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Messages - Elenathewise

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Dreamstime.com / Re: Is Dreamstime dying?
« on: March 26, 2010, 13:00 »
Static for me both in terms of revenue and RPD whilst everywhere else is booming.

DT have been slowly slipping backwards in comparison to IS, SS and FT for some years now and that trend is continuing. They are projected to be just 10.2% of my earnings this month compared to 12.4% in March 2009, 13.5% in 2008 and 15.1% in 2007.

I'm especially disappointed that the reduction of our commissions does not appear to have resulted in increased marketing/sales. Just more money for them. Maybe they are gearing up their exit strategy?

Yup I am seeing the same trend. Not big drop, but slowly declining. It's not a good trend, hopefully they can pick up momentum with economy improving.  I see noticeable increase in sales on Fotolia and IS (well on IS maybe because I finally managed to get a sizable portfolio online with their upload limits), SS is not quite "booming" but at least pretty consistent.

Adobe Stock / Re: Fotolia director of content?
« on: March 23, 2010, 13:53 »
hi elena:

sorry this is happening to you too at ft. great portfolio and track record so i'm sure it's a rogue reviewer on the loose.

but, i'm kind of curious as to what declined message are you getting? is it the ubiquitous "not up to our aesthetic standard" that they give to the rest of us, or is it "your photographic work is excellent, but not needed, blah, blah blah?"

The latest one is "quality". Which is ridiculous. Which is why I started all this:) If they say "we don't need this at this time", well it's their call. But my quality I am pretty sure about.

Adobe Stock / Re: Fotolia director of content?
« on: March 23, 2010, 13:33 »
30% acceptance ratio !!! that's insane. I've literally seen tons of your images at 100% and they are always awesome. There must be a major screwup somewhere at FT for you to be experiencing that. I hope they get it sorted out fast for you ... in the meantime don't stand too close .. I don't want to catch your bad luck.  ;D

Thanks:) I do take a lot of care to make sure my images are the highest quality. As to the bad luck, I don't consider it mine:) If Fotolia would insist on accepting only certain subjects (if subject indeed is the issue here, I haven't heard from Chad yet), then be it. It's their business and they are free to run it as they find suitable. I am trying to make sure it's not some kind of mistake from their side, especially when images get rejected for quality issues. It happens, and if they would be willing to fix it, good. If not, I won't consider myself "out of luck". I am extremely lucky to be able to do what I like and make a very decent living out of it:)

Adobe Stock / Re: Fotolia director of content?
« on: March 23, 2010, 11:45 »
Elena, I think the issue with FL is with the subject of your picture. Don't know why it wasn't the issue before... FL is very picky on the subject - while they accept >90% of my studio (and outdoor when set up, not candid) people pictures they reject vast majority of my nature, landscape, architecture, location pictures. As you have a lot of those in your portfolio this is most certainly the issue.

I do agree that many of such pictures are perfectly sellable, you don't need to convince me :) But that's the way FL plays it...

Yup that's the only reason I can think of, too. But then how come this wasn't a problem before?...With my port that doesn't have a lot of business shots and isolated people, I still sell a lot, on Fotolia as well - so obviously, there is market for my images. Unfortunately, some reviewers take one-dimensional approach to the content. I hope it can be changed somehow. I am not about to switch over to shooting people in the office wearing suits.. there is enough of that stuff already.

Adobe Stock / Re: Fotolia director of content?
« on: March 23, 2010, 11:29 »
Sorry to hear that Elena. I'am lucky to I get literally everything accepted at Fotolia - maybe except some outdated stuff we uploaded accidentally or images where we mistyped the title badly... things like that. Rejection is aroud 1%. There must be some kind of a miscommunication in your case like a hidden technical parameter... or I don't know. Looking forward to hear what Chad investigates.

In my early days with Fotolia I had pretty much everything accepted, too - funny, because what I do now and the equipment I use now is way better than back then. I know standards have changed, but how come my quality is good enough for Getty RM and not for Fotolia?... On Istock, we have 70-85% percent accepted and most of rejections are because of keywords which sometimes are just a matter of personal judgement.... So honestly, I don't even have a clue why suddenly they decided that my images are not good enough for them. Subject-wise, I do very little of business shots and isolated people (I do some, but that's not the majority of my port), but again, I never did that, it's not that I changed the areas I am working in. What I do still sells, and, as some of you here, I do get constant requests from agencies around the world to represent my portfolio... I do hope Chad can help me understand what's going on (I haven't heard back from him yet), but if the acceptance rate will be this low, I don't think we can justify spending time uploading more images there. We won't pull out, but time is money, and submission process on Fotolia with their branching out categories is pretty time-consuming.

