Friday, January 21, 2011

2000 images at Fotolia

Today Fotolia accepted my 2000th image. Fotolia had more than 800,000 members who had uploaded more than 4.2 million images so I am still small fry in a big sea :-)

Overall rank     8900
7 days rank     10250

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="400" caption="Maya's Christmas"]Maya's Christmas[/caption]


Tuesday, January 11, 2011

iPhone 4 on Verizon

I am not sure if I should be happy or start crying. On good side I am probably eligible to upgrade but on the other hand the worst carrier in San Francisco Bay area will get more traffic when many people who were waiting for this get iPhone or switch from other carriers. I cannot make or receive phone calls at my workplace in Palo Alto using this "most reliable" network. It does not work at home in Mountain View without extender either. Friends on any other networks here do not have this problems. Now I am stack for one more year and I am sorry that I switched.

[caption id="attachment_812" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="IPhone 4 on Verizon"]IPhone 4 on Verizon[/caption]


Monday, January 10, 2011

Slow-carb diet - Day 1

Today I started my slow-carb diet, which is based on eating foods with a low-glycemic index. Foods with a low GI break down glucose in your body slowly, keeping your blood sugar levels constant throughout the day. I have to avoid all bread, rice (including brown), cereal, potatoes, pasta, tortillas, and fried food with breading. I can eat as much as I want of the following foods: proteins (lean meats, poultry, fish, eggs, and cottage cheese); vegetables (except white potatoes); legumes (peas, lentils, beans, and nuts); and healthy fats (fish oil, saturated fat, olive oil and flax seed). Unfortunately also fruits and juices are also out unless you're doing so within 30 minutes after a workout.

My initial parameters:

Body Fat30.5%
Total Inches150.5

Hopefully weather will improve. My morning rides are not very pleasant. It was not coldest day of this year but for it was in low 40s.


Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Top 15 images

I have been submitting to microstock agencies for 32 months and still I am feeling like very serious hobbyist. Starting with my collection of landscape and travel shots I learned that it's not most profitable niche in microstock. Your images got buried in a pile million images from all over the world. Still my two best earners are representing this category:

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="450" caption="NYC"]NYC[/caption]

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Mission San Francisco de Asis"]Mission San Francisco de Asis[/caption]

Later I realized that microstock best images are actually model released photographs. I was not ready to throw money and hiring models so I decided to shoot me and my family.

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Father having fun with his daughter on the beach. "]Father having fun with his daughter on the beach. [/caption]

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="450" caption="Mother is feeding little girl"]Mother is feeding little girl[/caption]

When you have infant at home your travel options are limited but still I was able to get some sales from the stuff I did before.

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="450" caption="Lake Tahoe"]Lake Tahoe[/caption]

Then your child start walking which again opens possibilities for exploring outdoors together.

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="450" caption="Assisted walking"]Assisted walking[/caption]

You cannot go very far so your are happy that old stuff still sells.

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="450" caption="Hang gliding"]Hang gliding[/caption]

You start visiting places like museums and aquariums.

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="450" caption="Chrysaora fuscescens"]Chrysaora fuscescens[/caption]

It seems like my other subjects never got much traction. Still I am mostly selling my old collection of nature and travel shots.

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="450" caption="Lake Shasta Caverns "]Lake Shasta Caverns [/caption]

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="301" caption="Racetrack Playa"]Racetrack Playa[/caption]

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="450" caption="Bodie, California"]Bodie, California[/caption]

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="450" caption="Bixby Bridge"]Bixby Bridge[/caption]

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="450" caption="Wrangell-St. Elias National Park"]Wrangell-St. Elias National Park[/caption]

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="450" caption="Big Sur "]Big Sur[/caption]

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="301" caption="Inca Trail"]Inca trail[/caption]


Tuesday, January 4, 2011

2010 in microstock

Portfolio size.

It is getting harder to get images accepted in every agency nowadays. All my top 5 agencies rejected much more images than before. Only Fotolia seems to have higher than average acceptance rate. I am sending exactly same images to all sites     and images are randomly accepted or rejected. Most of these agencies sit on millions of images so I expected they will keep rejecting more images to save on storage costs.



Overall, I earned 43% more than in previous year. Not every agency contributed to this result. Shutterstock continues to earn over 50% of my royalties. 123RF is balancing around 15% as it was before. I lost around 10% of income since Getty purchased StockXpert. Images transferred to ThinkStock earn only 2% in comparison to 12% before this change. Also Dreamstime went down from %14 to 8%. On a bright side Fotolia keeps generating errand 5% and IS gives additional 8%. Few smaller sites that did not give any results in 2009 start generating sales which are usually very weak but combined give around 9%. I am not feeling well about depending mostly on income from two agencies. Dreamstime high rejection rates and lower sales make me think that they might next one that is going to sink. I am hoping that somehow Fotolia, CanStockPhoto and Veer would continue to build up momentum. Another question is IStockPhoto. Obviously they start generating me some income but at the same time they drastically lowered contributors royalties so next year might be not as good as it looks now.


The only agency that provides me with some sort of volume is Shutterstock. Others from top 5 are roughly 2/3 of it combined.  Volume is one thing but more interesting factor is how much agency pays for each image sold. For me RPD is usually below $1. Ironically agencies which give better RPD do not generate enough sales. I started suspecting that RPD is inversely proportional to sales :-)


Goals for 2011.

  1. Keep trying to improve results on Shutterstock

  2. Make serious effort to increase portfolio size on IStockPhoto

  3. Continue to upload to Veer

  4. Continue to grow on Fotolia

  5. Test if it is worth uploading to Dreamstime with growing rejections and declining sales

  6. Verify if there is a sense uploading to 123RF. Right now portfolio is huge but sales are stagnant.

  7. Keep trying more with video.


Sunday, January 2, 2011

December 2010 earnings breakdown

December is one of this "shorter" months, because people are just too busy with holidays all over the world so I expected lower than usual sales. It was just 96% of November results so I consider it pretty successful. As usual SS is over 50% of my earnings and 123RF would be second if I did not score one extended sale at CSP. All my other typical top 5 agencies continue to slide down with earnings. FT continue to have a hiccup, one month they do well next one it is very bad. DT barely made average result and IS was below expectations. Anything else is just a statistical error and makes me thinking about focusing only on my top 5 agencies. SXP got an accident this month, first they reported that they sold 10x more than in in the rest of the year this month, then they shut down the site and wiped out results to prevent people from cashing their money. Until now no results from November has been not posted.
[caption id="attachment_794" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="2010 December Microstock"]2010 December Microstock[/caption]

Reviewers were very busy with cleaning their backlogs which must be explanation of much higher then usual rejection rates across the board. RPD was up everywhere so it makes me think that it is inversely proportional to number of downloads :-)

[caption id="attachment_795" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="2010 December Microstock Trend"]2010 December Microstock Trend[/caption]

Dec Dec/Nov RPD
SS 52.00% 92.94% 0.58
CSP 17.29% 14066.67% 3.52
123RF 10.08% 111.51% 0.72
DT 9.14% 94.69% 0.77
IS 5.21% 41.31% 0.91
FT 3.90% 53.04% 0.58
YM 1.02% 2.50
Veer 0.43% 13.04% 1.05
BS 0.82% 57.14% 2.00
CS 0.10% 50.00% 0.25
Total 96.57%