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.

Monday, 15 December 2014

November Sales Updates:

Caroline Flint, Shadow Secretary of State for Energy
Top of the field in November was, as ever, Shutterstock. No Single or Other Downloads this month but a good crop of On Demand sales pushed the earnings up.

Dreamstime did well coming in second place with 16 downloads, with several good credit sales in the mix.

At number three we had Istock with 8 regular credit sales and 20 sub and PP sales. My portfolio there is now just over 900 files (mainly editorial).

Bigstock came in fourth place with 11 downloads - mainly sub sales as usual.

St.Leonards-on-Sea Frost Fair parade
Bringing up the rear were 123rf with 13 downloads where my recent drop to Level 1 status showed in the poor amount of actual earnings. Hopefully, a few good sales or an EL or two will push my level back up again. They will stay on my upload list because they are still an agency which get me sales every month.

Surprisingly, not a single download from Fotolia in November.

Shooting and uploading saw a couple of good events in November. Earlier in the month I was invited to a Labour party policy launch in Hastings where Caroline Flint (Shadow Secretary of State Energy and Climate Change) was the main speaker. As well as being an interesting event, this also yielded images of Shadow Energy Minister Jonathan Reynolds and our Labour Parliamentary candidate for Hastings - Sarah Owen. As we approach the next General Election in May 2015, these are all good images to have in my portfolio.I even took the opportunity to get some exteriors of the venue -the impressive modern building of Sussex Coast College.

Arkoudaki beach, Paxos island, Greece

At the end of the month there was a new event here in St.Leonards-on-Sea with a "Frost Fair" to promote local trade in the approach to Christmas. A colourful parade through the streets was followed by horse and carriage rides -both of which yielded stock images (literally on my doorstep).

Meanwhile, I also continued editing and uploading images from my June trip to Paxos -this time featuring Arkoudaki beach near Lakka. You can read more about a walk to Arkoudaki on my Greek island blog. Regards, David.

Wednesday, 19 November 2014

October Sales Updates:

Douglas C47-A Dakota
A great month in October on my number one agency, Shutterstock, helped along by my new higher earning level as well as a $28 enhanced download for one of my Margaret Thatcher images. Good On Demand sales and a modest Single Download also added to the mix.

FineArtAmerica came second this month with the sale of a framed print of Pedi bay on the Greek island of Symi (pictured). Just as a reminder, if you have the paid premium account (currently $30 per annum) you also receive a percentage commission on the printing materials and frame etc in addition to the fee you have set. You are also allowed unlimited uploads as opposed to the 25 image limit with the free account.

Pedi bay, Symi island
Istock were third this month with an improving 12 credit downloads and 15 sub and PP sales. The new pricing structure there is certainly helping with most of my credit sales being around $1.40 -certainly better than the below a dollar commissions I often used to see for smaller size uses.

Dreamstime made fourth place with 8 downloads. As mentioned last month there was a long gap in sales which ran right through to October 17 giving DT little time to pick up before month end.

Bigstock came in at number five with a healthy 15 downloads but as they were nearly all subs this pushed the earnings down. Bigstock do not seem to be a site where I get large individual sales -let alone an Enhanced Download. Nethertheless, as part of the Bridge to Bigstock programme, they require no effort on my part and sales are regular there.

New Esperance Morris, Hastings
Finally, in at sixth place were Fotolia with 4 downloads. I am actually quite pleased with that result as my portfolio there is still very small (circa 100 images). As they do not take Editorial images I only make infrequent uploads to them when I have something suitable.

October saw new uploads including an airshow image of a WW2 Dakota, which I decided to give a period feel to by converting to B/W. I also carried on working through my images from this years Jack In The Green festival at Hastings including a couple of the New Esperance Morris dancers. Regards, David.

Wednesday, 5 November 2014

Airshow Photography -Look to the Skies:

Breitling Wingwalkers
Now that the Autumn has arrived here in the UK it marks the end of the airshow season. Don't get me wrong, I am not a plane spotter but I do enjoy visiting and photographing airshows. Probaly my childhood spent growing up under the flight path of London Gatwick Airport sparked my interest. It was always facinating to see the airliners making their approach and, though I hate to admit it, many of them still had propellers back then!

These days most UK airshows tend to have a good mix of classic WW2 bombers and fighters through to the latest RAF jets as well as aerobatic acts such as the Breitling Wingwalkers team in their distinctive vintage Boeing biplanes.

