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FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre General Photography Talk 
Thread started 20 Feb 2018 (Tuesday) 14:05
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Stock photography: How (not) to get rich quickly (video)

 
Justin ­ Time
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Feb 20, 2018 14:05 |  #1

My tongue in cheek analysis of the actual state of the stock photography industry.
An useful possible source of extra income for people who know about photography.
Mostly for a laugh, please don't shoot the messenger...
https://youtu.be/VRulE​4nXqFg (external link)




  
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Tom ­ Reichner
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Feb 20, 2018 15:26 |  #2

Justin Time wrote in post #18568392 (external link)
My tongue in cheek analysis of the actual state of the stock photography industry.
An useful possible source of extra income for people who know about photography.
Mostly for a laugh, please don't shoot the messenger...
https://youtu.be/VRulE​4nXqFg (external link)

Vic,

I appreciate the video. . It is spot-on accurate. . However, what you say is really nothing new - stock photography has been this way for about 9 or 10 years now, with little change in that time.


.


"Your" and "you're" are different words with completely different meanings - please use the correct one.
"They're", "their", and "there" are different words with completely different meanings - please use the correct one.
"Fare" and "fair" are different words with completely different meanings - please use the correct one. The proper expression is "moot point", NOT "mute point".

  
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Justin ­ Time
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Feb 21, 2018 06:40 |  #3

Tom Reichner wrote in post #18568451 (external link)
Vic,

I appreciate the video. . It is spot-on accurate. . However, what you say is really nothing new - stock photography has been this way for about 9 or 10 years now, with little change in that time.

.

Thank you Tom,
I have been doing stock for about 4 years, mostly video.
I often hear people talking about the good old times (especially for still images), but I was not there at the time.
Were you doing stock 10 years ago?
It would be very interesting to hear about your experience




  
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AZGeorge
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Feb 21, 2018 11:41 |  #4

Based on my limited experience, things have really changed. Ten and twenty years ago I sold images and image rights without trying. Today the only sure sale would be to myself. <G>


George
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Tom ­ Reichner
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Post edited 3 months ago by Tom Reichner.
     
Feb 21, 2018 12:07 |  #5

Justin Time wrote in post #18568866 (external link)
Thank you Tom,
I have been doing stock for about 4 years, mostly video.
I often hear people talking about the good old times (especially for still images), but I was not there at the time.
Were you doing stock 10 years ago?
It would be very interesting to hear about your experience

No. . Sadly, I didn't get into stock until around 2009 - well after it crashed.

I often think wistfully of what my life would be like if I had gotten into stock back in 1995 or 2000 or even 2005.

I have friends who are wildlife photographers who were into it way back then, and their lives are much better, even today, because of the money they were able to set aside for their future, due to those huge sales and huge commissions.

One friend made $40,000 from a photo of a Bald Eagle back in the 1990s.

A guy I roomed with at a conference spoke of a photo of a flock of flying Canada Geese with a sunset background. . The still image was used in a Toyota television commercial in the 1990s, and his commissions totaled over $20,000. . He licensed that image through an agency, so that $20,000 was just his half - Toyota paid over $40,000 to use that photo!

Today if Toyota wanted a similar image to use in a TV commercial they would go to Shutterstock and license the image for around $90, and the photographer would get a $28 commission. And the photo would actually be a better, more interesting, more technically sound image.

Another guy I know a little bit made over $30,000 from a picture of a Whitetail Buck with a drop tine (an antler abnormality) that he took in 1988, when the Canon EF 600mm f4 was first released. . He bought that lens as soon as it was released and it paid for itself the very first day he used it!

All of these great sales of yesteryear were, of course, not microstock, but rather "real stock", where specific usage licenses are drawn up for each image that is licensed.

In comparison, my most successful microstock image has only netted me about $2300, and that is after it has been used for countless things over the course of 5 1/2 years. . And none of my other images are even close to that. . In fact, I don't think I even have one other image that has netted me over $1,000.

This is all so very sad because stock photography perfectly fits my personality and my preferred lifestyle. . But because it doesn't pay enough to live on, I have to do things that I don't really like just to earn money.

