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Messages - morfon

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Shutterstock.com / Re: SS annual plan fraud
« on: November 12, 2021, 12:06 »
if you're a current contributor, that may well get your contributor account closed. They can do that at any time, for any or no reason.

Thanks for the advice but I'm obviously no longer a contributor, I removed my portfolio when they introduced the 10/image plan. I wish I hadn't signed up at all.

Shutterstock.com / Re: SS annual plan fraud
« on: November 12, 2021, 11:56 »
I can't just order something online, then I cancel my account with the online shop and think that makes my sales agreement invalid. This is not really different.

It is a whole lot different. I didn't cancel a purchase and I certainly didn't get any product shipped in return for my recurring payment. If I cancel an order in an online shop as long as it's technically possible (i.e. not in delivery) it's just cancelled. I wouldn't want my money back just because I changed my mind when it's already on the way. And in that case I'm happy (or unhappy) at least with the physical product i got.

In this case, however, they are billing for what exactly?

Shutterstock.com / Re: SS annual plan fraud
« on: November 12, 2021, 10:02 »
How is it not fraud that you have no membership with them, no affiliation whatsoever, you have deleted your account a long ago and they keep charging you for services they cannot and will not render? What am I actually buying from them? What am I paying for?

Anyways I did cancel the * plan before quitting and today I put an end to this. I talked to their chat guy who said he stopped it. And I also emailed their privacy dept to make sure they removed all my data. But I don't want to write it off, I'm going to contact some lawyers. I know it will add to my misery but fuck it. I just can't accept that this is OK by US law, or any law for that matter, that you charge a non-existing client indefinitely for services you know you'll never render.

Shutterstock.com / SS annual plan fraud
« on: November 12, 2021, 08:52 »
I wonder if this shenanigan happens regularly or I'm the only lame ass around here.

I signed up as a client and a couple days later deleted the account. I haven't purchased anything but I entered my credit card info, as it is a requirement for registration.

It turns out, SS has been charging my card for months, without me recognizing. I only recently checked my transactions and contacted them immediately via chat support. The chat guy says that deleting (or as they put "disabling") an account doesn't mean the subscription is cancelled. It runs forever no matter you have no affiliation with them.
He claims to have cancelled my sub now but of course I won't trust his word.

I also informed my bank that this was a fraud and they said they'd try to get it refunded. What do you guys think of my chances getting it back? If the bank fails, does it make sense to hire a US based lawyer? I'm from the EU. The total amount is just about $180 and i know it sounds ridiculous for any self respecting lawyer. But it's not the money, it's about stopping this shenanigan. SS is the worst experience of my life both as a contributor and as a client.

Well I see that you started to build your portfolio pretty much a year ago or so. When I started with this i uploaded two photos one evening just to see the process. In the morning I had like 15 sales. 11 on one photo and 4 on second one. By the end of the month I was over 200$ or so. Anyway...

Looking from that perspective you jumped into a niche that was long time dead and you started burning your time for pennies. And still people answered you when you joined the forum and they didn't tell you stuff like forget it , you cant make it now and it has been pointed many times that you shouldn't even start, out best earners are old images that are holding positions for years, new stuff dont sell etc.

If you dont have something positive to help avoid throwing negativism which was as you say pointed many times. He knows that and he doesn't need to hear that.

Every huge success story was almost impossible in the beginning and there is for sure a scenario where he can succeed. No one ever succeeded without believing. The chances are not great but they exist for sure.

Right, but i wasnt talking about contributing. I knew it was dead before i signed up. I read a lot of forums and blogs before submitting a single image. Its sort of a hobby and i didnt set any business goals for myself.

I was talking about starting a new agency, which is a totally different proposition. I have nothing against big dreams. But you have to be realistic. I genuinely wish youd succeeded, and if you did id sign up with your agency if you take me :). However, all those dollar boys sitting on the boards of the various big enterprises like SS are not plain stupid. If they cant come up with a meaningful idea to unfcuk the system, i doubt you guys will, just out of the blue. And by the time you build up something from scratch, this whole revolution will run out of breath. It takes years to earn the trust of both buyers and sellers. Top contributors are outraged because they all of a sudden lose a significant part of their income. You think theyll still all be waiting when your shiny new agency rolls out? I might be stupid to economics but i fail to see how youd get some traction and market share in the current business environment.

