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Messages - Elenathewise

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Adobe Stock / Re: Fotolia Joins Adobe
« on: March 27, 2015, 19:58 »
That's some scary chart Sharpshot.  Any idea why that happened?
Probably some search changes killed off my best selling images.  They cut commissions a few times and I stopped uploading because there was no incentive to carry on.  Then there's the increased competition, especially when istock exclusives dropped the crown and started to use FT.  I'm not sure why some of us have seen a big earnings drop while others have been OK.

My earnings have stayed fairly stable with SS, even though I haven't uploaded much for a long time now.

As I recall, FT had a policy starting years ago that the search results would punish contributors who did not submit new images. When I stopped submitting, my sales at FT started to fall and they are still falling, compared to SS and DT.

I still upload regularly. Sales are still going down. My hope is Adobe will get rid of Fotolia's search engine shenanigans and makes the system simple and transparent - with searches, payments, rankings and such. I can compete on the level playing field - so, fingers crossed...

Adobe Stock / Re: Fotolia Joins Adobe
« on: March 27, 2015, 17:30 »
I see the same trend with my earnings at Fotolia. My only explanation for that is that as your rank goes up (I am sapphire) and you can set higher prices for your images, your search position goes down. Fotolia clearly demonstrated that their strategy to compete is by slashing prices, so why would they want to show buyers images with more fair pricing. Somebody new with lower priced images get better position and better earnings.


most Canadian banks charge monthly fee for maintaining a US account. Did you find a bank which gives you a free US account?
The real problem is that most agencies force you to use Paypal now (IS, FT, FAA, ...)


For  my US account they don't charge a fee until you make a transfer, which is $1.50 I think...  I don't remember if I had to twist their arms for that, sometimes if you ask they can offer you a better deal. In general they are all the same, you know how it is with Canadian banks - they totally do price fixing and nobody so far is able to stop them from doing that.

Also, I've done my share of research on this - the best option to minimize conversion fees is:
1. Open a US account with your Canadian bank
2. Open a regular savings and a US savings account with Tangerine (former ING direct)
3. Get the stock agency to send you a cheque (not all of them have that option though)
4. Deposit the cheque to the US account with your bank
5. Transer the money from your bank to Tangerine US account
6. Convert US to CAD by moving the money from US savings to CAD savings - their exchange rate used to be 1% better than Paypals (1.5% versus 2.5% on top of the real exchange rate), now it's a bit worse since Scotiabank bought it but their rate is still better than Paypal's
7. Transfer your CAD back to your Canadian bank

1% doesn't seem to be worth all the hassle, but when you exchange 10,000 it a $100. Plus, while the money is sitting on your US account with your bank, you're getting some (really pathetic) interest (paypal has none).

I dont undeerstand why the rate of the canadien vs usd is not the same. I transfert cash 3 week ago and the rate was 1.26 but for paypal the rate is Exchange rate:   
1 U.S. Dollar = 1.2297 Canadian Dollars

I think i will stop using paypal. Just take a look of your rate and let me know is paypal is fair with you

The solution I found is to open a USD Canadian banking account with RBC (Royal Bank). There are some steps to follow to correctly link the account to paypal afterward:
1- Log into PayPal and click on My Account, then Withdraw followed by Transfer funds to your bank account. In the Withdraw Funds by Electronic Transfer page click on 2- Add Bank Account.
3- In the Add a Bank Account page, select United States as Country and type in Royal Bank of Canada as the Bank Name.
4- Enter the 9-digit routing number exactly as suggested by the graphic. Royal Banks routing number is 026004093.
5-Since the trick is to get the account number correct, ignore the example suggested by the graphic. Instead, enter the five-digit transit number of your account followed by your actual account number. You can also get the exact sequence of numbers (transit number followed by account number) from your monthly statement or online.
6-Re-enter the account number and click Continue. Wait for PayPal to make two small deposits into your bank account and then confirm that you have added the bank account successfully in PayPal by entering how much was deposited.
7- Once confirmed, your US-dollar account will show up in the To field in the Withdraw Funds page and you should be able to transfer funds in US dollars into your USD chequing account.

