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Messages - cshack

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General Stock Discussion / Re: Do I need MR for myself?
« on: June 26, 2008, 14:51 »
Email me with your email address and I will send you a word doc of a generic ML that has been accepted by all of the big 6 and a few others.  No site has rejected it for me.

What the heck is wrong with your stamps edges, I've never seen such a malformed mess of a stamp in my life

Who asked you anyway?  How about responding to the thread topic rather than giving a negative critique of a sample image. 

There was a thread about this a few weeks ago.


And there will be more.......different point of view.....different thread....Both are welcome.

I check my account once in the morning and once at night.  I will admit to checking them much more than that a while back but I kicked the habit.   I concentrate on shooting rather than the internet since most of my household income comes from photography.  Microstock accounts for less than 10% of my income.


I have been a professional photographer for over 30 years.  I've not been doing stock that long but should I get out too?  It's NOT a hobby for me. "Sometimes I wish it was" I also have well over 10k in equipment not counting film cameras.   So given these circumstances should I stay or go in your opinion? 

123RF / Re: New Reviewers or new Quality requirements?
« on: June 11, 2008, 12:45 »
123RF was the second site I dumped for good.  123 was very slow for sales and their reviewers are inconsistent. They are changing standards in hopes of raising the bar.  I don't see it helping their sales.  Raising the standards without increased marketing won't change anything in the sales arena.  If a image was accepted at SS and IS only to be rejected at 123 then 123 is missing the boat.  They will either sink or stay very low on the list when it comes to performance IMO.  Total waste of time and effort.

Just one more note about 123RF....The site needs a face lift.  It just looks tired and lifeless to me. 

General Stock Discussion / Re: Is this a dumb idea?
« on: June 06, 2008, 19:30 »
And TFP.... I would think that someone who needs headshots or a book would be thrilled with a TFP arrangement.  It just don't know if it's a good idea for someone who wants to earn a living modeling to spread their face around RF.

Thanks for the lively discussion guys.  I'm diggin it!

Actually quite the opposite for the model.  If the model can get a few tear sheets from the stock images they go from armature to at least semi-professional.  Tear sheets get models more work than a portfolio alone will any day. Even if it is a herpes ad.  Just ask one.

General Stock Discussion / Re: Is this a dumb idea?
« on: June 06, 2008, 19:23 »

Actually, it's not for free. I charge 600 $ for a book. Actually I use and  prefer to pay, abut 100 $ for a three hours session, and when I do TFP is the model who gets a good deal.

That's what I'm saying too! TFP is good for everyone involved.

General Stock Discussion / Re: Life After Microstock
« on: June 06, 2008, 18:55 »
If microstock went belly up tomorrow, my life (well my income) wouldn't be affected since I make very little with it.  My life would definitely be affected because I would have lots more spare time! :D 

My plan is to always keep my day job that pays well until I can retire (hopefully not more than 10 more years).  If microstock and stock in general survives, it will be a nice extra retirement income.

The same for me exactly!!!

General Stock Discussion / Re: Is this a dumb idea?
« on: June 06, 2008, 18:44 »
TFP/TFCD is a common practice in photography all over the world.
This argument shares much with giving away your imagery in exchange for credit or mention: just because it's common for people to do it doesn't make it right. By not paying a model you are taking advantage of his/her ego in the same way that the photographer's ego is misused by unscrupulous/cheap photo "buyers".

If you don't believe that it's right to give your work away for free, why is it that you should expect someone else to give their work to you for free?

Then I suggest you don't do TFP/TFCD.  What's right for you is fine with me.  We don't have to agree.  However a open mind helps to see both sides and let the one who asked the question decide how they should proceed.  For me, my answer to the the original question is "YES" with a fill disclosure of your intent.  If both parties agree then no harm is done.  "And the photographer will make a few bucks for his efforts.  How is that bad?

