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Topics - SuperPhoto

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In the spirit of fun & all the "Good News!" e-mails various contributor sites have been sending recently, I thought - wouldn't it be fun to create a 100% "Good News!" site, that is 100% "Good News!" all the time?

Basic premise is, site gets 100% of the profits, contributor gets 0%. You do all the work, site gets all the profit! That way, it's ALWAYS "Good News!" :)

Thoughts? Yes/No? Do you like it? :)

General Stock Discussion / ---------------------
« on: March 21, 2019, 15:04 »

General Stock Discussion / Pond5 "Good News"!
« on: March 14, 2019, 09:33 »
Just got an e-mail saying there is a change coming to the contributor agreement coming... hope it really is "good news"...

Title says it all. I'm genuinely interested in figuring out how can I make $150k/year from stock photos/videos?

It's fun to do - now I'd like to figure out how to reach those numbers. Figured I may as well ask in case anyone has some good ideas. Ideas/suggestions?

Perhaps - hypothetically - imagine you personally *were* currently making $150k/year from microstock. What would you have to be doing to acheive that?


Adobe Stock / questions for mat/adobestock
« on: March 01, 2019, 00:03 »
Hi Mat -

Assuming you may get a lot of PM's (sent a PM a few weeks ago never heard back)., so please reply to this message, thanks!

1. Could you please send a request to the dev team to be able to update keywords for "approved" videos/images via .csv? Didn't realize order was important, and it's extremely time consuming to manually use the drag/drop interface to try out different keyword orders for something that may or may not result in any extra sales. If I can edit via .csv, MUCH much more efficient!

Should be an extremely easy thing to code (i.e., less than 2 minutes code wise because most likely just a flag in your DB, but if you do a bunch of testing, etc at most a day. Really only an hour, but giving extra time here).

2. How are video sales on adobestock? I have a bunch of approved videos with no sales as of yet, so not sure if it is because of the keyword combinations/ordering, or if it is just because of low video sales (and then realizing adobestock may be more of an 'image' stock site).

Thanks very much!

General Stock Discussion / video splicer suggestions
« on: February 27, 2019, 16:50 »

Please recommend a good video 'splicer'. I just want to be able to import a clip (say 1 minute long) - and then pick the start/end locations and split it creating a new output clip. I don't want it to actually "re-process/re-export" the video (i.e., which can take 1-2 minutes) - but rather it just resets the start/end markers and outputs a new clip in a few seconds.

The one I currently use doesn't really work for all videos (in that it doesn't set the start/end positions correctly) so I am looking for a new one.


Hi -

If you have sold anything at envato over the last few years, and either have a withholding tax applied to your sales, or didn't fill in their tax form - you might want to double check that you haven't been doubletaxed. You could be owed a lot of back money from envato, because there are accounts that have been doubletaxed.

Taxes are "supposed" to be calculated on the "net" amount paid out to you. Instead, for some of these accounts, envato has been calculating taxes on the 'gross' amount after they take their commission, which could be meaning you are owed a lot of back money from them.

I.e., for simplicity, let's say you have a $100 item, and (for illustration) say envato's commission was 50% (with their $3). And let's use the 30% withholding tax rate that was used for several years with with no tax form/tax treaty/etc.

Proper calculation:

$100 net sale  - $3 commission - $100 * 50% commission - (net amount of sale: $100-$3-$50 = $47 * 30% =) $14.1 withholding tax

= $100 - $3 - $50 - $14.1
= $32.90 payable to you.

What envato has been doing for some accounts:

$100 net sale  - $3 commission - $100 * 50% commission - (gross amount of sale: $100 * 30% =) $30 withholding tax

= $100 - $3 - $50 - $30
= $17 that "was" paid to you (so envato still owes you $15.90, but instead kept it for themselves).

(i.e., if hypothetically envato took a 100% commission - then they would actually be telling you 'owe' them money for each sale generated, i.e., $100 - $3 - $100 (100%) - $100 * 30% = -$33 - i.e., $33 they would say 'you' owe them in taxes, and they would never pay you anything).

They have been incorrectly calculating the withholding tax over a long time for some accounts, so you could actually be owed
a lot of money. You should doublecheck to make sure you haven't been doubletaxed, and if you have, you should contact them
to make sure you are paid any back money.

Hope that helps some people here.

General Stock Discussion / adobestock keywords?
« on: February 10, 2019, 23:48 »
How important are 'organizing' your keywords in adobestock for ranking? I didn't realize it seems they have an "order" of keywords (if you have them listed alphabetically, you'll actually get a warning message asking if you really meant for them to be alphabetical).