Conversely, the folks I've mentioned, and several others that I know much better, have gotten to live the lives they want to live and pretty much only do what they feel like doing all the time, because of all the money that they made back in the 1990s and wisely put away for their futures.

I've worked just as hard at wildlife photography than they ever did, yet I am poor and a lot of my life is spent doing things I don't want to do just because I need to make ends meet. . When not working I sit at home surfing POTN because that doesn't cost any money to do. . Meanwhile, the wildlife photographers of the 1980s and 1990s spend their time traveling all around the country and the world photographing wildlife for fun, because of all the money they were able to put away from those great stock photo commissions.


.


"Your" and "you're" are different words with completely different meanings - please use the correct one.
"They're", "their", and "there" are different words with completely different meanings - please use the correct one.
"Fare" and "fair" are different words with completely different meanings - please use the correct one. The proper expression is "moot point", NOT "mute point".

  
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OhLook
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Feb 21, 2018 12:35 |  #6

Tom Reichner wrote in post #18569047 (external link)
This is all so very sad because stock photography perfectly fits my personality and my preferred lifestyle. . But because it doesn't pay enough to live on, I have to do things that I don't really like just to earn money.

Do you like to read? For years, my main occupation was freelance editing and proofreading. I don't recommend looking for editing work without having been trained/mentored. Proofreading is less technical. You have the attention to visual detail that it requires.


PRONOUN ADVISORY: OhLook is a she. | A FEW CORRECT SPELLINGS: lens, aperture, amateur, hobbyist, per se, raccoon, whoa, more so (2 wds.), shoo-in | IMAGE EDITING OK

  
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Wilt
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Post edited 3 months ago by Wilt.
     
Feb 21, 2018 13:02 |  #7

AZGeorge wrote in post #18569023 (external link)
Based on my limited experience, things have really changed. Ten and twenty years ago I sold images and image rights without trying. Today the only sure sale would be to myself. <G>

Well, of course. We have multiple generations of people now who share music files, go online for music without payment, so why would photos cost money?! That is why wedding photography now is mostly accompanied by the expectations that all photos are delivered on electronic media, too.


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Tom ­ Reichner
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Feb 21, 2018 13:21 |  #8

OhLook wrote in post #18569083 (external link)
Do you like to read?

Yes, I read voraciously. . In fact, I have always spent a lot of time reading, ever since I was a child.

I like to read full length novels, short stories, poetry, essays, mission statements, advertisements, and even forum posts! . Words and sentences and paragraphs have always been of great interest to me.

.

OhLook wrote in post #18569083 (external link)
For years, my main occupation was freelance editing and proofreading. I don't recommend looking for editing work without having been trained/mentored. Proofreading is less technical. You have the attention to visual detail that it requires.

It sounds like you have had a very interesting career.

I come by my attention to detail honestlly; my parents were both teachers, my dad an English Literature and Grammar teacher, with masters degrees in these fields.

In fact, my dad is a voracious reader of full length novels, and on the back cover of every novel he reads he keeps a list of errata. . Yup, really. . A list of every tiny little mistake in the entire book. . And I must say he is exceptionally good at it, because when I read the same books, every time I find a mistake, I look on the back inside cover and look for the page number, and yup, there it is, in his handwriting with the line number, the incorrectly written excerpt, and his own correction that reads the way it should have read in the first place.

I obviously have his genes. . When I read things, I am continually seeing mistakes and they bother me. . Not that I am perfect, but at least I make an effort to write correctly.

I would really enjoy freelance employment as a proof reader. . However, I have no idea how one could ever get into the field. . Because I see so many mistakes everywhere, I thought that proof readers were no longer used. . If some publishers actually do still use proof readers, then I would love to be one of them.


.


"Your" and "you're" are different words with completely different meanings - please use the correct one.
"They're", "their", and "there" are different words with completely different meanings - please use the correct one.
"Fare" and "fair" are different words with completely different meanings - please use the correct one. The proper expression is "moot point", NOT "mute point".

  
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OhLook
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Feb 21, 2018 20:05 |  #9

Tom Reichner wrote in post #18569132 (external link)
I would really enjoy freelance employment as a proof reader. . However, I have no idea how one could ever get into the field. . Because I see so many mistakes everywhere, I thought that proof readers were no longer used. . If some publishers actually do still use proof readers, then I would love to be one of them.

