Back in the Seventies and Eighties I founded and ran several Fleet Street photo agencies specialising in stock images of celebrities from pop stars to politicians. These were syndicated to the National and International press and Television. These days I am active in the Microstock world and this blog charts my journey as well as, hopefully, providing inspiration and ideas to others. Image buyers should also find this blog useful with links to my portfolios and regular updates on new uploads. Unless otherwise stated all images are my copyright and may not be reproduced or copied. Comments are very welcome but will be reviewed before publication. Enjoy your visit. Regards, David.

Saturday, 16 November 2019

October Sales Updates:

City of Arts and Sciences, Valencia
A positive month in October overall with a strong showing from one agency and a slightly lacklustre one from another.

Straight into first place were Alamy with 2 downloads. Yet again, these were substantial $$ sales of my archive B/W images (Journalist Eve Pollard and Thin Lizzy frontman Phil Lynott). These sales alone would have put Alamy at the top but a worthwhile DACS payment also came in to push the earnings even higher. I am certainly feeling vindicated for spending a lot of time getting my back catalogue loaded up to Alamy though I am still hoping for more sales from my recent travel images.

Reduced to second place were Shutterstock. Overall, the number of downloads was good but with only two On Demand sales and two small Single downloads the earnings were down. It's those On Demands that normally push up the totals often to 50% of my earnings.

Istock took third place with 36 downloads and a reasonable RPD (pushed up by one image of the
Shoot it then drink it: lager above Valencia
Soundwaves Community Choir which netted me over $9 in commission). Reviews at Istock remain fast for Editorial but Commercial images seem to be running at several days at the moment.

Fourth place went to my favourite print site Redbubble with 4 product sales (T shirt, phone case, sticker and a zipper pouch featuring the University of Barcelona -quite probably for somebody attending there). I'm looking forward to seeing if the Christmas rush I saw here last year repeats itself.

Down at the lower end in fifth place Bigstock saw 6 downloads with Seville and Barcelona images selling.

Church of the Virgin of The Burgh, Rhodes
Dreamstime managed sixth place with just 4 downloads. All subscriptions at that.

Finally in seventh place were Adobe with just a single subscription download.

Recent uploading saw me continuing with Valencia images including more of the stunning City of Arts and Sciences and for something different my glass of lager with the Valencia skyline in the background. My Rhodes and Tilos trip also saw a number of uploads including the medieval Church of the Virgin of The Burgh in Rhodes Old Town. Recent shooting should have seen a whole stack of new images from the Spanish island of Majorca. Sadly, the weather was against me and heavy rain saw me only shooting for one day out of six. That will probably teach me to book so late in the year but I had hoped for some late season sun which, mainly, didn't happen. Too early to judge November yet but there are already a few highlights. More next month. Regards, David.

Sunday, 13 October 2019

September Sales Updates:

Science Museum, Valencia
A stable month in September with various signs of life and a flurry of sales created by the national news.

Shutterstock were in first place. A worthwhile Single sale boosted things at the start of the month and the sad news of the Thomas Cook travel company going into administration led to a whole bunch of sales of my signage outside the Hastings branch. The fact that these were taken in 2009 and featured their old logo didn't seem to deter buyers -such is the nature of stock imagery. Pleased to hear in the last few days that the chain of UK stores has been bought by Hays Travel and that many former employees will be offered jobs by the new owners.

Second place went to Istock with 37 downloads. An improved RPD this month brought the earnings up. My Thomas Cook images also featured here.

Alamy took third place with 2 downloads once again from my archive material. Conservative party leader Michael Howard and Mirror newspapers owner Robert Maxwell delivering sales here.

Fourth place went to Redbubble with 3 product sales. This month two T shirts and a laptop sleeve
The Umbracle sculpture gardens, Valencia
(the latter with my image of Barcelona University).

Fifth place went to Dreamstime with an improved 10 downloads. Thomas Cook again plus several of my archive celebrity images.

Adobe perked up with 4 downloads to make sixth place. Just waiting for Illustrative Editorial to be rolled out to bronze level now (and then, hopefully, general editorial).

