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1 hour ago, Colblimp said:

I contribute (off my own back) to a national and local paper which are produced from the same office in Cork, Ireland.  The paper(s) has FOUR staffers, but it still uses many of my images, and other freelancers, on a weekly basis for very nice fees.

 

Good for you,  Andy.

 

The thing about newspapers is they have a very short turnaround time. That makes the cost of images less important than getting things done. 

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1 hour ago, geogphotos said:

 

 

I have the wrong 'A' then? You are all talking about the mud building one.

 

You are correct Ian, I meant Adobe, the mud building one. Boy! Did so many of you jump to the wrong conclusion!

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2 hours ago, Brian Yarvin said:

 

You are correct Ian, I meant Adobe, the mud building one. Boy! Did so many of you jump to the wrong conclusion!

 

I had read the forum, so i knew that's who you meant, but i have seen many throwing the name of Alamy as a dumping ground for their mass images, and i do think this might challenge this place, as many contributors' tone seems to be if it gets through, it's fair game, and not want to self-regulate.   

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The biggest fear many of us have is that if shutterstock reduces commissions this drastically (going from a range of 38 cents to $120 per download down to 10 cents to $40, a 67% reduction in commissions for those who reach the highest tier early on, with an even greater commission cut at the start of the year), it will make it that much more difficult for other agencies, including Alamy, to compete, and we will all lose, not just those who depend on shutterstock for a big portion of their income.

 

Many of us saw how drastically our incomes from iStock and/or Getty dropped when they pulled a similar move. I started on shutterstock with just over 100 images and though I had anywhere from 5 to 8x as many images on here as on there at the time, I always made considerably more from shutterstock, but felt my best work should be here and valued Alamy because I felt they valued my work. People also feel valued by Adobe Stock because, despite being a micro, their commissions are higher and with just 150 sales a year (last year it was 300 accepted uploads) they provide you with a free yearly PS & LR subscription (or illustrator, etc as the case may be), so a $133 bonus. They have also held weekly live webinars and chats with clients and contributors during the pandemic, and they have a dedicated customer contact who goes out of his way to answer contributor questions and help contributors succeed, much as Alamy responds to our questions via email and here on the forum.

 

With this latest move, there are 90+ pages of complaints on the shutterstock forum and others elsewhere with many expressing the desire to concentrate their focus on Alamy and Adobe. I agree it would be better if they just rid the collection of the chaff but they purposely dropped their standards a few years back allowing for exponential growth of the collection, so I don't think that is their intent here - I think they want to cut commissions for those of us in the higher tiers (easier to get to than you might imagine - especially before 2012 - I made it to the third tier early on with just under 200 images). I've disabled my portfolio and directed my financial advisor to sell my shares in the company (at a loss at this point - I sold a chunk of my shares when the stock went over $80 doubling my investment, so that was a windfall, wish i'd sold it all then). I've signed the petition and have tweeted my displeasure to my 7,200+ followers.

 

I know microstock devalues our work, but it was still very lucrative at one time (and can still be more lucrative than traditional stock, as insane as that seems) but it was also a train that would eventually go off the rails, because competing on price meant there was no way to charge clients more as time went on. How insane is it to be in a business where the value of what you produce diminishes over time while the rest of the world earns more? I hope that this latest move sends more buyers to Alamy. Many shutterstock contributors are designers and have successfully urged their companies to look elsewhere for stock.

 

Adobe has very limited editorial offerings, which puts Alamy in a good position, although as Chuck mentioned AP distributes their work via shutterstock, so we'll see how it shakes out. Two struggling micros - Cutcaster and Crestock have closed in the past month or so as has a traditional agency that tried to treat photographers fairly - fotolibra, so competition is shrinking and hopefully that will help Alamy. 

 

Thanks Alamy for letting us discuss this news.

 

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12 hours ago, Brian Yarvin said:

 

The most upsetting thing for me has been the way so many people are talking about somehow moving their collections elsewhere.

 

Read many comments on other forums and watched YouTube videos of SS contributors groaning about the recent planned changes.  Many SS contribs apparently are "flipping the switch:" that turns off sales of their SS images but leaves their portfolios in place. Waiting to see how the shoes drop I suppose.   I guess that's one way to not cut off their noses to spite their faces - at least not just yet.

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There was an article on BBC news this lunch time highlighting how creatives are being badly treated by web platforms.

Although primarily about music, all creative forms can be included.

The hypocrisy  of the BBC is astounding, Highlighting the complaint while touting for free images from the public and using microstock wherever possible.

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3 minutes ago, Phil said:

 

Read many comments on other forums and watched YouTube videos of SS contributors groaning about the recent planned changes.  Many SS contribs apparently are "flipping the switch:" that turns off sales of their SS images but leaves their portfolios in place. Waiting to see how the shoes drop I suppose.   I guess that's one way to not cut off their noses to spite their faces - at least not just yet.

 

I think one would be stupid to 'flick the switch' before seeing the result of the change. Although I have done so with video's as they are being sold for a pittance.

