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Messages - PhotoDude

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I maintain a small portfolio of several hundred images on 500px, which I uploaded couple of years back. Since then I largely forgot about it, because sales were zero. However, several days back, all of a sudden, I got two sales for whooping $12 and $2. What is happening? Have they finally found some clients? Why price is so low? I thought they were selling $49 minimum per image, was it right? Did I miss something? I tried to search forum, but have not found any recent news about 500px.

Adobe Stock / Weird sales on Fotolia
« on: September 01, 2016, 12:12 »
Hi guys,

Can you explain me some of the royalties I am getting from Fotolia sales? I am currently at Silver level with 25% royalty. When I look at the list of my sales, I see that one picture XL size was sold for 10 credits for which I got 2.5 credits (25%). That makes sense. However, just next to it I see another sale of the same size (XL) for which Fotolia only gave me 0.29 credits. That does not make sense and is contradicting their page with prices and royalties:

According to above page XL sale should cost 10 credits from which 2.5 are mine.

Well, the difference is that first sale was noted as subscription and the second sale does not show what type of sale it was, just report a total royalty I got (0.29). Do you know what are these 0.29 sales? Where are they coming from? Is there a way to only sell my images at subscription rate avoiding those ridiculous 0.29 sales?

I do not want to scare you guys, but there seems to be more to it. Like you, I was very happy to find "spammygate" email from Shutterstock in my inbox today. Like you, I claim it is a bogus accusation and a result of some poorly designed bot malfunction because I have never spammed my titles. Most likely, I have some images with repeated words in the title, but those are well justified like many of the examples already posted in this thread. After reading this thread, I was just going to ignore the whole thing, let the dust settle, and laugh at the incompetence of SS bot programmers in the meantime. However, after checking my portfolio in SS I found that it has 10-30 images less now than it used to have just a few days ago (I am not giving exact number here so SS cannot figure out my contributor identity). I am 100% certain of that because I keep detailed statistics after each upload cycle. But I imagine for some of you who have huge portfolios with 10K+ images, losses of 50-100 files could have gone unnoticed. It seems SS not only ran the bot to scan our images for supposed spammy titles, but what is worse, they actually silently deleted some images. And the worst part is that they did not even tell us which ones they deleted and there is no way to figure it out because it is not reported anywhere. I urge you to check your portfolio because this stuff is getting really ugly.

I've released DeepMeta v2.0.21:

  • New settings added the the Options (Windows) / Preferences (Mac) dialog: auto keyword/term and auto category selection is now optional and is off by default
  • New option added to truncate title imported from IPTC metadata to 10 words. This setting is also off by default.
  • Auto term selection for keywords is improved and less aggressive
  • Several improvements to extraction of editorial data from IPTC metadata upon import. Thanks for all helpful and detailed feedback!
  • If no errors are left after metadata import, the file status is correctly set to "To upload"

As usual, keep the reports and suggestions coming. Much appreciated!

Franky, I love this version! It works amazing for me :) It really improved my workflow and I can finally submit my editorials to iStock! :)

Thank you very much for amazing job!

You're right, it makes sense.
Though of course you should still verify the choices DeepMeta has made, as some may be wrong.
Of course, but many times your software is 100% correct, so there is not need for me to modify anything :) Good job! Please let us know when you release the next version with bug fixes, I cannot wait to test it :)

I think this weekend.
Still getting in some useful feedback through other channels, and I'll try to address them all.

(Edited to add: there is a new release today, v2.0.20, but this is just a bugfix release)
Okay, here is another feedback for you Franky :) When the new file is imported to DeepMeta, program reads the metadata and tries to set up correct fields for the image (titles, keywords, category, etc). Sometimes all of them are set by the program and status of the file become "To Edit" with no errors. So technically I should be able to move it to upload queue right away, but DeepMeta does not allow to do so. I have to manually click on every image like that to enter the Edit mode and then click OK even if I did not modify any data. Then program allows me to move file to upload queue. Can you fix it? Please make it movable to upload queue right away if there are no errors left and file is ready for upload immediately after importing.

Thanks :)

You're welcome ... you're the one who started this all ;)

I don't think it'll be too hard to add the changes you suggested. Most likely in the next release.

Thanks again for all the detailed reports. Additional ones from anyone are still welcome!
I suspect there are more special cases of country/state/province naming out there in the field...

Thank you Franky! :) When are you planning to release the next one? :)

ok thanks.
I have a new version: v2.0.19:

Addresses the problems mentioned above. Please give it a spin and report back.

