My first none istock sale

July 13, 2009

washing machine buttonWell I have moved on a bit further. I have added to the size of my Fotolia and Dreamstime portfolios and had my first sale with Dreamstime! This washing machine image had one view and one sale just a couple of days after I submitted it. Sale value $1.60. The feeling probably wears off, but when I shoot a new idea and get it accepted, it is still exciting to see how it is received, as well as trying to guess which photos, if any will go on to rake in a few more dollars. I have since found out that Dreamstime employ an algorithm that favours newly posted images, so it makes sense that I got a sale before the image was quickly buried amongst the millions of other images contained on the site. I have progressed a bit with istock too, increasing my portfolio to 13 images. It is still minute by most people’s standards, but considering I had just 2 images a few weeks ago, I am happy with my progress. Also worth noting that I like the fact that Dreamstime tell you the keywords the buyer used to find your image. Nice touch.

Inevitably it wasn’t long before other microstock sites caught my eye. There are plenty of smaller agencies who may well become much bigger, and if your images are there from the start you could find yourself in a very nice position, but at the moment I wasn’t interested in spreading myself too thinly, so to speak. I’d rather do a good job with a small number of agencies. To cut a long story short, I opted for Shutterstock, mainly because most people writing these miscrostock blogs seemed to have them as their top performer. And I signed up to Stockxpert and Canstockphoto. Shutterstock wanted 10 images to assess me, Stockexpert 5 and Canstockphoto 3. After a few days the results were in.

Canstockphoto accepted me and continue to accept every photograph that I upload, even the images that are rejected by all the other agencies. One thing to watch out for is copyright issues. I accidentally uploaded an image that *may* have a copyright issue. The other agencies had spotted it and rejected the image, but Canstockphoto did not seem bothered. A quick look at their terms and conditions suggests that they force any 3rd party claims of copyright breach on to the photographer and deny any liability themselves. While it is right that the photographer should be responsible, I cannot help thinking that the stock agency, who at the end of the day are selling the image and keeping the majority of the sale value, should also shoulder some blame. I dare say all the agencies hold the photographer responsible, but avoiding the issue in the first place by not having copyright breaching images on your books is probably the wiser option.

Stockxpert were next to reply. “We regret to inform you that your artist application was rejected. We are very sorry but at the moment we are not looking for pictures like the ones you uploaded“. Short and sweet but fair enough. Move on.

Shutterstock have a policy of requiring 7 or more of the 10 submitted photos to meet their grade before they will accept you. I was expecting a few rejections, but it was more than a bit disappointing to have all 10 rejected. I could understand if there reason had been similar to Stockxpert’s, but they actually slated most of the images saying they were of poor quality. You could argue that the composition may have been lacking in a couple, but lighting and white balance were fine so I don’t know what they were looking at. But time to move on, try again in a few months.


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