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Steve Bower

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Everything posted by Steve Bower

  1. Wilm, I understand your pain! Now that I've posted that comment, my earnings will probably go straight down. I'm not making any rash decisions until I see at least a years worth of earnings. Hope you see better days in the future. Given your quality port, I'm betting you'll see an earnings turnaround soon.
  2. Like a lot of you I was "ticked off" when SS reduced the payment structure and I discontinued uploading to SS. June was the worst earnings month I've had in many many years and I assumed all future months would be similar, Then came July and thanks to 3 large SOD I had the best month I've had in over a year with an RPD of $1.53. I assumed this was an anomaly and expected August would resort back to June's numbers. While it hasn't been great. it's close to my typical earnings with an an RPD just under my Lifetime earnings RPD of .86. While I don't expect future monthly earnings to be this good, I have to admit that the possibility of receiving large SODs and ELs is a factor that should be considered when looking at the payment structures of various agencies. I haven't change my mind about uploading to SS but I can't rule that out that possibility, if my RPD stays at a reasonable level. I know this will be unpopular, but . . .
  3. Laura, I recognize you could have been offended by my comment, thank you for your willingness to accept what I hoped would be constructive criticism. You have the right attitude which will go far in your quest to become a good stock photographer. You are correct, stock photography pays very little (especially since the fee restructuring here at SS) but it is an opportunity to learn to become a good technical photographer. If that's your goal, you will be much happier. Make every image the best it can be through proper composition, lighting and post processing and the money will begin to trickle in. Keep in mind that Stock Photography was established to provide commercial establishments, bloggers and individuals with images to promote their business, product, idea or location (among others). If your image doesn't assist them in that, it will have little commercial value and will generate few, if any sales. Images of common items like flowers or unknown landscapes must stand out and be technically near "perfect" in order to be noticed, let alone purchased. Again, learn the basics of photography as well as how your camera settings (shutters speed, aperture and ISO) affect the look of your image. Without this knowledge, you will struggle to compete as a photographer. Once again, good luck!
  4. Laura, Sorry, but it does appear out of focus to me as well. Stock photography is very picky about the technical aspects of photography and the reviews are now done by AI which is not very intelligent. Reviews are no longer done by humans as it use to be. Again the forum has multiple threads on this subject. These might help you some but the majority are mostly justifiable complaints. If you haven't already seen my comments regarding your initial post, I would suggest you read that and begin with the basics. Good Luck!
  5. Laura, May i ask what kind of camera are you using, is it a point and shoot or a digital DSLR? 2nd question, do you own and use any post processing software (i.e. Photoshop, etc.)? Most if not all of your competition uses either a DSLS or a Mirrorless camera and they do post processing before submitting their images. If you really hope to make any money from stock photography you must be able to compete with photographers that own top notch equipment and are on "experts" in Photoshop and Lightroom. I say this not to scare you but to help you to set realistic sales expectations. Having said all that, I think a number of your images could sell however, most need some help either through post processing, better composition or improved lighting. The majority of your landscape images look like they were taken in very flat lighting and tend to lack a definite subject. Your still life images (pomegranates, etc.) often are cropped too closely (the subject is cut off). If you want to photograph macro subjects and or wildlife, I would suggest you get closer to your subject which may require a telephoto or macro lens (there never should be a question as to what your subject is in any of your photos. I'm Sorry if my critique appears a bit harsh. We all had to learn photography and it takes a lot of work and practice. I would suggest you study the basic of photography and learn what makes a good photograph and specifically what stock photography is all about before you invest too much more time in uploading more images. Check out past critiques and help threads here on the forum or check out the internet for YouTube videos. Good Luck ! !
  6. Evgeniia, In the past I have had minor repairs made to my camera (cameras) and unless the repair is quite simple, I've found that the cost of repair exceeds the value of the camera. I live in the United States which is a different market than Russia but I suspect you will find similar cost where you live. It's hard to tell the extent of the damage based upon your description but the squeaking noise does not sound good. See if you can get a local estimate but I suspect the labor cost will make the repair a poor "investment". I know we never like additional expenses but this might be an opportunity to "upgrade" your camera body. Good luck!
  7. Fercast, Hopefully, I didn't confuse you. That figure of 1,000.00 plus is the total sales on this image which was in my portfolio for nearly ten years. I recently removed it from Shutterstock as I couldn't stand to see it sell for .10. The image was of baby elephants playing and it has been down loaded here at Shutterstock over 800 times. I also have it at each of my other agencies and it is one of my top selling images at those three, as well. I agree with your conclusions on macro images, they just don't compete with the big exotic animals. Regretfully, unless you come into a boat load of money and travel the world shooting animals, I believe your dream of making a living as a wildlife photographer is just that, "a dream". Sorry!