Dreams are sweet. Business plans that work a different story.

I'm surprised this "start a new agency" nonsense is still on. As others pointed out many times, it's a totally hopeless undertaking. Unless you're backed by investors willing to poor a few million $ into your business, you don't stand a chance. It's not even worth talking about. It's just hot air. If you have time to kill and some money to burn, i'm sure you can find more profitable niches. This one is dead.

I use Huawei Mate 10 which has a Leica camera.

No, it doesn't. Huawei just licenses the label. A Leica camera is a very different thing. As a matter of fact, the lenses are plastic and are made by neither Huawei nor Leica but a noname Asian mass manufacturer. Just google it.

But if the IQ is acceptable to you, this all shouldn't be a concern.

The difference you can't rush are turn off the add.

If by "add" you mean ads, someone already did it. Called youtube. Guess what: adblockers help you skip video ads, or any kind of ads. Plus a lot of people, myself included, would rather fork out a few cents than sit through bloody ads. I never had a single app on my phone that runs on ads. It's either completely free or a one-time payment. Now imagine agency editors who purchase images in bulk, watching ads instead of doing their thing. You seriously think it's a sustainable business model?
A bad idea is not better than no idea at all.

Great initiative, but with all the awesome free WP themes out there, i'm surprised this is the best you can put out. Normally i wouldn't bother trashing someone else's design, but we are talking about a gathering of creative people here. Although i suspect this is a one man army for now, with very litte UX and design background. The logo is also not quite professional, to put it mildly.

There's no content whatsoever but the post about the FB gag that's spreading here, so you might want to work on the content part too, before going live. In the current state, the site isn't very likely to earn any credibility.

Stan Pavlovsky ... is that you?

I wish. It may sound like that, but no, it's what i actually think.

I really don't understand this attitude.

I'm a fellow SS contributor who's also affected by this cut of royalty, but i still fail to see how SS is responsible for the current economic hardships of that alleged single mother or anyone else here. SS is a business not a charity. We are not employees, we are just contracted freelancers, and SS as an organization has zero responsibility towards us. They never made any promises and you are free to terminate your contract any time. The only reason you don't is because the rest of the agencies are just as crap or worse. A few agencies who are committed to fair trade, like pond5 or alamy, don't sell sh*, so it doesn't matter that they give you 40 to 60% of nothing. SS remained the only big one that actually sells and now it's gone too. I don't count istock/getty. The business landscape keeps shifting.

Let's face it: creating stock is a skill of very little added value, at least according to the market. No one cares how long it took you to learn photography and how much you spent on gear. Photography is extremely hard to sell even outside stock, otherwise we wouldn't bother selling for 20 cents a pop. As for me, i just stopped uploading and don't care any more.

It's not SS management's mistake that the single mother failed to obtain more marketable skills. We are all free to move on. Why would you rely on a single source of income, especially if it's known to be very unreliable? 

This market cannot grow forever. There will always be demand for a steady supply of fresh content, but not in this quantity. Now supply exceeds demand many times over. The world just has more than enough photos and videos already, and you cant sell more, no matter how cheap. Up until two days ago my images sold for $0.25, today they are worth $0.10. In two years time they might have no monetary value whatsoever. But i never expected stock to pay my bills. This trend is not something you can fix. We can all gather in unions or whatever, but the thing is, nobody gives a *. Instead of self pity, it might be smarter to just move on to greener pastures.

Guys, thanks for your input. I think I'll just take it all down.

Steve, same here. Alamy/Stephansdom. As it seems, the holy folks are pretty determined to enforce their no-photo policy. They scan agencies regurarly for stolen indoor shots and if they find one, they immediately issue a takedown notice. Too bad, those images do pretty well actually.

First off, sorry if this has been discussed before. I did my search and didn't find any relevant topics.