How much difference does it make to get a sale?

General Stock Discussion / Alamy "good news"!
« on: December 04, 2018, 08:39 »
Seen so many of these threads, figured I may as well start one :)

Apparently some "good news" from Alamy everyone should be happy about! Commissions going from 50% to 40%! YAY!

Comment below.

I know it might not seem like much (since I've mainly focused on videos).

But, recently decided to upload some of my images as well.

Currently I have a HUGE image portfolio of a grand whopping total of about 50 images :) Which, probably only took me about 20 hours to curate, edit, keyword, etc... so (at the moment) my 'effective' salary for images is about $0.02/hour...

BUT... it's still pretty cool the idea of having made a sale from an image I took! (I suppose I am thinking the 'super' amazing thing is that... with the "2 million images uploaded" this week thing from shutterstock, mine happened to be one of the ones that was purchased (via subscription). And I didn't have to upload 50,000 variations of the same thing to get that...!

Now I just need to figure out how to multiply that number by about 1,000,000 per month... and I'll be set! :)

General Stock Discussion / what are good video stock sites?
« on: November 01, 2018, 01:22 »
I've read a few people say the poll on the right isn't really represenative of what is 'good' nowadays.

What do you recommend for video? I'm assuming obviously Pond5, Shutterstock, Adobe, & Videoblocks... Envato if you can get on the "good" side of a reviewer who doesn't view you as competition and just reject all your submissions... Any others?

General Stock Discussion / shutterstock earnings question
« on: October 12, 2018, 23:58 »
So... thinking of uploading to shutterstock...

Then took a look at a few numbers, did some math, and then noticed a few posts talking about 'spammy' portfolios (i.e., 1000 pictures of a pair of shoes, from 0-360 degrees in 0.3 degree increments, etc)...

If my math is correct, it seems on 'average' right now you'd need to have a portfolio size of about 10,000 images to 'make' about $600/year? Does that sound right? (Of course, I realize there would be outliers on both sides), but that seems to the case?

Any agreements/disagreements?

General Stock Discussion / shutterstock questions
« on: September 21, 2018, 14:05 »
Just recently started on shutterstock, a couple questions:

a) Is there a way to easily view your 'video' portfolio? It seems they have something for images, but nothing for video.
b) Uploaded some videos last month, didn't get around to tagging/keywording them now - but noticed I can't find them. Does shutterstock have a timeframe that you need to keyword/tag/submit your videos/images/etc or they just automatically delete them?


Aside from VB/SB taking 50% of commissions now (from as far as I can tell no additional marketing effort) - I have noticed they have gotten *extremely* picky on new content they are accepting. (And sometimes the reasons aren't really legitimate - i.e., you might have a shot where it makes sense to have it slightly defocused - i.e., artistic merit - but instead, it's like they are just going down a checklist, and if there is any blur, an automatic rejection).

While of course I make sure I have good video footage, just surprised at % of rejections now.

Has anyone else noticed the same thing? (Also, I haven't yet noticed any increase in sales, if anything, a slightly decrease. Not that I was getting that much from them to start with, just...)


People that are established on envato are probably pretty happy. Reduced competition with the new uploading process. But it seems envato has been doing that for the past year (from deleting 100's of items on the queue with their old cumbersome interface, to a 'six month' waiting time (which, of course would probably be extended seeing as how they do business).

Any comments on what to do if you've been blocked from uploading?

General Stock Discussion / How?
« on: July 19, 2018, 01:37 »
How could you market your "own" site to make sales? (Whether video or images)

I read (and agree to an extent) about people being upset about other microstock sites cutting commissions, lowering prices, etc, etc... So... how could you market your own site & make sales? (Most recent being videoblocks - which I totally agree is wrong for them to go back on their word. They "promised" 100% commissions "forever" - so they should have figured out a way to stand by that... because by going back on their word - it now means nothing. Nothing to stop them from "deciding" to say go to 25%, 10%, 5% etc in the future. Plus, they were very non-specific in their "marketing" efforts... so in essence, their e-mail is

Videoblocks (in essence/paraphrasing) e-mail: "Thanks for uploading your videos, giving us data on which clips sell - so we could buy those dirt cheap from you and build our membership library and grow that hard. However, we've now decided that we also want to get any marginal revenue left over, and don't feel like paying for clips even more at the dirt cheap prices we did... so - if your clips on our site that we benefit from SEO where you did all the work keyword, titling, etc make a sale, we've decided we are going to take 50% of those earnings too... If we get around to doing some extra marketing for you, great. If not, well, we've decided we just want to take 50%".

