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.

Sunday, 13 October 2019

September Sales Updates:

Science Museum, Valencia
A stable month in September with various signs of life and a flurry of sales created by the national news.

Shutterstock were in first place. A worthwhile Single sale boosted things at the start of the month and the sad news of the Thomas Cook travel company going into administration led to a whole bunch of sales of my signage outside the Hastings branch. The fact that these were taken in 2009 and featured their old logo didn't seem to deter buyers -such is the nature of stock imagery. Pleased to hear in the last few days that the chain of UK stores has been bought by Hays Travel and that many former employees will be offered jobs by the new owners.

Second place went to Istock with 37 downloads. An improved RPD this month brought the earnings up. My Thomas Cook images also featured here.

Alamy took third place with 2 downloads once again from my archive material. Conservative party leader Michael Howard and Mirror newspapers owner Robert Maxwell delivering sales here.

Fourth place went to Redbubble with 3 product sales. This month two T shirts and a laptop sleeve
The Umbracle sculpture gardens, Valencia
(the latter with my image of Barcelona University).

Fifth place went to Dreamstime with an improved 10 downloads. Thomas Cook again plus several of my archive celebrity images.

Adobe perked up with 4 downloads to make sixth place. Just waiting for Illustrative Editorial to be rolled out to bronze level now (and then, hopefully, general editorial).

Eighth place went to Bigstock with just 4 downloads (three of which were -guess what).

Thomas Cook branch -selling well in September
I posted in May how Yaymicro had added on Depositphotos as a new partner and automatically signed me into the deal. I had another surprise recently when I spotted a whole bunch of new partners including the dubious sounding Darius at Yay. I opted out of these right away but decided there was really only one sure way to stop this keep happening so deleted all my K2.4 images. One by one -several clicks per deletion. It took a long time but at least they are now gone. It's a shame because Yay started off with a lot of hope and were getting reasonable sales up until 2013 when it all went downhill.

New uploads continued with my Valencia images -in particular the futuristic buildings of the City of Arts and Sciences. Accepted everywhere except by Shutterstock who say they cannot take any images of these buildings for commercial OR editorial use. Why their policy is different to everyone else I have no idea but it's disappointing to not be able to upload to my top selling agancy. A fairly slow start to October so far but more next month. Regards, David.


Saturday, 7 September 2019

August Sales Updates:

Poll Tax Riots -sold on Alamy
Not a bad month in August considering it is the height of the annual Summer Slowdown but as usual the best agencies did the business and the others did what they do as well.

First up we had Shutterstock with a respectable number of downloads pushed up by (as mentioned previously) an Enhanced Download on the first day of the month. This was, yet again, from my local Tentertainment music festival images which continue to sell pretty much every day.

Istock took second place with 45 downloads. A lower RPD (rate per download) dragged the dollars down here but Istock continues to be a worthwhile agency notwithstanding their paltry 15% commission rate and a few very low paying sales each month. Luckily the higher paying sales continue to dominate here.

Alamy made third place with a single sale for a modest $$ figure. Once again this was from my old B/W archive images -in this case the 1991 Poll Tax Riots in London.

Fourth place went to Redbubble with two product sales. I really like the way this site continues to tick away each month.
Fishing boats on Aegina island, Greece


Dreamstime made fifth place with just 2 downloads. Luckily one of those was a higher paying credit sale which pulled them up my rankings.

Sixth place went to Bigstock with 6 downloads. As I have said many times, Bigstock takes no effort
on my part as my Shutterstock images get mirrored automatically (via the now closed Bridge to Bigstock scheme) so I am happy to collect the small amounts they rack up each month.

Seventh place went to FineArtAmerica with the sale of a coffee mug featuring one of my airshow images. Nice to see something from them again.

City of Arts and Sciences, Valencia
Bringing up the rear in eighth place were Adobe with 2 downloads. Given my tiny portfolio there  (just over 300) I'm always quite surprised to get anything much from them. Adobe are now, finally, taking a very limited approach to Editorial with so called Illustrative Editorial being accepted. Still no general editorial (e.g. street scenes, parades, celebrities -anything with unreleased  people in) allowed. Whether that will follow later they haven't said but I have my doubts. Even the Illustrative Editorial is currently limited to high level contributors though I do expect that to be opened up in due course.

