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General photography questions and answers: Discuss Outlets for sales...Hello all, I managed to get accepted to a number of microstock sites as my first outlet for selling photos. ...
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Old 06-03-2007, 22:04   #1 (permalink)
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Outlets for sales

Hello all,

I managed to get accepted to a number of microstock sites as my first outlet for selling photos. The joy of seeing sales was quickly run off by the dread of how low the income was. It wasn't all that bad, as it brought in enough to cover the purchase of a new lens and eventually part of the purchase of a soon to be ordered BG-E3 grip for my XT.

I tried looking for macro sites as opposed to micro, and found Alamy. From there, Photographer's Direct and MyLoupe. Got accepted to Alamy a few weeks ago. My app at MyLoupe is pending the closure of my micro accounts (only 2 left open, waiting for my payout then closing them).

I also stumbled upon a site called highschoolsports.net, which recently opened a 'bleachers' section that allows amateurs, fans, and pros to submit photos of highschool games. The profit from print sales goes to the photographer, with a small cut going to the school. Still waiting on sales from that, but only have 2 games covered.

So now that you know my background a bit, I ask you.. what are your outlets for photo sales? I'm specifically looking for libraries/agencies/sites that allow you to upload images online and have a decent turnaround for review. I try cover mostly sports and concerts, and from time to time the more newsworthy events.

I own the photographer's market book from 2007, and will soon be submitting to a few of the groups listed within. Anyone have any suggestions, or any experience to share? I'm hopefully going to turn my hobby into at least enough of an income to cover the costs of the hobby itself, so any help would be appreciated
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Old 07-03-2007, 00:36   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Outlets for sales

all i can say is leave microstock sites well alone, you will not ever make any decent money and wont be accepted by proper stock sites
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Old 07-03-2007, 05:43   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Outlets for sales

What is the difference between a micro and macro site? Could you please give examples?
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Old 07-03-2007, 08:14   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Outlets for sales

well im a member of 3 ( i think ) sites and never had any sales.......... lol but maybe thats cos my pictures are crap! lololol

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Old 07-03-2007, 20:38   #5 (permalink)
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Re: Outlets for sales

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Originally Posted by lcraft View Post
What is the difference between a micro and macro site? Could you please give examples?

I don't want to open up the argument over which is better, but I will not hide my bias, as it is simply my own personal opinion based on my own experiences.

Microstock is the new trend that seems to be gaining popularity for stock. A buyer is able to pay a subscription fee and download X amount of images a month, or pay a membership fee and only pay a small amount per photo. This new model works out great for the buyer, as they're paying only a fraction of what a traditional stock purchase would have cost them. For the photographers, it can be a good or a bad thing. I was thrilled to death that my old 3 and 4 MP shots that haven't seen the light of day were able to bring me some money. Granted, only 25 cents to a dollar per shot. It's a good start for people who don't have the equipment to submit to a macro, but I personally wouldn't recommend it for more advanced users. The argument for microstock is that what the sales lack in profit is made up for in volume. You can still make 100 dollars from your picture, you'd just need 400 downloads at 25 cents.

Macrostock is the more traditional stock form. Most require 6MP or greater. The big leagues only want 12MP and up. These shots are generally sold in far fewer numbers, but with a far greater profit. This is the draw that really brought me away from micro. Why sell an image 400 times to make 100 dollars when you can sell the image one or two times and make well over 100 dollars?

While I was submitting to the micros, I was shuttled over to the wikipedia entry for microstock (which is actually quite helpful) and a site called microstockgroup.com (which was sort of a melded forum for all of the different micro sites).


In terms of pure examples of microstock sites:
-Shutterstock offers photographers 25 cents per sale, or 20 dollars for an EL sale
-Dreamstime offers 50 cent and dollar sales, and higher payouts for stronger licenses

In terms of macrostock:
-Alamy calculates price based on image use
for example, if someone was to quote a price for my Spirit of Detroit image on Alamy for a newspaper editorial, for a 1 week run, 1/8 page and 25,000 circulation in the US, it would come up to 175 dollars, of which the photographer gets 65%. That would be about 114 dollars in my pocket, from 1 sale.

One of the prime examples of why many will say that microstock takes advantage of photographers is the recent IBM promo that used an iStock submitters image for a national ad campaign. Yeah, I'd be thrilled to death to see my image nationally used too.. but when the reality hit that I'd only been paid 25 cents for what should have been quoted in the four digit range, I think I'd be left with a pretty sour taste of it all.

I'll be honest, I liked the microstocks for the experience I got, have to add that you certainly shouldn't sell yourself short for the joy of seeing your images sold.

Even if you don't think your shots are good enough, I would still recommend applying for myLoupe, Alamy, and Photographers Direct before touching the microstocks. One huge issue with microstock is that some of the macro sites (as I found out to be myLoupe and Photographers Direct) will not even consider you if you are represented by a microstock agency. You become 'tainted' and they will reject your app, regardless of image quality. Start with macro first. It's easy to go TO micro, but much harder to come FROM micro.

Feel free to PM me or continue posting here if you have questions on it. I've been through quite a few micro sites, and have just recently started submitting to Alamy since seeing what images have sold (and for how much).

Hope this helps give a bit more insight.
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