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Messages - douglas

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Given there is no point now in having exclusive images on Alamy, is there a way to globally change all of a portfolio to non-exclusive? I know you can make default settings for future uploads but can you make the change en masse for existing images? Alternatively, as 95% of my Alamy images currently are exclusive, any suggestions for another agency where it makes sense to have exclusive images (these were uploaded to Alamy on the premise that they were different to the bog-standard stock stuff for other sites)?

]For me this page says, "you can opt out again in April"

It says that for everyone but, as Sue pointed out, it's not true.. you can opt out now as I did.

General Stock Discussion / Re: Fine Arts America.
« on: September 22, 2020, 14:27 »
OK...MSG account closed, Im done. be well.BTW. I don't get 10 cents.  got a raise today from SS.

Hell be back. And Ill be pleased. In the years Ive been in the group Ive learned more about b/w photography from Lauren Rinder (in posting asides, not in actively seeking his help) than anywhere else. In printing, framing and glazing your own images its a nightmare. European and the US postal services are incredibly resourceful in finding ways to shatter glass.

Photoshelter offers a selection of printers which works for me as one is close by, professional and takes the risk on things getting broken. I put some arty stuff on FAA and stuck a couple of other items on the end to fill my free quota. What sold? Yup, the stuff on the end. Including a duvet cover. That is how I want my kids to remember me: my dad took a picture so good people wanted to sleep with it.


Interesting 'viewpoint' from Netflix!

You can turn the automatic keywording (where it pulls text from the description) off in the tabs above the image but this has to be done at the start of every edit session as it defaults to on. Its uselessness is compounded by keywords only being single words so, for example, queen of hearts in your metadata keywords is split into three words which are not even stored consecutively.

I'm sure SS will claim they have to right to that domain name based on the google search results

As you have seen, your $500 a month might mean you require 5000 downloads. No matter how good you are, it is going to take quite some time to create enough images to make that even theoretically possible.

Obviously I dont know where you are and what the position is with your local printshops but you might consider contacting them to see if they have a need for custom design for any of their customers or if it is something they might think about offering. Jobs may be few and far between but each one would equate to an awful lot of stock image downloads.


The gig economy and crowdsourcing have made it even easier for companies to take advantage of their workers. By classing the people who drive the cars or take the photos as non employees or independent contractors, they avoid paying the benefits required by law and get away with paying hourly wages that are lower than minimum wage without repercussions.

Absolutely hits the nail on the head.

Its bad enough when exploitative corporations tell a marine biologist, a hotel manager and two engineers (and thats just my circle of friends) that they have no employment rights when driving vans a ridiculous, and probably unsafe, number of hours per day to earn a living in present times, but when others in the gig economy lie down and agree thats the way it should be, its probably time to despair.

Of course its right to fight. The arc of history may bend towards justice but only if it gets a damned good kicking as the struggles of the trade union movement demonstrate. For the hard fought rights gained over 200 years to be dismissed with oh, thats the way the gig economy works is, at best, short-sighted. If the push towards 'non-employment' continues there will be no employment rights for anyone other than those with the power to negotiate a golden parachute payment before starting work.

Someone pointed to SS employee reviews on Glassdoor a week or so ago but I could not find a reference to Comparably

Mr Pavlovsky does not seem to be loved by his minions: as CEO bottom 5% in similarly sized companies in NY area and in USA generally.

After a minute or two a pop-up appears asking you to rate Shutterstock either as an employee or a customer.

11 / Re: We are having some impact
« on: June 15, 2020, 17:56 »
I just want to share the record i am taking about images on SS database after june 1, i just copy and paste the text of SS bottom page:

June 15- 324.009.728 images, 993.927 new images per week

The effect is actually greater than this. That figure of 324,009,728 is what SS says is in the database in the line you mention but is always a little out of date. If you just search with blank search criteria it shows there are 322,772,035  images available i.e, more than 1.2M less than they claim.

only if that overcount is a 1 time event -- probably should subtract from all other data, too

You ask for evidence but dont look for yourself: just go the Search page Its not a one-off overcount, they only update that stats line roughly once every 24 hours. So at the moment it says there are 323,198,590 images in the collection but the search returns only 321,178,133. Similarly the added weekly was revised downwards in the last hour from 973,279 to 934,868 and is probably now already too high as the downward trend has been consistent since 1 June (when it was 1.16M).

I dont know what constitutes a tsunami in statistical terms but a 19.5% drop in weekly submissions should have the inhabitants of Shittystick island at least looking for a few sandbags.

12 / Re: We are having some impact
« on: June 15, 2020, 01:49 »
I just want to share the record i am taking about images on SS database after june 1, i just copy and paste the text of SS bottom page:

June 15- 324.009.728 images, 993.927 new images per week

The effect is actually greater than this. That figure of 324,009,728 is what SS says is in the database in the line you mention but is always a little out of date. If you just search with blank search criteria it shows there are 322,772,035  images available i.e, more than 1.2M less than they claim.