Uploading in August included backtracking to my 2017 trips to Aegina island in Greece and the Spanish island of Majorca. I do like to revisit old sets from time to time as, being human, I often move on to my latest images before fully working the older ones.

The end of August saw me making my first ever trip to the Spanish City of Valencia. The photographic highlight of Valencia was the stunning City of Arts and Sciences with a bunch of modern architecture on display. I made two visits during my time there to take advantage of different light and perspectives. More on Valencia next month no doubt. Regards, David.

***Edited on Oct 13 to add in the FineArtAmerica sale***

Saturday, 3 August 2019

July Sales Updates:

Puente del Alamillo in Seville
Highs and lows in July as we enter the Summer Slowdown period with four agencies making a good contribution and three others barely making a showing.

Starting at the top Shutterstock continued to hold their first place with a good number of subscription sales, plenty of On Demand sales and three modest Single sales. I had a flurry of sales of Dutch actor Rutger Hauer (Blade Runner) who, sadly, died recently. Jumping ahead,  SS got off to a great start in August with an Enhanced Download on the first day of the month.

Alamy took second place with 2 downloads (both from my B/W political archives). These old images seem to have done especially well on Alamy rather than my much bigger library of travel images which I had expected to get more interest.

Third place went to Redbubble with 3 product sales ( T shirt, greetings card, phone case). Redbubble
Blue Star 2 ferry boat in Rhodes
have a useful and time saving new Copy facility for when you have a number of images of the same subject. Just go to Manage Portfolio and select Copy on the image you want to replicate. Then click on Replace Image to drop in your new image. All the information and settings for the various products are carried over to the new image (this doesn't effect your original upload in any way). Do check that all the products look how you want them and make any adjustments before hitting Save. This is a real time saver for batch uploads.

Rutger Hauer, actor

In fourth place were Istock with 37 downloads. A lower RPD this month pulled them down in earnings and in my ranking. Reviews continue to be fast at Istock with many getting accepted within an hour or two of submission -editorial especially.

Dropping down to the also rans we had Bigstock in fifth place with 6 downloads. Three of these were of Margaret Thatcher - a subject that just keeps on selling in my portfolio.

Sixth place went to Dreamstime with just 3 downloads. Two subscription sales and a small credit sale. This on a portfolio that matches my Shutterstock one. Such a difference in sales.

Finally in seventh place were Adobe with just a single subscription sale.

Recent uploads spanned my trips to Seville and Rhodes/Tilos with a set of the Alamillo suspension bridge in Seville and the Blue Star ferry boat Blue Star 2 moored at Rhodes.The impressive looking bridge was opened in 1992 for the Universal Exposition.

August should really see the Slowdown cutting in so more details next month. Regards, David.


Wednesday, 10 July 2019

June Sales Updates:

LMS Class 5 steam locomotive passes St. Leonards
A stable month in June which saw limited uploads due to a trip to Greece but plenty of new photographs.

Way out in front in first place were Shutterstock with a strong number of subscription sales but slightly less On Demand sales than normal. A couple of Single sales boosted things up.

Second place went to Redbubble with 4 product sales (T shirts and a phone cover). They seem to be having a problem at present with the social media sharing buttons missing from the various products. A look at their help centre confirmed they are aware of this and looking for a fix.

Third place (and only just beaten by Redbubble) went to Istock with 39 downloads. Travel images
Solar energy array on Tilos island, Greece
seem to do especially well here though my Tentertainment music festival images always have a strong showing as well. It's always interesting to see an event in a small Kent town get downloaded from countries all over the World as a generic outdoors/summer/festival/event image.

Dreamstime made fourth place with 5 downloads. One of these was a higher paying credit sale of Professor Stephen Hawking which pushed them up the rankings.

Fifth place went to Alamy with a single modest sale. This was a 1978 image of Danny Kustow -guitarist in the Tom Robinson Band. Sadly, Danny died earlier this year and this probably prompted the sale. One of the things about having old archive images in your portfolio is that it is inevitable that, in the course of time, these sort of uses will come up.

