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Messages - bunhill

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From a buyers' perspective you should enjoy the abundance and the low prices these days. It is a buyer's market, indeed.

Abundance of content is not really a bonus. It generally just means more useless stuff to go through. Which is a waste of time. See what I posted above about finding the content I wanted at Stocksy.

Cheap might be an issue if there was still a huge demand for cheap paid content today. There isn't. Remember that the microstock boom pre-dated Facebook and largely pre-dated everyone having a phone in their pocket. Today many businesses are mostly on Facebook rather than a website and the content they consume is often shot on their phone or shared by their customers ('friends').

So when it comes to actually buying content - that's more rare. Quality is the thing. It's much more like the days of print again. My benchmark is - I don't want to be looking at stuff I could have done better or just as well myself. Content wants to be contemporary and stylish.

At Graphic Stock the buyer will pay $4.00 for an image if they are a subscriber etc

Another one which doesn't accept Paypal. It's as if they don't want to sell your stuff.

There are very few sites which I am going to allow to use my credit card number.

Also - subscription is a no no.

Maybe you should take a step back and look at the big picture. It is better to understand what is impacting the forest, before trying to save a single tree.

I am really only looking at stock from a buying perspective these days - I have not uploaded any RF stuff for at least a couple of years now*. But I use stock photos.

As I posted above, keyword spam and too much irrelevant content is a big issue when looking for content to buy. Another reason I haven't been using Shutterstock, iStockphoto etc is that they stopped accepting Paypal. I mostly prefer to use my credit card via Paypal. Or else I am sometimes using money received via Paypal to buy stock.

* ETA: A lot of my old stuff has been up for over a decade. A lot of it I wonder what I was thinking. And yet during the boom it did used to sell. No wonder the economy went **** up! Good content today needs to be very stylish - and yet the microstocks seemed to mostly go the other way. Even as the market was obviously contracting.

Is this conversation about stock photos, or is it people pedantically arguing about oil reserves? No wonder there is such a problem with keyword spam.

This week I bought (the right to use) 4 medium sized images from Stocksy at $30 each. That's certainly not a typical buying week for me (I wish it was) - I am not going to rescue the industry. But I am very pleased with the content and it is good to know that this is a fair-trade model. I very much appreciate the hard work which has gone into making and selecting that content. $30 is, frankly, cheap for such good content.

I used Stocksy because:

1. The content and locations have exactly the look and feel I was after - but  I could not find content with the same feel elsewhere
2. The other sites were ridiculously spammy - it's depressing and a waste of time to be presented with thousands of mostly irrelevant images


Microstock is no more coming back than the era which it was part of - when fast broadband suddenly became ubiquitous but only a few people had DSLR quality cameras. In those days there was no Facebook - lots of little businesses thought they needed a website and there was a much greater demand for cheap content.

ETA: I actually like looking for content at Stocksy. I enjoy looking into their world.

StockFresh / Re: Stockfresh email about new curation standards
« on: August 08, 2017, 04:10 »
Search Brunch at Stockfresh and you could see the frustration, the five Christmas presents, the girl with balloons, the plants, I guess the best is the cartoon bear on a branch, although the vector Hawk is a close second in the nonsense category.

I have ended up finding exactly the sort of 'brunch' content I was looking for at Stocksy. I am still making my selection and I have something else I have to attend to over the past few days. Instead of struggling to find stuff which would be adequate it has become a case of narrowing it down from a good selection of great content. Beginning specifically with the keyword 'brunch' but also looking at a few likely related words.

And none of it is stuff which I feel that I could do better or as well myself - either stylistically or with respect to the food, locations etc. It's certainly one of those areas which they have covered better than anywhere else I have looked. Less is also definitely more. It's great not being faced with thousands of results.

StockFresh / Re: Stockfresh email about new curation standards
« on: August 03, 2017, 13:59 »
Looking at StockFresh for the first time, I like the fact that they accept PayPal. I won't buy from sites which don't accept PayPal. But like most of the microstock sites they seem to have a big problem with keyword spam.

It's getting more and more difficult to find the right content to buy at any of the microstock sites. I've spent most of today looking for a handful of images of 'brunch' in a certain style. Should be easy - in my head I can picture the sort of stuff I am looking for. But far too many contributors just add all food related terms to any image of food. Brussel sprouts, a glass of wine, Christmas party, birthday outing etc. It's very annoying. When narrowing down a search, it would be great to be able to hover over an image and select to exclude all results from that contributor. When you end up looking at thousands of results there needs to be a way to quickly exclude spammy contributors. Gets quite depressing.