13 / Re: Boycott Shutterstock
« on: June 12, 2020, 19:45 »

but what shows is the futility of any boycott -- even removing 2 million images would only reduce the total by 1%.  no one will notice.  delete 20 million and SS will replace them quickly (and no portfolio consists of all best sellers - likely 20% of a portfolio produces 80% of income)

delete your images for other reasons, but don't imagine it will affect SS at all.

When I disabled my images I thought the same thing: it would not make a difference to Shutterstock but, to hell with that, it was a statement which had to be made and I was not going to sell images for 10c.

I was encouraged to see the figure for uploaded images per week fall from 1.6M on 1 June to below 1M today, probably more important than the total number in the collection as much content ages quickly.

I needed an image this evening which I would normally have strolled out the door and shot. However, I am still in partial lockdown at the other side of Europe but knew I had one pretty close to the view required, formerly on SS, now on DT. I found it on DT (happy to see it on the first row after only uploading last weekend) but, because I was curious, was stunned to see how few images now matched those keywords on SS.

So a boycott is not going to make a difference to searches for happy smiley people doing happy smiley things or isolated tomato. It will be the specific images missing from SS, because it covered almost everything and everywhere, and these will not be instantly replaced by image factories, rather than the generic which will be their undoing as the result of frustration on the part of buyers.

Freepik and ss now have much in common  8)
And yes we must turn off imagery faster, coz they profit 3 times faster.

I have seen now that the group
has a new administrator: a brand ambassador of Freepik!!
Unacceptable for me.

The new administrator, Antonio Gravante, is now the new ex-administrator having flounced off in a huff. Seems this group's admins have a shorter life expectancy than football managers.

15 / Re: Dreamstime increasing royalties
« on: June 05, 2020, 13:05 »

So, that explains why none of my sales there this month have earned me any additional 10%.

So this promised increase not only came at a very convinient time, but they also left out a quite important detail from their mail announcement.  ::)

Och, yer jaws trippin you! Youve been negative about everything all week. Lighten up, its the weekend and this is a rare bit of genuine good news. I dont claim to know how Dreamstime code their application but, from the way I would do it, applying a commission change to an existing plan would be a nightmare. They are already paying considerably more than DT, albeit with low volume sales, so look forward to the bonus as you move images across to them. If you already have all your SS images there, what difference does it make to you?

16 / Re: Can't edit my uploads
« on: June 05, 2020, 12:53 »

"Error: Due to the massive uploads, you can only make 7000 submissions per week. Please continue the upload process after 7 days have passed since your first submission."

I think its just a temporary throttle. I was getting 504 Bad gateway error messages this afternoon EET then, when that resolved, it was the message you saw. The 504 just means servers are overloaded (often because virtual space is not properly assigned) unless its a DDOS attack on behalf of the evil empire (surely not?!) so they throttle the edit traffic. No idea how they do their hosting but its a fairly easy problem to resolve if hardware is available in a data centre or in-cloud. If its as a result of folk doing the same as me, moving all their SS stuff across to DT, Im happy to live with it for a couple of days.

You can continue to argue against every completely random example I picked to get a point across, it's not changing anything. Just pick an example yourself and think about whether you think it will make a difference to customers and Shuttesrtock whether they have 100.000 images of that topic in their database or "just" 50.000. images.

You are also discounting the effect the numbers will have on investors. Shittystick made the growth of its collection one of its main pillars in pitching to investors over the last 18 months. Now, especially if other agencies totals increase, they are going to be in the same awkward position as the UK government. For seven weeks the government briefings showed how UK COVID-19 cases and deaths were in the middle of worldwide comparisons. Then the cases and deaths rose above all other countries and, suddenly, the figures stopped being displayed in the press conferences because they were no longer relevant. Shittystick will have the same problem in reverse about growth in their collection.

Whether its dentists, tomatoes, sunflowers or marijuana, SS may have plenty of images but who is going to pay for studio time, models and props for the images which really sell if the return is 10c? And there may be plenty photographers in rural India happy to earn 10c a snap (and may be very good photographers) but they are going to struggle to satisfy requirements of tall fair-skinned blonde woman in snowy city street or village life in Transylvania. 

18 / Re: Dreamstime increasing royalties
« on: May 31, 2020, 17:35 »
Oh come on people this is an agency which hardly sell anything at all and now because of the SS scam they are increasing royalties.!

In the last couple of months my sales on DT have gone from practically nothing to a very small bit of something. Similarly, their contributor UI has improved dramatically - I rarely have to change the automatically suggested categories and all the information I want is easily found. Can I say the same about Shittystick? Nope. Interface has not improved, sales have gone down.

Relatively speaking, DT is a small agency: that's why it doesn't sell a lot. I uploaded 300 images tonight which were on SS and not DT. If everyone disabling their portfolio does the same, then it's not such a small agency and the results could be good for all.

Almost every company was a small business once. There is no reason they have to stay that way.   



I added the "I don't know" options for video-based questions.

