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Can we petition? Anyone big enough to start their own site?¬†ūüė¨¬†We literally work for pennies, as it is......

This needs to completely change and we either take a stand or lay down and take it. Would we make more money, if we start our own websites? 
https://snaptube.cam/  https://9apps.cam/

I am tired of making everyone else rich. People are already getting a great deal, no longer paying someone to take photos and modeling, etc..

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And before anyone starts saying, 'yeah but she's been here for 8 years and she's got 10k photos, blah, blah, blah.' I started with nothing but an old Nikon d90 camera and a kit lens. I knew nothi

Me:  Terry, help! I've set up a party table with all these balloons and I've got reflections and blown out highlights all over the place. Terry: Turn your lights away from the table and bounce th

Just sold a photo for 49$. This has to be my biggest single sale reward ever. There's hope

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I am sorry but I am so sick of people complaining and not taking responsibility for their work and what they do, and always blaming someone else or something else. Or making excuses, or taking the easy way out.

My RPDs for PHOTOS only for the past 3 years are:

May 2021 - $1.15

May 2020 - 0.61

May 2019 - 0.62

 

(And April was even better)

 

My philosophy is if one person can do it, and there's more than just me, than everyone can. If they do the right thing.

Get over it. 

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And before anyone starts saying, 'yeah but she's been here for 8 years and she's got 10k photos, blah, blah, blah.'

I started with nothing but an old Nikon d90 camera and a kit lens. I knew nothing except how to shoot manually from a photography course that I did previously. Plus I knew Photoshop.

I started small but gradually started reinvesting 20% of my income each year into better props and better equipment. I learnt from rejections. I blamed myself if something went wrong. Thats the only way one can learn. I did research to find things that were unique to the database that I could shoot. I kept trying new things until I found what worked for me.

I decided to learn how to do studio work and set up a makeshift studio in my dining room, which I had to clear out every weekend for our family meals. 

I asked questions. I found great photographers and people who were doing well, and learnt from them, but always focusing on creating my own content and my own style.

I treated it like a full time job, and uploaded regularly. I worked really hard. This year I should hit the 100,000 downloads milestone here on SS. If anyone told me back then that I could do that, or do it a lot faster than average, I would have fallen over in shock. But I did it, and it was worth it.

 

And if you can't do that, then you're not fit to be in the business of microstock. Its a tough business. 

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22 minutes ago, PlopandShoot said:

Always my pleasure my friend. You took a few grains of sand and with a lot of others, turned it into wonderful spun glass. :)

And yes, people forget that there are not employees and are here voluntarily. There are plenty of untapped niches, mainstream, and otherwise to be selling daily. Its work, that's all. The commission structure changes are not what we might wish, but you either adjust or leave. I went a different tack than Annie and joined Wirestock to sell for me. I don't have her creativity so I rely purely on volume. 

Edit to add: I think I can mark when I lost most of the respect I had for the "experts" to around then, from how disparaging they were to you and other newbs that soon outpaced, outsold, and out-talented them. They're gone, and you're still here. :)

Me:  Terry, help! I've set up a party table with all these balloons and I've got reflections and blown out highlights all over the place.

Terry: Turn your lights away from the table and bounce the light off your white walls and ceilings.

Me: Thanks!!

 

A dozen unique shots from that photoshoot. And they still sell.  And it was just a cheap cake from the supermarket and party props from the $2 shop.

 

Good advice above too. 

Bright colorful Happy Birthday Party Table with balloons, streamers, party favor gift bags and birthday cake with lit candles.Bright colorful party table with balloons and gifts with bright color ribbons and bows, and Happy Birthday cake on cake stand.Bright colorful party table with balloons, streamers, party favor gift bags and gifts with bright color ribbons and bows.Bright colorful Happy Party Table with balloons, streamers, party favor gift bags with slice of cake and lit candles spelling party.

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16 minutes ago, PlopandShoot said:

I would apologize for sidetracking this thread, but we have enough threads whining about commissions and sales, so I won't.