  8. Fercast, I don't shoot wildlife exclusively but I love the challenge and have a number of wildlife images in my portfolio. While my best selling image (over a $1,000.00) is a wildlife image, I agree with those contributors that have already commented. You probably won't be able to make a living shooting wildlife. Up until the fee restructuring, I was making far more on SS than any of the other sites (3 additional sites) to which I contribute. Now, it appears that SS is no longer my best earning site. While your macro shots may be better than mine, I haven't seen a great demand for this type of image. I love doing them but the return has not justified the effort (at least for me and my images). Since very little of my monthly income is from wildlife images, that figure wouldn't be of much assistance to you. Hopefully, one of the individual you cited will respond giving their direct experience.
  9. Based upon both my info for August and that of the the majority of those reporting above it would appear that the highest average we can expect for a sub is about .23 (assuming you have a relative large (over 2,000 images) or productive portfolio. At least until January 2021. As others have mentioned we are dependent on OD, EL and SOD to keep our PPD up. Without a large number of these, uploading to Shutterstock will not be worth the effort. Thanks to an unusual July (high value SODs), my PPD for June, July and August has changed little from what it was the first five months of the year. Only time will tell if these large downloads will be a consistent part of anybodies download experience. Obviously, the January "reset" makes a reasonable average price per download even less likely.
  10. Wilm & Christina, For your info. I also got this e-mail. This is actually the second request to download more images. Like a lot of us, I quit downloading after the new pricing structure.
  11. Adri, June was down approx. 40% from an average month. Worst month I've had in Years. July, however, was the best month I had in the last year thanks to 3 SOD, two of which were over $70.00. August at the current time will be an average month if things continue as they have so far. While this sounds encouraging, I recognize that one good month means nothing. I quit uploading in June and I haven't changed my mind yet.
  12. David, I sold one in June for 11.63. It appears that the marketing experts got a little carried away with their "package deals". I'm sure that had nothing to do with the need to come up with a new pricing structure. Or did it?
  13. I was just accepted at Alamy and I am in the process of uploading the majority of what I have here to their data base. Their Keyword process has both a mandatory and optional section. My question is: how important are the optional questions? I am considering not entering the optional stuff, will it's absence affect the buyers ability to locate my image? I've chosen to upload in batches of 20 to 30 until I find how stringent their review process is and I can imagine filling in all of the optional info will be very time consuming on 3,000 images. If the optional stuff is just "fluff" I may forget it. In addition, is some of the optional stuff more important than others? Does anyone have evidence (know) one way or the other? Thanks for your input!
  14. Rupan, It's not my intention to be rude but I think you may have seen too many Shutterstock ads saying you can get rich by uploading the images on your hard drive. 500.00 a month is a reasonable goal for a highly qualified photographer with a very large portfolio (over 10,000) but I don't think it is something you should expect, even if you do it full time. It would also help if you are able to travel and or have a lot of attractive friends that are willing to model for free. You could (and should) upload to multiple stock sites and over time you might generate 500.00 a month from all these stock sites (I use to) but I think with the new fee structure at SS and the competition in the photo market you will be very disappointed with your earnings. Just my opinion.
  15. Awana JF I haven't researched it completely, but I think one of the changes SS made just before they "adjusted" the pricing structure, was to make it possible for someone that viewed one of your photos to see similar photos in your portfolio based upon keywords. This enables buyers to search your portfolio for images from the same area or subject matter. If the quality is there, your portfolio can become a one stop shopping experience for the buyer. I've had multiple images downloaded from one city (buyer) but never six. Congratulations, good job!
  16. Thanks, Mike. Let's see how the rest of the year pans out. I'm no longer uploading at SS but . . .
  17. Like everyone else, last month was the worst month I had in years, however, thanks to two large S&O (79.50 & 27.60) and a large number of ODs, July is going to be a slightly above average month. July seems to be an anomaly, I have little expectation this will be the new norm going forward. Update: July is an obviously fluke. Just got another large S&O (over $70.00) which makes July's earning higher than any other month in 2020. I guess this shows that anything can happen.
  18. Rose, I went to your website and overall I have to say, I was very impressed. However, a very high percentage of your photos do suffer from an unacceptable amount of noise (by stock standards). Without knowing your settings, I would guess a lot of this noise is the product of a high ISO setting (above 400 ISO). The ability to increase the ISO is a great advantage (especially when shooting moving wildlife) but without considerable post processing, the noise in the out of focus background (on high ISO Images) will be unacceptable to most stock sites. I also shoot wildlife and sometimes those great high ISO shots just won't make the cut in stock photography. If you can't reduce the noise in post processing, this is something you will just have to accept. I would suggest you reduce the ISO on future images you wish to submit to SS or any other stock site. Out of focus, first of all you need to know Shutterstock reviewers are notorious for claiming an image is out of focus. I'm sure most if not all of the people that have commented in your post, have fallen victim to an "out of focus rejection" on a "perfectly good photo". Make sure the focus is on the eye of the animal or the most important portion of the subject, then give it a few days and resubmit. It usually is accepted on the second submission. It's part of the game we have to play. We get use to it after a while, or we quit submitting. If you don't mind getting paid 10 cents per image, try these suggestions and those offered by previous posters. In my opinion, you have great potential as a photographer. We all experience some negative feedback or comments, don't quit, learn from it .
