Chris Barton, the “Fair Trade Photographer” joins the well known anti-microstock apologist Dan Heller in blaming microstock. The article is very nice, but I guess if Chris would be the author of that group image, he proudly would show all these usage examples to his prospective customers. Anyway, welcome to the club, Chris, you are in the good company.
Back to 2007 Dan Heller was absolutely sure that microstock is a transitional business model and that the microstock agencies are hurting themselves. Explaining why the microstocks can not survive Dan says:
Now in 2010 we can see that the microstock business did not collapse, being a growing industry even in the recession period, while most traditional stock photography agencies experience a sharp decline in sales. Surprisingly for Mr.Heller, the microstock continues to rapidly expand and keeps threatening traditional royalty free and right managed stock photography business models.
Surprisingly enough, Dan Heller was served for some time as the Vice President of Marketing at Picscout, a company which proudly displays Dreamstime logo at the top line of their list of customers. If you can not beat them, join them.
Canon has released a new free firmware version for 5D MKII, making shooting video faster and easier. In addition to two new auto-shooting programs in Av and TV mode, this free firmware update adds new 24 fps (movie-like) and 25 fps (PAL) frame rates, and manual sound tuning.
This release fixes login and upload of stock photos to Bigstock and 123rf . It also fixes Dreamstime and Fotloia microstock sales statistics. We took off Stockxpert microstock site due to their merge with iStockphoto.
CanStockPhoto – sales stats for every stock image at your fingertips, better security and reliability0
ProStockMaster microstock software v1.7.2 now works with CanStockPhoto via our proprietary PSM API. From now on all microstock contributors can track their microstock sales and download stats for every stock photograph or an illustration submitted to CanStockPhoto with ProStockmaster microstock tool.
All data is transferred over HTTPS, which significantly improves the communication security between the microstock photography agency and the stock photographer’s computer.
Many thanks to Duncan Enman, CEO of CanStockPhoto and his great team for making this possible.
I am a Canon guy and I always was. However, when Nikon comes with an in-camera projector creating up to 40″ on-the-wall images & movies straight out of the camera, I applaud to Nikon engineers and their drive for innovation. Truly amazing idea and must be a state-of-the art technology, which packs all the great features in a pocket size P&S box.
>>> July 27 2009 – UPDATE: Hurry, just a few days left! <<<
We have started in June 2006 and this month ProStockMaster celebrates 3 years online.
We invite you to celebrate with us and we are happy to offer you a special limited-time discount: 15% off for PRO license. Hurry, this offer ends on July 31.
Redeem coupon 3YEARS here
Did you know that if you do not work with Shutterstock microsotck agency you can use “Shutterstock FTP” credentials uploading to any FTP-enabled stock photography agency instead?
Just keep in mind that what is shown as “Shutterstock” in PSM microstock software is in fact your trusted “ABC” stock photos agency.
Doing that is simple: go to “Upload->Stock Agencies->Shutterstock” and replace Shutterstock FTP server name with the name of the FTP server for “ABC” stock photography site, adding your FTP credentials for that stock imagery agency or stock content distributor.
From now on, each time you upload to “Shutterstock” the file actually goes to “ABC-stock”.
If you did not see it yet somewhere else, worth watching:
a virtual tour in Yuri Arcurs photography studio, guided by Yuri – the famous professional microstock photographer, who runs now a stock photography production company.
Expect some Crestock promotion inside 🙂
New in this release:
1. Uploads to Shutterstock microstock web site are switched to FTP. Go to “Upload->Stock Agencies” to change your credentials.
The FTP server name is already filled in for you by the app. Your FTP user name is your email address, which is on file with Shutterstock and the password is your regular Shutterstock web site password. Since the connection to Shutterstock is now via FTP only, your stock photos sales stats for this site can not be displayed anymore.
2. “Export Metadata” dialog added in “File->Export Metadata” menu. It creates a CSV file with JPG IPTC metadata and a few more file parameters for all JPGs in a specified folder. Optionally, it works recursively on all the subfolders of the specified folder. You probably remember this free JPG IPTC metadata dump utility? Now it is an integral part of PSM, available for free with any license. Just open “File->Export Metadata” menu and select a folder to be exported.
