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Messages - davidgoh

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1
Hello fellow Singaporeans!

Great to see more locals entering the stock scene, whatever the medium.

You guys are doing really great so far introducing yourselves on this forum -- makes me proud of my fellow countrymen. :D

I'm not a footage person (I only create illustrations/vectors), but if you ever expand into the vector market, please let me know. I'm exclusive with iStock for now, but I'm always looking out for other possible avenues if things should change in future.

Until then, good luck! I'd say it's a great sign that the people here at MSG are welcoming you.

2
As an exclusive, my RPD has grown, but it's really inconsequential...

...given April will probably be the first month where I made much, much more the year before, with only 40% of my current portfolio size. Not a good sign at all. :/

3
Years back, there was a story I didn't like on The Onion, apparently about a teacher having fantasies over a small girl. The girl was an iS model, and IIRC, they had it removed as she was very young. I just hoped the teacher model wasn't a real teacher (maybe an Onion staffer, as the source wasn't obvious to anyone at the time).
Some on iS at the time (forums) thought the usage was fine. As an actual teacher at the time, I was shocked that they'd even consider putting a child image on this article.
http://www.istockphoto.com/forum_messages.php?threadid=84251&page=1 (as above, the child photo was removed)

Also this expression of concern, but I don't know how this one ended:
http://www.istockphoto.com/forum_messages.php?threadid=87902&page=1


Hey Sue, big thanks for the references. Very useful stuff. I suppose it comes down to whether or not an article  has content that is disrespectful or damaging to the models in the photos used.

I'm actually surprised at the case where The Onion used a picture of a minor. Satire or no, that's still seems to me to be in poor taste. :/

Once again, thank you very much!

4
Hey MSG!

Do you guys happen to know if it's alright to use stock photos for satirical news articles? Especially photos with models in it. Are there any guidelines to pay heed to, for example, ensuring that the news article is obviously satirical for one?

5
Thank you very much for sharing!

Being fully artist exclusive is a difficult decision. Sending only exclusive files, like Getty does or Fotolia or Dreamstime, is a lot easier. You can then still focus most of your attention on one agency, but can still have different content elsewhere for added protection.

I hope it keeps working for you. Many of my friends are still fully artist exclusive, so I hope Getty will soon focus more energy on their exclusives again and not just the "special exclusives" like Yuri.



Thanks! I do hope things get better too, but I'm not holding my breath. Everything seems uncertain now, and I hear more bad news than good nowadays. A decline seems more likely, I think.

Nice to hear opinions on exclusivity :)

Istock seems a bit scary partner for exclusivity as they are so unpredictable in their moves but good luck for 2014!

Indeed! It's been quite the roller coaster ride this year. Makes me wish I'd join sooner... would have been nice to feel how it was like when things were more stable. I'm hoping 2014 would be the year that the dust settles. :)

6
Hey guys,

Back on February 2013, I asked on the forums for opinions on whether or not I should apply for exclusivity, (thread: http://www.microstockgroup.com/istockphoto-com/i'm-going-for-the-golden-choker/) and I eventually made the choice to go for it. Since then a few people have asked me about my experiences and my opinion on going exclusive, which is why I've decided to share how I did for the year of 2013:



A little background; I started uploading bits and pieces of old, un-used illustration work as early as September 2012 (these sold horribly), but I only began creating illustrations specifically for microstock starting from December 2012 onwards. You could say that I've been a serious microstocker for only a bit over a year now.

Some points to note:

- I'm doing microstock only on a part-time basis.
- I only do illustrations.
- This data only reflects revenue from iStock. Prior to exclusivity on Week 12, I submitted to a few other sites (Vectorstock, 123rf, Shutterstock.)

A few thoughts: Will I continue being exclusive?

For the time being, yes. My earnings have been meeting expectations so far - I would, however, probably pull out if they fall below a certain level. I recognize that going indie may be more profitable, but as a part-timer I'm not keen on making the somewhat risky jump, as well as take on the arduous task of uploading and maintaining a portfolio across many different websites.

Do I regret going exclusive?

This is a tough one. I was very happy with exclusivity for the first couple of weeks, before the collection changes hit and my earnings dropped. This was a pretty nasty shock, and really showed how dangerous it was to have all your eggs in the same basket. The fall wasn't bad enough to make me regret going exclusive, but I'm definitely feeling the tightness of golden choker in the sense that there isn't a whole lot else I can do but continue producing content.

Exclusivity - is it a good idea?

There's no easy answer to this... as many have said, it depends on your portfolio, personal preferences and whether or not you're full-time/part-time. Speaking from a pragmatic point of view though, I think that now wouldn't be the best time to sign up for it, not with the flurry of changes that seems to be happening at iStock... You'd never know what you'd be signing up for. I'm still waiting on the promised features that iStock has mentioned as early as July 2013, the ones that would "show their renewed commitment to exclusivity." It's taking a really long time though...

