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Author Topic: A veri interesting article in the Times today  (Read 18470 times)

Quentin

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A veri interesting article in the Times today
« Reply #60 on: April 03, 2010, 06:24:05 AM »

Quote from: Rob C
As for Quentin's "overpriced image from Getty" I  believe that reveals a shocking lack of understanding about the real expense of producing good stock material.


Rob C

You have to define what "good" stock material is, Rob.   A lot of good stock material is most assuredly *not* expensive to shoot.  When it is, it's destined for a different outlet.  

You are completely missing the point here, Rob, which Hywell, on the other hand,  does seem to appreciate.  The traditional libraries were just not nimble enough to react to a market in which much of the cost of producing stock photography had been driven out of the system.  This happened at the precisely the same time as demand for inexpensive stock for use in e-newletters, websites, etc, skyrocketed.  The micros were a reaction to these changes.  Most traditional librarties stood by and watched...

and as Hywel said

Quote
I must admit the thing which surprises me about all this is that market forces haven't driven the commission percentages up. I'm wondering if there isn't a market opening for "high end" photographers' collective microstock with a better payout to attract photographers, run as a relatively non-profit organisation for the benefits of the photographer members. I'm sure that model has been tried; I wonder why it isn't the one that's really caught on

Everyone knows about iStocks 20% commission for non-exclusive photographers, which I agree is too low, but other micros offer better pecentages, ofter more than 50%.  iStock have pushed their prices up in the last few years.  

I don't represent the micros, nor do they need me to defend them.  Their astonishing success speaks for itself.  A debate about whether they are good or bad ultimately misses the point, which is how individual photographers deal with the phenomenon.  In making that decision, you need to stand back and look at how the market in all digital data is evolving.  My reaction has been to split my stock submissions between traditional RM libraries and the micros.  Different work for different markets.  The micros are the future for all RF, but there will remain a healthy demand for rights managed work of high quality and a much higher price, as my own experience in continuing to sell work though RM channels proves.

Quentin
« Last Edit: April 03, 2010, 06:33:45 AM by Quentin »
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KLaban

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A veri interesting article in the Times today
« Reply #61 on: April 03, 2010, 08:20:14 AM »

Quote from: Quentin
The micros are the future for all RF...

True, but no great insight needed there.

Microstock exists because there is an almost endless supply of indifferent images that wouldn't make the grade in any other sector of the industry and an almost endless supply of indifferent "photographers" looking to make a few bob towards their hobby. Go to any RF outlet and try wading through the trash in search of the treasure, it's soul destroying.

Of those I know who actually make their living from photography - and that runs into the hundreds - virtually all are opposed to RF and microstock. There is widespread contempt for the business models and for those who would promote them.

By all means get on the truck, just don't be surprised when you're taken for a ride.
« Last Edit: April 03, 2010, 08:21:36 AM by KLaban »
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gwhitf

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A veri interesting article in the Times today
« Reply #62 on: April 03, 2010, 08:34:32 AM »

Quote from: KLaban
By all means get on the truck, just don't be surprised when you're taken for a ride.

Completely agree. I want to start an entire thread that is only analogies and metaphors (like above) that people have been ponying up.

I pray for the day when the law industry does not require a license, and every housewife and construction worker can moonlight on weekends. No office needed; no staff needed; no pension needed; no overhead whatsoever -- just offer up law advice, (that can actually be used in court), for free, or for a dollar.

We'll see if it's a different song then.
« Last Edit: April 03, 2010, 08:35:06 AM by gwhitf »
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Quentin

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A veri interesting article in the Times today
« Reply #63 on: April 03, 2010, 09:09:48 AM »

Here is where one guy, Yuri Arcurs, is now at.  He owes his career to microstock.

http://bit.ly/VXm8O

Quentin
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Graham Mitchell

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A veri interesting article in the Times today
« Reply #64 on: April 03, 2010, 09:20:32 AM »

Quote from: Quentin
Here is where one guy, Yuri Arcurs, is now at.  He owes his career to microstock.

http://bit.ly/VXm8O

Quentin

Well, he is supposedly the most successful in the world. It's a bit like saying "actors are doing ok - just look at Tom Cruise!" Not exactly representative.
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KLaban

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A veri interesting article in the Times today
« Reply #65 on: April 03, 2010, 09:25:35 AM »

Quote from: Quentin
Here is where one guy, Yuri Arcurs, is now at.  He owes his career to microstock.

Please, don't insult me, I'm well aware that a few microstockers have made money.
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feppe

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A veri interesting article in the Times today
« Reply #66 on: April 03, 2010, 09:35:02 AM »

Quote from: Quentin
Here is where one guy, Yuri Arcurs, is now at.  He owes his career to microstock.

http://bit.ly/VXm8O

Quentin

Just watching that is soul-crushing. I'm glad as an amateur I can shoot whatever I want.

