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Messages - Elenathewise

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201
Regardless of royalties - the site is so buggy and slow, how do you guys even use it? I played around with it a bit, and it either freezes on me after I spend 15 minutes creating a series of products, or crashes, or some products or categories just disappear into thin air... it takes at least a few days to update my "store", so I can never be sure what I've done already... tons of time wasted! should have concentrated on FAA - at least the uploads there are straightforward.

202
Congrats Steve - nice portfolio! Might take a while to get to 10K  though  ;)
And thanks for sharing your stats!

203
I don't have time to read all 10 pages but I support what Leaf is proposing. Tayler, please go ahead and implement this - and if some people rather not post than stand behind their own words, good riddance.

204
iStockPhoto.com / Re: yuri arcurs is IS exclusive
« on: May 23, 2013, 09:54 »
I am curious - since Yuri's port is not available on SS anymore, did anyone who works in the same style see any increase in sales? Or the effect is negligible? My search for "business people" there turned up 900,356 results... hmm I guess I have my answer then:) 

205
iStockPhoto.com / Re: yuri arcurs is IS exclusive
« on: May 21, 2013, 17:39 »
I must admit I haven't read all 14 pages of this thread:) so forgive me if I am repeating what was said already. I remember Yuri was looking into exclusivity for a long time, he just didn't like the terms the agencies were willing to offer. I guess finally he got what he was looking for. Plus a few months ago he reported some legal trouble with certain eyewear company. From what I heard, if you're exclusive with Getty, they take care of things like that for you. So really it makes a lot of sense - instead of paying his own lawyers and technical stuff to upload images to many agencies he can cut costs and extra work and trouble and concentrate on whatever's next in his life. Yes it does mean having all eggs in one basket, but if I am sure he has a lot of padding now in case of any trouble.

206
I bet if you just took a gray eye-dropper in Camera Raw and sample the white on the ferry (that would adjust the overall color balance) they would accept the image. Right now it has a definite blue cast, even if the orange in the sky is confusing things a bit. If you want to brighten up the ferry and tone down the sky, it all can be done easily with PS (adjust levels and do some simple masking). I wouldn't crop it since in my experience ad agencies and publishers prefer more copy space than less - they can always crop it themselves. I've been asked many times if there is a version of some of my images with more copy space.
That would be my advice to get the image accepted. In reality though, things do look blue in the evening:)
You can PM me directly if you need more help with this.

207

I think you are wrong.  I think he's saying that some of his images go to different places not that every image goes to every place.


I am not wrong - I do know how this collections work, I have some of my images with one of them. It's always been like that. What's new here is that they are submitting their content to microstock now, and it looks like, at least in case of SS, at micro prices.

I guess I'm misunderstanding you then, you are saying Blend has the exact same images on Shutterstock and Istock and Getty RF and Getty RM?  I've done a few searches of Blend on Istock and Shutterstock and haven't found the same image on both sites before.


http://www.gettyimages.ca/detail/photo/young-woman-sitting-in-a-giant-flower-royalty-free-image/57532180

http://www.shutterstock.com/pic.mhtml?id=99981500

Of course they don't sell RM on SS. Not yet:)

208

I think you are wrong.  I think he's saying that some of his images go to different places not that every image goes to every place.

I am not wrong - I do know how this collections work, I have some of my images with one of them. It's always been like that. What's new here is that they are submitting their content to microstock now, and it looks like, at least in case of SS, at micro prices.

209
Blend_Images go to the Agency collection on Istock.
So, more non-exclusive 'exclusives'?
Or are they 'image-exclusive' for iStock's Agency?
I don't know what deal they got but I think they are at least image exclusive within Getty, you would have to dig a bit deeper to see exactly what that means.

