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4 hours ago, Betty LaRue said:

 My first foray into it was iStock. Big mistake. I was there very little time because I kept researching, and discovered what MS was doing to long-time stock photographers. It didn’t set right with me so I closed my account and came to Alamy.

 

Betty, this is interesting, as I also started with IS.   While I totally share your perception, ironically IS  will now become 2nd best earning micro after Adobe.  Even with 15% compensation.  That is great picture of state of micro stock industry and overall downward spiral.

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7 hours ago, Autumn Sky said:

 

You need to walk in slums, eat where they eat, talk to common everyday people & see how they live, not minority working in tourist establishments for tips. I have done that & please trust me I have broader picture than many. These are in most cases good people, just trying to make ends meet. So if they can help feeding their child with 10 cent stock sale, how can anyone blame them or say it is matter of choice.

 

 

How can anyone blame someone from getting off their a**e to make a few extra dollars to support their family.

It's the exploitation of them by the likes of shutterstock that I, and I'm sure others find objectionable.

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14 hours ago, GeoffK said:

 

Sorry but for the major contribs it will be a very short term dip. Those with 500 dls a day will double their percentage in one day - a week will add another level. True these are the minority but frankly they are the minority that most agencies are interested in.

 

MSG has some feedback from a few where they are already some way up the new greasy pole - I don't know how the top percentage compares to previous top sub royalty but I suspect the commission grab is aimed at the lower end of the payout scale - people like me who dipped a toe and came late to the party. 

 

When I mentioned locations, I meant offices/business premises. 

 

What you say is true, the high performers will double their percentage in short order but that still doesn't change the fact that most package sales are producing 10c sales with a few reaching the giddy heights of 17c. These are far and away the majority of sales. Even the level 5 contributors are reporting these earnings. They may well increase their earnings with on demand, but these are a minority of sales.

I still maintain that unless they are making individual deals with the high earners (also very likely), these producers will take a hit along with everyone else on the majority of their sales throughout the year, the January reset makes no real difference to these people.

A lot of others will take months, if at all to reach the higher levels.

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On 31/05/2020 at 21:29, John Mitchell said:

 

This has become my approach, spend as little as possible. For instance, I only buy used lenses and do very little travelling. I'm also using free RAW processing software and an ancient version of PS Elements. I recently bought a refurbished DELL tower to replace my Windows 7 machine. It cost so little that I'm embarrassed to say the amount. Of course being cheap by nature helps a lot...

 

 

 

As we complain of those willing to take little or no money for their images being a big part of the downturn in stock, are we too not just as guilty when we use free software instead of paying for it?  There are people willing to give away their expertise and offer GNU software for anyone to use.

 

I am just as guilty.  I use free software to edit my videos.  Before I increased my OneDrive cloud and got Office 365  with it,  I used Open Office for all my spreadsheets and documents.  I use Wiztree to check on drive space and file hogs.  7zip instead of Winzip.  I use Opencart for the ecommerce platform for my website.  The list goes on.

 

If these companies or individuals did not offer these products for free, I would have to buy them.

 

Jill

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Jill Morgan said:

 

As we complain of those willing to take little or no money for their images being a big part of the downturn in stock, are we too not just as guilty when we use free software instead of paying for it?  There are people willing to give away their expertise and offer GNU software for anyone to use.

 

I am just as guilty.  I use free software to edit my videos.  Before I increased my OneDrive cloud and got Office 365  with it,  I used Open Office for all my spreadsheets and documents.  I use Wiztree to check on drive space and file hogs.  7zip instead of Winzip.  I use Opencart for the ecommerce platform for my website.  The list goes on.

 

If these companies or individuals did not offer these products for free, I would have to buy them.

 

Jill

 

I get your point, but I don't usually have a lot of guilt about using "free" software. For instance, the free software Capture One Express for Sony that I've been using recently for RAW processing resulted from a partnership between Sony and Phase One. The former is a very rich company, so I don't really feel too bad about taking advantage of the offer, especially since I've invested quite a bit in Sony equipment (there is no free lunch). Also, the processing software is actually a form of advertising for the two companies. In fact, I'm giving them free advertising right now. 😀

 

P.S.  Can you not contribute money to the developers of some of the software that you like? I believe that you can contribute to the Open Office project. BTW, what does "GNU" stand for? UPDATE: Just found it.

Edited by John Mitchell

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Posted (edited)
9 hours ago, BobD said:

 

How can anyone blame someone from getting off their a**e to make a few extra dollars to support their family.

It's the exploitation of them by the likes of shutterstock that I, and I'm sure others find objectionable.

