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View Full Version : Shutterstock contributors


needwrk
01-19-2012, 07:06 PM
To those who contribute in shutterstock. How easy was it for you to get in? How many images do you have in your portfolio? What advice would you give to a newbie? :-) thanks for all your help!


TommyH
01-19-2012, 11:23 PM
To those who contribute in shutterstock. How easy was it for you to get in? How many images do you have in your portfolio? What advice would you give to a newbie? :-) thanks for all your help!

When I was contributing to microstock sites, shutterstock was the hardest to get accepted to. It took 2 attempts of submissions for me to get accepted, at the time I stopped using them I had 50 photos. They did pay the best of all the sites I was using at the time. They also refused more of my photos then any other site, so they are picker about what they get and have a big library you will have to compete with.

The best way is when you submit your first batch make note of which ones would have been accepted. The ones that are not accepted take notes of the reason they were refused. This way you might be able to correct them in the future or know what else to look for.

Only way to see a decent income is you have to have a large library. And have your photos on multiple sites for the greatest exposure. The other problem is people will look at your photos and mimic them. When they do your photo gets less hits as it costs more (price usually increases the more the image has been downloaded) and the copy starts to get downloads as its cheaper for the designer.

As much as I am against micro stock sites now, I might have to make a push to get back into them...blah, really hope not

needwrk
01-21-2012, 09:14 AM
Thanks for your response Tommy, I may start of with the other sites just to get an idea of how it works. What else do you do generate an income from photography?


TommyH
01-21-2012, 11:06 PM
I sell a lot of landscape shots at craft shows and through my website. I also enter lots of contests to get exposure and credits to my work. Usually shots I have that are award winners adds so much credential when presenting them to local galleries. I have also had a few things in some galleries that have sold. Small business restaurants are also good to hang things in for exposure.

The other sources of income come from shooting vacation rentals, home listings, shots of model homes for builders, and for contractors once they finish a job for their portfolio. Whether it be kitchens, bath, additions to homes, etc.

Lastly I have hooked up with some local designers that do pamphlets, business cards, marketing material for small businesses. I get assignments from them every once and a while when they are looking for stock type photos. The benefit they get (and how I pitch if you will) is they get a unique high quality photo. This makes their work stand out to their clients. Instead of going to everyday stock photo sites and pulling pictures from there (like most designers) they get a photo from me that no one else will have. I have a contract and they get exclusive rights to that image for a certain period of time. After which point I can offer it to other people for advertising.

This is kind of how the big companies do it where they have a photographer on their staff or hire one to shoot a shot specific for their ad campaign. Working with individuals gives them the advantage to offer this type of one off for marketing and makes them stand out more to their clients. I offer it at a reasonable price and I have learned that small business owners like to help and support other small businesses.

So the small business is helping the local designer, who in turn helps me when they use me vs microstock site, and we help the small business by providing them with unique marketing material that drives more business to them. Also keeps money in the community which is a good thing.

I am also thinking of doing some sports photography this upcoming baseball season for the little league and small division college we have.

lorah
01-22-2012, 01:42 AM
GREAT info Tommy! Thanks so much for sharing it! I think the services you are offering are fantastic and make great sense. Original picture vs stock photo. It's really a no brainer if you think about it. And keeping the money in the community is soooooo important, especially now. Good for you!

TommyH
01-22-2012, 08:10 PM
GREAT info Tommy! Thanks so much for sharing it! I think the services you are offering are fantastic and make great sense. Original picture vs stock photo. It's really a no brainer if you think about it. And keeping the money in the community is soooooo important, especially now. Good for you!

No problem. Ya keeping the money in your community is big. I really try to support local small business as much as I can. I know that I could find things cheaper online, but the problem most people don't see is...What happens when you want that item that day, test a new lens before purchasing, or to be able to review your flyers in person before they get printed? That local company is no longer around b/c everyone wanted to save a few dollars and purchased it all online.

I recently ran into this when I wanted to buy some camera equipment and also to have a few of my prints printed out in large formats. The only camera store has reduced it's selection and it can not afford to keep a good inventory, so my lens purchase had to go by online reviews and a little hope as I could not try it out like before. I live in a pretty big city (over 1.5 mill) and we have only 1 place that processes large prints

I know in these trying times saving money is key, but at what price. If you put money into your community, it will put money into you.

Things are slow for me and I have a few other things I do for income as well. I would love to be able to focus strictly on photography and hope I can in the future. I know if you can shoot portraits and are great at it, there is so much more money that can be made.

lorah
01-23-2012, 12:04 AM
Very well said! In my case, I live in a town with one stoplight and there are less than 2000 people. Our shopping choices are incredibly limited for whatever I want to purchase. Our old farm truck won't make it to "the big city" so I am kind of stuck. I either have to buy online or do without. Mostly I do without. LOL
Our biggest problem here is Walmart. They have run every mom and pop business right into the ground. Don't even get me started on that! Grrrrr. Some days I miss living somewhere that I can purchase whatever I want but mostly I am beyond happy with my little patch of heaven.

AndrewW
01-23-2012, 01:25 AM
Very well said! In my case, I live in a town with one stoplight and there are less than 2000 people. Our shopping choices are incredibly limited for whatever I want to purchase. Our old farm truck won't make it to "the big city" so I am kind of stuck. I either have to buy online or do without. Mostly I do without. LOL

Sounds a bit like here (though they added some more stoplights a few years back) though a bit more populated (getting a figure of 14,764 from 2000 census data). Don't have a Walmart here that's the town the road (past a village).

Not aware of anything like a camera store here in this city, the village which is next down the road or the town (which is actually bigger then this city but that's the way things are classified).

needwrk
01-23-2012, 08:09 AM
Excellent advice and idea Tommy! Thank you. I also have had similar experiences of wanting to buy locally but not being able to find it cos the local shop cannot afford to keep a decent inventory.. its just tragic to see once thriving business going down... :-( hopefully with more people thinking like you, things will get better...

TommyH
01-23-2012, 08:31 AM
In a small place I can see the need to shop online and use online services. It's when you get into a big place and the majority goes online to save a few a bucks that's when it really hurts. I have seen my job get shipped over seas with 3 companies. Use to do techy work.

I do hope people start trying to keep money in their community by spending locally. However, I am trying to buy a house so if they can hold off for a little bit longer I can get a really great deal on a house lol.



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