07 Nov 2008 Meet the New Yuri Arcurs – Microstock Entrepreneur

Not content with an annual microstock income of US$1.3 million and being the top selling microstock photographer, Yuri Arcurs is creating a microstock empire. Here’s a summary of his new entrepreneurial activities.

A New Blog

Yuri Arcurs's blog arcurs.com screenshotIt may not be news to those who follow the microstock market as it was launched back in May of this year (2008), but Yuri has replaced his old static website with a new blog.

Working his way to the top of the market, Yuri has learned quite a lot. He’s sharing these insights and experiences through his blog. He already has comprehensive articles on working with models, an overview of microstock agencies, and advice on what to shoot and what sells.

Blogging is also an opportunity for Yuri to support his branding – something he advised at the Microstock Superstars panel is crucial for top photographers in order to stand out in the microstock market. The blog allows him to shape his brand while helping attract more attention to his business and his portfolios.

Video Blogging

In additional to regular textual blogging, Yuri has teamed up with Crestock to produce high quality videos showcasing his production and how he works. Again, this initiative helps him share information and build his brand. He’s already published three videos which you can see on the Crestock YouTube channel or via Crestock’s blog. Here’s the latest episode:

Keywording Tools

Only months after it launched, Yuri purchased the photokeywords.com tool and moved it over to his own website. It’s still freely available for anyone to use and is a popular facility among microstock contributors.

Additionally, his own much anticipated keywording tool is still in development and will also be available via his website when it’s ready.

A Distribution Network

Taking the opportunity to leverage his investment in building a team and processes for his microstock business, Yuri is opening up that same service for elite quality stock photographers who can produce a high quantity of photos for the microstock market. Called the ‘Yuri Arcurs Distribution Network’, the business offers to retouch, quality check and correct, keyword and upload photos on behalf of its clients. The emphasis is on the strategic keywording optimization methods that helped Yuri reach the top of the market. In return, the business takes a 30-40% commission but leaves the client able to focus entirely on shooting photos.

Yuri provided an update on this business at PhotoPlus Expo, saying that it’s producing great results for its clients with return per image (RPI) reaching as high as $20 per month! His client list already includes more than ten top stock photographers from traditional agencies including Getty Image, Corbis, JupiterImages, Masterfile and Veer. Having invested heavily, he hopes the business will break even sometime in 2009.

25 Comments
  • Aczkolwiek
    Posted at 10:40h, 07 November Reply

    not content with such nice round number ?! ;]

  • R. Kneschke
    Posted at 11:09h, 07 November Reply

    When Yuri’s distribution channel takes 30-40% off the already low agency commissions from 20-50% then it’s finally time for the microstock agencies to raise prices and/or commissions… 😉

  • cudazi
    Posted at 11:16h, 07 November Reply

    I would love to give them a handful of my photos straight out of the camera, let the team retouch and correct, just to see how much better they turn out than if I did it…

  • R. Kneschke
    Posted at 12:35h, 07 November Reply

    @ cudazi:

    Yes, great idea, that would be worth a try…

  • Mikhail Lavrenov
    Posted at 13:26h, 07 November Reply

    According to the webpage, The Yuri Arcurs Distribution network is still “to be launched soon” as it was already for a while…

    Depending on the T&Cs I might be interested to try that service, because post-processing eats so much time and I am so much behind my sessions with my processing…

    • Lee Torrens
      Posted at 14:37h, 07 November Reply

      Hey Mikhail,

      While he hasn’t publicly opened up the service it’s been operating for some time already with photographers that Yuri has dealt with directly.

      Also the service is targeted at the cream of traditional stock photographers, hence the key phrase of the description, “elite quality stock photographers who can produce a high quantity of photos”. It won’t be open for “microstockers” like us. 🙁

      -Lee

  • Don
    Posted at 14:18h, 07 November Reply

    I’m not a cynic, but my science background always makes me question motives:

    Distribution network = Way to bolster falling micro revenues

    And once there’s several hundred users of the service, will they be enticed to join a Yuri microstock agency? That would be an interesting move.

    • Lee Torrens
      Posted at 14:48h, 07 November Reply

      Hi Don, in January he announced earning US$60,000 per month in micro and last month at PhotoPlus he announced earning US$1,300,000 per ‘year’ (over US$100,000 per month).

      I know the statements you’re referring to when you say “falling micro revenues” but you need to revisit those statements – falling revenues is an inaccurate interpretation of what he said. Additionally, a lot of time has passed since then.

