Back in the Seventies and Eighties I founded and ran several Fleet Street photo agencies specialising in stock images of celebrities from pop stars to politicians. These were syndicated to the National and International press and Television. These days I am active in the Microstock world and this blog charts my journey as well as, hopefully, providing inspiration and ideas to others. Image buyers should also find this blog useful with links to my portfolios and regular updates on new uploads. Unless otherwise stated all images are my copyright and may not be reproduced or copied. Comments are very welcome but will be reviewed before publication. Enjoy your visit. Regards, David.

Thursday, 8 March 2018

February Sales Updates:

Santa Eulalia merchant schooner in Barcelona
February saw some improvements over the dismal January I am pleased to say.

Back on form in first place were Shutterstock with much improved sales and the return of a good number of On Demand downloads. Several modest Single sales also added to the results here.

Second place went to Istock with 25 downloads with my Tentertainment music festival images continuing to do well.

Redbubble came in third place with 3 product sales. I continue to be impressed with this site and always look forward to seeing what products from my range are purchased. Sadly, as yet, no one has bought a calendar -which I had expected to do well.

Fourth place went to Bigstock with 7 downloads -a mix of local images and Greek islands.
Vintage tram at Port Soller in Majorca

Dreamstime made fifth place with 5 downloads (all subscription sales).

123rf were in sixth place with just 4 downloads. To be fair, as well as stopping new uploads to them I

also opted out of their Partner sales so this is bound to have a downward effect. I am just waiting their promised "good news" announcement at the end of March before probably pulling the plug on them entirely.

Bringing up the rear were Mostphotos with just 1 download (a subscription sale for just a few euro cents). Some people, I gather, do quite well here but it has never really taken off for me. The ability to download your own images for free makes them useful as an additional back up for my files.

Nothing from Alamy in February but I continued to upload my back catalogue to them and now have around 2200 images there. I am hoping that because all my images are available with a Royalty Free license (they have to be because they are RF on other sites) I'll have a bit of an edge there. Carrying out test searches on my image subjects often throws up a lot of competition -until you exclude Rights Managed images from the results and a lot of the competition vanishes.
Zea marina at Piraeus in Athens

Nothing from Picfair either but I did make a major move by increasing the price of all my images from £10 to £40 (making them just under £50 when Picfair add their margin on top). Crazy move when a lot of photographers are only charging a pound or two? Maybe, but now I'm selling on Alamy the Picfair price just looked too cheap for what (I perceive) is a similar market. I also factored in that Picfair is now representing the long established Robert Harding (travel) picture library (prices well above mine!) and even the mobile phone images division of Alamy -Stockimo. If both those think they can get sales at premium prices then I didn't want to be selling myself short. Picfairs global price changer makes it easy to amend all your prices at any time in moments so I can always rethink my strategy at any time.

Recent uploading had me working through my various trips from last year including those from  Athens, Barcelona and Majorca. This year I am returning for an extended stay in Barcelona and going to the Greek island of Tilos -so I'm busy doing research to get stock image ideas ready. I'll report back on those later in the year. Regards, David.

Wednesday, 7 February 2018

January Sales Updates:

The Temple of Apollo on Aegina island, Greece
If December was a slow month then January can only be catagorised as dire. Even my top performing agency Shutterstock produced a disappointing result and for the first time in years failed to make the minimum for payout. I can only hope that February shows some improvement.

Shutterstock in first place managed only two On Demand sales and a small Single download and coupled with a reduced amount in subscription sales produced a far from stella month.

Second place went to Redbubble with 4 product sales ranging from childrens clothes to stickers.

Istock came in at third place with 27 downloads. A disappointing month from them also.
Michael Latham M.P. -third sale on Alamy

Fourth place went to Alamy with one single sale. This was my third sale there of the late Conservative politician Michael Latham. I actually managed to find that one in use on the BBC News website in a feature on Members of Parliament (and former Members)  who had died in 2017. I suspect that a number of my archive political images will end up being used in a similar way as time goes on.

Fifth place went to a perked up Dreamstime with 10 downloads (and not all subs at that). The Greek island of Agistri accounted for nearly half of these.

Bigstock managed sixth place with 9 downloads. My images of the Tenterden Food and Drink festival continued to sell there.

Seventh place went to Fotolia with just 1 download -a reasonable paying credit sale.

The church of  Agioi Anargyroi on Agistri island, Greece
Bottom of the pack in eighth place were 123RF with just 4 subscription downloads. My December editorial uploads continued to be pending throughout the month just to make matters worse. Their latest changes to commission levels (not even announced -just discovered) which, in my case, will make it much harder to ever move up from the low ball level one rates means that 123rf are very much making themselves contenders to be dropped by me.

Whilst considering the 123rf position I have also emailed both Cutcaster and YayMicro asking them to close my accounts. Though I haven't uploaded to either in a long time I was leaving my accounts open but have now decided that neither is likely to ever produce another payout and they may as well be closed. I expect to lose the small amount of commission earned but they probaly need it more than I do :)

Recent uploads included the 6th century BC Temple of Apollo on the Greek island of Aegina. You can read more about my trip to the island on my Small Greek Islands blog (link on the right). Hopefully my February results will make for more cheerful reading. Regards, David.

Thursday, 11 January 2018

December Sales Updates:

Tony Blair and Gordon Brown - archive sale at Alamy
A steady if unexciting month in December which, of course, saw the Christmas through to New Year holidays for many buyers.

As normal Shutterstock took lead place (despite a total of seven zero sales days). A reasonable single download pushed the income up a bit here.

