I would like to share my 3 years experience with newbies who are considering exclusivity. Well in fact I AM an exclusive photog, since middle of 2008, I'll try to put all the pros and cons regarding exclusivity.
First question: Are you a full-time photographer who lives of photography or just a hobbyst? Do you need to make the most out of ALL your images? For pros, exclusivity maybe is not the right option, once you sign for exclusivity, you can only sell the images that admins approve, refused files are sentenced to fill space on your hard drive or be shown to friends and familiars but with no economic compensation from them.
So if you want to take proffit from every one of your images, exclusivity is not the good option. On the other hand, if you take photography just for hobby and fun, and are happy only seing that some of your files can generate sales, but you don't care about those not-accepted lying on your hard drive DT offers the best exclusive comission over all agencies (60%)
regardless of the number of sales an image makes, a upload bonus of 0.20 cts for every file accepted and better search engine placement. Subscription comissions are higher.
Some people prefer to focuse all their work in a sole agency rather than distribute their work on multiple agencies. What's the point on selling the same picture for 0,25 cents on one agency and for 1,20 on another?
Non exclusivity gives freedom but less image comissions, every agency has different TOS and maybe there is some agencies that you will never make enough sales to request the payment (it deppendsa on the limit for request payment).
Some agencies have a very tough criteria in accepting images and maybe they will refuse most of your portfolio, you need to get some pre accpeted images to become one of his photographers and with the time, maybe you will find that they don't accept much of your work. As I said, Dreamstime offers the highest comission for exclusives, and there is a big difference between getting 30% than 60% for your images.
I'm happy with exclusivity here, the only and unique thing it bother me is that you can sell your work as prints, mugs or stuff like that on sites that offer that, like red bubble but I don't know anyway if I would sell anything on that sites.
Exclusivity it's worth it when:
- You don't make photography for your living, just a hobby
- You don't care about having images that you won't take money from them
- You prefer to remain to a sole agency
- You want to get the better commissions for your images and maybe don't want to give them away for only 0,25 cents
- You have a small portfolio and prefer to focalise it on a sole agency
- Higest commissions ever including subscription sales
- 20 ct bonuses for approved file
- Friendly and communicative staff (both in forums and through contact support)
- Better search engine placement