Mustang P51D -Ferocious Frankie
To photograph at airshows you are going to need a longish lens. 300mm will usually be plenty for close up shots of single aircraft but you'll get away with less for formation groups such as the Red Arrows. You will also need a fast shutter speed to freeze the action -I generally aim for 1/1000sec. This does mean, that in the UK at least, you are probaly going to have to crank up the ISO way beyond what we as stock photographers usually aim for. But there it is, if you want to get usuable images of fast moving aircraft. Reviewers will generally understand that these images are not being taken in studio conditions!

I always use the panning technique -framing up the aircraft as they approach and then giving a burst of shots as they get closest to my position. 

Canberra bomber and Hawker Hunter fighter
One other problem you are going to have is overcast weather. Trying to get good images of a dark camouflaged aircraft against dark clouds is near impossible. Take the pictures anyway and see what you get but really the best you can do is hope for blue skies and some sunshine. Also check the weather before travelling any distance to an airshow as flying can often be restricted or cancelled altogether in adverse conditions. Low cloud is the worst offender here -it is obviously just not safe for aircraft to display when there is poor visibility.

Even if you are not a big aircraft fan, airshow images can make an interesting addition to your portfolio so when the Winter has passed why not check out the internet to see if their is a show near you. Regards, David.

(All images taken with Nikon D80 camera/Tamron 70-300 zoom lens)

Saturday, 1 November 2014

September Sales Updates:

The Red Arrows, Eastbourne
A very late posting for my September sales updates. I have been busy editing and uploading during October with over fourty new images added to many of my portfolios. I am also making a change to my sales updates by no longer including actual royalties earned. Ever since Shutterstock changed their Terms Of Service making it no longer allowed to give out actual sales figures publicly my reports have felt skewed -with no figures for what is my best selling agency (by far).
So to sum up a rather poor September overall here's how the agencies ranked:

Shutterstock -by a huge amount the leader and, most excitingly, I crossed the threshold to take 
Lakka harbour, Paxos
me into the 36cents per download level. That might not sound a lot but on the volume SS achieves this soon adds up. Better still, On Demand sales rise from $2.48 to $2.70 (or $1.07 to $1.17 ).Those are figures I can give out because they published in the rate schedule on the site.

Dreamstime were runners up this month with 11 downloads. Things did seem to be going well until the 25th when sales stopped dead (right through to October 17). Not sure what happened there but it proved to be my longest ever break in sales at DT.

Third were Istock with just 4 regular downloads and 19 PP/Sub downloads. The recent restructuring probaly had a bearing here and I'm pleased to report that sales seem to be improving now.

Anes Lines ferry Proteus docking at Alonissos
123RF were in in 4th place with 11 downloads.

Down among my lower earners Bigstock saw 8 downloads, just 1 at Fotolia and, surprise, my second download of 2014 at Yay (a partner sale). None of my other sites produced any sales in September.

Uploading in September saw further images of the Red Arrows from the 2014 Eastbourne airshow, more from my June trip to Paxos and backtracking to 2013 for a set of the Proteus ferry docking at Alonissos. Seeing Proteus turn up in the Sporades was rather a surprise as it is operated by ANES lines from Symi (Dodecanese) and was the actual ship I travelled on from Rhodes to Symi back in 2011. It was like meeting an old friend -far from home. Regards, David.

Wednesday, 10 September 2014

August Sales Updates:

The Red Arrows at Airbourne
August - hopefully the last month of a slow Summer period - proved unexciting to say the least.
Inevitably, Shutterstock was by far the leader with a good number of On Demand sales and a sprinkling of Single Sales pushing the total up.

Istock were runners up with 9 downloads ($7.23) bolstered by 15 PP sales ($4.20) and 8 subs ($2.24). Follow all that? With their strange multi-stage way of reporting sales it's not always easy. Why they cannot just report all sales in real time like other sites do is beyond me (and beyond them it seems). However, the big Istock news is their forthcoming restructuring of their multiple collections into just two -Essentials and Signature. This should all happen circa September 13, when they will also start to charge the same price for any size of download. This is bad news for some but good for others like me. The smaller size downloads that I often sell will now pay out a higher royalty rate and I expect my Istock income to increase overall. Subscription royalties remain unchanged.

Fire damaged Eastbourne Pier
Dreamstime saw some slow periods but finally clocked up 8 downloads ($12.76). Interestingly, while digging around in my stats there I discovered I had received two $5 bonuses when I had two images of this years Jack In The Green festival put in the In The News section. The problem is that I have no idea if I ever got that $10 -I sort of imagine I would have noticed that at the time but really cannot remember seeing my balance jump that amount. I may have to query that in due course.