Using this I get the withdrawal process Faster, with no Fees, and I do the conversion (or not) in my RBC account.

I looked into this option - this used to work, but they closed this loophole a few years back.  When did you register your RBC US account with paypal - was it a while ago?

General Stock Discussion / Re: February 2015 sales
« on: March 02, 2015, 12:02 »
Fotolia - all time low - less than 20% of all time high! wow. Lower than DT. A few years back it was #1 earner... how dramatically things changed. Not sure if there is hope for that agency.


i looked at your port and like you pics, even if VERY microstocky.

Thank you Ouchie, but don't you think it makes a lot of sense to sell "microstocky" images through microstock agencies?... I think it does. I sell my images though many different venues and to various publications, and the style of the images I submit depends on where they are intended to go. It works well for me.
Regarding "all of us" here defending the photographer, being "upset" and failing to see the "other side" - didn't I just address it my long post above? You're implying that all of us here are scared because we have model shots in our portfolio, and that's the only reason we take this photographers' side. How about you be nice and read through my reasoning - does it make any sense to you?

I don't consider it my mission to bring education and information to masses. However, it seems like we have a couple of people here that have trouble understanding what's going on. So I'll give them a benefit of the doubt and assume they are not posting what they do just to try to be disruptive, but are genuinely convinced in what they are saying. So here is my attempt to bring some rational thinking back here:

To Axel Lauer: The issue here has nothing to do with microstock. Images bought from Getty and Corbis in the past with both RF has RM licenses have been similarly misused and corresponding lawsuits have been filed againts photographers, agencies, and the end user. There is absolutely nothing new here and nothing specific to microstock. If you doubt my words, please do your own search, in our wonderful era of the internet the information is at your fingertips.

To anonymous person hiding behind the username of "Ouchie": You seem to be claiming the photographer here has put the model at risk. My comment earlier about you not being familiar with a model release was related to the fact that the model release explicitly states that they images can not be used in the industry that model didn't want to be associated with. The license for the image also explicitly states the same. The photographer made sure he stuck to his end of the deal by submitting the images to the agency(s) with appropriate license limitations. I find it hard to believe that you are seriously stating that the photographer ruined the model's career. When you buy a car, does it say in your sale agreement that the car can be stolen by criminals who can potentially rob the bank? Who gets arrested in that case - the criminals or the car manufacturer? Taking photographer to court for image misused by people who broke the license agreement is as absurd as suing a car manufacturer for the bank robbery. Sure, I can understand how upset the model must be. But you'd also be upset if your car got stolen. Criminals exist, and we have a justice system to deal with them. In this case, people who misused the image are criminals. The photographer didn't break any laws or contractual obligations.

Now, if both of you going to continue posting "microstock sucks" and "you microstockers deserve all this crap" that would be a proof that you're not interested in any constructive discussions. In which case on the "ignore" list you go.

@ouchie: Obviously, you have never seen a model release and have not a slightest idea what it states in pretty noticeable full-size print. So, you posting in this thread why? You know, you can start your own thread discussing problems of shooting cabbages, I can help with that if you don't know how, but please, don't make posts without at least some rudimentary understanding of the subject.

General - Stock Video / Re: PIXTA Invite
« on: January 29, 2015, 18:00 »
Pixta earns me 4% of what Shutterstock does. We sent them content by mail so didn't have to upload, but I do wish sales where better. Recent conversion rate from yen is not helping either.

General - Top Sites / Re: The Wall
« on: January 29, 2015, 15:11 »
I have to partially disagree with that explanation, its only part of the phenomenon. You could have 15,000 landscape shots, and hit a wall, but as soon as you add 1000 lifestyle images you may just as easy get a bump in earnings.

