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Author Topic: I can i get a 'no holds barred' critique or advice.  (Read 2197 times)

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« on: July 21, 2017, 22:30 »
0
To explain my situation first 4 years ago I quit everything in the UK and set off to travel the world, photography soon became my main drive for my travels. Now for the past year micro and macro stock has been my attempt of turning my many photos in to some kind of income. What first gave me hope was 6 purchase from getty via eyeem.com netting me $100.
My SS dl's for the past 7 months have been 7, 14, 9, 13, 11, 18, and 10 so far for July but July has beat every other month $ wise :). Im also getting DL's with IS, Adobe, & BS but not worth mentioning.

Now my Alamy portfolio where i would of thought my photos would suit best and i have been putting my better or unique photos has had all of 7 'click zooms' and no sales, i have been on this forum a while and do know its a waiting game on Alamy. (and if you do look at it i know now it was a mistake to put my stock folio on it too) ( and the 00's of surf photos are my on going attempt to get those surfers to buy them.)

Anyway here are my portfolio's, let me know what you really think.

https://www.shutterstock.com/g/keywordphil?language=en

http://www.alamy.com/stock-photography/68EA92EB-40FD-4564-B819-CEB1F1928EB4/1/Philip%20Curtis.html



« Reply #1 on: July 22, 2017, 00:42 »
+2
Your sales are a better guide than what anyone else thinks......but with the sheer number of pics available particularly in the subjects you shoot I don't see much that really stands out from the crowd. But your sales on Eyem are encouraging.

« Reply #2 on: July 22, 2017, 01:39 »
+2
I looked at your Shutterstock images and while some are nice the one thing that struck me is the amount of repetition.  Images that I had to look at two or three times to see if there was any difference at all.

Better to choose a few distinct images and submit them.

The subjects on occasion are nice holiday snap shots but nothing to get too excited about.

I would change the way you shoot.  For some subjects getting low down or high up or close in with a wide angle lens rather than just taking the standard stand and shoot from head height.

Surely there's a lot more interest subjects in the places you are travelling through?

Perhaps daily life of the inhabitants?


« Last Edit: July 22, 2017, 14:41 by Sammy the Cat »

« Reply #3 on: July 22, 2017, 04:03 »
+2
I agree with what the others said but I would like to really emphasize photographing animals at their eye level (of course a drone shot or from the ground up on an elephant is cool too, but in general).

It makes ALL the difference in the world. A monitor lizard from OUR eye level or even 3 feet off the ground is not going to be very interesting.

Get the camera down to 3-6 inches off the ground and it's a completely different shot.

Same with the crabs. Everybody sees crabs from above. Get down in the sand and enter the crab's world. Angles and light is everything.

Snapshots are just that - the world as we see it every single day, we're so used to that and it doesn't feel interesting.

Get low, or up in the air and everything suddenly feels more interesting for the viewer.
« Last Edit: July 22, 2017, 04:16 by increasingdifficulty »

Brasilnut

  • Author of the Brutally Honest Guide to Microstock
« Reply #4 on: July 22, 2017, 05:05 »
+2
No holds barred is what I do :)

Your surfing pics are OK, but as editorial they are next to useless. Too late now but next time if you friendly approach the people and ask them if they would be interested in getting your pics for free in exchange for them signing a model release. These really need to be commercial unless you're at a really identifiable resort with a clear background.

The rest are snapshot-ty and appear a bit boring. The true stock one of the 3 sun loungers is OK but overdone concept to death. Same with flowers, pets, birds and sunsets. If not done spectacularly, don't bother.

It seems that you're just travelling and shooting what you see, which is cool for instagram and flicker but for stock you need to try to identify in-demand concepts. Islamic state trying to dominate parts of Philippines now, any editorials related to that would be gold but ideally try keep your head.

Good luck, it's a nice start and love the places you've visited!

Brasilnut

  • Author of the Brutally Honest Guide to Microstock
« Reply #5 on: July 22, 2017, 06:23 »
0
When I say an identifiable place perhaps something like this, as traveled people looking at it would be able to tell where it is from the rock formation (Algarve, Portugal). I submitted this once as an editorial but went back to it and blurred + cloned people out and tried again submitting as commercial, which I believe would have more value. The editorial image barely sold.

« Reply #6 on: July 22, 2017, 07:18 »
+2
When I say an identifiable place perhaps something like this, as traveled people looking at it would be able to tell where it is from the rock formation (Algarve, Portugal). I submitted this once as an editorial but went back to it and blurred + cloned people out and tried again submitting as commercial, which I believe would have more value. The editorial image barely sold.

The horizon needs to be fixed on that image.

« Reply #7 on: July 22, 2017, 07:45 »
0
Thank you all for having a look and the feed back. Certainly given me some things to think about.

the one thing that struck me is the amount of repetition.  Images thats I had to look at two or three times to see if there was any difference at all.

Better to choose a few distinct images and submit them.



Yes i see your point but does it really have a negative effect? And if so how?



