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Your 2021 predictions


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On 28/12/2020 at 18:27, John Mitchell said:

 

4. There will be increasing migration from microstock agencies to Alamy (and elsewhere) as contributors realize what an exploitative and unsustainable business model microstock has become.

 

 

 

It would be nice if this came true and might help stop the prices freefalling. However that is probably a pipe dream and what will be the real turning point is when the supply of contributors eases up to match the demand. Given that many people are more than happy to sell their images for 25 cents a pop I suspect we are a long way off the point of equilibrium yet unfortunately.

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3 hours ago, John Morrison said:

 

I've often wondered what the plural of 'Nostradamus' might be. 😎

 

Predictions for 2021? Well, my sales didn't fall off a cliff in 2020 - as I expected - and I'm hoping that Alamy/PA will open up new markets for our pix.

 

 

It looked better than "Nostradami", but that probably would have been more accurate. 🧕

Edited by John Mitchell
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2 hours ago, Cal said:

 

It would be nice if this came true and might help stop the prices freefalling. However that is probably a pipe dream and what will be the real turning point is when the supply of contributors eases up to match the demand. Given that many people are more than happy to sell their images for 25 cents a pop I suspect we are a long way off the point of equilibrium yet unfortunately.

 

It's now as low as ten cents a pop at a certain big microstock agency.

Edited by John Mitchell
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2 hours ago, Cal said:

 

 Given that many people are more than happy to sell their images for 25 cents a pop I suspect we are a long way off the point of equilibrium yet unfortunately.

 

My predictions -- PA will absorb Alamy's better news photographers, and Alamy will stop having a news component, or serve to screen aspiring news photogs.

 

Regarding the amateurs who sell cheap or give their photos away, those will either reduce photography to the position of poetry (very few paid outlets and a huge number of people using non-paid publication for tenure trading stamps, with performance and teaching the only ways to make enough money to live on) or buyers who want something better will go to stock agencies who can broker assignments.   The stock agency business as we know it will be divided between the cheap to free and those who shoot on agency assignments.

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4 hours ago, Michael Ventura said:

 

Thanks John, you are more confident than I am.  Keeping my head above water is a win for me.

 

Ain't that the truth. Looking back rather than ahead, I see that I'm going to earn roughly the same this year as I did in 2009 when I made about one-third the number of sales.

 

A bit on an eye-opener! 😮

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2 hours ago, Cal said:

 

It would be nice if this came true and might help stop the prices freefalling. However that is probably a pipe dream and what will be the real turning point is when the supply of contributors eases up to match the demand. Given that many people are more than happy to sell their images for 25 cents a pop I suspect we are a long way off the point of equilibrium yet unfortunately.

 

 

January will be interesting, as many will finally understand the true impact of the commission "adjustment" with annual reset of one of the biggest MS

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5 minutes ago, meanderingemu said:

 

 

January will be interesting, as many will finally understand the true impact of the commission "adjustment" with annual reset of one of the biggest MS

 

I have only about 75 orphan images and a couple of dozen video clips left at that place. I've been waiting for ages to reach the payout threshold. It finally happened the other day, so I'll be hightailing it outta there come January. 🏃‍♂️

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1 hour ago, MizBrown said:

 

Regarding the amateurs who sell cheap or give their photos away, those will either reduce photography to the position of poetry 

 

It has more or less already reached that point, but I don't feel satisfied laying the blame solely at the door of "amateurs". A lot of it has to do with how greedy potential clients are and their complete misunderstanding of what it takes to be a photographer and why it costs money. The transport costs, the kit costs, the cost of your experience, the cost of the post processing, then things like liability insurance just don't get factored into people's calculations. I am only just breaking into this industry (aside from stock) and it absolutely astounds me that people expect our skill and time for nothing. Really blows me away. 

 

 

49 minutes ago, John Mitchell said:

 

I have only about 75 orphan images and a couple of dozen video clips left at that place. I've been waiting for ages to reach the payout threshold. It finally happened the other day, so I'll be hightailing it outta there come January. 🏃‍♂️

 

What I don't understand about MS is I read that while image licences cost peanuts this is somewhat offset by the fact that licences come in much more frequently, like often multiple times per day for the same image. I don't understand the logistics of how this works. Why would an RF image be bought dozens of times a day when the same (or similar, as in type) RM image on Alamy not be? Do MS agencies have such a huge exposure compared to Alamy that we are missing out on that many sales? Where are all these clients that are buying the same image left right and centre on MS sites? Where do the images go? Despite the fact that the licence fee is disgusting, I keep getting drawn towards MS for certain types of images I take (the not so editorial type stuff) and am trying to find any excuse I can to not buy into it, so to speak.

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33 minutes ago, Cal said:

 

What I don't understand about MS is I read that while image licences cost peanuts this is somewhat offset by the fact that licences come in much more frequently, like often multiple times per day for the same image. I don't understand the logistics of how this works. Why would an RF image be bought dozens of times a day when the same (or similar, as in type) RM image on Alamy not be? Do MS agencies have such a huge exposure compared to Alamy that we are missing out on that many sales? Where are all these clients that are buying the same image left right and centre on MS sites? Where do the images go? Despite the fact that the licence fee is disgusting, I keep getting drawn towards MS for certain types of images I take (the not so editorial type stuff) and am trying to find any excuse I can to not buy into it, so to speak.

