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.

Thursday, 9 December 2010

November updates:

A solid month on Shutterstock with 63 downloads ($19.01). Dreamstime produced 12 downloads ($10.13) -both these sites getting sales on my archive image of actor Leslie Nielsen who, sadly, died last month.
123RF continued it's new phase of activity with 3 Editorial sales ($1.27) so, as previously posted, it looks like these are starting to take off at last.
Picturenation managed a single web resolution sale of Olympic games chief Sebastian Coe netting £0.40. Still just painfully short of the £50 payout level. Next month?

BigStock produced one editorial sale ($0.50) but on the plus side there, my acceptance rate seems to have improved in recent weeks. A good selection of Editorial images of the Hastings Jack In The Green festival being accepted -rather than deemed "Not Newsworthy" as they have in the past.
One interesting thing here is that they (or some reviewers) now require a Shutterstock style "dateline" caption. Some images got put back in my edit section for that reason but were then accepted with the revised caption. The strange thing is that I have yet to see an official announcement that this is now a requirement. Maybe it's when you get a reviewer used to SS?

Istock couldn't manage a single regular sale but I did get 5 partner program sales ($1.25).
Nothing from Veer or Mostphotos in November. Mostphotos, however, have just started selling subcription packages (to which I am currently opted in) so I will be interested to see if this starts producing sales. Regards, David.

Saturday, 4 December 2010

Sales milestone -1000 downloads at Shutterstock:

December 2, 2010 saw a major milestone on Shutterstock when I had my 1000th download with this image of the Tentertainment music festival.
Since being accepted in June 2009, Shutterstock has always delivered strong sales. I still get the odd day with no sales (usually a Sunday) each month but in general I have sales every day.
That is way different to when I started this journey and my only agency was the (now closed) Snapvillage. Days, weeks and even months would go past before I could get excited over a 30cent subscription sale!
So on to the next big milestone at Shutterstock when my earnings hit $500 and I get a raise in my commission per download. I still have a way to go for that one but expect to reach it next year. Regards, David.

Wednesday, 24 November 2010

First Editorial sale at 123RF:

Having posted a number of times about the lack of Editorial sales as 123RF, I can finally report my first one (Edit: make that two now!). Hot on the heels of my first two sales (ever) there at the end of October I had my first Editorial sale this month. The image was of a steam locomotive on the Bluebell Line here in Sussex, England. I was about 14 when I took that (on a 120 format Kershaw folding camera, for those interested in the technical stuff). Better still, they have now integrated search results for Editorial and Commercial images (see my last post). Now when you search for Margaret Thatcher you get images of Margaret Thatcher right away -you no longer have to second click on the "Editorial" tab. This is a big advance and can only help to boost Editorial sales there.

I'd love to claim credit for pushing this along but I'm sure this is something they were working towards anyway. Now for that home page: it still doesn't mention that they have Editorial images available in their list of categories. Hopefully, that is coming soon but meanwhile a big thumbs up to 123. Regards, David.

Saturday, 6 November 2010

October updates:

October saw a good month at Dreamstime with a total of 22 downloads ($21.49). The total earnings there were boosted by two TIFF file sales paying $4.88 each. These were both of former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher -whose recent stay in hospital prompted a number of sales in the past few weeks.
Over on Shutterstock I had 55 downloads ($15.94), again including a flurry of Margaret Thatcher images.
Picturenation did well with two medium res sales paying £4 each in commission -both of the recent Hastings pier fire images. This brings me to less than £1.50 away from their £50 payout, so one more med res sale will do it.
Istock managed one regular sale (pebbles on Hastings beach!) netting $2.80 plus a further $2.25 from 9 partner program sales. I haven't felt inclined to upload any new images to Istock since their commission cuts were announced but that's one I am keeping under review.