Danny Kustow of the Tom Robinson Band
Bringing up the rear in sixth place (nothing from Adobe this month) were Bigstock with just 2 downloads. That's the least I have had from them in a long time (not that are ever a big seller for me).

New shooting in June was mainly round a two week return trip to the Greek island of Tilos (went there last year  as well). I especially wanted to get  more images of their innovative energy project which aims to make the island self sufficient in power via a solar farm and a (very large) wind turbine. On the way out I had a couple of days in Rhodes -concentrating on the historic walled Old Town area.


Back home (literally the next day) I had the chance to photograph a steam locomotive excursion (London to Hastings) on its return journey through St.Leonards Warrior Square station. I was pleased to see how many people turned out to watch this go through. If you are interested in this type of photography you can look on the internet for the various steam excursion operators where they provide details and timings of upcoming trips.


Early sales for July are looking encouraging but, of course, we are now heading into the famous Summer Slowdown period so we'll see. Regards, David.


Sunday, 2 June 2019

May Sales Updates:

Skywalk on the Metropol Parasol, Seville
A strong month in May for my bigger agencies and the usual low level results from the weaker ones. May also saw me give up on one agency and delete my portfolio and a routine check on another past agent threw up an unpleasant surprise.

Way out in front in first place were Shutterstock with a good crop of On Demand sales and two double digit Single Downloads boosting the income. Pleased to see editorial review times seem to have speeded up here -to within 24hrs of upload.

Second place was taken by Alamy with 2 downloads. The best one ( a television use of one of my archive Poll Tax Riots images) made a great illustration of their cut to 40% commission for non exclusive images. From a $68 sale they got $41 and I got $27. The difference really becomes obvious on larger sales. That said, I have no plans to make my images exclusive at this time as I prefer the spread of sales across different agencies.

In a strong third place were Istock with an impressive 47 downloads and an improved RPD (helped by a sale via Getty Images).

Redbubble took fourth place with 3 product sales ( two prints and a T shirt). I continue to be impressed by Redbubble and their regular sales.

Fifth place saw Bigstock with 6 downloads. I doubt they are ever going to take off as a high selling agency but the few dollars each month gradually add up.

Dreamstime managed sixth place with 7 downloads -pretty much all subscription sales.

Seventh place saw another sale on FineArtAmerica, this time just a greeting card (of the Houses of
Las Setas de Sevilla (Metropol Parasol)
Parliament). Not much but at least some signs of life there after my several years drought.

Eighth place went to Adobe with just a single download. Maybe one day they will start taking editorial, maybe not.

I finally gave up on Canstockphoto and manually deleted my small 350 odd portfolio and closed my account. They get to keep the $16 I earned over many years but I am happy just to forget about them. Low sales are one thing but picky, silly rejections (property release wanted for public landmarks and weird key word rules that didn't allow the keywords Hastings and Pier for an image of -guess what?)just didn't make them worth my time.

Puenta de la Barqueta, Seville
Meanwhile, over at Yay Micro I stopped uploading some years ago and requested them to close my account. They ignored that but, never mind, I opted out of all sales there including their own Yay Images site. So, no problem then? Sadly not - a routine check showed that they have added Deposit Photos as a partner site and automatically opted me in meaning all my (non editorial) images are now on an agency that I have never wished to sell through. I've opted out of that now as well and made another request for Yay to close my account -so far ignored. Anyone with images still at Yay should make a regular check of their partner list to make sure your images aren't being sent somewhere you don't want them. To be fair, they do at least offer an opt out but I was surprised that they had added a new partner and just included me in that.

Recent uploads have concentrated on my April trip to Seville including the impressive Barqueta bridge (Puente de la Barqueta) and the fabulous Metropol Parasol - more commonly known as Las Setas de Sevilla (Mushrooms of Seville). This was one of the highlights of my trip both for the overall view of the structure but especially for the walkway on the roof which offers great views over the City. I am sure I will be making a return trip to Seville in the future but meanwhile have a Greek island trip on the horizon - bring on the Retsina! Regards, David.