We discuss this nonstop. Most of us do believe that...but lots of the people here also use those sites...so you have to practice what you preach if you're going to make a difference.
Either way. Yes. I do believe that. Kids with point and shoot cameras are selling accident good shots for 99 cents, when practiced veterans are trying to get fair market price for stock photos and not making a dime because of microstock sites. It's unfair.
Sure and Mom's with cameras are ruining the market too. Whaaa, Whaa, Whaa. :chatty:
Micro Stock is not just kids with P&S cameras, stealing the business of professionals. How many of those professionals want to sell photos for 99c, and up? Most of the Micro Stock photographers are not kids and most use professional cameras. Cheap shot to call it that.
But there's a demand for cheap stock photos, for websites, church groups, small publications, who can't afford $200 a photo. I suppose some would just answer... let them eat cake.
I support free market enterprise. If people want to be photo slaves, then that's their choice. (I had another term in mind, but it's wouldn't get past the purity levels appropriate for this forum)
There are big agencies with staffs of dozens of people, making six figures, selling Micro Stock. Set designers, makeup artists, editors, rented locations, paid professional models, costume and prop people... the whole deal. They aren't kids with P&S are they?
Standard stock agencies won't even look at your photos or mine. They have locked the doors and only allow the chosen ones, to sell on their sites. Try asking them about selling photos, they won't answer your email.
So before someone calls it kids with cameras, or wants to claim it's stealing business, it's probably good to look at the whole picture. (oops, pun?)
Micro stock is based on selling in volume, for a low price. Professional stock is based on the highest quality from known photographers, and the price is higher. Both fill a need. If there was no demand, then that sales strategy wouldn't exist. But they are not selling to the same market nor to the same demands and standards.
A steak house hardly competes with McDonald's, or visa versa, yet they are both in the same business, selling beef. That's the same way Traditional Stock and Micro Stock compete. You want USDA select Porterhouse for $40 or a double cheese burger for 99c? :mrgreen:
I especially resent some snobbish professional trying to tell others how they may or may not earn money. There have been starving artists for longer than cameras, and always will be. We all have a right and the freedom to sell our work for whatever prices we want, and the only thing that dictates how high one might go in some cases, is the limits of what the buyer will pay, or their ability to pay.
Interesting to see the 2 extreme sides of the argument.
I think I fall somewhere in the middle, I accept some people cant afford 200$ for a photo, but when someone does a photo that used to be worth 200 bucks for 99 cents its going to put photographers in shell shock.
People do have more access to the technology nowadays, and maybye a 200$ shot from 10 years ago is actually only 50 bucks of effort today ? but thanks to technology , in the same time frame the photographer can take and process 7 or 8 shots instead of 1 or 2. so its a moot point. or a double edged sword depending on how you look at it.
But, yeah I know its volume, but who can afford to rent models and equipment for a shoot and charge 99 cents a photo ? I cant even do that for 75 bucks a photo !!!!
I mean they would have to be selling the photos to the agency @ like 30 cents apiece, and a good all purpose day rate to cover expenses would be 700$ So your saying they are selling 2 thousand shots from each shoot to the agency at 30 cents apiece ? How many do they shoot to get 2000 keepers? 80,000 ?
at 3 frames a second itll take almost 3 days to shoot 80K shots. !!!!!!
The processing alone would take another 2 days to do it right. so, how can they be making any money at all ?
Unless they are workign out of a garage and paying people in food and using slave wages, I dont see it working to do a setup shoot with models and get paid less then a buck a shot. Thats just not a real world scenario to me.
Much better way to put it Scott, than to have someone posting lies and mis characterizations labeling it as something, it isn't.
I don't see how anyone can work for 99c a photo, when it takes time to shoot them, plus more time to edit them. But some people are working on the volume principle and making good money. I don't think there are as many as some of the agencies would like us to believe.
