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Author Topic: The Indie Alliance  (Read 21650 times)

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« Reply #50 on: February 25, 2011, 16:42 »
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I don't have any store yet, but this is something I really think of.  Ktools and the other people mentioned are a bit expensive for my small portfolio. An online solution like Photoshelter is good, but always risking the site going ou of business. I'm tending to building a site for displaying images only, with contact for licensing. That would be basically for RM stuff, what I think is better for my style of photography (not what I have in micros).

Now, about a site listing members, that would be great, but I agree a search tool that would seacrh in all those sites would be great as a selling strategy.


« Reply #51 on: February 26, 2011, 18:40 »
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To do something is very easy....we start an agency by our own money, anyone who takes money in is shareholder. The structur has to be a mixure out of the best selling agencys....and the shareholder gets money out of the profit of the agency, not of the pictures, they will be sold as cheap as possible :-)

jareso

  • Boris Jaroscak
« Reply #52 on: February 27, 2011, 02:36 »
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This is interesting topic. I have a little question:

I am curious whether any of you actually had some sales through your personal site???

lisafx

« Reply #53 on: February 27, 2011, 10:05 »
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This question has been asked in several threads.  Don't have time to search all the answers for you, but here's the first one I ran across:
http://www.microstockgroup.com/microstock-services/ktools-photostore/msg184227/#msg184227]
[url]http://www.microstockgroup.com/microstock-services/ktools-photostore/msg184227/#msg184227
[/url]

« Reply #54 on: February 27, 2011, 11:05 »
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To do something is very easy....we start an agency by our own money, anyone who takes money in is shareholder. The structur has to be a mixure out of the best selling agencys....and the shareholder gets money out of the profit of the agency, not of the pictures, they will be sold as cheap as possible :-)
I don't know how that would work because some people sell much more than others and would want more money.  I also don't like the "cheap as possible" idea.  I don't mind giving buyers a discount, if we get more commission but I'm not interested in drastically undercutting the market.  This is the big problem with running our own site, we all have different ideas of the best way to do it.  Getting a consensus would be difficult.

« Reply #55 on: February 27, 2011, 16:02 »
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Isn't this what someone else was doing here a couple of weeks ago?  A web page with a list?  Not much will come of that I'm afraid.  Someone else had some interesting ideas later in that other thread.

While I agree with Sean's assertion that nothing much is likely to come from an effort such as this, again I don't see any compelling reason not to continue.  There is essentially zero risk in the risk:reward equation.  FWIW I was able to get us listed in a high traffic graphic designer's forum, and I saw a huge traffic spike the last 2 days.

Where I most agree with Sean, and this is something which photographers have a hard time grasping, is that the effort one spends educating your competition would be much better spent educating your potential customers.  Not that I have any problem with teaching others to better themselves.  But if you aren't putting far more effort into helping your customers, you are lacking business sense and cheating yourself.

« Reply #56 on: February 27, 2011, 17:53 »
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Where I most agree with Sean, and this is something which photographers have a hard time grasping, is that the effort one spends educating your competition would be much better spent educating your potential customers.  Not that I have any problem with teaching others to better themselves.  But if you aren't putting far more effort into helping your customers, you are lacking business sense and cheating yourself.

I used not to agree with Sean, but I'm now pretty close to agreeing (a waffle worth of John Kerry).

The way I used to see it, having iStock be a center for drawing in new talent, nurtured by those who'd been around a bit, was something that over time kept building the site as a vibrant, innovative source of great images. That worked fine, IMO, until IS starting trying to grab more of the take, at which point there's not much left but every contributor for him or herself. There are some echoes of the community spirit that was, but, sad as I am, I can't see why I'd spend any time helping others beat me to a higher royalty rate. With the grading on a curve scheme they now operate, there's no longer a "rising tide lifts all boats" situation.

I suspect that for many of us, we don't really know where or how to connect with our customers. Very few show up here or in the IS forums. So that may be one of the reasons for focusing on other contributors.

« Reply #57 on: February 28, 2011, 05:00 »
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I have a fair share of potential customers contact me for images; usually looking for donations or a hand-out but most might be purchasers if they knew they could get the images for $20 or less per image.  Most small customers are under the impress that images are RM and cost hundreds.

It would be nice to have a website to direct them to that was trustworthy and gave a fair commission.  I would love to have my own site (a selling site, not just website-have that); but so much to do now that I can not handle it at this time.  I am impressed with the terms of The3DStudio, up to 70% return without any of the hassles of running my own site; a family operation that I doubt will extort it's artists.

« Reply #58 on: February 28, 2011, 09:28 »
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Sorry, that's not sustainable. It won't survive for long!

Says who?
There has to be one important thing to be taken in account. Many Submitter are buyers too, like me. I buy arround 100 images per month as a freelance designer and for web designs. If only the contributors who are buyers too, and tehre should be many, give a preference to an photographer run agency, it should be AT LEAST enough money to keep it going and worthwhile.

You are talking about Coop which may be the ideal plan and not Non-profit. Non profit is usually for educational and/or charitable organization seeking tax exempt deals. Non profit comes across as a negative connotation now in days in the US.

