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Author Topic: A veri interesting article in the Times today  (Read 14712 times)
Streetshooter
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« Reply #80 on: April 03, 2010, 02:26:42 PM »
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Quote from: Hywel
The first rule of all, I think, is that you gotta shoot what you love. Then you gotta market it. And if you are good enough at both those things, and enough other people like what you do, you can make a living out of it. Simple as that.

  Cheers, Hywel.


Hywel, you've hit the nail on the head there.....

For me photography has never been about just making money, if I wanted to do that I would have gone into big city banking.  That's why I refuse to get into MicroStock. I've never done Royalty free either. My stock sales have remained constant over the years, indeed they are now increasing as I put more images into the agencies. But I only do stuff that I enjoy doing, and I ain't going to sell my soul to a model with a fake smile, no way.  

The thing that Getty did to revolutionize the stock industry was to take it into the digital age and put it online. They did this by buying all the biggest agencies with a pot of cash, and now they've started on FlickR.

The MicroStock guys can chase their pieces of silver too, they're welcome to it. Enjoy it while it lasts......

Pete
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gwhitf
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« Reply #81 on: April 03, 2010, 03:00:14 PM »
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Quote from: Streetshooter
The MicroStock guys can chase their pieces of silver too, they're welcome to it. Enjoy it while it lasts......

I'd love to get a glimpse at that Yuri guy's P&L statements for the last five to seven years, as the prices have plummeted towards a Dollar. I'd like to see the graph of his Net Profits over the years. So what does he do then, once the bottom drops out of his world, in which he had a hand in his own undoing? At what point can you simply not shoot enough Dollar images in a day to maintain a large studio and staff, as you race toward the bottom?

And my personal feeling is: You could say that he's only operating in one isolated level in the marketplace, but my feeling is that business models like this, sooner or later have a ripple factor into other layers of the entire photo industry. It's just a matter of time.
« Last Edit: April 03, 2010, 03:01:50 PM by gwhitf » Logged
Slobodan Blagojevic
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« Reply #82 on: April 03, 2010, 03:13:19 PM »
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Quote from: gwhitf
... business models like this, sooner or later have a ripple factor into other layers of the entire photo industry. It's just a matter of time.
Indeed... and any business model will ultimately meet its demise, microstock included (just how soon is a different matter, of course). The only permanent business model seems to be bottling of carbonated sugared water, as witnessed by the most successful company in the human history (o.k., arguably).
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Slobodan

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Streetshooter
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« Reply #83 on: April 03, 2010, 03:36:57 PM »
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Quote from: gwhitf
And my personal feeling is: You could say that he's only operating in one isolated level in the marketplace, but my feeling is that business models like this, sooner or later have a ripple factor into other layers of the entire photo industry. It's just a matter of time.


And my personal feelings  are:  keep your overhead as low as you can, don't lust after new gear, do your homework, spend money on your book and travel to new places in which to improve it and not on the latest camera. That way you'll be able to survive this silliness of MicroStock, Getty World Rule etc..

My opinion anyway.

Also I just couldn't bear the thought of shooting the same picture or variations thereof, day after day after day. Knowing that next week I'll only get a dollar for each one, next year maybe fifty cents, and the year after that only maybe ten cents. Just simply crazy.....

Pete
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pcunite
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« Reply #84 on: April 03, 2010, 07:25:23 PM »
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Quote from: gwhitf
You could say that he's only operating in one isolated level in the marketplace, but my feeling is that business models like this, sooner or later have a ripple factor into other layers of the entire photo industry. It's just a matter of time.

But that is the nature of our times, as long as destruction does not occur in your short 70 years then to heck with everyone else. The political climate is much the same with those in power being so selfish.
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Quentin
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« Reply #85 on: April 04, 2010, 04:59:16 AM »
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Quote from: gwhitf
I'd love to get a glimpse at that Yuri guy's P&L statements for the last five to seven years, as the prices have plummeted towards a Dollar. I'd like to see the graph of his Net Profits over the years. So what does he do then, once the bottom drops out of his world, in which he had a hand in his own undoing? At what point can you simply not shoot enough Dollar images in a day to maintain a large studio and staff, as you race toward the bottom?

