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Stock photography service on MFLenses
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 14, 2010 2:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Count me in too.


PostPosted: Sun Mar 14, 2010 3:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

More interest what I did expect ! Many thanks!


PostPosted: Sun Mar 14, 2010 4:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've got over 1,000 stock photos stored on Photoshelter that I could FTP tomorrow. Of course, they are already everywhere else, too.

I think you need to put a lot of thought into the pricing, packaging, inspecting, quality requirements, search algorithm, and - of course - the terms and conditions. I would want an assurance that I could withdraw anything within a month of requesting that.

I assume you have already raided the main stock sites to see what their terms and conditions are.

Are you just going to offer everything, regardless of what it is, or are you going to put forward a specialised collection - possibly even insisting on exclusive photos? Are you going to go down the "no faces, no copyrighted goods/trademarks" road, or are you going to offer licenses for non-commercial use? What size downloads will you offer and will you supply by subscription, by use of credits or by pay-as-you-go credit card?

Who will inspect the images for legal and technical issues? How will you reach new customers and what are you going to offer them that is better than all the established sites have offered? How will you attract enough images to make it worthwhile people looking for them here? One recently launched site was paying photographers up to $100 each just for submitting large numbers of photos.

How will you pay people in countries where the online payment agencies don't work? Cheque by post is the only answer to that.

I think it is too late to try to jump on the general microstock bandwagon. You're not really even in the game until you have more than a million images online and searchable. Maybe you could manage some sort of specialised, higher-priced agency... but that probably means insisting on exclusive images and will people provide those to an agency with no track record of selling anything?

Lots to think about, anyway.


PostPosted: Sun Mar 14, 2010 4:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Maybe we should have the photos, posted in that MF stock site exclusively here. Just an idea.
And I guess we shouldn't try to copy the big sites with their nicegirlwithlaptoporheadphonewhileshakinghands-pictures. There are a few milliones of this pictures out in the net, already. Softwashed and perfect.

We are extra with our lensmanual-thing, why not being creative with pictures?

Just my 0,5cents.

Klaus


PostPosted: Sun Mar 14, 2010 4:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

@ PaulC

I think that you have 100 % right. There are too many agencies on the way that we have to start the next one and can only offer "me too".

So the big questions is, what we can do with the very good ranking at google ? We have to find a new niche market. Beside all technical, legal and other questions that is the main problem.

Perhaps we have to start only with 1 or 2 categories, but if a possible customer needs a photo out of such a category he has to think at first at mflenses and not at the lots of other sellers.

So, the question is, what are our advantages against other photographers. One of them could be that this forum has members all around the world and could therefore offer easily many pics from different locations.

Wink


PostPosted: Sun Mar 14, 2010 4:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Klaus - I thought about the rougher, more creative stuff. Getty is taking some of that from Flickr now. The trouble is, how do you separate the genuinely creative from the stuff that is just rubbish? And, perhaps even harder, how do you tell the provider of rubbish that it is, indeed, rubbish. Especially if it happens to be someone with a long association with this site? Also, you are going to need a lot more photographers - where will you get them from?


PostPosted: Sun Mar 14, 2010 6:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

PaulC wrote:
Klaus - I thought about the rougher, more creative stuff. Getty is taking some of that from Flickr now. The trouble is, how do you separate the genuinely creative from the stuff that is just rubbish? And, perhaps even harder, how do you tell the provider of rubbish that it is, indeed, rubbish. Especially if it happens to be someone with a long association with this site? Also, you are going to need a lot more photographers - where will you get them from?


Agree with everything you wrote.
No need to copy the boring stuff, something creative, outstanding would be needed. And that is not really easy to do!
But by which standards. Who will set up the standards anyway?
And yes, I see the problem of people getting offended when their stuff won't be accepted (wrote about that earlier)! Easy to get rejected by an unkown one at SS or Istock, here it is more familiar and I guess, this project has lots of potentials to mess up the whole MFlenses community!

Yes, you are right again: Lots of pictures! Lots of photographers. Yes, I know. But maybe not masses, as this might be a niche.

But if this project will get on the way from an idea to realisation (don't think, it will be a big success, but maybe a small one with creating something different, the big one will envy us for), every idea, support and criticism should be done as soon as possible, before lots of work and time will be wasted. That's why I wrote a few comments. Maybe I'm completly wrong with everything. Don't know & don't care....



Wink Wink Wink Wink Wink


Klaus


PostPosted: Sun Mar 14, 2010 7:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Attila, think twice. Maybe too much work for nothing. Just my opinion.


PostPosted: Sun Mar 14, 2010 7:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

magnet-2009 wrote:
Attila, think twice. Maybe too much work for nothing. Just my opinion.


Yes, this was my opinion too before. I will give it a try I can solve software issues within a few days that is ok for me.


PostPosted: Mon Mar 15, 2010 1:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, once it's up and running, I'll give it a go.
Gives me more of a kick up the backside to go out and get some more pics Smile


PostPosted: Mon Mar 15, 2010 9:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rolf wrote:


So the big questions is, what we can do with the very good ranking at google ? We have to find a new niche market. Beside all technical, legal and other questions that is the main problem.

