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Messages - Elenathewise

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751
Something to illustrate my point.

This is my number one selling image on Shutterstock:



This one is on page 5 (if you order my portfolio by downloads, 25 rows/page):


This one is page 11:


The first one is just green park with setting sun in spring. Tripod, 15 min, no money spent. The other 2 - paid models, on-location, took time and money to organize and shoot, not to mention dealing with kids, which are cute but are a pain in the neck (especially 2 year old with the ball:)).
Now why do people shots when some local park does so much better?:-)
Ok maybe my people images suck. Please tell me. I like them, but they are mine, so I can be biased....:-)

752
So I am still confused - why there is this perception that people images sell better?

There is a certain truth to it. If you look at the IS Most Popular list for this month then 10 out of the 15 have people in them. If you are fortunate enough to take a truly outstanding 'people' shot then it can sell in incredible numbers, almost invariably better than any other subject.

Ok, so looks like "truly outstanding" people shot would outperform "truly outstanding" landscape or food?

753
My people shots have always turned out naff, nowhere near good enough, so I'm still on a steep learning curve to get those right. In the meantime I make myself feel better by looking at the portfolio of a guy called "ooyoo" on IS......100K+ DL since 2007 and nearly all landscape shots. His top sellers are really well done shots of leaves.

I don't think you have to do people shots to do well in the top three. I like your portfolio by the way.

Thank you:) I like "ooyoo"s leaves and landscapes, too. I have a similar shot of orange autumn leaves that sold really well everywhere - it took me a few minutes to frame and shoot, another couple of minutes to process. No money spent. I guess the secret is going in the opposite direction than everyone else....

754
As far as I know, Yuri also started  "with camera in hand and desire to earn some extra pocket money". Studio and expensive equipment came later. I am wondering if the reason he and other production companies like his are doing people shots mostly because agencies take them better. If you're running a production company, you can't afford shooting something different and risk being rejected and lose money. That would be bad business (you pay people to process your images, keyword them, submit them, etc...). However, why agencies take people shots better if - at least in my experience - they don't necessarily sell better?....

I have a studio and some decent lights, so it's not a problem for me to produce people shots. It's just I don't like doing it all the time. Being a "mom and pop" shop myself, I have more flexibility - if the image gets rejected, it's just some of our time spent with less profit than it could be. But never do a beautiful landscape because agencies think nature is not in demand? By the way, if it does get through, it sells very well. So I am still confused - why there is this perception that people images sell better?

755
It is considered "common knowledge" that people shots - lifestyle, business, medical - are best selling subjects in stock industry. It is definitely way easier to get them approved. Most of the best-selling photogs have their portfolios almost entirely consisting of people shots. And yet, I have my doubts!:)
First, look at the size of those portfolios. Most of them are way over 20,000 files. Last time I looked, Yuri Arcurs's was over 27,000. Second, when you specialize in one subject, you unavoidably get better and better at it. Some of Yuri's people shots sell very well simply because they are great shots. But do they have to be people? He has a shot of a coffee cup that's one of his best-sellers on Shutterstock. I bet it was way cheaper to produce than multi-model shots in specific setups.
My own portfolio is over 10 000. I am an "omnivore":) I shoot anything I think may sell. I do try to do people shots on a regular basis, but none of them became my all time best-sellers. Surprisingly, it's nature (!!!) and food and sell best for me. Even a good old travel shot would occasionally perform better than people. So is true that what most customers want is people?
Let's hear your thoughts:)

756
General Stock Discussion / Re: Nikon D3X
« on: December 29, 2009, 23:27 »
what I am excited about? Well.... 24 megapixels:) Incredible detail. Very low noise, I was shooting ISO 200 in low natural light, still practically no noise. My macro 105 mm lens performs way better than with D300, pin-sharp. Auto white balance is better. This is just from about an hour test shooting, I am sure there is more to enjoy:) Nikon site will give you the list of goodies, and reviews are quite good too. Everyone complains about price, but I got it on sale, plus you get what you pay for:)
I had to buy a commander for my flashguns, since it doesn't have a build-in flash, but I actually enjoy using a commander more than controlling flashes from the in-camera menu. Nikon commander is dead easy to use.

757
General Stock Discussion / Nikon D3X
« on: December 29, 2009, 21:48 »
I got myself a Nikon D3X as a Christmas present.... did some test shots today, WOW!... This IS a nice piece of equipment! I don't even want to look at my backlog images shot with D300 now... which is a pretty good camera, but D3X is just amazing!  I am so excited, just had to share:)

758
They owe me for 2 months (October and November). We tried emailing them, no answer. I wonder if they are in trouble - this is not a good sign.