Prices (at the micros) have gone up over the last few years, not down, but the competition and quality has increased.
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Quentin Bargate, ARPS, Author, photographer entrepreneur and senior partner of Bargate Murray, Law Firm of the Year 2013
feppe
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« Reply #86 on: April 04, 2010, 05:12:03 AM »
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Quote from: KLaban

To put this into perspective (haven't verified the figures):

Quote
"Well, since the photographer is exclusive to istock, and that image has had 6700 downloads, she's made something like $25,000 from that one picture alone. In trying to lambast microstock Chris Barton actually makes a good case for photographers doing it. Lise Gagné could have placed that image with Photographers Direct, and after a few years she'd have earned 80% of, well, probably nothing. Besides, doesn't everyone know that crass advertising actually works?"


from TOP
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Morgan_Moore
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« Reply #87 on: April 04, 2010, 05:53:54 AM »
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On the micros stock thing one point has not been made

One trouble with 'conventional' stock is that the client has to understand the license and particularly for time managed images have some digital asset management system in place and some sort of diary event to know when to pull the images

they then have to know how to pull the images which may involve paying their web designer

I have found (after much heart rending and internal debate) that selling a 'blanket license' which enables a customer to use an image for 'a long time' (five years) and allowing a specific set of uses say..

-own website
-own printed material
-regional advertising

Is easing my sales of stock (particulaly second use of editorial material - I shoot a lot of advertorial for business and then sell to that business after publication by the mag)

I dont charge microstock prices for these licenses but typically the editorial fee (ie a second sale doubles my money)

I feel that expurging the client of the need for internal workflow has provided a far greater incentive to buy than cutting the cost

of course I have a few caveats in my T+C to renage the license when the local coffee dealer gets bought up by nestle

===

I was also introduced to a concept (by a recent graduate) of images (for business) kind of naturally timing themselves out - ie with constant rebranding, changes in fashion, changes in the appearance of any technology in images etc that most images are just not used after a couple of years

Another concept I struggle with is that if I sell 100 images then 1 may be heaviliy used by a client leading me to feel that I undercharged - the concept is to consider that the 99 other images may be underused compared to the fee and am I happy with the total revenue from the 100

Could I use the wide use of that 1 image to drive my own self promotion too ?

S
« Last Edit: April 04, 2010, 05:54:31 AM by Morgan_Moore » Logged

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Rob C
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« Reply #88 on: April 05, 2010, 03:57:47 AM »
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This isn't intended as a direct response any particular post, so please don't take it as such.

I was sitting having lunch the other day when a chap I know asked if he could join me. During the conversation we got on to the topic of sales strategies - he was a professional salesman back in Britain - and out of interest, I asked him about methods of moving merchandise in quantity, my mind on stock pix. It was illuminating to hear how simply these things get done in supplier/supermarket land. Since the numbers are probably kind of similar, I suppose that parallels might be drawn, but the principal thing I came to understand was this: a total lack of interest in the nature of the product you are offering is taken for granted. In other words, you simply don't get involved in tryig to claim you have a superior product: you just make quantity/convenience offers that the store can't refuse, and you offer promotional backup via advertising on TV or wherever local it matters. The retailer cares as little about it, in the intrinsic sense, as you should: it IS just an item that needs shifting.

Maybe if all we photographers looked at it that way, as some seem able to do, we might be happier people.

So just disown your children; life will then sparkle.

Rob C
« Last Edit: April 05, 2010, 03:59:36 AM by Rob C » Logged

KLaban
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« Reply #89 on: May 06, 2010, 06:33:22 AM »
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Yet more royalty free woes.

http://news.bbc.co.uk:80/1/hi/northern_ireland/8620102.stm
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AldoMurillo
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« Reply #90 on: May 06, 2010, 10:30:39 AM »
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    Instant classic!    I wish every designer or editor on the planet could see this article, but It's stock fault or designer/editor of that ad?