Adobe Stock / Re: Fotolia director of content?
« on: March 22, 2010, 17:34 »
I got a reply from Chad, he promised to look into it... asked for sample rejected images (no shortage of those:)). I am pretty puzzled about this, my approval ratio these days is above 90% on most agencies. Hope we can sort this out somehow.

Adobe Stock / Re: Fotolia director of content?
« on: March 22, 2010, 16:13 »
Well, that's not exactly what I was looking for:) I am happy with my sales at Fotolia, they are a number one earner for me, so I am not looking to leave the agency... I emailed Chad (hope I got his email address right), hopefully he can help me with solving those issues...

Adobe Stock / Fotolia director of content?
« on: March 22, 2010, 15:19 »
Does anyone know who is Fotolia's director of content and how to contact them? I used to know someone, but my old email folders got wiped out unfortunately. I am puzzled by my recent approval rates there - getting as low as 30%... I submit images of good technical quality (been told by many agencies that it's "excellent", never had a rejection on any macro sites I am working with), never submit  batches of similar images, the content has good sales potential as it proves somewhere else, and being currently #14 in the Fotolia ranking I think indicates well enough that my images are in demand by Fotolia's customers.... Am at loss why so much of my stuff gets rejected. It's getting to the point it's not worthwhile spending time on submitting... Does someone know how to address these issues?

While a few days passed I had time to think over this whole too many similars and decreased upload limits issue. And I have a very new opinion: 'WHO CARES' If they want only a few they will get only a few - others are happy to accept the rest.  So WHO CARES? If they reject a lot - WHO CARES? If my search position will suffer that - WHO CARES? They are the agency they have the right to decide what they want to sell and what don't. I am a contributor and I have the right to decide where to upload to. While the reduced portfolio on DT earns enough I keep uploading. When it doesn't earns enough anymore I will stop. And all the rest falls into the WHO CARES category for me.

Well, yes:) But sometimes when you see someone about to drive off a cliff, you just can't help yourself but shout "STOP!!!!":)
I love your images by the way - I did know them before, but never had a chance to say - nice work:)

Uploading 2,000 images a month makes me think that nothing is being uploaded that hasn't been uploaded 1,000 times before, so imagine they don't think they're losing out on much.

It could be true, but then it could be not. Maybe it's 2000 images on new subject that is not covered in the library at all. The only way to see if a submitter spams the library with many similar images is to look at their downloads per image ratio. Which we all know DT displays even on the member's profile page. So why not use that as the criteria instead to determine upload limits? Would make more sense to me.

 Thanks for the kind words about my work. Tthe point I was trying to make in my earlier post is that I don't understand the business side of this decision. Images produced by "image factories" have very high sales potential. If I was an owner of an agency, I would strongly encourage them to upload, not restricting their content. If you look at Fotolia ranking, you'll see that Monkey Business Images shot up to the top of the list in no time at all. Which means their images are in high demand and the agency gets good profits from them. And yeah, it's difficult for the solo players like me to withstand that kind of competition, but who's keeping me from founding my own production company and becoming more competitive? (The answer to that is I just like working solo, but then there are consequences:)).
So why would an agency makes uploading inconvenient for their most selling contributors? That is what worries me, not my own limit of 20 per day.  If you try to improve the quality of your library, there are other ways to do that rather then alienate your top sellers (seems like DT did that with Yuri Arcurs if you read some other posts here). When you don't have enough revenue, you will go under very quickly in today's very competitive microstock business. And then how are you going to protect amateurs' rights and work on the quality of your library if you're out of business?

I am not sure what they are focusing on though....
Be logical. 20 per day is more than 7,000 per year, that is 70% of your current port over 5 years. Are you really throttled down with "only" 7,000 images per year, especially if you're working alone and not with an editing crew like Arcurs?

Monthly uploads:     191.36 average

You used to be able to do 1500 a month and you were doing 191.  Now you can do 600.  Either way it's not all that limiting.

Ummm.... never mind:) I wasn't talking about myself, I thought that was pretty clear... But, if there is a need to become personal:)...  why do I have to lose my convenience  of being able to click through my stuff at once? To make the life of Arcurs or Monkey Business or the likes difficult? How does that make sense? And ya, Istock upload limits suck more, but how's that relevant?