759
Crestock.com / Re: For those impatient with Crestock
« on: October 15, 2009, 12:42 »
Yup they owe me money for 2 months... We sent them an email asking what is going on - no reply!...

760

Jonathan - you sure it's "Janco Tech"? I can't seem to find it. Do you have a link to their site?
Thanks,
Elena.
Sorry I hope you don't mind if I respond though I am not Jonathan :)
As it is already said it's jaincotech.com - I've been told that they only work with large volumes (like 200-400 photos a month or more) but I didn't try them myself.

Thanks - yup I looked at their site, the pricing seems reasonable... 200-400 a month I produce myself, doing all the processing and stuff, so I don't consider it especially large volume...:) If I am free to just shoot, I'd think it would be more than 400 a month for sure... The only problem I am struggling with - I am a perfectionist, and if I find that after paying 5 bucks per image I end up doing more work on the image or completely redoing it (it happened with the first person I tried to hire), then it would be a complete waste of money, wouldn't it?.. sigh... I guess the only way to find out is to try some small batches with different companies and see whom I am happy with...

761
Hi Stockforfood,

 I use retouchers who keyword and upload and track my sales at www.lookstat.com they are here in Seattle, Wa. There is also Janco Tech out of India that does similar work as well. These are the two best that I know of. I hope this helps.

Best,
Jonathan


Jonathan - you sure it's "Janco Tech"? I can't seem to find it. Do you have a link to their site?
Thanks,
Elena.

762
General Macrostock / Re: Accepted at Getty
« on: September 21, 2009, 12:39 »
Just wanted to give an update - finally had 2 sales with Getty, amounting to - wow! - 29 dollars! Woo-hoo!:) I still have just 10 files with them, listed as RM, the ones I was able to submit for free.

763
Dreamstime.com / Re: Anyone exclusive on DT?
« on: August 20, 2009, 23:33 »
I have just a couple of exclusive images with DT, something I submitted to their "assignments". When I look at the total those images brought me over time, I must confess I do wonder if I should do more of those... it's especially nice now when images had quite a number of sales, since the price goes up considerably. Assignment files get 100 default downloads (at least they used to), so you images are ranked pretty high. I don't have any experience with non-assignment exclusive files though. Personally, I would never put all my eggs in one basket since I am making a living out of this, but if this a non-essential income, I don't see why not.

764
General Stock Discussion / Re: The use of a square image
« on: August 20, 2009, 16:57 »
Nice image Jonathan:) I hope you weren't lying on the pavement at night in front of a speeding car to get it:)
But I see what you mean - if you crop this image horizontally or vertically, depending of buyers' need, the composition would still be great. Nicely done.
I am thinking of getting a D3X with new set on lenses by the end of the year, would make cropping like that easier. Would have got it earlier but am made to pay taxes this year though installments, not in April like before - it sucks...


Sorry, totally off-topic, but very hard to resist saying:

I wonder if WildDingo is reading this.  And if so, will he pick up on the fact that Elena is having to pay installments on her taxes.  Let's see if he can put 2 and 2 together and get 4.  :D

OK, back to square format....

Who is WildDingo - whould I be afraid?....:)

765
General Stock Discussion / Re: The use of a square image
« on: August 20, 2009, 13:34 »
Nice image Jonathan:) I hope you weren't lying on the pavement at night in front of a speeding car to get it:)
But I see what you mean - if you crop this image horizontally or vertically, depending of buyers' need, the composition would still be great. Nicely done.
I am thinking of getting a D3X with new set on lenses by the end of the year, would make cropping like that easier. Would have got it earlier but am made to pay taxes this year though installments, not in April like before - it sucks...

766
Shutterstock.com / Re: Talk About Padding...
« on: August 20, 2009, 13:26 »
Weird indeed.

768
By the way, here is an article about this... Looks like I am not the only one pissed...
http://www.gadgetell.com/tech/comment/paypal-adds-new-fees-with-no-notice/

769
I got a payment from a German agency and found out that PayPal charged me 4% just for receiving it!!! (I am located in Canada). I have a personal, not business account, and the agency sent me money directly from their PayPal account, no credit cards or anything like that. Looks like they changed their policy on June 3'2009 - I never was charged a fee for receiving money to personal account before, unless I was paid my credit card. I consider it highway robbery. No direct notification about policy changes, too - just a little link in the corner where they silently post their "policy updates".
What are the other options I can use? I have heard about MoneyBookers - are they better? Any other internet banking options? I would very much appreciate your recommendations.
Thanks,
Elena.

I am sorry to hear that Elena but paypal DOES NOT rip you off. The German agency does. I just got 2 payments from FT and DT and got the money in full. No charge at all. It has nothing to do with paypal. And yes, I have a personal account as well. That's all you need.

