My family hates microstock - Dreamstime

Well, not exactly.

I suppose I should rephrase my title to more correctly say, "My Family Hates the way microstock has changed me".

Yup, it has. I am changed, altered.

Microstockly-speaking, I am but a shadow of the man I was fifteen months ago. Like one of the Autobots of Cybertron I seem to constantly be shifting into another shape and form.

I am a transformer. I have been transformed...I'm Different.

My camera and gear, now permanent appendages, swing out from my carcas at a moments notice, ready for action.

"Not another picture!", sighs my wife.

"What the heck are you taking a picture of?", she wonders, standing by my side, staring to the ground below unable to comprehend what is there that makes a photo. Then, shaking her head in absolute disbelief that anyone would want a photo of ice.

Or, "We're in a rush. Don't stop the car!", says my daughter, when I saw that shot of the beautiful red barn and cows...

I'm sure you've been there.

I am unable to travel without my new limbs. They are my crutch, my cane.

Solidly attached, they travel with me everywhere. To the market, to the grocery store, to work, to the bathroom.

Wait, the last ones a little weird...but I recall I did once get shots of 'bathroom out order' and 'wet floor bathroom'.

And my sight has been retooled, my vision sharpened. I can no longer just see something before me and snap recklessly...Usually.

I must ponder. Think. Move about, change perspective. Reflect... Repeat eight(teen) times.

And even then, I sometimes now choose to not take the shot because I concluded it was not artsy, or stockworthy, or the light not right, or something.

My photographic DNA has mutated.

After all, the future of man is in his jeans...Or so I've heard.

And this is where, "my family hates microstock", comes into this blog.

My family, who with great patience and tolerance, put up with the old man and suffer as Microstock extends itself into the family photos. It seems I have become too selective. Too demanding of self. Too picky. What I have learned from microstock has extended into all my photos.

As an example of my families distress over microstock, I describe a scenario of two weeks ago.

Granddaughters second birthday party.

Many family members from both sides of parents present. Number of cameras present...three.

Number of cameras requested to take special Can you guess who?

Number of photos taken over the two days we stayed visiting grandkids...about 750.

Number of photos remaining after first pass screening of the shots...about 350.

Number of photos remaining after second pass screening...about 200.

Number of photos remaining after first round of actually editing photos...about 150.

Final result and posted to Facebook...90 photos!

Where does the family get most of their photos of the event? My Facebook.

Now, in this case, I was obviously not taking too much time to reflect on each shot. Just snapping, including many duplicates, and going to pull out the best later. But this is a ridiculous 12% personal acceptance ratio for my family weekend. Heck, that's lower than my Dreamstime ratio! It doesn't really bother me though. I can live with that. My family photos don't affect my AR :) I'm happy with the final photos and don't miss the ones I deleted whatsoever.

But my family does...

"Where's that shot of me and Aubrey joking around on the couch?", said my daughter with much disgust.

"Slightly out of focus", said I. "Not a keeper".

Or, as my wife asked, "What about that shot Ethan and Aubrey playing on the floor with Mickey the dog? You know, the one where he's licking everyone's face!".

"Early evening. Inside. Not enough light, didn't use the flash", I replied, "Had the aperture wide open but ISO not set high enough. Didn't have enough shutter speed. Had motion blur. Not a Keeper. Sorry".

"Huh?", she replied, "I don't care, I just wanted the picture."

Or, as my daughter has commented in the past, "I don't care if it's not good enough for you. It'll be good

enough for facebook and me...just keep them!".

But I can't do it. I can't keep them.

I am no longer able to pass on photos to others which are now unacceptable to me.

Oh, I used to, but not anymore.

I now attack my personal photos more harshly than a gaggle, herd, or a flock of microstock reviewers could ever do so. Unforgivingly, ruthlessly and mercilessly rejecting my family shots, before anyone can even lay eyes upon them, leaving them to burn into smoldering, white ash flakes in the vast, deep and firey pit of the recycle bin.

I am unwilling to send my rejects out to the world of Facebook and family. I won't do it dammit!

And of those remaining, I must tweak, crop, touch-up and adjust to achieve my view of perfection, my vision of excellence for each image...I must painstakingly play with every photo before it's released into the world...I now boldly go where I never went before. And I do so because, in my own simple mind, I've developed a imagined reputation that I must keep. I've learned things that cannot be unlearned. And anything less than what my reformed photo-DNA demands will just not do.

Silly, huh?

Similar to the old catch phrase from the 'Six Million Dollar Man' television show (I may be dating myself here),

"Microstockmen, we did rebuild him. We had the technology. Daddioman is that man. Better than before.

Better, stonger, faster."

I dunno. Maybe.



Perhaps it should now actually be, "Microstockmen, we did rebuild him. Improvement was necessary. Daddioman is that man. Better than before. Fussier, pickier, critical."

