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, 5 December 2009

November updates:

November saw a slight drop in sales at Shutterstock. 49 downloads compared to 67 in October. However, thanks to three On Demand sales income remained virtually the same at $16 odd. Considering I have uploaded few new images to them recently I was quite happy with this. More importantly I hit my first payout at the end of the month and now have $82 on its way to me!

Over at Dreamstime (which I have been concentrating on) my portfolio has reached 547 images, netting 23 sales in November and an all time figure of 34 sales. This amounts to nearly $23 in earnings in just a few weeks (nearly as much as I have ever earned on Istock!). I have now started uploading my non editorial images with (as I expected) a lower acceptance rate than my editorial ones. All the same, I am getting plenty accepted and had my first non-ed sale this week (a landscape shot of Hastings beach).

One or two sales at Istock and Bigstockphoto and a pleasing 11 euros from the Yaymicro "third party sales" scheme (basically, selected images are going to a third party seller and contributors get a quarterly payout). Veer marketplace sales remain at just 1, though my portfolio there has now reached 98. Still getting lots of rejections there ("not quite Veer") and very few views.

Istocks "partner program" with is now underway and first results/sales should be available on our Istock page at the end of December. They will normally be updated monthly but because it was mid November before the scheme launched they are merging November/December results. I'm pleased to say my images show up well in searches on so I am optimistic about getting some sales there.

Meanwhile British site remains offline in mysterious circumstances (see earlier posting). Their last Twitter update was on November 1 "back next week". Well that didn't happen. On November 24 they updated the apology notice on their site, again saying they would be back up "next week". They have long weeks in Staffordshire it seems. Just don't know what to make of the situation but I am still keeping my fingers crossed for this site.

Finally, much fun to be had at this week, after they moved to a new server. Most of us have been bounced back and forth from the new server to the old one where founder Tyler Olson (Leaf) has set up a "graveyard chat" page. It's been like being in a parellel universe all week and quite weird. I expect Picturenation would be glad to just have one version of their site up, yet alone two. Regards, David.

Wednesday, 11 November 2009

Istock Partner Program goes live:

Istock have just announced that their long awaited "Partner Program" will go live tomorrow (November 12). Announced many months ago, this program allows Istock contributors to also have their images for sale on Getty owned subscription sites and Jupiter Unlimited. You only have to submit once (to Istock) and tick any that you want to be available on the other sites. You can opt out totally if you want or put all or just selected images on. I've opted in my entire (small -138 ) portfolio on the basis that it is potential extra sales for no extra work. I'm looking forward to seeing how many extra sales this brings. The losers here are the contributors who have portfolios on micro site Stockexpert (also owned by Getty). Their images are being pulled off the two other sites in favour of Istock contributors. Regards, David.

Sunday, 25 October 2009

ShootingStock goes viral:

Decided this weekend to start using more technology to promote this site and (hopefully) my various portfolios. So you will now find a ShootingStock page on Facebook and on Twitter. The links are further down on the left of the screen. Twitter is really easy to set up but, I must admit, I struggled with Facebook. Way too many settings and options to contend with. Still it's done and I have linked the pages up with my photo agency sites and other photo related sites. Now let the "viral marketing" get going!

Meanwhile September (that seems a long time ago) saw a total of 71 downloads on Shutterstock despite hardly any new uploads, whilst I concentrated in building up my Dreamstime portfolio. My port on Dreamstime has grown to about 480, with 17 downloads to date, so a good start there I think. So far I have only uploaded Editorial images, with an acceptance rate of about 96%. I expect that rate to drop (fast!) once I start sending my landscape and cat images. We'll see.

British image agency Picturenation is having a bad month. They went offline on October 9, and are still not back. This obviously caused the usual speculation about their future. However, as best as I can piece together from their Twitter and Facebook pages there has been some kind of legal dispute going which locked them out of their own site. They have moved to a new host and say they should be back in the next few days. Probaly best not to go into further detail here but you can read it on their pages. Ironically, I had my first sale there in a while, just before they vanished. Anyway, fingers crossed for a swift return online. Regards, David.

Saturday, 26 September 2009

Now at Dreamstime:

Last week I extended my roster of agents by joining This agency is generally listed in the top two or three earners by most photographers, so it seemed time to check it out. Of most interest to me was that they take Editorial images, so they looked like another possible outlet for my celebrity photo archive. I really didn't know if they would be interested in old B/W shots of Margaret Thatcher etc , but of my first 41 archive shots submitted all have been accepted. They even put three of them on their home page today. Best of all, I have already had six sales in just a few days of being online. I'm sure I will get my fair share of rejections in time but certainly a great start. There is also no application test to endure on this site. Just sign up and upload! Regards, David.