That's about it! Thanks to everyone on the forums for your advice and opinions - you guys have provided a wealth of information to the rest of us newbies so that we may navigate through this messy industry, and for this I'm very grateful. Here's to hoping that 2014 will be a better year... To many more years of microstocking! :D

7
Emails like these are unfortunate but numerous, but in most scenarios, the person requesting doesn't normally respond when "called out" or rejected. This one in particular shocks me - faced with rejection, the creative director goes on to call Travis a "fake artist" and suggest that there was nothing special or outstanding about his portfolio.

What was his plan... to insult the artist until they gave in? :S

8
iStockPhoto.com / Re: About exclusivity...
« on: October 11, 2013, 14:23 »
Hi all,
I would like to clarify a doubt. I don't want to ask you if I should or not became an exclusive at Istock. I know that nobdy have the right answer to his question and I also know that, this days, this aswer would probably be no more than yes.
I want to make a practical example and have anwers based on your experience. So I am refearing to people how became exclusive or leaved his exclusivity.
Let say that I am a Gold level, with a portfolio of high quality 3d renders and elaborated pictures, and that I earn, from Istock, 1000$/month. So I am at a 18% royalty level. Going exclusive I will jump up from 18% to 35% royalty. This means that, only by that, my income will swich from 1000$ to 1944$. And so far it is ok.
Now the question: what else more (from higher prices, vetta, getty, more visibility, other things I don't know...) should I aspect to earn?
I don't want pricise amounts, but only rough estimations. I think this is not a difficult question to answer for how have an experience about that.
So, let's go with your experience...and thank you for that.

Hey Vinnie,

I, too, asked for advice on this forum many months back when I was pondering on illustration exclusivity, and was very glad for some of the feedback received. I guess you could say that I'm now duty bound to help others. :D

From your described circumstances, you seem vastly more experienced than I am (I'm only a Bronze on iStock and I've been doing stock vectors seriously for just 10+ months now), so the only information I can provide are observations and data from my experiences:

1. I became exclusive on the 12th week of 2013. The income I received this week was roughly twice the amount I had received on the 11th week.

2. From the 12th week onwards, my earnings continued growing until the 24th week of this year with minor fluctuations in between. I'd been uploading somewhat regularly till this point.

3. On the 25th week of 2013, iStock introduced a major overhaul to their site interface and collections. As a result, the income I received on the 25th week was roughly 40% that of the 24th week.

4. From the 25th week till now, my earnings have yet to recover. And while they are still better than my earnings when I was a non-exclusive, I've yet to have a week as good as my 12th week (My first week as an exclusive.)

On the overall, I do think exclusivity will definitely kickstart one's earnings and exposure as long as the status quo remains the same. But now that iStock is in somewhat of a flux (a large number of changes seem to be slated for the near future), I think it might be wise to hold off making any long term commitments until the dust has settled.

I hope this helps. :) I plan to share more at the start of next year when I've hit my first year anniversary as a stock artist!

Cheers,
David

9
iStockPhoto.com / Re: I'm going for the golden choker.
« on: August 31, 2013, 14:11 »
What a surprise to see this thread raised from the dead!

I would also like to hear davidgoh's opinion about his move

It's nice to hear that people are interested! :D I've been an IS exclusive for close to 6 months now, and it's been quite the rollercoaster ride so far. However, while I do have a lot of thoughts on exclusivity, I'm holding back for now as 6 months is a relatively short time, and as a stock illustrator (both non-ex and exclusive), I've not even made it to my one year anniversary.

I'd love to share my findings and opinions by the start of 2014, when I've had spent a full year in this industry. By then, I hope to have a more concrete opinion on whether or not exclusivity is a good idea.

10
New Sites - General / Re: Instagram Stock Photo Site
« on: July 30, 2013, 11:26 »
Yikes! I have to log in before I can search and access pages such as "About", "FAQ" or "Prices"? :S

Poor web design aside: aren't mobile phone cameras just another kind of camera? Unless there's a novel concept applied to it (such as Scoopshot), it seems like it's an area in the market that would easily be filled up once the current big players start accommodating for mobile photo uploads. I could totally see a Shutterstock app that you could use to take pictures, edit and keyword all at once!

EDIT: Fixed grammatical errors.

11
iStockPhoto.com / Re: Uploading vector soo complicated
« on: June 24, 2013, 12:08 »
Hey CGartist!

I use DeepMeta (http://www.deepmeta.com/) for my vector uploads on iStockPhoto. :) It's not perfect, but it makes things a lot easier as I'm able to copy descriptions and keywords, save work-in-progress stuff and much more.

