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.

Wednesday, 10 September 2014

August Sales Updates:

The Red Arrows at Airbourne
August - hopefully the last month of a slow Summer period - proved unexciting to say the least.
Inevitably, Shutterstock was by far the leader with a good number of On Demand sales and a sprinkling of Single Sales pushing the total up.

Istock were runners up with 9 downloads ($7.23) bolstered by 15 PP sales ($4.20) and 8 subs ($2.24). Follow all that? With their strange multi-stage way of reporting sales it's not always easy. Why they cannot just report all sales in real time like other sites do is beyond me (and beyond them it seems). However, the big Istock news is their forthcoming restructuring of their multiple collections into just two -Essentials and Signature. This should all happen circa September 13, when they will also start to charge the same price for any size of download. This is bad news for some but good for others like me. The smaller size downloads that I often sell will now pay out a higher royalty rate and I expect my Istock income to increase overall. Subscription royalties remain unchanged.

Fire damaged Eastbourne Pier
Dreamstime saw some slow periods but finally clocked up 8 downloads ($12.76). Interestingly, while digging around in my stats there I discovered I had received two $5 bonuses when I had two images of this years Jack In The Green festival put in the In The News section. The problem is that I have no idea if I ever got that $10 -I sort of imagine I would have noticed that at the time but really cannot remember seeing my balance jump that amount. I may have to query that in due course.

123rf trickled on with 7 downloads ($6.44). The low Subs rate here really does pull down the figures.

Bigstock saw 15 downloads ($5.94) -again virtually all Subs sales.

Finally from the sellers I had my third sale at FineArtAmerica with $1.50 for a greetings card sale of Margaret Thatcher.

Jack In The Green festival, Hastings
All the other sites were dead in August with not even a Fotolia sale.

Shooting in August centred on the annual Airbourne airshow at Eastbourne where it was great to see the display by two Lancaster bombers. Our own BBMF one and the visiting one from the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum which has come over for the Summer airshow season. Recent uploads included the Red Arrows (from Airbourne), Jack In The Green festival and further images of the fire damage at Eastbourne pier. I'm hoping for an upturn in sales as we come out of the slow period although September so far hasn't proved exceptional. Regards, David.

Monday, 18 August 2014

July Sales Updates:

Gaios harbour, Paxos
A rather late update of sales in July -which as regular readers will know usually indicates that the month didn't prove very exciting for sales. The so called Summer Slowdown certainly seemed to be in full swing in July. That is, if a Slowdown can be doing anything as lively as a full swing (full snooze maybe?).

Shutterstock proved the exception with a good number of downloads and good revenue buoyed up by a number of On Demand downloads and two Single Downloads. I am also, finally, getting seriously close to the next sales level -when my basic subscription download rate is increased.

Dreamstime saw some long gaps between sales and eventually amounted to 10 downloads ($12.37).

Dende Nation samba drummers, St.Leonards-on-Sea
Istock proved lively in July with 10 credit downloads ($10.40) but then added 18 PP sales ($5.04) and 8 sub sales ($2.24). My portfolio there is now circa 850 and I am starting to see the results of Editorial images now being available on Thinkstock (PP) and the new subs packages at Istock itself.

Bigstock managed 7 downloads ($4.28). Pretty much all subscription sales.

123rf saw 8 downloads ($4.78). Again, mainly sub sales, which at Level 2 only pay at $0.25.

Fotolia produced 3 downloads (1.85 credits).

Ilida II hydrofoil, Corfu
My uploading saw an increase in July, however. I do not hold the belief that because sales are slow you should hold off uploads. Some contributors feel that the new images just get buried in quite periods (and Weekends) and never connect with buyers. Because of the mainly Editorial nature of my images I am confident they will get picked up in keyword searches in the future regardless of when I uploaded them. As well as the Eastbourne Pier fire images previously posted I also uploaded images from the 2014 St.Leonards Festival (a local community music and entertainment event)
. Samba drummers Dende Nation took part in a seafront parade during the event. Also uploaded were more images of my June trip to Paxos island including the harbour at Gaios and the Ilida II hydrofoil on which I had just returned to Corfu. Hopefully, August should prove the last of the quiter months before an upturn in September. Regards, David.

Saturday, 9 August 2014

Eastbourne pier -Another fire disaster:

Damaged section of Eastbourne pier
Back in October 2010 I posted here about the tragic fire that destroyed much of the historic Victorian pier here in Hastings.
History has recently repeated itself with fire destroying a portion of the pier at Eastbourne -some 17 miles along the East Sussex coastline.
Pier entrance -showing damage beyond
Breaking out around 3.00pm on Wednesday July 30, the fire was initially reported as being a small in nature but soon developed into a major incident with fire crews from around East Sussex attending aided by the RNLI lifeboats from Eastbourne. The band of smoke stretched along the coast to Hastings and beyond.

