Survival Via Collaboration
For the most individual photographers and graphic designers their future in micro-stock industry appears to be grim. The math is rather simple - the number of customers is likely to grow much slower than the number of available images - so the income for average contributor will get diluted more and more. What makes matter worse for American contributors is the fact that their foreign (particularly Easter European) counterparts can survive as full-time photographers / graphic designers on fraction of the income we need in the US and part-time designers can hardly compete with full timers...
Very talented and technically sophisticated photographers can certainly continue to make good money, but the rest of contributors may have no future... unless they follow some strategy.
One of the strategies is collaboration with other contributors. At its best it has potential to enrich participating parties and give them necessary edge over the competition. Anyone who worked in the group of other designers or photographers would know that ideas and resource exchange greatly improve quality, speed and diversity of production. There are certainly some negative aspects of the collective work, like freeloading, quarrels, idea appropriation, etc. Yet, by using common sense it is possible to safeguard against most of them.
I am offering my collaboration in micro-stock work to anyone who is interested in it. For various reasons I think that it makes sense to collaborate only among individuals who have similar standing when it comes to micro stock - namely professional experience, number of accepted images, etc... Under this condition participants will be more fair and more receptive to each other ideas. Their interests on other hand may be either very similar or very diverse, since in case of diversity the participants can complement each other strengths.
My idea of participation goes primarily along the lines of technical knowledge (for example, one designer may have scripts, macros and software to greatly speed up image processing, while other designer may know how to achieve sophisticated special effects), stock component sharing (the designers may produce collages of combined photo stock that are not possible with the limitation of their own resources) and general idea exchange (two or more minds can be better than one).
Below is my brief info:
Name: Andrew Ostrovsky
User Name on most micro stock sites: agsandrew
Email: e-mail address edited by admin: providing contact details publicly is not recommended
Length of participation in micro-stock : over a year
Number of accepted images: Dreamtime: 800+, ******** 1000+, ******** 1000+
Professional experience : Graphic Design for 17 years, Production Manager in publishing company - 7 years.
Primary Applications: Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, Lightroom
Secondary Applications: Cinema 4D, Painter, Apophysis
I stay busy, so if you email me I may not reply right away. My native language is Russian, so you can write in Cyrillic also.
Here are few examples of my stock images:
Photo credits: Agsandrew.