Quentin

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A veri interesting article in the Times today
« Reply #67 on: April 03, 2010, 09:45:18 AM »

Quote from: Graham Mitchell
Well, he is supposedly the most successful in the world. It's a bit like saying "actors are doing ok - just look at Tom Cruise!" Not exactly representative.

True, but the difference is that Yuri and others like him would not have a career in stock but for the micros which have been an entry point for a whole generation of photographers.
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Rob C

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A veri interesting article in the Times today
« Reply #68 on: April 03, 2010, 10:57:00 AM »

Quote from: Quentin
What on earth makes stock photographers think that they should be treated as a special case?  Who said photographers should be insulated from the forces of modern business models that have grown out of the internet and digital technology / media?  

Roadkill?  You just didn't move fast enough.  

Quentin




Perhaps, somewhat intentionally, you just 'don't get it' either.

The reason professional photographers of all types get pissed off at the shamateur, as distinct from the amateur with whom I see no fight, is this: the professional learns his trade and through choice of career pays his dues to himself, family, clients, fellow photographers and even to the Inland Revenue. On the other hand, the shamateur pays no dues to anyone and is nothing more than a parasite living off the body photographic, which body he is slowly killing.

You may not like it, may refuse to accept it, but that is the reality.

Rob C

JonRoemer

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A veri interesting article in the Times today
« Reply #69 on: April 03, 2010, 11:38:19 AM »

Somewhat ironic to note:

aPhotoEditor.com had a recent April Fools post about the NYT going all stock all the time (obviously in light of the article which started this thread.)

But here's Adobe publishing a YouTube video highlighting a new CS5 feature, Puppet Warp.  Be sure to check the photo credit on the bottom right....

Quentin

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A veri interesting article in the Times today
« Reply #70 on: April 03, 2010, 12:24:00 PM »

Quote from: Rob C
Perhaps, somewhat intentionally, you just 'don't get it' either.

The reason professional photographers of all types get pissed off at the shamateur, as distinct from the amateur with whom I see no fight, is this: the professional learns his trade and through choice of career pays his dues to himself, family, clients, fellow photographers and even to the Inland Revenue. On the other hand, the shamateur pays no dues to anyone and is nothing more than a parasite living off the body photographic, which body he is slowly killing.

You may not like it, may refuse to accept it, but that is the reality.

Rob C

I totally agree with your underlying point and it explains some of the frankly pathetic bleating about the micros we see each time the subject is raised in certain circles. That's because Photography requires no formal training or qualifications.  Ask any wedding pro under pressure from mom and pop outfits. But then many pioneers of photography were amateurs.  The boundarys are flexible.   Our friend Yuri Arcurs started out as an amateur, and now works full time as a pro photographer.  If you are unwilling to accept the competition, then you should have chosen an different profession, because 'twas always thus.

Quentin
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bcooter

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A veri interesting article in the Times today
« Reply #71 on: April 03, 2010, 12:25:49 PM »

Quote from: Quentin
True, but the difference is that Yuri and others like him would not have a career in stock but for the micros which have been an entry point for a whole generation of photographers.


Quentin,

I think your on to something.  Team up with Yuri and write another book on motion footage.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SItFvB0Upb8


BC
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Quentin

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A veri interesting article in the Times today
« Reply #72 on: April 03, 2010, 01:09:36 PM »

Quote from: bcooter
Quentin,

I think your on to something.  Team up with Yuri and write another book on motion footage.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SItFvB0Upb8


BC

Brilliant  
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Morgan_Moore

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A veri interesting article in the Times today
« Reply #73 on: April 03, 2010, 01:51:48 PM »

B Roll - Im gonna be doing it

It will be an addition to the (rights managed) image library i built

beachfeature

I already populated that library with grabbing shots on my travels - just need to roll the 5d2 too

S
« Last Edit: April 03, 2010, 01:53:03 PM by Morgan_Moore »
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Rob C

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A veri interesting article in the Times today
« Reply #74 on: April 03, 2010, 02:31:37 PM »

Quote from: Quentin
If you are unwilling to accept the competition, then you should have chosen an different profession, because 'twas always thus.

Quentin


You see, Quentin? You really, really do not get it: it was not always thus. I have been in that world since 1960 and have seen a lot of it.

I had to spend the best part of six years working in professional photography before it was possible to become a self-employed professional myself and run a business. Amateur competition wasn't even thought about, and there were always great amateurs around, as you rightly pointed out. The two worlds were totally apart.

Reference is made to wedding photographers. With respect, and at the risk of causing unintentional pain, I do not consider that a branch of professional photography in the sense of skill beyond the amateur; there, an amateur can often match the 'pro' sector. Yes, it churns money so has to be deemed professional, in that sense, but that is another matter. It is a very different sector with far fewer knowingly educated critical clients than photography intended for commercial markets, which stock is. The problem is that in the commercial (business) sector, the availability of cheap material, in a graphics world now run by accountants and lawyers rather than by creative minds, it becomes a requirement to use that material. When the man at the top only understands numbers, there is little alternative for the lowly art department but to follow budgetary dictates.

