Life beyond istock

July 9, 2009

As I mentioned briefly in the first post, while istock may be one of the better known agencies, there are plenty more to choose from. Once I started getting a couple more images accepted I decided to branch out and try a couple of the others. There is no definitive answer as to which agency will make you the most money. From what I hear and see, your style of photography and the themes that make up your portfolio will affect which agency works best for you. I am still trying to find my feet, so I have added Fotolia and Dreamstime. My istock images are now up to eight but I only have one image on fotolia and two images on dreamstime. And each agency has accepted and rejected different images to the rest. Hopefully before long I shall be able to spot what works for each stock agency and save myself some time.

My early impressions are still in favour of istock. Apart from only being able to upload one image at a time on istock, the three agencies all take about the same amount of time to upload, add titles, descriptions and keywords, but istock has a more professional feel to it. The management pages and stats are better and there is more of a sense of community. The serious downside of istock for a lot of people, and one which so far has not affected me, is that they have a limit of fifteen images in any given seven day period. Fotolia and Dreamstime allow something like 300 images which, assuming you have that many photos ready to upload, will see your portfolio grow at a much faster rate. And the bigger your portfolio, the more money you are going to make, in theory at least – I have seen portfolios with more sales from 50 images than others containing 500 images. It is possible to get average quality photos past the judges, but it is pointless because they won’t sell and will affect how your portfolio is perceived.


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