Bigstock produced 2 Editorial sales ($1.00) in October. The problem there is my small portfolio (less than 400 images). Compare that to nearly 900 images on parent company Shutterstock (which I joined much later). Editorial images get declined for not being "newsworthy" even when images of the same event have previously been accepted. Archive celebrity images get rejected for "grain" (that would be film grain then) even when they do not have any other images of that celeb in their collection. That said, approvals seem to have been a bit better of late there so I'll stick with them. I live in hope that in the future they might link the two collections so that Bigstock buyers get access to my Shutterstock portfolio. I'm sure that must be possible somehow.

Over at 123RF I finally had my first ever sales. Two subscription downloads netting $0.72. It's a start anyway. I no longer have an earnings page full of zeros. Interestingly these sales came from my 48 commercial images (Halki island, Greece) and not my 593 Editorial images. I think two things would help here. Firstly mention Editorial images on their home page. They went live with the collection in May but there is still no mention of it there. Secondly, integrate the search results with the commercial images. By that I mean that if a buyer searches for Margaret Thatcher they get told that there are zero results for that search. Only when (or if) they then click the "Editorial" tab do the images come up. I wonder how many buyers just give up after that "zero results" message? Still, this is only their first year with Editorial so plenty of time for improvements yet.

Nothing in October from Veer, Yay or Mostphotos.
Regards, David

Sunday, 24 October 2010

Hastings pier destroyed (A landmark lost?):

October saw a sad event here in Hastings when the Victorian pier was largely destroyed by fire in the early hours of the 5th. Opened in 1872 it was designed and built by Eugenius Birch who was also responsible for a number of other piers including the West Pier in Brighton (also destroyed by fire a few years back). It had been closed for several years due to safety concerns but, nethertheless, continued to be an elegant landmark on the coastline here.

Since moving to Hastings last year I have taken countless images of the pier throughout the seasons -including a whole series taken underneath, showing the metal sub-structure (ignoring the warning signs that it wasn't safe to walk under it). I missed photographing the main blaze itself but was able to get down there in the afternoon when it was still smouldering and being hosed down by the fire service.

There was already an active local campaign to get the pier restored and reopened and this continues despite the fire. The key is the stability of the metal sub-structure. This is the original (listed) Victorian part of the pier -the wooden buildings on top were added to and changed throughout its 138 year history. I am just hoping the survey goes well and our landmark can be restored. Walking along the seafront now just isn't the same with only a burnt out wreck to look at. Regards, David.

Monday, 4 October 2010

September updates:

After the dull performance that was August, things started to look up in September. At least at Shutterstock where 69 downloads netted a very precise $20. I passed the $75 payout threshold at the start of September (having failed in August by just 90cents!). A $94 payout is now on its way.

Dreamstime produced 11 downloads ($9.49) and Istock had two regular sales ($1.32) and three partner program sales ($0.75). Bigstock only managed a single sale at $0.50.

Yaymicro posted their second quarter third party re-seller results netting 10.42 euros. Combined with the 5 euro sale last month I am already over half way to the next 30 euro payout threshold. Yay are planning to add a number of other re-sellers in the future, which can only help sales there. Unfourtunately, one of their current partners -German owned Polylooks -has just announced that it is closing at the end of the year.

No sales at Veer but they get the star prize this time as my $74.20 upload bonus from the "Dash For Cash" promotion was added to my account. Views are increasing there as well and they have a lot of marketing going on right now (their ads frequently popping up on the left of this blog). It's starting to look like Corbis are getting their Micro offering right this time (after the dissapointing Snapvillage venture).

Nothing in September from Picturenation or Mostphotos and still zero sales at 123RF (after five months of having my images online there).

Meanwhile, I am continuing to upload images from my Greek island trip in June so any image buyers looking for images of Halki, Nisyros and Tilos check out my various ports on the left. I must admit, as I work with those images, it would be nice to be in the sun again. The weather here on the coast is steadily growing colder and wetter!

Finally, check out a new photo blog by London based Rob Ewen at . He is fairly new to Microstock but already seems to be doing rather well -especially with his images of neon signs. And he was kind enough to give Shootingstock a link there.

Regards, David.