And so it is that my family hates microstock.

Sorry. Hate might be too strong a word. I've taken it too far. But it did make the blog title more interesting.

My family's just upset I delete crap they want to keep.

I suppose I'll just have to ease-up on the family photos....



Now I lay me down to sleep.

I love my family, our joy to keep.

Should I die before I wake.

I hope they liked the photos I take.


:) Have a nice, smiley and silly day!

Photo credits: George Kroll.

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December 12, 2013


Love this post. Even as a MicroStock Noob I can relate. This week alone has been a transformation. I have always been the photo-guy at get together events but have always had the latest point an shoot equipment. Monday evening I received my first real DSLR. Four days later I am 400 pictures in, about 80 keepers, 20 micro stock worthy, 9 currently submitted. No pictures of the bathroom yet, but I briefly contemplated one the other day. Yours with the wet floor sign is superior to the one I passed on. Transform away.

May 25, 2013


Loved it, laughed a lot and could tottaly relate to it. Now I just cant pass an unacceptable photo.

May 23, 2013


interesting blog

May 22, 2013


Good Blog! LOL...thanks for sharing! :)

May 21, 2013



May 14, 2013


Wow! That is a nice blog! I kept smiling all the time I was reading because I go through similar situations and I feel the same as you for the rejection of photos. ''I suppose I'll just have to ease-up on the family photos....
NOT!'' ; what a nice ending!!! Thanks for sharing!

May 08, 2013


Well written! Keep up the good microstock work ;)

May 07, 2013


Nice blog,George:)!Thank you for sharing!

May 06, 2013


LOL - certainly a lifestyle :-)

May 04, 2013


Another thanx folks.
Gmargittai - yeah, I take way too many at times and yes, time to delete/edit after the fact is a price. Fortunately for me, I don't mind the after stuff. And i think in the long run only presenting the end results is best... Love your redwoods.
Infokus - thx, cool avatar.
Lejoch - thx. Nice avatar with those umbrellas. love it.
Brad - Bird crap. lol. I took a photo, of all things, a dead deer on the side of the road once and combined it with a deer crossing sign. Over the edge as far as standards go. a niche horror shot. I now get my wife and daughter razzing when they see road kill and asking me if I want to take a photo.
My daughter even called me once 'cause she saw a bird eating road kill on side of road and wondered if I wanted to drive out and capture it.
I don't think i'm ever gonna be allowed to move past the deer photo!

Have a good one all.

May 04, 2013


I had a similar case, besides the obvious fact that everybody hates me either for taking too many photos thus bugging them, or conversely not taking photos when I supposedly should.

We have some good friends we go together on outings. I usually take hundreds of photos, during the 2-3 day trips. At the end I cull them mercilessly and end up with 10-15 good photos that I postprocess and send out. They kept bugging me to see all of them. I refused to show, and the story repeated itself a few times. Finally I gave in, made a CD put on it all the junk that came out of the trip. I am sure they never went further than the first 20-30 photos. Since then they stopped asking for any photos edited or not.

With the digital photography making it so cheap to create an image we indulge on pressing the button more than necessary. Few people are aware there is a price to pay. One needs many hours of hard work to reduce the collection to something manageable and enjoyable.

May 04, 2013


thanks for sharing. i can relate.

May 04, 2013


Really well written blog! Thanks for sharing.

May 03, 2013


The pinnacle for me was when my kids (4 and 6 at the time) asked me if I could wipe the bird cr@p of the slide at the park - then they said "or do you want to get a picture of it first?"! Hopefully they know my standards are higher than that :)

I seem to share the same experience on the family photos - I'm way to critical of shots being slightly out of focus!

May 03, 2013


Thx for your comments folks.
I enjoy writing them and usually am laughing as i write them as well.
may as well smile, there's enough serious crap in the world.

have a good one :)

May 03, 2013


Wonderful blog! I thoroughly enjoyed reading it word for word.

Every time we are out socially and I take a few photos (even with my iPhone), as soon as we get home my wife says "have you downloaded the photos yet?" As soon as I have, she immediately imports them into Picassa on her PC, does the odd "I feel lucky" and then uploads them to FB, before I have even finished imported them into Lightroom. Is nothing sacred :).

Thanks for a very creative and enjoyable read.

May 03, 2013


i laughed reading your article. very well done! and yes.. you also could have been describing me. Just spent 5 days in Colorado with a 2 year old grandson.. and 700 photos later.... lol edit... crop.. every single one..... been home 4 days and I am almost halfway through! it does become an obsession!!!

May 03, 2013


LOL! Good article! :)

May 03, 2013


Well written article. Many of our partners have been in the same boat as your wife and there have been complaints. However microstock is a much better "habit" to have than other things!

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