I miss the forum of the old days. The forum then was for learning and teaching. Yes, there was always a percentage of complainers back then - going all the way back to 2014 that I remember. (And then there'd be Barry who would come along and slap them over the head. lol) But now the blame, excuses and complaints have taken over like a disease. 

There's still good money to be made from photos, but not from taking the easy way out - and nor should it be. It never was. 

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5 hours ago, PlopandShoot said:

So do I. The arguments were generally balanced and interesting and advanced the understanding of the industry or photography. Sadly (and I fully acknowledge my own part in things) a few turned it into a personality conflict that burned down a lot of goodwill and helped make me into the crotchety old man I am now, with a lot less tolerance for bs. I do miss Barry, even though I disagreed with him often. He is why I own a blue plate. :) 

And I agree. It was never that difficult to get in (my "accepted's" included seagulls, oversaturated tree trunks, and a lemon, all crap too), but selling and being successful, whole different story. I still enjoy checking the buyer side and finding those empty subjects in high visibility areas. 

So true. (Barry would be pleased about the blue plate!)

I should explain. It was my birthday yesterday and I woke up this morning with a bad headache and a mini blood sugar crash, and then read this thread! Just had a healthy lunch, so not so crabby anymore. lol

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Welcome to the forum Shijune01ūüėĀ
I had also read your question, but hadn't given an answer, because this has indeed been discussed and grumbled a thousand times (so I won't this time). But you probably didn't know that.
Like Annie wrote it is¬†a tough world in Microstock (more than when it started, I think), which we can't change. You should either have fun with shooting and consider it a cheap hobby. Or have a lot of talent and want to work very hard for it like Annie (congratulations!!! ūüéĀ¬† ¬†).
Starting a new Stocksite these days seems difficult to me. Then you have to compete against the existing stock sites with their huge cheap photo and video file.
I am sorry that your photos are not visible.

The huge earnings at the top annoy me too.
In the Netherlands, companies were supported with a lot of government money (our money) during the Corona. Now the big companies like KLM-Airfrance and Booking.com are still trying to give the top huge bonuses while employees are even fired. It belongs to this world I'm afraid.

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5 hours ago, Milleflore Images said:

So true. (Barry would be pleased about the blue plate!)

I should explain. It was my birthday yesterday and I woke up this morning with a bad headache and a mini blood sugar crash, and then read this thread! Just had a healthy lunch, so not so crabby anymore. lol

I'm sending some very happy birthday wishes down under, Annie! Stay healthy and have lots of success!

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11 hours ago, Milleflore Images said:

I miss the forum of the old days. The forum then was for learning and teaching.

I miss it too. It was such a good place to learn and even the arguments were often enlightening and productive :) Unfortunately I think most of the people that do well are sick of the useless grumbling and are getting on with making their money rather than engaging here now.

I hope your birthday turned into a great day!!!¬†ūü•≥

@Shijune01 There have been petitions, there have been people taking a stand, there have been people trying new things. If you search old threads you will see. It comes up time and again. At the end of the day you have to decide what is best for you and go with that, the same as any other work or hobby. 
 

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21 hours ago, Shijune01 said:

Can we petition? Anyone big enough to start their own site?¬†ūüė¨¬†We literally work for pennies, as it is......

This needs to completely change and we either take a stand or lay down and take it. Would we make more money, if we start our own websites? 
 

I am tired of making everyone else rich. People are already getting a great deal, no longer paying someone to take photos and modeling, etc..

These petitions already exist, as has already been written here. You can also find them in this forum.

Of course, you could theoretically earn more if you sell the images via your own website. But you should not underestimate such a project and the costs involved.

You would be confronted with the following difficulties:

1) Contracts and legal issues.
This requires expensive professional legal help.

2) Translation
If you want to sell worldwide, a huge effort is inevitable.

3) Payment systems and security
You would have to provide the buyers with various secure payment systems via shop software, such as credit card, paypal, bank transfer and other systems. At the same time, you have to make sure that any payment process and your website cannot be hacked.

