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Messages - swisschocolate

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I find my work used in all kinds of places, some major publications. Yes a Shutterstock image, at least once, has been a magazine cover, such as on Time. But that's not what he's writing about.

I wasn't replying to what he was writing :) I was replying to your statement: "A serious buyer with serious money, isn't going to come to even the top agencies as a regular source for images."

It is just not true.

We are missing out on the higher value contracts, and being underpaid to do that.

I'm not missing out on any contracts and all the headache they would bring to my life. I hate being hired and I feel happy and lucky I've found stock.

Let those "known professionals" deal with that. If they like it. I would never ever want to do what they do.

I understand what you're saying. But I don't understand why there is such awe for "real pro photographers", while devaluing stock photographers.
These are two different worlds and each one with its own rules.

But don't expect the enterprise-level photo publishing business to come to Microstock for their images. They will keep sourcing from known professionals.
And here we go again... I just said that I constantly find stock images used by them for a decade and you keep saying they don't use it and never will.

Sorry, but it's impossible to discuss something that is just so far from the reality.

A serious buyer with serious money, isn't going to come to even the top agencies as a regular source for images.

Who is a serious buyer for you? :)

For years I find my images used by global brands and publishers, like Vogue, Cosmopolitan, Nivea, ELLE, Danone, found images in Hollywood tv shows, etc.

They don't use stock for their commercials obviously, but for other purposes they are the main clients in the industry (in my experience). This is for whom "Premium Access" and other special deals were invented, agencies fight for them offering the best deals, because they have a huge continuous daily volume of demand.

"Why is the passive capture of digital image files important? Because the commercial class of pro photographers categorically refuses to contribute their valuable assets to the stock photo pipeline, let alone to do so proactively."

They were paid for their work already and they rarely have rights to upload it to stock, since it was exclusive for the client. And even if they can, there is no garantee that their "valuable assets" would sell. Making work for a specific client isn't the same as making stock for a broad range of different customers.

I create images just for stock and wouldn't exchange it for client's work. I want to shoot and sell what I want, not what some brief told me to do.

These are two different styles of work and philosophies behind it and absolutely different markets.
And that's why they don't intersect. (And I hope never will.) Which is a great thing :)

General Stock Discussion / Re: Fair Royalty Split
« on: April 04, 2019, 12:41 »
Controlled and documented, removed from the circulation when license expires and having an optional exclusivity as RM license offers.

How it can be "controlled and documented" if it's non-exclusive and can be licensed by other RM agencies?

Can you image the accumulated debt of an agency with this business model before they even get to the market?

It seems to be a classic business model. They buy wholesale and then try to sell with no garantees that it will ever work. Not suggesting you to start like this :) Just a thought that this is how business usually works.

As I remember Depositphotos was paying upfront to contributors, so it's not new in microstock either.

I'm not saying that.  If lots of people move to a higher paying site then other sites will pay more to stop losing content, a race to the top instead of a race to the bottom.

Or they will turn into "free generous communities" and start making money with advertising and that will be the end of story :D

I understand what you're saying. It just doesn't seem possible to predict, organize and execute without risk of losing it all. Risks are too high to try even for me (and I'm not a business (yet, maybe :D) with hundreds of thousands images).

I don't follow.  If everyone chose to put their work on the highest paying sites then the lower paying sites would go out of business.  For the most part they don't own any of the supply, we do.

In theory. It really sounds great.

But you can't have one perfect store where every customer would be happy to shop forever and the management won't go crazy next month for whatever reasons.

It's an utopia.

You do?  I thought you said there was no race to the bottom.

I agree with the logic of what you're saying, it should work like that, but practically I don't know where IS spends those money :D because it doesn't help them. And they sell at 15% for few years already, other big agencies didn't follow it.

I can't compare RPD etc, because I was exclusive, so my old images sell for higher prices there. But seeing the dynamic of my fresh new portfolios on other sites, I expect IS being just a few % of total income in the future.


You did just say that the lower the royalty rate for us the better the agencies can market.  Prices and royalty rates matter and both are the reason there is a race to the bottom.

Yes, I agree with you.

A long but interesting take on the state of photography


Thanks for the reminder, read this article a while ago and it was very insightful.
But as I understand, the author suggestion is to build one mega agency which will include all photography content that exists...

"There cant be three Facebooks or six Googles. Those companies became institutions because, ultimately, there remained only one of each in its class. Right now, there is no go-to platform, no home for the worldwide community of commercial photographers and publishers to congregate."

Having one entity to control it all, sounds like Getty's dream come true :D It can lead to a total lose of control.

Point is that our competitors, other contributors, choose to sell at 15%. I can't compete with that.

Yes, but you don't compete on %, but on final price of the product. If you mean IS, then, as I remember, their subscription is more expensive for a customer than SS.

Agencies and buyers are not the problem, it's contributors who undervalue their work, they could sell at 50% at a reasonable price, but they choose not to.

We all can choose to sell at 90-100% at our own shops. Why do we choose not to? And are you sure you will be able to sell with even 30% profit after all the business expenses?

Maybe the reason why there is no sales at 50% sites is because they don't have enough money for a good marketing?

Probably will never see a sale agin but I don't really care.

