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Author Topic: Hi everyone! I would appreciate a critique of my portfolio.Thanks alot.  (Read 1960 times)

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« on: November 10, 2017, 09:35 »
0
Hi there,
I have around 500 images and just to speak with numbers i`ve made 118 sales so far.Do you think that my images don`t have commercial value or they are not well executed? Or just maybe the stock is very saturated and i shouldn`t expect anything better. For me this is a part time job and i`m trying to increase my portfolio and whatever comes.I love photography and i will keep shooting whatever what but i would like to know if i can improve.

That`s my link: https://www.shutterstock.com/g/dimitris+vlassis?language=en
Thanks in advance!


Brasilnut

  • Author of the Brutally Honest Guide to Microstock
« Reply #1 on: November 10, 2017, 10:06 »
0
Quote
Hi there,
I have around 500 images and just to speak with numbers i`ve made 118 sales so far.Do you think that my images don`t have commercial value or they are not well executed? Or just maybe the stock is very saturated and i shouldn`t expect anything better. For me this is a part time job and i`m trying to increase my portfolio and whatever comes.I love photography and i will keep shooting whatever what but i would like to know if i can improve.

Yassou Dimitrios!

My first comment is that you have almost no editorials and as a travel photographer it can be extremely difficult to capture places without people. I would advise you not to be shy about submitting editorial images...they can do as well and in some cases even better than commercial images.

As for your existing images, you embrace the dark side as many of your images have quite dark undertones / themes. This is cool but I must say that for stock it's not ideal. If you're going to do travel photos, it's best to have them bright, vibrant (not saturated) and full of copy space (for buyers to insert text if they wish to do so). Some of your beach scenes are nice but they're not stock, they're fine art prints...to make them into stock you have to think about how a potential buyer would use such scenes to promote a product and/or service. Let's suppose a travel company wants to promote Corfu, they'll more likely use a sunny image with happy smiling tourists and delicious food, in my opinion. Some of your fine art may do well as Print on Demand on Fine Art America, for example.

As for still life, it's not really my thing but from a quick glance, they also look underexposed and or badly executed as the attached. You're lucky as only a few years ago Shutterstock would have rejected this for weak composition.

Good luck file

« Reply #2 on: November 10, 2017, 10:13 »
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@Brasilnut
Thank you very much my friend.I really appreciate four feedback. Very valuable and some good tips.Thanks again.

« Reply #3 on: November 10, 2017, 10:37 »
0
Hi there,
I have around 500 images and just to speak with numbers i`ve made 118 sales so far.Do you think that my images don`t have commercial value or they are not well executed? Or just maybe the stock is very saturated and i shouldn`t expect anything better. For me this is a part time job and i`m trying to increase my portfolio and whatever comes.I love photography and i will keep shooting whatever what but i would like to know if i can improve.

That`s my link: https://www.shutterstock.com/g/dimitris+vlassis?language=en
Thanks in advance!
Many of your images are good, you also don't have too many repetitions, which is very good and your results so far are quite encouraging for a start.
IMO you can improve a lot with better post production: many of your images are slightly under exposed, or lack of contrast or saturation

« Reply #4 on: November 10, 2017, 10:38 »
0
I have noticed too that most of your images are a little dark.
It could be a problem of the setting of the luminosity of the monitor.
Some computers monitors like the new iMacs are very (too much) luminous if you push the luminosity to the maximum, so you can get underexposed images if you only use your eyes to post produce and don't use numbers to understand the real values.

I hope that this can help you to set better your monitor (mostly luminosity and contrast, as for color it is better to use a calibration system)
http://www.lagom.nl/lcd-test/
(You should see all the levels of white to black in "Black level" and "White saturation")
« Last Edit: November 10, 2017, 10:47 by Chichikov »

« Reply #5 on: November 10, 2017, 10:52 »
0
Thanks everyone again for , i had my suspicion about my crap old monitor .Maybe it`s time for me to upgrade.
I`m glad that people critique my portfolio.I appreciate it.

Brasilnut

  • Author of the Brutally Honest Guide to Microstock
« Reply #6 on: November 10, 2017, 11:27 »
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Quote
@Brasilnut
Thank you very much my friend.I really appreciate four feedback. Very valuable and some good tips.Thanks again.

You're welcome.