Yes.  I won't disagree with this.   But it is 'business' & practices that have been present in one form or the other since dawn of humanity

You could also then start blasting Apple for making iPhones in China. Or .... list goes on.  That's just how it is in this world.  SS analyzed micro market and figured they can get away with it without hurting the business.   End of story   

 

(I still think they slashed it too much not to feel any pain, but I might be wrong. We'll see)

Edited by Autumn Sky

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6 minutes ago, John Mitchell said:

 

 

 

P.S.  Can you not contribute money to the developers of some of the software that you like? I believe that you can to the Open Office project. BTW, what does "GNU" stand for?

 

You can donate, but how many do?  And it is still offered for free, undercutting those trying to make a living at it.  And are the bigger companies undercutting the smaller ones by giving their products for free?  Is Sony harming smaller companies by cutting them out in the price war for image software.  

 

I'm sure most of us have some form of free software on our computers and have thought nothing about using it.  Thankful that someone is doing it for free just because they like to code.  My son is a programmer and resents those that offer up free software, same as we the photographer resent those that don't care if they get paid very little or nothing for their images.

 

It's everywhere.

 

According to Wiki:  GNU is a recursive acronym for "GNU's Not Unix!", chosen because GNU's design is Unix-like, but differs from Unix by being free software and containing no Unix code. The GNU project includes an operating system kernel, GNU Hurd, which was the original focus of the Free Software Foundation (FSF).

 

Jill

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Posted (edited)
21 minutes ago, Jill Morgan said:

 

You can donate, but how many do?  And it is still offered for free, undercutting those trying to make a living at it.  And are the bigger companies undercutting the smaller ones by giving their products for free?  Is Sony harming smaller companies by cutting them out in the price war for image software.  

 

I'm sure most of us have some form of free software on our computers and have thought nothing about using it.  Thankful that someone is doing it for free just because they like to code.  My son is a programmer and resents those that offer up free software, same as we the photographer resent those that don't care if they get paid very little or nothing for their images.

 

It's everywhere.

 

According to Wiki:  GNU is a recursive acronym for "GNU's Not Unix!", chosen because GNU's design is Unix-like, but differs from Unix by being free software and containing no Unix code. The GNU project includes an operating system kernel, GNU Hurd, which was the original focus of the Free Software Foundation (FSF).

 

Jill

 

Have to admit that I haven't been a big donator. You raise some interesting points, especially about undercutting. There are definitely parallels with stock photography. The MS agency being discussed in this thread comes to mind. They are undercutting when there really isn't anything left to cut.

 

That said, undercutting and thereby putting others in financial jeopardy is built into our economic system. Even the "sharing economy" practices it --  Uber puts taxi drivers out of work,  Airbnb undercuts hotels, etc.

Edited by John Mitchell

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Posted (edited)

I think that the business plan of some of these free software outfits is to build up a large user base, establish themselves as a 'must have' technology and then get bought by one of the big players. 

 

I can't remember the name of the company ( might have been Dutch?)  that created the RAW processor system that Adobe bought to build Lightroom. They promised to always be free to the user and that was how they built their name from start-up to Adobe buy-out. There is nothing like free to build up users. Now how do we make use of that idea??

Edited by geogphotos

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22 minutes ago, geogphotos said:

I think that the business plan of some of these free software outfits is to build up a large user base, establish themselves as a 'must have' technology and then get bought by one of the big players.

 

With much "free" software It's pretty widely understood that - "when you don't pay for a product - you are the product".   

 

Under the covers data mining and selling is rampant.   Our personal and internet data is a gold mine that's worth a lot of $$ in aggregate.   Recently exposed example was Avast's free antivirus s/w:

https://www.techworm.net/2020/01/avast-free-antivirus-track-sold-user-data.html

 

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Free online software scares me, for the most part! I feel safer with the stuff you have to pay for.

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1 hour ago, Phil said:

 

With much "free" software It's pretty widely understood that - "when you don't pay for a product - you are the product".   

 

Under the covers data mining and selling is rampant.   Our personal and internet data is a gold mine that's worth a lot of $$ in aggregate.   Recently exposed example was Avast's free antivirus s/w:

https://www.techworm.net/2020/01/avast-free-antivirus-track-sold-user-data.html

 

 

 

Very good point. Thanks for the reminder.

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3 hours ago, KHA said:

Free online software scares me, for the most part! I feel safer with the stuff you have to pay for.

 

have no problem with some developers entry free software which they are doing so in order for people to get hooked, like Capture One.

