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, 30 May 2013

First sale on FineArtAmerica:

Delighted to report my first ever sale on FineArtAmerica today. A buyer in the USA purchased a print of my 1978 photo of Phil Lynott, lead singer of Irish rock group Thin Lizzy.
This earned me a very worthwhile commission of $25 plus an additional $0.35 as commission on the materials/printing etc (you get the latter when signed up to the paid account).
This means that with just one sale I have nearly recouped my annual fee of $30. Had the buyer ordered a bigger print size I would have covered that and more.
I now have approaching 300 images at FAA and have hopes of getting more sales as my portfolio there builds.
It is certainly satisfying to think that somebody liked my image enough to want to buy a print of it. My (referral) link to FAA is on the left for anyone wanting to check out my portfolio or sign up themselves. Regards, David.

Saturday, 18 May 2013

Picturenation to close:

A very sad day for me yesterday with the news that Picturenation is to close their site on August 17, 2013.
There is a message on their home page (and also on Facebook and Twitter) giving the news and more details.
It seems that a new site was paid for in 2011 but never completed or delivered to them and the costs and effort of trying to keep the current (circa 5 year old) site functioning were too much. Regular contributors will know that the upload hasn't been working properly over the last few weeks - just another problem to resolve.
Just what happened to the new site isn't revealed.

Importantly, the notice states that all outstanding commission will be paid to contributors (regardless of the amount). Contributors should send in their user name with a request for payment. Thereafter, their account will be closed. Buyers can still use outstanding credits up to the shut down date, although PN warns there may be technical difficulties with some images but that they will use every effort to get the image to the buyer.

I joined Picturenation back in October 2007, back when my only other agency was the (badly named and since closed) Snap Village. I soon realised that they were accepting editorial images which paved the way for me to digitise and upload my archive political images. This formed the basis for my Microstock future as I later found the other sites I could upload these to as well.
Over the last six years sales have never been as frequent as I would have liked but the higher (than microstock) commissions helped balance that. My total PN earning are way higher than some of the micro sites I contribute to.

Above all, this has always been a site that I liked and trusted. PictureNation founder Jane-Luise Green has always sent me ultra fast personal responses to any problems or queries I had and we have had many enjoyable email discussions about the stock business over the years.

For any PictureNation contributors reading this, especially if this is the only site you contribute to, do take a look at the forum where you can find a wealth of information and views on alternative sites to sell through.

With all best wishes for the future to Jane, her team, and all PictureNation contributors.
Regards, David.

Wednesday, 8 May 2013

April sales update:

Anyone familiar with this blog or my portfolio will realise that April was never going to be a normal month for me following the death of Margaret Thatcher, former Prime Minister of Britain. My archive B/W images of her from 1991 were in great demand after the announcement with Shutterstock alone having 72 downloads on the day and many more since.

Starting with Shutterstock then I had a BME with a stunning 278 downloads ($122.79). I'm pleased to say that these weren't all Margaret Thatcher images, with a whole variety of subjects being downloaded. As Summer approaches my other good selling subject, the Tentertainment music festival, saw an uplift in sales.

Dreamstime also produced a superb BME with 26 downloads ($63.22). Much of this income was generated  by the levels system there, with repeat credit sales of Margaret Thatcher producing over $6 in commission each time.

Istockphoto rebounded from its recent slump to produce 12 downloads ($21.01) with a further $1.12 in PP sales. No Thatcher images there yet - though they do now accept "celebrity" images they do require accreditation details (or the images to have been taken in a public place). I'm trying to think of a way round that as, obviously, I don't have accreditation details from 22 years ago.

Yaymicro had a good month with 6 downloads (8.25 euros). Surprisingly, no Thatcher images sold but, on the day, three sales of politicians of the same era -so I presume they were related.

123rf produced 24 downloads ($8.03). I have had a re-think with them. After months of not uploading I was still seeing regular monthly sales and decided that, really, I was just leaving money on the table by not uploading there. The debate, as ever, is do buyers shop around looking for the cheapest sites and are my sales at higher priced sites harmed by having images at 123rf? For now, my personal conclusion is that this isn't the case. Sites have their own sets of buyers that, by and large, stick with that site. Microstock prices are low enough to make shopping around a waste of time (therefore money) for most buyers. Just my view. It took a couple of days of intensive uploading to catch up with the backlog but I'm pleased to say a 100% acceptance on editorials and a surprisingly high acceptance on commercial images as well.

Bigstock did well with 11 downloads ($7.64). The much criticised new subscription plans didn't have much effect with most of my downloads being regular credit sales.

Fotolia saw just 2 downloads (1.65credits).

Mostphotos saw a sub sale of Thatcher (0.28 euros).

Picturenation proved disappointing as despite a number of my Thatcher related images on their home page they got just one web size download (£0.40).

Overall then, an excellent month which demonstrated just how much events can dictate the success of editorial images. Regards, David.