14 Aug 2008 What Would You Ask a Microstock Superstar? Win a PhotoPlus Gold Expo Pass

PhotoPlus Gold Expo Pass 2008What would you ask a Yuri Arcurs, Andres Rodriguez or Kelly Cline if you were to attend the Microstock Superstars panel at PDN PhotoPlus Expo in October? Write your question below in the comments and on August 20 I’ll choose my four favorites who will each win a Gold Pass to the exhibition.

The PhotoPlus Expo Gold Passes give you a preview to the expo floor an hour before the crowds, priority registration area, priority admission to keynotes and special events, access to the private Oasis lounge, and discounted subscription to Photo District News.

If you’re not going to be in New York for the expo but have a question you’d like to ask, post it anyway. I’ll ensure the best questions get asked at the seminar and I’ll post the response here on Microstock Diaries. If you want the Gold Pass, make sure your email address is valid so I can contact you if you win – your email address will not be made public.

I’m looking forward to seeing what questions you have!

2008-08-15 Clarification: prize includes access to the Microstock Superstars panel ‘in addition’ to the Gold Pass.

  • Matt Antonino
    Posted at 20:35h, 14 August Reply

    Good question!

    I think many of my questions directed to Yuri & Andres would be “what now?” I understand (mainly) their story, how they run their businesses very differently from each other – but I guess I’m wondering what they see as the “next logical step” mainly because I hear both talking about the future so much lately.

    Also, I wonder what is the biggest *mistake* each has made – what shouldn’t they have done? Investments, shoots, types of stock, etc.

    Thanks! I wish I could be there but I’ll be on the way back from our major trip!

    • Lee Torrens
      Posted at 15:56h, 15 August Reply

      Excellent questions Matt, thankyou

  • Dan Richardson
    Posted at 14:36h, 15 August Reply

    If you had to start over again, knowing what you know now, and with the Microstock sites available now, which ones would you start with and why?

  • Ann Parry
    Posted at 15:41h, 15 August Reply

    1) Do you anticipate many of the, especially, non-giant stock photography agencies merging with bigger ones or closing in next several years; Why, and, if yes, how do recommend that effect the business strategy of a serious stock photography contributor?

    2) Do you anticipate more of the Big stock photography agencies deciding it’s important to seriously try to motivate contributors to go exclusive in future, and why?

    3) Would you advise a dedicated stock photography contributor to go (a) microstock (b) macrostock, (c) micro-and-macrostock, or (d) a different option, perhaps one you anticipate evolving in the future; and Why?

    Yes, I wrote more than one question, because I sincerely have more than one question that I’d love to ask someone with deep knowledge and strong reason to have put thought into these matters.

    If that disqualifies me, I will be very sad because I’ll be at the Expo again this year, and would burst into joyful dance, being careful not to swing my camera into anyone, to meet Yuri Arcurs, Andres Rodriguez, Kelly Cline, and Lee Torrens.

    • Lee Torrens
      Posted at 15:57h, 15 August Reply

      Hi Ann, disqualify? No, you have three entries and three chances to win! 😉


  • Matthew Botos
    Posted at 16:05h, 15 August Reply

    What aspects of microstock photography do you find most personally satisfying?

  • Paul Pegler
    Posted at 02:55h, 18 August Reply

    How much has the focus on “Global Warming” changed the way you photograph?

    Do you shoot images that highlight this?


  • Jim Pickerell
    Posted at 17:09h, 18 August Reply

    1 – You guys have done well, but is it possible for someone coming in today, no matter how talented and how much time and money they are willing to invest in microstock to match what you’ve achieved?
    There is increasing over supply of imagery
    Many customers search by download and tend to pick the images others have identified as the best
    Those with the most downloads get priority giving early adopters a tremendous advantage over everyone else.

    2 – Relative to shoot time, how much time do you spend on pre and post production? [Base your answer on the average half-day (4 hour) shoot. Count staff time, not just your personal time.]

    3 – What percentage of your income comes from EL’s?

    4 – What percentage of total images downloaded are from EL’s?

    5 – What is the average income you receive from your EL licenses?

    6 – What is the current average gross price for non-EL licenses? [This would give us some idea of what the non-EL licensed images are used for. If it is very low then it probably represents a lot of web use. If it is about the price of a medium or large image then it may indicate that a high percentage of the uses are for print.]

    7 – In most cases the standard license allows a print run of 500,000 pieces. In some cases (I believe it is Stockxpert) 250,000. Should that number be lowered so the standard license is really only for small users and bigger organization are required to purchase an EL? [As I understand it, the argument for offering images so inexpensively is that many mom and pop companies can’t afford to pay more for their images used in advertising and promotion. It seems to me that anyone who can afford to pay the printing costs for 250,000 copies of something could afford to pay a little more for the images they are using in that piece.]

    8 – Are any of your images being moved to Fotolia’s Infinite collection so you would receive a higher price per download?

    9 – How does Infinite work for you?

    10 – Should images with a high number of downloads be moved to Infinite, or something similar so customers who want to use your proven best sellers have to pay more to use them? Is this a good idea? If not, why not? [Dreamstime works on this system.]

    11 – Are you seeing any decline in the number of sales per image in the file? [For example revenue may be rising due to price increases, not due to licensing more images. In addition, because you are constantly adding new images to the file the total number of downloads per month could be rising, but not as fast as you are adding new images to your collection. For example: When you had 5,000 images in your collection you were licensing rights to 20,000 downloads per month. When you reached 5,500 you are licensing rights to 21,000 images per month.]

    12 – Is useful life of images declining? If it is, and that is happening to you and you have the advantage of your images coming to the top of “search by download” what is happening to those people who don’t have many downloads?

    13 – Do you have any idea as to the percentage of the top shooter who are graphic designers?

    14 – Are graphic designers earning more money because they get photos cheaper? [In other words are they bidding the projects at the same prices they have always charged, but due to being able to buy less expensive images are they able to earn a greater profit, or are they giving their customers the benefit of the lower prices?]

    15 – Do you have any idea as to the percentage of microstock contributors who would like to earn a living from taking pictures? [If standard prices were doubled from what they are now, how many more photographers would be able to earn a living from the images they shoot? How many customers would be lost due to such price increases?]

  • Claudio
    Posted at 19:28h, 18 August Reply

    1) Which is the near future for microstock?
    I mean, will both buyers’ and photographers’ pool continue to grow – which is a good thing for all? or will the number of photographers grow faster than buyers – which is a bad thing for us photographers, leading to lower revenues?

    2) Will the race for lower prices – expecially on subscriptions – continue or will the agencies finally understand that there’s room for a little price increase without losing customers?

    3) Does the concept of ‘passive income’ make some sense or are we forced to upload more and more just to mantain the same earnings?


  • noam
    Posted at 12:43h, 19 August Reply

    1) How many final (uploaded) images do you produce on a one day shooting session (8 hours) ? especially Kelly Cline with your food/stile life imagery?

    2) Do you still get rejections?

  • kabby
    Posted at 08:00h, 20 August Reply

    (1) Have you ever gone after someone for infringement of terms of use? If so, what was the result, did the agency back you up(if you knew which one)?

    (2) I have seen it indicated somewhere in the past that “yuri arcurs” is not his actual name. Am interested in the legality, logistics and reasoning for this. Is this something every photographer/artist should consider?


  • Lee Torrens
    Posted at 13:55h, 21 August Reply

    Entries are now closed. Thanks to everyone who submitted questions. I am very impressed with the quality and variety of questions.

    I’ll announce the winning questions after the winners have been contacted.


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