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Posted (edited)
16 hours ago, meanderingemu said:

 

have no problem with some developers entry free software which they are doing so in order for people to get hooked, like Capture One.

 

I think that in the case of the free Capture One software, it was a matter of Sony wanting to come up with a good product to accompany their cameras, and they seem to have succeeded. Of course, it is also good advertising for  Phase One. I'm sure that the developers and programmers got paid for their efforts. The free version of the software has most of the features of the paid-for full version, which would be overkill for me. After spending several thousands of dollars an Sony equipment, I don't have any problem using some free software to go along with it. Thanks, Sony.

Edited by John Mitchell

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2 minutes ago, John Mitchell said:

 

I think that in the case of the free Capture One software, it was a matter of Sony wanting to come up with a good product to accompany their cameras, and they seem to have succeeded. Of course, it is also good advertising for  Phase One. I'm sure that the developers and programmers got paid for their efforts. The free version of the software has most of the features of the paid-for full version, which would be overkill for me. After spending several thousands of dollars an Sony equipment, I don't have any problem using some free software to go along with it. Thanks, Sony.

 

 

we have the same with Fuji, but i think with so many people having worm effect problems with LR, it would make marketing sense to hook people into C1 with the free reduced version.  In the end they got my licence money when i got fed up paying the $15 per month to Adobe...

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4 hours ago, meanderingemu said:

 

 In the end they got my licence money when i got fed up paying the $15 per month to Adobe...

 

Ça va faire la job!

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On 06/06/2020 at 19:07, Autumn Sky said:

You need to walk in slums, eat where they eat, talk to common everyday people & see how they live, not minority working in tourist establishments for tips. I have done that & please trust me I have broader picture than many. These are in most cases good people, just trying to make ends meet. So if they can help feeding their child with 10 cent stock sale, how can anyone blame them or say it is matter of choice.

 

When I go abroad I put various stuff I don't need in my huge backpack, things I'd throw away here or give to Salvation Army. Because if I gave that sweater or pair of pants to my Nepal guide, he'd not have to buy one & have more money to feed his family.  This is the reality of life in vast parts of this planet sadly.

 

 

 

 

Basically, I don't live in the tourist parts of Nicaragua.  I doubt seriously that the very poorest go out with their cellphones to take photos.  I've been warned in Managua to keep my cell phone in my bra by Nicaraguan women sharing a cab with me.  I you're that poor, the cell phone is a prized possession,  not to be risked by running around taking photos in public with it.   I've been warned in my first neighborhood not to wave it around facing the sky to get a GPS reading, too. 

I've met women who ate rice and beans and sold tortillas for 1 cord each and couldn't afford to eat them.  They were highly unlikely to be submitting photos to Alamy.  One cord is around 3 cents US.

 

My helper makes 700 cords a week for walking my dog twice a day, around US $21, and makes half that from a friend who has him walk one of her dogs once a day, and makes C$200 for shopping for us (per person) and C$200 for cleaning my downstairs rooms once a week, plus C$100 extra for cleaning the two upstairs rooms.  Ten cents would be around 3-4 cordobas, and wouldn't buy more than three or four tortillas.  

 

It doesn't spend like $10 US.

 

My helper has a wife and daughter.   And a kitten.   And a third employer who may or not be getting money to him now (she's stranded in the US due to the virus).

 

Some photographers in Central America might be happy to be making $200 a month from stock in addition to local wedding, portrait, and school photography, but my local professional photographer has Godox lights and a Canon DSLR, and does printing and framing as well as the senior portraits and passport photos and wedding formals. 

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I am more and more of opinion SS just cut it too much.  Basically it is now "10 cent download" micro.   I am now getting 38 cent downloads on DT, after their 10% June 1 increase.  Yes it is peanuts but it is also almost 4 times more.  Even few months ago SS and DT could not even be talked about at same level.   I doubt many people with high-end images (i.e. Alamy quality) will be willing to keep them on SS under these conditions.  So the business path they chose to take might be "we are offering huge amount of low quality cellphone shots at a bargain price".

 

 

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Posted (edited)
16 hours ago, Autumn Sky said:

I am more and more of opinion SS just cut it too much.  Basically it is now "10 cent download" micro. […]  I doubt many people with high-end images (i.e. Alamy quality) will be willing to keep them on SS under these conditions. 

 

My opinion is quite different. I personally don't think it will have much impact on the content of SS collection. When someone already agreed to sell a photo for 30 cents or so, I sincerely don't see what will keep him from selling the same image for 10 cents (or even less actually)…

It always seemed to me that the logic of contributors to microstocks was to submit all of their images to every possible microstock website in order to get every single penny they can, whatever the vertiginous drop in price of the photographic image that this practice implies, so…

Of course, a few contributors may leave the ship with great noise but at the end of the day, it will probably be nothing more than a statistical detail for SS.

