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Thread: Is anyone contributing to Stock libraries?

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    Is anyone contributing to Stock libraries?

    Is anyone contributing to Stock libraries?

    If so, is it worth your time/effort?

    What's working for you (what's selling) and what isn't?

    Just qurious really. It seems that the Stock market is growing and the returns diminishing (for contributors) so just wondering if anyone has any real experiences to share.

    JJ

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    Do a search on the forum, there is quite a number of posts on thsi topic - :-)

    Cheers,

    Mike
    Please be honest with your Critique of my images. I may not always agree, but I will not be offended - CC assists my learning and is always appreciate

    https://mikeathome.smugmug.com/

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    Quote Originally Posted by mikew09 View Post
    Do a search on the forum, there is quite a number of posts on thsi topic - :-)

    Cheers,

    Mike
    Actually, I did, and the stuff I found was about a year old.

    I know there is a negative bias towards micro stock from the majority of folks out there but I also know of people making some serious money on it. I'm curious about peoples experience with libraries, not perceptions. I have no experience with Stock Libraries as my images are not sellable as stock (cars are generally not sellabale).

    I'm also not talking about RedBubble and similar sites which sell products, although I've done OK on RB. These are not stock libraries at all.

    JJ
    Last edited by jjphoto; 10-08-2010 at 12:14pm.

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    I sell stock on all the major microstock agencies, though I don't put much effort into it.

    As you mentioned, there's quite a few members on AP with a negative sentiment against stock. Whilst I respect their view, which tends to be along the lines of "micro is undermining the livelihood of pro photographers" and "micro stock is rubbish and tarnishes the photographic industry", I have a different take. Personally I think that:
    (a) pro photographers who are good enough will make a living regardless of the existance of micro
    (b) the market for the sale of photographic media is growing overall; whilst traditional macrostock isn't keeping pace with microstock, it is nevertheless growing, and
    (c) many (most?) traditional macrostock photographers have realised that there is a difference between what works in macro and what works in micro, and successfully sell images in both categories, supplementing their traditional income.

    I started selling micro about 15 months ago and have between 100 and 200 images at each agency, depending on how tight they are with their acceptance. I'm adding around 10 per month, but it tends to be 0, 0, 30 rather than a consistent amount, depending on what kind of photography I've been doing.

    Initially I did some product shots specifically for micro, but now I just focus on enjoying my photography... if I capture an image which also happens to have micro potential, then fine, I will upload it. Once you're set up on all the agencies, and know what gets accepted/sells, it really isn't much effort to add another batch.

    Whilst my existing portfolio of microstock generates a small income (anywhere between US$50 and US$100 per month, depending on how the cookie crumbles), it would really take a concerted effort from someone to make a living from it. I don't think there's many that do. Personally, I don't need the income and don't make a special effort for micro. That said, I'm about to buy another macro lens and the $300 sitting in Paypal is a nice starting point.

    With stock at agencies growing inexorably, there is an ongoing element of dilution for contributors. However, good images tend to sell regardless and, once they have some sales track record, they rise to the top and tend to be found in searches. I have found that some agencies are more geared towards 'newly added stock' (ie earnings go down if you don't submit regularly), whilst others are geared towards longevity (ie earnings go up as your best images become established and are more easily found by buyers).

    I've actually found the process of learning how to take micro stock quite educational. Images generally need to be technically perfect to be accepted by the bigger agencies, and I learned a lot about correct exposure and post processing as part of improving my acceptance ratio.

    Happy to answer any specific questions you might have, eg feedback on my experience at specific agencies.
    Last edited by Tricky; 10-08-2010 at 7:44pm.
    Richard
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    Thanks for your reply Richard.

    I'm curious about quite a few aspects of your reply but there doesn't seem to be much interest in the topic on this forum so I might just PM you instead.

    Thanks again.
    JJ

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    No worries JJ - happy for you to send me a PM.

    Re general lack of interest in the topic - it has been covered quite a bit in the past.

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