Friday, 24 September 2010

August updates:

Well, August was really slow for me (and many others, judging by the forums) so I haven't rushed to post my figures. Vacation time, Summer Slowdown, call it what you will but this is what I scraped in:
Shutterstock produced 46 downloads ($11.50). Dreamstime 10 downloads ($9.85). Istock had 1 regular sale at $ 1.77 and 3 partner sales totalling $0.75.
Bigstock showed some life with 2 downloads ($3). And, finally, a pleasing high res sale at Yaymicro netted 5euros.
Nothing in August from Picturenation, Mostphotos or 123RF.

I have had images live at 123 for nearly five months now and not even a little subscription sale. I really hope they can build the marketing for their Editorial images as I know many (non editorial) contributors get regular sales there. One was kind enough to send me a screen shot of his earnings page recently. It was nice to see something other than a page of zeros.

However, not all bad news - I had the last of my "Dash For Cash" submissions reviewed at Veer and was pleased to find I had earned $74 bonus from them. This was double what I was expecting as I had forgotten that the bonus went up from $0.35 to $0.70 if you got more than 100 images accepted. I'd had 106! Now I just need $26 in actual sales to reach payout.
Regards, David.

Sunday, 12 September 2010

From Woohaying to No Waying (Istock in turmoil):

Well, I was about to post some stats for August when Microstock events overtook me. Istockphoto announced major commission changes (cuts) from next January. Instead of your commission rate being set by your "cannister" level (based on all time sales) it will now be based only on sales from the previous year. For small and independent contributors (like myself) commission will drop from an already poor 20% to what I believe to be an industry low of 15%. Even many of the successful exclusive contributors are anticipating a drop in earnings. Not surprisingly this has led to an outcry on the forums (link here: with the main thread now running to over 3336 (mainly hostile) postings. Several statements by IS chief Kelly Thompson to justify the move seem, if anything, to have made matters worse with many posters cancelling their exclusive status and halting new uploads. Others are calling on image buyers to boycott IS. This is where it gets interesting because IS seems to have overlooked the fact that many contributors are also buyers in their "day job". An increasing number are now posting that they and their companies will not buy images from IS again.
Istock are part of Getty images who are owned by equity group Hellman and
Friedman. This whole move looks like an attempt to up profits (possibly before a sell off, as some have speculated) and seems to have been done with complete disregard for loyal contributors. The so called Istock Community is fast looking like a thing of the past with many now posting four letter word abuse in the forums.
I should say, that none of this has much impact on me financially. I only have a small portfolio there and not many sales. But I do feel really sorry for those who rely on IS for a big part (or all) of their earnings and especially those making a full time living from stock. It remains to be seen how this all pans out in the coming weeks. Regards, David.

Sunday, 29 August 2010

Bagging a Banksy:

I've posted before about picture opportunities on your doorstep. Well there was a good one here this week in St.Leonards-on-Sea when a new mural by cult British street artist "Banksy" appeared overnight on the seafront. I didn't have much trouble finding the location due to the number of people congregating to take photographs of it and photographing their children next to it! It took a bit of patience to get a clear shot of it but the images are now uploaded and awaiting approval (as Editorial images, obviously).

British agency PictureNation got them online within a couple of hours (I emailed them to let them know they were in the approval queue). I have no idea what the sales potential is here, but I do know that, in the art world, Banksy is a big name and new works arouse a lot of interest, so we'll see.

Hastings council have said that despite their zero tolerance policy on graffiti they are regarding this as Art and allowing it to stay. Certainly the interest being shown by the public yesterday would suggest this is the right decision. Edit: Just for clarification -the black lettering at the top isn't part of the mural but everyday graffiti (which I'm sure will be removed by the council).

Regards (from the "centre of the art world" as the local newspaper coined it), David.

Sunday, 1 August 2010

July Updates:

July saw Dreamstime powering up to an excellent 26 downloads ($18.29) making this my BME there. My portfolio there also hit the 800 milestone in July. Best of all, I am only $1.45 short of my first $100 payout so that should happen very soon.

Over at Shutterstock I had 57 downloads ($16.44) and I am on course to hit my third $75 payout in August.