P.S.  I've never given a TFP/TFCD model untouched photos on a CD.  I also shoot shots just for them during the session.  I always provide them with 100% touched-up ready to print or put on the web images for their portfolio.  I treat every TFP/TFCD model as if they paid for the shots they get.  In return for my hours spent shooting and touching up images, I can make a few bucks over the next year or so from their likeness.  Run the numbers my friend, you will see that in this business of microstock no one session for an hour or so is going to produce so much money that you've taken advantage of anyone if you consider all aspects of the process.  TFP/TFCD is fare and ethical to do so long as you fully disclose your intentions and give the model images they can really use. 

General Stock Discussion / Re: Is this a dumb idea?
« on: June 06, 2008, 17:33 »
TFP/TFCD is a common practice in photography all over the world.  Its done every day by professionals and amateurs alike.  I have done a PAID session with a large cooperation and asked one of the people there if they would like to be a part of my stock portfolio.  I fully explained my intentions and where their image might be found in the future.  He agreed and was flattered to be asked.  Its not like a one time sitting with a model is going to pay much money even over time unless you can take hundreds of useable shots in an hour or so.  At current microstock commission rates youd better be careful paying anyone to model unless youre in the league with Yuri.  On the other hand if after the first session the model makes you money then you might want to invite them back for a second paid session.  I have never paid a amateur with no experience money for photos.  As far as that goes the last 3 I shot paid me.  Now granted, none of their shots are used as stock.  I did offer to shoot the photos for TFP/TFCD but they wanted total control over their images so that was fine with me. 

Since you have a relationship with the people youre going to solicit, I dont see a problem at all with adding a line or two to the paperwork.  Youve already shot their photos and you want to take it to the next step.  If youre selling packages rather than prints thats the bottom of the portrait business barrel.  (No harm intended)  I shot families for years and sold packages.  But you sure wont be using any of those package shots as stock.  Meeting an interesting face and making an offer to shoot for TFP/TFCD is perfectly okay IMO.

In my 30+ years as a photographer Ive never heard of TFP/TFCD being unethical for what ever reason.  The only unethical thing would be to mislead someone by not telling them what you intended to do with their images.  If youre up front and spell it all out I see no problem at all with TFP/TFCD for stock.

123RF / Re: New Reviewers or new Quality requirements?
« on: June 06, 2008, 14:02 »
Did 123RF get new reviewers or are they trying to get tougher than iS and SS?

I just uploaded 15 images that had been accepted by SS and IS.  Of the 15 images, only 5 were accepted.  All ten rejected carried the same reason - "Lighting/Composition".   ??? If 123 is going to start that level of quality level, I'm going to call it a day.  I can't believe that SS and IS reviewers don't know good compposition and lighting when they see it.  No wonder newbees find it difficult to get the understanding of what these sites want.

I had an acceptance rating of 85%, but it appears that I should figure on 35-40% in the future.  Guess the rule of thirds isn't the rule here,  When I shoot, I keep the grid turned on to line up my subject so it falls within the rule of thirds.

Might be time to consider just uploading to RM sites.   Only thing is - sales come very sloooooow on those sites.  ;D 

Anybody else feel as though they are walking through a mine field?  ::)


It seems to be that way with all the sites from time to time.  I don't get it either.  What gets accepted today may get rejected tomorrow and visa versa?  Go figure....?  I think it's just a case of the reviewer having a bad day and taking it out on us.  I don't know that to be a fact but sometimes you have to wonder what's up?

Twice in the past week I have uploaded a rejected file to (BLANK) without doing anything to it and both were accepted.  I waited about a month before I did that by the way.  I would love to hear them explain how that could happen! 

I have learned to not even worry about rejects.  I really don't care what my approval rating is anymore.  With my portfolio being under 200 images I don't have a great deal to loose.  So I may test them once in a while just to see what happens.  So far, they're not very consistent.  I have done this on 4 of the big 6 so far.  Try it at your own risk. 

It's really strange seeing how the sales vary form photographer to photographer,  FL is my number (2) for sales only behind SS.  Then again lots of folks do well with IS, I don't.  It's number 5 of 6 for me.

