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    Stock Photography

    Hi

    Every so often I think I should contribute pics to a microstock / stock photography site, but don't know much about them apart from what I can glean from the Net. Anyone submit pics to a stock site here? If so, what are your experiences & what sites are worth looking at??

    Thanks

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    Quote Originally Posted by Old Skool View Post
    Hi

    Every so often I think I should contribute pics to a microstock / stock photography site, but don't know much about them apart from what I can glean from the Net. Anyone submit pics to a stock site here? If so, what are your experiences & what sites are worth looking at??

    Thanks
    I think they are dead.

    Youd have to have either a very unique library of images that are hard to get or hard to get access to or 10,000's of images. It's so oversubmitted.
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    Account Closed reaction's Avatar
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    And if your photo happens to be picked to be the next Times cover, expect to be paid $30USD.
    So yeah...

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    Member James T's Avatar
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    Stock is far from dead. I imagine it's one of few areas in photography that is growing.

    I don't contribute to stock personally, as most of what I shoot doesn't really lend itself. There are plenty of people making a decent bit of cash from RM and micro stock shooting, you just have to be willing to put in the time and effort (as with anything).

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    Quote Originally Posted by James T View Post
    Stock is far from dead. I imagine it's one of few areas in photography that is growing.

    I don't contribute to stock personally, as most of what I shoot doesn't really lend itself. There are plenty of people making a decent bit of cash from RM and micro stock shooting, you just have to be willing to put in the time and effort (as with anything).
    Really ?

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    Quote Originally Posted by kiwi View Post
    Really ?
    Well it's not something I've spent a great deal of timing researching, like I said, I don't shoot stock.

    But, the agencies are only getting bigger. You constantly here of freelancers bemoaning clients who resort to stock instead of hiring them to shoot assignments...

    Yes, I have a friend who used to make a very nice living shooting stock 'back in the day', who now works as a teacher, as his agencies weren't quick enough on the digital uptake. But then there are new shooters signing up with agencies everyday, and some of them doing very nicely out of it.

    The way stock works may have changed, but it is a long way from dead.

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    Quote Originally Posted by James T View Post
    Stock is far from dead. I imagine it's one of few areas in photography that is growing.

    I don't contribute to stock personally, as most of what I shoot doesn't really lend itself. There are plenty of people making a decent bit of cash from RM and micro stock shooting, you just have to be willing to put in the time and effort (as with anything).
    Im with Darren.

    REALLY? Can I see some proof to back up your statement?

    There has been many articles from photographers and industry professionals written about the decline of stock photography as an income-earning genre in photography. You just stated yourself that you dont shoot stock personally, how would you know if its growing, may I ask?

    I used to be proud of the fact that I was able to sell my photos to Lonely Planet as a recognized LP photographer about 3-4 years ago. But do you know how much they pay for photos now? Nothing! As the influx of amateurs and travelers and holiday-makers alike submitting high quality images to them has made us redundant - and I accept that fact and have moved on as its just another factor of the advent of DSLR technology and access.

    I also used to submit photos to sell on sites like photolia, imagevortex even Alamy before they all turned to scrap. Gone are the days of selling an image for $30 or $20 bucks, now it starts at ten cents to a dollar or so

    The costs and time involved in creating images for stock now far outweighs the profit percentage you can make back per photo - hence many have exited this market and let the free submissions come flooding in.

    But, the agencies are only getting bigger. You constantly here of freelancers bemoaning clients who resort to stock instead of hiring them to shoot assignments...

    Yes, I have a friend who used to make a very nice living shooting stock 'back in the day', who now works as a teacher, as his agencies weren't quick enough on the digital uptake. But then there are new shooters signing up with agencies everyday, and some of them doing very nicely out of it.

    The way stock works may have changed, but it is a long way from dead.


    Sorry but agencies are not getting bigger - only their libraries are getting bigger due to the amount of free and cheap photos being flooded in.

    Are those 'new shooter's really doing nicely out of it? Try putting food on the table and pay bills with income from stock photography for a year or a few months?

    I hope you arent getting mixed up or confused with agency shooters from newgroups - as actual stock photography is very different......
    Last edited by JM Tran; 12-08-2011 at 4:23pm.

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    Many have left, and fair enough, many haven't, and many new shooters continue to sign up.

    The stats are there for you to look up yourself on the stock sites, some people continue to make a truck load of cash from stock, both RM and RF. Yeah, that's a limited few, but it means the industry is still there. If you or I can't crack into it, then that's our problem (or not, depending how bothered you are by it).

    A PJ mate of mine signed up with Lonely Planet last year I think, he seems happy enough so far. He's also signed up with a sport agency and a general news agency. A bit of cash from a lot of places is still a valid way to work, you don't have to be 100% stock.

