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Messages - jazz42

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1
Here is a link to a demo video:
https://youtu.be/zmyJ5HV4Z8g

And a screendump:



2
High-quality keywording photos is a time-consuming, but essential task for ensuring success in stock photography.

I have earlier announced EasyTag, which is the predecessor of Mykeyworder for Lightroom. Sam and I have joined forces and developed Mykeyworder for Lightroom to take the pain out of keywording.

The plugin allows you to add keywords from the following sources:
 - http://www.mykeyworder.com - search for related keywords from 1-3 starting keywords.
 - Auto-identified from image contents.
 - Title and caption, which you need to enter anyway.
 - Manually entered keywords.
 - Synonyms from any of the above.

Mykeyworder for Lightroom supports both single-image and batch processing of multiple related images.

The basic version is free, but you'll need to make a donation of at least 10 USD (in the plugin) to unlock its full functionality.

http://www.mykeyworder.com/lightroom

Hope you'll like it and comments or suggestions for improvement are most welcome!

3
Shutterstock.com / Re: Goodbye Shutterstock
« on: October 13, 2016, 23:44 »
I think what we are seeing here is the so-called long tail: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Long_tail

We have filled the first part (top selling) items long ago. SS realized that the only way to gain growth is to have material in the "tail". Hence, they now let in anyone who can press a shutter button. The requires an automated review process that can accept images in the not-so-well covered niches that have some potential for sale. We have recently seen this process in play as several have reported about lightning fast reviews at SS (15 secs). In other words, lightning fast review indicates a potential niche...

At the moment 21% sales increase from 60% asset increase is still probably very good for them. The tipping point is when the marketing, administration and cost of storing the image outweighs the sales income. They have probably calculated this and it could be as low as 5% sales increase from 100% asset increase.

For us, the question is of course when will it no longer pay off to shoot. There is no straight answer, but the days where we could invest several hours and a bit of money in a shot is definitely over.

4
Shutterstock.com / Re: Goodbye Shutterstock
« on: October 13, 2016, 12:58 »
If you dont hit the market you will die, reversed, if you do hit the market you will gain. All complains about falling sales are worthless and a waste of time. Make better photos, videos or illustrations, thats all.

Yeah  - well, I guess there is an upper limit on how good the quality can be produced on a reasonable budget (time and costs)... At some point, it levels off and the the buyer needs a university degree in graphic design or visual art to tell the difference. It's a bit like good red wine... The artist may decide to spend twice as much on the wine (creating the photo), but the quality increase is maybe only 5% and the guest (buyer) can't really tell the difference. Just like wine tasters, you need a lot of training to tell the good from the really good.

5
Selling Stock Direct / Re: Group uploads
« on: September 16, 2016, 06:24 »
I'm using stockuploader v2, but it is no longer available to the public.

In short, it uploads directly to multiple sites. You set up your logins locally. The program keeps track of the uploads and if they fail.

Is there a need for a new version of this tool? I'm a computer scientist and could probably do the tool fairly easy, but I don't want to spend 1-200 hours if there is really no need.

6
I started two years ago and I have similar experience with the agencies you mention except that iS and Fotolia are doing slightly better than SS.

I gave up on Alamy due to their submission interface - For testing, I uploaded 100 pics about a year ago and I haven't had a sale yet. It is NOT worth the hazzle.

Pond5 - nearly no sales. I keep uploading because doesn't take long to submit.

7
General Stock Discussion / Re: PicturEngine is ready!
« on: September 12, 2016, 11:43 »
Hi Justin,

Nice initiative, but 30$ a month is a VERY high rate even if you offer 100% commission.

My main concern is that you business plan does not really motivate you to find buyers for our photos (you get 0%) - it actually mainly motivates you to find new photographers, who are willing to invest the 30$ a month. All right, the first six months are free, but still... How about a payment model where you keep the first 30$ of the photographer's sale? That should also motivate you to do something about getting good sales for your contributors.