123rf trickled on with 7 downloads ($6.44). The low Subs rate here really does pull down the figures.

Bigstock saw 15 downloads ($5.94) -again virtually all Subs sales.

Finally from the sellers I had my third sale at FineArtAmerica with $1.50 for a greetings card sale of Margaret Thatcher.

Jack In The Green festival, Hastings
All the other sites were dead in August with not even a Fotolia sale.

Shooting in August centred on the annual Airbourne airshow at Eastbourne where it was great to see the display by two Lancaster bombers. Our own BBMF one and the visiting one from the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum which has come over for the Summer airshow season. Recent uploads included the Red Arrows (from Airbourne), Jack In The Green festival and further images of the fire damage at Eastbourne pier. I'm hoping for an upturn in sales as we come out of the slow period although September so far hasn't proved exceptional. Regards, David.

Monday, 18 August 2014

July Sales Updates:

Gaios harbour, Paxos
A rather late update of sales in July -which as regular readers will know usually indicates that the month didn't prove very exciting for sales. The so called Summer Slowdown certainly seemed to be in full swing in July. That is, if a Slowdown can be doing anything as lively as a full swing (full snooze maybe?).

Shutterstock proved the exception with a good number of downloads and good revenue buoyed up by a number of On Demand downloads and two Single Downloads. I am also, finally, getting seriously close to the next sales level -when my basic subscription download rate is increased.

Dreamstime saw some long gaps between sales and eventually amounted to 10 downloads ($12.37).

Dende Nation samba drummers, St.Leonards-on-Sea
Istock proved lively in July with 10 credit downloads ($10.40) but then added 18 PP sales ($5.04) and 8 sub sales ($2.24). My portfolio there is now circa 850 and I am starting to see the results of Editorial images now being available on Thinkstock (PP) and the new subs packages at Istock itself.

Bigstock managed 7 downloads ($4.28). Pretty much all subscription sales.

123rf saw 8 downloads ($4.78). Again, mainly sub sales, which at Level 2 only pay at $0.25.

Fotolia produced 3 downloads (1.85 credits).

Ilida II hydrofoil, Corfu
My uploading saw an increase in July, however. I do not hold the belief that because sales are slow you should hold off uploads. Some contributors feel that the new images just get buried in quite periods (and Weekends) and never connect with buyers. Because of the mainly Editorial nature of my images I am confident they will get picked up in keyword searches in the future regardless of when I uploaded them. As well as the Eastbourne Pier fire images previously posted I also uploaded images from the 2014 St.Leonards Festival (a local community music and entertainment event)
. Samba drummers Dende Nation took part in a seafront parade during the event. Also uploaded were more images of my June trip to Paxos island including the harbour at Gaios and the Ilida II hydrofoil on which I had just returned to Corfu. Hopefully, August should prove the last of the quiter months before an upturn in September. Regards, David.

Saturday, 9 August 2014

Eastbourne pier -Another fire disaster:

Damaged section of Eastbourne pier
Back in October 2010 I posted here about the tragic fire that destroyed much of the historic Victorian pier here in Hastings.
History has recently repeated itself with fire destroying a portion of the pier at Eastbourne -some 17 miles along the East Sussex coastline.
Pier entrance -showing damage beyond
Breaking out around 3.00pm on Wednesday July 30, the fire was initially reported as being a small in nature but soon developed into a major incident with fire crews from around East Sussex attending aided by the RNLI lifeboats from Eastbourne. The band of smoke stretched along the coast to Hastings and beyond.

Thankfully, nobody was hurt in the incident and after some hours the fire was brought under control -leaving the rest of the pier intact. I took these images the next day which clearly show the extent of the damage.

Damaged section -with the saved section beyond
Opened in 1870, Eastbourne pier was one of fourteen seaside piers designed by Victorian architect Eugenius Birch -including Hastings Pier and the West Pier in Brighton (also a victim of fire some years ago).

The good news is that Eastbourne hope to have their pier rebuilt and re-opened sometime in 2015 whilst in Hastings work has been underway since last year with a planned re-opening in Spring/Summer 2015.
There is something especially British about these old seaside piers which generates much love and affection for them. Indeed, like Hastings before it, the fire at Eastbourne received National newspaper and television coverage here in the UK.
These images are currently available from all my main (editorial) photo agents. Regards, David.

