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Author Topic: Give up or not?  (Read 4652 times)

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« on: August 27, 2011, 11:29 »
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Want a little feed back from you pro's.  I am a newbie here and to microstock.  I have been reading these forums and other internet sites for a couple months now to get a feel of what to expect when submitting to microstock.  I will admit I do not have a good quality camera, (only what you guys call point and shoot)
About 5 or 6 months ago I submitted photo's to a public domain site, (yes the unthinkable to some) but needed to know if anyone would even like my work.  I submitted 35 photo's and so far have had 8,089 downloads on those photo's.
Well just this week I submitted 11 photo's to two different microstock sites and have been rejected for low quality and no commercial value.  It seems to me with 8000 downloads that my quality and value has been useful for someone.  With that being said, and knowing I will not be able to purchase a good quality camera for a very very long time if maybe I should just give up on this idea as it seems I don't stand a change.  Oh one more thing to add.  Some of my photo's that was rejected for no commercial value I searched on that site afterward for those type images and found pretty much the same thing, one in particular was just a different bowl color.  Go figure.
TIA for advice


« Reply #1 on: August 27, 2011, 11:44 »
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What do you want to do? Learning any thing takes time and can be a lot of work, so do it because you enjoy it or want to do it.

« Reply #2 on: August 27, 2011, 12:05 »
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People will take anything that's free.  Doesn't mean it's actually salable.

« Reply #3 on: August 27, 2011, 12:55 »
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As Sean said, what people will download for free says nothing about what they'll pay for.  Additionally, how many of those downloads got used for anything?  It's possible that some downloaders looked at the images at full resolution and didn't like what they saw.  That's a fundamental part of the review process: to look at each image in detail and identify problems before a client sees them.  It's expensive to deal with returns.

I'd also point out that most of the micros have images that wouldn't pass inspection today, whether for quality or subject matter.  It's not fair to anyone starting now, but I guess they figure it's not worth the expense to cull them from such a large collection.  If it's any consolation, those images likely don't make much money for their owners.  And your goal isn't to get images accepted; it's to get images accepted that will then go on any make money for the agency and for you.

As for your camera, it's definitely a factor.  It's possible to get images from low end gear accepted, but it's a lot harder to produce the quality the agencies expect with a point & shoot.  But not impossible, so if that's all you can afford, keep working at it and accept that rejection is part of the process.

velocicarpo

« Reply #4 on: August 27, 2011, 13:08 »
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I think from a pure business perspective it doesn`t make much sense to get into the game at this moment. Hoever, if you are willing to learn and grow you should go for it!
En contrario: If you just want to enjoy Photography as a hobby, I would rather join some of the communities and avoid dealing with the troubles and frustrations of nowadays (micro)stock market or set up my own site.

« Reply #5 on: August 27, 2011, 13:18 »
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It's entirely up to you if you want to give up or not. A few friends who were interested in stock photography had asked me to review their photos. Even with Canon and Nikon of professional grades, the images still produced many technical defficiencies. However, I know some photos from PS got accepted. It depends on your knowledge about photography and editing software.

If your photos are getting downloaded for free, if it is of some comfort to you, it may suggest that you have the eye. But if you want to sell through stock photo agencies, you must have the technical ability to take and process the images at professional level.

ShadySue

« Reply #6 on: August 27, 2011, 13:43 »
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Basically, what those above say is correct.
When I was a teacher, I used many, many Creative Commons and Public Domain images. I bought exactly one, ever, and that was because I happened to know the photo was available on iStock. So, just because a photo is useful to e.g. a teacher doesn't mean for a minute that it would be acceptable on a stock agency. (Also, e.g. Flickr images are often much more useful to a teacher as they're 'real' rather than set up in a studio) Their technical standard is way above what's needed for at least 95% of 'real world' use.
No matter how good the picture, it's no guarantee it will sell: I've a photo which did well in international salon competitions and has sold exactly once on iStock, because people looking for that subject don't search the micros.
Again, my top selling photo was taken on a p&s, but almost everything else taken with that camera was rejected, and it, and most of my early scanned slides would have no chance of being accepted nowadays, even though some of them still sell.
So yes, it's far harder now than it was when I started, and it was harder when I started than it was when iStock started. But I'm sure there will be plenty new people starting now who will do well.
« Last Edit: August 28, 2011, 03:48 by ShadySue »

PaulieWalnuts

  • You talkin' to me?
« Reply #7 on: August 27, 2011, 13:51 »
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I think you've answered your own questions here.

You won't be able to get a camera capable of meeting agency standards for a long time and you don't seem to understand what qualifies as commercial value.

Maybe you should give it another try in the future when you are better prepared.

« Reply #8 on: August 27, 2011, 14:26 »
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Put some work up in the critique forums and learn from the feedback you receive.

