Reasons Why You Should Give Up and Quit Stock
Reason One: Competition. DreamsTime is saturated with images and the deluge of new images covering the same topics continues to keep coming in. Multiply that over all the other stock agencies and there is little chance for your images to sell. At least often enough to make it worthwhile.
Reason Two: Even if you produce top-notch stuff, the ever-growing and saturated database is going to prevent you from being discovered. Great keywording isn't going to matter. It would be considered fantastic placement if your image came up on page nine out of 500, but how often do buyers actually get past the first three pages of search results? The best stock images will never sell if they are not found.
Reason Three: You need professional grade equipment. Minimal bare-bones lighting equipment can cost $2000. Don't even think about the cost of the camera. And if you do make the investment for a nice camera, a digital camera is like any other type of electronics these days: It's obsolete in six months. The low end equipment is not good enough any more because of the competition factor.
Reason Four: Too many people are copying good ideas. We all peek at each other's portfolio. We see what the best selling images are. Someone comes up with a good idea and others will produce equivalent images in order to grab a share of the sales for a concept. There may have been plenty of sales to go around in the past but now there are too many contributors looking over your shoulder which makes it tough to get ahead.
Reason Five: Virtually every concept has been covered through virtually every possible angle. Whatever you do, even if you thought of the idea on your own, it's already been done by someone else.
Reason Six: Theft. The internet and technology has made it too easy to steal images. DT and the other agencies fight against this, but are their efforts good enough? Some battles you just can't win.
Reason Seven: The internet has made it too easy for professional photographers to distribute their material. Commercial photographers are constantly doing shoots and they have hundreds of "extras" they can throw out onto the internet. Multiply that out and its tens of thousands of new images being available each month compared to your ten. Your efforts have been defeated merely through sheer numbers.
Reason Eight: It's just getting too hard. Because of the saturation of new images, stock agencies can demand higher standards of quality. You need to have professional grade skills with photo editing. The learning curve is too steep to be on the same level with professionals who have spent years learning Photoshop and other software packages. There is no way for you to keep up.
Reason Nine: It takes too much time to grow. Even if you are demonstrating some success, the time and effort isn't worth the bother. A few images here, a few images there, a couple of good ideas, you get some sales, but between your day job and other responsibilities, there are better things you can do with your time.
Reason Ten: This is the biggest reason of all for why you should quit stock: You are unable to find ways to overcome the reasons listed above. However, if you do, then you shouldn't quit. This blog is intended to give you a reality check. :-) One way to overcome anything is to know what you're up against and then find solutions to the obstacles.
Photo credits: Emberiza.
Camera equipment: New and Old