British agency Picturenation did well with two high res sales (archive shots of Margaret Thatcher and Lord Peter Mandelson) netting £6.00 each in commission.

Bigstock produced 1 editorial sale ($2) and bringing up the rear Istock with one regular sale ($0.29) and 3 partner program sales ($0.75).

Nothing in July at Yay, Most, Veer or 123.

On a more positive note at Istock, I had 11 new images accepted (all from my recent Greek trip). That might not sound a lot, but for me very unusual. I've finally managed to produce some images they couldn't find any artifacts in, it seems! Also announced in July, their basic upload limit is raised from 15 a week to 18, giving a better chance of building a reasonable sized portfolio there.

Finally a bit of Summer success. My images of the crowd at the 2009 "Tentertainment" local music festival (in Tenterden, Kent) seem to have become my current best sellers. Almost daily downloads at Shutterstock and a rise to Level 2 on Dreamstime. One buyer at DT searched for "music, festival, grass" . I tried the same search at SS (under Editorial images) and there it was: Page 1, Image 1 in the results. That's why it keeps selling! I only spent a few minutes taking these images but with an excellent payback. I guess you just never know. Regard, David.

Monday, 26 July 2010

Useful source of information:

In stock photography, like all walks of life, knowledge and information are essential. One source that I frequently mention is the microstock forum site , where you can find a wealth of information, views, debate and sometimes just entertainment. If you are serious about stock photography this site is a must read!

A new service which I recently signed up to is . Founded by stock veterans Roberto Marinello and Amos Struck, this service provides you with regular (usually daily) emails with a digest of all the latest microstock news. Everything from photo blogs to stock agency news/press releases etc. You just get a taster of each one and click on the link to read more. You can also choose only those areas that interest you (e.g. photo tools and software). This valuable and Free service has given me loads of good information over the past few months. The only downside is having to resist the temptation to read everything! Regards, David.

Saturday, 17 July 2010

June updates:

Another steady month in June. Shutterstock produced 59 downloads ($18.57). Dreamstime netted 11 dls ($10.12). Bigstock had another (little) flurry of 4 sales ($4.50). Istock produced 2 regular sales and 4 partner program sales totalling $3.64. Picturenation brings up the rear with a pleasing £6.00 for one sale. That's why I like PN -they do not yet get me volume sales but the commission is considerably higher than micro sites. That £6 is about the equivalent of around 40 regular 25c downloads on Shutterstock! Nothing in June from Veer, Yay, Mostphotos or 123RF.

The lack of sales at 123RF is dissapointing. I now have over 500 images online (mainly Editorial but I also now have 17 or so non-editorial accepted). The images went live at the start of May so that's a couple of months now with zero sales. I had hoped that some of my good sellers -Margaret Thatcher etc would have picked up some sales. That said, they have only recently started marketing their Editorial collection so I guess it is early days. Indeed their home page categories list still doesn't even mention Editorial. On a more positive note I eventually queried the 40 images I had pending since April/May. Turned out to be a server glitch and they had dropped off the revue radar. Showing very good contributor service they sorted it within a day or so and all were reviewed (and appoved) promptly.

June saw a big drop in uploads from me as I was on holiday (aka photoshoot) in Greece for the first two weeks. Making full use of my new monopod I now have stacks of new images to edit and upload. They are mainly of the tiny Dodecanese island of Halki (population 300!) but also a lot of the volcano crater on nearby Nisyros island. Uploading of these has begun but I still have a long way to go.

Meanwhile the Veer "Dash for Cash" has now closed. I still have 143 pending so I should know in the next few weeks how much I made from this. Views continue to rise at Veer but still only the one sale to date. I am hoping their forthcoming new marketing campaign will change that. Regards, David.

Sunday, 20 June 2010

May Updates:

A steady, rather than exciting, month in May. Shutterstock, as ever, led the way with 42 downloads ($12.69). Dreamstime produced 11 dls ($7.87). Istock achieved 2 partner programme sales ($0.50) and 1 regular sale ($1.56). 2 dls on Bigstock ($1.00) and as previously posted 1 regular sale at Yaymicro (1 euro) and a further 9.70 euro from their 3rd party seller. Nothing this month at Picturenation, VeerMarketplace and Mostphotos.

