Jump to content

Holly Kuchera

  • Content Count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Posts posted by Holly Kuchera

  1. I'm late to the conversation but thought maybe (just maybe?) I could add my input. My personal photographic passion is wildlife. It's what I love to do. I don't get to do it all the time, but enjoy the moments I have. For this reason about 60% of my portfolio is wildlife. I've been here on SS since 2005 and am proud to say if you search "wildlife" in photos, I have ONE image on page 4. Does wildlife sell well? Probably not as well as lifestyle and certainly not for much in today's prices on SS. That one image on page 4 I referenced has been on SS for 7 years and has sold 3,775 times to the tune of $3,839.98 (average a $1.02 per sale). That same image is on 4 other sites and has sold 1,416 times to the tune of $1,580.06 across those 4 sites (average $1.12 per sale). The site it does best at (after SS) is AS (1,203 sales = $1,335.97). Adding up a great portion of my wildlife shots equals almost $24,000 in 14 years across all 5 of the sites I submit to.

    Since the profit drop my overall income (not just wildlife photos) has dropped about 40% on SS. I did not remove my portfolio from SS, just stopped uploading which may be hurting my position in the rankings. I have not seen an uptick on any other site since June. My husband has his own account with similar submissions. He has dropped about 50% on SS. (on 5 sites during the same time as myself he's made around $13,000 from the main part of his wildlife photos). We joke with each other that because he isn't on the forums he has less "viewers" than I do, so that's why he sells less. His quality/keywording is no less than mine. :)

    So the takeaway - wildlife sells if you have photos the buyers deem interesting. All of my top wildlife earners are head portraits, my husband's most popular photo is of a raccoon and skunk raiding a trash can - it's popular with pest control companies.Is it worth it to spend the money on trips and glass to sell through SS. Probably not. Can it get you the money to spend on trips and glass - it used to - my husband and I are living proof of that. 

    Good luck to you!

    - Holly

  2. 4 hours ago, Rupan Mallick said:

    Thank you Steve. I'm planning to work for other sites too. I think we should upload more on IS and DT. I'm little bit of confused with IS and getty

    IS and getty are pretty much the same thing. I am on IS and my payments come from Getty. AS is the only other stock site I would recommend at this time. DT is okay, but not the greatest for sales. 

  3. 4 hours ago, Rupan Mallick said:

    Harley quinn concept was not for commercial use. That is for editorial purpose only. And I checked there are more photos like that. Should i remove this!

    Oops - didn't see that sorry. Hmmm.... gray area. You might be okay - I'm not in the know about how cosplay photos (for sale) are taken by the companies that own the characters. it all depends on how DC feels about it.

  4. I've been here for 15 years - I've never made $500 a month JUST from SS. Granted I don't have a "hot" portfolio - I don't chase trends and pretty much submitted what I wanted to. I no longer submit to SS due to the profit reduction of June - not worth it.

    And a note for you as a beginning submitter - you might want to be careful with the Harley Quinn concepts ... they might be considered intellectual property by DC.

  5. 8 hours ago, Darla Hallmark said:

    I haven't done anything about Bigstock yet, it just sits there.   However, I am concerned that Shutterstock may turn its attention to Bigstock, and try some weird things to show "profit" there.

    Maybe I should delete things now.


    I haven't uploaded to BS since August 2019 and sales trickle in here and there - about $100 a year. My husband also has an account, maintained the same way (no uploads) and brings in about the same each year. If SS turns their attention there and cuts commissions I will finally completely cut the connection. 
    We stopped uploading to IS around 2014 (frustrated by their uploading process and later their method of reporting sales and later the commission cut) but still get about $200 to $300 a year so that's why I did the same with BS.
    Now if I get a request from AS or DT to open up an image to exclusive sale I don't hesitate to agree and remove the image from SS, IS and BS.

  6. 41 minutes ago, Holly Kuchera said:

    Anyone else having trouble logging in to Bigstock today? I have been getting a "406 Not Acceptable" error all morning.

    (I know, different agency but cause SS owns them....)

