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33 minutes ago, Autumn Sky said:

 "It is better to sell photo 100 times for a dollar, than 1 time for 100 dollars". […]

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

 

Think of a potato producer. Some guy from a large scale distribution company tells him "hey, you know what, it is better to sell 10 tonnes for $100 than only 100 kg for the same amount…"

And the lucky potato producer says "Oh, OK, let's do that!"

The potato price then drops from $1/kg to $0.01/kg and every potato producer starts to complain that it is not worth it anymore…

Believe me, I do not need no explanation, the logic of contributors submitting to microstocks is absolutely crystal clear…

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On 07/06/2020 at 02:43, 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.


How much of the micro stocks shots come from third world country residents and how many come from tourists?    Quick run through a page of Shutterstock Nicaraguan photos shows mostly Anglo names or Europeans with wider portfolios than limited to Nicaragua.

Edited by MizBrown
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I've begun my staggered exit from that other place. For starters, I'm deleting a number of images so that I can make them exclusive here. I might leave the remaining orphans -- my collection is very small -- for awhile to see how things go. Chances are I'll get frustrated and delete them too before long. Not sure what to do about video clips as I have made some OK sales. However, from what I can glean, any future ones will most likely be for less than peanuts. My guess is that I'll eventually deactivate and cash in my remaining chips, such as they are. No doubt they will be glad to see me go as I had no intention of becoming a serious MS contributor. It was an instructive experiment on the dark side, though.

Edited by John Mitchell
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17 minutes ago, Olivier Parent said:

 

Think of a potato producer. Some guy from a large scale distribution company tells him "hey, you know what, it is better to sell 10 tonnes for $100 than only 100 kg for the same amount…"

And the lucky potato producer says "Oh, OK, let's do that!"

The potato price then drops from $1/kg to $0.01/kg and every potato producer starts to complain that it is not worth it anymore…

Believe me, I do not need no explanation, the logic of contributors submitting to microstocks is absolutely crystal clear…

Potato example is not good parallel (although end effect is the same).

I was just using it to illustrate concept of quantity over quality.

 

But real question is, at least for me,  what is the optimal way to manage your assets?  Leave them on Alamy where most will never make anything, or as with elephant example, flip it, spread it etc etc and with time it makes few 100s

 

What bothers me personally the most in this whole "10 cent a pop" thing is disrespect and whole "we do it because we can".

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13 minutes ago, MizBrown said:


How much of the micro stocks shots come from third world country residents and how many come from tourists?    Quick run through a page of Shutterstock Nicaraguan photos shows mostly Anglo names or Europeans with wider portfolios than limited to Nicaragua.

That is valid point MizBrown & I agree with you.  This goes into territory of photography digitalization.  Cellphones with decent cameras, pocket cameras i.e Rx100 etc you bring along while traveling anyways.  Everyone takes pics, and at the end you upload a few "it doesn't cost anything, maybe it can make few bucks". 

 

Days of serious/dedicated photographers when it comes to microstock are gone.

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Given that the two options (micro vs traditional) yields roughly the same income in the end with fewer photos making more money each, at a traditional.....then I would definitely take the old school approach and get more money per use even if many photos don't ever sell.  I know that this is a losing battle in keeping the value of photography up but I am old enough that I will depart this business before selling photos for pennies (on a regular basis).   Micro has also hurt my assignment work.  Pandemic aside, even tho I have kept pretty busy with assignments, it is nearly impossible to get rates to go up at all.  I have been working for the same editorial fees for years and years while I see my expenses all around me go up and up.  It's hard for a publication to value original photography when they can get stock photos for less than the price of a candy bar.

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1 hour ago, Autumn Sky said:

Needless to say, it never sold on Alamy and it 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.


The bottom line is you seem to be chasing a different market. Your method automatically seems to rule out at least two groups of potential buyers:  

 

1. People who wouldn't want their product associated with an altered photo; a lot of nature-related publications certainly would fall into that category because they don't want their output to be suspect. And even people who might not worry about that ethically might be worried about technical reveals, such as the celebrity photo a few years ago where someone ended up with three arms on the cover of a magazine or something like that.