What works for one might not work for others.  If I upload to a site and don't see sales in 3 months or so maybe you need to look at your images there. Then again just because someone reports poor sales at a given site doesn't mean I or you will experience the same results. 

The bottom line is if you are making any money at all it's worth it.  If your images don't produce at a site then stop uploading.  Then again you never know what uploads will make money at any site.  You also have no way of knowing what image or images you upload that turn your earnings around?  It's just too hard to put a finger on what sells and what doesn't at any of the big 6.  To be honest FL has had the largest increase in sales last month for me.  My increase may translate into a decrease for someone else?  You just never know.  I do think that for every image you don't upload you can't earn from it.  That much if 100% true.  So if you have a low producer, only upload when everything else is done.  Just put them on the bottom of your priority list.  Who knows, one day you may upload several images that boost your sales?  Not uploading for minor reasons is a case of cutting off your nose despite your face IMO.

I have 0 sales at Yay but I love the site so I will give them 3-6 months to see what happens.  They seem to have their act together so far.  Time will tell.

Free images to be given away by Fololia.  Read below.

14 / Re: Canister Upload limits at IS
« on: June 03, 2008, 10:46 »
Just one more reason to go Exclusive I guess?  I'm no where near being able to do that but I may consider it when I get close.   

How do you tell if a DL was a Sub?  I've looked through the site and can't seem to figure out how to tell a regular DL form a Sub?  Someone please tell me!

I would hold onto them for now. After you get a feel for what is accepted and what is not, phase them in after careful review of each image.

I would agree.  Don't assume anything.  In the beginning submit images that you feel really good about.  You can put one or two images from the rejected batch in batches over the next few weeks or months.   Look at other peoples portfolios and pay attention the the upload dates where available.  Only teach yourself from the newer images you find.  I say this because there are a couple hundred thousand images in IS form the early days that would NEVER be accepted today.

Always look at your images at 100% or even 200% for noise and artifacts.  SS doesn't like noise.  They aren't as hard as IS when it comes to isolation but you still need to pay close attention to the details.  If you do that you will get your uploaded images accepted.  Don't worry too much about rejections and never take it personal.  I made that mistake in the beginning and almost quit.  Don't get mad at rejections, just repair the image if you can and re-submit it.  If you can't fix it in PS, you may want to re-shoot it before uploading it again.

I hope this helps and good luck to you!

General Stock Discussion / It's hot in here sometimes!
« on: May 30, 2008, 17:33 »
I gotta rant!!!!

Does anyone have an example of a microstock site reacting in a positive manner to a rant or complaint in a forum?

The more I read, the more I read the same thing. (Dead horse looking very nasty) 

The complaints I see everywhere range from rejections, commission rates, review times, uploading and a few others. 

Does anyone here actually think the complaining works?  Or are folks just blowing off steam knowing full well nothing will change?

Does anyone really think IS will change their inspection policy and accept more of their images is they go off in a rant about it?

Does anyone really think ANY of the microstock sites really care what any of us think anyway?

Does anyone really think you alone can hurt a site by not uploading anymore?

IMO the sites see 95% of us as pawns.  They could care less if we stop uploading to them. We can complain all we want to whom ever we want but nothing will change.  Do you disagree?

For every photog who either stops uploading or pulls their images, there are 5 to take his/her place.

Does anyone here really think the influx of contributors will slow down giving each of us a say so in how a sites does its business?  Please Not in my lifetime

Bottom line is Im guilty of most of the above.  However after watching and reading for a while Ive come to realize it does nothing other than to get something off our chest.  Other than that its just a worthless rant.  This post can now be classified as just that..a worthless rantOk, Im done now.. Now its your turn to rant a little. ; - )

Adobe Stock / Re: Fotolia subs...
« on: May 30, 2008, 16:52 »
I would strongly consider going exclusive at IS if the sales were there.  Right now IS is way down my list and Fotolia is number 2 just behind SS.  Based on things now it would be a year or so before I could go exclusive at IS.  So far I have liked Fotolia but I'm not so sure about the subs program.  We'll see I guess. 