Second place went to Redbubble with a pleasing six product sales (including, for the second month running, a print sale). I would assume that a good number of these items were destined to be Christmas presents. Sadly, I have yet to sell my first calendar there -despite having a number of different ones available.

The Arc de Triomf in Barcelona
Alamy took third place with 3 downloads -all from my political archives. An early image of Tony Blair and Gordon Brown (before they both went on to be Prime Minister) was amongst these. I have high hopes that the work I put into Alamy in 2017 will continue to pay off in the coming year.

Istock made fourth place with 36 downloads. A lack of high paying commissions brought the revenue down here this month.

Fifth place was taken by Bigstock with 6 downloads.

123rf were in sixth place with 6 downloads (a big change from November's surge). They also seem to have stopped reviewing my new uploads again with several batches still pending after some weeks.

Seventh place was another sad month for Dreamstime with (as November) just 3 subscription sales.

The famous La Rambla in Barcelona
Bringing up the rear were Fotolia with just a single sale. Maybe 2018 will be the year they throw open the doors to editorial submissions. I'm quite sure they'll be climbing my rankings if they do.

Recent uploads continued to focus on my Barcelona trip including a series of the Arc de Triomf (the Barcelona one!) and an image of the iconic La Rambla -the pedestrianised road that every tourist (and photographer) goes to. The regional elections which took place in Catalonia in December helped put the spotlight on Barcelona so I have hopes for these images in 2018.

Wishing all readers of this blog a happy and sales filled New Year. Regards, David.

Wednesday, 20 December 2017

November Sales Updates:

Barcelona bicycle sharing rank
A pleasing month in November with some strong results from some and only really one big disappointment.

Shutterstock had a good performance to stay at first place. A large number of On Demand sales and a rare Enhanced License kept them out in front.

Second place went to Redbubble with 3 product sales including a canvas print (products seem to sell better here so it was nice to get an actual art print sale). I have mentioned my lack of sales at Fine Art America many times so decided to go in and reduce my prices across the board there. I'll see if that has any effect.

Istock made a strong third place with 28 downloads and a pleasing amount of revenue. I am finding the batch uploading and editing on their ESP platform vastly quicker and easier than their old one at a time uploader.

A return for Alamy who made fourth place with the sale of another of my 1980s archive shots - this time of
Passeig de Colom, Barcelona
former Conservative MP Michael Latham. I continued to upload my (non archive) back catalogue here and now have a port of circa 2100 images.

In fifth place were 123rf with an outstanding 27 downloads. There was a theme there as nearly all the downloads were of my Greek islands images.

Sixth place went to Bigstock with 5 downloads. My images of the Tenterden Food and Drink Festival seem to have taken off here with several downloads turning up each month.

Dreamstime proved to be the disappointment in seventh place with just 3 subscription sales (and 35c sales at that). After last months upturn things just slipped away here.

Local Summer event - Tentertainment music festival
Fotolia, Mostphotos and Canstock took up places eight to ten with 2, 1, 1, downloads respectively.

Recent uploading continued with my Barcelona trip images (ahead of the Catalonian elections on December 21). I'm hoping my parliament building images get some sales in the coming weeks. I also edited and uploaded my images from the 2017 Tentertainment music festival -a subject that has always done well for me. For some reason the Istock reviewer rejected these as an Entertainment event best suited to the Getty newsdesk -despite just being people in a park at a local event that took place nearly six months ago! I'll re-submit those in due course as Istock have never had a problem with this type of image before and previous Tentertainment images are regular sellers on their site. Regards, David.

Wednesday, 22 November 2017

October Sales Updates:

Placa de Catalunya, Barcelona
October saw no sales at Alamy so they drop right off the list this month. It seems to be that it takes time to build regular sales there so I would expect them to jump on and off my rankings for some time to come. With a portfolio there now just passing the two thousand mark I am continuing to upload my back catalogue (as well as new images) and gradually building a presence.

With Alamy absent that, of course, leaves Shutterstock in top place and a good solid month of sales there. Shutterstock have recently caused some excitement by introducing a new submission editing page. I've only used it a few times but after spending thirty minutes trying to submit my first upload I found things got better once I grasped how the page works and I'm sure it will soon be totally familiar.

Redbubble made a strong second place with two sticker sales and a good print sale. As I approach the second anniversary of my last FineArt America sale I can only wonder at the big difference in performance from these two POD sites.

Istock came in third place with 35 downloads. Not as good as some recent months but subscription sales
Fountain in the Placa de Catalunya, Barcelona
are still averaging well above the old 28 cent flat rate payment.

In fourth place were Dreamstime with 5 downloads. A higher paying credit sale (above $5) and several of the $2 sub sales improved things here a bit.

Bigstock made fifth place with 9 downloads. A variety of sales but I'm still seeing a trend to local Hastings and area images - as I have noted many times before.

Sixth place saw 123rf with 7 downloads. I'm still languishing down at level 1 there and I'll need to see a lot more sales than that to have a hope of returning to level 2.

Catalonian Parliament building in Barcelona
Canstock made an infrequent appearance in seventh place with 2 downloads.

Fotolia brought up the rear in eighth place with just a single download (editorial submissions -please!).

Recent shooting and uploading has concentrated on my last minute trip to Barcelona following the declaration of independence there. Though only a two day trip I managed to get a number of key Barcelona images including, of course, the Catalonian parliament building. Hopefully, these will see some sales as fresh elections approach there. It was a brief but fun introduction to an exciting City and I will certainly be returning for a longer stay in the future. Regards, David.