However I will do it if as is being reported some commissions fall to 10c. I am on level 2 at the moment.

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To be clear - discussion here is fine, but campaigning to sign petitions for action against Shutterstock is not appropriate and will be removed.

 

Thanks for your understanding.

 

James A

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Posted (edited)
58 minutes ago, Marianne said:

I urge everyone here to sign the petition.

[…]

I know microstock devalues our work, but it was still very lucrative at one time (and can still be more lucrative than traditional stock, as insane as that seems) but it was also a train that would eventually go off the rails

[…]

I urge all of you, no matter what you think of microstock, to sign the petition. It's to Alamy's benefit as well as the benefit of all stock photographers to resist this move to devalue photographer's worth. If stock becomes an untenable business model, we all lose. 

 

Sorry Marianne but I find your statement at the very least contradictory and I cannot agree with you.

You say that microstock devalues our work but still you ask us to sign a petition so that you can earn more money from this very system, am i right?

As far as I am concerned, this microstock scheme has become a problem only because of so many people eager to be part of it, knowing for sure this would harm the entire industry and eventually go off the rails as you say, but participating in it nonetheless.

Edited by Olivier Parent
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1 hour ago, Marianne said:

The biggest fear many of us have is that if shutterstock reduces commissions this drastically (going from a range of 38 cents to $120 per download down to 10 cents to $40, a 67% reduction in commissions for those who reach the highest tier early on, with an even greater commission cut at the start of the year), it will make it that much more difficult for other agencies, including Alamy, to compete, and we will all lose, not just those who depend on shutterstock for a big portion of their income.

 

 

 

Thanks Alamy for letting us discuss this news.

 

 

 

to my knowledge they are not reducing customer costs, so why would it affect Alamy?  The issue is the have an infrastructure that they can't afford and they decided cutting compensation to contributor was the best way to do so, instead of reducing their own internal costs (or raising prices)

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Posted (edited)

So what are we all going to do when Alamy cuts commission again? 

 

It wasn't all that long ago was it - end of 2018? 

 

First everybody down from 50% to 40% = lots of uproar

 

Then Alamy backs down but still keeps the 40% for non-exclusives = most people happy and persuade themselves that it is 'fair' and just. 

 

A little over year later the company is sold.......hmmm we all think. Couldn't happen again you like to think. But why not and what if anything could you do about it?

Edited by geogphotos
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5 minutes ago, geogphotos said:

So what are we all going to do when Alamy cuts commission again? 

 

It wasn't all that long ago was it - end of 2018? 

 

First everybody down from 50% to 40% = lots of uproar

 

Then Alamy backs down but still keeps the 40% for non-exclusives = most people happy and persuade themselves that it is 'fair' and just. 

 

A little over year later the company is sold.......hmmm we all think. Couldn't happen you like to think. But why not?

 

Well, being exclusive, the last cut in commission I noticed is when Alamy reduced my share from 60% to 50%, years ago, nothing since… 😉

If ever I feel things become "unfair", I believe I will always have the right to leave.

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Posted (edited)

My 'plan' is much more prosaic. In two years time I will be an Old Age Pensioner and entitled to approx £175 a week from the govt which will top up my existing small occupational pension and along with this, that, and a bit of duck and weave, that should be enough to get by.

 

I'm sure that I will still be doing things related to photography but my personal 'wind-down' started some time ago.

 

I now even go out for walks without the camera.  

 

Nothing against Alamy but I am so pleased that I went non-exclusive back in 2012 and have become less reliant than I otherwise would be.

 

Whether commission cuts are in the pipeline or not I think we would be wise to think ahead. I don't remember too much good news in stock over the last decade and am not living in hope of much coming along any time soon.

 

 

Edited by geogphotos
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2 hours ago, BobD said:

There was an article on BBC news this lunch time highlighting how creatives are being badly treated by web platforms.

Although primarily about music, all creative forms can be included.

The hypocrisy  of the BBC is astounding, Highlighting the complaint while touting for free images from the public and using microstock wherever possible.

 

Throughout the pandemic the NYTimes has been using photos from shutterstock. It's very discouraging. I wish they were sourcing the news they can't find from here, though even then we would get less than our work is worth. When I think of people shooting news during the pandemic and getting microstock commissions for it, it's just so wrong. 

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, Alamy said:

To be clear - discussion here is fine, but campaigning to sign petitions for action against Shutterstock is not appropriate and will be removed.

 

Thanks for your understanding.

 

James A

 

Sorry - I didn't mean to overstep. 

 

I realize this was not the appropriate forum in which to make that statement, but, just to be clear, I wasn't urging people to sign because I want higher commissions there, I wanted to make a statement about how photographers should be treated, and to help stop a move that could enable them to cut prices which could effect the industry as a whole, but in retrospect I realize this was not the appropriate place for such a statement.

