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Stock Footage - Getty Image Etc.

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And to make matters worse most photographers work for a company. And guess who owns the rights to the photos, the Company. Ain't no money in stock photos unless you are nearly a household name that that people go to your website to buy stuff. And to get those type of shots, takes lots of money for gear, to pay models, to rent a Helicopter or fly to China on and on. You aren't going to shoot many Stock photos walking around your own town unless you live in Paris or Rome.

And then you are in business, and being in business is not as glamorous as it sounds. Been there done that 3 times in my life. 2 of them incorporated. 10, 12 hours a day or more, maybe 7 days a week. As a Photographer if you are doing weddings, they are Always on the weekend, or own a restaurant etc you will be working 7 days a week. Good way to get divorced, or have a Heart Attack, or both LoL.

Speaking of Stock Photos, I do like this one. It is on Adam Lillard's Facebook page.

 

poles.jpg

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36 minutes ago, webrunner5 said:

And then you are in business, and being in business is not as glamorous as it sounds.

A vast majority of profitable photography jobs are NOT glamorous at all. It's much more funny to shoot hot chicks with HSS and modifiers on sunset at F1.4 (at least the first 5 times) but it doesn't bring bread on the table - unless you do paid on location "workshops" with 10+ participants who admire you and your models. There is no job being at 100% glamorous. There always are routines and some boring activities you must fulfil daily. Even billionaires have to accept unglamorous daily routines...

36 minutes ago, webrunner5 said:

Been there done that 3 times in my life. 10, 12 hours a day or more, maybe 7 days a week.

Work / Lifetime balance is hard to get right. And mostly you pay with your own health. Is it worth ? No clue...

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4 hours ago, Arikhan said:

@User Just read this article on "stock photography parasitism" too: https://petapixel.com/2018/02/27/beware-500pxs-flexible-pricing/

I'm not suggesting that stock houses are the embodiment of all that is well and good in this world. More photos will be taken this year than in the entire history of photography combined, and that seems to make photos practically worthless now. Unless you are a known artist and can command a certain value that goes with your name.
It certainly explains why my friend moved over into video after doing photos for 20 years. Plus he is running that 8k Red which should leave him the option to hand off stills from it as well.

5 hours ago, PannySVHS said:

Or the other way around, killed their passion with their dayjob:)


Exactly. When I was 20, I thought of becoming a high paying respiratory therapist and then working towards storytelling with a camera. And I guess that would have been possible, however off-beat. But somehow I knew that one really has to have their hand in something full time to actually do well in it. To each their own and all that jazz.

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Well the problem is with having a Photography Studio, only thing I knew well photo wise, was each photographer I worked for had a specialty. And that is a good thing and a bad thing. Good thing is you know what you need and how to do it. The bad is it gets to be a JOB, a very repetitive one, and yeah it puts food on the table but it becomes a, do I really want to go to work today thing.

I mean every job most people have is some repeatable boring thing year after year. But the only way you can break into  Photo or Video, or both, and make Big money is to start your own company. And then you are on your own. And that gets scary as hell when no money is rolling in, and very few business have a constant money flow. When you work for someone else you are making a wage and that is that. Nothing wrong with that. That is what 98% of the people do, but they don't pay much unless you are some wiz, and not many are.

And if you work for yourself in this country you will not have Social Security when you retire if you always worked for yourself. You never did contribute into it. And no pension either, which I don't think many are going to have anymore anyways like I have. I get about half my Social Security I would have got if I never had owned my own company's for periods of time...

There is no easy way to any of it. It is hard work, and maybe knowing someone, great skills and desire, luck, etc. But Very few people have some dream job that lasts forever. Most people just have a Job. I never really was bothered with the job, it is the people you work with, around that make it enjoyable, kind of fun or just terrible. Ehh, making a lot of money a year doesn't hurt either LoL.

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Yep webrunner, none of this shit is ever easy.
In my game, doc film, there was a short period where all these smaller cheaper cameras and laptop editing arrived and documentary broadcasters were still paying decent amounts to commission a film, but that didn't last long.
Of course there are the big fish who play on a big level, but the traditional photography/ filmmaking model has been upended, and the successful new players are extremely nimble and niche oriented. The strong survive but are in a constant state anxiety, while everybody else digs through the leftovers. Kind of like drug dealers.

