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11/25/2009 06:53:10 PM · #1
//www.photographersdirect.com/sellers/microstock_sites.asp

Fair Trade is a good way to view it. I have been kicking myself since I did it. I would not treat others this bad, why do I let people do it to me?
Are you being taken advantage of?

I think I need to collect my meager earnings and hope my other agencies do better by me.

Just thought others may be interested.

Sorry for the CAPS : (
not sure how to undo

Message edited by author 2009-11-25 20:12:00.
11/25/2009 08:28:35 PM · #2
Good read. I hesitate so much that I've almost zero images online. On one hand I want to plunge into microstock but on the other hand I want to take it easy and submit quality stuff to Allamy and the other true stock sites. I just can't get over the feeling I'm giving my stuff away. But then again it's stuff that's just sitting there on my HDD. See what I mean.....
11/25/2009 09:18:40 PM · #3
Personally, I still can't get myself to be upset about this.

After reading this post, I did some Googling and found three more books where my shots have appeared through microstock (two of them are about Barack Obama's presidency, and the other is a Pennsylvania guide). Sure, an argument can be made that I should be honked off that I made about $1 for this, but it's not like I went into microstock blindly and didn't know this ahead of time.

For me, it's three more books I can show clients when I show people examples of where I've been published (obviously they won't know or care what I was paid). And it's money I wouldn't have had otherwise (these people were looking on Shutterstock for shots... I doubt they would have found me through other means). Those dollars do add up (whether the shots end up in a book, or a newsletter, or whatever), and I have to do nothing to earn it once I upload the shots.

After Thanksgiving, I'll be heading to Barnes & Noble to see if I can find these books, personally!

Message edited by author 2009-11-25 21:21:03.
11/26/2009 09:56:34 AM · #4
We've all wrestled with the microstock issue. I hate the whole microstock concept, I really wish it would disappear from the face of the Earth, but that's not going to happen. This is an economic supply and demand issue. There are too many photographs on the market.

My approach is simple. Images that anyone can easily shoot will rarely sell on a macro site. So I assign them to my micro collection.

Images that are conceptual, truly unique, or difficult to shoot, go macro. 85% of my images are macro. However if I see similar images selling on micro sites, and I'm getting no traction for those types of images in macro, those images get transfered to my micro collection. I do it reluctantly and slowly, but logic dictates I do so.
But I do so with restraint.

15% of my work is at micrstock agencies, but they only provide 2% of my stock revenue.

Message edited by author 2009-11-26 09:58:29.
11/26/2009 10:57:25 AM · #5
I agree with Alan. Had I made significantly more with Photographer's Direct in the two years that I "left" microstock and went with them (at the time I didn't have a camera suitable for alamy or the other big boys. now, i have the camera and not the skillz), I might feel differently. However, i made *nothing* at PD, whereas, I can upload a shot that would be sitting on my hard drive doing nothing, and earn *something* for it.

Would I rather get $250 for a picture? Well, yea. that is a no brainer. BUT, in reality, the shot I've earned the most on at the micro sites would not have even been accepted at the "big" sites.

And, reading an article on PD about microstock is about as "unbiased" as a republican publication that offers why you shouldn't vote democrat. . . :P :P :P
11/26/2009 03:36:21 PM · #6
I guess when I think about the 'supply and demand' part, I just feel like if we did not keep supplying them with images for .25 then there would be demand for higher priced images.
I won't be coffee and tea and other items made under poverty conditions, yet I will give away my photos. I guess I am mad at myself.
I like the idea about being able to show published works (regardless of price paid) but I wonder if they did ask how much I was paid, if they would want to pay more than that for my images.

I guess I just want to have pride in my work. I have sent an email to shutterstock to be paid out and will remove my stuff. For the few hundred bucks I have made, I feel like I have lost my dignity.... : (
Thanks for your thoughts!

11/27/2009 11:48:10 AM · #7
If there was no microstock, what would there be? There would be free sites instead. Microstock started when a few designers decided to offer their photos for free and then they started charging small amounts. Prices have gone up and up, now some of the sites have prices getting close to the traditional sites. Microstock has faults, some licenses should cost much more but I think it is better than free sites. There is a big market for selling blog size images for $1 and those buyers wouldn't pay $200. Should that market be ignored? The BBC used to ask me for free photos, as they don't pay for photos on their local websites but now they buy them from a microstock site. I see that as a positive, microstock might of been good for the stock industry :)
11/28/2009 07:03:33 AM · #8
The 'war against microstock' is so last year :) I think it is a pretty well accepted business with many people making serious cash. Not that it is easy - but it has been proven to be a very workable business model for those with the right skill set.
12/21/2009 05:08:33 AM · #9
A new Photostock was opened:
imagella.com

We accept Photos, Illustrations, Vectors, Flash, PictureReproduction and Video!!1
12/21/2009 07:33:45 AM · #10
Originally posted by leaf:

The 'war against microstock' is so last year :) I think it is a pretty well accepted business with many people making serious cash. Not that it is easy - but it has been proven to be a very workable business model for those with the right skill set.