Perhaps we have to start only with 1 or 2 categories, but if a possible customer needs a photo out of such a category he has to think at first at mflenses and not at the lots of other sellers.

So, the question is, what are our advantages against other photographers. One of them could be that this forum has members all around the world and could therefore offer easily many pics from different locations.

Wink


Attila, I was out for some days and when I come back, there's this topic.
I find this is a good idea and I'm in. Let's test it.

I agree with Rolf.
We have to work on our specifications which make the differences compared to others.
Let us try some niches.
Rolf is right when he says that our members are all around the world. We can offer stock pictures and even specific pictures shot on demand.
We use MF lenses.
We are very friendly here and always support each others in positive ways.

It would be great to use these strengths.
Don't forget our weaknesses. They have to be taken into account.
Then seize the opportunities which will appear and set aside the threats that will arise.

Smile


PostPosted: Tue Mar 23, 2010 2:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I need following information if you know it please help me.

What is payment amount, method for photographers on other stockphoto sites ?

What is buyer cost, purchase method on other stockphoto sites?


As a buyer I like to purchase pictures individually not in batch and not within monthly membership on low cost as possible.

As a photographer I like opposite position, we need to solve this problem best as possible.

So essentially we have to know what competitors offer.

Also important I think price by resolution.


PostPosted: Tue Mar 23, 2010 7:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Attila wrote:
I need following information if you know it please help me.

What is payment amount, method for photographers on other stockphoto sites ?



My first post on this topic was related to your question ( or vice versa)?
You are looking into micro or macrostock?


PostPosted: Tue Mar 23, 2010 8:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think we have better chance in micro stock range. What you think?


PostPosted: Tue Mar 23, 2010 8:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Building a Microstock business is tricky now.

(My views only!)

Sales/buyer model
Most microstock seems to be used for building websites and blogs.
These are customers that come often and want lowest price possible and quick and easy.
Also use in marketing, web or not, mostly companies small and big, depending on subject. Again they want cheap, quick and easy.
Images for the web will be on the small side, so no problems there.
Almost all the marketing will require also small images.
Some may occasionally be printed, up to A4 I'd say.

The other model are costumers who require something unique. Big companies for their reports, and other literature.
If they are going through a revamp in image or are really big they might exclusively get a pro photographer to do it, but there are smaller bits they may get from microstock if they find it. Such images, because of the nature of their use, will require exclusivity so higher price.

Market
Microstock serves these costumers with millions of images already, at very low prices. For these commercial/business/marketing/industry subjects and associated concepts the market seems well set-up.
Costumers don't seem to be dwindling but I don't see a prospect of new demand and the offer is already great and steadily maintained.

Images
Image quality demanded is very high and subjects are of limited range (when you think of all those explored by amateur toggers).
Noise is a no no. Exposure must be correct.
Sharpness is a must. Things are preferably clear cut.
No artistic insights, that's for the end user to decide.
Microstock is easy if you already shoot the subjects they are interested in.
Having plenty of images doesn't mean you get plenty of material for stock. Shoot for stock, don't just shoot anything, or what seems good to you, think about the customer.

Providing stock for customers is very much about making the process of finding the image easy and quick, so tagging has to be smart.

What I've said here can be found in most stock photography sites, alo9ng with their pricing and other good tips.

All this to say... Unless you find an edge, business isn't going to work.

Is there a part of the market not being satisfied?
(Dunno)

Can the service be more efficient?
(Better tagging?)(Better search protocols?)
(For companies or others, instead of searching for certain images why not get your toggers to build packs of images like "inspirational", "teamwork", "Success". Thus making coherent sets to be used together. Saves the buyer time. This sits between what microstock offers and what a pro togger would offers. Price this differently.)


PostPosted: Tue Mar 23, 2010 8:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think same Edumad.


PostPosted: Tue Mar 23, 2010 9:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm with Edumad.
However, PaulC would have a different opinion.
Chime in PaulC.


PostPosted: Fri Oct 01, 2010 4:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Any update on this?


PostPosted: Fri Oct 01, 2010 1:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Not yet, still busy with other stuff, let me show again how many of you are interest about it . It is quite a disappointment if I work a lot to prepare software and less than 10 people willing to use it.


PostPosted: Tue Nov 16, 2010 1:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good idea, I'd like to participate.But not so easy to achieve.
Shooting for stock is different than we are doing as a hobby. There is a certain specificity of the demand and restraints imposed by law.
My brother tried a free stock site for a year , as a matter of fact I helped him with some photos and I know this involves a lot of PIA (or everywhere do you prefere Laughing ).
It's a lot of work not only for developing the software , but ,I think as many have already said ,isolating,identifying the market demand that could fit the images wich the members of MFL could provide.
Maybe a proffesional marketing research is necessary after all ,because the market is pretty crowded . Probably ,a collective effort of research and brainstorming as you already started with this topic would help, also.And this takes time.