Here's how: Find publishers whose output matches your background and interests (this might mean, e.g., skipping highly technical fields where you're not familiar with the vocabulary). Ask whether they use freelance proofreaders. Those who do will likely have a test, a sample of one or two pages, constructed to trip up people who are poor at noticing or who can't spell and so on.

When I began, most of my previous experience was work on academic material, so the local university press was an obvious place to start. Later I got steady work from other publishers of books and scholarly journals. Things were done on paper then. Digital technology has changed much of that, for the work itself and maybe also the application process.

An annual called Writer's Market was useful at one point, but a person may do better searching online now. Possibilities that aren't obvious include small regional newspapers and organizations that produce newsletters or magazines for their members. They make mistakes just like the big guys. I found "Stellar's jay" in the Yosemite Conservancy magazine and reported it; someone had relied on spellcheck to achieve that misspelling.

If applying in writing, please note that "proofread[-er, -ing]" is one word.


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Justin ­ Time
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Feb 22, 2018 10:47 |  #10

AZGeorge wrote in post #18569023 (external link)
Based on my limited experience, things have really changed. Ten and twenty years ago I sold images and image rights without trying. Today the only sure sale would be to myself. <G>

Thank you for your input George,
I am sure that 15 years ago things must have been totally different.
I have been doing a bit of stock video for about 3 years and I am quite happy with the results, but I know perfectly that it can go pear shaped at any moment




  
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Justin ­ Time
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Feb 26, 2018 04:54 |  #11

Tom Reichner wrote in post #18569047 (external link)
No. . Sadly, I didn't get into stock until around 2009 - well after it crashed.

I often think wistfully of what my life would be like if I had gotten into stock back in 1995 or 2000 or even 2005.

I have friends who are wildlife photographers who were into it way back then, and their lives are much better, even today, because of the money they were able to set aside for their future, due to those huge sales and huge commissions.

One friend made $40,000 from a photo of a Bald Eagle back in the 1990s.

A guy I roomed with at a conference spoke of a photo of a flock of flying Canada Geese with a sunset background. . The still image was used in a Toyota television commercial in the 1990s, and his commissions totaled over $20,000. . He licensed that image through an agency, so that $20,000 was just his half - Toyota paid over $40,000 to use that photo!

Today if Toyota wanted a similar image to use in a TV commercial they would go to Shutterstock and license the image for around $90, and the photographer would get a $28 commission. And the photo would actually be a better, more interesting, more technically sound image.

Another guy I know a little bit made over $30,000 from a picture of a Whitetail Buck with a drop tine (an antler abnormality) that he took in 1988, when the Canon EF 600mm f4 was first released. . He bought that lens as soon as it was released and it paid for itself the very first day he used it!

All of these great sales of yesteryear were, of course, not microstock, but rather "real stock", where specific usage licenses are drawn up for each image that is licensed.

In comparison, my most successful microstock image has only netted me about $2300, and that is after it has been used for countless things over the course of 5 1/2 years. . And none of my other images are even close to that. . In fact, I don't think I even have one other image that has netted me over $1,000.

This is all so very sad because stock photography perfectly fits my personality and my preferred lifestyle. . But because it doesn't pay enough to live on, I have to do things that I don't really like just to earn money.

Conversely, the folks I've mentioned, and several others that I know much better, have gotten to live the lives they want to live and pretty much only do what they feel like doing all the time, because of all the money that they made back in the 1990s and wisely put away for their futures.

I've worked just as hard at wildlife photography than they ever did, yet I am poor and a lot of my life is spent doing things I don't want to do just because I need to make ends meet. . When not working I sit at home surfing POTN because that doesn't cost any money to do. . Meanwhile, the wildlife photographers of the 1980s and 1990s spend their time traveling all around the country and the world photographing wildlife for fun, because of all the money they were able to put away from those great stock photo commissions.

.

This is really interesting Tom,
thank you for sharing your experience.
But have you tried to do some video stock as well?
It would cost nothing, since you are already investing your time in shooting and I am sure it will increase your income




  
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Tom ­ Reichner
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Feb 26, 2018 13:49 as a reply to  @ Justin Time's post |  #12

No, I have not tried video.

