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08/17/2005 11:52:22 AM · #1
(The following PDF link is very dialup unfriendly)!!

I've dabbled with istockphoto for about 9 months now, and for the first time I have located one of my photos in circulation. Here on page 25 of the
Philadelphia METRO Newspaper is my best selling photo of left-right arrows. The photo was downloaded the day before the newspaper's publication date at a cost of $2.00, of which I received forty cents.

[sarcasm] WOO HOO!! [sarcasm off]

Not intending to start the whole microstock debate again although odds are that it will creep into the thread.... whatever, feel free to knock yourselves out. But you must admit, the photo isn't worth much more than a couple of bucks, eh? Just tickles me to finally see where one of my stock photos ended up.

Now for a BILLBOARD!!!

(BTW, here's the original photo)
---edit: deleted the dead link :)---

Message edited by author 2006-01-09 15:11:24.
08/17/2005 11:56:28 AM · #2
It's cool.
And I think I'll sit out that "whole microstock debate" this time around! :o)
08/17/2005 12:41:38 PM · #3
that is great, I have had my images used my this newspaper too! Congrats!
08/17/2005 12:54:23 PM · #4
how on earth do you guys find your photos??!!! ARGHHHH!!!!!@!*!!
08/17/2005 01:55:52 PM · #5
Originally posted by oOWonderBreadOo:

how on earth do you guys find your photos??!!! ARGHHHH!!!!!@!*!!


I have always wondered the same thing Laura. In this case some kind person at istock ran across the photo and sent me a PM. Melissa (melking23) had a link up here awhile back to many, many of her images in use so she might be able to give you a better answer. A first for me though:o)

Oh and thanks mel and kavita for the 'whoots'!!
09/15/2005 01:06:39 PM · #6
you can Google your name and see what happens...sometimes you find one of your own images
01/09/2006 07:16:17 AM · #7
Here is a link to My Images in Action

Melissa
01/09/2006 08:30:02 AM · #8
The individual success of photographers in the stock industry relys, almost wholely, on photographers as a group getting fed up with these lowball, out-only-for-themselves, microstock agencies.

I think it's a disgrace when I see people with some good photos up there or pages upon pages of galleries. You're contributing solely to the success of these businesses that do not care about you, but are pulling in six, even seven figures a year for themselves. But that's right, you get to maybe purchase a lens here and there or maybe you can upgrade your camera body with your money.

Well guess what, and I have a big secret for all the lowball lovers out there. I can guarantee you that if you can make enough money at a micro stock site to upgrade a piece of camera equipment, you can make more money on one weekend selling prints to local businesses than you will in a month at those sites. But unfortunately, that might take more work than some of you are willing to put in.

Anyway, as soon as everyone's fed up, and people start appreciating their own work, the industry will get back on its feet. I just hope no one over-cheapens themselves and hurts the value others place on their work. As soon as you're done submitting stuff to the micro-stock sites, start building a real portfolio of un-damaged, non-cheapened images, and withing six months or a year, you'll be thankful.

The best part of it is that if everyone stops submitting to those sites, the sites will go out of business and it'll be over for them.

Good luck.
01/09/2006 08:37:43 AM · #9
I once saw an image in an electronics magazine that was from istock, this guy put so much work into this image (painting the girl like the seasons, trully amazing). Anyway, his image was in each of the tvs that where displayed on like 2-3 pages and in hundreds of thousands of these catalogues. TOTAL EARNINGS FOR PHOTOGRAPHER= 0.40 cents!!!!!!

I was so pissed off and it wasnt even my picture.
01/09/2006 08:41:06 AM · #10
Originally posted by dpaull:

The individual success of photographers in the stock industry relys, almost wholely, on photographers as a group getting fed up with these lowball, out-only-for-themselves, microstock agencies.

I think it's a disgrace when I see people with some good photos up there or pages upon pages of galleries. You're contributing solely to the success of these businesses that do not care about you, but are pulling in six, even seven figures a year for themselves. But that's right, you get to maybe purchase a lens here and there or maybe you can upgrade your camera body with your money.