So... If you paid for hosting, I think you could get away with about $30/month. (Would you pay it? And would you pay for the extra cost as you scaled up, i.e., storage space/bandwidth, etc, so maybe $100/month for say 5,000 videos? Do you even 5,000 videos?)

That seems to be a logical alternative.

The big sites seem to have economies of scale (which simply means they are so big, they get a lot of traffic/buyers - so it is "easy" for them to make sales). So, you as a little guy with maybe 1,000 videos may find it hard pressed to go head to head with say a site like videoblocks that has 1,000,000 videos in their library.

So... if you did make your own site, upload your own videos, showcase your own work, take care of your own payments, etc... how could you effectively market/find those buyers, to not only cover your costs, but make sales too?

I think this would be a good discussion.

General Stock Discussion / do you audit your agencies?
« on: May 12, 2018, 23:26 »

Do you audit the agencies you submit to? In most cases - you have to take their word for how many sales you get, etc, because there are no type of 3rd party analytics you can use on those sites.

So do you ever say have yourself or a friend place an order for an image or video, to see whether you actually get credit for that sale? (In other words, if you do a random test - and you get a sale, chances are the agency is legit. But if you do a random test - and nothing shows up - maybe you aren't getting credited with everything?)

General Stock Discussion / so... pond5 sales??
« on: May 11, 2018, 22:18 »
OKay, I may be relatively new to pond5... only there about a month... portfolio size of several thousand videos... how long should it take to start seeing sales? Right now, just looking at '0'...

Some people were wondering how this would work, this is how I see it, how about you?

Basically, with this system, assuming a 'better' case scenario, it looks like the founders will become very rich. You, as a photographer, if you get on the ground floor *and* it takes off, will make "some" money (probably better than you are right now) - but it really makes the founders rich.

a) 23% of the coins are reserved for the founders. At the current capitalization (20 cents), that would be about 6 million. However, they are hoping it takes off, like ETH/BTC, etc - so a coin would 'eventually' be worth $200-$300. (So that 6 million is now worth 6 billion. Split up amonst the team members (22), assuming everyone got an even cut (unlikely, but lets say it was that), thats about 270 million/investor.

b) Another 15% is taken for every transaction (buy/sell/buy/sell/buy/sell). If they got a 5% daily trading volume (seems reasonable looking at current crypto charts), that would be 6.75 million coins, and if it was $200 a coin, that would be $675 million/day, in pure "profit". (or 24 billion/year). Split amonst 22 employees/founders (again, assuming it was even), thats about $1 billion/employee per year for basically doing nothing, especially because the system is 'distributed' (i.e., doesn't really cost them anything to maintain).

c) You, as the photographer, might feel you "got" rich if you were on the ground floor (i.e., sold some cheap $0.20 images now, & kept the coins). Likely, you might say get 100-200 sales  (so 200 coins * $200 = $40,000). Maybe you get 2000 sales. Then that's $400k. You'd "feel" good thinking you were rich. (relatively speaking, for very little effort, $40k isn't bad. And $400k of course is a bit better. Definitely nothing like 1 billion, but you could buy a new car, whereas they could buy a city).

That's a "better" case scenario...

Thing is...

a) If it takes off, other people will copy them. It's not really that hard to make a bitcoin blockchain like they have. Granted - they'll have the first mover advantage - but... really depends if they rich critical mass or not. If they don't, it will be very easy for other people to undercut them at say at 10% cut, or 5% cut, etc, etc... (until eventually it gets to say 1%, or 0.01%, etc).
The founders will still make a healthy profit, but - the size of their profit will depend pretty much on how much of the market they were able to capture first. (Probably part of the reason they are doing the '500 "royalty free" image promo).

So very quickly that 15% "cut" won't be attractive anymore, because someone else is offering a "10%" cut, or "5%" cut, etc, etc.

b) There is NO privacy. Aside from the fact they are a relatively unknown company, demanding id verification/etc - and then 'tagging' each image you upload with your details (making it potentially ripe for identity theft, etc)... You'll have customers that become very wary very quickly if they really want "everyone" knowing what types of images/videos/etc they are purchasing... (i.e., lets say a married guy 'purchases' 2000 lingerie images of various women, then realizes his name/info & complete portfolio is available for the world to see). Would have some explaining to do to his wife...

c) The big guys WILL protect their turf VERY aggressively - especially if these guys start getting the "aggressive" growth they are going for. Shutterstock is already starting to that (granted, "late" to the game with the $1.50 "subscriptions" sales people are complaining about) - but - they are getting on it.