On the other hand, the benefits generated by this cut in commissions will be significant for SS.

Edited by Olivier Parent
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36 minutes ago, Olivier Parent said:

 

My opinion is quite different. I personally don't think it will have much impact on the content of their collection. When someone already agreed to sell a photo for 30 cents or so, I sincerely don't see what will keep him from selling the same image for 10 cents (or even less actually)…

It always seemed to me that the logic of contributors to microstocks was to submit all of their images to every possible microstock website in order to get every single penny they can, whatever the vertiginous drop in price of the photographic image that this practice implies, so…

Of course, a few contributors may leave the ship with great noise but at the end of the day, it will probably be nothing more than a statistical detail for SS.

On the other hand, the benefits generated by this cut in commissions will be significant for SS.

 

 

the biggest impact is drop to 15% on other licences each January for long term partners, who had reached level 3-4 before, and on the video side.    

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Posted (edited)
6 minutes ago, meanderingemu said:

 

 

the biggest impact is drop to 15% on other licences each January for long term partners, who had reached level 3-4 before, and on the video side.    

 

But will that affect the content of SS collection in a significant manner?

In other words, do you think these long time partners will all close their accounts?

I doubt it.

Edited by Olivier Parent

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Posted (edited)
6 minutes ago, Olivier Parent said:

 

But will that affect the content of SS collection in a significant manner?

In other words, do you think these long time partners will all close their accounts?

I doubt it.

 

well in first week there was an effective drop of 1,600,000 images.  we will see.  But in the end it will be the customer who decide, and based on some of my experience, they don't seem to care about quality.  SS is the Walmart of stock photo

Edited by meanderingemu
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1,6000,000 images represent something like 0,5% of SS collection and, given the incredible amount of similars they have, it probably got unnoticed.

If I read correctly, they add an average of 200,000 new images a day, meaning they add 1,600,000 images in only 8 days… 

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1 hour ago, meanderingemu said:

SS is the Walmart of stock photo


I don't think even Walmart sells stuff for ten cents, though . . . Not even the gumball machines outside. Photographers should give that some thought, because Walmart has economies of scale an individual photographer will never have that allow it to survive with razor-thin profit margins. The microstock industry has devised a model built on loss-leading Black Friday every day of the year, except the loss comes from their suppliers, not them.

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Posted (edited)
7 hours ago, Olivier Parent said:

 

My opinion is quite different. I personally don't think it will have much impact on the content of SS collection. When someone already agreed to sell a photo for 30 cents or so, I sincerely don't see what will keep him from selling the same image for 10 cents (or even less actually)…

It always seemed to me that the logic of contributors to microstocks was to submit all of their images to every possible microstock website in order to get every single penny they can, whatever the vertiginous drop in price of the photographic image that this practice implies, so…

Of course, a few contributors may leave the ship with great noise but at the end of the day, it will probably be nothing more than a statistical detail for SS.

On the other hand, the benefits generated by this cut in commissions will be significant for SS.

Good reasoning.   Comment re "logic of contributors to microstocks was to submit all of their images to every possible microstock website in order to get every single penny they can".  Once again I point to contributors from geographic areas where every penny counts, even if most people on this forum don't seem to agree with me.  Second, by very virtue of "microstock" it is quantity over quality.   Or something I read when starting ~3 yrs ago, quote "It is better to sell photo 100 times for a dollar, then 1 time for 100 dollars".   (Most everyone in this forum will disagree with this logic I know, but it symbolizes whole concept of microstock)

 

One example from my own port.  This is technically low end image,  just barely acceptable to pass Alamy QA:

serengeti-tanzania-national-park-landsca

 

Needless to say, it never sold on Alamy and never will.   On Shutterstock it is my top performer with 159 downloads, net $76.68.  It gets better.  I manipulated image and flipped the elephant to face the tree.  Then I produced 3rd image by positioning tree in the middle and having 2 elephants, one on each side, facing the tree.   All 3 images -- really single one -- made me net over 200 dollars across all micros so far.  Zero on Alamy.   So ""logic of contributors to microstocks was to submit all of their images to every possible microstock website in order to get every single penny they can" becomes a little bit more clear I hope.

 

We'll see what will happens.  I will actually post my June SS numbers here at end of the month.  I stopped uploading & will decide by end of summer if I want to keep my port there or not.

Edited by Autumn Sky
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