However, I fully support an individuals right to work for them self, which it really is, and earn what they feel is a fair pay. Because none of us are slave labor or being forced to sell our photos on Micro Stock. Are we?
As for a $200 photo becoming a 99c photo, as someone else suggested. There are numerous ways to look at it. The first is, that $200 photo was way overpriced and the 99c photo is way under priced.
Another is, that what it takes to produce a $200 photo, that's worth that, will never be reproduced by some 99c photo with entry level equipment, lighting, experience and techniques, so they are not identical photos.
A Yugo and a Porsche Carrera six are both automobiles. In many ways they are alike. Both will take you to get groceries and back. One for much less. :mrgreen: However just like the $200 photo and the 99c photo, they are very different in the end.
Affordable good quality digital equipment has reached the masses. That means all of us can take much better photos. It also means that the cost and specialized equipment is no longer controlled by a select, small group.
Competition in the marketplace isn't driven by a monopoly or price fixing. Sellers and buyers are free to choose. Some photographers don't like that, because their stranglehold is being challenged.
Would the same people who hate micro, feel the same way if, for instance, oil companies, all agreed to charge $600 a gallon for gasoline? (that's the same variance as the $200 photo price vs the 99c photo price by the way) Ah ha, the story changes when you are the buyer, and no longer the seller. :lmao: That's not a fair or realistic analogy, but it was funny.
Lets say the Florida orange growers association agreed to limit growers sales, manipulating the supply, to keep the price up, but the independents undercut them for a lower profit margin? Would you support that?
Guess what, it's a reality.
OK you don't drink orange juice, so you don't care. How about, something you actually need and use? Would you support price fixing and restraint of free trade?
Then why do some people advocate and defend price control for photographs?
The $1 microstock photo will not kill the industry just like the $200 photo does not kill the 10k art photo industry. Some people are always willing to pay more. Whatever their reason. Sure, the microstock may make some of us work a little harder...but I think that's a good thing. Also, a photographer who couldn't do stock photography in the traditional sense has a great opportunity in microstock...I don't see how it's bad honestly. Someone please tell me.
I don't think the market is saturated, I just think that digital photography and the internet has made it easier for people to get into stock photography. Sure, there may be some increase in the amount of pictures of beaches...but I think the problem is that these pictures are all readily accessible in the same place. Before the internet you either had stock catalogs, or you did it locally...that was it. Now we are able to toss pictures of the same thing in a database and group them together much easier. I would agree that this makes it harder, but that just puts the pressure on the photographer to make his/her photo jump out more. I completely agree with you Scott about putting too much into your images to sell them for a buck...but that's why you hope for multiple sales. Also, if I'm correct, the $1 sales are pretty much one time uses...if used more then there are usually higher fees and you're able to buy unlimited (on most microstock sites) copyright of an image for considerably more then $1.
BTW, I'm not condoning Microstock in anyway...just kind of playing both sides here a bit. Part of me thinks microstock sucks, and another part of me says that I should seriously look at putting images on some sites and see what happens.
Hi everyone- noticed this thread, so I registered to join up the discussion.
I've always been a photo-nut. I've upgraded my equiptment as often as I can afford (which is not often). But I've got a collection of photos that I love, and it came to me one day, why not sell them?
Unless I want to go through these groups like istockphoto, I can only sell them independently if I've got a great price.
The quality of my shots are great, and i'm selling them for 99 cents.
Although it's true, I have virtually no models (that I'm selling pics of). I'm not sure how to pull that off at these prices, but I sell so few that even at $200/photo, I wouldn't be making money. My hope was to undercut everybody considerably.
It's just a personal hobby- not my job, so if I don't make a bunch of money it's fine. (stockphox.com if anyone's interested) Does that make me against the photography world?
Personally I have never made any money from photography and don't think I want to....maybe if someone asked me to do a portrait session or something but then if they know me well enough to ask me to take portraits (knowing the quality of my portraits) then I would do it for no profit.