It's not very well optimized for vector uploads though. (in fact, you'll notice that it says that it does NOT support vector uploads) As such, I have to upload everything via the usual route first, and then edit their information via DeepMeta. I then complete the submission via the iStock website, and then re-update the keywords/descriptions. It's a little cumbersome, but it's better than nothing... especially when you're uploading 20-30 vectors at one shot -- every little bit of help counts!

Hope this helps!

12
iStockPhoto.com / Post Collection Changes Sales Performance
« on: June 21, 2013, 00:23 »
I'm slated to have a pretty bad week so far, with 40% of $$$ of what I usually make weekly. I can't help but link it to the recent collection changes, which also seemed to have had a huge impact on how the best match works.

How's everyone else doing? Notice any changes since the collection changes?

13
Hi MSG! Just wanted to open a discussion on file pricing. I've personally never been in an agency where I could set my own prices, so I really wouldn't know how it's like. I personally like the idea of self-regulated pricing, but I can't help but feel like it's a quick way for everyone to engage in a price war where no one wins.

Thanks for participating!

14
iStockPhoto.com / Re: Increase in vector prices again...
« on: June 12, 2013, 22:47 »
I had a large amount of my work upgraded to a higher price tier. :( This isn't very ideal -- I'm giving it some time to see if there are any more price shuffles, and then I'l requesting some of my files to be reduced in price.

15
General Stock Discussion / Re: May Sales
« on: June 01, 2013, 23:35 »
iS exclusive here. :) BME overall, largely due to the vector sale that occurred 23rd of May! Also, finally had an EL sale that went for $50+ :D

16
Off Topic / Retainer Fee - How do you charge?
« on: May 30, 2013, 01:34 »
Hey MSG! I understand that many of you do freelance photography and graphic design on your own time. Apart from stock, I'm also a freelance graphic designer myself, having been one since I graduated from school a year back.

Over the one year, I've managed to built a system of how much to charge for the different kinds of services out there, but I've recently been asked for my "retainer fee" rate, which is all very new to me. (I had no idea freelancers would have retainer fees too!) Does anyone have an idea on how to begin quoting for this? What kind of pricing structure do you use? Thanks in advance!

17
iStockPhoto.com / Re: 24h vector sale, 50% off
« on: May 23, 2013, 14:31 »
Hey VB Inc! I'm gonna assume you're referring to my best seller: http://www.istockphoto.com/stock-illustration-22614815-vintage-commerce-labels-complete-set.php?st=393ca31 . It currently accounts for 35% of all the royalties I've made so far, though, sales on that particular file has been waning slowly over the last month or so. Competition is pretty tight! I'm hoping my newer files will cover up for the decrease in popularity.


Yeah thats the one! congrats on that =) jealous... Its funny how before a couple of months ago, they would reject anything with more than 15 in a set. they are doing a 180 on a lot of their rules and i think your fortunate to have gotten in early with this file.
After their last newsletter begging for more type based designs like yours, im sure the competition will increase. The one thing i did notice on istock is the file longevity is pretty good in terms of you making money off a file that is on the top spots of searches. So i figure this files shelf life would be a good 2 years time until you see significant decrease in the download amount. At least thats how it was with me as an exclusive.


Thanks! I did indeed get lucky. I'm very new, which is why I had no idea about the 15 items limit rule... maybe it was changed around the time I joined. I certainly hope the file's shelf life would be as long as you've mentioned, that would be awesome indeed. :D

I love how we foot the bill for discounts we aren't even made aware of until after the fact. I think it's fine that they do it for promotional reasons and it is even okay that both sides are essentially taking a cut for this, but they could at least inform contributors when such things are coming...hell we could even help promote such things. I guess that would be expecting too much


I was thinking of that too - why not tell the contributors? I figured one possible reason is that advertising or marketing a flash sale might be actually be bad for business - with prior knowledge, people might choose to hold off their purchases until the day of the sale itself, thus decreasing the overall revenue earned. While I think it might have been great to let contributors in on the secret, perhaps they felt that many contributors were also potential customers, and thus it would likewise be counter productive.

That's all I can think of. Still, I'm pretty sure we're all going to see lower sales over the next few days... I hope it'll be worth it.

18
iStockPhoto.com / Re: 24h vector sale, 50% off
« on: May 23, 2013, 13:03 »
I think that 24 hour sale is more like 24+ sale because all my vector dls today came at half of what they usually get. incompetence or careful planning? i think the latter, with Gettty guessing that a certain percentage of of contributors wont bother to notice which is more money for their bottom line. Am i the only one who is seeing this?