« Reply #9 on: August 27, 2011, 14:58 »
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Thank you all for your advice.  Good points very well taken.
Now I guess I need to take some time to think it all over and make my decision as to keep trying right now or
do as Paulie said and wait until I am better prepared.
Have a good day and good luck to you all.

microstockphoto.co.uk

« Reply #10 on: August 28, 2011, 01:43 »
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As for your camera, it's definitely a factor.  It's possible to get images from low end gear accepted, but it's a lot harder to produce the quality the agencies expect with a point & shoot.  But not impossible, so if that's all you can afford, keep working at it and accept that rejection is part of the process.

as "disorderly" wrote it's more difficult with your p&s, but if you decide to keep on trying try to get the best from your camera:

- set your camera at highest resolution and highest quality (lower compression); most cameras are not factory set at best settings;
- set at low ISO (if that setting is possible);
- disable digital zoom if enabled;
- choose the best possible lighting conditions; daylight is good if used properly
- carefully edit in a professional picture editor (adobe photoshop, corel photopaint, ...);
- always save as a lossless format during editing (.tif, .bmp);
- as a last step, downsize pictures to minimum required (4 Megapixels on most agencies - 6 on some) to reduce noise;
- resave as .jpg at highest quality

may not be enough in many cases but it's worth trying
« Last Edit: August 28, 2011, 01:45 by microstockphoto.co.uk »

« Reply #11 on: August 28, 2011, 03:10 »
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Put some work up in the critique forums and learn from the feedback you receive.

+1

« Reply #12 on: August 28, 2011, 14:48 »
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I do have my camera set at the highest quality but don't think it has an ISO setting but will check again and also
will check about disabling the zoom although I never use the zoom because I read somewhere that zooming could cause
noise.  I do edit a little but am afraid to sharpen too much also read that over sharpening could cause noise and reducing
noise too much can cause blurring.
After editing I save the file as PNG.  I haven't downsized the pictures so may try doing that.
One of the sights I submitted to stated that they will not be able to consider any more submissions, so now don't know
wether to keep trying or not.  Some of the other sites may tell me the same thing.
I just set up a photobucket account so I will go over to the critique section and post a link.

ShadySue

« Reply #13 on: August 28, 2011, 15:03 »
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I do have my camera set at the highest quality but don't think it has an ISO setting but will check again and also
will check about disabling the zoom although I never use the zoom because I read somewhere that zooming could cause
noise.  I do edit a little but am afraid to sharpen too much also read that over sharpening could cause noise and reducing
noise too much can cause blurring.
After editing I save the file as PNG.  I haven't downsized the pictures so may try doing that.
One of the sights I submitted to stated that they will not be able to consider any more submissions, so now don't know
wether to keep trying or not.  Some of the other sites may tell me the same thing.
I just set up a photobucket account so I will go over to the critique section and post a link.
Shadow:
I'm not trying to put you down, but even my husband's really old and very basic digicam has an ISO setting. I'm afraid that either you have the world's poorest digital camera or you have a LOT of study to do before you can even consider submitting to a stock agency.

« Reply #14 on: August 28, 2011, 15:54 »
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Well maybe it is the world's poorest camera.  It is a Nikon coolpix L20 and at the time I bought it didn't realize about the ISO setting but have checked for that setting long before I tried microstock and there is no setting for it.  It is automatic!

ShadySue

« Reply #15 on: August 28, 2011, 16:44 »
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Well maybe it is the world's poorest camera.  It is a Nikon coolpix L20 and at the time I bought it didn't realize about the ISO setting but have checked for that setting long before I tried microstock and there is no setting for it.  It is automatic!
Maybe someone else will know about that camera. I see it is still available for $129.99 on Amazon.
I've got a much older Coolpix 5700 and have a very few old photos from it on iStock, mostly sized down to Medium. (but many more rejected for artefacts). But it takes in RAW format and I can change the ISO. I wouldn't try to submit anything above 100ISO from my Coolpix. (of course, I wouldn't take anything with it for stock nowadays. Stock is much much finickier than real life. I could print photos from my 5700 at A3+ and they were salon quality. Doesn't mean a thing in Stock land.)
If your camera sets the film speed automatically, can you at least see in the EXIF data which speed the camera chose?

« Reply #16 on: August 28, 2011, 17:14 »
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I had a quick look a the L20 user manual, and this seems to be a camera with no manual controls whatever. The only mention of ISO is that an idiot light saying that comes on when the camera has to adjust the ISO (automatically) because of low light. There is "auto" or various scene modes.

This really isn't the right sort of equipment to use for stock - even if you start with a point and shoot, you need something with more manual controls. My take would be that you'll spend so much time trying to work around the camera that it wouldn't be worth it.


« Reply #17 on: August 28, 2011, 18:07 »
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Yes I am pretty dissatisfied with this camera. Maybe I can try again in the future.
Thank you all for your time and advice.

Shadow

ShadySue

« Reply #18 on: August 28, 2011, 19:05 »
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Remember, there is a pretty strong second hand market, so when you get some money together, look for a nice second hand DSLR. The big advantage is that a DSLR is a lot easier to use than a high-range digicam. But like Lisa says, keep practising composition with your current camera.

Uncle Pete

  • Evidence please...

« Reply #19 on: August 29, 2011, 09:26 »
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Yes I am pretty dissatisfied with this camera. Maybe I can try again in the future.
Thank you all for your time and advice.

