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Author Topic: Uploading similars. Does it make sense?  (Read 3009 times)

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wut

« on: March 14, 2012, 18:43 »
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I'm going to write my thoughts on it. I expect you'll do the same. The more different they are, the better ;) .

I've always strived for quality, not quantity. But I've shot a couple of series, simple images and concepts, really suitable to make many similar images lately. I always though you're just undercutting your own sales by doing that. By that I mean, that a buyer will sometimes buy a photo similar to your best seller. It's like shoveling sheat from one place to another, but with one important difference; the best selling photo from the series will gain less in best match/popular etc search because of that (it'll get less sales). You're actually doing a lot more work, to get less at the end. Not the same. You might get a sale more here and there, but I think search positions are much more important and that such shortsighted strategy will slow you down in the long run. I've uploaded a mini series a week ago, just 4 images that are similar, but not what most consider as similars (not just different orientation and angle, but also composition, framing and facial expression). Guess what, yet again only one sold 8 times or so at SS, one made a sale, the other two not a single one. When I look back at my older series, the pattern is always the same.

I'm sure not going to upload more than 2 similars again. And mostly it'll be just one, I'll pick out the best (and that is usually hard) and that's it.
« Last Edit: March 14, 2012, 18:48 by wut »


« Reply #1 on: March 14, 2012, 19:15 »
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You're on one side. Yuri's on the other.  He uploads batches of similars.

I dunno, I think his sales say "get less at the end" doesn't pan out. 

Maybe it's not applicable to us because we don't produce as much as he does but you can find evidence on both sides. Similars on SS makes tons of sense. Not so much on DT or IS.

wut

« Reply #2 on: March 14, 2012, 19:27 »
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You're on one side. Yuri's on the other.  He uploads batches of similars.

I dunno, I think his sales say "get less at the end" doesn't pan out. 

Maybe it's not applicable to us because we don't produce as much as he does but you can find evidence on both sides. Similars on SS makes tons of sense. Not so much on DT or IS.

Funnily, I mentioned sales at SS as an example. So what you're saying you're selling roughly the same number of all similars or that the difference is just not big (for instance the best of 6 similar photo sells 10 times/month, the rest sell 8 times or so)?

Ed

« Reply #3 on: March 14, 2012, 20:19 »
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I upload similar images...but not too similar.  I'll let the buyer decide what s/he wants.

Interestingly, Photoshelter did a recent interview with the editor of Sports Illustrated magazine.  He accused photographers of not knowing what the client wants and he encourages his own staff not to self edit before he sees the images.  I thought it was kind of funny, but it was interesting hearing that from a magazine editor.

« Reply #4 on: March 14, 2012, 21:05 »
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The problem here is that I have absolutely no idea what the buyers will like best. Some of my least favorite images are my best sellers. Using Wut's example- what if he/she chose the wrong two out of the four - theoretically he/she could have lost all nine of those sales. Thats the problem at least for me. Which images or concepts to self edit. I would have been wrong at least half of the time.

« Reply #5 on: March 14, 2012, 21:22 »
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Funnily, I mentioned sales at SS as an example. So what you're saying you're selling roughly the same number of all similars or that the difference is just not big (for instance the best of 6 similar photo sells 10 times/month, the rest sell 8 times or so)?

What I'm saying is if you sell 8 of one image on Dreamstime and then you sell 3 of another, that hurts your income.
On Shutterstock if you sell 8 of one image and 3 of all the rest put together, it's the same as 11 of the one image, assuming all 25-a-day.  It doesn't hurt your sales on SS as long as you still get 11 sales.  But if you put up more than a few, maybe you'll get 15 or 20 sales from that same batch.  If you only uploaded the best 1 or 2, you'd have 10 or 11 sales.  I did a series of posts a number of years ago on long tail sales and I know most of the income in this industry doesn't come from your top 10% of images - it comes from the other 90%.

« Reply #6 on: March 14, 2012, 21:31 »
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The problem is you don't really know what the buyer is exactly looking for. As a long time buy (and now shooter) I like to see variations on a shoot to accommodate my needs.

ox

rinderart

« Reply #7 on: March 14, 2012, 23:47 »
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I think you guys over analyze everything.

« Reply #8 on: March 15, 2012, 00:16 »
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I think you guys over analyze everything.

