subscription rates on photos.. what gives?

posted on 22nd of august, 2012

hello everyone, and especially DT staff.

Can anyone tell me what is going on with the new subscription rate fees for photos? this is a great deal for buyers but almost a slap in the face for photographers. someone can download an image for a set price no matter the size? and they can do whatever they like with this image? I dont know if I am understanding this right.
What I do know.. is out of almost 300 accepted images I have had 22 sales and over half of these sales have netted me a fine sum of 42 cents each. for maximum sized images. more then a bit disheartening. DT staff, can someone let me know if I am doing anything wrong here? is there a way to opt out of this... or do I have some thing checked wrong on my images? I have to admit to still being a newbie.. ive been here offically less then a year. but its rather frustrating to say the least!

Comments (20)

Posted by Mudplucker on August 29, 2012
photography looks like it is a business with a LOT of competition so it is doubtful i'll get into anything more than just an "on the side" sort of thing... i surely couldn't afford to rent a fancy location and advertise like a lot of the locals. And then there are these companies that do whole family photo shoots for a little over 100 bucks including prints (portrait innovations) I have sold off stuff before too and later thought "what was i thinking???" happens to us all i guess :)
Posted by Inyrdreams on August 29, 2012
mudplucker, I like photokey a lot it makes getting rid of the background and adding a new one so much easier. however... I have been an on location photographer for so long doing 90% people.. that I prefer backdrops and real sites hands down. all in all, its easier to just do the shot right the first time on the backdrop I want then to add the extra steps to play with green screen, but for what you are doing it will be ideal! I used to have access to a ton of backdrops- I was a backdrop artist. but then I sold off all my equiptment and studio things after a divorce... what was I thinking????
Posted by Mudplucker on August 28, 2012
Oh Susan, how do you like Photokey Pro ? I was thinking of buying it for getting some stuff ready for DT if it will outperform Photoshop Elements 10 without all the extra workarounds
Posted by Mudplucker on August 28, 2012
Mainly i got the green screen because i'm starting to do fundraisers in my area for some local churches and people that i know. I have about 1500 different backdrops and they don't eyeball at 300 percent looking for a reason to reject you, lol :) so i can put church basketball teams into their own collectible sports cards, hundreds of various muslin backdrops, grunge, graffiti, scenery, the list goes on and on. so if i do a fundraiser, everybody that shows up to support the church (or whatever) pays 10 bucks for a green screen shot and they select from the 1500 backdrops and get a 4 X 6 print on the spot. They can order canvas prints, 8 X 10's or whatever for additional if they want. so if 100 people throw 10 bucks at me to support their church, 20 percent goes to the church, 50 bucks goes to the print supplies and that leaves about 750 bucks for me for 4 or 5 hours of my time. I have 2 gigs for churches lined up already but have to order complete...(More)
Posted by Inyrdreams on August 28, 2012
oh good for you mudrucker! I use fx photokey pro 4 for the green screen software... I still rather shoot out doors when I get the chance. people just act so differently in real settings. its awesome for product photography though!
Posted by Mudplucker on August 28, 2012
i just bought a 10 X 20 chromakey green screen and my support stand will be here this week. I also have PS Elements 10 now too, so all i'm really missing is some nice lighting, and maybe a black and a white muslin backdrop and i'll get started too :)
Posted by Inyrdreams on August 28, 2012
thanks mudplucker, some really good ideas. actually...I have very good studio lights just not a place to set up! I shoot white lighteings and have soft boxes too. just had gotten out of the studio for the summer and have been reluctant to go back in! but will be soon. seamless white paper works well and also muslin. I have also been playing with green screen. will for sure try out some of your ideas! sales are trickeling in now...thanks!
Posted by Mudplucker on August 28, 2012
Hi Susan ! some of your photos i can think of a subject i would type in to hunt and it is a good title.. like "Proud Soldier" and i'm surprised it does not have more sales. Can you extract your soldier with elements Magic Extractor and put on a white background and submit as a 2nd photo titled "Man in Military" ??? I suggest adding some photos like Lisafx shoots (subject doing something particular on blown white background) and she recently gave up the secret how she does it and it is in this post https://www.dreamstime.com/thread_31561 things like man yelling, man being frustrated, man upset, man smiling, girl studying homework, girl first day of school, girl ironing clothes, girl doing crafts, etc etc. And i have noticed that the props need to be clean/new to compete as well. You can get the 2 halogen 500 watt spotlights (1 for each side) for the back lighting at Walmart for $11.95 each, 2 more for key and fill light, make cloth diffuser for those 2. I am setting up to...(More)
Posted by Alexandru86 on August 23, 2012
From what I have find on the internet it seems like DT has the best prices, but the only problem that I see is with the visibility of portofolio. The newbies like me have little chances to sell something at the beginning, because the exposure is made with the users that has the most sales and/or most views and the criteria of showing the pictures on the site it's not that fair. Even if you pictures is on the subject when you search for it, others appear as being relevant that has little to do with the search. And another problem is with the update of the pages and portfolio, takes a lot of time to update it and to refresh the site. Otherwise I think the prices are fair by comparing with other sites. I still wait patient for my first sale, even if I have good view on the photos it didn't hurried up to come, maybe it's me :)
Posted by Egomezta on August 23, 2012
Even do I get many suscription sales at the end of the month the average price per image sale is about $2.15 so I guess we have to see the complete amount of sales.
Posted by Bradcalkins on August 23, 2012
I thought that recently DT had stopped subscription sales from leveling up images. I may be wrong though.