Nope, they are just exclusive for Blend Images. They sell the same images on Getty, Corbis, and others (see original post), including Istock Agency collection. If you submit directly to Getty, you have to be exclusive to Getty. If you submit to Blend or other "collections" like that, you don't have to be exclusive to Getty. There are rules, and then there are some other rules:)
I think the reason Getty allows them to do that is that they can track RM and rights sales across their distributor chain. And of course if you sell through them you get only a percentage from your Getty (or any other) sales.

210
and i wonder who's still buying at Masterfile and Superstock by the way, suprised they're still in business.
Me too! I have some images with both and, if one to judge by the royalties, they are barely surviving.

211
They are in standard collection at SS: http://www.shutterstock.com/gallery-627505p1.html


Thanks for the link! Then it's not really "macro" prices if it's standard collection - they would be getting the same sub rotalties as everyone else.
Vetta is more expensive, yes, but all Getty's stuff is available on Thinkstock at Thinkstock prices. So it looks like they are joining the micro and micro prices really.

212
General Stock Discussion / Blend images selling on micros?
« on: April 24, 2013, 11:36 »
I just read John Lund's newest blog post here: http://blog.johnlund.com/2013/04/choosing-stock-photo-agency.html
Apart from other things, he is saying:
"With Blend my images not only get a wider audience with both RF and RM content on Getty, Corbis, Masterfile, Superstock and God knows how many other distributors, but I also get my images up on Microstock sites at macro prices. How cool is that? The eyeballs appear to be migrating to places like Shutterstock, Fotolia and others. With Blend Images, without any additional work, I get representation on Shutterstock, Fotolia, iStockphoto and others."

I didn't know Blend was selling through micros - anybody knows how to find their files on Shutter or Fotolia? I would presume they would be in some kind of "special" collections?

213
I agree with some previous posts - if uploading to "small guys" is too tedious and barely profitable, why not leave your existing images there (you've already done the work!) and check on these agencies once in a while. If at some point you'll see increase in sales, you can always upload the rest of your stuff, providing you kept proper records of which images went where. However, on my memory, only one low-earner managed to increase sales, the rest of them usually start with better sales and then gradually decline or close their doors, or, at beast, manage to maintain the status quo.

214

Would you pay more for a Ferrari if you knew it was made in the exact same manner as a low end high volume production car?

I would never pay for a Ferrari. Period. Paying that much for a car is insane:) And... in many ways, it is actually made in a worse manner than low end high volume production car...  ;)

215

SS decided to show their faces on this forum and I take this as privilege for us contributors.

SS is a big company and this practice is not too common.

I think when the time is right you might very well get an invitation from them. So time will tell how this all pans out.
As long as Jon has the "pants" on, I'm fairly confident that we (SS contributors) won't get screwed.

Without SS I wouldn't be where I am today, for me, it counts for something.

I truly appreciate all of the above as well - Shutterstock has been and is a great agency for me, and I admired (and still do) their openness and inclusiveness. That's why this "closed" and "by invitation only" Offset deal sounds alarming to me - it's like SS has people now with traditional stock industry experience who still don't understand how come micro can sell for so low - "these images must be crap, so we need to introduce something better with better quality and "regular" pricing".

216
Forgive me if this will sound a bit negative. I do appreciate Scott posting info and clarifications here, however, the description of "Offset" images implicitly suggests that images I submit to Shutterstock are of "lower quality", "don't tell a story", not "authentic" enough and so on. I shoot with Nikon D3X and painstakingly process all my images to the highest quality standards. I work from raw and produce 70 MB tiffs. And, while I do have some isolated objects and other simple images in my portfolio, many of my images do tell a story and look natural and authentic. I am sure many other professional photographers who submit their best work to Shutterstock must feel the same way.
Scott, you implicitly suggest that "RM" work and "assignment" work is for some reason superior to what is selling currently on micro agencies.  It was true 5-7 years ago; but now your content is completely different. You are already selling former RM and assignment work and equivalents of. I am puzzled why you would consider creating this collection now - why take a step backwards?? I really don't understand your statements about "higher quality"  - but I do agree with your implications that people don't quite understand what this collection is about - I don't. Why some photographers are "more equal than others"? National Geographic content is superb, but so is content from some of your better contributors. Shutterstock should know better than anyone that it was new technology that brought images prices down, not "inferiority" of the micro content. Taking a bunch of images that haven't been sold on micros before and calling them "superior" will not fool anyone, including your buyers, but it is creating negative feelings among your contributors.