  19. Rose, Welcome! Regrettably, you've chosen to begin submitting to Shutterstock at a bad time. As you may or may not know, SS recently chose to dramatically reduce the commission they pay to their contributors. This has generally given we contributors a "bad attitude" and you may have been a recipient of some of that. Secondly, you began your question with the declaration that neither your photos, skills or even your equipment could not possibly be the problem. Admittedly, SS's reviewers do have a poor reputation but to claim that the problem couldn't be yours is a red flag and is often perceived as an indication that the poster "knows it all" and will be unwilling to accept any reasonable suggestions or critique. Your ongoing post haven't done much to change that perception. Sorry! Stock Photography standards, were and still are at times much more demanding than what is acceptable on the the typical photo sharing site. You are often competing with long time professional photographers that had to meet the expectations of "paying clients". This is a very high standard, one that has to be learned and consistently applied to all your submissions. To admit that your photos may not meet that standard now (or consistently in the future) should not be considered an insult but an opportunity to learn. We've all had to learn what is acceptable here and at other stock sites but it takes a willingness to listen and accept the possibility that we need to improve. Any other attitude will be met with a "bit of resistance". There a number of people that are willing to help (even those that have already replied) but you might want to add a hint of humility to your responses and a willingness to discuss all possibilities, even those that might include an "adjustment" on your part.
  20. I got the same email. Like everyone else, I no longer upload to Shutterstock! Not for .10, anyhow. In addition, I got another e-mail requesting my assistance on another matter. I chose not to respond to either one, although I wanted to tell them what I really thought, like the rest of you. Starsphinx, I too thought about giving up photography after SS's kick in the teeth but I get too much enjoyment out of it. Shutterstock won't take that away from me. If you derive satisfaction from photography, keep at it, just upload somewhere else. Who knows what will happen, some good might come out of all this.
  21. This last Friday and again today I averaged more for my Sub sales than I would have made prior to the new restructured payment plan. However, my OD sales have all been below the previous payment amount (2.85) and in one case, it was far below (less than 1/3 the 2.85 amount). So far it looks like there is no way the average contributor will make more money. I'm at 30% and there is little chance I will make it to the next level before I start all over at 15% on Jan 1.
  22. Milo, I started submitting to both SS & DT over 10 years. For a number of reasons, I have approximately 1/3 less images at DT than at SS. DT has not performed any where near as well as SS over the years but recently sales have increased substantially. Admittedly, my images have had a number of years to move up in the Algorithm, but I think it might be worth your while to upload there. While you never know what the results of a law suits will be, it appears that DT suit against Goggle has a lot of merit and if won, should help their sales, IMO.
  23. I recognize this is a little tacky, but I haven't been able to determine what is meant by the words "premium access" as it applies to my IS account. As far as I can tell, it is some form of "royalty payment" or "rights usage". I spend little time at their site but I notice for the last few month that the "premium access" portion of my royalty payment has gone up substantially. Does anyone here know what IS means by the term, "Premium Access"? I am not exclusive there and I have made no changes in my account but this increase in the Premium Access payment has definitely peaked my interest. Thanks for any help you can give me!
  24. Milo, Your, way is better, I'll admit, but that calculation, is a bit arduous, is it not. In my situation, I received multiple payments from all possible categories Subs, ODs, ELs, and SOs and knowing what I "should have paid" seems to be way above my "pay grade". I did however, do a calculation of the decline in the earnings from my subscription sales and those amounted to a decline of 45% in earnings. Admittedly, my long term RPD average has been quite consistent so for me a decline from an avg, RPD of .98 to .56 (a 43% decline) seems to be meaningful. Obviously, a calculation for one month proves very little but it seems an avg of your ongoing RPD for the next six months (or more) compared to your previous years RPD (or avg lifetime RPD) would have some value. It's obvious that each portfolio is different (your portfolio is an excellent example) but I'm not convinced an RPD comparison (as stated above) is "meaningless". Again, just another opinion.
  25. Short of giving out are actual numbers (downloads and earnings) I personally think RPD is a very helpful measurement in this situation, as it shows how the new pricing structure has impacted our average earnings per download. I could be wrong but other than my actual decline in earnings, this calculation, will best help me determine whether it is worthwhile to continue uploading to Shutterstock. Just another opinion. This is just one month which is not that statistically important, so addition monthly figures are needed to show the real impact of the new pricing structure. June 2020 RPD .56 June 2019 RPD .99 AVG 2020 RPD through May 2020 .98 AVG RPD at AS for 2020 is 1.04 June 2020 earnings at AS was slightly less than SS earnings for June, however, I have approx. one-half the number of images there.
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