 I've wondered the same thing myself. Apparently, SS does have a much greater reach than Alamy. I experimented with them for images that don't do well here (plus video clips), but I found the whole thing too demoralizing, especially after the recent insult to their long-time contributors. It would be great to find more productive places for certain images. However, there no longer seems to be any. Best to be exclusive here IMO.

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When trying to find Alamy photos on T'net and failing,  I quite often come across the MS version and have to use their image details to search for it on Alamy.  Perhaps they are spending more on Google etc?  Of course the reverse situation might also be true, but I'm not inclined to try and find out.

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4 hours ago, Cal said:

A lot of it has to do with how greedy potential clients are and their complete misunderstanding of what it takes to be a photographer and why it costs money. The transport costs, the kit costs, the cost of your experience, the cost of the post processing, then things like liability insurance just don't get factored into people's calculations. I am only just breaking into this industry (aside from stock) and it absolutely astounds me that people expect our skill and time for nothing. Really blows me away. 

 

 

I think this is a factor we don't particularly have any control over other than to become better photographers, and drive harder bargains.   There are always going to be photographers for whom a little money or recognition is ego gratification enough.   And, still, all over the world, some photographers do the local wedding, graduation, and passport photos and make a living at it.   If someone else is willing to work for peanuts, then charge more than they do.   Walk away. 

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28 minutes ago, MizBrown said:

 

 

I think this is a factor we don't particularly have any control over other than to become better photographers, and drive harder bargains.   There are always going to be photographers for whom a little money or recognition is ego gratification enough.   And, still, all over the world, some photographers do the local wedding, graduation, and passport photos and make a living at it.   If someone else is willing to work for peanuts, then charge more than they do.   Walk away. 

 

 

i do think we have an education role.  I have started to explain to some people why the images the let the media use for free because they were happy to get their name in there was actually taking some potential income from someone else. 

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1 minute ago, meanderingemu said:

 

 

i do think we have an education role.  I have started to explain to some people why the images the let the media use for free because they were happy to get their name in there was actually taking some potential income from someone else. 

 

I don't know if it isn't better to suggest that if they're good photographers, they're leaving money on the table.   If they have to give away their photos, they're not that good.   I assume that most Anglo-American-culture people tend to not see hurting other people as all that serious compared to hurting themselves.   Rugged individualism and all that. 

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On 28/12/2020 at 18:27, John Mitchell said:

4. There will be increasing migration from microstock agencies to Alamy (and elsewhere) as contributors realize what an exploitative and unsustainable business model microstock has become.

 

 

I predict this will then tempt Alamy to cut commision rates again.

 

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2020 has been better than I feared, but I think we're fighting against some headwinds that have been there for a while, and will continue into 2021. 

 

My predictions are that

 

5 i) My sales volume will increase
5 ii) My sales revenue will decrease
5 iii) For me, alternative revenue streams outside stock photography will look increasingly attractive, when I account for the true cost of making images available.

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I predict many photographer will keep going with complaining how bad and poor the current month is in terms of sales except then saying the next month how positive and rich the previous one was. That's an easy prediction. For 2021 but also for 2022, 2023...

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On 30/12/2020 at 20:15, MizBrown said:

 

I don't know if it isn't better to suggest that if they're good photographers, they're leaving money on the table.   If they have to give away their photos, they're not that good.   I assume that most Anglo-American-culture people tend to not see hurting other people as all that serious compared to hurting themselves.   Rugged individualism and all that. 

 

 

 

many of the amateur i talk to don't really care about the money, they just feel some pride of seeing someone validate their image by wanting to use it.

 

plus i'm not sure if i told them the average stock  news licence nowadays that they would jump for that ....

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2 hours ago, meanderingemu said:

 

 

 

many of the amateur i talk to don't really care about the money, they just feel some pride of seeing someone validate their image by wanting to use it.

 

plus i'm not sure if i told them the average stock  news licence nowadays that they would jump for that ....

 

 

The science fiction fan community has a term, "egoboo" which describes that sort of thing and mocks it.   Being mentioned in a William Gibson blog post is getting egoboo.

 

A friend of mine who was a former wedding and bar mitzvah photographer said that when he had things up on Flickr, people would ask him for permission to use his photos for free.  He said he refused, but knew all too well that someone else would be flattered into allowing their work to be used for free.  And there's the whole bit of cultivating likes by liking others, and it's all egoboo.

 

The question always is whether the people looking for free photos would pay for them if they couldn't get them for free.  Lots of marginal businesses out there who are also playing being entrepreneurs for egoboo (a very large scale version of running a business for egoboo even though the products wasn't there was Theranos, which promised to do full blood panels from a drop of blood in a very small machine, which didn't exist). 

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