I agree. I think the word copyright is essential on the ADP.

I don't see at Alamy.

9 / Re: Alamy 6th? Surely this is a joke..
« on: December 07, 2016, 07:30 »
the same BULLCRAP attitude - 1st one rejected, all rejected

Just make the effort to check that the images are all okay and you'll be fine.

They really don't have a "BULLCRAP attitude": They respond quickly and politely to requests and email questions - they're helpful and friendly - nice even. A breath of fresh air.

10 / Re: Alamy search doesn't work well
« on: November 20, 2016, 07:01 »
This is why I don't get sales I believe because their algorythm fails.

I can see many specific examples of where you seem to be missing search opportunities. For example:

I see you have some pictures of second-hand and vintage stuff at a market. But the market isn't named - that pertinent information is missing. So anyone looking for pictures of that market isn't going to find your pictures. I have a two sets of pictures of similar stuff at a particular market which do quite well. And I see from the stats that my pictures of that market are invariably found as a result of specific searches for the name of the market.

Or here is another example: I am looking at your pictures of canal boats. But you haven't included the name of the canal in the caption or the keywords. That's going to be the most important metadata. Otherwise it's just a pretty picture of random boats.

Or your fresly dug potatoes. That's a very useable picture. But those are "new potatoes" in any search. You want those two words next to each other.

In your vintage railway pictures - the railway isn't named.

etc. I don't think you are keywording for editorial.

Looking at your Alamy portfolio - you've currently got 1213 pictures under your name. Perhaps you have more under a different alias. Much of that is wild flowers, trees, abstract bits of wall etc. I doubt that sort of stuff is particularly worth bothering with in an editorial context. It may actually be working against you given how the CTR works. I think that for editorial you are better looking at specifics - the who, what, how, when and why of life, economics etc

ETA: Your pictures are often very nice. But they need to be about useful nouns and adjectives.

General Stock Discussion / Re: Best time to post for Christmas
« on: November 02, 2016, 07:31 »
First what is the best time to start posting art for holidays

Sometime before about 2009.

12 / Re: iStock Royalty Change
« on: November 01, 2016, 13:33 »
I don't think there's that much free content out there. It's just, that people think, that they can use it for free, or sites with "free content" which was actually stolen from agencies.

One of the disadvantages of established microstock is that often there are too many search results to wade through. The thing you might want to use might be there but can be impossible to find. And the styles are all jumbled up because the work is not curated.

There is some very good content available free today (properly legal). One free site where our much-hipper-than-us client chose images from is really very cool. Much of the work has a similar feel to it. One of the advantages of that site is that it has relatively little content.

13 / Re: iStock Unification Email
« on: October 31, 2016, 15:16 »
Not - but seriously: what does ESP mean?

Also - is this something we are supposed to know about already or is this new?

14 / Re: iStock Unification Email
« on: October 31, 2016, 14:26 »
What does ESP mean in this context?

15 / Re: iStock Royalty Change
« on: October 30, 2016, 05:39 »
The CV was a great idea, and a great feature back in the day. However, a combination of spammers and not being kept up to date means it's not as useful as it could be.

I have the impression that sooner or later the CV will have to be abandoned. But it will take a huge amount of expensive work to apply new and more useful metadata and I wonder whether much of the collection will, instead, be abandoned - or left to the old system. To be gradually replaced by new content tagged under some better, less ambitious, scheme. I could see it being like the transition from film to digital - where instead of scanning the old work, it was instead gradually replaced.

The CV is often very weak on specifics - in particular where translation is part of the mix. Not only because of spam but also because of the way in which specific meaning gets wrongly mapped to irrelevant meanings.

16 / Re: iStock Royalty Change
« on: October 29, 2016, 12:47 »
Every time they pay us less, they lose lots of images that might be just what their buyers want

Looking for images to buy, one of the biggest problems with the microstocks in general is that there are too many images. Nearly all of them irrelevantly keyworded.

The small curated collections are a relief by comparison. Though lately some have too much content which only really works in a vertical orientation (I suspect because people are misunderstanding how responsive design tends to be typically approached in practice) .
I believe that the outfit that comes up with a more intelligent search that meets the specific needs of the individual   buyer will have a huge advantage....unfortunately I'm not clever enough to do that.

I think the solution is to employ people to curate smaller trend based collections. Quality and relevance trumps quantity.

(I am fully aware that my own legacy microstock content would not meet my own standards today btw :) )

17 / Re: iStock Royalty Change
« on: October 29, 2016, 12:40 »
Every time they pay us less, they lose lots of images that might be just what their buyers want

Looking for images to buy, one of the biggest problems with the microstocks in general is that there are too many images. Nearly all of them irrelevantly keyworded.