Shadow


Keep this in mind, the camera you have is just fine for travel and family photos and personal stuff. Selling things, you'll need to move up. What everyone else says, 8000 downloads for free, means you have a good start and must have some shots worth paying nothing for. Next step, is making them better and charging. In your favor, some people take things so bad, that people won't even download them for FREE!  :)

Used 6 MP DSLR 10D or D100 should run about $150 with a lens and cards and some batteries. Expect to buy another battery soon so you have one that you can rely on. If you haunt eBay you might find a good deal. The sensor is six times bigger than the tiny fingernail size P&S, don't be fooled by megapixel claims and sizes.

Another place I have found even better deals and transparent sales, really nice folks is http://www.fredmiranda.com/forum/ look down near the bottom of the forums, there's a buy and sell. Since everyone can see what's going on and there are ratings, plus it's a nice group of people, you will be highly unlikely to have any problems. I think I bought two cameras and three "L" lenses there last year. Everything perfect!

Here's one of my favorites. The P&S is likely to be a 1/1.8 sensor, the DSLR is APS-C


grp_photo

« Reply #20 on: August 29, 2011, 12:27 »
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You're too late for the game, even more experienced photographer will struggle if they start today. Not saying that you can't make a Dollar or two but the hourly rate will be such poor that any other work will be much better, at least from a business point of view.

« Reply #21 on: August 29, 2011, 12:43 »
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You're too late for the game, even more experienced photographer will struggle if they start today. Not saying that you can't make a Dollar or two but the hourly rate will be such poor that any other work will be much better, at least from a business point of view.

Very true. You'd need to be a phenomenally talented newbie to gain a foothold in microstock nowadays.

« Reply #22 on: August 29, 2011, 12:46 »
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I'm also newbie in this business like you, after 50 images rejected. I still keep going on what I like and interested to do so.  I have not more than 20 images in my portfolio, but one days it will be 100,1000,10000 until 100000.  

No one will stop you, until you do it yourself.  Rejected is not a reason for stop doing thing, the only reason is your heart is too weak.

Keep your chin up my friend!, we gonna go through this together, many useful topic in this site are available for you to see and it completely help you in the future.

« Reply #23 on: September 08, 2011, 13:36 »
0
Want a little feed back from you pro's.  I am a newbie here and to microstock.  I have been reading these forums and other internet sites for a couple months now to get a feel of what to expect when submitting to microstock.  I will admit I do not have a good quality camera, (only what you guys call point and shoot)
About 5 or 6 months ago I submitted photo's to a public domain site, (yes the unthinkable to some) but needed to know if anyone would even like my work.  I submitted 35 photo's and so far have had 8,089 downloads on those photo's.
Well just this week I submitted 11 photo's to two different microstock sites and have been rejected for low quality and no commercial value.  It seems to me with 8000 downloads that my quality and value has been useful for someone.  With that being said, and knowing I will not be able to purchase a good quality camera for a very very long time if maybe I should just give up on this idea as it seems I don't stand a change.  Oh one more thing to add.  Some of my photo's that was rejected for no commercial value I searched on that site afterward for those type images and found pretty much the same thing, one in particular was just a different bowl color.  Go figure.
TIA for advice

Microstock is photos aimed mostly for graphic design, ads and marketing purpose (not all but a big portion of it). You will have to think in that manner for sellability. A cool desktop background photo might now fetch a lot of $$.

Also, investing in a decent start for Photography can be as low as 300-400$ (Ex: Rebel XS priced droppped a lot, I saw  lot of them at 10% of, a decent 10megapixels camera). If you cannot invest this to start and learn while doing a bit of $ that should cover the price of this in the following months, then yes, better give up now.

That's my opinion. I am mostly an illustrator but am investing in camera gear and learning along the way, but I am paying what is required for good gear to start (T3i to learn, and when 5D Mark III come out I will consider).

Can't earn nothing with nothing ;)

« Reply #24 on: September 18, 2011, 10:23 »
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It has become way more difficult to make money with stock. And especially for a beginner its hard to understand why some images are in the libraries that would now get rejected - even for copyright reasons. Why are some product shots in the library while new ones get rejected (e.g. the ever so popular mac computers - lots and lots in the libraries but if you upload a new one with removed logos it gets rejected for copyright reasons, even if its only part of the image) - very hard to digest.

Anyway - if you have the slightest optimism that you might make money from some of your images in the future, you MUST NOT give them away for free. And even if you dont have any hopes - please try to keep in mind that some people are trying to make a living from SELLING images. Its definitely tempting to know other people like your images and download them, but history seems to be repeated here.

A few years ago some big traditional agencies refused to open the gates to their libraries for some photographers. Being turned away, some of these photographers started selling their content on some upcoming small agencies that sold images way cheaper. So the later called microstock agencies were able to gather a pretty good stock of growing quality images in very short time. That new competition has quickly become a big threat to a once flourishing business nowadays called macrostock.

We fellow photographers only put our work up for sale on those microstock and macrostock agencies we are not the ones rejecting your work. Even if some of my collegues above seem to be a bit arrogant, please help feeding our families by not giving away images for free.

Microstock InsiderPhotoDune

 

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