Geez, Franky, you are genius! I noticed that it even selects categories for me now! Even less clicking! :) Man, you just made my day :)

It works almost perfect! I tried it on my collection and the only bug I found is when picture title is formatted with state/country field. For example, if I use:

Paris, France - circa August 2015: Clown beats a client
New York, USA - circa August 2015: Clowns beat each other

DeepMeta extract and set countries correctly (France and USA), respectively.

However, if the state is added, DeepMeta cannot extract the country name. For instance:
New York, NY/USA - circa August 2015: Clowns beat each other

will not work, because of the "NY" (state abbreviation) part. Could you please fix it?

Additional request, could you please make an option which if checked cuts title down to 10 words for every imported file to fit into iStock requirement? That would be awesome!

Thanks, you really rock man!


Adobe Stock / Re: Editorial Use Only - Can we expect it?
« on: May 05, 2016, 02:12 »
Hello Fotolia and contributors.

Editorial Use Only images are doing very well in Microstock and sales are only increasing. More and more agencies are adding the editorial use only category. Dont you think it is time for Fotolia to introduce it? It is one thing in my wishlist.....  :D :D :D

Is there somewhere maybe any clue or plan about it?
I was wondering about that too, but I guess Adobe's strategy with Fotolia might be to primarily cater to huge user base of their Creative Suite, which are probably mostly artists, photographers, graphic designers, etc. As such, they might see that they do not really have to have editorials in their collection, because the presumption is that editorials are mostly needed for news and big media. I am only speculating though.

Anyone used Pixsy (reverse image search company) to recover revenue from unauthorized image usage? I guess it would be hard to use it for microstock pictures, since it is impossible to say who actually bought the images.

Here is some more info:

11 / Re: RM question
« on: April 27, 2016, 20:44 »
an image can be either RF or RM but can't be both.
generally speaking RF can be sold on multiple sites unless the agency wants the image as exclusive.
generally speaking RM is usually just on one site so that there is total control of the image and rights granted.

Well, that is what I thought too. I know that Alamy does not accept editorial image as RM if it is already editorial RF elsewhere (SS for instance). However, according to this post (, it looks like at least one agency (Zoonar) accepts editorial images as RM even if they are already editorial RF in other agencies. So I guess it can have a different type of license depending on the site. 

12 / Re: DT has died for me
« on: April 20, 2016, 00:50 »
DT has picked up for me lately.  Sadly, it is almost as high as SS.  For me, SS is one of my low earners.
Wow, that is really interesting! If you do not mind my curiosity, which genre sells so bad on SS? I always thought SS is one of the top performers for 99% of photographers here :)

Microstock Services / Re: Zoonar rejecting editorial
« on: April 13, 2016, 22:02 »
Hi Alessandra,
your photos came in with RF.
Plesse check your License default setting at "my profile / edit profile".

Michael could you please clarify? Does it mean that we cannot sell editorial images as RF at Zoonar? If you require editorials to be RM on Zoonar, does it mean that I cannot submit editorials which are already sold as RF elsewhere (Shutterstock), for example?

Also, do I understand correctly that there is no way to instantly delete image from Zoonar if I have to? I heard people were saying that one have to wait 6 month before image can be permanently deleted from your database. Is it true? 

New Sites - General / Re: eyeem and colourbox
« on: April 13, 2016, 12:35 »
And as I understand it, that now means automatic distribution of images to Getty and Alamy. So for anyone already with Alamy that might be problematic.

Why? How?
I guess because we will be competing with ourselves on Alamy, having the same images on Eyeem and Alamy.

Selling Stock Direct / Re: Best platform to sell direct?
« on: April 13, 2016, 12:27 »
...I would suggest Symbiostock....Check out my site developed using this open source platform:

Have a nice time!

Have you sold anything through them? How are sales? Do you have to do your own marketing?

I know, I am resurrecting old tread, but I am just curious what is your current opinion on Zoonar? Are they still relevant as low but steady earner? I see from the ranking on the right that they have the same score as Bigstock (if you hover above it). BS is doing relatively decent for me, so I am debating if I should join Zoonar as well. Did they improve their attitude towards contributors? Any additional bad experiences since 2012?