It's obvious that the #1 disadvantage of using microstock is the lack of exclusiveness on the image, but designers and editors keep forgetting.     Microstock it's a great tool, but not for everyone or every job and blaming microstock for this it's like blaming the hammer for hitting your own hand...  
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Aldo Murillo

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Rob C
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« Reply #91 on: May 06, 2010, 01:42:35 PM »
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No, basically one blames it for cutting off what used to be the imaginary pension fund for the snapper's old age.

There is nothing good that can be said of it for the pro; that some are reputed to make a living from it doesn't alter the greater reality that it has put many more right out of business.

Rob C
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KLaban
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« Reply #92 on: September 15, 2010, 03:30:15 AM »
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Yet again, more royalty free woes.

http://www.jeremynicholl.com/blog/2010/09/13/istockphotos-unsustainable-business-model-from-crowd-sourcing-to-crowd-shafting-2/
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Rob C
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« Reply #93 on: September 15, 2010, 04:11:18 AM »
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Hi Keith

Thought you were back in Greece - maybe you were just working!

Thanks for the link - it's what I always imagined was going to happen one day, but probably too late for me. Even in the 'real' days of Getty is wasn't all roses: whilst some of my work sold (for no apparent reason I could see) in the thousand + quid (to me) area, the majority of it that sold at all breaststroked along at around fifty to a hundred. As you know, I once floated a model trip as an exercise in finding out how the economics worked without the safety net of commissioned work as source material. It took me over two years of stock (RM) to get my money back. No profit, just getting the outlay back. There never was profit from that shoot, ever. Of course, should my website now create a sale to every LuLa faithful, then I might be in a position to replace the Escort after twelve years of ownership, even float another shoot... so you see, dreams never die, they just dissolve a bit around the edges.

;-)

Rob C
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KLaban
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« Reply #94 on: September 15, 2010, 05:02:13 AM »
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Hi Rob

I know there are those who invested serious money in producing stock and those who did well in doing so, but it was always a risk. I spent very little on the small amount of dedicated RM stock I produced, hence the risk was minimal, but I do appreciate that this approach wasn't possible for all.

May RF and micro-stock burn in hell.
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Rob C
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« Reply #95 on: September 15, 2010, 08:54:55 AM »
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Hi Rob

I know there are those who invested serious money in producing stock and those who did well in doing so, but it was always a risk. I spent very little on the small amount of dedicated RM stock I produced, hence the risk was minimal, but I do appreciate that this approach wasn't possible for all.

May RF and micro-stock burn in hell.



If it's not sacrilege: Amen to that!

Rob C
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feppe
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« Reply #96 on: September 15, 2010, 11:10:45 AM »
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That was a great article, thanks! That quote from a "traditional" pro photographer is priceless. A bit light on the unsustainability claims, but the details are understandably not disclosed by iStock. I wonder how much of iStock's income comes from part-time amateurs; I assume it's the ones who are semi-pro or pro iStockers are the ones who are livid, while the rest don't care or even know (see below). If pros are only a minor portion, the traditional pro is probably right: iStock contributors just have to suck it up or pack their bags.

But what most shocked me is that the new royalty scheme was announced only on iStock forums, and contributors were not asked to sign a new contract or even informed of the changes directly! IANAL and I haven't read iStock's contract, but "meeting of minds" and actually accepting (signing) changes in a contract are some of the most basic tenets of contract law.

Oh, and from the forum quotes: “You can’t survive on 60-80% of the profits from a product that you have 0% ownership in? Sad. Pathetic.” Grin
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KLaban
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« Reply #97 on: September 15, 2010, 12:06:48 PM »
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"“You can’t survive on 60-80% of the profits from a product that you have 0% ownership in?"

Yup, good quote, sums it up nicely.
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