This week I was accepted by iStockphoto and they will start selling my images. That is a major goal for me, as I am now part of what I consider to be the top five microstock agencies in the world, the other four being Shutterstock, Dreamstime, Fotolia and 123RF.
Shutterstock are the cool cats and there is good vibe about their website. Shutterstock don’t show the number of customers that view each image so it’s difficult to know what is attracting attention, but my sales there did start quickly. The potential is showing.
Dreamstime were the first agency I started selling through, and despite having a portfolio of over 50 images online (as at May 2013) the sales are very slow. I have found their feedback on images invaluable however, so this agency can take some credit for improving my skills and I will continue to use them as a sounding board.
Fotolia has given me more sales than the other agencies but the most I’ve received per image is the equivalent of about 25 US cents, even for extra-large size sales. They have fast image review times which is useful because at 25 cents a pop I’ll need plenty of sales to see any returns! The contributor ranking is very interesting to watch as it ranks the sales performance against other contributors – in the past week I have leapfrogged 40,000 others.
123RF are more difficult to work out, the website is contemporary but it’s difficult to get information about their customers, feedback about the portfolio, or expectations of response times. I will continue to participate but at this early stage I am just monitoring the action to see if there is a good way to work efficiently with this agency. If it doesn’t work out I might try DepositPhotos to round out my top 5, but I’d like to make 123RF work.