Wednesday, 16 July 2014

June Sales Updates:

The Red Arrows
A steady month in June reflecting the usual Summer slowdown. As previously posted, I was on the Greek island of Paxos for two weeks and, therefore, new uploading was very limited during the month.

Obviously, Shutterstock came way out on top with a slight drop in download numbers over May but a good number of On Demand sales increasing the total revenue. Just one small Single download this month.

Istock produced 6 regular downloads ($5.72) but then boosted that with a pleasing $5.32 from 19 PP sales (one of my best results ever on the PP -probaly as a result of editorial images now being available) and finally the first of the new subsciption sales netting $0.84 from 3 downloads.

Coco and The Butterfields
Dreamstime saw 15 downloads ($11.82) with a continuing mix of Greek island images and old archive favourites such as Margaret Thatcher.

123rf ticked on with 12 downloads ($6.88). There seems very little variation in sales on 123 each month and at my Level 2 status income remains dissapointingly low -receiving just $0.25 for subscription sales. The days of 50% commission seem a long time ago now.

Fotolia produced just 2 downloads (0.82 credits). Whether or not being opted out of their DPC operation made a difference I don't know. I still only have a very small port there in any case.

Finally, another sale at Mostphotos! OK it was just a subscription sale paying 0.23 Euros but, all the same, still showing some signs of life. The image in question was British band Coco and The Butterfields performing at the annual Tentertainment music festival (pictured).

Al fresco dining, Skiathos
Nothing again from Yaymicro in June making my 0.75Euro sale in February my only sale for 2014 (with over 2k images online there). Not even their many Partner sites seem to be producing any sales -though to be fair most of my port is editorial (which, sadly, they do not send to the Partners). It's a real shame to see how sales have declined there. It was never a top seller but I used to see regular payouts. A check on my uploads for the last year or so just shows zero views on virtually everything to the extent I wondered if the view counter was broken. As an experiment I Tweeted a couple of images and the views count shot up to double fiures on those -so it does work. Shortly after every image suddenly had one view each - I assume Tweeting attracted the attention of a search engine somewhere. Might be worth trying with your own images. Even their Twitter page seems to have vanished -I just got a Page Does Not Exist message. (Edit: The Twitter link on their site doesn't work. However, you can find their account at ). I really hope they can turn this around.

Recent uploads included a lucky shot of a Gull swallowing a rat in the harbour at Skiathos. I was rather pleased with this image but Shutterstock obviously weren't -Poor Composition/Lighting etc. Luckily it got accepted virtually everywhere else. I also uploaded a couple of new images of The Red Arrows from the 2013 Eastbourne Airshow (Airbourne). Recent news reports that the team might be scrapped as a part of defence spending cuts (though, thankfully, denied) might help get some sales. Regards, David.

Thursday, 3 July 2014

Making use of Dreamstime blogs:

Selling stock images isn't just about taking and uploading photographs - marketing yourself and your images is the other important part of the story. Social media such as Twitter and Facebook are free and can be effective in promoting your work. Writing blogs, such as this one, also help to get your name out there.

Posts on the site forums (those that have still them) and, of course, the industry leading forum Microstockgroup are another way of getting yourself known - though keep in mind that in these you will be mainly be seen by fellow contributors rather than image buyers (though sometimes they can be both, of course).

Dreamstime offer another useful feature in their Blogs section. Just write about something that interests you and add images to the piece from the Dreamstime library -either your own images or other contributors where appropriate. This is free and all images get properly credited -with a link through to the sales page for that image. Buyers as well as other contributors can see these blogs making it a good marketing tool. I must admit I used to use this feature a lot more but hadn't thought to do so for some time now.
So having just returned from a Greek island what better to blog about than "The Beautiful Small Islands Of Greece" with a selection of six of my various island images. Link here:

Whether or not this results in immediate sales of my images it helps to establish my portfolio as somewhere to seek images of Greek islands (which make up quite a large and growing portion of my work).
And, as I said before, it's free marketing. So if you have a Dreamstime account and haven't made use of the blogs before do give it a try. And if, like me, you haven't used them for a while get on there and get marketing! I'm already planning my next one.
Regards, David.

Saturday, 28 June 2014

May sales update:

Reversing the usual order here I'll start with some agencies I don't see see that many downloads with but all three produced some action in May.

Fineartamerica, saw my second ever sale -a framed print of former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher netting $30.00 and a further $3.22 commission on the print materials. That's my second years paid membership covered in one sale.