Well guess what, and I have a big secret for all the lowball lovers out there. I can guarantee you that if you can make enough money at a micro stock site to upgrade a piece of camera equipment, you can make more money on one weekend selling prints to local businesses than you will in a month at those sites. But unfortunately, that might take more work than some of you are willing to put in.

Anyway, as soon as everyone's fed up, and people start appreciating their own work, the industry will get back on its feet. I just hope no one over-cheapens themselves and hurts the value others place on their work. As soon as you're done submitting stuff to the micro-stock sites, start building a real portfolio of un-damaged, non-cheapened images, and withing six months or a year, you'll be thankful.

The best part of it is that if everyone stops submitting to those sites, the sites will go out of business and it'll be over for them.

Good luck.

You make an interesting point here. I'm very new to all this, so am playing with microstock for the exact reasons you said - I need new lenses and a body, but have all my money tied up in college. This looked like the easiest way to earn some extra, with the logic that the images are just sitting on my hard drive anyway, so why not make them work for me?
You mention selling to local businesses. I have some framed prints that I'd like to sell, at the moment I'm thinking of getting them on display at a local gallery and a few of the local "giftshop" type places. But I'm curious, could you elaborate a bit on the businesses aspect - how do you go about doing that? I think that (at least for myself) the reason we go with microstock isn't so much that we're wanting to skimp on work, as many of us just don't know about other options, or how to begin with them.
01/09/2006 09:14:29 AM · #11
Originally posted by dpaull:

... The best part of it is that if everyone stops submitting to those sites, the sites will go out of business and it'll be over for them. ...


Why do you sound so bitter? It's like you have some personal vendetta against the stock sites.

Perhaps I'm reading you wrong and you're just trying to be helpful by pointing out some alternative venues for generating cash flow?

Maybe a photographer could do both? Stock sales AND prints...

BTW, don't know if you've tried stock sales yourself, but it's not quite as easy as it sounds on the surface. Once you get going it's ok, but submitting the app's and building an online presence takes time and effort. I know, I just started myself...and another BTW, the stock sites can be picky at times on what they'll take. Word of advice for non-DSLR owners that want to try stock...shoot at the lowest ISO setting your camera allows to cut down on noise.

Smile and keep having fun! ;^)
Barry
01/09/2006 09:51:30 AM · #12
Originally posted by glad2badad:

Originally posted by dpaull:

... The best part of it is that if everyone stops submitting to those sites, the sites will go out of business and it'll be over for them. ...


Why do you sound so bitter? It's like you have some personal vendetta against the stock sites.

Perhaps I'm reading you wrong and you're just trying to be helpful by pointing out some alternative venues for generating cash flow?

Maybe a photographer could do both? Stock sales AND prints...

BTW, don't know if you've tried stock sales yourself, but it's not quite as easy as it sounds on the surface. Once you get going it's ok, but submitting the app's and building an online presence takes time and effort. I know, I just started myself...and another BTW, the stock sites can be picky at times on what they'll take. Word of advice for non-DSLR owners that want to try stock...shoot at the lowest ISO setting your camera allows to cut down on noise.

Smile and keep having fun! ;^)
Barry


People who are trying to make money at photography should be bitter, they are getting killed by these microstock vultures.

Yeah, it is more work than it would seem, so why do so many devalue their efforts and sell something for $0.40 that they could get much more for elsewhere. It's just stupid.
01/09/2006 10:16:27 AM · #13
Originally posted by OdysseyF22:


You make an interesting point here. I'm very new to all this, so am playing with microstock for the exact reasons you said - I need new lenses and a body, but have all my money tied up in college.


I tried micro sites for a while - about 200 images. After a few months I had made about $70 TOTAL - from all the sites - not even enough to request a check from most sites. (they pay you .20 an image, then say you need at least $25 in sales to request a check - do that math)

Moved the same images to "real" stock sites - I've made enough selling two images to pay for my entire camera setup.

I have commercial photographer friends. When they sell an image RF (royalty free) they sell them for $7,000. Now these are kick-butt images that they work on for a whole day to get, but the point here is there are people out there paying THIS kind of money for stock. When the market has that kind of top end, why would you start at .20?