Tuesday, 8 September 2009

First sale at Veer Marketplace:

Having said just yesterday that I hadn't had any sales at Veer yet I logged in today to find my first sale! A pleasing $1.75 for a shot of two Jack Russell dogs that I had grabbed in the street in Hastings (grabbed the shot, not the dogs, obviously). Suddenly all those pretty little graphs Veer provide on their "dashboard" page looked much more interesting. They'd been flatlining up to now. The first sale on a new site is always the most exciting and this had been a few weeks coming. I am still concerned about their rather erratic review process (see earlier posting) but hopeful this could turn out to be a good earning site. Regards, David

Monday, 7 September 2009

August update:

August was another cracking month on Shutterstock. A total of 64 downloads with my Best Day Ever (BDE) netting six downloads. Grand totals to date are 135 downloads with $35 commission earned. So well on the way to my first $75 payout. A few sales on Istock and two on Bigstockphoto helped boost the month. Over at Veer Marketplace, my very small portfolio of 60 images has had a few views but no sales as yet. I am currently uploading a lot more images to them so (hopefully) might see that first sale soon. Nothing last month at Yaymicro or at British agency Picturenation. Picturenation introduced a new (lower) pricing structure in August with hi resolution sales dropping from £75 to £15. Commission remains at 40% of this amount. My hope (and theirs!) is that their much more competitive prices will now boost sales there. With over 1200 images online with them this could make a real difference to my sales.

Meanwhile, for a very interesting read check out Milan Keser's blog at . This San Diego based photographer is, like me, at the early stages of his stock career and charts his ups and downs along the way. Unlike me, Milan has one big advantage -a very photogenic young daughter who features in a lot of his stock images. I've just got my seagulls on hand to photograph! Regards, David

Sunday, 2 August 2009

Shutterstock going well:

July was my first full month on Shutterstock. Downloads totalled a respectable 40 for the month on a portfolio of circa 124 images. I also had one "On Demand" download which paid out a welcome $1.88 in commission. It is certainly exciting to be with a site that gets you daily sales (5 in one day being my best so far) and this is with (in microstock terms) a tiny online portfolio. Acceptance rates on my editorial archive images remain around 99% ( presumably for the simple reason that Shutterstock do not have any, or very few, of these subjects on file already. For example, I have the only images of Margaret Thatcher there). Non editorial images have a lower acceptance rate but I'm pleased to say that those that do get on sell just as well as the others. I didn't realise there was such a demand for pictures of seagulls but having had some accepted last week they have been flying out (so to speak). A word of caution, however, many photographers believe that the Shutterstock search engine favours new contributors and that things slow down after a bit. I am hoping that I can counter balance that by continuing to upload on a regular basis. I'll report back in due course. Regards, David.

Thursday, 30 July 2009

Veer Marketplace opens, Snapvillage closes:

The new Veer Marketplace went live last Sunday (having been in Beta with transferred Snapvillage images for a few months). I only have 52 images live so far (with more pending review) so I am not expecting too much yet! Meanwhile, Corbis announced that their Snapvillage site will shut this Saturday (August 1st). Whilst never giving me many sales (or income) there is a tinge of sadness as this was the first site I contributed to. That said, it provided me with valuable training in the Microstock world which I can take forward. Veer Marketplace certainly has much greater prospects and could turn out to be a very exciting outlet. That said, at present their review process seems very erratic. Good images that sell well elsewhere get rejected whilst some of the less exciting ones get approved. My initial strategy had been to try and upload as much as possible asap, but I am now keeping it to regular small batches until things settle down! Another factor in the "feed the beast" conundrum is that I am also trying to fatten up my Shutterstock portfolio at the same time -and that one is certainly paying off! More to follow... Regards, David

Friday, 24 July 2009

And three days later....

Got my second sale on Yaymicro! Not the donkey though but another archive shot of a steam locomotive on the Bluebell Railway that I took about 35 years ago. Of course, I don't know if the IOTD feature led to the sale or not but it is quite possible. This was a Medium resolution sale which pays a healthy 2.5 euro in commission. I'm hoping this site will gather momentum in the coming months. As I have said before, uploading and captioning (using their bulk edit feature) is so quick and easy that I am quite happy to give Yay more time. Regards, David

Monday, 20 July 2009

Made "Image of the Day" on Yaymicro: have a new Image of the Day feature on their blog. One of mine was chosen today! A reluctant donkey resisting being pulled up a ramp into its trailer. "A case of the Monday's" as they captioned it. The strapline says "One of many historical images from Newsfocus1", with a valuable link direct to my portfolio there. Must admit, I would have thought that my archive shots of Margaret Thatcher or Gordon Brown would qualify more for the "historic" tag, but anything that directs buyers to my portfolio is more than welcome! Regards, David.