Or, you can have 15000 unbelievably crappy images and then become the world's greatest photographer overnight and add 1000 bestsellers...
(I am being sarcastic).
Switch your subjects as many times as you want, you will still hit the wall, sooner or later.

General - Top Sites / Re: The Wall
« on: January 29, 2015, 12:39 »
I have about 15,000 images in my portfolio. What people refer to as a "wall" is a simple mathematical fact: for most people the growth of their portfolio can be described by a simple arithmetic progression. This means you're only capable of adding certain number of images in certain period of time. Let's say you do 500 images a year. First year you see amazing growth of your income. Second year you add another 500 and you double your income - sweet! Third year you add another 500 but only increase your income 1.5 times, and so on. If in 10 years you have a portfolio of 5000 images and added another 500, you're only increasing your income by 10%, and if you take into account things like your older images stop selling and rapid expansion of stock libraries, you may actually see a decrease in your earnings. You can keep adding another 500 every year after that, but you'll be lucky if you can maintain your income.
You can break the wall by trying to increase your production (hiring people to work for you and such), but then you'll eventually hit another, higher wall.
I am still growing my portfolio - I do it mostly for fun, and for improvement of my skills, and I am able to maintain my income. But I don't think about money when I make images, it would be too depressing.

Congratulations Katja, excellent news! This creates a precedent for future cases like this, and hopefully will reduce the number of them.
What a relief you must be feeling:)

Off Topic / Re: The guy who photobombs stock shots
« on: January 29, 2015, 11:51 »
Well, I thought I was using a fairly decent English, but looks like nothing I said was understood. People are arguing with me as if it was me who thinks the models should sue the photographer and the end user, when all I said was you have to be careful about this things, because some people may take this the wrong way and cause trouble. I don't take it the wrong way. I only say there are people who might, especially in the US, based on many similar cases I've read about during my 10 years working in stock photography. I don't agree with this kind of lawsuits, being a stock photographer myself (I didn't think that needed to be spelled out!).
But instead of a reasonable discussion we're going to argue here what the models should or should not be thinking or feeling or doing (that was sarcasm by the way, spelling it out just in case).

Off Topic / Re: The guy who photobombs stock shots
« on: January 28, 2015, 12:52 »
I don't see that any of these uses are defamatory, and at least one of the original images is innately risible.
I've seen far worse in-uses which were deemed OK, these are mild, and IMO funny and very funny.

Yes in your opinion:-)  All I am saying the opinion of the old dude who's head is being vacuumed can be different. Or the girl's opinion in this "photobomb":

Off Topic / Re: The guy who photobombs stock shots
« on: January 28, 2015, 12:18 »
Not trying to spoil everyone's fun, just considering possible consequences. Not saying there will be lawsuits, just being cautious. Some people don't have a sense of humor, one of them could be a stock model. Photographers did not modify the images, but they never do, and still get sued sometimes. The end user can cut out your model's head and put it on some other body (that scenario I've seen myself), and if the model finds it offensive, you may get in trouble. I guess it can be irritating that  I didn't go along with "har har this is funny, lol!" theme of this thread, well, I just had a different thought.

Off Topic / Re: The guy who photobombs stock shots
« on: January 27, 2015, 22:59 »
I thought those were hilarious.  I don't see how the original photographer could be held liable for what somebody else did with Photoshop, especially when the intention is clearly humorous.  I imagine some models might not like it, but hopefully they would have at least a rudimentary sense of humor.  In any event they would have no grounds to go after the original photographer.

Sure, let's all hope the models have the same sense of humor as people laughing at these images... Like the old guy who's head is being vacuumed or the naked couple. Of course they'd have grounds to go after the photographer if they consider the use defamatory. It happened before many times and it keeps happening. This is the old one, but was also intended as something funny:  It doesn't matter if you put offensive text in the image or photoshop something or somebody in - if the end result is perceived by the model as defamatory, the photographer may get sued. Not so funny to me.