I am not an "image factory", but I find this very confusing. I thought DT's purpose, like any other stock agency's, was to make money selling images. Production companies exist because people who run them know what sells and can shoot it well. They have their expenses, and if a certain subject stops making money, they don't just keep shooting it (not if they have half a brain) but move on to something else that proves to be profitable. How else can you run a successful business? Why would any agency choose to limit contributions from people who produce high quality highly sellable images? If there will be too many of curtain subject, supply-demand law will take care of it automatically. Production companies won't keep shooting the same stuff in a same way and lose money - well, I already said that:) So.... to me it looks like DT is not focusing on making money anymore... I am not sure what they are focusing on though.... Unless the whole thing with limiting uploads is due to the shortage of reviewers (but then why not say that?...)

In the end, it's what makes you happy:) I know it sounds corny, but it's true. If running production company with big staff and expenses and focusing on making money is what makes you feel good about yourself, that's cool. This doesn't mean it's the only way to stay in business and enjoy what you're doing. Myself, I get kicks out of making money out of thin air. Although I do have expensive photography equipment and a studio (mostly to go there and hide away from my family:)), I get the most thrill from finding something to shoot that doesn't cost me much at all. For lots of my images my ROI is close to infinity:) Which kinda bit me in the butt this year now when it's time to pay taxes....should have spent more money on business;-)
And yes, return per image will diminish as libraries go bigger and there is more competition. But is this really  big news for anyone? It's kinda obvious. In industry's early days a good photog with 500 decent images could make a very good income. Of course it wasn't gonna last forever! To be competitive these days in microstock is the same as to be competitive in any other maturing industry. It requires lots of work, research, time, investment. The industry is maturing. The bubble is over. But it doesn't mean there will be nothing to gain for those who chose to stay. 

Dreamstime.com / Re: Incorrect keywords DT
« on: March 03, 2010, 10:06 »
Looks like DT is shooting themselves in the foot. Screwing up keywords on good images will result in drop of sales - not just for us, for them as well. I wish they'd stop being stubborn and drop the entire thing.
I am receiving more than 30 comments a day for flagged images, and 90% are irrelevant. My portfolio is over 10, 000 images, so I figure I'll keep receiving those for a while.  Dreamstime admins,  please hear me - I will not waste my time going through all of these comments every day. My time is better spent elsewhere. If you remove relevant keywords from my images, wiping out years of hard work, you will not only reduce yours and mine sales, you'll also give me a good reason to stop uploading to DT.
The problem with Dreamstime is that it looks like they still stick with the crowd-sourcing idea - for both images and now keywords - and this kind of thinking is getting more and more outdated today. Microstock has matured - we have serious professional buyers and serious professional contributors. It's basically a new RF stock business. For the crowds, there is Flickr and other places like that, where they can share and interact and comment on each other and don't have to pay. But you can not rely on amateurs anymore in microstock - yeah, many of us and many of the site started that way, 5 years ago or more, but times have changed. Not seeing this and not being flexible in your ideas is not good for the business. Let's hope DT won't have to learn that lesson the hard way. 

Dreamstime.com / Re: Incorrect keywords DT
« on: March 02, 2010, 22:53 »
DT sometimes seems like a site doing its best to make itself crash.  Oh, dear, oh, dear.

my thoughts exactly:)

Image Sleuth / Re: Is this legal??
« on: March 02, 2010, 18:05 »
Excellent! Wow this is the first time I see something actually happened. Let's hope they become better at this.

Dreamstime.com / Re: Incorrect keywords DT
« on: March 02, 2010, 16:58 »
...but I don't understand why they would pay someone 2 cents to flag keywords. I would think that would create misuse. Why in the world did they do that?

My words, they just want to pay DT members less than what they would have to pay for their own staff for taking care of the problem.

As somebody mentioned before: Also deduct 2 cents if the flagged keyword was indeed a correct one. Then the flaggers will have to think 3 times before submitting their report and refrain from flagging unsure keywords.

Yes I 100% agree. I just received about 30 more notifications for images mostly flagged for DIRECTLY RELEVANT keywords. After I forwarded examples of that to support, I received the same reply as been posted here earlier, to the word. I think it would be a smart course of action for Dreamstime to accept that this keyword reporting program has proven to be a failure and just dump it instead of  waisting time and resources on it. Better concentrate on marketing strategies and advertising...

