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Messages - stock shooter

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1
Selling Stock Direct / Re: Digital downloads on Etsy
« on: July 06, 2020, 13:14 »
For what it's worth, I'm just opening an Etsy "gallery" selling prints of my work. Only have a few listing up so no info yet on how well it's doing. I would not sell digital downloads there, read too many horror stories. Too cheap, and actually selling prints can give you a higher profit margin than downloads in spite of the overhead and cost of shipping. I've read a number of forum posts where buyers on balance prefer to buy prints over digital downloads anyway so they don't have to go through the effort of printing. There are printing companies that do drop shipping for photographers so photogs don't have to package and mail the prints. Just my two cents.

2
I'm reviving this old thread. I've been forgoing micro stock for the last few years and focusing on Getty because I was earning much higher sales at Getty, and a better RPI. Suddenly, the last three months have been nothing but micro stock level sales. Last month, one image sold for 72 cents and my take was 14 cents, on Getty images, not iStock. I couldn't find much discussed about this on the Getty forums. Just curious if other Getty shooters here have noticed a recent change in sales. I'm used to a fair number of 200 to 500 dollar sales every month, now my biggest is under 20, most around $1.25.

3
Alamy.com / Re: Have sales plummeted for all or just me?
« on: May 09, 2019, 18:58 »
Alamy is dead for me, has been for years. 2600 images and i've had 3 sales this year and a whopping 13 last year. My 2 best years were in 2010 and 2011 when I had 91 and 87 sales. All the same images that I have on the micros, but I've done much better with the micros than I ever did with Alamy.

4
Happened to me with Dreamtime. The image was a low earner, only had made a few bucks in years, and I think the sale was 800, of which I got 400. Had to remove the image from all other sites, and any similars. It was worth it. The image was of handcuffs which was used for the book cover "Fifty shades Freed." Dreamtime didn't let me know what the image was going to be used for. If I had known I might have asked for more. Funny,  a few months later I was strolling through Costco and saw the book and realized it was my image. 

5
Reiterating what raciro said,

Yea, the "good ol' days" in micro are gone (at least for me) so I'm not sure what it takes to do well anymore. Too many images available and lots of copying. images seem to have a shelf life too, so you're always trying to stay ahead of the wave (the bell curve) of image interest fall off.

I used to make around $1400 per month with about 2000 images. Now I have around 3500 images and don't make anywhere near that. I don't shoot as much as I used to and when I do it exclusively goes to Getty, only what they reject goes to micro. But Getty is not the same agency they used to be. I'm getting mostly "micro" priced sales from Getty nowadays but Getty still overall beats my old micro RPI. (Barely) I just don't have many images on Getty. I'm dabbling in video, did a few time-lapse, but those seem labor intensive to me.

If you're good enough maybe trying to get in with a macro agency like Stocksy might be an alternative but I think they're fairly selective. I've seen some great stuff on Stocksy.

6
General Stock Discussion / Book Cover - no credit
« on: December 30, 2017, 22:57 »
Part time stock shooter. Rarely check my stock sites. Just recently discovered the "See in action" selection on Dreamtime, started going through my images to see where they have been used. Came across a book cover, apparently a new York Times best seller (although that doesn't really mean much.) Anyway, they credited my image to someone else. I couldn't find a website for a photographer with that name so apparently it was deceit. My first inclination was to just shrug it off, not much can be done now. Would any of you reading this do anything? I was thinking of contacting the publisher.

7
General Stock Discussion / Re: Cost for models
« on: August 07, 2017, 19:33 »
I should add, it varies on experience as well. You get what you pay for, 'been my experience.

8
General Stock Discussion / Re: Cost for models
« on: August 07, 2017, 19:07 »
It depends. Many people don't pay models because they do TFP/CD (time for print and / or CD) so the compensation are "portfolio" images for the models book. Where you live makes a difference, Los Angeles, New York, or some small town in the mid west. Personally i always thought the TFCD was not particularly fair (for the models) or good long term business plan but lots of people have never paid their models. I'm in Los Angeles and I haven't found a lot of reliable and good (experienced) lifestyle models for free (TFP), but in fairness I haven't shot a lot of lifestyle / people photography. Smaller agencies might expect $200 per hour with a half day minimum plus expenses. Less experienced models might be found for $25/hr-$60/hour.

9
My old 8mp images I uploaded 10 years ago still sell. I went from 8mp to 12 to 16. I'm still shooting and submitting 16mp images to all the micros but mostly Getty, virtually all get accepted. I keep talking myself out of a new, higher mp camera because it probably won't increase my sales any, not enough to pay for itself.

10
123RF / Re: Any Signs of Life?
« on: January 30, 2017, 18:31 »
RF123 has always been one of my lowest earners since I started in 2005. They range about 1/5 of iStock earnings and about 1/10 of shutter stock's earnings, with the same images. January was my biggest month in 2016, but that isn't saying much. 1600 images and I earned a whopping $146.00 the whole year. I should say I don't submit much to micro anymore, and haven't for three or four years. I think my images are reaching the end of their shelf life. 