      Additionally, the way he’s approaching the business at the moment it’s obvious he’s not interested in having hundreds of clients.

      I found the word “cynicism” in the definition of ‘bitter’. 😉

      -Lee

  • gonst
    Posted at 19:10h, 07 November Reply

    What a beautiful model…

  • orljustin
    Posted at 00:25h, 08 November Reply

    The only people Yuri is building his brand with, is his competitors. A blog about microstocking? Videos on how to shoot models? What to shoot? You don’t “build a brand” with the buyers with that kind of stuff. All you do is build a fan base of competitors.

    Well, I guess it’s worth it, if he’s stepping out of the shooting business and just milking his consultant worth.

  • Rahul Pathak
    Posted at 04:03h, 09 November Reply

    It was both humbling and inspiring to listen to the progress that Yuri has made in such a short amount of time. Thanks for the post Lee and for sharing some of these metrics.

  • Yuri Arcurs
    Posted at 12:16h, 14 November Reply

    hoho. I read this too you know.
    The revenue is dropping in Micro – for sure. I compensate by putting up production proportionally. I can’t keep doing this however because production is expensive, so the profit is stable to the overhead is bigger.

    • dreads
      Posted at 14:47h, 16 November Reply

      “I can’t keep doing this however because production is expensive, so the profit is stable to the overhead is bigger.”

      Sounds like you dug your own grave.

  • Don Farrall
    Posted at 14:23h, 15 November Reply

    Yuri’s numbers are conjecture, based on experience in the current microstock environment. What he is proposing, moving more pro-level material into the micro market, changes that environment. I’m not that impressed with the numbers, but more than that, I don’t think it is as simple an extrapolation. As content improves, so does competition for downloads. I truly believe that the end result is going to be an ever-declining ROI. We are already being told that to make any money in microstock it is necessary to cut production costs to the bone. This may end up being what separates traditional stock from microstock. A microstock images will be one that can be produced for a few dollars, no more, because of what it will return. A traditional stock image that can sell for hundreds or thousands of dollars can support a reasonable production expenditure. Sure there are some exceptions, but on a whole, I don’t think it adds up.

    I understand the argument that microstock earnings must be looked at as a portfolio or collection of images, and not on an individual basis, and that within that collection it is reasonable to expect some return from almost every image. I’m not interested in RPI over a given time, I’m only interested in total RPI, how much can I expect to earn from the production of a single specific image, ( or if it applies, ten images from a specific shoot ) that will someday no longer sell at all. “Is that number $100?, $500?, $1000?”. That number has to result in a net earnings that represents a fair return for my time, (and it needs to offset my overhead as well). I know what those numbers are for me, I’ve been at this for ten years; they do change, but at any given point they must represent a good ROI, or what’s the point? There is a quantifiable per-image production cost limit, and that limit, in my opinion, is not enough to support a professional level of production with a corresponding return. It may have in the initial term for shooters like Yuir, though I wouldn’t consider the stated return to be a very compelling argument, given the production expenses incurred.

    No one expects microstock to go away. Microstock represents a great opportunity for hobbyists and part-time photographers to make a little money from an endeavor that they enjoy. This was microstock in its initial incarnation. But, for professional level stock producers to move to this model based on the notion that the money is there seems very naive to me. The early adopters have done OK, not great, but OK, but I honestly don’t see the sustainability. Will Yuri’s model work? I would bet it works out OK for Yuri. I’m not at all convinced that the earnings potential is as easily quantifiable as it has been presented, especially over time… Game On.

  • Yuri Arcurs
    Posted at 11:56h, 19 November Reply

    No. My “model” will not work, especially not for traditional shooters shooting “quantity like yuri” entering micro. We have examples of at least two big traditional production houses entering micro and of what happens when they try to compete in this area shooting like they have always done, and you can ask them, they have probably experienced way lower RPI’s then what is necessary to get money back. I face the same problem, and constantly battle calibrating my cost’s accordingly and will hopefully stay above water.

    Project “yuri arcurs” is an all-in investment in a future to come and is built on an underlying assumption that microstock will be the preferred marketplace in the years to come. I truely believe that micro will be the marketplace for stock material in five years from now, no doubt. But it will not be the micro we see today, it will be matured, differentiated and with higher prices.

  • Peepo
    Posted at 19:30h, 19 November Reply

    This is really interesting. I agree that micro cannot produce SOME imagery that you find on Getty for example, as has been stated, production costs are too prohibitive.