 

Again, apologies for overstepping. I will not do it again. Thanks for your understanding and your polite admonishment. I stand corrected. And it was really nice of you to just cut the offending statement. I appreciate Alamy's involvement here and the fact that management will have a dialogue with us. 

Edited by Marianne
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46 minutes ago, geogphotos said:

My 'plan' is much more prosaic. In two years time I will be an Old Age Pensioner and entitled to approx £175 a week from the govt which will top up my existing small occupational pension and along with this, that, and a bit of duck and weave, that should be enough to get by.

 

I'm sure that I will still be doing things related to photography but my personal 'wind-down' started some time ago.

 

I now even go out for walks without the camera.  

 

Nothing against Alamy but I am so pleased that I went non-exclusive back in 2012 and have become less reliant than I otherwise would be.

 

Whether commission cuts are in the pipeline or not I think we would be wise to think ahead. I don't remember too much good news in stock over the last decade and am not living in hope of much coming along any time soon.

 

 

 

I hate to say this, but I've come to realize, especially lately, that in the stock photography world "no news" is more often than not "good news".

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1 hour ago, meanderingemu said:

 

 

to my knowledge they are not reducing customer costs, so why would it affect Alamy?  The issue is the have an infrastructure that they can't afford and they decided cutting compensation to contributor was the best way to do so, instead of reducing their own internal costs (or raising prices)

 

The concern is that this will enable them to cut prices and undercut other agencies even more in an attempt to dominate the field. Microstock has hurt traditional agencies and this could trickle down to depress prices throughout the industry even more. 

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Posted (edited)
14 minutes ago, Marianne said:

 

Throughout the pandemic the NYTimes has been using photos from shutterstock. It's very discouraging. I wish they were sourcing the news they can't find from here, though even then we would get less than our work is worth. When I think of people shooting news during the pandemic and getting microstock commissions for it, it's just so wrong. 

 

The same thought crossed my mind. But why are news photographers sending their images to microstock agencies in the first place? There must be something really wrong out there if news photographers can't find more legitimate and fairer (to contributors) outlets for their work. Perhaps it's just another symptom of over-supply. I don't know enough to say.

Edited by John Mitchell
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11 minutes ago, Marianne said:

 

The concern is that this will enable them to cut prices and undercut other agencies even more in an attempt to dominate the field. Microstock has hurt traditional agencies and this could trickle down to depress prices throughout the industry even more. 

 

but there was no such implication from their shareholder meeting.  The goal is to increase profit, so not sure this would make sense.   In fact there seems to be concerns about the cheapness of the large image package,

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10 minutes ago, John Mitchell said:

 

The same thought crossed my mind. But why are news photographers sending their images to microstock agencies in the first place? There must be something really wrong out there if news photographers can't find more legitimate and fairer (to contributors) outlets for their work. Perhaps it's just another symptom of over-supply. I don't know enough to say.

 

Shutterstock sources many of its editorial images from large news agencies including AP, as Chuck mentioned some photographer's images are sent there by their agencies and not by them. 

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4 minutes ago, meanderingemu said:

 

but there was no such implication from their shareholder meeting.  The goal is to increase profit, so not sure this would make sense.   In fact there seems to be concerns about the cheapness of the large image package,

 

It's hard to imagine prices getting any lower but we've seen pennies from Getty, so it's a concern. I'd love to see them raise prices instead. If this pandemic is the final blow for many small agencies, perhaps we'll see those that remain raising their prices but it seems to buck the historical trend. 

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2 minutes ago, Marianne said:

 

Shutterstock sources many of its editorial images from large news agencies including AP, as Chuck mentioned some photographer's images are sent there by their agencies and not by them. 

 

I see. I hadn't read Chuck's post. Obviously, I'm not a news photographer. It sounds as if some of those news agencies don't exactly have the best interests of photographers in mind. It's a sad state of affairs.

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Posted (edited)
47 minutes ago, John Mitchell said:

 

I see. I hadn't read Chuck's post. Obviously, I'm not a news photographer. It sounds as if some of those news agencies don't exactly have the best interests of photographers in mind. It's a sad state of affairs.

 

There is some confusion here. I have many images with Shutterstock. But they are in their Editorial collection not in the micro-collection. They have been placed there not by me but by a third party agency. I'm certain that I would not be able to submit to this collection myself.

 

Shutterstock bought Rex Features some years back. It has tried to move into other areas apart from micro-subscription. Mind you I don't think that I have ever had a sale - or at least not at the proper price. Each image is priced at £159 so that maybe the reason. It seems a bit like Getty with all the sweetheart deals. So, again, as I said previously I am getting micro priced sales without choosing that model. 

Edited by geogphotos

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Posted (edited)

x

Edited by Marianne

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2 minutes ago, Marianne said:

Hi i'm leaving this discussion sorry if I've obsessed about this honestly it's just been a distraction my husband has been in surgery since 8 am EDT,  So I'm out. Didn't mean to get folks riled up. Be well. 

 

Sorry to hear that and all the best to you and your family.

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