Cutcaster sold a recently uploaded image of the Eiffel Tower ($0.46). Just wish this agency could produce more sales.

Over in Sweden, Mostphotos saw three downloads (12.84 euros). Two small value subscription sales and, more interestingly, my first full price single sale for 12.50euros. Yet again, another Margaret Thatcher image. It's starting to look like there may be a bit of a pick up in sales here.

Bigstock continued to get regular sales with 14 downloads ($6.18). A good number of subscription sales with a sprinkling of regular credit sales.

Fotolia only managed two subscription sales netting 0.50 in credits. As previously posted, my images are now opted out of the Dollar Photo Club there so some drop in sales might be expected. A price I am prepared to pay to be out of DPC.

123rf saw 9 downloads ($6.22). Pretty much all subscription sales at $0.25 each.

Istock produced 10 downloads ($7.75) but with a further $3.92 from PP (Thinkstock) sub sales. None of the new Istock subscription sales for me in May -though I have since had my first ones credited during June. For anyone new to Istock -the PP (Partner Program) and Istock subs are paid out the following month en masse (which is when I include them in my sales report). Thus subs sales that occurred in May will be in my June sales report.

Dreamstime had a good month with 14 downloads ($28.47). A lot of Greek island (especially Halki) images sold and the highlight being an I-EL for $13.35). This was for my Italian street party image featured in my last post. I-EL? I had to look it up -the I stands for "Increased" (basically a bigger print run than is allowed with the standard license).

Needless to say, the big one as always was Shutterstock with numerous downloads and a good crop of higher paying On Demand sales as well as one pleasing Single sale.  If only I had a whole bunch of agencies with the mass selling power of Shutterstock!

New uploads in May included, finally, my images of the derelict Lazy Days boat on Symi island. You can read more about this lovely old boat on my Greek island blog ( ). I also edited and uploaded more images from my Paris trip including the iconic Sacre Coeur cathedral and the Pont Neuf (the oldest bridge in Paris). I'll be posting my June updates soon - a month in which uploads (and blog posts!) came to a halt while I enjoyed a wonderful two weeks on the little Greek island of Paxos. Regards, David.

Thursday, 5 June 2014

Great Move At Dreamstime -Older Images Saved:

Boris Yeltsin, April 1990
As I briefly mentioned in my last sales update, there was excellent news from Dreamstime in May when they announced a change in policy regarding older (over four years) unsold images.
Previously contributors would have got an email offering two choices for the future of such images. Either donate to the free images section at Dreamstime or permanently disable (delete) the files. Donating to the free section could, in some cases, make sense for exclusive contributors as a way of driving traffic to their paid images. But for non exclusives such as myself, with the same images still for sale elsewhere, deletion was the only option.
This was especially relevant to me as I joined Dreamstime in 2009 and recently, four and a half years later, had started to receive a series of emails passing a death sentence on a substantial number of images.

Italian street party, July 1990
After the third email I really felt I had to try and do something to avert this and opened a new thread in the Dreamstime forum stating my case for keeping the images online (Link here: ). I'm not so arrogant as to think my post was wholly responsible for the subsequent change of policy but I hope it helped to move along something they were already looking at. The clearing out of older images was, anyway, looking at odds with the massive increase in upload limits of late (I can currently upload some 3000 or more images per week based on my circa 73% acceptance rate!). Storage space and bandwidth (for them) clearly isn't an issue.

Anyway, they subsequently announced the change (it's described as a test at this stage but I do not expect them to reverse this). Now your commercial images will still get the email -but offering the options of donate or keeping online for sale. Editorial images will not get the email and remain for sale on an ongoing basis. For anyone who might be concerned at the possibility of their images ending up in the free section -you can set your default choice in your account settings at any time. You can still change your mind on an image by image basis when the email arrives.

Poll Tax Riots, March 1990
You can read my full argument for keeping these older images online (especially the editorial ones) in the Dreamstime thread but in essence I suggested these form a part of history as buildings/fashion/signage etc change and, if anything, become more of interest the older they get. Some of my images are around fourty years old and it seemed a shame to give them just a four year life on the internet. I have images online over four years old that that subsequently sold proving that you just never know when a buyer might have need of that image. Once deleted, that sales possibility is gone forever. So from one relieved editorial photographer - Great Move Dreamstime! Regards, David.
(Note: I am using some older editorial images to illustrate this post -but these do all have sales, so wouldn't have been up for deletion).