So what will happen?

The first people that upload, I do think will make (relatively speaking) significant sales in the first year (just be aware though you will have absolutely *no* privacy associated with your images (imagine your name and face is tagged with every single image you sent), nor will you have *any* privacy in terms of how much $ you are making. If you are fine/comfortable doing that, then go ahead).

I think if they have the right launch strategy - it will be "possible" that the coin within the next 2 years gets to about $10. Definitely not $200 or even $2000, but still enough to make the founders very rich. (So, not 270 million/founder, but 27 million within a year about $100 million/year for doing nothing. Still "not bad"). But as soon as it starts making some waves, you'll very quickly have copycats. (In fact - reading this thread - I don't believe they were the first one to have this idea - wasn't there someone else here that was talking about that?)

If you as a photographer actually start making a "significant" amount of money (for some people, even $200-$300 is "significant", so you haven't even reached $40k) - VERY very quickly "everyone" else will start flooding the system uploading content/etc, so its harder for you to make sales, etc.

And then I think there will be some news stories talking about people's privacy/etc being compromised, people will "sell off" their coin for fear of losing value. You'll also get market manipulation as some people discover how to manipulate the system to get rich (not much different from the stock market in the 1900's, except now this is all digital).

So... I think you'll see a spike at the launch, a spike probably 3-4 months after that, and then as other people catch on (competitors, agencies, etc) - it will very quickly die down, and maybe settle on $3-$4 a coin. So, if you want to "get rich" (i.e., "maybe" $20-$40k within a year), are comfortable with no privacy, then it would probably be a good idea to upload your portfolio now, and then maybe sell whatever coins you have within 6-7 months before the price drops (mind you - I think I read somewhere that they said they would not allow cash outs until that was implemented 'within a year'. So maybe wait 2-3 months after cashouts become a possibility).

I think for the founders, its a great model if they can sell it. It will make them rich for relatively little effort.

So we'll see.

General Stock Discussion / please delete, thanks!
« on: April 06, 2018, 23:02 »
please delete, thanks! (doesn't seem to be any way to edit/delete a thread), thanks!

From what I've read, and from what I've seen, more and more stock agencies are going the subscription route.

For the companies, it's a great model. If you need to expand your library to make it more valuable, just pay a low 1-time fee to authors who are usually willing to accept anything, but then re-sell that same content over & over through subscriptions. And continually make money through subscriptions. The more content you have, the more attractive it becomes to a client to sign up for a subscription.

For the authors - not so great. Eventually, it seems the library of clips would become so large - that people would only purchase a clip if it was a very specific unique clip that they couldn't find in the library. Before, if there were only 1000 clips in a library, likelihood of making a sale is very high. But if you have a library of 1 million clips, chances of you not finding what you want pretty small - unless it is a very specific clip that you want and can't find anywhere else.

So...... my question is... seeing as that appears to be the trend (more money to subscription based companies, less to authors), what would you do to adapt/continue to make sales, and or more sales in the future?

I want to create a shutterstock account, but they want a COMPLETE uncovered/unredacted passport and/or drivers license (meaning you can't blank out any numbers, etc), which I am totally uncomfortable with sending through internet, and giving a copy to someone else - because of the potential for identity theft, etc.. (Especially when you hear about major data breaches, i.e., equifax, who is much, much larger than shutterstock - so if they can be hacked, so can shutterstock).

I have no problem sending my id with certain #'s covered up, but they don't want that - they want the *complete* ID, even though on their webpage they only say they need to verify your name, birthdate, & expiry date.

Does anyone know someone at shutterstock that I could contact, to perhaps either verify my id in person, or some other alternative means? I've tried talking to the support, but I believe it is outsourced because I get a response in broken english, that doesn't really seem to understand/answer my question.

If you want to PM me, that is okay too.

Thanks for your help!

Read the other post, didn't want mine to get lost in it seeing as it is slightly different...

I see both pros and cons to sites like unsplash... While of course I don't particularly care for the additional competition (and don't currently give photos/etc away for free, but may have to re-think some stuff)... I've seen a few posts where people don't "get" how other people can benefit from giving away their work for free...

