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Just four years ago, Shutterstock forum was a thriving community of engaged photographers exchanging ideas and tips on how to sell more. Now this is a desert land. Shutterstock was for a few years my best earner, now it's at the bottom of my earnings. My pay was cut exactly by 2/3. I do not even bother to upload anymore, except for sporadic uploads, which happens months after I have given other agencies a chance to sell my new pictures. Very sad what has been done to us, contributor. My heart is broken. 

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14 hours ago, AlessandraRC said:

Just four years ago, Shutterstock forum was a thriving community of engaged photographers exchanging ideas and tips on how to sell more. Now this is a desert land. ....

Those were the days, but then the trolls moved in and good manners and mutual respect flew out the window...

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Yes indeed. The whole atmosphere has changed dramatically as Shutterstock continues its systematic exploitation of genuinely faithful contributors and their work. Sadly this is the norm in this dog eat dog society today. Earnings in this place have gone down and strangely review times have gone up. Not that I submit much these days having lost heart and interest.

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Unfortunately as far as the forums go there was a culling of several active members and then one by one most of the others left or only pop in now and then. So sadly now there just isn't much going on. I miss the old forum too, I used to learn a lot, not any more though. 

Apathy has set in with many of us since the change in earnings. 

I agree it's all very sad. 

But things change and we just have to change with them. I'm doing more of my artwork and being more creative. My cameras get used more for personal snaps these days! Though I'm brewing to apply to join Arcangel where I can may be carry on with being more creative :) I just need to get my present collaging obsession out of the way first lol!

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I feel exactly the same... Shutterstock's earning percentages, sales performance and wonderful forum environment was like a fresh air to me when first I joined. Sadly I came here pretty late and only enjoyed those days in their last year. Then everything went down like a spiral; people started leaving the forum, fun topics got quiet, and Shutterstock introduced their new earning system etc. 

I realized I don't like things to change that much... I'd prefer to things I love to stay for a longer while. But I'm trying to focus on other things too. I didn't touched my camera since the December on 2019 and solely focused on 3D modeling and rendering which is tiresome. I feel the burn out recently and decided to bring my old camera out of the bag and hoping to shoot some pictures when I go out running errands tomorrow. 

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I agree. It is disappointing the direction that SS has taken but I find it almost symptomatic  of the attitude and approach of many people and companies today. So many companies seem to have lost sight of what customer service is all about. I find so many people who work in stores simply not caring about helping the customer or trying to fix items priced incorrectly or making sure that inventory is updated correctly for customers. SS has definitely abandoned the contributors/customers but so have many other companies. I know micro stock is a tough, competitive business, but SS missed a golden opportunity to ask their creative contributor community how to differentiate themselves and increase profit margins washout sacrificing service. But then, as usual, management knows all.

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58 minutes ago, Michael Warwick said:

I agree. It is disappointing the direction that SS has taken but I find it almost symptomatic  of the attitude and approach of many people and companies today. So many companies seem to have lost sight of what customer service is all about. I find so many people who work in stores simply not caring about helping the customer or trying to fix items priced incorrectly or making sure that inventory is updated correctly for customers. SS has definitely abandoned the contributors/customers but so have many other companies. I know micro stock is a tough, competitive business, but SS missed a golden opportunity to ask their creative contributor community how to differentiate themselves and increase profit margins washout sacrificing service. But then, as usual, management knows all.

Are we sure that the sales are gone down? I mean, I've been here only very little time and I never saw the "good days", but instead the desertification of this forum.
For me it's really hard to believe that SS would do something that reduces their piece of this sales cake. What I actually think is that millions of photos are still being sold, just like before, but the photos just are different ones than before.

Shutterstock has something around 400 million images. If they are changing their system in a way that all of those images are sold equally, I think it would mean that one single contributor won't get many sales. In my times here, I've sold only 7 times, which is really really sad number, and never any of the images was sold 2 times.

Also, if SS makes it in a way that microselles such me, who has small amount of photos and who I believe there are many, get sales like max 3 € / year (which looks quite much realistic for me, because I've not reached even 1 $ yet), it would mean that this money will stay in SS own bank account for ever, because us microsellers never bother to aquire that small amount of money.

In fact, I am sure that for the people who are buying the photos, this is exactly what they want. They want the most unique photos the service can offer, so the service has to try to find photos that are sold less before. If that is the case, then it also means that the only winners are SS and their paying customers. Maybe also those contributors who has in their account tens of thousands of images.

If you wanna try to understand this, I recommend doing search tests to see if photos in top of search list are changing.

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I also used to really enjoy being here and I learnt so much about stock photography from a few of the more experienced guys. I've not uploaded a single photo since the payment changes and for me it is simply not worth the effort now. I'm sad that it has turned out this way. 

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18 hours ago, MrSorbias said:

Are we sure that the sales are gone down? 

In my case I'm sure.

June 2018 - 49 sales per 1000 files online

June 2019 - 31 sales per 1000 files online

June 2020 - 13 sales per 1000 files online

June 2021 (so far) - 7 sales per 1000 files online

Maybe I'm just a unique case and others sales have gone up, I don't know.

 

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3 hours ago, Barry Paterson said:

In my case I'm sure.

June 2018 - 49 sales per 1000 files online

June 2019 - 31 sales per 1000 files online

June 2020 - 13 sales per 1000 files online

June 2021 (so far) - 7 sales per 1000 files online

Maybe I'm just a unique case and others sales have gone up, I don't know.

 

I mean, I think individually the sales can be gone down, but then overall they still can stay the same. I don't know how SS work or how much accounts there are etc, therefore this is completely theoretical thinking. So the true reason can be something completely different, but I'll try to simplify of what I meant in my previous message.

In this example we have a service that has only 1000 accounts of which everyone have only 1 photo of a dog for sale.

Out of that 1000, there are 100 accounts of which everyone were selling 10 times / day their dog photos and rest of the accounts, all of those 900 are not doing any sales at all.
So that means that these 100 accounts are together making 1000 sales daily.

Then the host changes the search rules somehow and now all of those 1000 accounts are selling 1 times / day. The clients are happier, because they didn't even know that the other dog photos were available.

Again, still 1000 photos are sold daily, but now one account is making way less profit, cause they are selling individually way less than before. And now the 900 other accounts that before didn't do any sales, are also doing some profit, but not much.

So, from the point of view of SS, the sales are the same, but for individual contributors it looks like that sales went down.
 

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On 6/18/2021 at 11:29 AM, AlessandraRC said:

Just four years ago, Shutterstock forum was a thriving community of engaged photographers exchanging ideas and tips on how to sell more. Now this is a desert land. Shutterstock was for a few years my best earner, now it's at the bottom of my earnings. My pay was cut exactly by 2/3. I do not even bother to upload anymore, except for sporadic uploads, which happens months after I have given other agencies a chance to sell my new pictures. Very sad what has been done to us, contributor. My heart is broken. 

 

Everyone not only has a very nice camera on their cell phone, but even has a very nice DLSR.

 

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