In fact, I have never even shot video - not even one second's worth (except with my cell phone).

I have extreme problems trying to use technology and software. . I just don't understand how any of it works.

I have purchased Photoshop Elements and Lightroom and Aperture, but don't use them because I can not figure out how to use them. . So for all of my photo editing needs I have used only iPhoto and the new program that replaced it, Photos. . They are the programs that came already loaded onto my computers when I bought them, and they are the only programs that I could ever figure out how to use.

So now imagine me shooting video. . I would go out and shoot the video and then it would sit on my memory cards forever because I would not be able to figure out how to get it off the card and onto the computer.

Before you say, "it's easy - all you do is ........ "

Well, before you say this, please understand the following:

I bought a flash for my Canon DSLR and couldn't figure out how to make it go off when I take the picture. . I looked at the menu on the back of the camera and couldn't find anything to select that would make the flash work.

Also, a friend gave me an Echo Dot for Christmas. . The Dot sits on my desk, unused, because for the life of me I cannot figure out how to make it work or how to connect to anything.

Another problem I had - when I bought Photoshop, I could not figure out how to get it onto my computer, so I had to call the good folks at Apple Support and have them do it for me. . They have this great thing where they "take over" my computer and can do things for me from wherever they are. . But if I had had to "install" it myself, or "download" it myself, it never would have happened.

Additionally, I have never had an "app" on my smartphone. . Why? . Because the times when I have tried to download an app, I get error messages that say that before I can download the app I need to do this and I need to do that, and it is all so overwhelming and I can't figure out how to do any of the things they say I need to do.

Hence, no apps for Tommy :-(

So please keep my ultra-low aptitude in mind when you think about the idea of me doing video for stock submissions.

The use of ambient light, the composition, "capturing the moment", the backgrounds and the supporting elements and the point of view and the "artistic vision" - these are all the easy things that come to me without me even thinking consciously of them. . But the technology and the software - that is the horrible nightmare that prohibits me from success.


.


"Your" and "you're" are different words with completely different meanings - please use the correct one.
"They're", "their", and "there" are different words with completely different meanings - please use the correct one.
"Fare" and "fair" are different words with completely different meanings - please use the correct one. The proper expression is "moot point", NOT "mute point".

  
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OhLook
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Feb 26, 2018 16:03 |  #13

Tom Reichner wrote in post #18572804 (external link)
I have purchased Photoshop Elements and Lightroom and Aperture, but don't use them because I can not figure out how to use them. . So for all of my photo editing needs I have used only iPhoto and the new program that replaced it, Photos. . They are the programs that came already loaded onto my computers when I bought them, and they are the only programs that I could ever figure out how to use.

Those are Mac programs. If you have a Mac, you must also have Preview. When you view a photo on the Desktop, you're using Preview. To see its editing screen, open a photo on the Desktop and press these keys simultaneously: Option, Command, c. (C stands for "color.") You can move the editing screen around by dragging it by its top.

Preview is very easy to use for light editing–easier, in my opinion, than Photos.


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Tom ­ Reichner
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Feb 26, 2018 16:17 as a reply to  @ OhLook's post |  #14

I never knew about that before - THANKS!

Now, for the real question ....... does this Preview program edit videos? . If so, then I may not be as far away from video competence as I think I am.


.


"Your" and "you're" are different words with completely different meanings - please use the correct one.
"They're", "their", and "there" are different words with completely different meanings - please use the correct one.
"Fare" and "fair" are different words with completely different meanings - please use the correct one. The proper expression is "moot point", NOT "mute point".

  
  LOG IN TO REPLY
OhLook
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Feb 26, 2018 16:20 |  #15

Tom Reichner wrote in post #18572933 (external link)
I never knew about that before - THANKS!

Now, for the real question ....... does this Preview program edit videos?

You're welcome. Videos: I don't know.


PRONOUN ADVISORY: OhLook is a she. | A FEW CORRECT SPELLINGS: lens, aperture, amateur, hobbyist, per se, raccoon, whoa, more so (2 wds.), shoo-in | IMAGE EDITING OK

  
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Stock photography: How (not) to get rich quickly (video)
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