Pros to "free" sites like unsplash:

a) "Exposure". Just getting exposure for exposures sake of course won't get you anywhere, other than bragging rights. But 'smart' people use it kind of like a "sample" - the same way you go to the store and they give you free cookies. Of course, they don't want you to just sit there and eat boxes and boxes of cookies (which, some people do - they go to costco to have a 'free' lunch). But those people (at least right now) tend to be the minority, and a lot of people will go "hmm, I like those cookies" then buy a box, maybe another, and it becomes a new habit. The same way with photography.

So if you have whats called a sales funnel set up correctly, you can benefit from the "exposure". Most don't. But you can. It's not really too much different from how people give away "free" videos on youtube, but then monetize it through advertising (although google is the big winner there), etc, etc.

So "exposure" does have value - IF it is used correctly.

b) "The lottery ticket". - Most people are REALLY bad at math. That's why lotteries keep selling tickets, and casinos keep on getting people coming. Yes - there will be winners, but for most, no. The woman from Utah - if indeed she has had "Over 7 MILLION" downloads, etc, etc - first of all, good for her - but second she's the exception, not the rule. If she was indeed the first (or one of the first) to sign up on unsplash - then yes, I can see how she would be benefitting massively. EVERY time someone "new" signed up - they checked out her stuff first. The more "looks" she got, the more popular she becamse, and it snowballed, until she was #1. Not necessarily because her stuff is "good" (took a look and meh, it's "okay", some of it is nice, but the rest, well... it's a very specific style that some people like) - but she happened to be one of the first people there. So she benefitted. Just like other industries like bitcoin, etc. If you got in on bitcoin, etc 'first' - you'd be laughing right now. But if you are trying to "get rich" now on bitcoin, good luck.

But if you are one of the first ones - then yes, you can be a lottery ticket winner.


a) Legality of Model releases, etc. This in some ways is only an issue if people sue/complain/etc. If no one complains, then it is really a mute point. Long term I think enough people will start complaining and unsplash will 'clean up' their act.  But that will only happen when they become super popular.

But by that time, the owner will be laughing all the way to the bank, because he will have sold the business to someone else to make it someone elses problem. Then they'll just simply post a notice saying "we'll respond to dmca notices", monetize it through ad revenue, etc, etc.

b) Affecting microstock. Yes & no. Yes for popular/easy shots. No for the not so popular shots (I agree with what someone else posted, i.e., like pictures of your toilet, or a proper business meeting, etc, etc).


I think the free sites will stick around (unsplash is certainly not the first. It may be one of the most recent however). I think 123RF actually 'used' to be "free" stock a long time ago (i.e., 10-15 years ago? or maybe I am thinking of someone else?), then became a paid site. So I think unsplash will probably do something similar. It's not really that original, just copying a few concepts from a few different sites that worked, and pasting it together.

But there will still be a market for 'paid' work, because some people don't want to deal with the potential hassle of a lawsuit (i.e., model releases), and like to go through the 'proper' channels to make sure everything is nice and neat. And some people LIKE professionally framed shots, proper lighting, or the ability to pick from 20 variations of a specific theme instead of having to settle on 'one' specific image.

The expression, the more things change, the more they stay the same, is really quite true.

Question -

I know some people said DP is going down the tubes/doesn't really pay out any more - still, I'd like to make an account. Been trying for the last 6 months, and it's been a complete, utter waste of time. I don't believe I will ever purchase from them again.

Yet - no matter what "exam" files I pass (stuff I know sells, everything from drone, to motion graphics, etc) - I always get the message:
"File id: xxxxxxxx Reason: The image is not suitable for commercial use.

Trying to talk to their support, either chat online, by phone is 100% useless. It seems they cannot deviate at all from a very basic script. And from what I can tell, the support is outsourced to work at home people, who absolutely refuse to pass on any request for anything. You only have one channel, through them - and if it is not on the list of 3 questions they can answer, they absolutely refuse to help.

So then you get locked into this 15 day cycle (10 day to 'wait' to re-try the exam, then 5 days to get around to viewing it, only to reject it again).

So. Does anyone have any idea how to get in contact with someone there that actually makes decisions and cares?


Newbie Discussion / please explain the 123rf pricing tier?
« on: January 22, 2018, 19:40 »
I'm trying to figure this out... does 123RF set the prices? If so - where does it state that?
I'm uploading video footage - and it wants me to select a tier of 1, 2, or 3... not sure which to select...

Also... any suggestion of which may be better/get more traction?


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