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, 16 November 2013

First sale at Picfair:

Having only signed up to new British photo agency Picfair just last week, I was delighted to get my very first sale there this week. First sales at a new agency are always exciting as, until then, you have no idea if you are going to get any interest in your images. Certainly there are views (and Picfair marks images clearly with the number of views they have had) but you have no way of knowing if these are serious buyers or just people having a look at your image -often, I am sure,  fellow contributors checking you out.

Anyway, week two of uploading and this image of RAF aerobatic team The Red Arrows performing at the Airbourne airshow in Eastbourne became my first sale. Picfair send you an automated email to let you know when you get a sale, which is always nice to find in your inbox. Better still, Picfair do not have a high payout limit that you have to reach before you can get your money and there is a "cash out" button on your profile page. I'm going to wait until, hopefully, I have a few more sales to claim.

Meanwhile I have been busy uploading and now have approaching 300 images online there. Looking forward to reporting my next sales! Regards, David.

Monday, 4 November 2013

Signed up to

Today I signed up to a new picture agency - the recently launched  British company I've been following their progress over the last few weeks and the time now seemed right to take the plunge.
Founded and run by British journalist Benji Lanyado (who writes for The Guardian newspaper amongst others) the agency specialises in licensing images for both Editorial and a variety of commercial uses. (Edited -please see the comment below from Benji on the licensing).
The exciting thing about PicFair is that you get to set your own prices and receive 100% of that amount if they are sold. PicFair make their money by adding a modest percentage on top of your price (as well as a transaction charge to the client for each sale). It's not unlike FineArtAmerica where you also set your price and receive all of it.

Images are licensed for single use each time (unlike the Royalty Free Microstock model where clients pay once only and can keep using your image without further payment). There is only one size available (i.e. the maximum) so that needs to be kept in mind when setting your prices and there are no Extended License options available either. I have initially set my prices at the £10 per license level. All prices are set individually on upload so you can vary the price of your images and also change your pricing at any time in the future. If there is a way of bulk editing your prices across your portfolio I haven't found it yet (but it is only my first day there!).

One thing that takes some getting used to is that you add your title/description/keyword info before uploading the image - the complete reverse of what I am used to.
At present there is only the facility to upload one image at a time -something that will put some off I imagine. That said, images uploaded very quickly so with a bit of determination (and time) you can build up a decent size portfolio.

Downsides? Apart from the one at a time upload there is certainly an issue with the security watermark -it is barely visible and I hope this will be addressed going forward. There was also a strange quirk when after uploading you get a nice "thank you" message pop up and a reminder that you can share news of the upload with social media (the site seems well integrated with Facebook and Twitter). My problem at this stage was that there was no way of losing the message let alone sharing anything. The only way I found to move on was to hit the back button on my mouse to take me back to the upload page. This did throw up one unexpected benefit though -the info entered previously was still there, so where I wanted to upload several images of the same subject I just had to add the next image and click upload again. It may just be my browser though (IE9) causing this. I've sent them an email asking about this issue and will post further when I get a response.

So far I've just put up 11 images to get the feel of things but it is certainly an interesting proposition. It's also nice to be working with a British agency again following the demise of PictureNation. First day images included (of course) Margaret Thatcher and also Phil Lynott. You can see my little (so far) portfolio here PicFair . Feel free to comment by clicking on the comments link below this post. Regards, David.

ShootingStock revamp:

Regular readers of this blog will have noticed some changes in the last few days as I have revamped the site with a whole new template. So here we are then with ShootingStock version 3.0 (or to be truthful more like 3.1 as I have already made a few adjustments).
Anyone looking at my Greek island blog will quickly spot that I have used the same template as that one (albeit with some customisation and some different page elements). offer a whole range of templates and styles to choose from but I felt this one worked best for both. In fact, the revamp was actually a little premature as I was just trying to see what different templates might look like. I hadn't realised that clicking "apply to blog" would be an ireversible decision - I was expecting a "save" option later. Actually there may well be but I failed to find it while trying to get the blog back to its previous look until I was ready. At several points I ended up with a confused looking mess with all my regular links and info missing and a rather disgusting looking orange colour scheme.
Now really old regular readers will know that back in 2008 I launched this blog with just that colour. It was never a concious choice -that's just how the original template came (and I had no idea then that you could fully customise just about everything, or maybe you couldn't then?).
Back to the present day and a rather frantic period ensued while I tried to get everything looking how I wanted (well aware that the site was live while I was doing this).
Anyway, here it is in its third incarnation. I hope you like it and feel free to comment by clicking on the comments link below this post. Regards, David.

Saturday, 2 November 2013

October sales updates:

A less than sparkling month in October with no agent producing an exciting result.
As ever, Shutterstock came out a long way on top but was far from a BME with a number of zero selling days and few, higher paying, On Demand sales (and no Single or EL sales either). Which is all I am allowed to say about them.

Dreamstime were the runners up with 10 downloads ($16.66) with 35cent subscription sales dragging down the revenue.

Istock saw 11 downloads ($7.32) and a further 4 PP sales ($1.12). As I said last month, I am really missing those higher paying Photo+ sales there.

123rf produced just 8 downloads ($7.54). Their review process of (non editorial) files seems to have ground to a halt with one pending image awaiting review since August!

Bigstock saw a good month with 15 downloads, but as many of these were 38cent subs produced just $6.06 in revenue.

Fotolia managed just one sale (1 credit).

Mostphotos is worth a mention if only to note that it is over six months since my last sale there. Not surprising if the buyers experience of their new (ish) site is as bad as that for contributors. Buggy and slow, everything takes an eternity to load (put the kettle on) or things that you click on just never go anywhere. It's a shame because the site actually looks rather good when/if you actually get there.

Uploads in October included further images of my 2011 trip to the Greek island of Symi and a colourful pet dog belonging to a group of Morris dancers performing at the Jack In The Green festival in Hastings. The latter had an unexpected result when following an upload update on Twitter I found myself being Followed and receiving nice comments from several Morris dancing groups. The power of the internet in action!

Hopefully, maybe, November might bring an uplift in sales. Regards, David.