P.S. The IS subs program has done nothing for me so far.  So I'm not worried about Foltlia's doing much either. 

General Stock Discussion / Re: Scratch and Dent Photos?
« on: May 30, 2008, 16:24 »
I see that already exist, would that be the future home of this idea?? :)

Nope that's not it.  The name he chose sounds much better but delivers the same message.

General Stock Discussion / Scratch and Dent Photos?
« on: May 30, 2008, 14:58 »
Scratch and Dent Photos?

I was asked by a friend about an idea he had for a bargain basement stock site for everyday folks and small web designers.  What he has put together is a site (not public yet) that will offer images for below micro prices.  The catch is the images will be only those rejected by the other sites.  Sounds kind of odd to me but I was listening.  I told him that I had no idea but it would be tough to make any money because the market is already flooded with stock sites.  He wants to offer images that a sub par to the current standards.  He also would sell images for as low as .25 USD.  He also said he had a process where images with noise and artifacts etc would be downsized by the reviewers to make them acceptable.  The image would be priced according to size only.  The smallest size would be 300x200 for 25 cents.  As the size goes up the price follows up to $2.00.  He wants to offer 70%  commission to the contributors. 

This much I do know, the guy is a good photographer and web designer.  He has the money to do Google, Yahoo and Ask for sponsored search and several magazines for web developers. 

One idea he had was to open up the world to photos taken at higher ISO like 1600 and size them down a bit to allow those images to be sold at lower prices.  I did like that part.  I have a lot of shots that dont pass that wouldnt pass the review process at any or very few sites because of noise.  However they still make great small web images.

I told him that I would ask the question and see what the community thought about it.  Your input would be greatly appreciated.


Wouldn't you need two profiles to do that?  And wouldn't that be against site policy in most cases?  I would red the site terms and policies before I attempted that.  You may get in trouble.   Couldn't you just add a lightbox to call attention to the images?

General Stock Discussion / Re: What's your top earner?
« on: May 29, 2008, 21:35 »
SS 55%
FT 12%
DT 10%
IS 8%
BigStock 6%
StockXpert 5%
CS 4%

Off Topic / Re: Astrophotography
« on: May 28, 2008, 11:37 »
I set the timer between 3 and 10 sec exposure for the moon.  I also hold a black piece of soft cloth in front of the lens. Once the timer opens the shutter I quickly remove the cloth.  I put is back just before the shutter closes. This has helped me keep the blur and shake to an acceptable amount.  My moon shots still need a lot of work but they look really good at 8x10 or so.  This method is similar to the barn door method.  However in most cases its free or very cheap to do.  I've yet to get a moon shot that would even be close to being accepted at SS or IS.  I gave up really.

Adobe Stock / Re: Breaking the rule
« on: May 26, 2008, 22:03 »
OK I can't believe I'm about to admit goes against everything I stand for.

But YES. I have noticed an slight increase in the amount of rejects for "Type of Photograph" on FT
Actually several right in a row. (Like 5 or 6....or 7&8 maybe 9 and 10).

This is an OBVIOUS mistake on the reviewers part, as he/she has no idea just how good I am. More than likely
they meant to click the approve button, but was distracted in in sheer awe over how good my images were.

Simple mistake. no problem, I have lots and lots of images to upload.

Cranky MIZ

Okay so I read the above post.  At the time I was high as a freaking kite.  Yep, call me a stoner.  Anyway, I laughed until I *-it cried.  Is ---or----was---it just me? Not that being high had anything to do with it. :-) Anybody got a cupcake?  I got the munchies. (Hee hee) sniff, fart

25 / Re: Istock subs... How much did you get?
« on: May 26, 2008, 21:48 »
cshack, you may just have had an eager buyer who discovered your port and went crazy.  Congratulations!

My sales on SS are right where I would expect them to be for a holiday Monday. 

Oh cool!  I'll take all I can get.  Thanks for the heads-up!

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