Wednesday, 21 May 2014

Dollar Photo Club - Why I opted out and how to do it:

Never heard of the Dollar Photo Club? Well, if you are a contributor at Fotolia and you haven't opted out then your images are part of it.
Started a few months back Dollar Photo Club initially looked like it was a partner site of Fotolia using their API to offer images on a new platform. What became clear quite quickly was that DPC is in fact wholy owned and run by Fotolia.
Though DPC says it it selling subscription packages they are, in fact, much more akin to an "on demand" package. Subscription packages (such as offered by Shutterstock and the other sites)  typically offer buyers a large number of downloads for an upfront substantial fee. These result in a smaller payment (per download) to photographers but make up for that in volume as buyers use up their allowance of downloads within the period of the subscription.
By contrast DPC offer a package of just $10 for 10 downloads (hence $1 per image) for which the photographer receives a subscription rate payment at Fotolia. Low payment and low volume. Worse, the DPC package doesn't expire at the end of a set period so there is no incentive for buyers to use up their allowance and drive sales to the photographers.
Other subscription sites do offer "on demand" packages where buyers only wanting a few images can just pay to download a few images each month. These result in substantially higher commission to the photographers (on Shutterstock I usually make over $2 each time on these, for example).
What DPC will do is to help to kill these valuable On Demand sales and, indeed, regular single credit sales as well. Ironically, credit sales on Fotolia themselves are likely to be hit as well.
Read up about the DPC on this long thread at
Originaly, all Fotolia files were available on DPC but after a lot of protest an opt out has now been added. You'll struggle to spot it but here is where to look:

Log in to your Contributor page.
Under My Account, select My Profile.
Then select Contributor Parameters.
You will now see a little badge saying "Sell my files on DPC".
Click on the Modify word next to it.
It should change to "Don't sell my files on DPC".
Now click on Save Parameters to complete the opt out.
(Warning: be careful not to click the modify button twice or it will revert to the opt in again).

I opted out as soon as the option became available as I believe DPC will be damaging to my sales both at Fotolia and other sites if buyers switch to this bargain basement option. After all, Microstock prices are hardly expensive compared to the traditional stock agencies -let's not help drive these already low rates even lower.

Some photographers have also been deleting files at Fotolia itself or closing their whole account in protest at DPC. For now, at least, I am happy to continue working with Fotolia itself but I am glad to be out of the industry damaging DPC. You must all, of course, make your own decisions. Regards, David.

***EDIT: Fotolia is now owned by Adobe. DPC is no more. No opt outs or boycotts required! 31/3/16

April sales updates:

As ever, Shutterstock stormed head in April -far outgunning all my other agents. And, as ever, I am not allowed to publish the detailed figures due to their Terms Of Service. That's always a shame as it would be good to demonstrate just how well this agency sells stock images. Still, if you haven't already,
sign up for yourself and find out!

Dreamstime produced 17 downloads ($8.29) but, sadly, a lot of subscription sales pulled down the earnings. The big news at Dreamstime was their change of policy towards older unsold images - I'll write a seperate post about that later.

Istock saw an improving 13 downloads ($10.83) and an excellent crop of 19 PP sales ($6.87) -an increase that I imagine is because my editorial images are now also for sale at Thinkstock. I am looking forward to further increases here combined with the new subscription offer at Istock itself. First results should be in at the end of May.

Bigstock continued its growth with 16 downloads ($7.32) with lots of the $0.38 subs sales. It's good to see the increasing number of sales here which do not seem to have harmed my sales at parent company Shutterstock. Obviously, should they drop the special $0.38 sub rate for Bridge to Bridgestock participants my opinion may well change as my sub rate will drop considerably.

123rf ticked over with 13 downloads ($6.07) -mainly $0.25 subs. Reviews of both editorial and commercial images continue to be prompt.

Over at Fotolia I had 5 downloads (2.40 credits). Fotolia continued to be on peoples minds because of the launch of their subsiduary agency Dollar Photo Club. Again, this will be the subject of a seperate post.

Recent uploads included the 24th Hastings Mini Run (held in conjunction with the Hastings Half Marathon race). I also covered the two big May Day events in Hastings. The traditional Jack In The Green festival, where images included Flora the Singleton Giant. Pageant or Dancing Giants are a centuries old tradition in Britain and are reputed to protect their home towns from danger. Flora caused me some problems when I accidently renamed her Clara and had to spend time re-editing my captions!
The other big event was the annual May Day bikers rally which takes place on the seafront. This has been going for many years but just keeps growing in size. This year was certaily the busiest I've seen with an estimated 30,000 + motorcycles arriving in town and it is now said to be one of the biggest motorcycle events in Britain. I spent a lot more time photographing it this year -with a number of images already uploaded and accepted.  It certainly made a change of pace going from Morris dancers and Giants to all that horsepower on display. Regards, David.