Couple weeks ago i shot a major European cathedral from the inside. I uploaded the images to multiple agencies as editorial and had a few sales too. However i just got a notice from one of the agencies that the property filed a complaint, as taking photos on their premises for commercial purposes is strictly prohibited. I took down the images immediately, at least from that port. Question: 1. Do i really need their consent if i upload the image as editorial? 2. Should i start worrying and take down those images everywhere else? There are hundreds if not thousands of photos available at all major agencies showing the same church interior, none of which is accompanied by a property release.

The algorithm may take your inactivity into account. At least that's my experience but i might be totally wrong. When i take a longer break from uploading (weeks, months) all sales dry up, but when i upload stuff again, my images start selling too. Since i have a tiny portfolio the difference is not significant but noticeable.

The problem with Shutterstock is that you have to use your password to send over insecure FTP. Open invitation for hackers.

As a matter of fact theres such thing as secure ftp (SFTP). It uses SSH. Try winscp, its free and reliable. Plain FTP was considered garbage 15 years ago.

General Stock Discussion / Re: Alamy - is it worth it?
« on: August 27, 2019, 20:03 »
You don't have to do the keywording in Alamy, embedded IPTC data is taken over. I think the supertag method is way superior to AS, where you have to manually move your top 10 keywords to the top of the list. If you have thousands of images, this is a nearly impossible task and i have yet to find a DAM that doesn't sort keywords in alphabetic order, whether you want it or not.

I upload almost exclusively editorial (newsworthy events) to Alamy but it's been always very slow for me, it's not worth my time. However they are one of the very few fair agencies, portfolio management is convenient, rejection rate is very low (in fact i never had any, as opposed to AS or SS), so i'll just keep uploading. If sales were somewhat better over there, i'd say they are the best agency hands down.

Then there's something going on beyond summer slump and all industry trouble. As it seems, some people see an unexpected bump-up in their sales, while for the majority of us it's the opposite: we've become invisible. I haven't sold a single image in 15 days now, which is totally unprecedented. There's hardly any explanation other than some drastic changes in the algorithm, and i have no idea to whose benefit. Maybe some users are being penalized for reasons unknown.

On the other hand, on AS i've sold twice as much in August as in the previous three months combined. It's still diminutive though.

No evidence just a gut feeling. I might even be wrong, since my port is admittedly too small to be considered as representative sample. It's just that the low but steady sales dried up all of a sudden, and i've been totally invisible for over 10 days now on SS. Doesn't make a difference though, i'm lightyears away from making a buck off of micro anyway.

This thread is not about falling sales. Its about all sales suddenly coming to a complete halt. Im pretty sure they tweaked their system.

Same thing is happening to me, although my port is very small, only 300+ images. But i usually have a download or two almost every day. Past week is the absolute low so far.

@charged any chance you share a link to your portfolio?

For vector and illustration its certainly very useful. There are absolutely awesome apps out there. Photo editing is limited, your best bet for RAW processing is Affinity Photo, a great little app, but sadly its nowhere near desktop PS. Video is almost hopeless, only very basic editing can be done. The recent video apps are a joke, all of them, cant even be compared to premiere or davinci resolve. They were meant to cut little clips, shot on the phone for social media.

However i find the bottleneck to be something else: the total lack of file management on IOS. Until theres a new operating system, the ipad has no chance to be considered as laptop replacement.

I'm pretty sure 123RF is dead in the water. I also signed up last year and uploaded a handful of images through their pathetic admin page that won't let you edit meta unless you install a Flash plugin. This alone should put them out of business. After no feedback for a month i decided to cancel my account with them but even that is almost impossible. So i just removed all my images and then let it fade into oblivion. I wish i'd read the forums before signing up.

@Timbrke> good stuff. I see you put a lot of effort in creating those photos. Is this specific subgenre wanted by the buyers? I'm just asking because i have in mind to build a portfolio in a very similar niche, terror in urban area and law enforcement. It's not that overdone yet, at least not with quality material, compared to e.g. food or travel. And it's on the news constantly, so i'd assume there's some demand.

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