PostPosted: Tue Nov 16, 2010 8:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is the first I've seen of this topic. I'm all for it. I've been in contact with a few micro-stock agencies, and my experiences with them has been mixed. I can say this much: these days they are looking for digital images that are absolutely tack sharp -- not the slightest error in focusing -- and that are well composed. They also have long lists of subjects that cannot be used for commercial purposes without model or property releases. Their restrictions are so pervasive that much of the fun of photography seems to have been eliminated.

I began shooting for stock back in the 1980s. It's why I still shoot almost exclusively slides to this day. Back then you had to submit your slides to the stock agency, which is something I just never was willing to do. I experimented some with shooting duplicates of my slides so that I could submit the dupes, but that was problematic -- and costly. And then finally the technology has arrived where I can take good duplicates of my slides, only to find that the micro stock agencies will reject most as being "out of focus." They're NOT out of focus, they just don't have the tack-sharp resolution that digital images do

When I ran into this, I felt frustrated, angry, and devastated. All those years of shooting for stock were for naught -- if I listened to the microstock agencies. But I can be a stubborn guy. I think they're being overly critical. But this doesn't do me much good if they won't accept the photos.

So, if MF Lenses is willing to give film photographs a go, hey I'm all for it. I've got thousands of images I'm willing to submit for stock. Most of them are slides and have been digitized already, but I also have hundreds of digital images in my photo archives as well.

Anyway, let me know how I can help if it looks like MF Lenses will move forward with this.


PostPosted: Tue Nov 16, 2010 9:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

cooltouch wrote:
This is the first I've seen of this topic. I'm all for it. I've been in contact with a few micro-stock agencies, and my experiences with them has been mixed. I can say this much: these days they are looking for digital images that are absolutely tack sharp -- not the slightest error in focusing -- and that are well composed. They also have long lists of subjects that cannot be used for commercial purposes without model or property releases. Their restrictions are so pervasive that much of the fun of photography seems to have been eliminated.

I began shooting for stock back in the 1980s. It's why I still shoot almost exclusively slides to this day. Back then you had to submit your slides to the stock agency, which is something I just never was willing to do. I experimented some with shooting duplicates of my slides so that I could submit the dupes, but that was problematic -- and costly. And then finally the technology has arrived where I can take good duplicates of my slides, only to find that the micro stock agencies will reject most as being "out of focus." They're NOT out of focus, they just don't have the tack-sharp resolution that digital images do

When I ran into this, I felt frustrated, angry, and devastated. All those years of shooting for stock were for naught -- if I listened to the microstock agencies. But I can be a stubborn guy. I think they're being overly critical. But this doesn't do me much good if they won't accept the photos.

So, if MF Lenses is willing to give film photographs a go, hey I'm all for it. I've got thousands of images I'm willing to submit for stock. Most of them are slides and have been digitized already, but I also have hundreds of digital images in my photo archives as well.

Anyway, let me know how I can help if it looks like MF Lenses will move forward with this.

I belive that this kind of experience is needed to build such an entreprise


PostPosted: Sat Nov 20, 2010 11:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

http://www.mflenses.com/stockphoto/main.php

Gallery is created.

If you want to participant in creating of stockphoto service please register.

Also we need to figure out album structures first.

Image sizes, prices etc.


PostPosted: Sun Nov 21, 2010 4:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Attila wrote:

Also we need to figure out album structures first.

Image sizes, prices etc.


As for prices, I reckon we'll have to compete with the microstock agencies. So we can get an idea as to what we can expect to charge by shopping around at their sites and see what they charge. And as for how the money is shared out, I believe it is only appropriate that MFLenses keep a portion of the funds for operating expenses, etc., knowing full well this could open up a can of worms regarding tax issues. If Attila/MFLenses should decide to avoid this potential problem, and pass the price negotiation directly through to the copyright owner, then I would strongly suggest we consider it an unwritten requirement to "donate" a set portion of the proceeds to MFLenses. I'm making these suggestions simply because I know that things can become hopelessly complicated when the issue of money and taxation becomes involved. And whatever we can do to minimize the hassle in that regard is the way I'd be inclined to proceed.

With regards to image sizes, I propose we don't be too restrictive in that regard. A couple of the stock agencies I've been involved with have raised their minimum pic sizes. I don't think this is necessary. A lower resolution image will restrict the way it can be used, yes, but it can still be used successfully on the web.

Personally, I would hope that we could still see our way clear to accepting images with sizes as low as, say, 1600 pixels horizontal resolution.

A few years ago, I bought my daughter a CD full of "royalty-free" images. I was surprised to find that more than a few of them had resolutions as low as 640x480! Now, I don't recommend we go that low, but it just goes to show what some outfits call "royalty free" and get away with it.


PostPosted: Sun Nov 21, 2010 4:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Generally speaking, I am interested, but I need to learn how the whole thing works, first. It is an unknown world for me.