 :D

Uncle Pete

  • Evidence please...

« Reply #9 on: March 15, 2012, 02:47 »
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I think you guys over analyze everything.

As far as duplicates and similar images, I'd have to agree. Put up the two or three best. The buyers don't want or need 25 choices, inch by inch, same model, same clothes, same lighting.

As in, don't over analyze!  :D

« Reply #10 on: March 15, 2012, 04:48 »
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I think you guys over analyze everything.

As far as duplicates and similar images, I'd have to agree. Put up the two or three best. The buyers don't want or need 25 choices, inch by inch, same model, same clothes, same lighting.

But buyers are on the record saying that they do. Someone on an alamy thread said their best sale had been an image with a kitchen pot in the corner of it and a designer happened to want that kind of pot at exactly that angle and lighting as a design element. A slightly different angle wouldn't have fitted the design and hundred of dollars would have been lost.

How you can weight up the advantages and disadvantages on the micros is another matter. Subscription sites are a bit iffy about duplicates because designers might download the lot to compare them, on credit sites spreading sales could badly affect search placement. Yuri Arcurs is probably a bad example, because he would expect high sales across an entire set, which is not the case for most of us, so his search placement might drop from having just one image on page one to having none on page one but 20 images on page two - which is still good enough to maximise sales.

wut

« Reply #11 on: March 15, 2012, 04:50 »
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The problem here is that I have absolutely no idea what the buyers will like best. Some of my least favorite images are my best sellers. Using Wut's example- what if he/she chose the wrong two out of the four - theoretically he/she could have lost all nine of those sales. Thats the problem at least for me. Which images or concepts to self edit. I would have been wrong at least half of the time.

I usually know which will sell, not which series, I'd be rich by now if I'd known that, but which from a certain series. The best ones, it really is as simple as that. In over 90% of the cases. For me, missing some out of those 10% doesn't make it worthwhile of spending so much time postprocessing the shots.

wut

« Reply #12 on: March 15, 2012, 04:53 »
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Funnily, I mentioned sales at SS as an example. So what you're saying you're selling roughly the same number of all similars or that the difference is just not big (for instance the best of 6 similar photo sells 10 times/month, the rest sell 8 times or so)?

What I'm saying is if you sell 8 of one image on Dreamstime and then you sell 3 of another, that hurts your income.
On Shutterstock if you sell 8 of one image and 3 of all the rest put together, it's the same as 11 of the one image, assuming all 25-a-day.  It doesn't hurt your sales on SS as long as you still get 11 sales.  But if you put up more than a few, maybe you'll get 15 or 20 sales from that same batch.  If you only uploaded the best 1 or 2, you'd have 10 or 11 sales.  I did a series of posts a number of years ago on long tail sales and I know most of the income in this industry doesn't come from your top 10% of images - it comes from the other 90%.

What about search positions that I mentioned? (read my post again). And no, in my case it's the other way around, 90% of the earnings come from 10 or 20% of the images (AFAIK, it's like that with most ppl)

wut

« Reply #13 on: March 15, 2012, 04:56 »
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I think you guys over analyze everything.

As far as duplicates and similar images, I'd have to agree. Put up the two or three best. The buyers don't want or need 25 choices, inch by inch, same model, same clothes, same lighting.


Exactly, I think this drives most of them crazy, it's time consuming and it makes the library look a lot worse than it is (your port too, to me, it looks like you have no originality, lack the quality and just bombard the site with tons of images in hope some will hit - just like bombs)

« Reply #14 on: March 15, 2012, 04:56 »
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I think the happy medium should be somewhere between Dreamstimes approach and submit every photo thats in focus approach.  Both ends of the scale have their problems.

Sometimes if a photo that I think is good but doesn't take off, I'll upload another from the series to see if it just didn't get a fair run in the best match war when the orginal photo was new. Especially if it sells on one site and not another.

Overall I think that I don't upload that many similar photos. Definitely not compared to some sequences you see coming across the latest upload lists.

wut

« Reply #15 on: March 15, 2012, 04:58 »
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I think you guys over analyze everything.

As far as duplicates and similar images, I'd have to agree. Put up the two or three best. The buyers don't want or need 25 choices, inch by inch, same model, same clothes, same lighting.

