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James R Poston

No Bickering! Yayyyyy

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10 hours ago, Doug Jensen said:

Not any more.  I blew right past the $3,000 per month mark.  I hit $3692 in September (56% increase over September 2018) and $3751 in October (88% increase over October 2018).  November will be a bit lower, but November always is lower due to the holidays. My business plan and methods are paying off.  I haven't even submitted anything new since July 15th.

Ah, okay, I couldn't know that. Anyways: Congratulations! Very strong numbers!

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17 minutes ago, Aaron Lemay said:

Are those earnings purely on videos?

Yes.  I have determined that photos would not be worth the time I would need to invest into them.  It will always just be videos for me.

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3 hours ago, Doug Jensen said:

Yes.  I have determined that photos would not be worth the time I would need to invest into them.  It will always just be videos for me.

Hiya Doug!
Missed yah.
Love your sweet posts and the diverse subjects you write about.
Me?
I've changed my tune. I think those with tiny ports are right.
They should not add to their ports, don't need anymore competition.
Live and let live.

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12 hours ago, Doug Jensen said:

Yes.  I have determined that photos would not be worth the time I would need to invest into them.  It will always just be videos for me.

You make a good point and no one can deny you've cracked whatever success code there is for stock video sales. I use my Shutterstock portfolio as a springboard for other photography projects, I've gotten several down in Mexico. I cannot fathom how someone can spend way more than they're making and call it a success, I think the .33 cent sale is a dopamine hit but damn, it just makes no sense. Now there are profitable ports here that do well considering. One contributor pulls stills off of videos that are uploaded - smart and saves money. I will be getting the Sigma FP, @Doug Jensen what do you think about that pocket cinema camera?

 

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1 hour ago, Brady Barrineau said:

I will be getting the Sigma FP, @Doug Jensen what do you think about that pocket cinema camera?

I don't really know anything about it, however, judging from the general design and lack of features, I know that I personally couldn't use it for video. I'm not saying someone else might not be perfectly happy with it and shoot fantastic clips that customers will love.  After all, it's not the tool that makes the video. But with that said, I choose to work with different tools that are better suited for video. Unlike the person you referred to, I don't generally do table-stop shooting where almost any camera would work.  If that's all the money I had in my budget, I'd rather get a Sony AX700 or Z90 over that Sigma any day, and I wouldn't even need to buy any lenses to go with it because the lens is built-in. My Z90 already paid for itself from stock long ago.

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Another thing on searches:
Everybody constantly advises newbies to find unique or under represented subjects to search on.
I think this advice is borscht like most advice given out on this forum.
Search on "Aztec Sandstone" for example and I pretty much own that category. My images are sure to come up on top.
But who the hell searches for "Aztec Sandstone"?
That is never considered or mentioned.
There are millions of subjects that are not very well represented in images or video but those categories are so obscure as to be meaningless.
The only rule I've found with stock photography is there are no rules.
All the advice given to newbies is mostly meaningless written by people with very small ports and no idea of what sells.
So OK, beyond upload images in sharp focus and excellent exposure there really is no good advice.
I figured that out a long time ago. The only thing in my mind that really makes sense is to upload a varied number of subjects and ignore all the advice tossed around on the forum.
Flowers don't sell - except for me
Pets don't sell - except for me
Christmasy images don't sell - except for me
news sells like crazy - except for me.
All that talk about spending gobs of money to visit a great place and take pictures and videos making no sense is also very, very stupid and short sighted. I visit places because I like to visit those places, stock photography is just an aside.
Who the hell does not want to go to Yellowstone? Or Yosemite? Or NY city? Or any number of super places to spend some time?
Nonsense advice again.
My best advice is shoot video if you like doing that. I don't. Shoot the subjects you like shooting and go to places you like to go. Do the things you like to do and take pictures or video or both.
Don't do anything just for stock. The pay is so low it makes no sense. Unless of course your name is Doug. Doug gets to do as he pleases  because he makes the big bucks and let's face it, Doug is the very rare exception.


 

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14 minutes ago, Grossinger said:

There are millions of subjects that are not very well represented in images or video but those categories are so obscure as to be meaningless.


The only rule I've found with stock photography is there are no rules.


All the advice given to newbies is mostly meaningless written by people with very small ports and no idea of what sells.


So OK, beyond upload images in sharp focus and excellent exposure there really is no good advice.

I visit places because I like to visit those places, stock photography is just an aside.
 

Shoot the subjects you like shooting and go to places you like to go. Do the things you like to do and take pictures or video or both.


Don't do anything just for stock. The pay is so low it makes no sense.

 

Except for the small port BS yet again, these are some of the most sensible things you've ever said here!