The small curated collections are a relief by comparison. Though lately some have too much content which only really works in a vertical orientation (I suspect because people are misunderstanding how responsive design tends to be typically approached in practice) .

18 / Re: iStock Royalty Change
« on: October 28, 2016, 07:24 »
"Exclusives" selling work elsewhere is a real sore point here, whether you take advantage of it or not. Even your fellow exclusives sound surprised about that

I doubt anyone is particularly surprised if they follow the logic of a contract. IIRC the contract is between the agency and the entity owning the copyright. For example - if you work for a business you can also potentially do separate work as an individual. Equally one could presumably buy the copyright to work from an indie and sell it exclusively. It's about who the contract is with - suppose you are the director of more than one business.

This has all been discussed many times over the past decade. The issue people get annoyed about is when the same entity is both 'exclusive' and 'non-exclusive'. Or when the same images and / or similars are sold both as exclusive and non-exclusive - apparently by different entities.

19 / Re: iStock Royalty Change
« on: October 27, 2016, 11:55 »
With Adobe and SS on the rise, they cant afford to stay at the ever shrinking agency.

I will be very surprised if they don't end up squeezing at both ends too. It's an inherent problem with companies which have to please investors and stock holders who expect continual growth.

20 / Re: iStock Royalty Change
« on: October 27, 2016, 09:58 »
Hobbyists buy their equipment for hobby purposes, so basicaly they dont have to get "their costs back". Every $ they earn is basically plus form them, since they didn't buy equipment for selling photos but for themselves.

Exactly. And therefore I doubt they will care that much. Many would probably carry on contributing even for badges and likes. And it will probably come to that.

21 / Re: iStock Royalty Change
« on: October 27, 2016, 09:39 »
Context; I sold in excess of one million licenses and make a six figure profit every year

That's excellent and I am very impressed. Your work is obviously very good. My own contribution to microstock was certainly lousy and insignificant by comparison. (Would it be rude to ask how many you are currently selling per year ? I am guessing that it must be in excess of 200,000. Would that be about right?)

Based on these numbers, I totally get your point about the difference between 0.38c and 0.02c. It certainly puts things in perspective.

But FWIW - I believe that you would be very much the exception. The majority of people still supporting the microstock model or joining today will be hobbyists and beginners who will struggle to make back their costs.

22 / Re: iStock Royalty Change
« on: October 27, 2016, 06:46 »
My income is still increasing year on year. My returns from most sites per download have increased not decreased

If your profit is not growing proportionate to the total size of your collection then you are running to stand still. Most microstockers are struggling to keep up.  Well done if you have been in this for more than a few years and are ahead of the trend - when you take into account your hourly rate vs minimum wage and the cost of your investment.

Traditionally, photographers' back catalogues also represented a passive income, an investment. That is less and less the case for microstockers.

I guess that could explain your pessimism

I'm not pessimistic. I think that constant change is a fantastic thing. And I really admire the direction taken by sites such as Stocksy - both the work which they represent and the seemingly more sustainable and positive approach to the changing market. I also very much admire much of the work which Getty represents.

23 / Re: iStock Royalty Change
« on: October 27, 2016, 05:47 »
Nobody is going to invest in shooting for them, all attention will be on the other sites that are growing.

None of the microstock sites are ever again going to be a good investment for individual contributing photographers (vs, for example, a minimum wage job).

The microstock sites depend today upon the legacy collections and upon new hobbyists coming in at the bottom of the pyramid - probably believing that their initial growth (from no sales to a few sales) is a trend they can track.

24 / Re: iStock Royalty Change
« on: October 27, 2016, 05:28 »
I don't get why people are still contributing to microstock at all at the moment. The only thing which is growing is the total number of images. And that means, inevitably, that the prices are only going down. Ever closer to zero. The size of the market was vastly over-estimated. That boom era is never coming back. Is everyone just hoping that everyone else will give up first? Otherwise it seems like a rather costly hobby.

And if you are really into pictures as a hobby then why not give up taking pictures which you think might sell and start taking pictures you like or which interest you instead? That's the thing about the best of the stuff in the non-microstock and more bespoke collections like Stocksy - that, at best, the pictures seem much more real. They seem like pictures made by people who love pictures.

25 / Re: iStock Royalty Change
« on: October 26, 2016, 14:15 »
Many contributors are probably kidding themselves that the gear they buy is still an investment.

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