 

2. People who saw your photo, loved it, and might have been willing to pay higher bucks for it until they realized they had already seen it in 159 other places and continued the search for something unique.


And as people have brought up many times on this forum, why would it be likely to sell on Alamy when you are offering it through a competitor much more cheaply? 
 

You know how much you made, but you don't know how much you might've made. But it's a beautiful photo (at least unaltered!), so congratulations on your success with it.

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22 minutes ago, KHA said:

...

You know how much you made, but you don't know how much you might've made. But it's a beautiful photo (at least unaltered!), so congratulations on your success with it.

Thank you for very good comment. 

 

I am not saying I chose the best path & am struggling about the best way to "manage my assets".   This is largely why I post on this forum, because one can learn a lot from experienced Alamy contributors (compared to micro forums where it is largely pity quarreling that just makes you sick after awhile)

 

 

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23 minutes ago, Michael Ventura said:

Given that the two options (micro vs traditional) yields roughly the same income in the end with fewer photos making more money each, at a traditional.....then I would definitely take the old school approach and get more money per use even if many photos don't ever sell.  I know that this is a losing battle in keeping the value of photography up but I am old enough that I will depart this business before selling photos for pennies (on a regular basis).   Micro has also hurt my assignment work.  Pandemic aside, even tho I have kept pretty busy with assignments, it is nearly impossible to get rates to go up at all.  I have been working for the same editorial fees for years and years while I see my expenses all around me go up and up.  It's hard for a publication to value original photography when they can get stock photos for less than the price of a candy bar.

 

I agree with what you say. However, there was a time when MS agencies were good places to put certain types of images -- e.g. found backgrounds and abstracts, generic nature subjects, etc. -- that typically don't do well on editorial agencies like Alamy.  However, my MS experiment suggested to me that those days are over because agencies like SS are now overflowing with this type of imagery. I uploaded these kinds of pics (which I enjoy taking) along with some "Alamy-like" editorial images to see which would do better, and I found that it is the latter that tend to sell. In other words, posting editorial images on MS is now an excellent way of totally devaluing one's editorial work. Caveat emptor!

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10 hours ago, Autumn Sky said:

Potato example is not good parallel (although end effect is the same).

I was just using it to illustrate concept of quantity over quality.

 

But real question is, at least for me,  what is the optimal way to manage your assets?  Leave them on Alamy where most will never make anything, or as with elephant example, flip it, spread it etc etc and with time it makes few 100s

 

What bothers me personally the most in this whole "10 cent a pop" thing is disrespect and whole "we do it because we can".

 

If you don't like potatoes, take any other produce you may like, it will work exactly the same.

Do you prefer milk instead?

Think of a milk producer who decides to sell his lesser quality milk through large scale distribution: 1 cent for a litre instead of 1 dollar for a litre.

Not because the large scale distribution guy puts a knife under his throat but because the milk producer considers it is the best way to "manage his assets".

Sure, the milk producer will make a few 100s, but he, as every other producer, will also lose the ability to sell higher quality milk for 1$ a litre because from then, milk is worth nothing.

Sure it is only my opinion but to me it sounds like "I prefer 1 cent in my pocket than 1 dollar in my neighbor's pocket".

We are all responsible for the consequences of our actions.

Would you blame the large scale distribution guy when, provided with hundreds of millions of litres of almost valueless milk, he then says to that same milk producer "from now I will pay you only 0.3 cent a litre instead of 1 cent"?

Edited by Olivier Parent
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Perhaps a reminder here of how Shutterstock got going. The very first website Orringer set up bought reject slides/chromes for 50 cents. So the forums were full of arguments with those people accepting this offer saying that it was better than getting nothing and otherwise the bits of film were going to landfill etc.