Dreamstime.com / Re: Incorrect keywords DT
« on: March 01, 2010, 23:49 »
I received 33 comments today that my images were flagged for incorrect keywords.
Ridiculous fact #1: The date on the comments is 2007.
Ridiculous fact #2: Vast majority of the reported keywords are directly related to the image.
1. Image containing nothing but closeup on red rose is flagged for "red" and "rose"
2. Image depicting child playing on beach is flagged for "child" "play" "beach"
3. Image of echinacea flower is flagged for "medicinal" "herb" "flower"
I am not going to waste more time here, but the list can go on and on and on. I emailed support about this. I got a reply that sometimes "users can make a mistake when reporting an image". Sorry, not this kind of "mistake" and not this consistently.  This system is not working. It is mostly abuse and waste of time. I replied to some of the comments a while ago, and the person who supposedly flagged some of the images (for fully relevant keywords) replied that they didn't even do it. I think Dreamstime needs to pay close attention to these - someone is abusing their system, this can damage the site and can result in a lot of wasted time and money.
I am not a keyword spammer. Sometimes it's a judgement call if a keyword belongs to the image or not. I think a better course of action for Dreamstime is to identify the spammers and work on removing their images instead of releasing a flood of outdated and mostly irrelevant comments on photographers who actually comply with the rules.

Image Sleuth / Re: Is this legal??
« on: March 01, 2010, 23:21 »
At least one of my images is there too... This is not the first time I see them on Flickr under someone else's name. Several month ago we mailed them a hard copy of NOI, followed all their rules. The result - NOTHING. No reaction whatsoever. That image is still there. This is outrageous. I would go ahead and take them to court for this but  - as often in those cases - my time is worth more than I can get from them. Lost revenue on a couple of micro images is not that big. What else can you sue them for? Class action would be a more proper thing to do here.... Any takers on organizing it?:)

It works, it pays considerably well and it does have a good future, the same way it worked with photos and illustrations in the past when Microstock first popped up.

I don't disagree.  There will be need in the future.  What I am commenting on is everyone running around yelling "shoot video, stills are dying, it's the only way to feed your family! buy a Red One, now!"  That's the overhype.


I don't have the time to sit and wait for the meat of the story or piece.  I'd rather use my judgement to skim through and find what I feel is important.  And I most certainly ignore any moving ads in the sidebars.  I also hate artists' video portfolio pieces.  Takes too long to get through. 

Exactly. I agree - there is a need for video, and there is a hype now, but it's not the "next big thing". Just because humans - who are the targets of all our stock work - can grasp a still with a message in a fraction of a second. But videos take at least few seconds to tell the story. There are videos on billboards now - how much will I see zooming by on a highway? Will I hit my brakes to see what's going on on that board? Will I wait a few seconds for advertising to play once I loaded a webpage? Most people will skip video advertising if they can help it (unless you're sitting in a movie theater and are trapped in there). But with stills.... the moment you glanced in it's direction, the message is delivered. It's done. Even if you close a pop-up window with the still, you already seen it. It's much more effective way of advertising or delivering any other message to us humans.
To watch a video, I have to *want* to see it. To see a still - I just have to have my eyes open.

Dreamstime.com / Re: More than usual rejections from Dreamtime
« on: February 12, 2010, 13:09 »

Dreamstime.com / Re: Featured photographer with only 259 images?
« on: February 12, 2010, 12:55 »
That puppy is awfully cute...:)
Speaking of featured photogs on DT - I was always wondering how they chose them. I was chosen as a featured on practically all agencies except for DT:) In spite of having over 40,000 sales there. The images they chose  as "editor's choice" are by far not the best images from my portfolio, either! I am starting to wonder if there is some sort of conspiracy there:)

Hi All,

 I have been shooting people shots from the beginning of my stock career. We keep track of all our sales from the past 12 years and we learned an interesting thing. When I get to a location and the models aren't ready or the lights aren't set I run around and bang off what ever the location has to offer as stills.
 When we do our calculations on our best sellers over the years images without people are at the top of the list. I think you need to shoot what the buyers need and they always seem to need good property released interiors and conceptual still life's as well as Industry, transportation many subjects that relate to man but don't actually include man in them.
 Easy to produce but they still need to shine to get noticed over all the others in their category, property releases are a big key for locations that require them and stay away from art work on walls unless you get a release from the artist. I am totally down with just my camera and a building. No more groups of 8 children trying to get them all to smile and play. That is much harder work. :D


Thank you Jonathan - that's what I suspected... I mean, there is nothing wrong with an image of 8 smiling children, but it's definitely not the only thing that sells... if you take into account return on investment, non-people shots are way more profitable:)

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