A big bag of rice, a fishing rod and a coral atoll in south the south pacific... thanks Reagan.

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2 hours ago, Arikhan said:

Work / Lifetime balance is hard to get right. And mostly you pay with your own health. Is it worth ? No clue...

Well if you have a family it is your job to provide for them. So unfortunately you might end up with a job, your own, or working for a company you hate but. well, it is your Job. But I think, me included, in the US has Way to much stuff. Toys if you want to call it. If a person is not a materialist person you Have time for family and are probably more happy and healthy to boot. But everyone is different and that is what makes life interesting.

8 minutes ago, User said:

Yep webrunner, none of this shit is ever easy.
In my game, doc film, there was a short period where all these smaller cheaper cameras and laptop editing arrived and documentary broadcasters were still paying decent amounts to commission a film, but that didn't last long.
Of course there are the big fish who play on a big level, but the traditional photography/ filmmaking model has been upended, and the successful new players are extremely nimble and niche oriented. The strong survive but are in a constant state anxiety, while everybody else digs through the leftovers. Kind of like drug dealers.

A big bag of rice, a fishing rod and a coral atoll in south the south pacific...

Out of Likes, but a great write up on your part. I guess I would have to add a sailboat to your wants in the last sentence. That would work.

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5 hours ago, webrunner5 said:

I guess I would have to add a sailboat to your wants in the last sentence. That would work.

Thanks amigo.
And towards your comment on the sailboat, I hear you. Fortunately older but decent boats are reasonably priced (and cheap in some cases) and I've recently learned about that nut Bernard Moitessier... what a life! It sure beats holding my tongue in the face of uncomfortable doc commissioning editors as their ships sinks even further.

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On 3/8/2018 at 8:22 AM, Robert Collins said:

Sadly. Absolutely correct.

And I totally respect those people who have managed to succeed in turning their passion into a career - it is simply a risk I am not prepared to take - in that I dont want to risk killing my passion.

Back on topic. I do buy some stock footage occasionally because I am too lazy to shoot it myself. Stuff like 'smoke' or 'chalk dust'... My guess is that it is this that sells ...or say glitches, flares or flashes - rather than the sexy girl on the beach shots we take on holiday.

Robert, I need stock footage about Pinballs, probably from a pinball event, what stock footage company could you recommend?, thanks.

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2 hours ago, User said:

Thanks amigo.
And towards your comment on the sailboat, I hear you. Fortunately older but decent boats are reasonably priced (and cheap in some cases) and I've recently learned about that nut Bernard Moitessier... what a life! It sure beats holding my tongue in the face of uncomfortable doc commissioning editors as their ships sinks even further.

I follow a lot of people on You Tube, even am a Patreon to some of them, that have sailboats, and a few that Full time RV.. Always wanted to live on a boat since I have retired. The old Navy Sailor thing I guess. Heck down in Florida you can find some for free at Marinas that people stopped paying dock fees to. They need work but hell you can tie up to a anchor ball in a river or harbor for free while you live and work on one. I knew people that had young kids that did it when I lived down there. Most powerboats you find cheap have the engines gone out of them. Big money at times to replace them. But then sails arn't cheap either to replace. No real free lunch but sailboats are cheap as hell to operate. But you can't live in Finland or Canada and do it LoL.

I had a lot of Bass Boats and a few 24' or less powerboats when I was younger. Loved it.  I came within a hair of buying a 54" power boat in Key West, Florida for 30,000 bucks but it needed like 5 grand of work done to it and the 30k was all I really had cash wise at the time to spare. I lost a 42' sailboat for 8,000 bucks in Florida also to another guy because I was a day late to go see it. I lived 200 miles away. Not easy to pull off during the middle of a work week! I was pissed to say the least.

But in reality I am getting too old to do the sailboat thing. I will be 71 in a less than a month. I need a Houseboat LoL.

