StockPhoto.com - Views and Experiences

Discussion in 'General Shop Talk' started by ted_smith, Oct 4, 2006.

  1. ted_smith

    ted_smith TPF Noob!

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    Hi

    My first post, and thank god I seem to have found a great free forum. I wanted to join Nikonians.org, but they charge for the privilige. All I wanted to do was ask for advice.

    Quick intro - I am Ted Smith, I live in the UK and own a simple Nikon F65 35mm SLR with a Nikon 28-75mm, and a Nikon 85-300mm zoom and I've just bought a Nikon 60mm Macro.

    I am interested in the possibility of selling some of my photo's. I've read about and visited www.stockphoto.com that looks like a good avenue to go down. Basically, you register with them, you get your own 'sub-website' (<A href="http://Me.stockphoto.com"]Me.stockphoto.com[/url">Me.stockphoto.com) and upload photo's to the site. You can watermark them and stuff while you're at it.

    In addition, they have a few custom price lists for different kinds of prints but you can also specifiy your own. You get 85% of each sale and it costs about $25 a year to be a member. They take care of all the printing.

    My questions are these :

    1) Has anyone used stockphoto.com and would you recommend it?

    2) I've often read that people who use sites like StockPhoto do so to fund their hobby, but cannot really make a serious living out of it. Is this true? How much do people tend to earn (I guess it depends on the photographer?)? Does anyone here earn a decent amount from sales on that site (say $2000 a month or more).

    3) Royality Free - it seems that when your photo's are uploaded to the site they are RF as opposed to Royality Managed. I want to check I have understood the concept of RF vs RM correctly. Does this mean that a company could buy one of my pictures from StockPhoto for say $50, but then re-produce it thousands of times onto canvasses, say, and sell each print in their shop for $200 each with no recognition that I was the actual photographer? In other words, I don't mind the money thing that much, if as a result of the mass sales it acts as a springboard for my name, but if everyone who buys the $200 canvass has no idea who took the actual photo, then I have more of a problem with that because bascially they're making thousands from my $50 print with no kudos for me. Have I understood this correctly?

    Any help for a total amateur is appreciated.

    Thanks

    Ted
     
  2. darich

    darich TPF Noob!

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    I'll answer each question in turn.

    1) I've never used stockphoto.com so can't recommend it. However, I use Photographersdirect.com and it sounds similar to your link.

    2) A decent income takes a long time to build from stock images - the more you have the more the more you can (not will) sell. I've had one sale to Germany and got around £85 for my image. Agreed use was a calendar run of around 5000 in Germany only.

    3) I think you're dead right about RF v RM in images. On photographersdirect.com all images are rights managed. the purchaser will agree a price with the photographer and the use is agreed prior to the fee being agreed. That way both parties know what it;ll be used for. Any shot i have that is considered good enough to buy is worth keeping the rights for. In other words every image i sell is rights managed because i don't want some company buying my image for £20 then using it all over the uk for advertising when i should have been paid a more apporpriate fee.

    good luck in selling your images!!!
    it's a real kick when someone buys one!
     
  3. ted_smith

    ted_smith TPF Noob!

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    Thanks very much for the reply. You have provided me with a clearer direction now. I like the look of Photographersdirect.com especially the royality managed aspect.

    That said, I've just read http://www.dphotojournal.com/sell-photos-online/ and there seems to be a lot to choose from IRO Stock Photography services. And Photographersdirect.com was not mentioned as part of the review except by a commentor near the bottom who said how good they were.

    So in terms of business, visitors, customers etc, how does Photographersdirect.com stand against the others? Do you, for example, earn much from them? What kind of clients do they have? Any famous one's?

    Ted
     
  4. darich

    darich TPF Noob!

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    to earn significant income from stock images you'd need hundreds, maybe thousands, of images being sold regularly. I'm quite a bit from that at the moment and only have around 105 images on PD.com.
    I've had one sale as i mentioned in around a year which isn't very much but photography is my hobby and anything i make from it is a pure bonus.
    i'll keep shooting and adding to my portfolio and see how things go.
    Famous clients? No idea but i did see an image requested and supplied and then later show up in a civil engineering magazing i receive. It was an ad for an recruitment agency.
    Clients range from companies making cdroms books and posters to restauranters looking for cool images for a new place they're about to open. I have seen someone looking for an image for a poster to be sold in Habitat throughout Europe. The way i think it normally works, is that a client goes to a picture researcher who then finds the image. So pd.com may not have famous clients themselves, but the picture researchers may have.
    My sale wasn't to the calendar printer/manufacturer but to a researcher who found the image on the printer's behalf.
    The good thing is that if you get a sale you'll; get 80% of the fee and you never know where your photo might end up. I just received the shot i sold printed for the calendar. I'm now called "Mr May"!!!!
     
  5. snowden

    snowden TPF Noob!

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    I have been using Big Stock Photo for about 3 months and they have been a great help.
     
  6. kkart

    kkart TPF Noob!

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    I just started selling shots on some micros. One site you may want to look at and is unique from all the others, is featurepics.com http://featurepics.com/ They aren't a micro, nor are they a macro. Kinda a mixture of both. You have total control of your images on there, and they have a TON of licensing styles. It costs nothing to join and you set your own price. I have RM stuff on there, and they also have RF. Pretty slick, sorta like an Alamy meets Shutterstock.
     
  7. voodoo_child

    voodoo_child TPF Noob!

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    Just a question: If a company buys your photo and for example uses it in an ad, will the photographer get credited for it. I mean will your name be printed in a corner of the photo or ad so it can be seen who the photograph was taken by?

    EDIT: I just reread the original post and it already explains "royalty free vs royalty managed", sorry about that
     
  8. Swiss

    Swiss TPF Noob!

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    I've had my pictures on different online agencies and have generated sales on some and none on others. Don't know why. Matter of size of the agency I guess. If you're one of a million photographers, your chance that your photos will be chosen, is very small I guess.
     
  9. juno444444

    juno444444 TPF Noob!

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    Can you tell us which stock agencies helped you earn money and which didn't???
     
  10. Swiss

    Swiss TPF Noob!

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    Generally said: local ones did, international ones didn't. Don't know exactly why that is. As I've mentioned before, it's probably because of the size of the agency. It's a difference if you compete with 1000 other photographers or 2 million. If you have 100 nice photos, try small ones, if you have 5000, I guess you can try big ones. Just a thought.
     

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