123RF went live with their Editorial collection at the start of May. I have around 470 live there with a further 40 pending review (in fact, some have been pending since April -which seems a bit slow by anyones standards!). Sadly, no sales there yet but they are only now just starting to market and promote the Editorial collection. I am also hoping that some editorial might also be added to their parent company site in time. A note in the FAQ there says that they are considering taking Editorial. Certainly some 123RF commercial images already appear in the Inmagine "value images" section.

May also saw a new bit of photo kit. A Giottos aluminum monopod (Model: MML 3270B). Light enough to carry around easily it provides a really sturdy shooting platform (after a bit of practise). I did look at some cheaper options but decided the £40 price (from Jessops in the UK) was a worthwhile investment. I can also combine it with the pan & tilt head from my Giottos tripod for greater flexibility -for example shooting portrait format images.

Regular readers will notice a new image of the late footballer George Best on the left. This has had a flurry of sales in the last few weeks. I believe there is some sort of football competition going on which may explain that!

Meanwhile the Veer "Dash For Cash" payment for uploads continues. To date I have about 30 accepted (the same low acceptance rate that I have always had at Veer!). The promotion goes on until the end of June so I'll see where I am then. What is interesting (and encouraging) is that my views there have shot up in the past few weeks. Will update further on that later. Regards, David.

Wednesday, 26 May 2010

First Payout At Yaymicro: yesterday posted our "third party" sales for the first quarter of 2010. It always takes a few weeks after the end of the quarter to get all the results collated and payment received by Yay from their re-seller.
This time my share came to just under 10 euros. That, and a co-incidental Editorial sale yesterday (Guinot wing walking display team at the 2009 Eastbourne airshow) took my Yay sales to 39 euros -well above the 30 euro payout level. I'd heard they were fast but after clicking the request payout tab the money was in my Paypal account within two minutes! That's impressive. Yay also announced two new re-seller arrangements (the first of a number of deals they hope to do this year). Best known amongst these is German owned agency Polylooks which has been getting quite a bit of attention lately.
Yay has been a slow site to build but things seem to be starting to move now. In addition, this has got to be one of the easiest and fastest sites to upload to and editing is fast using their bulk edit feature for similar images. I am certainly sticking with them for now. Regards, David.

Sunday, 23 May 2010

April Updates (finally):

A rather late update on my stats for April. Blame that on Veer as I have been busy "dashing for cash" (no results on that one yet but 121 pending).
Meanwhile over at Shutterstock (where my portfolio passed the 800 mark) I totalled 53 downloads in April ($14.88). The hoped for General Election boom for my archive political images didn't happen there (or anywhere for that matter). Certainly there were some sales but probaly no more than average. A Conservative party election poster on SS and a polling station sign at Dreamstime being the only specific election related sales. Staying on Dreamstime, April brought 15 sales (netting a healthy $12.04). Istockphoto produced no regular sales but 7 partner program downloads at 25cents each ($1.75). British agency PictureNation produced another 3 web resolution sales at £0.40 each (£1.20). Bringing up the rear in April, Bigstock had one editorial sale at 50cents.
No action last month for Veer, Yaymicro, or Mostphotos. Nothing at 123RF as none of my editorial images were live in April. As for BritishImages -who knows. They do not have a views/download counter and I am still unable to change my contact details for payment on the site.
April also saw a return to my editorial archives as I finally got round to scanning and uploading more of my B/W negatives. Highlights included Ted Heath, former British Prime Minister, and a new (old) one of Gordon Brown (now, of course, also a former Prime Minister). Regards, David.