I would also add that you need to improve your keywords. You have the following keywords for the attached image (removing the following irrelevant keywords):

architect, background, beautiful, beauty, building, city, country, europe, greece, green, hill, house, landmark, landscape, mountain, nature, north, old, rock, scenery, sky, small, tourism, town, travel, vacation, view, village, white

I would add the following more relevant:

st mathews village, matthews, St. Matthew village, southwest Corfu, aerial, sunset, desaturated, terracotta, Municipality Corfu, picturesque, 16th century, settlement, lush countryside, blue flag, Chalikounas, castle Gardiki, Pantokratora, greek village, bird's eye view, travel greece, greek tourism, rugged mountains, greek islands, horizontal

I've written a lot about keywording on my blog:

https://brutallyhonestmicrostock.com/2017/10/04/advice-from-a-leading-keywording-and-search-specialist-clemency-wright-consulting/

https://brutallyhonestmicrostock.com/2017/11/08/three-professional-keywording-examples-by-clemency-wright-consulting/




« Last Edit: November 10, 2017, 11:35 by Brasilnut »

ShadySue

  • There is a crack in everything
« Reply #7 on: November 10, 2017, 12:10 »
+1
https://brutallyhonestmicrostock.com/2017/11/08/three-professional-keywording-examples-by-clemency-wright-consulting/
Are these keywords for a particular agency?
Some of the keywords she scored out for the first image would be regarded as important for iStock (in their CV and relevant to the image), e.g. 20-25, standing and others would be appropriate for e.g. Alamy, e.g. man wearing jeans (have I missed it, or did she take jeans out altogether?), leaning against wall, black, and I'd add e.g. casual clothing, warm clothing.

IMO, the second photo needs Italian and could also have e.g. cars, juxtaposition, surprising, bizarre, contrast, danger. iS would not like 'girl' for this image, they would prefer 'young woman' and 20-25; street for agencies which don't split keyword phrases,

For the third image, for Alamy, 'empty airport' is good, also you might want some of the more important phrases in Italian, which I think you're far more up to than I would be!

Just my 2p worth.

Also, although it's apparently/allegedly true that poor keywording leading to false 'hits' can affect your Alamy Rank, she didn't point out that's it's inevitable with their system, which several other agencies also have, which can link any keyword out of any keyword phrase with any other and combine them in a search. I see that almost daily. The only thing is that everyone gets these, so maybe any disadvantage is equally shared, though it might just be luck as to how far down a buyer will search. Today I had something in the form of my tag 'Brasilnut Centre for Microstock Information" showing up on a search for Brasilnut, which wasn't what the buyer wanted.
« Last Edit: November 10, 2017, 12:24 by ShadySue »

« Reply #8 on: November 10, 2017, 12:14 »
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Thanks again Brasilnut. I`ve changed the keywords and tried to calibrate ish my monitor for now.One thing i regret i should have done this post much earlier having all the help from you i would be much better off.Never to late i`m supposed.Thanks again!

Brasilnut

  • Author of the Brutally Honest Guide to Microstock
« Reply #9 on: November 10, 2017, 12:43 »
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Quote
Are these keywords for a particular agency?

I had Alamy in mind for these types of keywords, except for the passport which has gone to micros (not iStock though since i don't submit to them).

Quote
Just my 2p worth.

Thanks for your input :)

Quote
Today I had something in the form of my tag 'Brasilnut Centre for Microstock Information" showing up on a search for Brasilnut, which wasn't what the buyer wanted.

 ;D

-------

Clemency Wright and I will be collaborating on future blog posts about keywording, in particular in regards to keywording for Alamy. The way their system works appears to be mystery even for Alamy veterans (which I am not yet)! Still trying to figure out the best practice and when to use single words and phrases. On the plus side, their Alamy Measures tool is extremely valuable.


JaenStock

  • Bad images can sell.
« Reply #10 on: November 10, 2017, 14:16 »
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HI! I see that is very generic content and average images... competence is great this years.
 Try make people images doing something with good light and prime lenses!