If you select "no", you will be taken to the next page to enter what you would consider minimum baseline guarantee in the new scheme.

That's what it says in the description of the question.

Thanks - form submitted. Maybe it's just me but until you explained the subscription question I had taken "leave subscriptions alone" to mean leave them as they are now, i.e. pre 1 June, so would have answered "yes".

Sorry, I feel churlish seemingly sniping from the sidelines when someone else has made an effort but the questionnaire does not address my concerns.

  •    I dont shoot video and there is no N/A answer or the option to skip.
  •    Not resetting after 12 months is better than resetting after 12 months but I would not consider that change a victory. Its the wrong pitch with which to begin a negotiation.
  •    Percentages/subscription blah blah. Thats the mechanics. The question for me is what is the absolute minimum I would accept for a photograph to be licensed and that is probably $0.33, same as Adobe and a couple of cents less than DT.

General Stock Discussion / Re: Coronavirus ?
« on: March 13, 2020, 15:07 »
It's wonderful how everyone from lawyer to photographer is now an expert epidemiologist. I have no idea what the best strategy for virus containment/herd immunity/healthcare impact spread is but I know if travel bookings are collapsing, airlines and booking companies are going to be advertising more and will buy pictures. What should we learn? All those companies who said their workers could not work from home now have employees working at home, which means the disabled people they didn't want to hire could also have been working from home. Oh, and public healthcare is maybe quite important, USA?

22 / Re: Mature content - really?
« on: July 23, 2019, 18:25 »
Assholes - or maybe gluteal cleft, that's what the email said

SS rejected an image even after complaint (I clearly had too much time on my hands) not of a model but of a sculpture commemorating a poet which has stood in a park in central Helsinki since 1932. 

Pay reviewers peanuts .....

Its hard to believe SS can implement this incredibly intelligent cap system when most of the IT enhancements they have released over the last five years have been woefully poor. Equally, confronting conspiracy theorists with logic is the same as trying this approach with religious fundamentalists. However

If you believe your sales are capped based on looking at your sales figures you are looking in the wrong place. It might give you an idea about a cap but the proof, if any, is on the supply side. My portfolio is turned off is a testable assertion. Remove the possibility the evil demons at SS are tricking you by showing you one thing and buyers another by using a VPN (Nord or HMA) and browsing anonymously/use the browser incognito window. Choose four or five places in the world for the VPN and search from these every couple of days and check the position of your top sellers in the search results. If they are not found at any given point then perhaps the claim my portfolio is turned off is not complete nonsense. If they drop down a couple of pages halfway through a month then come back to a higher place the following month, and repeat this pattern over a period of time, you could make a case for capping (the cyclical part removes the explanation that they have just been displaced by newer/cheaper/better contributions).

The interesting stuff which could come from this about submissions and sales is precisely what SS prevents contributors putting into the public domain. If you find a way of doing this you are going to get hammered.  If I am hot on some new trend as a contributor I am also likely to be less than thrilled by you sharing it.

At the moment, all your pages have the same URL This is no use for seeing what is happening round about me. If I am in position 10001 and want to break into the top 10000 (no, I don't know why either) I would want to see who was round about me in the rankings so something like (supposing you were doing this in php) (it's an example guys, obviously it doesn't work but don't know how to disable a URL in a post) as a url would help.

25 / Re: problem with "new" rejections
« on: June 07, 2019, 15:57 »
I'm sure they do have the same criteria: they simply have not trained their moderators adequately. It's a very common problem in sub-contracting to India, it's attractive because labour is so cheap. You can hire incredibly competent female PhDs for $45 per day (this is from my own main field of software development). But most offshore development goes through middlemen who are hiring the software graduates Indians tell me are totally unsuitable to do the work required, marking the rate up 10 to 15 times,and preventing direct contact with them by the client . In the UK, BT ('the telephone company') sub-contracted support to Indian call centres and trained them to chat about popular UK soaps to the likes of me, who has never seen a single episode, or my Mum who couldn't understand any of their accents.

There is no reason not to sub-contract to India (or anywhere else) but there has to be some effort put in to think beyond "it's cheap" and put in place the required training and SLAs. I gave up on Pond5 when they started doing their photo reviews in India and have never gone back so don't know if they still use the same company but SS has been pretty farcical of late. The rejections I have had have been for 'potential IP infringement'. This is not an easy area for reviewers who spend a few seconds on an image.  I spent several years learning the legal distinctions on this in different jurisdictions and, even though agency rules have nothing to do with the law, they are still, in essence a corpus of decisions which has to be mastered by reviewers. Some recent crackers from SS have included designs on cup cakes being rejected for IP infringement and one statue, in open sight in a country with the freedom of panorama accepted but her sister, five metres away, rejected.

The first time my blood boiled on this I wrote to SS, got a 'we will look into it' message, and a couple of weeks later a 'it was incorrectly rejected use this case number and resubmit' but, if you care about these rejections, I found the easiest was just to resubmit as if it is a new image and it will go through. Generally I haven't bothered because by then it is already selling somewhere else.

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