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45 minutes ago, Foodio said:

Except for the small port BS yet again, these are some of the most sensible things you've ever said here!

If you want to be successful hang out with successful people.
If you want to be homeless and poor hang out with the homeless and poor.
If you want to be successful in stock photography, talk to the people with large, very well paying, successful ports.
If you just want to gab and have a great time, don't care about the income, hang out on the forum with the folks who have tiny ports with no growth.
Simple
No cause for arguments.
Nope, I don't pay any attention to posters who have a port with less than 5000 images.
That's my choice. Your approval is not required.
The real money makers in stock are folks with HUGE ports. They dominate.
Africa Studio - https://www.shutterstock.com/g/belchonock
100 Words Images - https://www.shutterstock.com/g/mircovacca?search_source=base_gallery&language=en&page=1&sort=newest&measurement=px&safe=true

Milliflore - Annie is a wonderful woman, very helpful, has a huge and successful port. - https://www.shutterstock.com/g/Milleflore+Images

There are hundreds of others, most never visit the forum because they don't have the time nor the inclination.
They also don't do attack posts, troll posts and stalking.
These are the kinds of people I follow.
I have no interest in what people with small ports have to say about stock photography because they don't know.
How can they?
They don't know what sells because they don't sell. Some people with small ports do make good money in a special niche, but that don't help me any. I don't do niche.
I learn a lot when uploading and doing keywords because when I do  keyword searches I see thousands of images. I study those.
People with piddly ports don't do a lot of keyword searches.
This is not attacking anyone, it's simply stating facts. Sorry if you don't like that. The truth is the truth.
This is what I believe. I don't care if you don't like it or if you love it. It's what I believe.
I don't go for that "everyone is a hero, everyone deserves, everyone is great" crap.
Neither does Shutterstock. They pay for performance, not talk.
That is the cold hard truth.


 

 

 


 

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1 hour ago, Grossinger said:

Unless of course your name is Doug. Doug gets to do as he pleases  because he makes the big bucks and let's face it, Doug is the very rare exception.

I appreciate the vote of confidence but I'm only the rare exception because I choose to post on the forum once in awhile. There are tons of people at SS making more than I am from footage but they don't spend their time talking about it or encouraging competition.

BTW, I agree with just about everything you have said in your last two posts.  It echos some things I say about how to be successful in a new Youtube video that I just posted this morning where I crunch my 2019 SS numbers for anyone who cares to hear about them.I am an open book.  There is room for everyone in stock and I can help anyone be more successful at video in their spare time if they care to follow my recipe for success.  It's not hard do to do, and it's fun. This is a great business.

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8 minutes ago, Aaron Lemay said:

f you look up Wisconsin, you will find many of my photos if you start going to certain cities in Wisconsin. You will find mine as well there.

Unless your photos are very specific to Wisconsin, and could not be used by a buyer to represent Illinois, Indiana, etc.,  I believe you are making a mistake.   As Joe says, there is no advantage to being the top dog in very specific sector if nobody is looking for something that specific.   In general, a cow in a field is a cow in a field regardless of the state. But if you've got a skyline shot of Milwaukee, then you are unique to Wisconsin.  It all depends on the subject how specific you should be about the location.

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I don't understand the hostility towards newcomers here. Everyone starts from somewhere. Those new to the world of stock photography will be reading some of the posts on here and be discouraged to continue with the hobby/job they thought they would enjoy. 

Hope I'm allowed to write this, I have less than 5000 images.

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8 minutes ago, Travers Lewis said:

I don't understand the hostility towards newcomers here.

What hostility are you referring to in this thread?  It seems to be just a sharing of various opinions and ideas.  I see no hostility.

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3 hours ago, Grossinger said:

beyond upload images in sharp focus and excellent exposure there really is no good advice

Untrue.

Here is some good advice, for example. And there is so much more that could be said to help newcomers.

 

On 11/11/2019 at 11:41 AM, Milleflore Images said:

Seeing I was the one that brought up the 'illustrate, sell or promote" discussion earlier in this thread, I thought I might try and address some of your concerns, Starsphinx, and hopefully may even help others as well.

When I look at a photo, or think of a concept to shoot, I think immediately 'what is this photo actually selling?' and will it attract the largest possible amount of buyers? For example, I found this great concept photo below on social media as an example to show you what I mean.

Great use of colours, great layout, big on latest trend, catches your eye, would definitely stand out on crowded search pages, so it ticks a lot of boxes. But what does it actually sell that would attract the largest amount of buyers? Yes, it does sell a theme, and some emotional concepts, but will it attract the maximum number of buyers?