8
1) Research tools for niche discovery. How can the agency help us discover new less obvious niches?
Alamy do this via their blog and by browsing through Alamy Measures.
AM is interesting and intriguing - what on earth did the searcher want occurs a lot of the time. Also gives a clue about mis-spellings.
The blog gives requests and not-founds, but
a. Someone last week searched on X but didn't find it doesn't mean that you providing it would give a sale. Presumably they had to trawl round other sites and maybe found what they wanted. Or maybe it was a very expensive file to set up ...
b. They never say how much the sale would net  - maybe the buyer was one with a huge discount.
Measures doesn't really reveal whether a zoom resulted in a sale, as the sale would have to occur in the same session to count. So if someone zoomed on a sale, and bookmarked it, then came back later and bought it, it wouldn't show as bought. Also, it only counts views, zooms and sales by their top buyers.

Which leads me on to ...
iS/Getty also have a needs/trends newsletter for exclusives. Again almost always expensive to set up, sometimes in a very specific locality, sometimes using many models, very difficult-to-get property releases etc. But no clue as to whether these clients would be buying via subs, far less low or high price, all of which are possible over iS/ Getty.

So it's not much different from these sites that put out 'wants' as 'competitions', and you might have lots of people (unless geographically very out of the way) providing similar content, but only one sells, at best.

I'll have a look at Alamy. I also don't follow these trends and wanted images as you have just confirmed my suspicion about the stampede they create  ;D


9
y'know, when you come to think of it,
many of my images are being downloaded by bloggers who make money from traffic and ads.
some are already reporting earnings of 3 grands a month,
or as in a reportage recently , many have quit their IT jobs to do their own blog
and earn as much , if not more, than their past salary.

so, to me, why should anyone not want to brush up on blogging
and then start their own blog, using their own photographs.
.. and if successful, bring it far more than being a ss contributor.

at worst, your blog will earn you the little you make these days monthly with ss
dwindling earnings.

Hmm, I wouldn't bet too much on it. I haven't tried blogging, but I have google ads on my site and 20.000 page views in a month result in less than 10$ of earnings - 20.000 view is actually quite a lot.

10
There's a bunch of these threads. Here is the latest one but there are many others.

http://www.microstockgroup.com/new-sites-general/microstock-agency-made-by-photographers-(by-you)-lets-start/



Here's another: http://www.microstockgroup.com/general-stock-discussion/if-you-started-a-stock-agency-what-would-be-your/
and another:
http://www.microstockgroup.com/new-sites-general/new-co-op-owned-rfrm-agency/
http://www.microstockgroup.com/ranting-general-stock/stock-artists-collective-anyone/
http://www.microstockgroup.com/general-stock-discussion/a-microstock-create-by-contributors/

Have fun reading!


Yep - but I don't believe in starting from scratch. I already started two other websites (not photography related) . Both are closed now because it was simply too difficult to get some visibility - you have to invest 40 hours a day or huge sums in advertising to get a decent top placement in google results.

11
You're going to get a lot of conflicting opinions. Here are mine.

1) Discover new niches to fill.

The last thing I'd want is agencies suggesting which niches to fill. Agencies already promote light boxes that result in a flood of contentgreat for the buyers and the agency but not for the individual contributors. Agencies also track sales spikes, in my opinion. I've had a couple of spikes when I discovered good niches, and SS noticed and guess what?created and promoted lightboxes for those previously undiscovered niches that resulted in a flood of content that killed my sales. When iS suggests new categories for illustrations, I purposely avoid uploading anything for them...I know a tsunami of content will follow their suggestions.

2) Improve visibility of already uploaded material (increase sales).

Whose material? The agencies represent everyone. Unfortunately that means they won't promote your work or my work over someone else's work, unless it will make them more money.

3) Reduce life-cycle cost per image produced. By cost I mean time and money spent to get the photo online.

There's only so much you can do to reduce costs, unfortunately, but sure, whatever you can do you should.

So far I think eliminating categories and anything else that will make uploading more efficient are good ideas...but keep in mind that creating efficiencies will also attract even more content.