Saying 'is so last year' is so last century. ;)

tolya250504,

You could have said hi before posting your first reply to a post. :)
12/21/2009 09:56:59 AM · #11
Originally posted by Jac:

Originally posted by leaf:

The 'war against microstock' is so last year :) I think it is a pretty well accepted business with many people making serious cash. Not that it is easy - but it has been proven to be a very workable business model for those with the right skill set.


Saying 'is so last year' is so last century. ;)



Ok, fine - but that doesn't negate my point.
12/21/2009 05:28:51 PM · #12
Originally posted by leaf:

Originally posted by Jac:

Originally posted by leaf:

The 'war against microstock' is so last year :) I think it is a pretty well accepted business with many people making serious cash. Not that it is easy - but it has been proven to be a very workable business model for those with the right skill set.


Saying 'is so last year' is so last century. ;)



Ok, fine - but that doesn't negate my point.


I was kidding and you're right. :)
01/27/2010 12:22:04 PM · #13
Microstock seems to serve as a training ground and a launching point to qualify submitters for the bigger agencies. After going to the "University of google" and "College of youtube", I cruised stock forums and then applied to SS,DT,IS & FT. I got into all on my first attempt and learned alot from the rejections process. Whats even better is that I earned as I learned. The rejections process improved my work and made me pay a lot more attention to technical detail. I got invited to the gettyflickr team. I've since stopped uploading to micros, actually I stopped long before the invite.

My problem with micros is that the rewards are supposed to be based on high volume sales. Well I dont see the high volume sales that I used to get. So for my part, when I sell an image for 33cents to a dollar I'm literally giving it away.

Also! the reviews process at the micros are as tough and tougher than macro agencies in some instances. The reviews process is bordering on ridiculous at some micros.

Remember! the micros started with a campaign of "get those photos off your HD and earn some money". Thats a model for selling low quality images for pennies. I think the micros are starting to change this model because they're trying to get all high quality images. But they dont want to pay the contributors for high quality images.

I see a few other contributors have stopped contributing to MS and moved to macro. I'm probably wrong but it looks to me like the micros may end up training photogs and the macros gobble them up and their images.

I'm not knocking mstock, I just think you should know what you want to get out of it.

Edit to add: I still upload to the micros, but about one item every two weeks or a month. Items I dont think qualify for macro.

Message edited by author 2010-01-28 12:51:41.
01/28/2010 04:27:02 PM · #14
Unlike most people here, I started with macro-stock. However, I noticed that certain good-quality images just didn't sell. I saw a pattern. Photos that are too easy to shoot, such as fruit, textures, currency, etc. will only sell at the micro level. So I'm willing to let those easy-to-shoot images go at the micro level. However, 80% of my collection is at the macro level.

I don't suggest taking an all or nothing approach. Compare each image to what is being sold at the micro and macro levels, then decide carefully. When in doubt, go macro. Occassionally, I'm still surprised at what will sell at the macro level.
02/10/2010 12:58:12 PM · #15
Its really wierd macro and micro, with me i submit to istock (did to stockxpert, now a part of istock), shutterstock and alamy mainly, i get volume sales on the microstock as expected, with totalling sales after 8 months or so of about ~$120, and on macrostock i have one sale in the same period for ~$100, so overall there isnt much difference i guess. however, there are other factors to look, at, for instance, on SS i have about 100 files, most of which sell, so far totalling ~$50, but on istock i only have 30ish, with only 3 selling at all, and these sales add to another $50ish. It just shows the sheer difference in how it all works, its all good with the \'ethics\' of stock photography but with me as an example the amount i make is in a way independant of the selling price. However it does pose some questions, for instance, if i take off the best selling photos from micro and put them only on macro will i see more macro sales? or will people just go for an alternative in micro? my intension from the start was to try and use micro to identify which images would be best suited for macro, but to be honest its just too much hassle moving photos around etc.

Ps It\'d be great if anyone could have a look at my portfolio at any of these sites and give me any tips on what you think i could move around etc, thanks very much,
note: i tried to post the links to my galleries on here but since im new it wont let me, so this is the best i can do i think: shutterstock.com/g/brightspark567
thanks again
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