    I've heard a lot of stories from people saying editorial photography is dead, and a lot from people saying they do just fine shooting editorial. I've heard a lot of stories from people saying assignment documentary photography is dead, and lot from people saying the opposite.

    I've heard a lot of crap.

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    I've heard a lot of crap.

    well, it all comes down to that isnt it? What you hear is different to what I know first-hand.

    If you or I can't crack into it, then that's our problem (or not, depending how bothered you are by it).

    Sorry but I did that for fun with my first ever DSLR. Its good to have skills in a diverse range of genres isnt it? Win win I say.


    I've heard a lot of stories from people saying editorial photography is dead, and a lot from people saying they do just fine shooting editorial.


    I'll ask again, can I see some proof or link for that sweeping statement?

    Editorial is one of the main-stays of professional photography. As long as billions of magazines and newspapers are being printed every year. Editorial is not dead. You know editorials are the things.....ppl read and look at right?

    Interesting, those last 2 comments.....

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    As I said in my first reply I think you can make some money in stock for unique photos or if you have a large (read huge) library....otherwise, well, I cant see it working out - especially for those NTP

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    Quote Originally Posted by kiwi View Post
    As I said in my first reply I think you can make some money in stock for unique photos or if you have a large (read huge) library....otherwise, well, I cant see it working out - especially for those NTP
    usually in the thousands to hundreds of thousands in their portfolio library too.

    getting a stock photo is not just about submitting an image and wait for it to be approved. Half the time - they need to be crisp clean at base ISO of the camera, be up-rezzed to 40mb or 100mb etc in TIFF, only certain cameras be accepted ie. higher end DSLRs and medium/large format. Anything with human subjects need to have model release forms attached to it either in print or electronic file, no branding/logo - theres quite a big checklist to go through for any individual photo.

    Its not a quick and easy process, and the realization that my photo may or may not sell for a few dollars for all that effort will put many off.

    better off dipping one's hands in the dreaded......WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHY!

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    Wow. Quite a few different thoughts on this.

    The large ones are having trouble as people turn to the cheaper micro stock ones.

    From September - December 2008 I was going through all my photos and had friends who submitted to micro stock sites. So I thought why not.
    I pulled out my photos and submitted about 1000. I got about 500 accepted, as I submitted more, I realised what quality and style they want, and I had less rejection.

    I joined Shutterstock, Fotolio and a few others. I have about 5 of them still going now. I have earned over $3000 since December 2008 and still make about $300 - $500 year from them without doing anything. These were just photos sitting on my hard drive. Sure they maybe have been good, and some places I went to did not have many photos at the stocksites, but other than memories of my holidays, they were just sitting on a hard drive. So I get a few hundred dollars a year for doing nothing. Not sure if this would work now though.

    Some of those stocksites have 2 or 3 times as many photos now as they did then.

    I do a lot of design work, and it too has crashed in pricing compared to a few years back, so I use micro stock sites to source images as many of my clients in Australia now want the design prices cheap. They can outsource to India etc on freelance websites (and risk getting stolen/ripped designs but they don't seem to care). The internet has made some industries boom, it has made some crash. So be it. The same things happened to many industries and jobs over years. They come and go, jobs change. Where is your local blacksmith now? Delivered milk and bread?


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    Some interesting FACTS re Alamy:

    I made a few dollars (less than $50) for a while, but I think to get the big dollars you have to be very proactive and uploading new stuff all the time. I know someone who has over 15,000 photos on Alamy and they don't make a living from it ($600.00 last financial year). It was hard work to get photos approved, and from what I know Getty are stricter than Alamy. Yes stock photography can work, but there are only a select few that make a living out of it, and don't need other income. In 2009 one person made over $200,000 from Alamy, 3 people made over $100,000. There are over 30 million images on Alamy.

    Now to put it all in perspective, in 2009 Alamy paid out $8Million to photographers. Remember there are 30 million + images on the site. There are a lot of photographers not making much, given these stats. Yes you could be one of the select few that make over $100K, but are you willing to put in all the work needed, to do so?
    Last edited by ricktas; 15-08-2011 at 5:50am.
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    Quote Originally Posted by JM Tran View Post
    I've heard a lot of crap.

    well, it all comes down to that isnt it? What you hear is different to what I know first-hand.
    You mean your experiences are different to those of other photographers, yes I imagine they are.

    Quote Originally Posted by JM Tran View Post
    If you or I can't crack into it, then that's our problem (or not, depending how bothered you are by it).

    Sorry but I did that for fun with my first ever DSLR. Its good to have skills in a diverse range of genres isnt it? Win win I say.
    Dude, you said yourself, amateurs and holiday makers made you redundant in stock photography... they didn't make other people redundant.