Wednesday, 5 May 2010

Veer launch "Dash for Cash" incentive:

Not often I have much to say about Veer Marketplace but there's an interesting announcement today. From May 5 until June 30 they will be paying from 30c to $1.40 for each accepted image uploaded during this period. The amount depends on the quantity you get accepted. Full details via this link After initially having high hopes for Veer, I soon found the high rejection rate and low views (and sales) off putting and have had them firmly on the back burner in recent months. I was always going to get round to uploading the rest of my portfolio eventually but this is certainly an incentive to do it sooner rather than later! Aside from the cash incentive what is interesting here is that parent company Corbis are clearly showing their committment to building Veer. There had always been a slight feeling that Corbis weren't really that interested in their Microstock side, but with a Veer re-launch coming soon and this new promotion it looks like Veer might start to get interesting. Certainly my views there have risen of late (sadly, not sales as yet). If you are not already a contributor to Veer you need to submit an initial 10 images for review and get 7/10 accepted before you are in. Good luck to anyone taking part in this promotion. Regards, David.

Sunday, 11 April 2010

March Updates:

March saw a good month on Shutterstock with a total of 71 downloads ($23.81). This took me over the payout threshold for the second time resulting in an $82 payment. I also had my BDE in March with 24 downloads (23 from my 70's pop music archives and 1 of the Hastings "Jack In The Green" festival).
Dreamstime slowed a bit with 10 downloads ($5.56). Yaymicro finally paid out the Third Party royalties from the last quarter 0f 2009 (Euro 10.68). This took me tantalisingly close to their E30 payout level. Just E1.60 to go. One sale could do it!
As posted earlier Picturenation produced 3 sales (£4.80). Since the announcement of the forthcoming General Election (May 6) PN have been using a number of my archive politician shots on their homepage, which I'm hoping might generate further sales.
Bigstock bring up the rear in sales with just 1 (50cents). Mostphotos/Istock/Veer all produced zero sales in March.
Meanwhile at 123RF I continued to upload Editorial images ahead of the launch of their Editorial section. I emailed them about this and they say they are looking at May for launch, though I think that will depend on them having enough images to make a worthwhile offer. My first attempt at getting some non-editorial online there resulted in all 20 being rejected (poor lighting/composition). They'd pretty much all been approved elsewhere.
Finally, still nothing back from Britishimages in response to my letter and the site still has my old contact details (and no way to change them). I'll just leave that one well alone for now. Regards, David.

Sunday, 4 April 2010

Britishimages showing signs of life:

Well here is a surprise. British image library seems to have been re-activated (in part anyway). I joined them at launch (2007?) and have 445 images online there. Not a single sale to date. When I tried to update my email and address details over a year ago I just kept getting "internal server error" messages. Soon after that it became impossible to access the site at all and I assumed that was it. However, the site seems to be back up. Still cannot change my details -which is important because their payment method is to post a cheque (remember them?) to the address on file. Emails to the site just get bounced back and a written letter asking them to change my info at their end received no response. I did try uploading a test photo and that worked fine. Plus points of the site? they do have a nice collection of British landscapes and architecture and the commission is high at £25 (hi res) & £10 (low res). Minus points: well no good to me if I can't get paid, no views or sales counts, and most importantly -they do not appear to contactable or responding to post. The site also still states that they are members of BAPLA (British Association of Picture Libraries & Agencies) even though BAPLA told me last year that they (BAPLA) had cancelled their membership. I'm holding off uploading any further images at this stage. Obviously, other photographers may have a different experience of them and I can only speak for myself. Anyone else tried this site or got any sales? Regards, David.

Sunday, 28 March 2010

Going green for Spring:

It's getting warmer. The clocks have gone forward and the seagulls on my window ledge are preparing to nest. Yes, Spring is here at last in the UK (though there's a threat of snow next week!). To mark this I've gone for a slight visual change on this blog. Out goes the headache inducing Orange header and in comes a fresh Spring like green. Not quite the radical changes that Bigstock and 123RF made to their sites recently but I hope it gives it a bit of a refresh.
Any opinions welcome. Regards, David.