    I think that so called ‘amateur’ photographers are able to produce very high quality images, and either micro as a whole accepts that there are some images that they just can’t have (due to high production costs). They could raise prices, or have tiered offerings – maybe a premium collection, or even buyers ‘bidding’ on some images (I think Dan Heller forecasts this scenario if my memory is right!), so it is worth photographers spending on production.

    I agree with Yuri – micro is constantly evolving, and I can see that it will not be long before the standard has increased so far to be out of range for the average amateur to be able to make money from (of course, many are not in it for money). I believe quality will inevitably increase as more experienced photographers test out micro as a way of making a living. As this happens, maybe more business buyers look to microstock with higher production values?

    Very exciting times!!! 5 years from now – I will agree with Yuri’s conclusion – gonna be a very different place in micro!

  • Jim Pickerell
    Posted at 12:39h, 20 November Reply

    Hi Don:

    I know we usually disagree, but I always enjoy being challenged by your opinion.

    Yuri’s numbers are based on what he is currently getting for the top person he represents. While they are conjecture to the same extent that all estimates of future stock revenue – be it RM, RF or micro – are conjecture, there is good reason to believe they have some validity.

    Last year iStock’s revenue grew at a rate of 60%. Getty’s Creative revenue didn’t grow at all. RF went down. All indications are (we don’t have any good figures this year) that in 2008 iStock, and the rest of the microstock industry, continues to grow at the same or a better pace than last year. Goldman Sachs predicted that Getty’s Creative revenue would drop 18% in 2008 (and that was before the October surprise). The RF segment of that is predicted to be dropping faster. Your RPI may be doing a lot better than Getty’s average, but we’re talking averages here.

    I not sure I understand your argument that your not interested in RPI over a given time, I’m only interested in total RPI, how much can I expect to earn from the production of a single specific image. I don’t think you really care if from shoot you have two images with a lifetime RPI of $50, 4 at $100, 3 at $200 and 1 at $500. What I think you really want to know is that the average lifetime RPI for these 10 images was $160. You don’t expect every image to produce $500 and you’re not upset if a few produce $50 or zero.

    Part of the problem is that the microstock business is really only about three years old, and it has been growing rapidly monthly so it is impossible to know what the useful life of these images is likely to be. But we do know that some images that have been on the market for three years or more are still selling. We also know that Yuri has some images that have sold over 8,000 times and the average price for a microstock image today is $5.00. I don’t know how many images were produced on these shoots, or how many times the others sold, but the quantifiable per-production cost is probably as good as most traditional RF shooters are getting today for a three year run.

    I know “professional” photographers who make a full time living from photography and have been in this business a long time that have turned to doing some microstock in the last 18 months and are averaging $50 per-image per-year. They say this average covers their production costs, overhead and gives them a profit. Part of the reason is that they tend to get at least twice as many images, and sometimes more, accepted from a given shoot. Thus this would compare with annual RPI of $100 for the traditional RF shooter.

    There are other things about the stock photo industry that we must accept. The stock photo industry was built on selling pictures to commercial users. Their numbers are declining and their needs are changing. The future is in selling direct to consumers. Microstock business is better positioned than traditional to address this new market. The worldwide market for still images at traditional prices is declining. We can argue about how fast, not about whether or not it is declining. On the other hand the market for images at microstock prices is growing and there is no indication as to where or when it will level off. The growth is in number of images used and in increased prices.

    To make significant money in microstock the photographer must shoot volume of the right type of material. Very few of the tens of thousands of microstock shooters produce such volume on a consistent basis. Maybe the volume shooters or “professional level stock producers” as you call them won’t be able to make a good return on investment shooting microstock, but if they can’t they won’t be able to able to make it selling at traditional prices either.

    • Don Farrall
      Posted at 15:09h, 20 November Reply

      Jim,

      Just a quick clarification, I know my statement, “I’m not interested in RPI over a given time” is confusing. My point is that I don’t care about RPI per month, or RPI per year, only total RPI. When I approach a shoot I do so expecting each finished image to earn a return that will represent a good use of my time. Obviously, I don’t expect an image that only takes a few minutes to produce and that involves little additional expense, to earn as much as an image that takes hours of production and/or considerable financial investment to produce. I know these numbers (for me) very well. I edit tightly, and acceptance of my images at Getty is a non-issue.