 

The counter-argument was that if a reject from a shoot was being offered at a micro price many would pay that for 'good enough' rather than paying the proper price for the better shots on sale at traditional agencies. It would undermine both photography and fees for photography.

 

We know how that worked out don't we?

 

 

Edited by geogphotos
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46 minutes ago, Olivier Parent said:

 

 

Do you prefer milk instead?

 

i'm sorry, but using milk is a BAD analogy.

 

there is no such thing as a 1 cent vs 1 dollar per litre scheme.   farmers have two choices, either accept the price for the milk, or not;  if you don't accept it, then you dump your milk into the sewer and come back another day hoping the prices will be better.  the only way to get a better price is to belong to a dairy cooperative where you can possibly get financial help, slightly more beneficial prices for their milk as a group, maybe even limited milk storage until milk prices go up a bit.     

 

an aside.... we had price fixing and scandals in the usa over milk. it is why milk must be sold at a minimum price as set by the government.  and that minimum price is determined by the complicated set of formulas based on the end usage of the milk, and how much it cost to process those end products, etc. etc.

 

 

also if you have bad quality milk, and the buyer has a choice, they are not going to buy it when there are so many other dairy farmers offering to sell their milk.

Edited by sooth
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20 minutes ago, sooth said:

i'm sorry, but using milk is a BAD analogy.

 

there is no such thing as a 1 cent vs 1 dollar per litre scheme.   farmers have two choices, either accept the price for the milk, or not;  if you don't accept it, then you dump your milk into the sewer and come back another day hoping the prices will be better.  the only way to get a better price is to belong to a dairy cooperative where you can possibly get financial help, slightly more beneficial prices for their milk as a group, maybe even limited milk storage until milk prices go up a bit.     

 

an aside.... we had price fixing and scandals in the usa over milk. it is why milk must be sold at a minimum price as set by the government.  and that minimum price is determined by the complicated set of formulas based on the end usage of the milk, and how much it cost to process those end products, etc. etc.

 

 

also if you have bad quality milk, and the buyer has a choice, they are not going to buy it when there are so many other dairy farmers offering to sell their milk.

 

You understood that I was not doing an economic analysis of the agricultural sectors of milk and potato, right?

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If you want to sell at Shutterstock, if you like micro-stock, and are happy in your work, then why keep banging on and on about it here on the Alamy forum?

 

Just carry on as you are and stop talking about a competing company, a damaging business model, and how happy you are with it all.

 

What are you trying to achieve?

 

Is it like doing missionary work trying to save lost souls?

Edited by geogphotos
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1 hour ago, Olivier Parent said:

 

If you don't like potatoes, take any other produce you may like, it will work exactly the same.

Do you prefer milk instead?

Think of a milk producer who decides to sell his lesser quality milk through large scale distribution: 1 cent for a litre instead of 1 dollar for a litre.

Not because the large scale distribution guy puts a knife under his throat but because the milk producer considers it is the best way to "manage his assets".

Sure, the milk producer will make a few 100s, but he, as every other producer, will also lose the ability to sell higher quality milk for 1$ a litre because from then, milk is worth nothing.

Sure it is only my opinion but to me it sounds like "I prefer 1 cent in my pocket than 1 dollar in my neighbor's pocket".

We are all responsible for the consequences of our actions.

Would you blame the large scale distribution guy when, provided with hundreds of millions of litres of almost valueless milk, he then says to that same milk producer "from now I will pay you only 0.3 cent a litre instead of 1 cent"?

No need for patronizing, and you are totally missing the point I was trying to make.  Issue, not just for me, but for everyone here is how to best manage our assets, our intellectual property if you want, in light of never ending race to the bottom, caused by variety of factors. Milk or potatoes or whatever analogies are inappropriate. I wish things were so simple but they are not.

 

 

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1 minute ago, Autumn Sky said:

No need for patronizing, and you are totally missing the point I was trying to make.  Issue, not just for me, but for everyone here is how to best manage our assets, our intellectual property if you want, in light of never ending race to the bottom, caused by variety of factors. Milk or potatoes or whatever analogies are inappropriate. I wish things were so simple but they are not.