Eighth place went to Bigstock with just 4 downloads (three of which were -guess what).

Thomas Cook branch -selling well in September
I posted in May how Yaymicro had added on Depositphotos as a new partner and automatically signed me into the deal. I had another surprise recently when I spotted a whole bunch of new partners including the dubious sounding Darius at Yay. I opted out of these right away but decided there was really only one sure way to stop this keep happening so deleted all my K2.4 images. One by one -several clicks per deletion. It took a long time but at least they are now gone. It's a shame because Yay started off with a lot of hope and were getting reasonable sales up until 2013 when it all went downhill.

New uploads continued with my Valencia images -in particular the futuristic buildings of the City of Arts and Sciences. Accepted everywhere except by Shutterstock who say they cannot take any images of these buildings for commercial OR editorial use. Why their policy is different to everyone else I have no idea but it's disappointing to not be able to upload to my top selling agancy. A fairly slow start to October so far but more next month. Regards, David.


Saturday, 7 September 2019

August Sales Updates:

Poll Tax Riots -sold on Alamy
Not a bad month in August considering it is the height of the annual Summer Slowdown but as usual the best agencies did the business and the others did what they do as well.

First up we had Shutterstock with a respectable number of downloads pushed up by (as mentioned previously) an Enhanced Download on the first day of the month. This was, yet again, from my local Tentertainment music festival images which continue to sell pretty much every day.

Istock took second place with 45 downloads. A lower RPD (rate per download) dragged the dollars down here but Istock continues to be a worthwhile agency notwithstanding their paltry 15% commission rate and a few very low paying sales each month. Luckily the higher paying sales continue to dominate here.

Alamy made third place with a single sale for a modest $$ figure. Once again this was from my old B/W archive images -in this case the 1991 Poll Tax Riots in London.

Fourth place went to Redbubble with two product sales. I really like the way this site continues to tick away each month.
Fishing boats on Aegina island, Greece


Dreamstime made fifth place with just 2 downloads. Luckily one of those was a higher paying credit sale which pulled them up my rankings.

Sixth place went to Bigstock with 6 downloads. As I have said many times, Bigstock takes no effort
on my part as my Shutterstock images get mirrored automatically (via the now closed Bridge to Bigstock scheme) so I am happy to collect the small amounts they rack up each month.

Seventh place went to FineArtAmerica with the sale of a coffee mug featuring one of my airshow images. Nice to see something from them again.

City of Arts and Sciences, Valencia
Bringing up the rear in eighth place were Adobe with 2 downloads. Given my tiny portfolio there  (just over 300) I'm always quite surprised to get anything much from them. Adobe are now, finally, taking a very limited approach to Editorial with so called Illustrative Editorial being accepted. Still no general editorial (e.g. street scenes, parades, celebrities -anything with unreleased  people in) allowed. Whether that will follow later they haven't said but I have my doubts. Even the Illustrative Editorial is currently limited to high level contributors though I do expect that to be opened up in due course.

Uploading in August included backtracking to my 2017 trips to Aegina island in Greece and the Spanish island of Majorca. I do like to revisit old sets from time to time as, being human, I often move on to my latest images before fully working the older ones.

The end of August saw me making my first ever trip to the Spanish City of Valencia. The photographic highlight of Valencia was the stunning City of Arts and Sciences with a bunch of modern architecture on display. I made two visits during my time there to take advantage of different light and perspectives. More on Valencia next month no doubt. Regards, David.

***Edited on Oct 13 to add in the FineArtAmerica sale***

Saturday, 3 August 2019

July Sales Updates:

Puente del Alamillo in Seville
Highs and lows in July as we enter the Summer Slowdown period with four agencies making a good contribution and three others barely making a showing.

Starting at the top Shutterstock continued to hold their first place with a good number of subscription sales, plenty of On Demand sales and three modest Single sales. I had a flurry of sales of Dutch actor Rutger Hauer (Blade Runner) who, sadly, died recently. Jumping ahead,  SS got off to a great start in August with an Enhanced Download on the first day of the month.