      I read your site postings every day, and I have generally found the information to be quite helpful. I’m quite familiar with the Goldman Sachs line, and I believe the decline of the traditional stock photo agencies is a reality that all traditional stock producers are grappling with. There is no doubt that microstock has wounded the traditional market. It may be that lifestyle photographers have as much potential now in microstock as they now do in the traditional market, a declining potential, to be sure. But that potential will only support very minimal production value. The net result will be a lowering of content quality, something that few people ever discuss. I’m not saying that there isn’t some quality content on microstock sites; that‘s not my point at all, I just don’t think the earning potential justifies more than minimal production expenditure.

      The not-to picky consumer is a big winner with the purchase of microstock. On the other side, the “I don’t care what it costs, just give me a spectacular image” crowd, ( a small crowd, but they do still exist ) are going to find fewer and fewer offerings available, which may bode well for assignment shooters.

      For an image to be successful in microstock the phrase “shoot for the middle” will have even more of a dumbing-down-effect than it did in traditional RF. Placing a specialized image that will only appeal to a few buyers on microstock is going to prove to be a total waste of time; that is if making money is the point.

      Always good to joust with you, and contrary to your opening statement, I don’t consider that we “don’t usually agree”. I think you and I share a fair amount of common ground.

      Don Farrall

  • Peepo
    Posted at 16:22h, 20 November Reply

    Don you make a few points:

    “It may be that lifestyle photographers have as much potential now in microstock as they now do in the traditional market, a declining potential, to be sure. But that potential will only support very minimal production value. The net result will be a lowering of content quality, something that few people ever discuss”

    “For an image to be successful in microstock the phrase “shoot for the middle” will have even more of a dumbing-down-effect than it did in traditional RF. Placing a specialized image that will only appeal to a few buyers on microstock is going to prove to be a total waste of time; that is if making money is the point.”

    + Why bring in lifestyle photographers in particular? Are you a lifestyle photographer?

    + Why does lower production costs mean low quality? It may not be financially worthwhile hiring lots of talent, flying to a location, but production values through great lighting and composition can easily be achieved on any shoot.

    + Why does microstock mean “dumbing down”? In subject matter? Are you talking about artistic vs commercial images?

    + What is a ‘specialized image’? Surely there are plenty of things to shoot apart from obscure images unlikely to appeal to enough people on microstock to make in financially worthwhile?

  • Don Farrall
    Posted at 17:27h, 20 November Reply

    Peepo,

    + Why bring in lifestyle photographers in particular? Are you a lifestyle photographer?

    No, I am not. But most hi-volume stock producers who are moving to microstock from traditional RF are, and they are moving because their images are no longer selling at pre-microstock levels anymore, and they have been convinced that they have no choice. Believe me no one who was established in traditional RF wants to move to microstock.

    + Why does lower production costs mean low quality? It may not be financially worthwhile hiring lots of talent, flying to a location, but production values through great lighting and composition can easily be achieved on any shoot.

    Low production cost simply means not hiring the best talent, not hiring stylists, not paying for the best props, not spending time and money on set building, not being willing to spend hours in post, etc. Great lighting is an aspect of talent on the photographer’s part; it has nothing to do with production, unless you are talking about the expenditure for specialty lighting equipment, or the time involved in a complex lighting setup. Some styles and types of photography are not affected by production expenditure limitations, but some are. I may not agree with Yuri about much, but I know he understands this concept. Some stock shoots are expensive, and because not everyone is willing to invest in those kinds of shoots there is less competition for those images. That helps, but in the end the images need to out earn the expenditure.

    + Why does microstock mean “dumbing down”? In subject matter?

    You are missing the point here totally. This is not personal, and it is not a slam, it is an observation. “Shooting for the middle” means selecting models, props, wardrobe, locations, and even shooting style that will appeal to the most potential buyers. “Shooting for the middle” means making images that lots of buyers will find acceptable. As a photo deviates from the “norm” –“middle” fewer buyers will buy it. A really cool but too weird to use image may be really cool, but how many times will it sell. Look at the “Highest Rated” images on ISTOCK, then look at how many times they sell. Not very promising, these images deviate from the middle more than the “Most Popular (most downloaded)” images, which define what the middle is. I hope this is clear. When a collection is populated with images trying to meet the buying requirements of the middle then it gets “dummed down”. This is not a quality assessment, it is a diversity observation. Hobbyists will continue to shoot off middle images because they aren’t in it for the money, but the stock producers (if there are any here) know exactly what I am saying.

