The Golden Age of Stock is Over but there is Still Gold to be Found

posted on 20th of august, 2011

Critics of microstock will tell you that the microstock business is a race to the bottom and a waste of time. And you know what? They're right!

When microstock first began, it was a boom for those who got in early. Contributors were making tons of money mainly because there wasn't much competition. I would liken the early days of microstock to a gold rush. The lucky few who were there when the gold was discovered cashed in on easy money but the gold dried up as everyone else rushed in to stake their claim. Most gold rushes throughout history is a story of great promise and excitement with only a handful ever striking it big.

It truly is becoming a race to the bottom. As more and more Contributors flock in the overall availability of images makes it difficult for a single portfolio to compete against...

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Comments (25)

Posted by Ewapix on September 14, 2011
Paulcowan, thank you a lot for your honesty. I am a (really-struggling-but-not-giving-up) newcomer - wishing i started quite a few years ago, but then I had babies :-) and am very grateful to everybody who speaks abou their experience truthfully and objectively. Ewapix
Posted by Paulcowan on September 14, 2011
First, I think there is a misunderstanding about Yuri's strategy, He is not and never was about creativity, his talent lies in his excruciatingly careful analysis of what makes a best selling image. So his approach is derivative rather than creative, he determines factors that sell and then creates work accordingly. He is part of the business world, not the art world. Changing fashions require recreation of old work to embrace the new style, while flooding the market with similar, salable images increases his statistical chances of getting the sale rather than someone else getting it,

There never really was a golden age, because although standards were lower and dls per image higher, the pay per sale was far less than it is today. I remember when there were only 100,000 images in the entire micro-verse. My average return per sale was about 18c. My earnings per image then were about double what my earnings per image are today. So it takes twice as much effort - and a lot more technical...(More)
Posted by Calyx22 on September 10, 2011
Interesting article, with even more interesting comments. Would I like to earn more? Of course. Do I want to keep building my portfolio? Of course. I don't necessarily believe that the golden age of stock is over. But I do believe that the days of large payments etc for those early folks is definitely over. But the industry is changing and we have to change with it. Adapt or die. Will I be Yuri? Of course not, because I am me and we definitely do not have the same style (or I his budget, money, studio, etc. LOL). But I am happy with my success, my sales, my income, and stock photography helps me improve every time I pick up the camera. And that, I'm happy with too.

Comments (25)

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About me

My greatest passion is landscape and fine art photography. However, stock does provide a challenge in itself. I enjoy coming up with new ideas and concepts and learning new techniques. In the end, each compliments the other. The things you learn from one can apply for another and you grow with the craft. I have over 30 years experience with different kinds of art and freelance endeavors and have yet to become tired or bored with finding new ways to exercise the creative side of me. Thank you for visiting my profile and I hope your time here will be a reward in itself. I am located in Wisconsin... [Read more]

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