« Reply #11 on: November 11, 2017, 01:23 »
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JaenStock thanks a lot. I'll try to improve upon your feedback and everybody else's. Very valuable indeed.👍

« Reply #12 on: November 11, 2017, 01:32 »
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@Brasilnut or anyone else can i ask a last thing?
I have some editorial only on alamy, not many but they are from popular events here in Corfu like Easter and carnival. Should i upload them to shutterstock as well or leave them to alamy exclusive hoping that if someone wants them they have to pay a higher price for them?
Thanks in advance
Dimitris
« Last Edit: November 11, 2017, 05:36 by vlassisd »

Brasilnut

  • Author of the Brutally Honest Guide to Microstock
« Reply #13 on: November 11, 2017, 07:27 »
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Quote
I have some editorial only on alamy, not many but they are from popular events here in Corfu like Easter and carnival. Should i upload them to shutterstock as well or leave them to alamy exclusive hoping that if someone wants them they have to pay a higher price for them?
Thanks in advance
Dimitris

I'm of the opinion that SS isn't the best place to upload premium editorials. Alamy would be much better, not only because you can license them as RM (which has its benefits) but also that many buyers on Alamy are editorially-orientated.

It depends on how "premium" these editorials are.

What is 'premium", in my opinion?:
 
1. Images which took considerable expense or time to capture and/or post-process (least important but still relevant for deep expedition type shots);
2. Unique lighting condition;
3a. Unique editorial of a 'story' which isn't sufficiently covered by other contributors;
3b. Shooting niches (breaking news, medical, science, biology, chemistry).

I'd give a 25% weight to each one of them.

If they're "popular events in Corfu like Easter and Carnival", I'd have to see them first but I would imagine that they aren't that premium save for a few (perhaps you caught two men kissing during carnival).

There's a theory that buyers shop around and there's a risk that a non-corporate buyer at Alamy may see the same image on SS and license it for much much cheaper. Still trying to gather evidence on whether this really happens (relation between zooms on Alamy and purchases on SS). To avoid this, as you suggested, I would advise to keep your most premium images at Alamy and even as RM.

Hope that helps!

Alex
« Last Edit: November 11, 2017, 07:41 by Brasilnut »

« Reply #14 on: November 11, 2017, 07:50 »
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Thanks again Alex for your help and comprehensive information.
The truth is that I don't class them as "premium", especially the way you describe them but they are still editorials. They are not many around 100, so i may as well leave them only on Alamy and see what happens. I've sold already one for 8.50 something. Well chuffed  ;D.
But at the same time i sold a macro of a bug for the same price.  :o. It's all still a bit confusing despite the fact that I'm reading the forums every day.

Brasilnut

  • Author of the Brutally Honest Guide to Microstock
« Reply #15 on: November 11, 2017, 10:32 »
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Quote
The truth is that I don't class them as "premium", especially the way you describe them but they are still editorials. They are not many around 100, so i may as well leave them only on Alamy and see what happens.

In that case, I would suggest that they be everywhere and RF.

Good luck :)

ShadySue

  • There is a crack in everything
« Reply #16 on: November 11, 2017, 17:19 »
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Clemency Wright and I will be collaborating on future blog posts about keywording, in particular in regards to keywording for Alamy.
It will only be useful if she reveals e.g. why she wouldn't have 'empty airport' or 'jeans'; or why she used 'girl' instead of 'young woman'.
These may be trade secrets, but without them, the posts would be pretty useless. All I see from the post you linked to above is that probably you stuck in poor keywords to show the sort of things far too many people do on all the sites, and she cleaned them up a bit.
Sadly, the sort of people who keyword so badly generally don't want to learn. I have lots of evidence of this, but best not to name and shame.

Brasilnut

  • Author of the Brutally Honest Guide to Microstock
« Reply #17 on: November 11, 2017, 17:49 »
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Quote
It will only be useful if she reveals e.g. why she wouldn't have 'empty airport' or 'jeans'; or why she used 'girl' instead of 'young woman'.
These may be trade secrets, but without them, the posts would be pretty useless. All I see from the post you linked to above is that probably you stuck in poor keywords to show the sort of things far too many people do on all the sites, and she cleaned them up a bit.
Sadly, the sort of people who keyword so badly generally don't want to learn. I have lots of evidence of this, but best not to name and shame.

These are valid questions and I'll ask why she chose one word or another. Perhaps she may post on here and if so I would appreciate if you all would make her feel welcome :)

I did my best to keyword to the highest standards. I admit that sometimes I rush through keywording, especially when I have 100s of images to get through. From the corrections, my weakness is overkeywording.

I have a limit on the number of images (hours a day) I can a day before I start to go crazy - probably about 3-4 hours worth/day, so any help from a profession is appreciated.