General - Top Sites / Re: Alamy passed Fotolia??
« on: April 02, 2016, 15:10 »
Also, can I put something as RM on Alamy if it was previously RF in other agencies (but was removed from everywhere else except Alamy since then)?
Yes, but if it sold previously as RF, you need to make notes of that, in case the very unlikely event happens that someone wants exclusive rights and you'd need to reveal that fact. From what I've read, that's relatively very rare on Alamy, but happens sometimes.
Thank you Sue!

So what do you think, which license sells better / higher on Alamy - RF or RM? 

General - Top Sites / Re: Alamy passed Fotolia??
« on: April 01, 2016, 15:49 »
I was reading about differences between RM or RF on Alamy:

But I am still undecided about it. Let's say you can upload an image to Alamy for which you can choose either RM or RF (non-editorial). Which one would you choose? Will RM have a potential to sell more / higher than RF or vice versa?

Also, can I put something as RM on Alamy if it was previously RF in other agencies (but was removed from everywhere else except Alamy since then)?

19 / Re: Bigstock keywording format changed
« on: April 01, 2016, 02:42 »
it's still broken as of the last hours, 1 out of 8 images with correctly read keywords (uploaded via ftp). they didn't even bother replying to my message yet (sent ~6 days ago)
It has been like that for at least 3 weeks :(

20 / Re: RF Editorial coming to Alamy!
« on: March 31, 2016, 15:08 »

Just out of curiosity. Will RF Editorial still be unedited? It will be like if we choose that we dont have releases for a property or person a RF image will get automatically the status Editorial Use Only?


Hi Mirco - well, you're now veering into asking support type questions for things that are not yet live! :)

There will be an editorial only option you can select for your RF photos on Alamy - as far as that being automatically assigned etc, that would be logical and is in our plans for testing but I can't confirm that things will work exactly in this way just yet until we've finalised everything.

We appreciate your patience.


James A
James, thanks for the information! Can you tell us when is approximate ETA of new contributor keywording tools/upload system (someone mentioned earlier in other thread) and arrival of RF Editorials?

21 / Re: Bigstock does not read IPTC correctly
« on: March 31, 2016, 14:53 »
After the last cosmetic changes to the Bigstock site I have numerous issues with the IPTC data.
A great part of the files uploaded through ftp lose the IPTC (Title, Description)

I have sent some emails to Bigstock but they continue to ignore the real problem, sending me (copy and past) instructions about how to upload the files (I did this for years and I am almost sure that I have understood what to do)
The worst thing - it is completely random. I was trying to upload same files several times (deleting and uploading them again) and sometimes they are imported with IPTC, sometimes without. I could not find any pattern, it just happens to 30-40% of files randomly.

22 / Re: Bigstock keywording format changed
« on: March 31, 2016, 14:51 »
Chichikov emailed them a week ago, so don't know how they can say they didn't know,  and it's still broken. As I said, I haven't gotten a response from their support team in years. Today 50% of images imported wrong.

Still broken this morning now 6 out of 8 images without keywords, and worse there seems to be JS issues (or something) with the editor ligthbox, if I paste keywords in manually and click save they are not there when I go and edit the image again - hence this morning I can't even add the info and submit manually!

I'm also awaiting a response to a support request.

I have sent various emails and they continued to send me stupid copy and paste answers having nothing to do with our problem.
So I sent them a "less courteous" one and they finally answered that "we are aware that there is an overall issue going on and it has been reported to our Tech team"
So why they did not answered me that to my first email and make me lose my time??

I have also opened a specific thread for this problem:

Yeah, I wrote to their support too and just like you said, they sent me canned answer which did not have anything to do with the problem described. Hopefully it will get fixed soon, it is very frustrating.

You won't get a coherent explanation but the bottom line is that they can and will sell deactivated images.
This is so horrible and unprofessional! Is there any way to completely remove the images from iStock, not just deactivate them? 

Weirdly enough they do appear to read IPTC, as it seems to heavily influence the keyword suggestions they are giving. They don't outright import IPTC though, making the result pretty much the same as if they had no IPTC implementation at all.
That is weird. I guess that means they are not interested in attracting dedicated photographers as their contributors. Otherwise I do not see how one can add sizeable portfolio without necessity of manually keywording every single image.

Sold my first mobile phone photo for $2.  Used a few sites but had no luck in over 6 months, so I will have to upload a lot more images.
Congratulations! Is it possible / makes sense to upload DSLR pictures to Twenty20? Will they sell? :)
I don't see the point in doing that, I already have enough places to sell DSLR photos.
They (Twenty20) also seem not to read IPTC information from files after upload :( Do you keyword your files manually after uploading?

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