But buyers are on the record saying that they do. Someone on an alamy thread said their best sale had been an image with a kitchen pot in the corner of it and a designer happened to want that kind of pot at exactly that angle and lighting as a design element. A slightly different angle wouldn't have fitted the design and hundred of dollars would have been lost.

How you can weight up the advantages and disadvantages on the micros is another matter. Subscription sites are a bit iffy about duplicates because designers might download the lot to compare them, on credit sites spreading sales could badly affect search placement. Yuri Arcurs is probably a bad example, because he would expect high sales across an entire set, which is not the case for most of us, so his search placement might drop from having just one image on page one to having none on page one but 20 images on page two - which is still good enough to maximise sales.

Yes, this is indeed very well put. It also shows the different between macros and micros (a difference in hundreds of dollars that is, not a few dozen cents)

wut

« Reply #16 on: March 15, 2012, 05:03 »
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I think the happy medium should be somewhere between Dreamstimes approach and submit every photo thats in focus approach.  Both ends of the scale have their problems.

Sometimes if a photo that I think is good but doesn't take off, I'll upload another from the series to see if it just didn't get a fair run in the best match war when the orginal photo was new. Especially if it sells on one site and not another.

Overall I think that I don't upload that many similar photos. Definitely not compared to some sequences you see coming across the latest upload lists.

Indeed, that makes sense to me, perfect sense actually. It something completely different than just uploading batches including 3,4, or even 5 similars (I mean like a batch of 50, with 10 sets of 5 similar photos). Even if you split the batch in 2-3 uploads...It just looks like shooting blindly and are in fact the sequences you mentioned, that just clog the newest first search and bury all the stuff that's older than a few hours


« Reply #17 on: March 15, 2012, 11:21 »
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I'd guess that it really depends on the kind of stuff you produce - makes no sense for me to do it but for someone doing a photoshoot with a paid model it certainly would.

Uncle Pete

  • Evidence please...

« Reply #18 on: March 15, 2012, 11:48 »
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I think you guys over analyze everything.


As far as duplicates and similar images, I'd have to agree. Put up the two or three best. The buyers don't want or need 25 choices, inch by inch, same model, same clothes, same lighting.



Exactly, I think this drives most of them crazy, it's time consuming and it makes the library look a lot worse than it is (your port too, to me, it looks like you have no originality, lack the quality and just bombard the site with tons of images in hope some will hit - just like bombs)


Low class comment for someone who doesn't link to their famous photos?

PM Me we'll discuss it, my schlock collection of images, it was planned and specific, they aren't similar content and all are individually chosen. Some even sell, but half could have been left in the drawer. It was also a test that was enjoyable and proved a point. It was a waste of time and low interest to buyers.

Someone on Alamy wrote that my portfolio was full of similar images. Basically it was all car pictures. WOW there's an uninformed ignorant viewpoint. OF COURSE THEY ARE! I shoot racing cars!  ;D

Anyone wants to check, please drop in and see what I love shooting. Much more than baked fish, gin and tonic, food, isolations objects on black or white  ???   http://tinyurl.com/yed5ysd

Now back to similars and inch by inch, collections or the same model in the same dress, with the same props in the same lighting. That's what I was talking about. Not some well thought out variations of a concept. Also against the rules, some people on SS love to do one image and then change the background six times, colors or gradients, and upload it as different.

One second we get arguments that buyers are smart enough to make changes on their own. The next, that buyers want images ready for use. I'd guess the answer is some of both.

And pointing out that one time, one image sold, like the burned out water heater, is kind of silly. I didn't say don't upload, my argument is don't upload 20 of the same scene just in case a buyer wants exactly the right angle. If they have four choices and it shows what they want, they will buy it. Adding too many choices will confuse them. (a little humor, or a little bit of truth?)

I shot three photos at night of a race group that I don't cover for the website or the magazines. Two of them have sold on Alamy? WTH I don't understand it, but next year I'll add another dozen. Worth staying late and shooting midget roadsters in the night.  8)

Then add in a touch of keywording so people will see your 25 crappy similar images and soon the complaint from buyers is what? "Too hard to find what I want in that mess." Or from artists, the search is broken, I don't get views. I'm not listed like I should be.