    Thanks - HK

    Nevermind - it's back up after a "chat" and email to support at BS.

  7. 8 minutes ago, stockphotofan1 said:

    I would guess it is just a Subscription being miscategorized as an On Demand, but you would obviously need to ask Shutterstock about it and see what they tell you.

    Did you?

    Not worth it. I've got bigger issues to deal with in my life right now... (Kind of the way I handle most things from SS...)

  8. 2 minutes ago, AnastasiaOsipova said:

    Oh, no. I will not engage in plagiarism ))) I never copy a photo because it wouldn't be fair.I just watch and get inspired. Just because of the latest news, all the inspiration has gone.

    Feel free to be inspired!!! I'd love to see what you end up with - I've had artists ask before and if they send me a jpg of what they did I promote their work on my business Facebook page, (Tortoise Productions, Inc.)

  9. 6 hours ago, AnastasiaOsipova said:

    What beautiful photos of animals!!! This is excellent!!! I would really like to draw vector portraits based on these photos. Not for Shutterstock, though...

    Thank you! If you are not planning on reselling the portraits you certainly all welcome to purchase from my other sites (see my website for details). Sorry - can't allow you to remake them for commercial sale. Personal use or to advertise your skills - sure!

  10. Hi everyone. Holly here - longtime submitter (2005), occasional forum member.
    I'm confused. My husband and I have individual accounts. I'm at Level 4 - he's at Level 3. Our first subscription sales after the rate change showed up today; up to tonight we've had single & other sales at the lovely rates I was expecting (that's sarcasm for those who can't tell). Tonight I get a subscription sale for 20 cents. Okay, yeah - I can fit that on my spreadsheet cause I have a column for that amount back when we started. He get a subscription sale for 87 cents. Whaaaaa????? Not that I won't accept it - I just don't understand it.

    I'm not complaining - I had an extended sale for $21 today so I'm still ahead of him for the month. Yes, we have a friendly rivalry :)

    As of today I am no longer uploading to SS nor suggesting them to buyers nor promoting SS on my social media accounts. In the past 5 years I've gone from uploading to 5 sites down to 2. Stock photography has been a "hobby" business to me so I'm okay, but my heart goes out to those who depend on the income for their lives and families.

  11. 5 minutes ago, Steve Bower said:


    I did not get a degree in photography but I assume they still teach composition, rule of thirds, etc., don't they?   My gut is telling me "you are pulling our leg" but. .  .  Bottom Line:  you're going to have to revisit those basics if you are going to compete as a stock photographer, it's definitely different than art photography. 

    Those basic photographic techniques are very important in stock as they make the point of your image both easily and quickly determined which is essential in advertising or media presentation (stock photography).  Review what is being said to other new contributors, much of it is applicable to you.  Good Luck!      

    Not picking on you Steve, but your post made we want to comment. I'm sure the OP was taught composition, rule of thirds etc. The problem is that he is coming from an fine art photography background which is VERY different from stock photography. It's one reason I had to get out of our local camera clubs. I was going for stock quality photos while they were more focused on the fine art side. If you don't believe me check out some of the fine art photography magazines available. It's a very different mindset.

    That said, I do create "art" photographs - I just share them on my personal sites vs trying to sell them here. I have sold some, but it's a different market.

  12. As someone who has 3,849 image and 2,251 are animals, I can say that wildlife does sell. Maybe not as well as people or lifestyle, but it's enough to get me a $100+ payment every month from SS. You just have to be picky about what you put out, careful on keywording and have some patience. Check out the competition and adjust your style accordingly. Of my 2,251 animal images, 553 are wolves and that's what sells the most for me. I'd love for more of the other critters to sell, but I'll take what I get.



  13. Having seen a similar problem in my past, I'd say it might be the sd card. In my case I had a color shift and a small image misalignment.

    Tests to do:

    1) Reimport the images into Lightroom to see if it was a communication error during import. If it happens again go to #2

    2) If you have other sd cards, mark the one as questionable and use others. If it turns up again, it might be your camera.