    Yuri is offering to guide photographers that he takes under his wing, suggesting to them what to shoot and how to shoot it for maximum sales. This makes sense, but the net result is “dumbing down” the collection. Again this is not a quality condemnation, it is a diversity observation.

    + Are you talking about artistic vs commercial images?

    All images are commercial when we are talking about selling images, this is about money, it’s not about art.

    + What is a ‘specialized image’? Surely there are plenty of things to shoot apart from obscure images unlikely to appeal to enough people on microstock to make in financially worthwhile?

    A successful microstock image is one that lots of people will buy, period. It doesn’t matter if it’s a great image, what matters is how many people are willing to part with money to have it. Search on ISTOCK under object and check out the top selling photos, these are not specialized subjects, or objects. Some subject matter is of value to such a small buying audience that they will never be sold for hundreds of times, regardless of how cheap they are.

    Don Farrall

    • Peepo
      Posted at 06:48h, 21 November Reply

      Don thanks a lot for your reply

      “no one who was established in traditional RF wants to move to microstock”

      I definitely get a sense of this, but I can’t help feeling that it’s a little bury-your-head-in-the-sand mentality (not you personally) here. The world has evolved. It seems (to me) that these photographers are wasting energy fighting against this tide, although I can empathise if they see their established operations not giving the same return because of new competition, but there is a great new opportunity here too.

      “Shooting for the middle”

      Thank you for your clarification of this point. Surely though, this applies to any market – the middle ground will sell most be definition. This must have also applies to trad stock, the only difference being that one or two sales of alternate images may have given comparatively larger returns than in microstock.

      On some stock sites, eg istock, as you point out you are able to see which images sell which is great info for the photographer – something that I guess was not possible with Getty? However, the crowd mentality of cloning successful images can also create difficulties

      “dumbing down”

      It’s the semantics that niggles me. It suggest that the ‘true art’, or the photographers best work, not the ‘dumbed down’ versions are the images that will not sell, and that what sells will always be a compromise or not artistically worthy. I don’t believe this to be the case as for me, the creative challenge is to photograph common subjects in a new way that will still sell.

      Is the distinction really just to either ‘sell out’ to the mass market and make money, or shoot ‘art’ and be poor? I personally do not think so. Please correct me if I have misinterpreted your comments.

      “Yuri is offering to guide photographers that he takes under his wing, suggesting to them what to shoot and how to shoot it for maximum sales”

      With cloning of successful images by other photographers, and “shooting for the middle” with set ups that yield the lowest cost I feel that this does not create a unique selling point to certain types of image. Does high volume production lead to easily copied images (eg business person against white background ) leaving the photographer constantly having to chase his/her tail to still compete?

      By Yuri’s own admission, he needs to shoot intensively to combat competition from other photographers copying his style. If Yuri sets up a training academy, this will only further contribute to this perhaps?

      My feeling is this is like any other market, and the ultimately successful photographers will have a unique style, maybe coming from (slightly) higher production costs, which may look bad in terms of RPI, but may actually increase the lifetime of an image – something harder to quantify at present. In my mind there is definitely a balance between keeping costs as low as possible, but also differentiating your work so it continues to sell well and is harder to replicate.

      One last point – I don’t think photographers should be worried about high cost images. These will find their own outlet if there is market demand for them, but with the waters stirred up at the minute, this may be the sole fare of RM part of getty, or may be somehow included under micro sites in the future – time wil tell..

      • dreads
        Posted at 08:01h, 21 November Reply

        ““Yuri is offering to guide photographers that he takes under his wing, suggesting to them what to shoot and how to shoot it for maximum sales”

        With cloning of successful images by other photographers, and “shooting for the middle” with set ups that yield the lowest cost I feel that this does not create a unique selling point to certain types of image. Does high volume production lead to easily copied images (eg business person against white background ) leaving the photographer constantly having to chase his/her tail to still compete?

        By Yuri’s own admission, he needs to shoot intensively to combat competition from other photographers copying his style. If Yuri sets up a training academy, this will only further contribute to this perhaps?”

        Which perhaps goes to show, that his ultimate goal is to milk his profits in the future from a clan of followers, getting out of shooting competition. I think he probably had to move to this, after discovering that he has already trained his fan base with his constant promotion of his accomplishments and actions to the photographer base. As I said, he dug his own grave with this one, and anyone joining the “academy” will be just another duplicate.