I regularly get $600 - $750 (regularly for the last few months) for images just sitting on my hard drive. I put a signature on my emails saying to look at my images online, and the referrals just started coming.

Alamy has been great for me - same 200 images as the micro sites had - selling for $350 each. The sales are fewer, but I make a lot more.

If you need to cut your teeth in stock, micro might be a good way to do this. But cut those teeth quickly, get your images off of those cheap sites, and make the money you deserve. (BTW, my current challenge image was shot for stock. I'm getting a 5.9 right now on a shot I worked all day on, but the first $350 check will make the 5.9 easier to swallow.) :-)

After 15 years as a freelance artist I've found that the market will pay you what YOU think you are worth.
01/09/2006 10:23:09 AM · #14
Originally posted by nova:

But you must admit, the photo isn't worth much more than a couple of bucks, eh? Just tickles me to finally see where one of my stock photos ended up.


Alamy would have sold this for a minimum of $155 for this placement in this paper.


01/09/2006 11:23:45 AM · #15
Originally posted by nova:

The photo was downloaded the day before the newspaper's publication date at a cost of $2.00, of which I received forty cents.

[sarcasm] WOO HOO!! [sarcasm off]



The bad thing is, that they are destroying the value of stock and at the same time only giving the photographer 20%??!!! Alamy gives you 65% and Photo Direct gives you 80% with much higher sales. Then all the newbies want to argue that their images aren't worth more with the more experienced photographers that tell them their images are good and worth way more money per image. Go figure. We give them a compliment, they argue it's not deserved. :D
01/09/2006 12:05:10 PM · #16
Isnít the law of supply and demand a bitch?
01/09/2006 12:09:33 PM · #17
Originally posted by LoudDog:

Isnít the law of supply and demand a bitch?


That's why it's important to "educate" the supply side. ;o)
01/09/2006 12:26:37 PM · #18
First off, congrats to Nova for getting published -- very cool!

Here's my .02 (or .23 as the case may be :) on the whole microstock issue. Anyone who puts shots up on these sites and later finds out that their shot was used in a big publication, and whines that they only made pennies for it, shouldn't have their shots on those sites to begin with.

When you put your shots up on one of these sites, (please put your computer screen right up to your ear) THAT'S WHAT YOU AGREED TO.

I look at it this way. I have no desire whatsoever to pound on doors to attract a publication to use my stock photos. Nor do I really have that ability, really. I sincerely doubt that this Philadelphia newspaper would have had a direct way to contact Nova for this shot when they needed such a thing, and they would undoubtedly have had no way of knowing that Nova had taken such a shot, or that Nova even exists.

The microstock sites give everyday photographers an ability to sell shots to places they wouldn't have likely had access to. That's what these sites are paid for. That's why they exist. That's why they make money, and that's why they deserve to make money.

I have shots on Shutterstock, and I've made a few hundred bucks with it that I wouldn't have had otherwise. So I'm a happy camper. If I were to find someplace that used one of my shots, rather than bitch about it, I'd be happy to see it in print, and I'd stick it on my resume. I have no right to whine about what little money I made from it.

To use these sites, or not to use them is a PERSONAL DECISION. What's so hard about that for people to understand? I'm happy with what it does for me, and I'm sure others are. If you're upset about making $.40 or $.20 a pop, then take your images down, and YOU go figure out how to market them.

Message edited by author 2006-01-09 13:05:46.
01/09/2006 12:30:50 PM · #19
Originally posted by digitalknight:

Originally posted by nova:

But you must admit, the photo isn't worth much more than a couple of bucks, eh? Just tickles me to finally see where one of my stock photos ended up.


Alamy would have sold this for a minimum of $155 for this placement in this paper.

and this paper had the choice to buy from alamy or a microstock, and they chose the microstock. why? it met their need and budget.
01/09/2006 01:07:09 PM · #20
Originally posted by alanfreed:

To use these sites, or not to use them is a PERSONAL DECISION. What's so hard about that for people to understand? I'm happy with what it does for me, and I'm sure others are. If you're upset about making $.40 or $.20 a pop, then take your images down, and YOU go figure out how to market them.

Amen, Alan.

