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Submitting to Alamy and other stock agencies - RF images

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So instead of micros charging corporate users $100 for an image your argument is that some of them might cheat so it is better to charge all of them $1.

 

Look at what Netflix has done. Before there were a bunch of people streaming/downloading illegally for free.

 

Now, some have gone from such practices to paying customers. I think something similar applies to Microstock.

 

Of course some people still refuse to pay Netflix and will keep on downloading and streaming illegally...same with stock photos, doesn't matter how cheap or flexible you make it, some people will want it for free for the hell of it. 

 

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"Why do they not limit their licence to small micro uses - why do they allow global publishers the same licence at the same crazy price?"

 

On some Agencies you can license a 400px on longest side image for "credits". Like 1 credit = $1...outside of a subscription model. In this case it would be for micro usage since what can you do with a 400px image even if usage is quite wide...if someone does print it on a cover of a brochure it's going to look terrible. 

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6 minutes ago, geogphotos said:

 

 

Hmm..   don't think that I'm going to get an answer here.:(

 

I'm trying to find a justification for micro stock businesses selling images for a 500,000 print run with indefinite unlimited editorial and commercial repeat uses to corporate publishers for the same price as for a high school student's homework or a church group's newsletter.

 

So far:

 

* can't charge more as too difficult to police misuses

* Netflix

 

Any more offers?

 

There isn't a "justification" besides from company POV it's easy and profitable, one step up from a vending machine.

 

and I agree that the NetFlix analogy doesn't really work. It is just another channel that I pay for. Almost all other channels have view on demand, have had for years, as well as movies on demand too. Spotify and similar is probably more applicable, but I don't hear the artists being content with that. Top ones might make some money, but lesser ones don't - it's all in selling concerts and merch to earn now AFAIK.

Edited by Martin Carlsson

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1 minute ago, geogphotos said:

 

Exactly and there we have the basic problem of micro stock and why the current business model is so damaging.

 

But one can't compare a freshly made Subway sandwich to the sweaty sniffy compressed stuff that tumbles out of the vending machine....with that I'm trying to say that people will always be willing to pay more for something that has been made with a bit of care, soul, personality and not rolled down a conveyor belt heading for a vending machine... (unsure if I can take myself seriously after this paragraph - sorry!)

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I'm trying to find a justification for micro stock businesses selling images for a 500,000 print run with indefinite unlimited editorial and commercial repeat uses to corporate publishers for the same price as to a high school student or church group.

 

Try to look at Microstock usage like an all-you-can-eat buffet. It's affordable catering to the differing tastes of customers.  

 

Smaller private clients are like most children, they'll eat the cheaper crap food: french fries, bread sticks and sugary desserts.

- Limited usage of licenses, few reproductions

 

Bigger clients are like smart adults: They'll go for the filet mignon, seafood and chocolate mousse. If they want sashimi, they'll have to pay extra. 

- Take reproductions to the limit, take usages to the limit

 

Children usually pay less for the buffets (since they consume less) but for the sake of the analogy, let's assume that they pay the same price. Crucially, the restaurant is offering choice, just like children can select for filet mignon and seafood and smart adults can have french fries and bread sticks.

 

At the end of the day, what Microstock agencies aim to offer is low-cost, convenience and most importantly, flexibility. Where they fall is in quality. 


Disclaimer: I'm by no means promoting or supporting Microstock. 

 

Edited by Brasilnut

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Do many children need a licence for a 500,000 print run? 

 

There's the occasional hungry kid who can out-eat any adult!

 

 

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I think you made a smart move jumping ship and coming to Alamy.

 

I think so too :) 

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I can still write about Microstock though.

 

Just had a feature article published on Amateur Photographer UK. B)

 

 

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Thank you all for your responses.. I have decided to stop submitting my images to Micro sites. Time is money and therefore focus only on shooting good images which will earn you enough in the long run. Earlier i used to think that images that are not worth showing in a gallery or on the social media could be submitted to Micros and instead of just trashing them , might as well earn some money off it even if they are just pennies... This is certainly a wrong approach and waste of time and resources.

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If we have to stay with the food analogies before breakfast, then I'd like to think that Alamy is more of a nice, good quality countryside pub, not a cheap chain, independent, with good variety and happy customers. Not Michelin starred and not trying to be, but definitely a hell of a lot more classy than the soggy choice of samey sandwiches you'd get from "Subway". Food vending machines are not even on the same planet. My 2 pence.