Regarding 1)
I'm not asking for the top 100 niches to fill, but for access to the search results and whether or not a search lead to a sale. Then we can build research tools that still allow each contributor to do his own research.

Regarding 2) Yes - agencies as anyone else are interested in top google placements. Links with text content, e.g. a blog post with a photo is valued higher because someone invested time in writing the text. Good photos will have more links and thus more visibility and (probably) more sales.

Regarding 3) I agree, there is a lower limit on how much you can save on this account. Tedious clicking on is currently my main pain-point in my workflow.

12
There's a bunch of these threads. Here is the latest one but there are many others.

http://www.microstockgroup.com/new-sites-general/microstock-agency-made-by-photographers-(by-you)-lets-start/


Yes, I know. The discussion with GL representatives just led me to hope for an agency that would implement some of the ideas: The thread is here: http://www.microstockgroup.com/graphic-leftovers/gl-news/

I don't believe in starting a new agency from scratch, but improving one that already has a foothold in the market may be doable.

13
Theme 3, idea 1: Skip the image categories

Manually clicking on dropdowns is a REALLY time-consuming part of uploading, especially if you are on multiple agencies.

14
Theme 2, idea 1: Contributor links to buyers pages where the photo is used.

Bloggers are dying to get deep links so why not give it to them? In return we should ask for links back to the sales page on the agency's homepage. this is actually a win-win-win setup. The blogger wins by getting more exposure on google, the agency wins by getting direct links to sales pages from content-rich blogging pages (considered candy by google search engines), the contributor wins by getting more exposure in google image search.

Technically it is not so difficult. The buyer submits his link to the agency with a bit of description. The agency can create a small piece of code that can be inserted on contributors private homepages that pulls the link from the agency's database and shows the link to the blogger's page.

15
Theme 1, idea 1: Keyword statistics for searched that DID not lead to sale

Lists of top keyword searches is interesting, but becoming increasingly useless as these niches are filled with superb quality. We are SIGNIFICANTLY more interested in the top searches that didn't lead to a sale as they indicate potential niches.

16
There has been a lot of postings in this forum about decline in earnings and how agencies are lowering the payouts. As I see it, it is a natural consequence of supply and demand. In short, the stocks of photos are increasing WAY faster than the demand for photos (maybe 10-20 times faster???). As in any other market, prices and earnings will be lower until that balance shifts. Let's face it. It is not going to happen unless the supply is lowered (all contributors suddenly stop uploading just good enough quality (rather unlikely)) or demands increase at least by a factor of 10 (also a bit unlikely).

So what can we do instead? A part of the earning problem is that most common niches are well covered. Buyers don't need "business handshake" number 1.000.001 and it is no longer enough to produce quality better than everyone else as most top niches are already filled with superb quality work.

Generally speaking, I would say these options remain:
1) Discover new niches to fill.
2) Improve visibility of already uploaded material (increase sales).
3) Reduce life-cycle cost per image produced. By cost I mean time and money spent to get the photo online.


The aim of this thread is to start a discussion on what we would like the ultimate stock agency to be like. Hence, to PITCH IDEAS to the bold agency/agencies who are willing to invest time in helping their contributors.
The recent discussion on GL Stock Images in this forum is a good and positive starting point and many ideas were raised. However, I think it got a bit cluttered with discussion on pricing models, bug reports, and whether or not the royalty rate was fair for newcomers.

Let's try to brainstorm and hope that GL Stock Images or another bold agency will pick up some of these ideas!

Some themes (rephrased from above) - feel free to add more:
 1) Research tools for niche discovery. How can the agency help us discover new less obvious niches?
 2) Boosting position on google and other search engines.
Google page rank is hugely important, both for the agency and for contributors - how can push our photos up the list?
 3) Easier workflow. Nothing is more dreadful than an tedious upload procedure. E.g. who need image categories?


PLEASE DON'T START ANOTHER DISCUSSION ON PRICING MODELS, ROYALTY RATES, OR LACK OF INCOME - I think we have this covered.  :)

Please number your idea Theme X, idea Y. I'll put a poll together once we are done so we can vote on the best ideas.