Thursday, 24 April 2014

March sales updates:

A rather late March sales update -you can blame that on too much wine. No, not what you are probaly thinking. I have been completing a course on wine knowledge and needed to get it finished! If you want to know what wine to drink with spicy prawns I'm your man......**

March proved fairly average for sales with the usual exception of Shutterstock which had a very strong month. I only wish I was allowed to give out the actual figures.

Dreamstime ticked over with 11 downloads ($11.70) with a good number of subscription sales dragging down the earnings.

Istock proved dissapointing on the main site with just 6 downloads ($4.18) but pulled in a pleasing 20 PP sales ($7.15). The start of the new subscription sales at Istock has now begun. Of course, in time honoured fashion, they are not going to report these as they happen (as every other site manages to do) but will add them on en masse the following month (as they currently do with Partner Programme sales). I understood with the PP sales because they are happening on a different site, but these are directly on Istock itself so I have no idea why they can't log them as they occur. As I said before, I am quite optimistic that subs sales are going to add not detract to my income here. In another good move Editorial images are now also being sent to Thinkstock -greatly increasing my portfolio there. Again I am expecting a jump in sales because of this.

Bigstock saw a positive 17 sales ($8.09) quite possibly a BME there (It's not such a large amount that I'm going to spend time checking that!) with many of the new subs sales making up the total. Bigstock illustrates why I am optimistic about the Istock subs scheme.

123rf produced 12 downloads ($6.81) with mainly $0.25 sub sales. On the plus side my outstanding non editorial images got reviewed after 2-3 months of Pending and all were accepted. Perhaps they didn't have the heart to reject after making me wait that long....

Fotolia saw 5 downloads (1.20 credits) with a variety of subjects from my small portfolio there being sold.

Nothing from the rest in March I'm afraid.

New shoots in March included the 30th annual Hastings Half Marathon and, even more exciting, I spent four days in Paris capturing loads of images -some of which have already got sales. It was around eight years since I last went to Paris (one of my favourite Cities) and great to be back again. I really should go more often as I can easily get the Eurostar train from nearby Ashford International station and be in the heart of Paris in a couple of hours. Four days was certainly not long enough to cover all the sights I wanted to. I'm planning a seperate post on photographing stock in Paris so stay tuned! Regards, David.

**Try a Gewurztraminer from Alsace, France

Thursday, 13 March 2014

February sales updates:

An average month in February with, as usual, Shutterstock way out in front. A good number of On Demand downloads and a high paying Single download pushed the income up nicely. Meanwhile, the Shutterstock app for Facebook continues to hiccup with just the odd sales update now and again. Forget about the Twitter app -it stopped last June for me and shows no sign of ever being reactivated again! Whether or not either of these helps sales I can't know, but they certainly do not hinder.

Dreamstime did well with 15 downloads but these were mostly subs sales thus only $6.90 in earnings. It's been noted many times how DT sales come in Subs waves and then Credit sale waves (without anyone ever really fathoming why). Think I'm now due my Credit sales period!

Istock perked up with 14 downloads ($10.18) and a further 5 PP sales ($1.40). The big news from Istock is that they are introducing subscription packages from April. Commission will be at $0.28 for non exclusives (in line with the current PP rate at Thinkstock and How this will affect sales remains to be seen. On balance, I expect to see an increase in sales and revenue from this. Parent company Getty Images also announced a plan to make millions of images free to use in "non commercial" blogs and the like. Obviously this produced predictable outrage amongst contributors with suggestions they were trying to drive competing agencies out of business. I take heart in the fact that Shutterstock seem unconcerned about the move and do not see it as a major threat. In reality how many bloggers are going to want to embed Getty images into their blog -complete with links to Getty and (potentially) some sort of advertising stream? I know I would rather just pay for an image for either of my blogs when I need to -without the Getty clutter around it.

123rf produced 12 downloads ($3.97) -again mainly subs sales. As mentioned before reviews of my (non editorial) images have ground to a halt -I still have an images from January/February in pending. A recent thread at suggested that they review large batches promptly but smaller batches or single images are left waiting.