4) The biggest problem: finding your site
How do you want your website to be found by search engines? It's hard to compete with the big agencies. And even that would probably be associated with high costs.

And it is still possible to make money through the big microstock agencies. Today I read in another forum from a contributor that he sold 250 photos for 2.97 euros ($3.62) at a large competitor this Sunday afternoon. That's over $900 in one afternoon.

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4 hours ago, PlopandShoot said:

Edit to add: That isn't to say leave here. I am suggesting to do both :)

Terry, I can't follow. Does that mean that in theory you can just leave the existing portfolio with each agency and post all the images again at WS in parallel?

Or have I - once again - misunderstood you?

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Thanks Sheila @Sheila Fitzgerald, Linda @Linda Bestwickand Wilm @Wilm Ihlenfeldfor your kind thoughts and well wishes. Yes, I had a lovely day on Saturday.

Wilm, I like your list, but you forgot to add that once one started to have more contributors they would end up¬†hating you and blaming¬†you for everything that went wrong.¬†ūüėČ

But Former Poster @Former_Poster- I think you had the best answer of all!!

Has anyone tried direct selling here? Trust me. The customers, when you do get them, can end up driving you completely nuts. There's a reason, or several reasons, why we pay agencies, and I am happy to do that.

Keep well everyone!

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1 hour ago, PlopandShoot said:

Lol, we do that a lot don't we? Sorry.

On Wirestock you can submit to one, none, or all agencies, per photo. Therefore you could keep your entire portfolio here and submit everywhere else "except" here. They require no duplicates on any agency that you submit through them. Make sense? So, if you wanted to, you could take down half a dozen photos here, submit them to WS and have them back here on SS through Wirestock and still keep everything else here.

If you'd like to PM me or email, I am happy to share specifics for my account. :)

Hello Terry,

thank you very much for your informative answer!

Many greetings, Wilm

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On 5/29/2021 at 1:17 PM, Milleflore Images said:

My philosophy is if one person can do it, and there's more than just me, than everyone can. If they do the right thing.

Very true. And there is not just one right way to do it, every successful person finds their own niche and works it. Personally, I absolutely suck at what Annie and Terry do. I'd never have the patience. But I have found my own way of doing this, and it works. Learned a lot right here on this forum as well. I clawed my way into image level 4, and might even make it into level 5 for a little sliver of time in December. May 21 is an excellent month for me. Overall RPD in 2021 is at $1.05, despite the level reset in January. I too started out with nothing, in November of 2017, with zero backlog of usable photos, and just a little RX100 pocket camera. I now have over 3k images and 700 video clips.

BTW, I agree that the forum has become a bit boring. I kind of miss when the show-me threads were part of the general forum, it made it more interesting and fun. I miss the exchanges about technical stuff, and the colorful characters. I even miss the bickering.

And yes: Happy Birthday To You!

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1 minute ago, PlopandShoot said:

You give me too much credit. Annie is a pro. I am a hobbyist with longevity which brings its own pseudo-respect sometimes. :)

Like I said, it's whatever works, right?

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12 minutes ago, Milleflore Images said:

Thanks Sheila @Sheila Fitzgerald, Linda @Linda Bestwickand Wilm @Wilm Ihlenfeldfor your kind thoughts and well wishes. Yes, I had a lovely day on Saturday.

Wilm, I like your list, but you forgot to add that once one started to have more contributors they would end up¬†hating you and blaming¬†you for everything that went wrong.¬†ūüėČ

But Former Poster @Former_Poster- I think you had the best answer of all!!

Has anyone tried direct selling here? Trust me. The customers, when you do get them, can end up driving you completely nuts. There's a reason, or several reasons, why we pay agencies, and I am happy to do that.

Keep well everyone!

Hello Annie,

sure: there are many aspects to this that I didn't list.

I have also never had any problems with agencies getting a very fair share for marketing our images. It's not an easy job! And it involves a lot of effort. Much more than most of us can even begin to imagine.