I've got a few sales coming in in the last hour or so that are back at full priced. Might be an error specific to yours or a few contributors accounts... perhaps contact the CS about it?


I did contact them about it... all my downloads today came in around 1.80- 2.10... =( i used to get $8 for those as exclusive...

Im curious, how many did you get for your distressed banners. You know the one that keeps showing up front of the searches?  ;)
(%of your downloads) nice by the way.


Thanks! Which file are you referring to though? And when you're asking about % of downloads, do you mean percentage of downloads from that file alone over my all-time downloads?


I forget the one file.. i think it was the retro banners with "sale" and other items that had some really good sales... I was curious from that one file, how much of a % was it to the rest of your files cus it seems like a hot seller.


Hey VB Inc! I'm gonna assume you're referring to my best seller: http://www.istockphoto.com/stock-illustration-22614815-vintage-commerce-labels-complete-set.php?st=393ca31 . It currently accounts for 35% of all the royalties I've made so far, though, sales on that particular file has been waning slowly over the last month or so. Competition is pretty tight! I'm hoping my newer files will cover up for the decrease in popularity.

19
iStockPhoto.com / Re: 24h vector sale, 50% off
« on: May 23, 2013, 00:07 »
I think that 24 hour sale is more like 24+ sale because all my vector dls today came at half of what they usually get. incompetence or careful planning? i think the latter, with Gettty guessing that a certain percentage of of contributors wont bother to notice which is more money for their bottom line. Am i the only one who is seeing this?

I've got a few sales coming in in the last hour or so that are back at full priced. Might be an error specific to yours or a few contributors accounts... perhaps contact the CS about it?

I did contact them about it... all my downloads today came in around 1.80- 2.10... =( i used to get $8 for those as exclusive...

Im curious, how many did you get for your distressed banners. You know the one that keeps showing up front of the searches?  ;)
(%of your downloads) nice by the way.

Thanks! Which file are you referring to though? And when you're asking about % of downloads, do you mean percentage of downloads from that file alone over my all-time downloads?

20
iStockPhoto.com / Re: 24h vector sale, 50% off
« on: May 22, 2013, 23:59 »
I think that 24 hour sale is more like 24+ sale because all my vector dls today came at half of what they usually get. incompetence or careful planning? i think the latter, with Gettty guessing that a certain percentage of of contributors wont bother to notice which is more money for their bottom line. Am i the only one who is seeing this?

I've got a few sales coming in in the last hour or so that are back at full price. Might be an error specific to yours or a few contributors accounts... perhaps contact the CS about it?

EDIT: Grammar

21
iStockPhoto.com / Re: 24h vector sale, 50% off
« on: May 22, 2013, 23:58 »
The sale has ended and I'm happy to report not only a BDE, but one that has DOUBLED in revenues from my last BDE! The day before reflected 24 sales, but I managed to rack up 96 sales across the sale alone! :)

The sale has been generally a good thing for me personally. I do suspect that sales would suffer a little in the remainder of the week though. I think it'll be nice to see a flash sale like this every year or so. :D

Any thoughts? How did the sale treat you?

22
iStockPhoto.com / Re: 24h vector sale, 50% off
« on: May 22, 2013, 06:28 »
Royalties and RCs are cut in half. Despite this, my sales today appear to be much higher than it usually is, so I guess that makes up for the lower RPD. :) I hope other vector artists are seeing better sales! It would be nice to have an opt-out option though...

23
Stocksy / New Homepage Layout
« on: May 18, 2013, 06:13 »
Hello MSG! Has anyone seen the new homepage layout for Stocksy (http://www.stocksy.com/)? It's crazy gorgeous! I simply love the idea of mocking up magazine and websites with existing images... they certainly look incredibly professional, and not at all with the typical "stock photo" sort of look. As someone who does design and layout work on a full-time basis, it's a very attractive setup to me.

Congrats to all photographers who are currently on Stocksy. I wish you guys success. :)

24
iStockPhoto.com / Re: Vector Royalty Rates Increasing
« on: May 15, 2013, 23:30 »
This is a very good sign in my eyes! Doesn't affect me as I recently hit the old RC target for 30%, but it's a change where nobody loses and a large portion of contributors gain. Congrats to all illustrators!

25
You can view the current collection via this link : http://www.gettyimages.ca/Search/Search.aspx?p=images&family=creative&contractUrl=1&b=ISI&isource=can-en_iStockVectorFrontdoor_text

Seems like all vectors will be priced from $100 - $650. That's pretty hefty! Unless I'm mistaken, a vector sale would then net us $130 in royalties, since the rate is 20% for GI sales.

So far, I'm pretty excited about this... :) I'm glad they're bringing more perks for exclusive illustrators.

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