Some of us are quite happy working to a "pile em high, sell em cheap" model thank you very much.
01/09/2006 01:16:16 PM · #21
Originally posted by Brent_Ward:

The bad thing is, that they are destroying the value of stock and at the same time only giving the photographer 20%??!!! Alamy gives you 65% and Photo Direct gives you 80% with much higher sales. Then all the newbies want to argue that their images aren't worth more with the more experienced photographers that tell them their images are good and worth way more money per image.Go figure. We give them a compliment, they argue it's not deserved. :D


Originally posted by alanfreed:


To use these sites, or not to use them is a PERSONAL DECISION. What's so hard about that for people to understand? I'm happy with what it does for me, and I'm sure others are. If you're upset about making $.40 or $.20 a pop, then take your images down, and YOU go figure out how to market them.


Point of my original post could not of been proven more right.
01/09/2006 01:24:34 PM · #22
Originally posted by Brent_Ward:

Originally posted by LoudDog:

Isnít the law of supply and demand a bitch?


That's why it's important to "educate" the supply side. ;o)


Exactly.

If you can sell something 10 times for $0.40 or once for $100, why would you choose the former? It's just not smart. You don't need to be a rocket scientist to figure that out.

Everytime I see someone posting about another $0.20 that they made through Crapstock or whatever microstock site they're giving their images to, all I can think is, "What an idiot". It's like bragging that you got your pocket picked.


01/09/2006 01:29:09 PM · #23
You know what might be the worst part of the whole micro thing to me... The photo is credited to ISTOCKPHOTO.COM only and not John Smith/Alamy, as is the case with the macros.

Alan, I think that the reason that macro photogs complain so much about the micro sites is that they are afraid that the micro sites are going to put the macro sites and the macro photog out of business. There mere existence frightens the macro photog. So they blame you, who will sell your image for $1 for the fact that the paper didn't buy a $200 photo from them.

Wether this is true or not, is another issue. But it at least explains why they are so vocal... your actions (supposedly) directly impact their revenue stream.
01/09/2006 01:32:37 PM · #24
Originally posted by livitup:

You know what might be the worst part of the whole micro thing to me... The photo is credited to ISTOCKPHOTO.COM only and not John Smith/Alamy, as is the case with the macros.

Alan, I think that the reason that macro photogs complain so much about the micro sites is that they are afraid that the micro sites are going to put the macro sites and the macro photog out of business. There mere existence frightens the macro photog. So they blame you, who will sell your image for $1 for the fact that the paper didn't buy a $200 photo from them.

Wether this is true or not, is another issue. But it at least explains why they are so vocal... your actions (supposedly) directly impact their revenue stream.


It's more about the future of stock in general and educating people about the real worth of their photography. I'm passing down knowledge that I was fortunate enough to be tought ( by an early mentor & friend). Who are you gonna listen too? Teh micro sites telling you that it's all fine and dandy (while they make all the money from your images) or pro's with stock business model knowledge who do not profit directly from the decision.

This is the link to the guy who taught me almost everything I know about the biz. He's the most generous guy you will ever meet.//www.airtoair.net/

Message edited by author 2006-01-09 13:38:16.
01/09/2006 01:47:46 PM · #25
Originally posted by livitup:

Alan, I think that the reason that macro photogs complain so much about the micro sites is that they are afraid that the micro sites are going to put the macro sites and the macro photog out of business.


Welcome to the current day and age.

This is the same complaint people make about Wal-Mart, and how they're putting the mom & pop shops out of business. Sure, there are plenty of people who don't like the idea of Wal-Marts taking away business from the little guy; I do wish the small businesses had the same opportunities to have their buying power. But they don't. That's reality.

The fact of the matter is that many people shop there because that's where they're going to get the most bang for their buck. If I decide to boycott Wal-Mart, I'm only costing myself money. Wal-Mart is far from from going out of business because of people boycotting them.

Same deal with stock photos. The landscape of stock photography is changing, like it or not. I wouldn't anticipate a mass exodus of people fleeing from these sites out of principle. Those who are making a living off of stock photos either need to learn how to creatively deal with the issue, or they can simply die off. Complaining ain't gonna make it go away...
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