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Archive 2012 · any experience w/ istockphoto?
  
 
dorian
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · any experience w/ istockphoto?


i am wondering if it is worth signing onto a site such as istockphoto to potentially sell a few images. currently, i sell a few photos here and there to friends, but it might be nice to try to make a few bucks on work that is otherwise just sitting on my webpage or on my hard drive.

any thoughts on the use of image clearing houses such as istockphoto would be greatly appreciated. i really do not know what the benefits and/or drawbacks of trying to sell my work in this capacity, so any and all suggestions are welcomed.

thanks in advance.

i posted this in this forum since 1) i have lots of friends here 2) i value the opinion of many of the folks who here post and 3) people in this forum know my work and can comment on its potential value

dorian



Nov 01, 2012 at 05:42 PM
KCollett
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · any experience w/ istockphoto?


If the return is not trivial, why not give it a whirl. This is outside my experience, so I'm only thinking out loud here.


Nov 02, 2012 at 01:45 AM
Mark Cronin
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · any experience w/ istockphoto?


Wish I could help you Dorian,
But I'm interested in any feedback you would get,
So I'll give it a bounce...
Mark



Nov 02, 2012 at 11:31 PM
 

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brad_w
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · any experience w/ istockphoto?


The return is trivial. I made my living with my cameras for about a decade, so I'm not thinking out loud. I've looked at the numbers and it's a waste of time, even for a hobbyist. The return is ridiculously low. There is still money to be made marketing unique stock images (through full service agencies of on your own, not through microstock) but it takes a lot of time, legwork and some genuine insight and marketing savvy. Take the 'gone fishing' image on their main page. A standard license runs about $120. The default royalty is 15%, so each time that image sells, you get $18. Most hobbyists insist that it's "free money", 'cuz otherwise files are just sitting on your hard drive. Don't forget all the time (and therefore money) required to make the image in the first place, plus the necessary post processing, archiving, keywording, uploading and back-end work. Personally, my hobby is now making pictures, not keywording.

On a more personal note to Dorian - the images you post here seem sufficiently high quality to sell (can't say for sure without looking at the full-rez file, a 640x640 jpg can hide a lot of imperfections.) More importantly your pelagic birds really are unique in the market. I can't imagine that finding those species is easy, convenient or cheap - you need a boat, fuel, probably spend hours and hours fruitlessly looking with a companion (read: "assistant")or two. Don't forget the very specific expertise you've acquired in order to find them. These are all worth money to you and therefore a photo buyer.

Do yourself the favor of deciding whether you REALLY want to market your images. It will be work, you'll hear a lot of "no's" and run into a lot of brick walls and closed doors. It will be frustrating and disheartening. But if you do get serious and stay persistent about it, the images will be worth a LOT more than $18 to the right buyers.



Nov 03, 2012 at 05:40 PM
dorian
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · any experience w/ istockphoto?


hey brad

thanks a lot for the nice words. i think you have hit upon in your email what i feel about my own photography. that i am such an avid birder and i really spend a lot of time to find a and photograph hard to find species i think gives a niche in a market where people are always looking for different images. at this stage i am just starting to get my name out there and i am not 100% sure how to start marketing myself. right now i have a smugmug "plus" account and i am considering converting it to "pro" level account from which i can actually generate sales. i guess i just have to put a lot of headwork into how i want to market myself and a lot of legwork into actually doing it. any advice is always appreciated, so thanks.

dorian



Nov 03, 2012 at 10:43 PM
Conrad Tan
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · any experience w/ istockphoto?


I've had a pro-smugmug account man, its no good. I have minimal hits and zero sales there. I get more views at my flickr account

I've sold more through word of mouth than anything, people just asking for a print or two. My two cents



Nov 04, 2012 at 06:56 PM





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