To be honest Elena, I think you're slightly missing the point of 'Offset'.

We're talking art Darling and who can possibly put a price on true and unique art?

With offset SS are just trying to get themselves a share of the lucrative 'art' market. That's why they have to use the latest poncy words like 'curated' to describe their suddenly valuable new 'collection'. It might be meaningless nonsense to you and me and to most others __ but there is a market for it and high profits to be made.

I agree of course. It's just the whole thing doesn't feel (smell?) right...:) (see my post above about lying:)) People don't like being tricked, eventually they catch up with that. Common sense will prevail, right?... right?... :-)

217
... Why some photographers are "more equal than others"? National Geographic content is superb, but so is content from some of your better contributors. ...

Elena with all due respect and with no intentions to step on your toes but I think you need to grow a thicker skin.

It's "just" Scott saying something about some agency and you appear to be quite offended by it.

You know that your content is good because you have quite some experience under your belt now and your income speaks for yourself!




Click_Click - Actually, I am not offended at all, and trust me my skin is thicker that rhino's after all this years submitting content and dealing with too many agencies:)

<Edit>: removed my comments about "lying" since they could be misinterpreted. I was talking about this kind of marketing in general philosophical point of view, not anything or anyone in particular.

218
Forgive me if this will sound a bit negative. I do appreciate Scott posting info and clarifications here, however, the description of "Offset" images implicitly suggests that images I submit to Shutterstock are of "lower quality", "don't tell a story", not "authentic" enough and so on. I shoot with Nikon D3X and painstakingly process all my images to the highest quality standards. I work from raw and produce 70 MB tiffs. And, while I do have some isolated objects and other simple images in my portfolio, many of my images do tell a story and look natural and authentic. I am sure many other professional photographers who submit their best work to Shutterstock must feel the same way.
Scott, you implicitly suggest that "RM" work and "assignment" work is for some reason superior to what is selling currently on micro agencies.  It was true 5-7 years ago; but now your content is completely different. You are already selling former RM and assignment work and equivalents of. I am puzzled why you would consider creating this collection now - why take a step backwards?? I really don't understand your statements about "higher quality"  - but I do agree with your implications that people don't quite understand what this collection is about - I don't. Why some photographers are "more equal than others"? National Geographic content is superb, but so is content from some of your better contributors. Shutterstock should know better than anyone that it was new technology that brought images prices down, not "inferiority" of the micro content. Taking a bunch of images that haven't been sold on micros before and calling them "superior" will not fool anyone, including your buyers, but it is creating negative feelings among your contributors.

219
^^^ You are indeed wise Elena! Great post.

 Thanks ;D

220
The huge problem with non-exclusivity models is that people only have pricing to compete with, and once that happens, you will see you're earnings fall. Never compete on price.

Totally not true. There are so many other things agencies can compete with (and are competing with), for example:
1. Speed and relevance of their search engine - very important
2. Site usability for customers
3. Site usability for content providers - for example, ease of uploads/categorization
4. Marketing strategies
5. Royalty percentage for content providers - the better percentage the more good content
6. Review times and review quality
7. Simplicity of pricing
8. Customer support quality, for both content providers and customers
9. ... I am sure there is more, but it's dinner time ;)

So really... price is only one variable, you can have an agency that aces all of the above and charges more and it will win hands down every time against cheaper but crappier competitors.