Saturday, 13 March 2010

PictureNation sales

Since their return online I have been busy uploading my backlog of images and, of course, hoping for some sales. Pleased to report three Editorial sales in the last week. A Medium resolution of the ever reliable Margaret Thatcher (netting £4 commission) and two Small web resolution sales of La Toya Jackson and Mohamed Al Fayed (netting £0.40 each). Hopefully, this is a start to more regular sales here as PN push their marketing now that they are back. I have a lot of archive British politicians images online with them and I'm hoping the forthcoming General Election here will generate some sales as commentators look back to previous elections (as they tend to do). PN's new lower rates (which they brought in shortly before going offline) make them much more competitive with the Micro sites whilst still offering photographers a better than Micro commission. At 40% they pay £0.40/£4/£6 for small, medium & large res sales. They also now offer Extended Licences which pay £14/£20/£30 respectively. They also have a referral programme but (rather dissapointingly) only for referring buyers and not new contributors as most of the Micro sites offer. I'm hoping that they'll look at that in the future. Regards, David.

Monday, 8 March 2010

February Updates

The shorter month of February proved a touch dissapointing with a drop to 62 downloads on Shutterstock ($20.39) despite new uploads. This is still my first year on Shutterstock so I don't know if February is normally a slower month for everyone or it's just me. It was certainly worrying to see a number of zero sales days throughout the month. Barring the odd Sunday I had got used to seeing some sales each day.

Dreamstime continued nicely with 11 downloads ($10.24) and it was pleasing to see a mix of both Editorial and Commercial sales (and also that the majority were credit sales and not subscriptions).

Yaymicro produced another Editorial sale, Margaret Thatcher (1 euro). Bringing up the rear was the ever dissapointing (for me) Istockphoto (3 downloads netting just 74cents!). Not even any subscription sales from their Partner Program. Clearly my images are not a good fit with the type of buyers Istock have, as many photographers achieve huge numbers of sales there. I cling to the hope that one day they might start taking Editorial images, which seems to be the trend with other Micro sites.

Bigstockphoto, Picturenation, Veer and Mostphoto all a zero for me in February. 123RF have yet to launch their Editorial collection online so nothing there yet either.

Meanwhile, PictureNation have added a link to this blog on their site. They had looked at ShootingStock when I was in touch with them whilst their site was down. They felt it would be of interest to some of their members so asked if they could link. Any extra traffic through this is very welcome, though I certainly won't feel obliged to just say nice things about them! My Google Adscence earnings have jumped up a bit since this link went on -so it looks like it has helped. Regards, David

Thursday, 11 February 2010

January Updates:

After the Christmas slowdown, the new year got off to a flying start. Best month ever on Shutterstock with 72 downloads ($22.94) and a BDE of 14 downloads. Meanwhile, another milestone as my SS portfolio passed 700 images.

Over at Dreamstime I had 13 downloads ($9.64) bringing my total sales there to 52 since joining.

Bigstockphoto continued its flurry of sales with a further 5 downloads (most of which were my archive politician images -the General Election is coming soon in the UK so I am expecting my political images to show an increase in sales).

Istockphoto brought 4 downloads ($3.10) of which two were my first sales on "Partner Programme" site

And Yay! Finally had another sale at Yaymicro (o.5 Euros). Well it all helps! What was pleasing was that it was one of my Editorial images (Poll Tax riots in London). So hopefully my Editorial there is starting to get some attention.

Nothing yet from Mostphoto, but I've only uploaded 23 images to them so far so no surpise there. British site Picturenation also zero but they have only been back online for a couple of weeks. However, lots of new images accepted on PN with some lightning quick reviews (including my fastest ever approval -about 30 seconds after submission! They were obviously reviewing my batch as I was adding captions and submitting. It started to feel like a bit of a race at one point).

Meanwhile at 123RF my trial Editorial submission got reviewed and all were accepted (11). There was a delay there as I wasn't previously signed up to them. Turned out that they were not set up for people joining with just Editorial images. One of their people was posting on the forum so I queried why mine were still waiting approval. Pleased to say that they dealt with it within a day or so. Looking forward to uploading a load more ahead of their forthcoming Editorial launch. Regards, David.