Nevertheless, the question must be and remain allowed as to how high the agency's share is. Because we are the capital. Our work is the basis of every agency's existence. It is a very sensitive structure ‚Äď this mutual dependence.

And the agencies know that. And they would do well to keep this in mind! In the meantime, I am no longer sure that they do.

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1 hour ago, Wilm Ihlenfeld said:

Hello Annie,

sure: there are many aspects to this that I didn't list.

I have also never had any problems with agencies getting a very fair share for marketing our images. It's not an easy job! And it involves a lot of effort. Much more than most of us can even begin to imagine.

Nevertheless, the question must be and remain allowed as to how high the agency's share is. Because we are the capital. Our work is the basis of every agency's existence. It is a very sensitive structure ‚Äď this mutual dependence.

And the agencies know that. And they would do well to keep this in mind! In the meantime, I am no longer sure that they do.

Well, SS is giving everyone the opportunity to earn 40%, and that's a great margin across the whole industry. And Terry has given everyone the info above on how everyone can achieve that. i.e. via Wirestock. So I don't really see the problem here. 

Most agencies have sliding scales for commission rates and always have. The top for SS is 40%. I think that's a great commission. 

 

Apologies for all the edits. 

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As Wirestock is mentioned in this thread as a way to earn a higher percentage with Sstock, I'll point out here that they aren't brilliant with keywords (if you choose that option).

I have some dolls in my portfolio but the word 'doll' isn't included in the title or keywords.

Also, I have put Latin names in the notes to reviewer which aren't included in the title or keywords and I've put 'Mute swan' in the notes to reviewer on one and the word 'mute' isn't included in the title or keywords.

I've not done the keywords myself as I wanted to avoid this (although I did add notes for essential information) but unfortunately if you take that option, you can't then update the keywords later.

(As an aside, be very careful of the default option 'instant pay'.  Once I realised what it meant, I removed it in the settings).

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19 minutes ago, Studio 2 said:

As Wirestock is mentioned in this thread as a way to earn a higher percentage with Sstock, I'll point out here that they aren't brilliant with keywords (if you choose that option).

I can‚Äôt see how Wirestock can work out all the different upload demands, but seems like¬†it‚Äôs¬†working¬†for many contributors. But not to be able to edit the text afterwards must be a challenge - especially if you‚Äôre not that organized ..! ūüėĀ

I also know it’s a bad thing to see problems in advance - but can SS allow all contributors to start at the higest level? And what if they will not allow it anymore? Your images are stuck at Wirestock. But of course I like the idea - and they have a very nice website.

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I'm going to go against the grain of this thread (perhaps an unwise thing to do) and say that it's perfectly legitimate to complain and my sympathies are with @Shijune01. If we're seeing more complaining and whining on the forums these days, it's reflective of the state the industry is in right now. Is it pointless? Yeah, perhaps. But it can also be a bit cathartic for people and it reflects a degree of desperation. It's easy to say "get on with it and stop crying" than actually be in a mental state to do so when you've lost so much of your income (like so many have). So for people who are still doing pretty well to put down those who have seen their incomes dwindling drastically for "complaining" strikes me as a bit, well, churlish. If these forums are no longer the "golden age" and is filled with whining and complaining, it's because these are depressing times and no longer the golden age of microstock or even photography in general. Now I wasn't around back then to witness all the happy times but to expect those to continue when both a pandemic and crippling rate cuts have left people with little to hold on to is unrealistic.These are bad times for a majority of stock photographers and despite the helpful suggestions offered by some long-time (and extraordinarily gifted) contributors, there are no real answers to making this a viable income stream. If you've been making money shooting a certain way or certain subjects for years and it's something you've become very good at and you see your incomes dwindle, then making a change to an entirely different kind of photography that's supposedly more "commercial" is a tremendously difficult thing to do and not everyone is mentally capable of putting in the effort of making such a change and think it's still something worth doing when the revenues are so terrible.

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