  • Don Farrall
    Posted at 11:25h, 21 November Reply

    Peepo,

    “Thank you for your clarification of this point. Surely though, this applies to any market – the middle ground will sell most be definition. This must have also applies to trad stock, the only difference being that one or two sales of alternate images may have given comparatively larger returns than in microstock”

    This does apply in the traditional stock photo market. “Middle images” sell the most. It is the reaction to this known reality that people “shoot for the middle” because they are trying to reach the broadest buying audience. This has a “dumbing down effect” or let’s call it a “middelizing effect” if you like, in traditional stock as well. The difference is, an off-middle image that only appeals to a small segment of the marketplace can still be viable with a few sales, when the royalty adds up to a few hundred dollars. That potential is greater in traditional stock than it is in micorstock. Additionally as you have pointed out, in microstock the top sellers are on display. In traditional stock there exists a bit more restraint about copying each other’s work, or at least there was at one time. The traditional stock shooter is generally a bit more educated about the business of photography and copyright, etc. The masses, especially in some parts of the world, mostly could give a rip about copyright, and copying others work just seems like good business, not like taking a short cut.

    “It’s the semantics that niggles me. It suggest that the ‘true art’, or the photographers best work, not the ‘dumbed down’ versions are the images that will not sell, and that what sells will always be a compromise or not artistically worthy. I don’t believe this to be the case as for me, the creative challenge is to photograph common subjects in a new way that will still sell.”

    I’m not suggesting that there are “dummed down” images, only that the diversity of the collection becomes “dummed down” by virtue of shooting for the middle, (because off middle images can’t generate enough $ to be profitable at microstock prices)

    “Is the distinction really just to either ’sell out’ to the mass market and make money, or shoot ‘art’ and be poor? I personally do not think so. Please correct me if I have misinterpreted your comment”

    I think you are missing my point here a little. Art has nothing to do with it. I use an artistic approach to my commercial work, but make no mistake, this is all about commerce. To do any of this for art sake is another venture all together. And anyone who is at this for the art is not bothering anyone here, who is here for the commerce.

    “By Yuri’s own admission, he needs to shoot intensively to combat competition from other photographers copying his style. If Yuri sets up a training academy, this will only further contribute to this perhaps?”

    I suppose this is somewhat true. I would suggest that there is more to it though. The marketplace is flooded with images. The early adopters with top earning images gained those spots when there was little competition and the “most downloaded” viewing perpetuated the sales of the individual images. It will be much tougher now for a newly introduced image to yield the top numbers that we see under most searches.

    Go to Istock, search “Christmas Object”. The top selling image is a photo of two Christmas ornaments. It has sold 1748 times. Does anyone really think that a new similar, or even “better” photo of two Christmas ornaments will sell that many times? No, because now there are hundreds of photos of two Christmas ornaments on Istock, competing for those sales. This is true in every search across the system. Look at the top sellers, and then look at how many similar images there are competing with the top sellers. Sure the top selling images still sell, but the easy days of running an image up to thousands of sales are behind us.

    Don Farrall

  • Peepo
    Posted at 14:55h, 21 November Reply

    Don – thanks a lot for your reply and for taking the time to give an explanation of those points – interesting reading.

    “Go to Istock, search “Christmas Object”. The top selling image is a photo of two Christmas ornaments. It has sold 1748 times. Does anyone really think that a new similar, or even “better” photo of two Christmas ornaments will sell that many times?”

    This is the really interesting thing for photographers now – competition. I agree with you that early adopters did have an advantage, that will quickly be eroded. As the amateur gets slowly squeezed out of microstock and the spread of contributors starts to change, I wonder if the profile of buyers will also change.

    Will those that bought from Getty look to microstock as they see standards increase? Will there be as many easily replicated ‘white background’ images? I think that microstock will evolve into something more than ‘cheap and cheerful’, sometimes cliched imagery into something a lot more sophisticated over the next few years, possibly with tiered collections or auctions.

    There are certainly cases where microstock images have been used everywhere – packagaing, national tv ads, feature films, websites, etc. Obviously there are likely to be a lot more website uses than feature films, but it shows the quality of microstock is improving.

    The question that I always come back to is: As a photographer making a living from microstock, how can I best ensure my income in the future?

  • Faraday Effect
    Posted at 15:57h, 18 December Reply

    30-40% for some editing, some keywords, some uploading? I have someone, a brilliant student, who does all this for me, partial time, for abut 500 $ month. Thats not even 7% of my monthly income.

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