Thankfully, nobody was hurt in the incident and after some hours the fire was brought under control -leaving the rest of the pier intact. I took these images the next day which clearly show the extent of the damage.

Damaged section -with the saved section beyond
Opened in 1870, Eastbourne pier was one of fourteen seaside piers designed by Victorian architect Eugenius Birch -including Hastings Pier and the West Pier in Brighton (also a victim of fire some years ago).

The good news is that Eastbourne hope to have their pier rebuilt and re-opened sometime in 2015 whilst in Hastings work has been underway since last year with a planned re-opening in Spring/Summer 2015.
There is something especially British about these old seaside piers which generates much love and affection for them. Indeed, like Hastings before it, the fire at Eastbourne received National newspaper and television coverage here in the UK.
These images are currently available from all my main (editorial) photo agents. Regards, David.

Wednesday, 16 July 2014

June Sales Updates:

The Red Arrows
A steady month in June reflecting the usual Summer slowdown. As previously posted, I was on the Greek island of Paxos for two weeks and, therefore, new uploading was very limited during the month.

Obviously, Shutterstock came way out on top with a slight drop in download numbers over May but a good number of On Demand sales increasing the total revenue. Just one small Single download this month.

Istock produced 6 regular downloads ($5.72) but then boosted that with a pleasing $5.32 from 19 PP sales (one of my best results ever on the PP -probaly as a result of editorial images now being available) and finally the first of the new subsciption sales netting $0.84 from 3 downloads.

Coco and The Butterfields
Dreamstime saw 15 downloads ($11.82) with a continuing mix of Greek island images and old archive favourites such as Margaret Thatcher.

123rf ticked on with 12 downloads ($6.88). There seems very little variation in sales on 123 each month and at my Level 2 status income remains dissapointingly low -receiving just $0.25 for subscription sales. The days of 50% commission seem a long time ago now.

Fotolia produced just 2 downloads (0.82 credits). Whether or not being opted out of their DPC operation made a difference I don't know. I still only have a very small port there in any case.

Finally, another sale at Mostphotos! OK it was just a subscription sale paying 0.23 Euros but, all the same, still showing some signs of life. The image in question was British band Coco and The Butterfields performing at the annual Tentertainment music festival (pictured).

Al fresco dining, Skiathos
Nothing again from Yaymicro in June making my 0.75Euro sale in February my only sale for 2014 (with over 2k images online there). Not even their many Partner sites seem to be producing any sales -though to be fair most of my port is editorial (which, sadly, they do not send to the Partners). It's a real shame to see how sales have declined there. It was never a top seller but I used to see regular payouts. A check on my uploads for the last year or so just shows zero views on virtually everything to the extent I wondered if the view counter was broken. As an experiment I Tweeted a couple of images and the views count shot up to double fiures on those -so it does work. Shortly after every image suddenly had one view each - I assume Tweeting attracted the attention of a search engine somewhere. Might be worth trying with your own images. Even their Twitter page seems to have vanished -I just got a Page Does Not Exist message. (Edit: The Twitter link on their site doesn't work. However, you can find their account at ). I really hope they can turn this around.

Recent uploads included a lucky shot of a Gull swallowing a rat in the harbour at Skiathos. I was rather pleased with this image but Shutterstock obviously weren't -Poor Composition/Lighting etc. Luckily it got accepted virtually everywhere else. I also uploaded a couple of new images of The Red Arrows from the 2013 Eastbourne Airshow (Airbourne). Recent news reports that the team might be scrapped as a part of defence spending cuts (though, thankfully, denied) might help get some sales. Regards, David.

Thursday, 3 July 2014

Making use of Dreamstime blogs:

Selling stock images isn't just about taking and uploading photographs - marketing yourself and your images is the other important part of the story. Social media such as Twitter and Facebook are free and can be effective in promoting your work. Writing blogs, such as this one, also help to get your name out there.

Posts on the site forums (those that have still them) and, of course, the industry leading forum Microstockgroup are another way of getting yourself known - though keep in mind that in these you will be mainly be seen by fellow contributors rather than image buyers (though sometimes they can be both, of course).

Dreamstime offer another useful feature in their Blogs section. Just write about something that interests you and add images to the piece from the Dreamstime library -either your own images or other contributors where appropriate. This is free and all images get properly credited -with a link through to the sales page for that image. Buyers as well as other contributors can see these blogs making it a good marketing tool. I must admit I used to use this feature a lot more but hadn't thought to do so for some time now.
So having just returned from a Greek island what better to blog about than "The Beautiful Small Islands Of Greece" with a selection of six of my various island images. Link here:

Whether or not this results in immediate sales of my images it helps to establish my portfolio as somewhere to seek images of Greek islands (which make up quite a large and growing portion of my work).
And, as I said before, it's free marketing. So if you have a Dreamstime account and haven't made use of the blogs before do give it a try. And if, like me, you haven't used them for a while get on there and get marketing! I'm already planning my next one.
Regards, David.