Ok?!? I'll pitch a few ideas in a couple of follow up postings to allow separate quotes for each of them.

17
123RF / Re: New rejection reason
« on: August 17, 2016, 23:34 »
jazz42, you actually need a property release for that image. bigstock was right to reject it without one

Yes, I found out after asking them. Its handcraft and therefore considered a form of art from which you need the permission of the artist (I did the background/home). I just thought is was rather hilarious at first and suspected that it was some form of auto-rejection as I had the word "home" in the title and as keyword.

18
I've been hesitating from submitting photos that require a property release because of the hazzle involved.
However, I have half a "deal" with the owner, but I was wondering if he needs to sign every single agency's own property release form. Showing up with 10-12 forms might scare him off.  :o

How do you handle this?
Is there one generic form that all agencies accept?
Will Fotolia accept an istockphoto form and vice versa?
What experiences do you have?

19
123RF / Re: New rejection reason
« on: August 16, 2016, 13:17 »
These guys sometimes work in mysterious ways...

Clearly my weirdest rejection was this one (submitted to bigstock): http://www.istockphoto.com/dk/photo/christmas-card-gnomes-in-front-of-their-cosy-home-gm523645455-51340414?st=b15a71f

I was asked for a property release!!!
I did ask the "owners" VERY politely, but I was met with a wall of silence  ;D

20
GLStock / Re: GL News
« on: August 16, 2016, 11:52 »
I started uploading my portfolio in batches of 20 per day. Today my third batch all ended up on the invalid page. Is it a bug? I didn't upload yesterday, so I shouldn't be over the 20/day limit.

It would be helpful if you could provide a reason for putting it on the invalid page.  ;)

21
Shutterstock.com / Re: New Content Sale
« on: August 15, 2016, 06:20 »
I also sold new stuff, but it doesn't show on the graph.

22
GLStock / Re: GL News
« on: August 13, 2016, 11:59 »
Would it be possible to make a license model that require buyers to link to the photo on graphicleftovers.com when it is used on the web? For instance, all photos on blogs and articles (text-rich pages) must have credits below and the photographer's name must be a link to the photo. The sell page on GL should offer similar photos from the photographer.

This will have the following benefits:
 - The photographer will have more traffic (and hopefully more sale) for the photo and his/hers related portfolio.
 - graphicleftovers.com will have higher page rank on google as many pages will be linking to it.

Some buyers may of course not like this and they should be offered the photo at a higher price (or those linking should have a small discount).

fotolia, i recall when i was with them from their inception, had something like what you wanted,
in that we were given the names of the buyers with each download.
unfortunately, some contributors went out of their effing heads to contact these buyers directly
and fotolia decided this was not a good idea...

so, once again, whenever we get a good thing with certain agencies going in the right direction,
some of us eff it up for the rest.

Ahh, there should be ways around that problem, e.g., making it a reason for closing the contributor's account if the buyer complains or (less severe) subtract a penalty from the contributor's account (e.g 20% of the average monthly payment).

Nowadays you can find your buyers with google image search - I've done it a few times and it is quite interesting to see where your work is being used.

23
GLStock / Re: GL News
« on: August 13, 2016, 03:23 »
Would it be possible to make a license model that require buyers to link to the photo on graphicleftovers.com when it is used on the web? For instance, all photos on blogs and articles (text-rich pages) must have credits below and the photographer's name must be a link to the photo. The sell page on GL should offer similar photos from the photographer.

This will have the following benefits:
 - The photographer will have more traffic (and hopefully more sale) for the photo and his/hers related portfolio.
 - graphicleftovers.com will have higher page rank on google as many pages will be linking to it.

Some buyers may of course not like this and they should be offered the photo at a higher price (or those linking should have a small discount).

24
* - and it doesn't even look like it has been photoshopped   ;D

25
5-10 minutes - not including keywording, which may take another 1-10 minutes.

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