 

 

 

Or may be they are not as complicated as you think.

But OK, that's my lesson of the day, never use analogies on a forum, and above all avoid anything related to milk or potatoes…

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7 minutes ago, geogphotos said:

If you want to sell at Shutterstock, if you like micro-stock, and are happy in your work, then why keep banging on and on about it here on the Alamy forum?

 

Just carry on as you are and stop talking about a competing company, a damaging business model, and how happy you are with it all.

 

What are you trying to achieve?

 

Is it like doing missionary work trying to save lost souls?

 

And if you are not happy with Shutterstock, maybe you can just close your account there…

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2 minutes ago, Olivier Parent said:

 

Or may be they are not as complicated as you think.

But OK, that's my lesson of the day, never use analogies on a forum, and above all avoid anything related to milk or potatoes…

Lol!

No, I am sorry if I came too harsh.  I am honestly trying to figure out the right way, this is why I am stuck on this thread. This bomb SS dropped sent ripples across the spectrum, and even if Alamy is not micro impact will be felt.I am relatively new, but all you guys that have been here for awhile keep saying how sales were way too much better in the past.

 

I'll post tomorrow link to a port of awesome photographer, made over 50k on SS alone.

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10 minutes ago, Olivier Parent said:

 

And if you are not happy with Shutterstock, maybe you can just close your account there…

 

Indeed. 

 

I never opened mine!

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37 minutes ago, Autumn Sky said:

Lol!

No, I am sorry if I came too harsh.  I am honestly trying to figure out the right way, this is why I am stuck on this thread. This bomb SS dropped sent ripples across the spectrum, and even if Alamy is not micro impact will be felt.I am relatively new, but all you guys that have been here for awhile keep saying how sales were way too much better in the past.

 

I'll post tomorrow link to a port of awesome photographer, made over 50k on SS alone.

 

No need to be sorry, we are on a discussion forum and we all know that a discussion forum is not a popularity contest, we can agree to disagree sometimes.

I am far from being an old-time Alamy contributor and cannot talk about what the sales were before 2007 but I still remember that the average price of the first sales I made here was about $180, with Alamy keeping 40% of it meaning I earned an average of almost $110 per image sold.

Edited by Olivier Parent
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5 minutes ago, Autumn Sky said:

 

 

I'll post tomorrow link to a port of awesome photographer, made over 50k on SS alone.


I think that Alamy have been very good to allow this thread, but I do not think that posting a link to the portfolio of someone else who is supplying SS is appropriate here, or any portfolio linked to a competitors site for that matter. 

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On 31/05/2020 at 12:14, Michael Ventura said:

 

Agreed. Many of my sales are of photos older than a year (sometimes 10-15 years old) and are first time sellers.

So do I. Some of my better sales (high $$) have been to books etc of quite rare subjects that will not sell every year, but that also can't be found elsewhere.

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2 hours ago, geogphotos said:

 

Indeed. 

 

I never opened mine!

so open one and close it, to show you are not happy with SS. as that was the only option provided 😁

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When the microstock business started most of the comments I heard at the time from stock shooters was alarm that the flood of "vanity" photographers would decimate the livelihood of "real" photographers for a giggle. I pleaded to all that would listen to not contribute to microstock, it would dilute our value and drive prices down. We all knew this was true, yet many contributors chose to submit their images to micro sites anyway, thinking their choice wouldn't matter much in the bigger picture. Well here we are, caught in this endless spiral of downward pricing dictated by supply and demand. Now, the chickens are coming home to roost. I'm proud that I stuck to my guns, I've never contributed to a micro, but pride doesn't pay the bills. Yeah, I'm angry.

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In protest, I've deactivated my port on there (10,000 images and 1,000 clips) for a week, along with hundreds of other contributors.

 

The recent cuts at SS make the 20% cut at Alamy last year look like child's play, especially when it comes to videos. 

 

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