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, 13 March 2017

February Sales Updates:

Sold at Picfair: Anti National Front demonstration in Brixton
A stronger month in February with a lot going on in the Microstock world.

Shutterstock took first place as ever with one of their best performances in months. A good number of On Demand sales and a few modest Single Downloads helped boost things here. Their new redesigned Contributor Dashboard has gone down well with me (though not everyone) and I am especially enjoying seeing exactly where in the world my downloads have taken place

Second place went to Dreamstime with 6 downloads. Two higher value credit sales pushed up the earning here.

In third place were Picfair with (at last) my third sale there. My seventies image of protests at a National Front march in Brixton finding a buyer at well above micro prices. A nice touch at Picfair is that you can request payout as soon as you have a sale which is what I did. For some reason I opted for payment via Paypal (rather than direct to my bank). Be aware that this will carry a fee at Paypal -I forgot that the main agencies pay the fees for you. A lesson learnt for next time.

Fourth place was taken by print site Redbubble with two merchandise sales. Things seem to have slowed recently here but nothing like Fine Art America where it is now some fourteen months since my last sale. Not sure what happened to them but I have, in any case, paid my premium account fee for another year in the hope that things pick up.
Church of Christ The Saviour, Tilos island

Fifth place went to Istock with (I think) 10 downloads. February 20 saw the first of their new monthly sales reports. Unless you upload the report into some spreadsheet software you are going to have a hard time deciphering what has sold and for how much. Why they can't just give you a straight forward list of sales and commission I don't know. There's talk of improvements to come so I hope this will be one of them. The big question around the new % based subscription commissions was partially answered, Yes there some paltry $0.02 commissions but also many well above the old fixed 28c per download. I'll have to see how that pans out in the coming months before making decisions on continuing to work with Istock.

Bigstock were in sixth place with 17 downloads. A strong surge of Greek island images here this month.

123rf made seventh place with a poor 5 downloads. There seems to be no consistency with them at all recently.

Dodekanisos Express catamaran powers into Tilos island
Lastly, in at eighth place were Fotolia with 3 downloads. Bring on the editorial is what I would say to them!

Over at Alamy, still no sales as yet but exciting times as their impressive new Image Manager finally reached me (they have been rolling it out across contributors for a while now). Easy to upload and bulk edit it is a pleasure to use and, of course, the new Manager finally allows for editorial images to be set as Royalty Free (RF). For me, this means that I can now upload all the editorial images I have on Microstock (e.g. most of my portfolio). I also applied for and was granted access to the archive/historic uploads so I can also upload all my old celeb/political images. Best of all, these do not have to be approved - just upload and they're in. My portfolio has jumped from under 100 images to over 700 since getting the new Manager - with quite a bit of interest (in terms of views and zooms) from buyers. Feels like Alamy will now finally come good for me going forward.

Recent uploading saw me working on more images of the Greek island of Tilos including the Church of Christ the Saviour in Mikro Chorio and the Dodekanisos Express ferry arriving at Livadia. March has started slowly so far so I'll see what the rest of the month brings. Regards, David.

Monday, 27 February 2017

January Sales Updates:

Wartime defence post at Loggos on Paxos island
An unusual month in January as due to Istock transitioning to their new Enterprise Submission Platform (ESP) for uploading and account management no sales information was available so they are not included this month. Going forward I will include Istock stats in the month I get them notified (e.g. January sales will be in my February report -as that is when I got them). Worth mentioning that I have accessed the ESP site (with some issues initially) and have uploaded a small quantity of trial images -both commercial and editorial. The ability to batch upload and edit is a huge leap forward from the old one image at a time uploader. More on Istock in February.

In January, obviously, Shutterstock took first place as is always the case. Reviews there seem to be fast at the moment with a high percentage of approvals which has enabled a worthwhile growth in my portfolio.
Flying Cat 5 at Patitiri harbour on Alonissos island

In second place were Dreamstime with 8 downloads -again prompt and favourable reviews for my uploads.

Third place  went to 123rf with 10 downloads -sadly not a repeat of my BME in December.

Bigstock took fourth place with 7 downloads. Greek island related images seem to be selling well there recently.

A big surprise when Cutcaster turned up in fifth place with 2 downloads. These were my first sales there since 2014! I stopped uploading there a long time ago now. Even with these two sales my total downloads still only amount to 10 (with a port of 1.4k images). Still a long way to payout there.

The historic Acropolis in Athens
Fotolia came in with sixth place with 2 downloads. Until they decide to accept editorial images this is never likely to be a big selling site for me.

Finally in seventh place were Canstock with I download. My comments on Fotolia also apply to Canstock.

Not a stellar month overall but I am hoping my upload drive will start to pay off during 2017 as new material gets accepted. Recent uploads revolved around Greek images including a wartime defence post on Paxos, the Flying Cat catamaran on Alonissos and finally another image from the Acropolis in Athens. A lot has happened in Microstock in February (hence my late posting) so more of that next time. Regards, David.

Monday, 2 January 2017

December Sales Updates:

The Acropolis of Athens
Well that's it then for 2016. Not a spectacular year in terms of microstock sales for me due to a combination of lack of uploading time reducing my output and the continuing influx of new images to all the sites. Redbubble proved the rising star of the year with regular sales of a wide variety of images. A far cry from FineArtAmerica where I had no sales at all in 2016 -I will, however, be renewing my premium membership for 2017 to see if there is a turnaround. Yay was the casualty in 2016 when I finally ceased uploading new images. With over 2000 files uploaded they produced just one sale for 0.68euros.

So to December then there's no need to say that Shutterstock maintained their lead in first place -though I barely scraped past the minimum payout.

Second place went to Redbubble with 5 product sales ranging from clothing to phone covers.
Stefanos volcano crater on Nisyros island

Third place was taken by Dreamstime. Though they only managed 3 downloads one of those was another high paying credit sale of nearly $10.

Fourth place went to 123rf with an astonishing 25 downloads making it my BME in quantity but not income. A lot of Greek island images sold -presumably to the same buyer.

Steady Bigstock produced 10 downloads to make fifth place.

Exceptionally down in sixth place were Istock with 2 credit sales and 10 subs. This was because of their transition to new sales reporting which is due to happen around February. As a consequence reporting in December ended before the month was over and before any Partner sales had been added. From now on sales will be updated monthly in one go so my rankings will be a bit out of line for a while. Not being able to see sales accrue in real time is hardly motivating for anyone and I hope they reconsider this in the future.

Tentertainment music festival at Tenterden, Kent

Finally a single sale from Mostphotos earned them seventh place. I haven't forgotten Fotolia -they just didn't have a single sale for me in December!

Uploading in December saw a big increase with many new files now available. I intend to keep this pace up throughout 2017 as much as possible. New images included my first Acropolis shot from my Athens trip last May as well as my set from the 2016 Tentertainment music festival. Backtracking to 2015, I also uploaded further images of the Stefanos volcano crater on the Greek island of Nisyros.

Wishing all readers a very happy 2017! Regards, David.