« Reply #18 on: November 12, 2017, 04:33 »
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The thing is though in the case of Alamy if you look at the metrics people search directly and literally. I got to page 16 of images sold without finding anything you would call a "concept". Other sites quite possibly differ but quite hard to get much evidence. In the last month there were 4 searches including "horizontal" with zero sales ;-)
« Last Edit: November 12, 2017, 04:36 by Pauws99 »

« Reply #19 on: November 12, 2017, 05:09 »
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Quote
I have some editorial only on alamy, not many but they are from popular events here in Corfu like Easter and carnival. Should i upload them to shutterstock as well or leave them to alamy exclusive hoping that if someone wants them they have to pay a higher price for them?
Thanks in advance
Dimitris

I'm of the opinion that SS isn't the best place to upload premium editorials. Alamy would be much better, not only because you can license them as RM (which has its benefits) but also that many buyers on Alamy are editorially-orientated.

It depends on how "premium" these editorials are.

What is 'premium", in my opinion?:
 
1. Images which took considerable expense or time to capture and/or post-process (least important but still relevant for deep expedition type shots);
2. Unique lighting condition;
3a. Unique editorial of a 'story' which isn't sufficiently covered by other contributors;
3b. Shooting niches (breaking news, medical, science, biology, chemistry).

I'd give a 25% weight to each one of them.

If they're "popular events in Corfu like Easter and Carnival", I'd have to see them first but I would imagine that they aren't that premium save for a few (perhaps you caught two men kissing during carnival).

There's a theory that buyers shop around and there's a risk that a non-corporate buyer at Alamy may see the same image on SS and license it for much much cheaper. Still trying to gather evidence on whether this really happens (relation between zooms on Alamy and purchases on SS). To avoid this, as you suggested, I would advise to keep your most premium images at Alamy and even as RM.

Hope that helps!

Alex
Premium to me is simply "do you believe someone will pay a premium price for this image?" which 2 to three are measures of as its based on scarcity. 1 I think is irrelevant the buyer doesn't care how much it cost you to produce the image. A waterfall in the jungle discovered after a three day hike may produce an image similar to one taken on a coach tour ;-). It does inform the decision though whether to invest the time to produce something scarce that will be in demand.

Brasilnut

  • Author of the Brutally Honest Guide to Microstock
« Reply #20 on: November 13, 2017, 09:53 »
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I was recently in Florence, Italy and most of the editorials on there aren't that premium or unique. If there's one I would choose to place on Alamy as RM and exclusively it would be this one. Technically not the best since I cut some parts (tough angle) but the message is quite strong and unique, I believe.

steheap

  • Author of best selling "Get Started in Stock"

« Reply #21 on: November 13, 2017, 10:00 »
+1
There is one other factor in this discussion about premium images. A premium editorial shot needs to be one that a buyer will search outside their normal stock agency to find that specific image. As an example, if I'm a buyer for the Washington Post and my normal agency is iStock (they tend to use a lot of iStock photos to illustrate articles on their App), then I need to first of all not be able to find a suitable image on iStock, but also I need to be willing to search on more expensive sites (Alamy, Robert Harding, Getty etc.) and be willing to pay for a license at that site. So a premium image must be sufficiently unique to make someone take that extra step.

Obviously specific news images will require that search, but it is harder to justify for the sort of editorial images that many of us take.

That is why I'm more of the opinion that our images might as well be placed on all sites, not divided into "premium" and "ordinary."

Steve

« Reply #22 on: November 14, 2017, 02:26 »
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Strong point Steve. In the end of the day with my limited experience on stock photography i still believe that anything can sell (maybe I'm wrong) but at the same time you may have an image that you think is super premium and that image never sells.

« Reply #23 on: November 16, 2017, 03:18 »
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I made a big sale on Alamy today. Big for me anyway. The biggest so far. 45 euros.
How weird, we was talking with Alex about it the other day...
It's an editorial shot from the Carnival in Corfu. I wouldn't say is "premium" but hey, it's sold. Now the question is : I have it only on Alamy exclusive. If I had it on shutterstock as well you think whoever bought it would look on shutterstock to get it cheaper?
Questions, questions.

« Reply #24 on: November 16, 2017, 04:08 »
0
I made a big sale on Alamy today. Big for me anyway. The biggest so far. 45 euros.
How weird, we was talking with Alex about it the other day...
It's an editorial shot from the Carnival in Corfu. I wouldn't say is "premium" but hey, it's sold. Now the question is : I have it only on Alamy exclusive. If I had it on shutterstock as well you think whoever bought it would look on shutterstock to get it cheaper?
Questions, questions.
No one knows for sure. Personally I doubt it but you would probably get less from Alamy as its not then exclusive.


 

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