3. Fixed an annoying bug causing thumbnails not to be displayed in many cases.
I am sure you faced it at least once – you start PSM, open a folder and there are no thumbnails, just the file names with ‘…’ are displayed. Well, not anymore.
The app still needs some time to draw the thumbnails at the first access, but once the initial processing is done you get all the graphics instantly.
4. EXIF reading is back.
EXIF decided to leave PSM for a few weeks. Now it is back at its full.
5. Manage metadata – copying data between images: verified & OK. Also the dialog will close now when a user press OK in the “applied” confirmation message.
6. Alamy uploads: only one image can be uploaded. The issue is still there.
A quick check shows that the same is correct for Alamay uploads from their web either with their Java applet or with Alamy ActiveX control. Seems to be a problem with their web server. More info…
7. Minor fixes & updates for performance and graphics, here and there
Here is the email I just have received from iStockphoto.com:
Standards at iStockphoto are always evolving. Our team of editors has been examining the collection and have decided that your image no longer meets our current standards. We understand that no one wants to lose an image from their portfolio, but we think that the rest of your work is much better.
You have two options. You may deactivate the image now. Or you may leave it in our Dollar Bin. The Dollar Bin is a collection of images with similar legacy quality issues. Every file in the Bin is available for one credit at any size. Images remain in the bin for four weeks after their last download, at which point they are automatically deactivated. It’s a way of giving the image a last chance before finally removing it.
If you have any questions regarding this matter, please address them to [email protected]
Go here if you like to deactivate your image:
Let me read you what is written in this message.
iStockphoto is just too good for your images. You either remove them or you remove them. If you do not like this choice we will remove them on our own.
Now, please tell me who was the marketing genius behind this correspondence. I just want to shake his (her?) hand. I am sure that anyone who got such a message feels upset after reading it.
So, iStockphoto wants to keep their microstock collection ‘clean’, containing only brilliant images. I see. No doubt this is a good target iStock should aim to. I just wonder why this stock photography agency prefer to lose money instead of making it, sending messages like this one above to tens thousands microstock contributors. Any iStocker will be shocked reading this text exactly like I was.
How much did you guys cost to bring in a new contributor who generates some sales? Now take this cost and multiply it by the number of photographers that will leave you now – this is the cost of such a marketing communication. I will not be surprised if many microstock shooters will just stop submitting their stock photos to iStock, which appears to be too good for their artwork, preferring submitting stock images to other microstock agencies that treat their contributing stock photographers differently.
Bravo iStock! – good work, great marketing, refreshing approach to the customers relationship. Thumbs up!
I especially loved “You have two options.” quote. I see it this way:
One dark night you meet a robber. He points his gun on you and says:
“You have two options. You either give me your money and then I kill you or I first kill you and then I take your money.”
Being a good iStockphoto marketing person, the robber continues: “Do not you worry, my friend. The choice is yours!”.
And being polite the robber adds what iStock completely missed: “Oh, and thank you for doing business with us!”.
In a short time after this post has been published I got a personal message from iStockphoto staff, saying that the email discussed in this post was sent out by a mistake and they apologize for the misunderstanding.
According to iStock, what should be sent out was this message:
An image of yours has been moved to the iStockphoto Dollar Bin.
You have two options:
1. Deactivate the image
2. Leave it in the Dollar Bin
The Dollar Bin is a collection of images available to our clients from one to seven credits, depending on size. We feel the Dollar Bin provides another chance for the file to be downloaded… at a lower price.
If you have any questions regarding this matter, please address them to [email protected]
Click here to deactivate your image: http://www.istockphoto.com//file_closeup.php?id=xxxxxxx
Well, first I appreciate iStockphoto ability to react extremely fast. They understood their mistake and tried to fix it.
Obviously, this is a very different message to a contributor. There is no single word about image removals!
Mark Dennis, iStock commented out what happened with their Dollar Bin initiative at last: So the gremlins got into the auto email system again, and some people got an email saying that the files will be deleted after 30 days if they’re not selling.
Well, it seems that these gremlins, goblins and trolls were quite human and very intelligent, and really enjoyed what they did to the company, these cute little pets of iStockphoto.
I would suggest iStock to take the entire gremlins family out of the iStock email system once and forever. And please deduct the damages costs from the gremlins salary, just as a “lessons learned” action. Typically, it works at its best avoiding further similar communication with the customers. 😉