So, I put it in SS reverse image search and found these:

https://www.shutterstock.com/search/ris/793335730%2C593507012%2C373667698%2C367429181%2C1489987550%2C1008274420%2C568103668%2C1029495772%2C788638294%2C593508347%2C429175294%2C636817150%2C1044760840%2C1329901133%2C649509532%2C1342675898%2C1337550392%2C158618402%2C371417005%2C1008076504%2C593508302%2C790751095%2C1341119177%2C742605808%2C294051740%2C1300194658%2C1341370484%2C1309113163%2C593577515%2C1364438120%2C1044756580%2C1420652681%2C758637022%2C114716146%2C1058319311%2C716144188%2C603705515%2C369581165%2C1437790166%2C278903489%2C589280534%2C777866944%2C1052394890%2C1288585408%2C599411411%2C1009715758%2C367429163%2C1053802901%2C1260744529%2C1111653239%2C1213322032%2C636132038%2C1335909029%2C552438007%2C1350844730%2C1134643733%2C488911552%2C574460575%2C306565421%2C1123871909%2C267956837%2C370705952%2C1321664627%2C1499069381%2C296403800%2C709863112%2C656995624%2C603705314%2C100740535%2C484340161%2C1492047836%2C180259448%2C1156659346%2C1018763890%2C1428678527%2C572115013%2C1028539372%2C396865744%2C1405813913%2C779344717%2C371416957%2C267956909%2C1045109227%2C1109153456%2C599411429%2C1361450213%2C1483654979%2C728353006%2C660166111%2C633085409%2C1499457158%2C540924727%2C779344735%2C567503377%2C564418990%2C1447442228%2C1486859807%2C1483651850%2C1297807768%2C360824678

Apologies for the long link, but that's how it comes up.

So, that photo is not on the database, but a lot of similar looking images are. However, now if you look at all of the ones that are there, you can see what they are promoting/selling. Holiday stock. Big sellers, huge amount of buyers. Back to School, another topic which has a lot of buyers. Even some health ones too - yet another topic that attracts a lot of buyers.

So, if you were the owner of this photo and wanted to use it for stock, you could easily re-shoot and change the props or change the text, to some of those more buyer-intensive subjects. For example, one could even turn it into a travel theme (another area with a large amount of buyers) with different text. Uploading it as it is could quite possibly sell, but it could be hit and miss and wont be as targeted towards sales as the other areas which we know are big buyer areas.

I appreciate, as you said above you haven't been doing this for very long, that understanding where the largest amount buyers are (and then finding a niche or something different/unique to shoot for that), can take a lot of time. So, my only recommendation is to keep trying and keep experimenting until you do find what you can shoot that will attract a very large amount of buyers. Not just a handful per month but hundreds and hundreds.

Also, perhaps look at those photos you referred to as: "I do have images I have imagined in use - ones I have carefully framed with specific intent. These do not seem to sell nearly as much as the ones where something has caught my eye so I have taken a photo - and uploaded because the technical aspects were right."And be very honest with yourself, and ask have I really done that? Can I do better? Personally, I have found that just shooting because it caught my eye (and yes, I do that sometimes too) will never truly maximise your sales here.

I hope this helps, and only brought it up because it's a common issue with new people, and that is, actually learning where the buyers are. And of course, one isnt able to do that until one experiments a lot more and/or steps out of their comfort zones.

But of course, its also up to each contributor on what they want out of stock. There is no wrong way/right way of shooting for stock. Dollars vs fun, and yes, even both! It all depends on what you really want out of it. The dollars naturally takes a lot more work, but shoots can be a heck of a lot of fun too.

Cheers

Annie 

coolpic.jpg

 

 

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2 hours ago, Grossinger said:

If you want to be successful hang out with successful people.
If you want to be homeless and poor hang out with the homeless and poor.
If you want to be successful in stock photography, talk to the people with large, very well paying, successful ports.
If you just want to gab and have a great time, don't care about the income, hang out on the forum with the folks who have tiny ports with no growth.
Simple
No cause for arguments.
Nope, I don't pay any attention to posters who have a port with less than 5000 images.
That's my choice. Your approval is not required.
The real money makers in stock are folks with HUGE ports. They dominate.
Africa Studio - https://www.shutterstock.com/g/belchonock
100 Words Images - https://www.shutterstock.com/g/mircovacca?search_source=base_gallery&language=en&page=1&sort=newest&measurement=px&safe=true

Milliflore - Annie is a wonderful woman, very helpful, has a huge and successful port. - https://www.shutterstock.com/g/Milleflore+Images

There are hundreds of others, most never visit the forum because they don't have the time nor the inclination.
They also don't do attack posts, troll posts and stalking.
These are the kinds of people I follow.
I have no interest in what people with small ports have to say about stock photography because they don't know.
How can they?
They don't know what sells because they don't sell. Some people with small ports do make good money in a special niche, but that don't help me any. I don't do niche.
I learn a lot when uploading and doing keywords because when I do  keyword searches I see thousands of images. I study those.
People with piddly ports don't do a lot of keyword searches.
This is not attacking anyone, it's simply stating facts. Sorry if you don't like that. The truth is the truth.
This is what I believe. I don't care if you don't like it or if you love it. It's what I believe.
I don't go for that "everyone is a hero, everyone deserves, everyone is great" crap.
Neither does Shutterstock. They pay for performance, not talk.
That is the cold hard truth.