11
Maybe this has been suggested before, but I think it would helpful if the Poll Results differentiated between photos and video licenses. I'm assuming Pond 5 ranks as high as it does because of mostly video whereas i'm guessing other sites might be more equally divided between video and photo licenses. I'm also guessing that not all photographers are submitting video, perhaps most photographers aren't? Anyone else concur? Maybe it would be too time consuming / complicated to separate the earnings for some contributors.

12
Stocksy / Re: Call to Artists 2015
« on: October 24, 2015, 14:41 »
Just out of curiosity, for those of you who are Stocksy photographers, what is your image acceptance rate? I have images with the micros and separately with Getty and my acceptance with the micros has always been very good. Acceptance of images with Getty, via their Moments collection, very hit and miss, sometimes great, often not so much. For every ten images you send Stocksy, how many do they accept? Just average or estimate would be great.

Thanks

13
General Stock Discussion / Re: Is Shutterstock for real???
« on: October 15, 2015, 19:54 »
Quote
I have well over 1,000 images on GI as a house contributor. I have made my living full time from stock for 25+ years. I have worked for some top name magazines as a regular contributor. I have done several ad campaigns. I have won awards for my work. I have coffee table books to my credit

The fact that you would bother with micro stock in the first place baffles me.

14
My sales are dismal across the board and have been steadily dropping since 2010. My best year was 2009 and sales in 2014 were half what they were in 2009. I don't have 9K images, but around 2500. IS sales dropped in half from 2010 to 2011.  The only site that hasn't dropped in sales, until this year, is SS. 
Quote
All sites are down. The golden days of microstock are over since at least two years. Shouldn't everybody in this forum know that by now? :P
Yea, my biggest drop happened in 2013.

15
Alamy.com / Re: Alamy- Any success??
« on: August 05, 2015, 10:48 »
Quote
You have to factor in that alamy don't reject on non-technical grounds, other sites might reject half of those images for things like similars or LCV.  Perhaps he could make more money with the micro stock sites but I find uploading editorial and the sort of images that no longer sell on the micros to just alamy saves time and its great to have a source of income that isn't microstock.

That is a good point. Probably the only place to upload unrealesed people shots (other than celebs) and make some money from them. I upload everything I have on the micros to Alamy along with images that were rejected by the micros or is editorial. Fortunately I have a pretty high acceptance rate on the micros so I really don't factor that. Roughly about 13% of my sales on Alamy are from images that are not available on the micros, mostly landscapes that I decided to license as RM. So the vast majority of my sales on Alamy are the same images that are on the micros. But I do mostly commercial / conceptual still life, very different than KM's images, he has a TON of unreleased people shots, so it's probably apple to oranges here.

16
Alamy.com / Re: Alamy- Any success??
« on: August 04, 2015, 19:33 »
From the Alamy blog interview with Keith Morris, the example Alamy provided on this forum: "After selling $250k worth of stock photography online with Alamy recently" Keith has 27,000 files and that $250,000 in sales is total sales, based on the sentence in quotes, not his percentage after Alamy takes out their cut. After taking out Alamy's cut wouldn't Keith's average return per image per year be around 50 cents?  That doesn't sound that great to me. My percentage on Alamy isn't that much lower than Keith's and my images are mediocre at best. (By the way, I think Keith's images are pretty good, definitely has some beautiful stuff, this is not meant to disparage Keith in any way.)

I have fared much better on istock alone than on Alamy. I submit to Alamy, but I've never had great success relative to the micros collectively or istock and Shutter Stock alone. My RPI is best with Getty but I have less than 200 images with them. My sales with Alamy mirror the micro stock poll results to the right.

Though I was wrong about the duplicate keywords (although I'm sure that information was correct many years ago) I think it still holds true that your images and pseudonym needs time to percolate up in the search results, however I wouldn't expect anything too great from Alamy.

17
Alamy.com / Re: Alamy- Any success??
« on: July 30, 2015, 10:16 »
I was wrong, sorry about that.


18
Alamy.com / Re: Alamy- Any success??
« on: July 29, 2015, 20:57 »
I'll be honest with you, I couldn't find that info about the duplicate keywords. It may be very dated info. I remember this being discussed at length many years ago, things may have changed. I haven't been a very active contributor the last five years, I just upload a few images here and there. I emailed member services. I apologize If I spoke out of my ass, I will post Alamy's replay.

