Sunday, 25 May 2008

A problem with Royalty free - buyers perspective

Anyone see the problem with the two photographs?

That's right, two competing computer companies bought the same photo from Getty, doctored out the original computer and inserted their own low cost PC.

Even the photoshopping isn't that good. The arm of the kid on the left is blurry where they had to make up pixels, the computer int he photo on the right seems to hover in mid air. This is because the original photo featured a apple computer.

Note: this is not a "microstock" issue but an issue with royalty free photos in general as apparently the photo came from Getty, not its low cost son, iStock.

This is very similar to when Dell and Gateway sent the same girl back to school (different photo but from the same series with a model). More detail on royalty free vs rights managed here (with more examples of duplicates)

Original story

Royalty Free Images

Sunday, 18 May 2008

iStock - now waiting for my third flame.

The race may be over, but now the vine yard shot is a flame, so next in line is this shot of Rangitoto - a volcanic Island in the middle of the Hauraki Gulf, Auckland.

This shot was taken as I was going for a walk on the beach. It is the cloud formation that really took my fancy, how it was just hovering above Rangitoto, but the rest of the sky was bright blue.

View My Portfolio

Saturday, 17 May 2008

Reaction to Shutterstocks raise

There has been a big reaction to Shutterstocks latest raise, the majority of it not good. The common view is that Shutterstock doubled their price to buyers so the payout to photographers should have gone up more than it did. Add that to the fact the photographers with less than $500 don't get a pay rise seems to have upset a lot of other people, judging on the discussions that when on at the Yahoo microstock group.

My view is that it is a 10% pay rise for all but the news contributors, and 20%+ for some. This is an annual pay rise in that they have given at least a 10% pay rise for the last 3 years. I look forward to another 20% increase next year as well.

See the reaction for some of the other microstock bloggers:

Lee Torrens
NiltoMil 1 NiltoMil 2


Tuesday, 13 May 2008

Shutterstock announces payrise

Shutterstock has just announced their annual payrise. Shutterstock started off at a flat rate for everyone. Last year, only those above $500 got a payrise (from 25c to 30c)and now this year, they have gone to a multiple levels which rewards their bigger earners more. The new scale is as follows:

Your pay per download is determined by your total lifetime earnings:
Earnings per Download Lifetime Earnings
$0.25 Less than $500
$0.33 $500 to $3,000
$0.36 $3,000 to $10,000
$0.38 Over $10,000

I am in the 3rd band ($3,000 - $10,000)so this is a 20% payrise for me.

It is hard to complain at a 20% payrise but I still think they should change their charging structure more. Currently buyers can download any any size image for the same cost. I think that different sizes should cost different amounts of credits. For example, from their 30 credits per day, if they decide to buy a small photo, it costs them 1 credit but if they download a large file, it should cost them (say) 3-5 credits.


Monday, 5 May 2008

US Dept of Statistics report on Photographers

The link below is a report by the US Depratment of Labour who did a survey of over 120,000 photographers. the results:

- Photographers held about 122,000 jobs in 2006. More than half were self-employed, a much higher proportion than for most occupations. Some self-employed photographers have contracts with advertising agencies, magazine publishers, or other businesses to do individual projects for a set fee, while others operate portrait studios or provide photographs to stock-photo agencies.

- Median annual earnings of salaried photographers were $26,170 in May 2006. The middle 50 percent earned between $18,680 and $38,730. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $15,540, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $56,640. Median annual earnings in the industry employing the largest numbers of salaried photographers were $22,860 in the photographic services industry.

- Salaried photographers—more of whom work full time—tend to earn more than those who are self-employed. Because most freelance and portrait photographers purchase their own equipment, they incur considerable expense acquiring and maintaining cameras and accessories. Unlike news and commercial photographers, few fine arts photographers are successful enough to support themselves solely through their art.

These low numbers surprise me. I would have thought that by the time any photography student finished there education, they could have a portfolio of over 1000 photos earning good money on microstock. I would have through that lower quartile number of $18,680 could be very do- able for anyone doing this full time.

Remember this microstocker who earns over $300 per day. Having said that, the average microstock earnings are only $3,900 but that is because most microstockers only do it part time like me.



Sunday, 4 May 2008

Microstock photography results for April 2008

A bit down on last month as I didn't get any extended licenses sales but still averaging up after the slower Christmas period. It is coming into our winter know so I may be spending a bit more time in doors to get through my backlog of photos. This should pick up the earnings at shutterstock which always happens when I upload more.

Finally had my first flame at istockphoto which you can read about here.

Disappointing news is that Luckyoliver is closing its doors, and I am just shore of a payout. I cant use any of the credits I have, as they have locked all credits which they gave away for free. Not happy but as they say, nothing in life is free.

Good news is that StockXpert seems to be picking up. Hopefully this trend continues.

Below are percentages for the month to show how I have been going:

17% shutterstock
11% dreamtime
6% Fotolia
19% istockphoto
9% bigstockphoto
5% 123RF
28% StockXpert
4% Featurepics

Previous results for 2008:

March 2008 Earnings

Feb 2008 Earnings

Jan 2008 Earnings

Royalty Free Images