.. they were in suspension mode too  :))

So across the board, I increased portfolio by 10%. January sales are up 16%.  Currently my photo is top photo in "Nature" at shutterstock.

I'm very productive, and very proud of this fact. 200 a week is very conservative forecast, if I'm full-time - 300 is probably more realistic. In 1.5 years part-time in microstocks, I have built a portfolio which needs another 100 photos to break into top-50 contributors in stockxpert. Within 1-2 weeks I will be there.

On a another microstock forum, I made a commitment to upload 50 photos a week, and each week I post the screenshot of thumbnails. Have a look at last 150 photos http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/sets/72157603806913843/

So, in summary - 30k a year for full-time should be relatively easy to achieve. It requires good camera (mine is old 6mp d70), good lenses, imagination, quick hands with photoshop.... and ambition to succeed. It is not difficult !!!!






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Shutterstock.com / Re: Interesting topic at SS forum
« on: January 31, 2008, 11:47 »
for someone doing microstock full time for more than 1 year - 30-40k a year is very low. ...
That's not really true - if it was that easy to make $30k+ then everyone would be doing it, and nobody would be jumping on threads like this one at SS with "how did you do it" questions. I'd say that perhaps 15% of microstock photographers make more than $30k annually, and all but a few have been doing it for more than one year.
that is correct. If making 30,000 with photography will be that easy problems in the developing world would have been solved by giving out P&S cameras to the populace.
let me clarify what I mean. "Easy" in this context means that you still have to work 8-10 hours a day, just like you would do on any other full-time job. Prediction of 30k a year is based on my experience (1.5 years), I'm not full-time microstocker, I have other busy job.

I'm average photographer with old D70, couple good lenses (105mm VR, 10-20 Sigma, 50mm 1.8), no lighting equipment except for flash SB-800 (no lightcubes, etc). I don't have a single people shot in portfolio (requiring release). And what I make a year is not far away from 30k, in fact, I will probably make it this year.
With other full-time job, I still manage to upload at least 50 new photos a week. If I were full-time, I would upload 200 photos a week - that would soon translate into 3-4k a month.

Microstock forums are full of lazy people, who managed to upload 200-300 photos in 2 years, and spend more time moaning on forums about falling sales, than shooting photos, processing them and uploading.



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Adobe Stock / Re: Slow slow sales @ Fotolia
« on: January 30, 2008, 13:22 »
Climbing up 2-5 places a week

Overall rank     144
7 days rank    54

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Shutterstock.com / Re: Interesting topic at SS forum
« on: January 30, 2008, 13:06 »
for someone doing microstock full time for more than 1 year - 30-40k a year is very low. I claim I can make 50k a year within 5-6 months if I switch to full-time. I have doing it part time for 1.5 years, and 30k a year is not something to get excited about..... this is relatively easy

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