    Quote Originally Posted by JM Tran View Post

    I've heard a lot of stories from people saying editorial photography is dead, and a lot from people saying they do just fine shooting editorial.



    I'll ask again, can I see some proof or link for that sweeping statement?

    Editorial is one of the main-stays of professional photography. As long as billions of magazines and newspapers are being printed every year. Editorial is not dead. You know editorials are the things.....ppl read and look at right?

    Interesting, those last 2 comments.....
    Did you make it to the end of my sentence, or just stop reading after the first 13 words? Not sure how relaying what I've been told is making a sweeping statement either..

    As usual though, with people like you looking for arguments that aren't here, I think I'll give up on posting for a while again.
    Last edited by James T; 16-08-2011 at 8:48am.

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    Quote Originally Posted by James T View Post
    You mean your experiences are different to those of other photographers, yes I imagine they are.



    Dude, you said yourself, amateurs and holiday makers made you redundant in stock photography... they didn't make other people redundant.



    Did you make it to the end of my sentence, or just stop reading after the first 13 words? Not sure how relaying what I've been told is making a sweeping statement either..

    As usual though, with people like you looking for arguments that aren't here, I think I'll give up on posting for a while again.

    Bit hard to make me redundant in something I was never interested in or focused on besides doing it for fun? Hmmm?


    Its hard not to argue when I get awesome comments like these

    I've heard a lot of stories from people saying editorial photography is dead, and a lot from people saying they do just fine shooting editorial. I've heard a lot of stories from people saying assignment documentary photography is dead, and lot from people saying the opposite.

    does one laugh or shake head and move on? or should one try to correct the ignorant and disbeliever?

    how about this whopper?

    Stock is far from dead. I imagine it's one of few areas in photography that is growing.

    Yeah I definitely read more those....13 words you wrote, btw did you read what Rick wrote about Stock?

    Some interesting FACTS re Alamy:

    I made a few dollars (less than $50) for a while, but I think to get the big dollars you have to be very proactive and uploading new stuff all the time. I know someone who has over 15,000 photos on Alamy and they don't make a living from it ($600.00 last financial year). It was hard work to get photos approved, and from what I know Getty are stricter than Alamy. Yes stock photography can work, but there are only a select few that make a living out of it, and don't need other income. In 2009 one person made over $200,000 from Alamy, 3 people made over $100,000. There are over 30 million images on Alamy.

    Now to put it all in perspective, in 2009 Alamy paid out $8Million to photographers. Remember there are 30 million + images on the site. There are a lot of photographers not making much, given these stats. Yes you could be one of the select few that make over $100K, but are you willing to put in all the work needed, to do so?



    Havent met anyone who seemed to publicly declare that Stock is truly alive and on its way up, and Editorial is dying from their opinions yet - I'll ask again - can I see some proof or link of where you got that from?

    Love to hear more whoppers from you if you have any, its only 9:30AM here

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    Quote Originally Posted by James T View Post
    There are plenty of people making a decent bit of cash from RM and micro stock shooting, you just have to be willing to put in the time and effort (as with anything).
    I think you definitely need to put a lot of time into stock photography if you want to make any money.
    You need to research the best-selling types of photos, then have the gear, expertise, locations, models and time to take sufficiently-good-quality photos, and then submit a lot of photos on a regular basis to stock agencies.

    There is certainly money in stock photography - if people like Uri Arcurs can make enough money from stock photography to run a large studio with 12+ full-time employees, then it's definitely possible ;-)

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    Ultimately, yes stock can make a few photographers a living, the majority a bit of pocket money, and even more, a small bit of loose change.

    It depends what you want from putting your photos on Stock sites. But making a living from it is not as easy as it sounds. It is up to each person to decide if they want to 'play the game', but going in with realistic expectations, is what is needed, not going in thinking 'James says I can make lots of money", cause in all likelihood, you won't make anything, and even if you do, it will probably be under $100.00.

    There are much easier ways to make money out of your photography.
    Last edited by ricktas; 07-09-2011 at 6:26am.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mpot View Post
    There is certainly money in stock photography - if people like Uri Arcurs can make enough money from stock photography to run a large studio with 12+ full-time employees, then it's definitely possible ;-)
    I was reading through this thread and halfway through instantly thought of Arcurs... His whole success ties in with what Rick was saying about putting in the effort. Isn't he typically approached by companies such a Getty about getting his images into their library?

    My opinion is that unless you are willing to totally immerse yourself in it, then you'll never make a "living" out of stock sites. That may or may not be fact, it's just my opinion as I'm by no means a pro - not looking to get into an argument. I'm sure the same rings true for running your own photography (or any) business...

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    Quote Originally Posted by ricktas View Post
    There are much easier ways to make money out of your photography.
    I think that's the key point in this discussion ;-)

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    do people actually make money from stock ?
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