19
Alamy.com / Re: Alamy- Any success??
« on: July 29, 2015, 14:16 »
I've read, and my experience with Alamy seems to concur, (10 years with Alamy) it takes a year for your images to work their way up in the search rankings to a point where you get regular sales. Also, if you have many similar images with similar keywords, it would behove you to divide those images up into a number of different pseudonyms. Your search ranking can be affected by to many similar images. However, once you create a new pseudonym, it will "restart" the ranking for that pseudonym, so it will be on the bottom so to speak. So if you're going to break up your images into various pseudonyms, you should do it now rather than later before your ranking start to climb. Also, make sure you have NO duplicate words in your keywords. I'm sure you're familiar with how strict Alamy is with their word spamming algorithm, but this can't be overstated. Make sure there are no duplicate keywords in the "essential" "main" and "comprehensive" keywords fields. You can have the same words in the caption field. Unlike some of the micro sites, Alamy doesn't automatically delete the duplicates keywords. And as already stated, if an image is on another site as RF, it has to be RF on Alamy, cannot be RM. All this is based on things I've read from Alamy and from other Alamy contributors so take it for what it's worth. Maybe it's all BS. I know back in 2009 I re-keyworded all my images to weed out duplicate words (I'm a very lazy keyworder) and the following year my sales tripled. However, I did the same thing again a few months ago and haven't seen any uptick in sales yet, might be too soon to tell, so. Hope this helps a little.
-David

20
iStockPhoto.com / Re: Gettyimage
« on: February 02, 2015, 23:07 »
Quote
So I guess the best way to apply is to try to go via people you know who know someone...or maybe there are active content hunters somewhere.

I brought this up in a different post but I think Getty still accepts new photographers but they have to be established advertising photogs, no run of the mill stock shooters like us.  :)  I skim Getty images all the time looking at photographers work, plugging their names into Google and looking at their websites, and 9 times out of 10 the shooters are displaying advertising/assignment work on their website. So I guess it probably is who you know, or maybe they'll contact you when you shoot the next Coke a Cola campaign.

Quit a few years ago now I had a long conversation with a Getty images shooter, he started long before digital, long before micro stock, and he talked about the money Getty stock photographers used to make. High six figures and he didn't work full time. He was going to Art Center in Los Angeles when he started and quit school because he making money hand over fist. He said he got the gig just by showing Getty some images he took of his girlfriend on the beach.

He's no older than me and i was shooting at the same time he was but, I never knew about stock back then. Wish I did.

21
General - Top Sites / Re: The Wall
« on: February 02, 2015, 20:34 »
Quote
Lucky you.   My income has fallen each year since hitting the wall and I am now earning half what I did my best year.

same for me

22
iStockPhoto.com / Re: Gettyimage
« on: February 02, 2015, 20:26 »
I'm a Getty photographer. I have images in two different collections, their "Moments" collection which used to be the "Flickr" collection, and their "Photographers Choice" (PC) collection.

In 2008 I submitted images to Getty and was invited into their PC collection which at the time was a pay to play scheme. It cost $50 per image to submit. However, your first submission was a reduced rate of $25 per image, up to 10 images. Also, for every image you sold, you could submit one for free. So that's what I did, I submitted 5 images at $25 each, then would submit a new image after I sold one.  I never wanted to pay $50 for an image, not worth it.

Then a few years back Getty was scouring Flickr and inviting some photographers to contribute to the Flickr collection, and I was invited. It was very limiting in how many images you could contribute every month, it was taking months and months to review images and then every six months or so they would stop accepting images for six months at a time. Finally, they stopped accepting images for over a year but wouldn't tell their photographers one way or another if the collection was permanently closed.

Now Flicker has become Moments and things so far are much better, accepting 50 images a month, much shorter acceptance times. Also, I just found out that the PC collection stopped charging their $50 per image fee a year ago, I never got the email. So now I'm back to submitting to the PC collection.

Your images on Getty cannot be placed anywhere else, and any similar image cannot. So as an example images from the same shoot, same model and clothing, location and time of day, that sort of thing. You can use the same model in another shoot but the images can't look the same as the previous submitted shoot. So yes it's restrictive but for me, my return per image is at least 3 times better on Getty than it is on all the micros and Alamy combined. However, I have fewer than 10% as many images on Getty as I do on the micros so I still make a lot more from the micros.

That link above is the way to submit however, things are different then they used to be. Looks like you now enter a competition based on an image brief / need that they're looking for.

23
What does this have to do with micro stock? A photographer is being sued for the end use of an image, which he has no control over. The model is suing the companies that used the image illegally, that is the proper course of action, but there is no evidence that the photographer sold the image directly to the companies that are misusing her image. The photographer is also outraged at the misuse of the image so the model and photographer should be a team in the lawsuits not antagonists. The model suing the photographer is wrong, period. This woman instantly loses sympathy by her avarice.

24
General - Top Sites / Re: The Wall
« on: January 29, 2015, 17:41 »
Animals. Totally under rated PF album.

25
Quote
They had an announcement and sent out emails a while back.

I didn't see that email, somehow i missed it. Thanks again.

I'm assuming that you submit images to PC? How is Getty working for you via PC?

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