Actually, the fee (or no fee) depends on the "country of recipient". I don't get charged for DT, FT or IS payments since Canada-US transactions are free (so far...). I have been receiving payments from European agencies for a few years now, but this is the first time I got charged a fee. So no, the German agency is not ripping me off - they are as puzzled as I am about this new transaction fee. So, something funny is going on. Either PayPal was supposed to charge before but didn't (I would find it hard to believe), or they just changed something (without communicating it properly). In any case they are charging about 4% now, which is a lot, and the more money you receive the more you pay! Banks at least charge flat fees for the transfers...

770
I got a payment from a German agency and found out that PayPal charged me 4% just for receiving it!!! (I am located in Canada). I have a personal, not business account, and the agency sent me money directly from their PayPal account, no credit cards or anything like that. Looks like they changed their policy on June 3'2009 - I never was charged a fee for receiving money to personal account before, unless I was paid my credit card. I consider it highway robbery. No direct notification about policy changes, too - just a little link in the corner where they silently post their "policy updates".
What are the other options I can use? I have heard about MoneyBookers - are they better? Any other internet banking options? I would very much appreciate your recommendations.
Thanks,
Elena.

771
I guess Flickr UK legal team is much more efficient than North America's. Still waiting for a reply on my report. Tried to contact them through a website, some moron keeps sending the same reply over and over again (just copying and pasting from somewhere) - about having to contact Yahoo!'s legal team. Which didn't respond yet.....

772
I do not have any physical proof that images have been stolen from Fotolia, not bought.

Elena,
There are three ways to get the image:
1. If you right mouse and 'save as' you get an image 266 x 400 with no metatdata
2. If you download the fotolia comp you get 340 x 512 with no metadata
3 Paid for image is 282 x 425.

The Flickr image is 282 x 425 with full metadata, it is more than a possibility that it is a proper paid for and legal download.

When I purchase images from Istock the metadata has been stripped out, I have no Fotolia downloads to check but could it have come from anywhere else?

David  ???  

Sure, I am agreeing that the images could have been bought, which still doesn't change the fact that they shouldn't be on Flickr under that person's name and made available for free to the general public. How the person got the images is not quite important here, in *any* case the copyright misrepresentation issue, together with RF license violation, is still there. I call it theft because I do believe that presenting someone else's work as your own is theft (as I explained in the previous post).

773
Sorry but that still proves nothing. Is it by any chance "exactly the same size" as the XS download? 282 x 425

Have you tried to get the image off of Flickr? It gives me a 1 pixel blank. It also lists you as the creator on the detail page.

The XS download allows someone to post the image on the web. They cannot control if someone else links to what they have posted without their permission. That is not considered redistributing the image. Is it not possible that the page you saw was linked to this image because it is the same person storing the image to allow their own linking?

However, if the Flickr terms state that you cannot upload images that don't belong to you, then I will agree that they are in violation of the Flickr agreement. I remain unconvinced on the rest of it.

Whatalife, yes I was able to get the image off of Flickr yesterday. If they disabled it today, it's good news. And yes, to be precise, I do not have any physical proof that images have been stolen from Fotolia, not bought. So if we want to be picky about the terms, I would phrase my accusations as "misrepresentaion of the copyright and violation of the RF license as well as Flickr policies", or something like that. It doesn't change the fact that all those images should not be there under that person's name and made available to public for free.
Lawyers would probably phrase it better, but in my opinion a person taking another person's copyrighted work and presenting it as their own work (Flickr: "don't upload anything that is not yours" - this means that images under that account are assumed to be that person's work) is a thief. Even if they have no idea what they are doing.

774
Oh, theft it is. Those who doubt, please compare this:
http://www.fotolia.com/id/11001622
with this:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/40003475@N07/3677469194/#

You can also see why this person chose this particular image  - see how Fotolia "watermarks" are just around the model and can be easily removed by simple eraser tool? Both images are exactly the same size.
Plus, as I said before, I found this image with the link to that Flickr portfolio in a web article. Which means someone downloaded it from Flickr and used it for free. Which should not be allowed, right? Even if the bozo bought the image and them posted it on Flickr, the license does not allow re-distribution of the image itself. But he didn't. He just downloaded a large thumbnail (he has small ones, too!:)) and then removed the watermarks.

775
Yup it does look that the images are just stolen from Fotolia and the watermark was removed, since they all seem to be small size. However, small size still should not be free. The way I found out about this actually - my image was used in a web feature, with a link to that Flickr portfolio. So someone used a stolen image (without knowing it) in a legit publication.
Sigh.... And yeah, Fotolia's "watermark" is indeed ridiculous, did anyone suggest to them (nicely:)) to alter it?

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