    In my case I marked the CF card as questionable and tried not to ever use it. The problem never turned up again, but after a bit of time, the camera started giving out multiple errors - just at the right time for me to upgrade to a D300. :)

    Good luck! (and thankfully it was only 5 rather than the whole 2000!)

  14. When they went to the monthly payout I had to put a note to myself on my income spreadsheet to remember to request BS different from every other site I submit to. The note is: "Make payout claim before last day of month" Every other site (aside from the ones that automatically payout when you reach your threshold) I request payout on the first of the month. Plus I lowered my personal payout threshold on BS from $100 to $50, cause I'd like to see money from them more than once a year. Every time I submit I ask myself why I'm still on BS or bother uploading. Definately my worst performer. Worse than IS, and I haven't uploaded to them since 2013.

  15. 7 hours ago, Authentic Creations said:

    Hi Holly,

    Off course i was not thinking about something that adds keywords directly. I mean they will be suggested as it is now. You only need to select the ones that you need. The difference is only that there will be also keywords suggested from the title text in addition to the image screening.


    Sorry, I plead guilty to skimming your post. Yes, that would work as long as the system suggesting keywords isn't dumb and includes such words as (to use your example title "Woman sitting on sofa and watching television") - "on" and "and". Again, there's another microstock site that does that if you accidentally hit the wrong key during upload. In their case you have to be on the ball enough to notice the "on" and "and"s that were added and delete them. (Although I've noticed that keywords really don't seem to matter much on that site - nor titles. Quite often I've gotten notices of someone searching for one thing and downloading another. This is also the site that changes my titles without notifying me.)

  16. 12 hours ago, Authentic Creations said:

    Off course it would be even better if there would be an "on/off" switch for contributors that prefer to not use it.


    I would support this ONLY if there were on on/off switch. I deal with auto keywording whenever I upload to another site. 90% of the time the keywords aren't relevant and I have to take an extra step to make sure they aren't added and delete them.

  17. 20 hours ago, Puffin's Pictures said:

    I didn't say "No captive animals", just that there is at least one person with SS who seems to blanket-reject anything at a zoo.

    As for the SeaWorld one, that's new to me and I asked around including with park employees originally, so thank you.  I wonder when that came into place and whether it's a legit reason or just bias against SeaWorld because they became cool to hate and SS jumped on the bandwagon.  The other sites I'm on still accept images from them, and depending on what's in it, don't necessarily require them to be editorial.

    The reason I said "no captive animals" is that every one of my animal images is clearly labeled "captive animal" when appropriate. I don't think I've ever had a property release rejection for them in the 10+ years I've been submitting them. (BS did as for a property release once - I obtained it, supplied it and soon after got rejections that stated I didn't need a property release).

    The SeaWorld restriction has been in place for as long as I can remember. I believe the policy is in place because SeaWorld has made it be that way - and they been active in prosecuting offenders. That's why I try not to put up images of places that have listed restrictions (either on stock sites or at the place itself). You never know how diligent they might be in finding offenders and prosecuting. That prosecution could be anything from a lifetime ban from going to the location to monetary payment. Either way, I'd rather not risk it. If you really want to get around the restrictions, don't list zoo names or submit photos that are obviously in a zoo. But realize you might still get caught. There was someone on SS that was submitting images of animals from a local zoo without listing any identifying zoo information. But, anyone who had done photography that particular zoo could tell you exactly where they were taken and I'm sure the zookeepers could too. That particular zoo has a very visible stated photography policy - commercial photography requires a permit. So, that person is running the risk of someone from the zoo seeing one of their photos, tracking down who took it and going after them. It's a risk they've either decided to take or are blissfully ignorant of the possible consequences.

    As for other sites accepting images of SeaWorld - they are taking that risk as well. Good luck to them and you in avoiding future problems!

    (Although I might add, breaking the rules only makes it harder for the rest of us photogs. I've been jumped by "persons in authority" enough at events and venues that I've come up with a default answer. "Yes I'm a professional photographer, but not today. Today is for fun and practice." And, if the site has a stated policy, I honor it. If they don't... well... I consider it fair game. :)

  • Create New...