Off Topic / Re: The guy who photobombs stock shots
« on: January 27, 2015, 22:30 »
Nice way to open yourself to lawsuits...  many of these can be considered "defamatory" by models. And as we've seen before, the photographer would be the one to get sued, too. Yeah, it's funny as long as it's not your images and he is not putting *you* at risk of being sued.

94 / Re: Shutterstock sales is sinking deeply...
« on: January 27, 2015, 16:45 »
"Soon Shutterstock will only have artists from poorer countries, as the rest of us can't live on the income we receive, and will be forced to use our talents elsewhere."


they have been Farming those countries for a few years.

Poorer countries? I am from the Balkans and I can tell you that food/clothing prices are the same or higher than in the US. Yes, we have a crap but cheap healthcare system and housing/renting is much cheaper but the prices of the main commodities are getting more and more similar across the globe. The main difference is in wages.

I live in Canada, but was born in one of those "poorer countries". One of the cultural shocks I had to overcome is how much housing actually costs here. Food and clothing or even a car compared to your rent or mortgage is nothing. Most of your income is spent on having a roof above your head. So, count yourself lucky still - you don't have to work your behind off just to avoid sleeping under the bridge.

General Stock Discussion / Re: How did 2014 compare to 2013?
« on: January 26, 2015, 13:48 »
Had my Best Year Ever. Started in stock photography in 2007, but in the last years I had seen my income decline. In 2013 I joined Stocksy and it made all the difference. In 2014 I doubled my 2013 income with Stocksy bringing in 69% of my income. Sure, I am a small contributor, but I find it stunning that even though my port on Stocksy is the smallest compared to all other agencies, it brings in the biggest return. Guess where I'll be focusing my efforts in 2015?

I am so glad to hear it Melanie, I love your work, and yes it looks like your style is very good fit for Stocksy. Wish you even more success this year!

96 / Re: Shutterstock sales is sinking deeply...
« on: January 23, 2015, 17:05 »
My sales on Shutter are really weird lately - one day it's an X amount, the next day it's 2*X amount. And the next day it's an X amount again. It's been like that all January (so far). Kind of a yo-yo thing... a little bit unnerving. Used to be way more consistent.

A while ago I was directly contacted by DT asking my permission to use a certain number of my images in their beta test program. Their email was considerate and polite, and I was given an easy way to opt out - which I did since I didn't particularly like the deal. I understand that the agency might be looking for new sources of revenue and trying new things out, and I also don't have to like everything they are doing, but if they are properly informing me and giving me an easy opt out - I don't see a problem with that. In fact, I don't see a problem with that at all. This is how it should be.

Nikon / Re: More strange marks showing on D200
« on: January 21, 2015, 15:52 »
Don't try to get rid of these yourself, you'll make if worse.

I clean mine any time the lens has been off. It's easy.

Depends on what kind of stuff is on your sensor. There was some sticky stuff on mine once, I suspect could have been some pollen or who knows what, some mold growing? :) anyhow, if it works for you, great, but I'd still go for pro cleaning every time.

General Stock Discussion / Re: Selling From A Personal Site
« on: January 21, 2015, 15:47 »
I sell from my personal site:
This makes more money than many "low earners" agencies. I don't advertise at all though, so if you do you can do much better.

What are you using for your site? I know there are some wordpress add ons or sites from KTools and a few others. Are you using one of these? Looks decent.

It's older version of Ktools on steroids:) Works fine for me, but there are quite a few improvements/customizations there. My site more than pays for itself, no problem at all, even without any advertising.

Nikon / Re: More strange marks showing on D200
« on: January 21, 2015, 12:57 »
Nikon Service. Don't try to get rid of these yourself, you'll make if worse. After 8 years spending a few bucks on proper sensor cleaning should not be a big deal. They do a very good job. I have to drive more than an hour each end to get to my Nikon Service center, but it's well worth the trip. I am also a Nikon Professional Services member and they do sensor cleaning for free for me. Some photo stores offer sensor cleaning too but I was never happy with their results. Go to Nikon.

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