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, 26 February 2011

Signed up to two new sites:

I recently signed up to two further sites and I'd been looking at Cutcaster for some time but the recent launch of a new revamped site tipped the balance.
They take Editorial images and one contributor I know of has done well with some of his archive images so they seemed a natural fit for my celebrity archives. Uploading and editing have proved easy and so far I have a good acceptance rate. The really appealing thing about Cutcaster is that you can set your own prices. You decided the price for a medium resolution file and they automatically fill the rates for all the other sizes. I've gone for $5 for now to see how that goes. It may be that this turns out to be too high and that potential buyers seek out cheaper options on my other sites. I well remember my experience at (now closed) Snapvillage where I naively set everything at $25 to start with and just ended up with $.30 subscription sales. I'll see how it goes. Commission (for non exclusive material) is a pleasing 40% (50% for exclusive). My referral link is on the left for anyone interested in signing up.

Canstockphoto isn't a site that I had really considered much but there have been a lot of positive postings about them on so I thought I would give them a try. They don't take Editorial (yet!) though I did see requests for this on their contributors forum so it could happen in the future. A key selling point is their fast review times (you can see the current approximate review time when you upload -which is often just an hour or so). I was a bit surprised to find I had to pass a test to be approved as a new contributor. Not something you normally find outside of the major sites. Anyway, I got approval within a couple of hours or so after uploading my sample images. I haven't uploaded much else there yet but will try and make some time to upload my portfolio in due course.

As ever, I'll update in the future how progress goes with these sites. Regards, David.

Friday, 18 February 2011

January Updates:

Slightly late -but here are my stats for January.

Shutterstock pulled in an impressive 69 downloads ($23.87) with 5 on demand downloads bolsting up the total revenue to reach another payout.
Dreamstime produced 13 downloads ($13.55) with a varied mix of commercial and editorial images.
Bigstock continued to show life with 3 downloads ($4.00) with $3 of that coming from one of my previously mentioned ("not newsworthy") snow pictures! BTW, I did query their complete rejection at Shutterstock and after a very helpful response I re-submitted, with half of them getting accepted.
Istock managed one regular sale ($0.51) and four partner programme sales ($1.00). I'm expecting my sales here to increase once I have Editorial images online.
Over in Norway, Yaymicro finally posted the third party sales for the 3rd quarter of 2010. At Euro 9.22 it was pretty much in line with previous quarters. Hopefully the 4th quarter sales will be quicker in coming and should take me over the Euro 30 payout level.

Once again 123RF showed promise with 9 downloads ($5.65). All editorial images. Editorial reviews there continue to be fast (usually within a couple of hours) but commercial reviews have become backlogged at the moment due to a large number of submissions (according to their post on

Another zero month at Picturenation, Veer and Mostphotos.
Picturenation is still just a pound or so off their £50 payout level so I am just willing someone to buy something soon. Veer is where I have my lowest acceptance rate so I cannot expect much from my 200 or so portfolio. My $74 "Dash For Cash" earnings are sitting there out of reach for now. Mostphotos have revised their pricing with lower rates for small and medium uses and the introduction of subscription packages -so there might be some action to come in the future. Regards, David.

Saturday, 12 February 2011

Istock Editorial Underway:

Istock finally opened the door to Editorial submissions on February 2nd. I got my first ten in right away to see how it went. It didn't take long (about three days) to have the lot rejected. Somehow, I had missed that you have to put the caption in an exact format (as with Shutterstock, 123RF etc). On the plus side all the images were invited for re-submission (with no technical problems mentioned) so I have high hopes that they will, eventually, be accepted. So far I have just re-submitted two images to make sure I'm getting it right and am currently waiting on the review of those.
Checking the forums, it seems I am not alone in getting caption rejections and there does seem to be a degree of confusion on everyones part as to what precisely is required. There especially seems to be an issue about how to punctuate the date. The caption examples on the Istock forum give this: December 25, 2010. That seems right to me (and follows how other sites lay it out). However the rejection notes say it should be: December, 25 2010 (I'm sure that is wrong). For my re-subs I went with the first version, but you can see why I'm waiting for them to be reviewed before re-submitting more. Frustrating because I am losing upload slots whilst waiting.

Istock say that the Editorial images will be going live very soon - it would be nice to actually have some on there by then. I'll update on this later. Regards, David.