 

 

 


 

Imagine you are a shareholder. And you would have to make a decision about which company you would like to invest in next.

Then it would be your decision to orient yourself exclusively to the size of the company. My decision would be to be guided by earnings and sales.

A company with 10,000 employees is interesting at first glance because it is a large company. But if it only generates sales of $1 million with these 10,000 employees, that would be a blatant misinvestment.
If there was a company with 20 employees - making $2 millions, my decision would be clear. Because they seem to do everything right. I wouldn't ignore them.

However: I don't care if a contributor has 50 or 500,000 images. I'm only interested in that one question: How much effort is needed to earn how much money? Like Doug. If someone with a smaller portfolio or a portfolio of the same size makes more money than me, he/she makes something much better than me. From this contributor I can learn a lot. And that doesn't automatically have anything to do with niches. Selling an image several thousand times, although there are 1,200,000 results, has nothing to do with "niche". The contributor I'm talking about offers brilliant quality. No crooked horizon, excellent lighting, high aesthetic photography, high demand themes. That's it. That's quality.

I can learn from everybody, who is successful - not matter what portfolio size. And I try do do so. Learning works best without prejudices and with open eyes. But everybody has to decide for himself.

The optimum would be a large portfolio with high quality and "stocky" pictures. They exist. But it's a very long way.

A flower can be sold thousands of times, a cat, a tree, a landscape or a christmas background. To reach this an images is needed that is far above the average. It must have more "aesthetic quality". That's it.

You don't have to pay attention to this post by the way, because I have less than 5,000 images. And the one example I was picking out, has the same piddly amount of images.

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21 minutes ago, Doug Jensen said:

What hostility are you referring to in this thread?  It seems to be just a sharing of various opinions and ideas.  I see no hostility.

 

2 hours ago, Grossinger said:


Nope, I don't pay any attention to posters who have a port with less than 5000 images.

I have no interest in what people with small ports have to say about stock photography because they don't know.



 

 

 


 

 

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17 minutes ago, Travers Lewis said:

 

 

If someone chooses to take those comments as hostility or a personal insult or whatever, I would suggest that is their problem. I think It was aimed at nobody in particular and is just one person's opinion.  That's not hostility in my book. Please feel free to voice your own opinion on the topic at hand, whatever it might be, but try not to disparage someone else's comments and label them as hostile because that will just breed . . . bickering.  There is a difference between trading opinions and debating vs. bickering about what someone else said or how they said it.

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5 minutes ago, Doug Jensen said:

I think It was aimed at nobody in particular and is just one person's opinion.  That's not hostility in my book. 

Not aimed at anyone but those who have less than 5000 images as their not worthy and have nothing to contribute to the community.

If that's not hostility towards newcomers and those with less than 5000 images, I don't know what is. 

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The only problem with some of those Youtubers, Aaron, is some of them don't really earn that much. They are probably ok for newbies, but you really have to find out how much they are earning. I know that sounds harsh, but the reason I say this, is that if they are not able to earn, say $2k to $3K at least per month from microstock, then their advice is probably flawed in some way. A perfect example that comes to mind, are ports that are too heavily reliant on editorials. Sure, there are some that can make top money from editorials but they are most likely shooting something like Celebrities, Red Carpets, Politicians, Citizen Journalism, etc. 

Joe, Ackab, thanks - you got my attention but no more ok? You're embarrassing me.

 

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2 minutes ago, Travers Lewis said:

Not aimed at anyone but those who have less than 5000 images as their not worthy and have nothing to contribute to the community.

If that's not hostility towards newcomers and those with less than 5000 images, I don't know what is. 

I disagree with your opinion that his post was hostile.  But I didn't put a label on you or what you posted.  See the difference?

BTW, I disagree with Joe's opinion too. I'm not defending it, just saying it is wrong to call it out as hostile.

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I don't agree about basing someones success based purely on their port size and if they have something to contribute on the forum. There are some factors:

How long have they been on SS ( don't base this by looking at the forum profile, that's when they joined the forum )

How many images ( they could be a short time on SS but extremely successful )

They could also be a long time on SS with a 'small' port but also be very successful. 

But everyone has something to contribute to a forum community.

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