Saturday, 30 January 2010


Delighted to report that British site has finally made it back online today! I've already made my first upload and everything seems to be working fine. My images and commission are all still showing correctly as well. A lot of people were quick to write off this site when they first went offline, but I always remained confident that they would return. Now I have several months worth of images to get uploading. Regards, David

Monday, 25 January 2010

And Another:

Signed up to another new agency last week. 123RF hovers around the bottom of the so called "big six" microstock agencies (according to the rankings on ). I would have gotten around to them at some point but what prompted this now was their announcement that they are going to start taking Editorial images. They are in a gathering stage at the moment with a launch scheduled for the end of February. With my celebrity and political archive images doing well on most other agencies that take Editorial this was too good an opportunity to miss. With 123 you have to submit (a minimum) of 10 images for initial approval before you can contribute freely. I just went for the usual "big guns" from my portfolio (Margaret Thatcher/Boris Yeltsin/Gordon Brown etc) for my initial batch - with a recent shot of The Red Arrows in action at the Eastbourne airshow added (just to prove I know what a colour photograph looks like!). Still waiting for approval nearly a week later but I'm hoping this is because they have been inundated by Editorial images and not because they are not interested in mine. I'll update in due course. Regards, David.

Sunday, 17 January 2010

New Year, New Agency:

Signed up today at This Swedish based agency sells all images at a fixed 25euro price and pays 50% commission -so that's a pleasing 12.5 euros for every sale. Better still, you can request payout of your commission after just one sale. No waiting months/years/forever to reach the minimum payout. You can also download your own images free of charge -making it a useful back-up. My thanks to for making me aware of that! Too good to be true? Well the downside is that many people find sales are few there. They take Editorial images so I'm hoping my archive political and celebrity images get some sales there. Uploading is lightning fast and your images do not have to be reviewed -My first image (Boris Yeltsin) was online and on sale within a few minutes. My referral link is on the left of the screen should you wish to check them out.

Meanwhile, Shutterstock picking up nicely this month with 39 dowloads to date, with my BDE this week when I had 14. Thirteen of those were Seventies pop stars Thin Lizzy/Motors/Flamin' Groovies/Radio Stars and the other one was from last years Hastings Half Marathon (so probaly different buyers then!).

Finally, delighted to hear from this week. I cannot go into details here but what I was told left me in no doubt they are coming back online and are currently working full out to make it happen. Regards, David

Wednesday, 6 January 2010

December Update:

A not unexpected slow down in sales during December due to the Christmas and New Year holiday period. From having sales virtually every day on Shutterstock, I had a whole run of zero days over the holiday. A total for the month of 41 downloads (netting $13.56). Still, sales are starting to pick up this week (with 6 in one day yesterday). Also a slowdown at Dreamtime for a couple of weeks. Total sales to date there have reached 38 (netting just over $25). I uploaded heavily to DT last month, bringing my online portfolio to 619 -so I hope to see the benefits of that in the coming weeks.
A couple of sales on Istock and an amazing 5 on Bigstockphoto. I say amazing because prior to December my all time sales on BSP amounted to 1o downloads and $10 commission. It rapidly went to 15 and 15 in a few days. BSP always puzzle me -they want Editorial images, but then reject my archive images for being "grainy". That's why I only have 200 images on BSP, wheras parent company Shutterstock has approved nearly 700! What would be ideal would be some linking of the two libraries, so that BSP buyers could access SS images.

Nothing to report for Yaymicro and Veer marketplace for December, so no change there then!

Returning to Istock, the November sales figures for their "Partner Program" with
came out in December (they had previously intended to merge November and December results). Sadly, nothing for me there but it is still early days. Next results due any day now.

Meanwhile the saga rolls on. Still not back online after some three months. They have updated the message on their site (today) saying that they hope to be back very soon. At the same time a new UK micro site is set to launch in February. Other than that they are based in Sheffield nobody seems to know anything about them (I have wondered if this is some sort of Picturenation breakaway). They are a subscription site and will pay photographers 15pence (about 24cents) per download. That sort of payment is one thing from a well established site like Shutterstock, but certainly isn't appealing from a new start up with no customer base. Still, it will be interesting to see how they do (whoever they are). Regards, David.