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, 24 April 2013

Paid account at FineArtAmerica:

As I said on my previous posting about FineArtAmerica I was always pretty sure that I would upgrade to the  paid version. The basic free account allows unlimited uploads but you can only have a maximum of 25 images for sale as prints and posters at any one time.
I finally upgraded a while back and paid the $30 annual fee. In the UK this converted to around £18 so did not represent a huge investment.
The main advantage of the paid account is that there is no limit to the number of images you can offer for sale. They also give you your own artist website to help market your images. If I'm honest I am not sure how useful that is compared to just having your images on the FAA site itself. I assume it may help generate more traffic having the images in two places. There is some scope for customising your artist website and the facility to post blog messages and news items. Thankfully, you only have to upload once to either site and the images automatically get mirrored on the other.
Other perks of the paid version include a $5 referral commission should anyone use your link to sign up for a paid account. Here is my referral link for anyone interested:
You also receive 5% commission on materials and accessories (frames etc) should you sell an image.
So, how it all going? I'm now up to 253 images online and over 5000 views (though these include an unknown number of automated visits from search engines) but, as yet, no sales.
That said, I wouldn't expect many sales on that number of images on regular stock sites, so I will just keep uploading and be patient.
One feature I didn't discover at first is the Limited Time Promotions. This is accessed from your control panel and allows you to have up to three images at a time on a special discounted promotion. You set the duration of the offer (up to a limit) and how many copies are available at that price (up to 25). Most importantly, you still choose how much money you make from each sale (whatever you like). These promotions are available on both the free and paid for version, so are well worth trying.
As I said before, I have no idea what images might be purchased so I am just uploading a whole variety from archive celebrities through to Greek islands ones such as the chapel of Agios Kosmas on Alonissos (pictured). I am looking forward to posting about my first sale there, hopefully fairly soon. Regards, David.

The Boyfriends make Editors Choice at Dreamstime:

Pleased to report that one of my archive Seventies images is currently an Editors Choice at Dreamstime and is featured on their home page. This is my third ever Editors Choice there and, interestingly, all were archive images of bands.
This time my recent upload of British power pop band The Boyfriends was chosen. Formed circa 1977 by former Vibrators guitarist Patrick Collier the band were signed to United Artists Records. I had the pleasure of seeing them play live a number of times and these band pictures were taken before a London gig on August 20, 1978.
For anyone not familiar with the term Power Pop this (in the UK at least) was what followed Punk. Whereas punk was more raucous and often featured acts with limited singing and musical ability, Power Pop saw a move to a more melodic and tuneful style -whilst still maintaining a fast paced guitar based style.
The welcome exposure seems to have worked as the image has been downloaded since being featured. As ever, I have no way of knowing if the buyer was looking for this specific band or just wanted a generic Seventies pop band image.
Either way I'm delighted to have the image highlighted in this way. Regards, David.

Wednesday, 3 April 2013

March sales updates:

An excellent month overall in March, with the usual suspects doing well and some surprise sales elsewhere.
Way out in front was Shutterstock producing a BME (without any Enhanced Downloads) of 143 downloads      totalling $100.27 in income. Two big factors here: I had a single download of an archive photo of former Prime Minister Edward Heath paying $13.19 and, virtually every day, multiple On Demand downloads which totalled some $46.44 of my overall sales. Especially pleasing was the wide variety of images downloaded -both editorial and commercial. If there was any sort of theme, certainly the Greek islands of Meganissi and Halki sold especially well.
Dreamstime also had a good month of 19 downloads ($31.92) with their levels system working well with three of those downloads paying over $6 each in commission.
Picturenation bounced up the league in March with two medium resolution sales paying £4.00 (GBP) each in commission. Both sales were 1990s b/w images of British politician Eric Ollerenshaw (now Member of Parliament for Lancaster and Fleetwood).
Istockphoto had another dissapointing month with just 7 downloads ($5.59) plus a further $1.12 from 4 PP sales. Not sure where all their increasing editorial sales vanished to.
123rf produced 12 downloads ($5.26).
Bigstock managed 8 downloads ($3.52) with four of those being $0.38 sub sales.
Fotolia saw four downloads producing 1.70 in credits.
Mostphotos produced one sale of Margaret Thatcher - a sub sale paying Euro 0.22. Of significance here is that was my first ever celebrity image sale on Mostphotos.
Finally, Cutcaster produced my fourth ever sale - a large archive image of  British Airways chief Sir Colin Marshall making $1.84 in commission.
Uploading in March saw my returning to my 2008 images of Croatia - complete with a re-edit on a number of images. It was really interesting, some five years on, to see the improved results I was getting from the images. Pictured are the Church of St.Mark at Makarska and boats in the harbour at Brela. We'll see what April can bring. Regards, David.