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, 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

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