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13 minutes ago, webrunner5 said:

I guess I am old LoL. Never heard of this, but fits this discussion.

https://www.artnome.com/news/2018/3/4/how-blockchain-will-change-photography

Nice find. This is where I was headed in my post: 

On the boat thing, my method is to always keep things as simple as possible, which might mean I never get a boat ;)

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One of my best friends in Florida that was 6' 4" and had a son that was 6' 6", and his wife was the kids mother lived on a 28' sailboat for 24 years free in the Sarasota, Florida Harbor! You can afford to do that LoL. Like he said they really sort of just slept on the boat. They worked all day and ate out a lot and the kid was in school for years. He was happy as a Lark as they say. No worries for crap. He was Deep Sea fishing guide, and he was licensed to pilot up to 120' long boats. So basically he gladly took rich peoples money LoL. Good old Captain Jim. I miss him. Fun guy to be around. And oh my God the stories he had to tell, Wow.

What is really crazy is that I knew him, not a friend then, when I was in the Navy stationed in Newport Beach, Florida on the USS Saratoga Aircraft Carrier. He was a Bouncer in a bar I used to go to a lot.  I remembered him like 45 years later when I moved into a place where he lived in a city 250 miles away from that bar.  He didn't remember me but he was a Big ass muscle bound guy at the time. Hard to forget.

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Does anyone know the stock footage site which shows how many times images have been downloaded or bought? I remember posting it on here once but can't find it. 

Edit: Found it today- it was iStock who now don't show the figures to people looking for images. I wanted to check what themes sell the most, but it is easy enough to do.

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Shutterstock, Fotolia, if you go into your sales at Pond5 you can see what's sold.  Getty, I just do photos there, and it's such a mess I just take the money.  As far as money and video's, Shutterstock I've made the most on, Fotolia on average is twenty eight bucks a sale, but I've seen over a hundred per video there, as well as Shutterstock.  Pond5 you set your price, I go low and high, it doesn't seem to make much difference. 

I should add, if you're going to start, keep with the majors.  Shutterstock, Fotolia, which is Adobe, and Pond5.  Getty I haven't a clue, like I said, they are so messed up right now it's hard to figure out what they're doing.  If you go on the fringe sites, you'll probably loose money, ie, it will take more time to upload to them than it's worth.

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On 09/03/2018 at 1:55 PM, Arikhan said:

The most valuable and objective appreciation of your visual work is the status of your bank account. Anything else is a matter of personal and subjective perception. Everyone makes his own luck.

 

Not everyone wants to make porn "movies" ;). 

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45 minutes ago, tomekk said:

Not everyone wants to make porn "movies" ;). 

Full ACK. But everyone needs to get bread and butter on his table. But not nearly for free, as nowadays the stock portals. Just sell your work directly to customers/people/companies. No need for online parasites.

No clue how to get real customers? OK, then put your work in the hands of parasites and be happy with the 5 cents you get...

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Arikhan, that's nice.  I'm glad you have an opinion, everyone has one.  That said, try, and I know it's hard, to understand that some people, such as myself, who takes care of a parent, with Alzheimer's, heart disease, plus a plethora of other problems, can't or don't have the time.  Forums are nice, but when posting, a poster should cast their net past their feet. 

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16 hours ago, Arikhan said:

Full ACK. But everyone needs to get bread and butter on his table. But not nearly for free, as nowadays the stock portals. Just sell your work directly to customers/people/companies. No need for online parasites.

No clue how to get real customers? OK, then put your work in the hands of parasites and be happy with the 5 cents you get...

Actually the 50% share that Pond5 keeps is quite fair and these are real customers who buy your stuff. The problem with these stock agencies is their low standards in curation. The majority of their collection is garbage so you need a vast amount of clips to get noticed and eventually it all comes down to quantity over quality. But for some people this is the only way to generate income as "real customers" is a hard thing to find these days and especially on remote areas or countries & cities that their economy has sank... If for example you are raised and located in the heart of London and someone else tries to make a living in Sandwick by shooting the sea and selling these clips on platforms, can you really blame him? What we consider as "real customers" in our profession exists only in healthy economies and, believe it or not, in some places content creation is not even considered as a "real job".

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