Alamy took second place with 2 downloads (both from my B/W political archives). These old images seem to have done especially well on Alamy rather than my much bigger library of travel images which I had expected to get more interest.

Third place went to Redbubble with 3 product sales ( T shirt, greetings card, phone case). Redbubble
Blue Star 2 ferry boat in Rhodes
have a useful and time saving new Copy facility for when you have a number of images of the same subject. Just go to Manage Portfolio and select Copy on the image you want to replicate. Then click on Replace Image to drop in your new image. All the information and settings for the various products are carried over to the new image (this doesn't effect your original upload in any way). Do check that all the products look how you want them and make any adjustments before hitting Save. This is a real time saver for batch uploads.

Rutger Hauer, actor

In fourth place were Istock with 37 downloads. A lower RPD this month pulled them down in earnings and in my ranking. Reviews continue to be fast at Istock with many getting accepted within an hour or two of submission -editorial especially.

Dropping down to the also rans we had Bigstock in fifth place with 6 downloads. Three of these were of Margaret Thatcher - a subject that just keeps on selling in my portfolio.

Sixth place went to Dreamstime with just 3 downloads. Two subscription sales and a small credit sale. This on a portfolio that matches my Shutterstock one. Such a difference in sales.

Finally in seventh place were Adobe with just a single subscription sale.

Recent uploads spanned my trips to Seville and Rhodes/Tilos with a set of the Alamillo suspension bridge in Seville and the Blue Star ferry boat Blue Star 2 moored at Rhodes.The impressive looking bridge was opened in 1992 for the Universal Exposition.

August should really see the Slowdown cutting in so more details next month. Regards, David.


Wednesday, 10 July 2019

June Sales Updates:

LMS Class 5 steam locomotive passes St. Leonards
A stable month in June which saw limited uploads due to a trip to Greece but plenty of new photographs.

Way out in front in first place were Shutterstock with a strong number of subscription sales but slightly less On Demand sales than normal. A couple of Single sales boosted things up.

Second place went to Redbubble with 4 product sales (T shirts and a phone cover). They seem to be having a problem at present with the social media sharing buttons missing from the various products. A look at their help centre confirmed they are aware of this and looking for a fix.

Third place (and only just beaten by Redbubble) went to Istock with 39 downloads. Travel images
Solar energy array on Tilos island, Greece
seem to do especially well here though my Tentertainment music festival images always have a strong showing as well. It's always interesting to see an event in a small Kent town get downloaded from countries all over the World as a generic outdoors/summer/festival/event image.

Dreamstime made fourth place with 5 downloads. One of these was a higher paying credit sale of Professor Stephen Hawking which pushed them up the rankings.

Fifth place went to Alamy with a single modest sale. This was a 1978 image of Danny Kustow -guitarist in the Tom Robinson Band. Sadly, Danny died earlier this year and this probably prompted the sale. One of the things about having old archive images in your portfolio is that it is inevitable that, in the course of time, these sort of uses will come up.

Danny Kustow of the Tom Robinson Band
Bringing up the rear in sixth place (nothing from Adobe this month) were Bigstock with just 2 downloads. That's the least I have had from them in a long time (not that are ever a big seller for me).

New shooting in June was mainly round a two week return trip to the Greek island of Tilos (went there last year  as well). I especially wanted to get  more images of their innovative energy project which aims to make the island self sufficient in power via a solar farm and a (very large) wind turbine. On the way out I had a couple of days in Rhodes -concentrating on the historic walled Old Town area.


Back home (literally the next day) I had the chance to photograph a steam locomotive excursion (London to Hastings) on its return journey through St.Leonards Warrior Square station. I was pleased to see how many people turned out to watch this go through. If you are interested in this type of photography you can look on the internet for the various steam excursion operators where they provide details and timings of upcoming trips.


Early sales for July are looking encouraging but, of course, we are now heading into the famous Summer Slowdown period so we'll see. Regards, David.