Sub sales still cause images to rise through levels, but higher level images continue to sell for a single sub. So subs help credit sales go higher, but if subs are your only sales they have no effect on your per sale revenue.
Posted by Tridgers on August 23, 2012
I thought that recently DT had stopped subscription sales from levelling up images. I may be wrong though.
Posted by Rosseels on August 23, 2012
Susan, we all have to learn the lesson of microstock. But try to remember this : 1.someone liked your picture and paid for it, 2. even a subscription sale helps you on the way to level 2,3 4 ...It has been said more often but it is true : upload and sales will follow. In some cases I see a subscription sale almost immediately followed by a sale of the same pic at a much higher price. It looks like if the buyers are testing the pics before spending more money on them. Enjoy the fun and shoot!
Posted by Inyrdreams on August 22, 2012
thanks Gary for the encouragement there... I needed something positive about this! I'm still giving it a try....
Posted by Solidsdman on August 22, 2012
Susan, I think that the Dreamstime royalty model is pretty good, if not the best, for contributors. Over time, as your images move up the levels, you can earn much more per image than on any other site. I just had a "medium" sale of an image which was at Level 4. The sale earned $5.39. That is WAY more than any other site would pay for the same size image. My downloads have remained steady at about 12 to 15 per month but My income has steadily and significantly increased over this past year. I am seriously considering going Exclusive on this site.
Posted by Inyrdreams on August 22, 2012
Meryll, I do sell my photos as note cards in local art galleries, and I am also a painter (artist) so My art and photos are in 3 different galleries. So I am getting some other sources of income. I think I might have to branch out to other stock sites eventually. I was hoping to stay exclusive to DT, but It does not look like it will be the ideal situation. I was staying till dec exclusively to see if there was any change.
Posted by Meryll on August 22, 2012
Susan, how about to sell your pictures through more microstock agencies? Or macro stock? Or in a different way?
Posted by Guynamedjames on August 22, 2012
this isn't really anything new, I submit to ******** and about 95% of sales on that site are subscription sales that net 25 cents - but I get sales there much more often than at DT. The advantage is you will get more subscription sales because the people who are subscribing will download hundreds of images a day (they get to download a certain number of images every day and they always want to download the maximum allowed). I agree it is painful to see your images sell for such a low cost, but such is life in the microstock biz.
Posted by Gmargittai on August 22, 2012
The real money is to be made if you have hundreds (or thousands) of downloads each month, even at 42 cents a piece this is good money. Before April when the big price increase occurred for credit sales, everybody was on an ascending curve regarding sales and income at DT. At least this was my impression from reading the blogs.
Since April it seems that the buyers were not happy with the latest pricing and the traffic went down. Many complaints on the blogs and message boards.
I am selling far fewer credits but each at a higher price. The bottom line is still less than it used to be and now I seem to be on a descending curve rather than ascending one. Lets see how it plays out.
Posted by Solidsdman on August 22, 2012
The subscription rate is pretty much the same on all stock photo sites. The real money is to be made on credit purchases. I recently sold an Extended License for 50 credits and I got $11.55.

Comments (20)

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Photo credits: Susan Sheldon.

About me

Gary and I are a team that enjoys travel and fairs and beaches and any excuse to get out and play with our cameras. both of us are also artists, working in oils, acrylics, pastel, glass, and digital. life should be fun!

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