Bigstock saw 9 downloads ($4.90). I'm still seeing an increasing number of subsciption sales here which, thankfully, are still being paid (for now) at the enhanced $0.38 rate for Bridge to Bigstock contributors.

Fotolia managed 5 downloads (1.25 credits). I still have a tiny portfolio there, but what does get accepted seems to sell.

Yay surprised with a single download paying 0.75 euros. Just what caused Yay sales to drop off a cliff after last April remains unknown. Google changed their search results at that time and some other agencies reported a fall in traffic after that -so that may be the reason. Even their multitude of partner sites seem to produce little or no sales.

Finally, having posted recently about no sales at Mostphotos for a long time, I had a sub sale in February for 0.27euros. Hopefully, that isn't it for another nine months.

Uploading in February included an archive image of British architect Sir Richard Rogers as well as images of the Krka waterfalls in Croatia and my local event -the annual Jack In The Green festival in Hastings. Regards, David.

Thursday, 13 February 2014

January sales updates:

It seems like only yesterday that I was writing my December updates post. Hang on, it was! Anyway, here we go straight on to my January updates.

In what turned out to be, in general, a rather slow month the leader of the pack (by a big margin) was, as ever, Shutterstock. Even here though there was a marked lack of higher paying On Demand sales which usually boost the income up.

Dreamstime produced 13 downloads ($13.82) with a mix of credit and sub sales.

Bigstock proved lively with 19 downloads ($8.67) with $0.38 subs well to the fore. Interestingly,one
of their partner sites added two "single merchandise" sales. T shirts? Mugs? Who knows.

Istock saw just 4 downloads ($3.19) with a further $1.68 from 6 PP sales.

123rf managed 8 downloads ($4.08) -virtually all subs.

Fotolia produced 2 sub downloads (0.50 credits).

And finally two sites I do not see much action with: Canstock had 2 downloads ($1.00) and a sale at Cutcaster produced $1.84 in commission.

Recent uploads followed a flight theme with a reworked b/w version of a Herring Gull and some more images from the 2012 and 2013 Eastbourne International Airshow (Airbourne) -a Chinook helicopter and the Breitling wing walking team. The airshow images were accepted everywhere except my best agent Shutterstock who insisted I needed "credentials" (i.e. a press pass/permit or similar). A prompt and friendly email came back from them when I queried this. It seems that ALL airshow images now need credentials. Even the ones that are free and open to the public like Eastbourne. That's certainly a big blow as there aren't any credentials issued for this event -they are not needed as it's held on the seafront for all to see (and photograph). I have sent them another email pointing this out and asking if there is any way forward for airshow images. I'll update this post with any developments. Regards, David.

Edit: Got a fantastically helpful response from Shutterstock. They took a look at the Eastbourne images and agreed they were OK to upload. Now all accepted. Going forward, should I cover other airshows, I will contact Credentials at Shutterstock with details of the show so they can make a decision on it. As they (rightly) said their inspectors wouldn't know the circumstances of each airshow when images are uploaded. So contact Credentials first before uploading. Great response from Shutterstock I thought!

Wednesday, 12 February 2014

December sales updates:

Catching up with my monthly updates my December report is rather overdue.

As ever, Shutterstock outperformed all other sites with the highlight being a further three Single and Other Downloads (SOD) contributing $27.58 to the total. These are starting to prove rather interesting and for very worthwhile amounts.

Dreamstime followed up with 10 downloads ($8.06) and a further $0.04 in referral income as one of my referred photographers had their first sale.

Bigstock produced 11 downloads ($5.04) with most of these being subs.

Istock ticked over with 6 downloads ($4.52) and a further $1.96 from 7 PP sales. Sales certainly seem to have declined at Istock over recent months.

123rf managed 11 downloads ($4.73). Again, mainly $0.25 sub sales.

Fotolia saw 6 sub downloads ( 1.50 credits).

Yay pleasantly surprised with one editorial sale of Robert Maxwell giving a worthwhile 3.75 euros in commission.

Nothing from my other sites during December. Picfair has proved rather dissapointing after my first sale only days after joining. Several hundred images uploaded since haven't seen any action. Still it is early days and I think the site has lots of potential. Hard not to like setting your own prices and getting 100% of that. Over at Mostphotos I hit the nine month mark without a single sale. I'm guessing that my mainly editorial images just aren't what their buyers are looking for.

Recent uploading included images of the Tilos Sea Star ferry (top) moored on the Greek island of Symi. Greek islands also featured with a set of images of the Express Pegasus ferry visiting Skopelos island. Regards, David.