Of course, it is also a matter of wider education. The attitude that governments display towards such matters as copyright, 'orphan' works, registration/qualifications before practice is permitted, all those sorts of things, just perpetuates a situation where the arts are considered a pastime, a hobby, not to be taken seriously. Neither can it have helped that so many within the art world appear to walk with a heavy, anti-business tilt towards the left.

But I ain't gonna be able to fix it! That's for a younger generation to fight.

Rob C

Hywel

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A veri interesting article in the Times today
« Reply #75 on: April 03, 2010, 02:35:49 PM »

Quote from: feppe
Just watching that is soul-crushing. I'm glad as an amateur I can shoot whatever I want.

Yeh, that's one thing I agree about. All power to Yuri's elbow, but I would find shooting what he shoots absolutely soul destroying. Demonstrably he is an absolute master of calculatedly just-plain-enough shot, the shot which will appeal to lots of different customers. To my personal eye they are bland and absolutely soul-less. I'm sure he does not see them in that way, which is why he's making a great career out of shooting them and I'm not.

He has a nice studio- its contents is remarkably similar to my previous studio, except that I had more bondage steel collars, whips and chains than he has  I wish I'd had the vertical height to do the over-the-top shots, but I chose to leave mine on two levels and double the floor space to have double the number of different sets.

So he's obviously doing just great shooting his thing and selling them by microstock; I'm getting by shooting my thing and selling them by a subscription website. Whatever works for you. I won't be competing with Yuri because I couldn't bring myself to get out of bed in the morning to shoot another set of photos of smily fake call centre workers in their deliciously anodyne slightly grey fake office with their fake headsets on their heads and their fake smiles on their faces!  

The first rule of all, I think, is that you gotta shoot what you love. Then you gotta market it. And if you are good enough at both those things, and enough other people like what you do, you can make a living out of it. Simple as that.

  Cheers, Hywel.





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Slobodan Blagojevic

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A veri interesting article in the Times today
« Reply #76 on: April 03, 2010, 03:16:12 PM »

Quote from: Rob C
... in a graphics world now run by accountants and lawyers rather than by creative minds... When the man at the top only understands numbers, there is little alternative for the lowly art department but to follow budgetary dictates...
The ONLY time accountants and lawyers run a company is when the company is already run into the ground by the "creative" minds. "The man at the top" has ALWAYS understood only numbers... when "creative" minds produce big numbers, Da Man does not mind giving them big budgets (e.g. Annie Leibowitz-size budgets, or SI swimsuit-issue budgets). When "creative" minds screw up, Da Man calls in accountants and lawyers.

Streetshooter

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A veri interesting article in the Times today
« Reply #77 on: April 03, 2010, 03:26:42 PM »

Quote from: Hywel
The first rule of all, I think, is that you gotta shoot what you love. Then you gotta market it. And if you are good enough at both those things, and enough other people like what you do, you can make a living out of it. Simple as that.

  Cheers, Hywel.


Hywel, you've hit the nail on the head there.....

For me photography has never been about just making money, if I wanted to do that I would have gone into big city banking.  That's why I refuse to get into MicroStock. I've never done Royalty free either. My stock sales have remained constant over the years, indeed they are now increasing as I put more images into the agencies. But I only do stuff that I enjoy doing, and I ain't going to sell my soul to a model with a fake smile, no way.  

The thing that Getty did to revolutionize the stock industry was to take it into the digital age and put it online. They did this by buying all the biggest agencies with a pot of cash, and now they've started on FlickR.

The MicroStock guys can chase their pieces of silver too, they're welcome to it. Enjoy it while it lasts......

Pete
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gwhitf

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A veri interesting article in the Times today
« Reply #78 on: April 03, 2010, 04:00:14 PM »

Quote from: Streetshooter
The MicroStock guys can chase their pieces of silver too, they're welcome to it. Enjoy it while it lasts......

I'd love to get a glimpse at that Yuri guy's P&L statements for the last five to seven years, as the prices have plummeted towards a Dollar. I'd like to see the graph of his Net Profits over the years. So what does he do then, once the bottom drops out of his world, in which he had a hand in his own undoing? At what point can you simply not shoot enough Dollar images in a day to maintain a large studio and staff, as you race toward the bottom?

And my personal feeling is: You could say that he's only operating in one isolated level in the marketplace, but my feeling is that business models like this, sooner or later have a ripple factor into other layers of the entire photo industry. It's just a matter of time.
« Last Edit: April 03, 2010, 04:01:50 PM by gwhitf »
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Slobodan Blagojevic

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A veri interesting article in the Times today
« Reply #79 on: April 03, 2010, 04:13:19 PM »

Quote from: gwhitf
... business models like this, sooner or later have a ripple factor into other layers of the entire photo industry. It's just a matter of time.
Indeed... and any business model will ultimately meet its demise, microstock included (just how soon is a different matter, of course). The only permanent business model seems to be bottling of carbonated sugared water, as witnessed by the most successful company in the human history (o.k., arguably).
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