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On 12/09/2017 at 12:31, geogphotos said:

That used to be another 'fake-news' justification didn't it?  "We only have little cameras and the macros won't accept us so we really have no choice....."

Why was that 'fake  news'? It was true.

You could upsize for Alamy, but why should buyers have to pay for interpolated pixels?

Plus if they bought a file thinking that was the real size as taken, intending to upsize themselves, they'd likely get a nasty surprise.

Edited by Cryptoprocta
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On 16/09/2017 at 20:20, geogphotos said:

 

Alamy started in 1999. It has always taken images from fairly modest inexpensive cameras as long as they could pass QC. 

As I said, you could upsize, but why should buyers pay for interpolated pixels. I had a 40D, but it natively produced files a good bit before the size which was required at that time.

Ironically, I bought a 5DMk2 and started submitting to Alamy, but not long afterwards the required filesize decreased.

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1 hour ago, geogphotos said:

 

You had the choice, interpolate like everybody else or not.

 

Are you saying that you instead decided to sell on micro-stock because of your principles towards buyers?

 

Not quite clear what you point is:)

Well, to be honest I didn't know about uploading to Alamy (I'd checked out a few macros, and they all needed large files and/or large regular submissions,so I'd stopped checking them) til after I'd started submitting to a micro, but when I discovered Alamy I also discovered that the filesize was too big for my camera, and yes, I didn't think upsizing was fair on buyers, so chose not to interpolate and waited until I'd earned enough on micro to buy the 5D2 in 2009, then started submitting to Alamy. Super-ironic, as it wasn't very long after that that Alamy realised that not all buyers needed large filesizes, so lowered their file size requirement, which they have continued to lower a few times since.

 

Edited by Cryptoprocta
clarity

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On 9/11/2017 at 17:07, Brasilnut said:

High standards of living, highly educated people and a fair egalitarian system of governance (low corruption), at least in theory. 

 

The rest cannot be said for 95% of the rest of the world where it's more of a "dog eat dog" type short-term mentality. I'll repeat this statistic which I think is important: 

 

On one of the major Microstock sites, 34% of their contributors with a portfolio of more than 999 images live in Thailand, Russia and the Ukraine. 

 

I really don't get what the correlation here is - are you saying that people who live in Thailand (amongst others) generally have a  "dog eat dog type short-term mentality" ?

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I really don't get what the correlation here is - are you saying that people who live in Thailand (amongst others) generally have a  "dog eat dog type short-term mentality" ?

 

Yes, in many cases. When the State doesn't provide for the most of basic services citizens have no choice but to fend for themselves and work extremely hard to have even an average standard of living (according to Western standards).

 

I've never been to Thailand though so can't confirm this but have traveled quite a bit in the 3rd world. Perhaps someone who has can shed some light.

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On 9/12/2017 at 12:57, geogphotos said:

 

I think you made a smart move jumping ship and coming to Alamy.

 

 

I don't think covering both bases is the same thing as jumping ship. 

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1 hour ago, Brasilnut said:

 

Yes, in many cases. When the State doesn't provide for the most of basic services citizens have no choice but to fend for themselves and work extremely hard to have even an average standard of living (according to Western standards).

 

I've never been to Thailand though so can't confirm this but have traveled quite a bit in the 3rd world. Perhaps someone who has can shed some light.

Having lived in Thailand for 13 years, I can definitely say that the dog eat dog mentality definitely exists. Some people in Thailand do work extremely hard for a pittance e.g. the rice farmers in North East Thailand, whereas others who are mega rich seem to soak up all opportunities for making yet more money which is why the gap between rich and poor is increasing. As an example the recent growth in Chinese tourism to Thailand has only benefited the wealthy who bus the Chinese to their restaurants and their emporiums. The local restaurants, shops and bars are hardly frequented by the Chinese and instead have to rely on dwindling Western tourists and expats. The other significant mindset of most Thais is that they live for today, They will take 100 baht today, rather than wait for 200 baht tomorrow. Of course, the government, which is currently a junta, is totally corrupt as all governments before them, as are all government agencies and they do very little to help the general populace striving instead to join the rich elite.

 

 

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Context ....... "High standards of living, highly educated people and a fair egalitarian system of governance (low corruption), at least in theory. 

 

The rest cannot be said for 95% of the rest of the world where it's more of a "dog eat dog" type short-term mentality. I'll repeat this statistic which I think is important: 

 

On one of the major Microstock sites, 34% of their contributors with a portfolio of more than 999 images live in Thailand, Russia and the Ukraine. "

 

Brazilnut, 

 

So in the context of this thread - one of the reasons that some people post the same images to MicroS and Alamy is political systems that are not "developed" (my inverted commas) and social norms that spring from that political situation ?