221

I agree generally....buuuuut:
1. In the past I had several times the problem to find content requested by a someone. Once you look at the sites with the eyes of a Ad agency they suddenly look like a desert. All looks the same.
2. Once a sales possibility is open, people my fill it. Nowadays the most profitable channel is Microstock (I guess), so all the content goes there. If sites like Stocksy or Offset manage to bring money all this content may go to those highend sites. And new content will be produced for these sites which may have never been produced for pure micros.

However, I could be all wrong, so I just sit back for now and enjoy the microstock market daily soap opera...

I don't know the details about Stocksy or Offset, but it seems to me that those would be image-exclusive establishments, and also very picky about photographers, more like "closed clubs". They are basically doing what Getty was always doing, and then microstock came and blew them out of the water because microstock is open pretty much to everyone. And about image exclusivity - I tried that for a while with some agencies, and it sucks! Even if you're locking  just part of your portfolio with one agency, and the agency doesn't do well, you images just sit and age and it's wasted work. For an agency to start bringing really good returns they have to be something really special these days, revolutionary even, and so far I haven't seen anything of the kind. There are lots of collections out there that are calling themselves "premium" already, and the competition is stiff, and their sales are not really that impressive. Their content by the way also looks "the same", just different "same" - lens flares, retro film effects, blurs, weird crops... these things seem to be "in" right now, but will they be "in" in 5 years? I have images from 2005 that are still selling regularly, nothing "special" about them, and that's why:)

222
I guess SS wants to cover the remaining part of the market - buyers that still snub the micros... which I don't see a problem with, however my opinion is that there is so much absolutely amazing work on micros these days that this "high-end" agencies would work purely on psychological basis. It's kinda like people who pay thousands for designer clothes and bags, but there is nothing really special about them except for the brand name, and they are often inferior to other things you can find for 1/100 of the price, but I guess these people feel good spending money on "names". The reality is that with Shutterstock very fast and highly relevant search you can find your amazing magazine cover or spread in minutes, of the highest quality and artistic value, and they'll give you the license you want (I've had those lovely sales and many magazine covers). So really, this would be to sell to people with not enough common sense...  ;)

223
I think you made the right choice. I just cancelled my direct contract with Getty (for both RM and RF files) - just because I don't want to be exclusive anywhere, it doesn't make any sense these days. I was never exclusive with istock.

224
Shutterstock.com / Re: Changes to the Referral program
« on: February 28, 2013, 13:25 »
I am actually impressed they balanced the change with a 25% increase of short-term referral payments.

sorry but there isn't anything to be surprised about, they pull that out to trick really tiny brains, they are saving 2 Million per year so a 1 cent more its irrelevant, far from a surprise but a cheap move

I would be surprised if they raised us (that I would), its not a cent in referrals for 2 years that will make us go crazy

p.s: I have no referrals

Luis, I agree they will save a lot of money this way; however, they could have changed the referral program and NOT offer an increase. And someone who continuously and actively providing referrals for them will make some money out of it, just not people who done some referral work five years ago and stopped since.
Plus, if they direct the saved money into more advertising, everyone could win.

225
Shutterstock.com / Re: Changes to the Referral program
« on: February 28, 2013, 12:17 »
I do wonder whether their right to change the terms gives them the right to abandon the lifetime guarantee that they gave.  Surely that promise explicitly ring-fenced the arrangement against the "we can do what we like" clause? It may have been an unwise promise but trying to unsay it years later strikes me as rather dodgy.

I am sure there is a fine print somewhere that referral program terms are subject to change; just as all our "agreements" with stock agencies. And since the position of SS is very strong right now, they don't really need a super-attractive referral program - just look to the right at the "Earnings Ratings" in microstock poll results, those numbers alone would attract new contributors. So I am not surprised they changed the terms; and I am actually impressed they balanced the change with a 25% increase of short-term referral payments.  Of course it would be nice if you could refer a few high-selling photogs and collect money for the rest of your life:) alas, this would be just too good to be true.

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