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Thread: Starting in Stock Photography

  1. #21

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    Re: Starting in Stock Photography

    That is money in your pocket as your cut of the proceeds from the stock agency. $1/photo/year used to be the rule of thumb. Some people did better, some people did worse; but on average it was a usable figure for most mortals (assuming they had lots of images on file). Those days are gone for the vast majority of people. Advertising dollars have dried up, magazines have folded, newspapers have folded, micro-stock has emerged, the remaining $ are being leveraged to get print plus electronic licenses for less than they used to pay for print alone, ... So there are fewer people, with less money, chasing more images, and demanding more rights for the images they do license.

  2. #22

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    Re: Starting in Stock Photography

    I guess since digital photos last for ever, this process could go on with photos accumulating in ever greater numbers until photos are cheaper than air.

    What exactly is microstock?

  3. #23

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    Re: Starting in Stock Photography

    Micro-stock is the emergence of stock imagery that is licensed for a fraction of what it used to license for. See Shutterstock.com or Alamy.com as examples. Traditionally stock images are licensed based on how they will be used - what media, how many copies, for how long. Micro-stock has licensing that says something like pay the small licensing fee and use the image for whatever use for however long you want to - the license fee has zero correlation to the value the image brings to the licenser of the image.

    Digital photos don't necessarily last forever. Fashion/stye has a shelf life. Look at most stock images form 10 years ago and they look dated. Cars, clothes, hair styles, furniture, color palettes,... They all get dated very quickly.

  4. #24

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    Re: Starting in Stock Photography

    Just wanted to add my experience:

    I started shooting micro stock about 5 years ago. Actually, I started at Alamy, which was NOT a micro stock agency. I licensed my images as Rights Managed, where you make hundreds per sale instead of a few bucks.

    I then went on to iStockphoto, which is micro stock. I ended up making more money from microstock, so I pulled all my images from Alamy, and have never shot for them since. I am also able to shoot for Getty, but I've lost interest all together.

    Furthermore, I stopped shooting stock for several years, due to my personal projects with LF film, and also, a lack of interest in shooting boring studio tabletop stuff that's completely uninteresting to me.

    Despite my break from shooting for two years I continue to make an income from the portfolio I have, which, to me, is quite remarkable.

    I average 8 to 9 dollars per image per year, and that's without trying.

    There are members who are making an absolute killing over there, but I have no interest in competing with them anymore.

  5. #25
    Landscape Addict
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    Re: Starting in Stock Photography

    8~9 oer image per year is quite good indeed.. Especially if you have a good number of images... Would easily pay for my film and chems habit.
    Chamonix 045N-2 - 90/8 - 210/5.6 - RVP50, RDPIII, Ektar100, Fomapan 100 & T-Max100
    Alexartphotography

  6. #26

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    Re: Starting in Stock Photography

    Quote Originally Posted by alexn View Post
    Especially if you have a good number of images...
    That's the trick. I am making significantly more than that per image. But scaling doesn't work for 99% of people.

  7. #27

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    Re: Starting in Stock Photography

    I checked out iStockphoto. Most (by a good margin) of the photos I saw there are not what visitors to this site would deem interesting. What is the target audience of microstock sites?

  8. #28

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    Nov 2010
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    Northern Virginia
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    Re: Starting in Stock Photography

    Advertisements, billboards, magazines, websites, articles, etc.

    This is what stock imagery is for. I never considered shooting "art" for stock. My stock images were very boring and uninteresting.

    My top seller of all time is a picture of a glass of beer on a reflective surface/completely white background. It's a typical "generic object" stock photo.

  9. #29

    Re: Starting in Stock Photography

    I have a library of some 50,000 images in a solid niche that still bring in *very* good money, but I have never gone with a trash heap like Getty or Corbis, I saw what they were doing to the industry 15 years ago and went totally underground.

    There is still great money in stock, but it can't look like everyone else's stock and it has to be niche...

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