 

I know I have paraphrased that down a lot but I am not getting your point on this. 

 

HellonEarth,

 

Again in the context of this thread - I presume you are not a Thai national, but you post the same images to MicroS and Alamy don't you? 

 

_________________________

 

Lets be open about this - people post the same images to multiple non-exclusives not because of their origin, abode or cultural stereotype - they do it because they can. Because they want to maximize their income in an industry (stock) that is already broke for contributors and is not going to get any better.......ever

 

I sincerely don't mean to be rude or judgmental in any way but I wanted to say something as I think this part of the thread was taking a dangerous judgmental turn.

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So in the context of this thread - one of the reasons that some people post the same images to MicroS and Alamy is political systems that are not "developed" (my inverted commas) and social norms that spring from that political situation ?

 

This is a relatively old thread so I've had to go back and refresh on what was said and the context.

 

I believe the discussion centered about some on here argued that the RF model and micros in particular were "harmful" for the industry and that those contributors didn't care if by contributing to such business model they were doing harm. My argument in defense was to state a statistic that 1/3 of micro contributors at one of the largest micro sites come from three countries, notably: Russia, Ukraine and Thailand. I questioned why that is.

 

Then I linked that statistic with the premise that perhaps in those societies the difference to making $500 a month is between destitute and an average quality of living, whereas $500 a month in London doesn't even cover the rent. Those contributors are not thinking about noble goals about preserving the industry, even if true. 

 

They're free to upload to Midstock, including Alamy, but it appears that uploading to micros comes more naturally. In the case of Ukraine, beautiful models at a fraction of hire price you would pay in London, Paris, Milan...

 

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I presume you are not a Thai national, but you post the same images to MicroS and Alamy don't you? 

 

I've never been to either of those countries stated above and would really love to visit Thailand...really fascinated by the culture - I'm from Brazil, which has many issues related to poverty, corruption and inequality.

 

For a time I was looking to make all my editorials exclusive on Alamy (with some RM) but I re-assessed and thought that was not a good business decision. From a year ago to now (my trip to Israel), I have left the majority of such editorials are RM and exclusive on here and only 2 have sold for pittance, so I don't regret my decision to diversify. 

 

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Lets be open about this - people post the same images to multiple non-exclusives not because of their origin, abode or cultural stereotype - they do it because they can. Because they want to maximize their income in an industry (stock) that is already broke for contributors and is not going to get any better.......ever

 

Agreed, although there's no harm and certainly not racist in trying to understand the reasons why some contributors in one geographic place choose to do something or other. If anything, that is helpful to understand local trends and agencies spend a lot of $ on writing about local trends and anticipating them for buyers of those markets. 

 

Assumptions are dangerous so glad that you, as a Thai national, has joined in the discussion to shed the some light. 

 

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I think this part of the thread was taking a dangerous judgmental turn.

------

There is something creepy about some of the comments in this thread about these 'undeveloped' peoples of the world....... blah blah blah.

 

The people aren't undeveloped, it's the social fabric in the societies that many live, mainly due to incompetent and corrupt political systems. 

 

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But accepting the premise for a second - since some of you are being so critical of others in poorer countries - how does that explain your 'dog eat dog' support of the damaging business model that you yourselves are purporting microstock to be?

 

I don't believe that microstock is a damaging business model as I've argued in the past. I think it's more of a symptom than a cause and we're at this stage mainly due to technological advances that makes it possible to capture huge resolutions with a relatively inexpensive piece of equipment. Then send such high-resolution images over fiber optic. In terms of the 'gig economy', many people have benefited from these advances in technology. Then there's another discussion about off-sourcing and how this has hurt some industries in developed countries.

 

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If 'they' are forced into it by poverty what forces you into it?

 

I see you put quotations on forced but nobody is forced into anything. It's a business opportunity. I suppose most won't make it because as you know it's not as simple as shooting a beach with coconuts with a mobile phone, keywording and uploading.

 

Personally, I'm motivated by avoiding the pointless rat race that has become of most corporate jobs. I enjoy the freedom and income that comes with it so I can travel and write about my experiences :) 

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But we have had this discussion a million times.....

 

We'll grab a pint one day and discuss it into the late hours! 

 

However, if the bartender happens to be a robot, you cannot make the argument that "it's damaging for the retail industry" :D

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