Exactly. I`m not so much into non-profit :-)

Not sure what the problem with a non-profit is....we have a brick and mortar non-profit art gallery near where I live and the model has been working for years. There are photographers and painters and sculptors.  It is not advertised as a non-profit, most people who walk in think they are at a regular gallery.  I think a non-profit stock agency would be a better idea than a coop.  Coops get very complicated when you have hundreds of "owners" and actual business decisions need to be made. It also requires everyone to pay in to become an owner.  The not-for-profit aspect of buying art directly from artists would appeal to the sensibilities of many graphic designers who consider themselves artists as well.  It just would be nice to have a small artist run agency where the bulk of the profits were not going to a million dollar ceo salery, where the focus wasn't on constantly reducing commissions to make profits look better to share holders.  All profits would go back to artists. There are tons of fine examples of non-profit art stores most of which are brick and mortar, would be nice to bring the concept online.  It would look just like and be run just like a small agency... only run by artists with the only difference being more money to artists since there is no pressure to cut commission's to meet ever growing financial pressures from investors. 

velocicarpo

« Reply #59 on: February 28, 2011, 09:46 »
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Sorry, that's not sustainable. It won't survive for long!

Says who?
There has to be one important thing to be taken in account. Many Submitter are buyers too, like me. I buy arround 100 images per month as a freelance designer and for web designs. If only the contributors who are buyers too, and tehre should be many, give a preference to an photographer run agency, it should be AT LEAST enough money to keep it going and worthwhile.

You are talking about Coop which may be the ideal plan and not Non-profit. Non profit is usually for educational and/or charitable organization seeking tax exempt deals. Non profit comes across as a negative connotation now in days in the US.

Exactly. I`m not so much into non-profit :-)

Not sure what the problem with a non-profit is....we have a brick and mortar non-profit art gallery near where I live and the model has been working for years. There are photographers and painters and sculptors.  It is not advertised as a non-profit, most people who walk in think they are at a regular gallery.  I think a non-profit stock agency would be a better idea than a coop.  Coops get very complicated when you have hundreds of "owners" and actual business decisions need to be made. It also requires everyone to pay in to become an owner.  The not-for-profit aspect of buying art directly from artists would appeal to the sensibilities of many graphic designers who consider themselves artists as well.  It just would be nice to have a small artist run agency where the bulk of the profits were not going to a million dollar ceo salery, where the focus wasn't on constantly reducing commissions to make profits look better to share holders.  All profits would go back to artists. There are tons of fine examples of non-profit art stores most of which are brick and mortar, would be nice to bring the concept online.  It would look just like and be run just like a small agency... only run by artists with the only difference being more money to artists since there is no pressure to cut commission's to meet ever growing financial pressures from investors. 

No Problem with a non-Profit! It is just not what my Idea would be. I offer my help to a non-profit too, just don`t want to have too much responsibility in this case. I would prefer to start a sort of shareholder construction held by photographers. However, you are right that coops tend to get very complicated.

« Reply #60 on: February 28, 2011, 14:35 »
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Thanks, visceralimage for your positive comments about The3dStudio.commuch appreciated.  :-*

In August 2009, Matt did a series of blog posts about Building Trust at The3dStudio.com. Two in particular might be of interest to anyone thinking about starting an agency like ours or a coop. 

http://www.the3dstudio.com/blog_detail.aspx?id=980
http://www.the3dstudio.com/blog_detail.aspx?id=979

I am not writing this to be negative about the agency/coop idea, just to provide some info.

[email protected]

« Reply #61 on: March 01, 2011, 14:03 »
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It would be simple to adapt a KTools site to a virtual agency with multiple contributors.  The "Contributors Add-On" is available for $89 to anyone who wants to start their own stock agency.  And we have been long aware of the Photoshelter option to do the same.

For now I prefer to stick to my own branding with my website, but I would join a virtual agency depending on who was running it and what commission structure they were to offer.  I think it would be best if one of these agencies was started by a higher end contributor who already had a significant following within microstock, rather than someone like yours truly.   :P

graficallyminded

« Reply #62 on: March 03, 2011, 00:21 »
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If you want to add my website's link too
« Last Edit: July 22, 2011, 10:41 by PhotoPhan »

« Reply #63 on: March 03, 2011, 13:50 »
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Got your site added AC.  Great looking page!

graficallyminded

« Reply #64 on: March 03, 2011, 14:35 »
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Thanks so much Dan. There is a link back on my blogroll links section now.
« Last Edit: July 22, 2011, 10:41 by PhotoPhan »

« Reply #65 on: March 05, 2011, 04:35 »
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It would be simple to adapt a KTools site to a virtual agency with multiple contributors.  The "Contributors Add-On" is available for $89 to anyone who wants to start their own stock agency.  And we have been long aware of the Photoshelter option to do the same.