Monday, 22 June 2009

Accepted At Veer Marketplace:

Have just been accepted as a contributor at Veer Marketplace. They required a test submission of 10 images. From mine 7 were approved for the site so I am in. I can now upload up to 100 images per week. Those images that are approved will go into the Veer database but will not be available to buyers until the full launch (scheduled for mid Summer). Currently Marketplace is in Beta using images transferred over from the Snapvillage site. As you will see from earlier postings, mine weren't included in this. As I expected, I have been approved for Veer on a set of images which were already on SV! On the plus side Veer is being more selective in what it takes which can only make for a stronger offering and (hopefully) better sales. As a general rule, sites that take just about every image you throw at them tend to be poorest selling sites. They are generally the new sites which are trying to amass a large number of images quickly to make themselves attractive to buyers. Snapvillage was a classic example of this approach. By being more selective and with their well established reputation Veer are looking like a very good proposition for contributors. As with Shutterstock, I now just have to "feed the beast"! Regards, David

Wednesday, 10 June 2009

In at Shutterstock!

An exciting step forward this week when (at second attempt) I got accepted as a contributor at Shutterstock. This New York based image library specialises in subscription sales, paying contributors from 25c per download (the amount goes up once you reach a certain sales level). This may not sound a lot but Shutterstock gets high volume sales. Some new photographers I know have had loads of downloads in just a few weeks with just a few files online. Many Microstock photographers give this as their top earning agency. So my hopes are high. Now I just need to "feed the beast" to borrow a quote from the forum. Photographers wanting to sign up to Shutterstock can follow my link on the left hand column of this blog. Picture buyers can use the link below (in both cases I get income under Shutterstocks referral program). Regards, David

Wednesday, 13 May 2009

Istock milestone:

Moving swiftly on from the Veer news, I today passed my first personal milestone at when my online portfolio increased to 101 images. Small, compared to istock veterans, but a good start given their 15 a week upload limit and stringent reviews. I guess 250 is the next one to aim for. Latest images accepted were of Hastings beach and pier. Regards, David

Tuesday, 12 May 2009

Progress Veers off course:

A very dissapointing set back yesterday. Having waited in anticipation for my Snapvillage portfolio to be moved over to the new Veer Marketplace site I (and many others) got an email saying our portfolio hadn't been selected for Veer. That's 883 photographs uploaded and keyworded over the last couple of years. What a waste of time Snapvillage has now proved. My photos will remain available on SV until they wind it up later in the year so I might get a few more 30c subscription sales but that's it. On a cheery note the Veer email invites me to start uploading direct when their contributors site goes live on June 8th. Right, so I just start uploading my SV portfolio all over again then? Thanks. Needless to say the forum at is buzzing with both those delighted at being accepted and even more from us who received the "loser email" as one poster amusingly described it. Bitter? Me? Yup! Regards, David P.S. How many days to June 8th?

Sunday, 10 May 2009

Forum Found:

Call me stupid (well, actually please don't) but despite contributing to since last year I have only just discovered that they have a members forum after all. I'd always wondered why they had "Members Forum" on the home page followed by "for photographers", "for buyers" etc. Clicking on the "for photographers" (as I always tried) brings up some information but no sign of a forum. What I hadn't realised is that you need to click the main "members forum" heading -and there it is! You need to register again to post there but that takes seconds. A lot of good info and advice to be found there. I mentioned in my first postings that I had only just found the forum and was relieved to get a response from another photographer who had been with BSP for ages without finding it. Not just me then. Check it out. Regards, David

Friday, 1 May 2009

Yay! First sale on Yaymicro

I have spent the last few weeks uploading a lot of my portfolio to as I have a feeling this site could start to lift off this year. They only launched last year so are still really new in business terms. They have a number of new developments including the all important views counter and say they have new funding which they are putting towards marketing. Uploading and editing is fast and easy so I have been readily able to up my online portfolio from the 38 files I had to nearly 700. Was it worth it? Well I had my first sale yesterday, netting commisssion of 2.5 euros. Hopefully, the start of good things to come! The picture? A Tamworth pig. Quite possibly purchased in connection to the Swine flu epidemic. Regards, David

Sunday, 19 April 2009

Another local photo sale!