Hey there's a reason! The search is clogged with duplicates, flawed keywords and mired in it's own muddy existence. GIGO a bad search is based one whatever data it has to work with and limited to what choices it has.

Don't make me post a link to "girl on vintage bicycle" on SS.  ;) You want to see abuse? That's just one. 108 photos, half from the same person, with the same bike and same model in the same location. Really?
« Last Edit: March 15, 2012, 13:38 by RacePhoto »

wut

« Reply #19 on: March 15, 2012, 13:28 »
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Before I even start reading my quote, let me state that I DID NOT WRITE THAT!!!!. Somenone has inserted this part :"your port too, to me,"

I'm mad as hell, it looks like someone has hacked my account. I'm going to contact leaf to look into it and see what can be done,

I'll read the post later.

I won't apologize for something I did not write, but Race, I want you to know that these weren't my words, nor is that my opinion and I consider such personal attacks utterly pathetic (I replied to your PM before I even realized the text was altered)

« Reply #20 on: March 15, 2012, 13:30 »
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Removing my post in response to Wut's post above.

Uncle Pete

  • Evidence please...

« Reply #21 on: March 15, 2012, 13:36 »
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Before I even start reading my quote, let me state that I DID NOT WRITE THAT!!!!. Somenone has inserted this part :"your port too, to me,"

I'm mad as hell, it looks like someone has hacked my account. I'm going to contact leaf to look into it and see what can be done,

I'll read the post later.

I won't apologize for something I did not write, but Race, I want you to know that these weren't my words, nor is that my opinion and I consider such personal attacks utterly pathetic (I replied to your PM before I even realized the text was altered)

Yes and for all you watchers, the whole thing is resolved in PM. Thanks for the conversation WUT.

wut

« Reply #22 on: March 15, 2012, 13:39 »
0
Before I even start reading my quote, let me state that I DID NOT WRITE THAT!!!!. Somenone has inserted this part :"your port too, to me,"

I'm mad as hell, it looks like someone has hacked my account. I'm going to contact leaf to look into it and see what can be done,

I'll read the post later.

I won't apologize for something I did not write, but Race, I want you to know that these weren't my words, nor is that my opinion and I consider such personal attacks utterly pathetic (I replied to your PM before I even realized the text was altered)

Yes and for all you watchers, the whole thing is resolved in PM. Thanks for the conversation WUT.

I hope it is, because if I hate something, it's injustice, being blamed for something I didn't do. The inserted sentence, it's not my writing style it's not formed the way I write. I never use a ton of commas, super short sentences etc. I'm steaming right now!

velocicarpo

« Reply #23 on: March 15, 2012, 13:53 »
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I`m asking myself the same question since some time now, too. I couldn`t come to any conclusion. I upload normally many variations of a concept because I honestly think that this choice is valuable for the customer...however, my pros and cons:

CONS:
- A lot more work uploading.
- Greater amount of Data to handle.
- More post processing.
- Dilatation of Profile.
- Possibility of losing a high rank of one image because of self-competition.

PROS:
- More database coverage.
- Many downloads of more that one image of a theme in a row. Especially on sub sites I notice downloads of two, three images at a time of one series.
- Database gambling: Nowadays not all is about quality and originality. Sometimes it happens that for whatever magical reason a image of one series gets a LOT more exposure that the others ones and sells a lot. Whatever factors affect the database rankings of the various sites. It is not equally distributed amongst images of one series.
- Sometimes I just cannot know exactly what sells. Many times it happened to me that I processed an old shot I already decided to trash because I was bored and tataaaaaaaa: a best seller.

lisafx

« Reply #24 on: March 15, 2012, 14:00 »
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What is meant by "similars" might vary from person to person.  For example, would same model, same clothes, isolated, but different expressions be considered "too similar"?  

Often I have found series of multiple expressions and/or poses of the same model in action.  Here's a really good example of that:
[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jj4lSOyqF-g[/youtube]

If I had only uploaded two or three from that series, obviously someone else would have gotten this customer's business and I would have missed out on quite a few sales. 

Buyers ask for multiple poses of the same models often, and I frequently see entire series sell on SS on the same day.   To me, a different expression makes a different image that's not really very similar, but some might disagree.  
« Last Edit: March 15, 2012, 14:07 by lisafx »

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