For now I prefer to stick to my own branding with my website, but I would join a virtual agency depending on who was running it and what commission structure they were to offer.  I think it would be best if one of these agencies was started by a higher end contributor who already had a significant following within microstock, rather than someone like yours truly.   :P

I agree this would be the most simple model, that could be implemented easily and work within few days already.
I would be interested to know if 5 to 10 of you having complementary folio of at least 3000 to 4000 pictures would be interested to join such initiative.
We could share the site and decide together the way to drive it. I already have littel experience with Ktool sites including contributor add on, not that I have a very wide experience, but at least a basic knowledge on how this works in practise....

The volume and diversity od such site will make it much more attractive.

Jean

« Reply #66 on: March 05, 2011, 11:36 »
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It would be simple to adapt a KTools site to a virtual agency with multiple contributors.  The "Contributors Add-On" is available for $89 to anyone who wants to start their own stock agency.  And we have been long aware of the Photoshelter option to do the same.

For now I prefer to stick to my own branding with my website, but I would join a virtual agency depending on who was running it and what commission structure they were to offer.  I think it would be best if one of these agencies was started by a higher end contributor who already had a significant following within microstock, rather than someone like yours truly.   :P

I agree this would be the most simple model, that could be implemented easily and work within few days already.
I would be interested to know if 5 to 10 of you having complementary folio of at least 3000 to 4000 pictures would be interested to join such initiative.
We could share the site and decide together the way to drive it. I already have littel experience with Ktool sites including contributor add on, not that I have a very wide experience, but at least a basic knowledge on how this works in practise....

The volume and diversity od such site will make it much more attractive.

Jean

I am definitly in. Portfolio of 6700 3D illustrations and some photos. Experience with the cms stock photo script and some in server administration (WHM/CPanel/CentOS).

« Reply #67 on: March 05, 2011, 14:47 »
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It would be simple to adapt a KTools site to a virtual agency with multiple contributors.  The "Contributors Add-On" is available for $89 to anyone who wants to start their own stock agency.  And we have been long aware of the Photoshelter option to do the same.

For now I prefer to stick to my own branding with my website, but I would join a virtual agency depending on who was running it and what commission structure they were to offer.  I think it would be best if one of these agencies was started by a higher end contributor who already had a significant following within microstock, rather than someone like yours truly.   :P

I agree this would be the most simple model, that could be implemented easily and work within few days already.
I would be interested to know if 5 to 10 of you having complementary folio of at least 3000 to 4000 pictures would be interested to join such initiative.
We could share the site and decide together the way to drive it. I already have littel experience with Ktool sites including contributor add on, not that I have a very wide experience, but at least a basic knowledge on how this works in practise....

The volume and diversity od such site will make it much more attractive.

Jean

I am definitly in. Portfolio of 6700 3D illustrations and some photos. Experience with the cms stock photo script and some in server administration (WHM/CPanel/CentOS).
Thank you Michael, very interesting, can you possibly send a link where we can see your work?
Thank you in advance,
jean

« Reply #68 on: March 05, 2011, 15:17 »
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...I sent you an PM
« Last Edit: March 05, 2011, 15:30 by Michaelp »

« Reply #69 on: March 06, 2011, 00:42 »
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I am interested but only 1100 wildlife images

« Reply #70 on: March 06, 2011, 04:28 »
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I am interested but only 1100 wildlife images

Thank you, I had a look at your folio and I think having it in our project makes sense because the nature of it.
Can you PM me as we are now few who discuss this beside the open forum.
Thank you
Jean

PS the door is still  open to all if there is a common interest!

« Reply #71 on: March 10, 2011, 19:14 »
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Everyone,

I have decided to form a Virtual Agency using my existing KTools site.  This way, nobody has to contribute money to a project that have no contract with to protect their investment in.

I am completely open to ideas about pricing and commissions.  My initial thought was to place prices close to Dreamstime's credit sales and iStock's non-exclusive credit sales.  Commissions would run around 70-80%, which would allow me to recoup my costs of setting up the agency and paying for monthly fees, and eventually start marketing.

I did some math...a 2400px image at iStock costs about $15, so a 80% commission would net the contributor $12.  Pretty sweet in my opinion.  A blog sized image priced at $4 would net $3.20.  That would be pretty fantastic if the lowest priced sale still produced a commission north of $3.  Think of the RPDs!   ;D

Some other thoughts -

* Photographers/artists would be accepted after I had a chance to review their portfolio.  Anyone interested can contact me, but I would like to begin with larger portfolios and establish a solid base.

* Once accepted, contributors would be able to contribute their work without review, sorta Alamy style.  But if the contributor was found to be uploading a lot of problematic images, they would no longer be able to upload until the workflow improved.

* We can have an Editorial section for people who produce a lot of editorial appropriate images.

* The independent sites I am familiar with gained traction once they got close to 30,000 images.  That is a good number to shoot for, and could be accomplished quickly with 4-5 large contributors.

* While I would run the site, anyone wanting to help out with design, or theory, would be more than welcome.  I'd like to create a contributor community of sorts where we could keep in touch with each other through MSG (or otherwise) and decide how we want to proceed.

Anyone interested should post here, or PM me. 


 

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