Would be great, if people with such attitude would add this line every time when they make their decision public :)

Here is a lot of newbies who can look up to them as authorities and will follow the same action, not knowing that the advice was actually: "How to try hard not to make money on microstock" and then as a result complain about bad earnings and race to the bottom stuff.

Picfair allows to set own prices and set your own shop for 5/month (with own domain) + their marketplace, and they have some inspection as I understand - haven't tried to send them copyrighted stuff :) so don't know how good it is.

And there is no sales so far 8) since I don't promote it.

"Moderation process"

Adobe Stock / Re: Change to sales notification email
« on: April 03, 2019, 04:09 »
Go to Insights, My Statistics, select data type Earnings, select Display daily.

Thanks a lot! :D

Adobe Stock / Re: Change to sales notification email
« on: April 03, 2019, 01:03 »
Is there a way to see full amount made per day without summary email, but on the website?
Now I see the only way is to make the sum, calculating sales one by one...? Am I missing something?

123RF / Re: Photos are waiting from november
« on: April 03, 2019, 00:07 »
I contact their support every month or after every big enough upload I make and then they review it in a couple of days.
So it became a new regular workflow: upload and send an email :)

Wondering why they don't have a normal queue.

Adobe Stock / Re: Adobe Terms
« on: April 02, 2019, 23:49 »
I can almost guarantee this is a reaction to Pond5. This is actually a positive step if they are noticing Pond5! Now everyone needs to pay 60%!

I'm surprised you have so much faith in one agency. Hopefully your relationship never sours, because otherwise you are s.o.l...

No, he doesn't delete his clips and also is ready to upload new ones everywhere in 1-2 years if it doesn't work. He just encourages others to delete theirs... :-\
(Sorry, John, with all respect, it just looks so.)

Here is a July 2016 version of the terms and the 90 day restriction is there, so it's not new. Still looking to see what other versions I can locate


And here's a PDF of the new terms (easier to read than in that minuscule box presented when we try to access our account information)


I really think Mat needs to explain to us what the changes were from the prior version and why we're now being asked to acknowledge our agreement.

Thanks for the pdf link! I wasn't able to find it there.
Yes, it would be great if Mat would explain it to us :)

The original post and the N1 "suggestion" is:

How will this be enforced
  • By moving out of agencies that aid the race to the bottom. I'm sure not everyone will move out, but if we can pull enough quality content from there then the users are sure to follow.

So I had no idea to which part of it you were replying then.

It's not the fact that the majority is in a "miserable financial position"...
There are teams working in the industry full time that have big expenses and somehow manage to do it.
It wouldn't be possible otherwise.

Why not improve things? That's what the original initiative is all about, and that's what we should really focus on.

I fully agree :)
If it means to build something new and better instead of killing portfolios and years of work - it's all wonderful and I'd be ready to participate with time and money in it.

There is room for a Stocksy style coop for the common folk.  Stocksy has done a great job of creating an artsy boutique agency... a larger big tent coop could also succeed. 

Yes, Stocksy is a great example of a union :)

And how it would work for a big coop? Every photographer would own a share of the company? Board members?

Right, we dont need you, nor an IT, SEO, accountant, customer support, marketing, social media and advertising speacialists.
We can do it all by ourselves! What a wonderful world :)

Even updating those free plugins by third parties when the next WP update comes out can become a nightmare.

Please, dont make it seem so unrealistically easy, because its not.

It can be done!
But I want to do photography and videography :)

(at least those who have the guts to do it)
Regrettably though due to lack of interest the subject drifted away, but that's not of my doing, sorry.

Thanks for the reminder that we have no guts :D Very nice of you.

And when I raised practical questions about "the subject", btw, not expecting you to answer, because my guess was that you don't have those answers.
It came out that you have them, but to get them I should go to your website and spend time there figuring out where are they hidden.

Maybe 10 years ago you could open a shop in internet and make a portal of it, and do whatever you want.

But now it takes much more legal work:
I live in European Union and it is practically impossible (without tools like Shopify) to track VAT transactions for every sale from every country, because % changes by customer's location. And keep all the info about transactions/customers for few years, in the meantime being complied with GDPR, etc. And all the tax work that follows it - you can't do it without an accountant.

I'm not even talking about customer service, which you think isn't necessary for doing business...

Agencies are there for a reason. If you do your business legally and expect more than few sales, you'll realise how much work agencies do actually.

Since we are allowed - AFAIK - with an extended licence for example on istockphoto to use these images on products for resale (mugs, T-shirts etc.) and also Electronic templates for resale: website template, brochure design template, e-greeting cards, etc.
I thought it was allowed but maybe i was wrong..

Yes, it would be possible if at the same time they wouldn't have this rule:

"You must own or control the copyright to all content you submit"

Copyright ownership and license for resale aren't the same.

Btw, they also say this:

"Public domain content cannot be submitted under any circumstances. If you do not have complete rights to the content, you may not submit it."

Have no idea why they accept it then :)

Maybe those that were fooled by iStock in the past, and still supporting them, aren't the opinions anyone should take seriously. You obviously couldn't make good judgements then, why should anyone think you could now?

I was following "your" advice back then actually :D To stop "supporting penny sites" and go with the agency that "pays fair".

Here we are now, you're blaming me in making the wrong decision :D

Me too ::) Thought I read it wrong :)

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