Following on from my last post, I have just had another sale of a photo taken (virtually) on my doorstep. This time it was on and was an editorial shot of the signage outside the Designer Outlet in Ashford, Kent. At the time I shot it you could see the sign from my front door (though I have since moved). So pick up your camera, walk outside and see what you can find! Regards, David

Wednesday, 8 April 2009

Local photo sale at PictureNation

After a bit of a slow period, I was pleased to get a medium res sale on PN this week (which pays £14.00 commission). On checking, I was amused to see that the picture sold was of the High Street in Hastings (about 10 minutes walk from where I live!). PN always say in their "pictures we want" section to get pictures of where you live (as boring as this sounds -to use their own words). Certainly not boring if it gets a sale! Seriously, we can all plan trips to exotic locations and exciting cities to get great photos but don't forget to photograph what is on your doorstep as well. Regards, David

Tuesday, 17 March 2009

Picturenation forum offline

The members forum at has gone offline (for now at least). I was a bit concerned when it vanished and emailed founder Jane-Louise Green. As ever, Jane-Louise got right back to me. It seems that running and moderating the forum is quite time consuming and at the moment they are just too busy reviewing and marketing photographs to keep it going. I think that in the present economic climate we all understand that getting sales is the only priority! The forum will hopefully be back in the future. Meanwhile they do have a page on Facebook where you can leave comments. On the plus side a batch of around 30 new photos which I uploaded at the weekend were reviewed and (thankfully) mostly approved within a couple of days. And that, let's be honest, is what matters most. That doesn't mean that I don't miss adding my views on the forum! Regards, David

Recommended Blog Site

For a witty and entertaining take on the microstock market check out Komar's blog at I came across this site from a posting on the excellent and was glad I did. You can subscribe for free email updates, which I did right away! Regards, David

Monday, 9 March 2009

Full price sale at Snapvillage

On an ironic note given that Snapvillage is being merged into Veer (see earlier posting ) I have just had my first full price ($5) sale there, netting me $1.50 in commission. Up to now all I have had are 30c subscription sales! Looking forward to a big sales increase when my portfolio is transferred over to the Veer site. Regards, David

Saturday, 7 March 2009

Clickfree photo backup

As I said in my last post I have just moved and got a new computer. In order to transfer my photos I used the Clickfree photo back up dvd's mentioned in my earlier posting. They are readily available by mail order from sites such as Amazon. However I found them going at half price in my local Boots chemists. They really are amazingly simple to use. Just insert the first disk from the pack and watch the screen. It will ask you to click and agree the software user agreement but that is all you have to do. It then searches your computer for all your photographs (you can get ones for different types of file such as music). Once it has finished searching it will tell you how many discs you will need. I needed three disks for about 4000 photos. It then just automatically backs them up to the dvd and you get a progress report on screen. Once the disk is full it then verifies the data has transferred properly before telling you to insert the next disk and off it goes again. It took less than an hour to complete this. My concern had been that if I needed more than one disc how would it know what had already been transferred but the inbuilt software (on the dvd) takes care of all this. To transfer the photos to a new computer just insert the dvd and it does the rest. I can highly reccomend these clever (and cheap) discs. Regards, David

Friday, 6 March 2009

As I was saying....

Apologies to any readers of this blog for the long gap since my last posting. I have moved home from Ashford (Kent) to Hastings (East Sussex) and now have a sea view (well if you stand on a chair anyway!). I have also been sorting out a new broadband/computer set up so have been unable to post (or do anything much photographic really). The big news on the stock front is that Snapvillage is being phased out. Parent company Corbis (owned by Microsoft founder Bill Gates) is moving the SV content over to well established image agency Veer which they purchased a couple of years ago. Snapvillage has been a learning experience for Corbis (and indeed contributors like me) but has not really established a big enough market place. Personally I think the name did not help, conjuring up images of snapshots when in fact there is a mass of top quality photography on it. Veer is well established and has a good market base so I see this as a very positive move. Portfolios will be transferred over the next few months so I look forward to increased sales from my SV portfolio in the future. Regards, David

Saturday, 17 January 2009

Backing up your precious photos:

Something we should all do on a regular basis is back up our valuable photographs on our computers. This is especially true if you are hoping to make money from them. I have always found this a time consuming and fiddly task, selecting individual files and burning them to a CD. As a result I am as guilty as the next person of not keeping on top of this. Cue a new product on the market. Photo back up DVD from A pack of three sells for around £6 and they can hold up to 6000 photos. The best part here is that you do not have to do anything yourself (hence the "clickfree" name). Just insert the discs in your computer and it will automatically find and back up your photos. If they work as well as claimed (and they have had good reviews) this will be an easy and cheap method. Looking forward to buying a pack and giving them a trial. I'll report back on my experience. Regards, David