I would change the way you shoot.  For some subjects getting low down or high up or close in with a wide angle lens rather than just taking the standard stand and shoot from head height.




I would like to really emphasize photographing animals at their eye level (of course a drone shot or from the ground up on an elephant is cool too, but in general).

It makes ALL the difference in the world. A monitor lizard from OUR eye level or even 3 feet off the ground is not going to be very interesting.

Get the camera down to 3-6 inches off the ground and it's a completely different shot.

Same with the crabs. Everybody sees crabs from above. Get down in the sand and enter the crab's world. Angles and light is everything.

Snapshots are just that - the world as we see it every single day, we're so used to that and it doesn't feel interesting.

Get low, or up in the air and everything suddenly feels more interesting for the viewer.


http://www.alamy.com/image-details-popup.asp?&n=NaN&imageid={70C2C3B6-9D5C-4EA9-A1BB-62C40E5DBD37}

http://www.alamy.com/image-details-popup.asp?&n=NaN&imageid={3FB5CF7C-0642-4064-A6EF-105B5C90F8F3}

http://www.alamy.com/image-details-popup.asp?&n=NaN&imageid={789EC287-47CC-48B7-A102-006F9BDD2594}

You mean like these?
It does happen every now and then :P


Your surfing pics are OK, but as editorial they are next to useless. Too late now but next time if you friendly approach the people and ask them if they would be interested in getting your pics for free in exchange for them signing a model release. These really need to be commercial unless you're at a really identifiable resort with a clear background.



Well! Ive had 3 DL's from the amateur surfers on SS already and are my quickest from U/L to D/L turn around to date!
As for getting model release's from strangers! Hmm thats some personal skills im going to have to work on. haha.


 Islamic state trying to dominate parts of Philippines now, any editorials related to that would be gold but ideally try keep your head.



I'll stick to risking my life for the nature and landscape shot be it by getting trap up on volcano rims in downpours, jumping crevices, standing on top of windy 50m cliffs and general hiking off in to the random wilderness or jungles.

« Reply #8 on: July 22, 2017, 08:25 »
+4
Ten years ago you could have made some money with that portfolio but now you're quite a bit late to the party.  The images are mostly fine they just don't stand out too much from the (very large) crowd. 

I don't have much to add to what others have said - focus on different perspectives, iconic landmarks that identify the location, maybe do some isolations.  Alamy is always slow and unpredictable.  Your SS sales are already telling you what you need to know.  A small number of images usually make the majority of sales but identifying ahead of time which those will be is often difficult (for me at least).

« Reply #9 on: July 22, 2017, 09:09 »
0
You mean like these?
It does happen every now and then :P

Exactly.  :D

Bad Company

« Reply #10 on: July 22, 2017, 11:04 »
0
Is your goal to make your photos your primary income source? If so, you have your work cut out for you.

On the other hand if this is just extra spending money than your on the right track. Shot what you love...

Brasilnut

  • Author of the Brutally Honest Guide to Microstock
« Reply #11 on: July 22, 2017, 11:14 »
0
Quote
As for getting model release's from strangers! Hmm thats some personal skills im going to have to work on. haha.

Fair enough, that's really tough and I've never done it...perhaps you could capture a friend/relative? Or shoot them in silhouette. As a last resort just crop them and show their ankles with a surfboard. Anything but editorial!

« Reply #12 on: July 22, 2017, 11:37 »
0
You mean like these?
It does happen every now and then :P

Exactly.  :D

So these should be on SS?

« Reply #13 on: July 22, 2017, 11:40 »
0
You mean like these?
It does happen every now and then :P

Exactly.  :D

So these should be on SS?

Well, that's a personal choice. They are nice, but it can take 5 years of $0.25-0.33 sales to make up for a single sale at a more expensive place... a sale that might never happen...

Can't really advise you here.

« Reply #14 on: July 22, 2017, 11:41 »
0
Is your goal to make your photos your primary income source? If so, you have your work cut out for you.

On the other hand if this is just extra spending money than your on the right track. Shot what you love...

Its my dream that I am happy to enjoy the process of trying to achieve and i have the time.

I have my work cut out because of Myself or because of the industry?

« Reply #15 on: July 22, 2017, 11:50 »
0
Is your goal to make your photos your primary income source? If so, you have your work cut out for you.

On the other hand if this is just extra spending money than your on the right track. Shot what you love...

Its my dream that I am happy to enjoy the process of trying to achieve and i have the time.

I have my work cut out because of Myself or because of the industry?
The industry is far far more competitive than it was so you have to be far better than needed in the past that's not to say its not possible if you put the work in.

« Reply #16 on: July 22, 2017, 11:52 »
0
You mean like these?
It does happen every now and then :P

Exactly.  :D

So these should be on SS?

Well, that's a personal choice. They are nice, but it can take 5 years of $0.25-0.33 sales to make up for a single sale at a more expensive place... a sale that might never happen...

Can't really advise you here.

 ::)
I think i'll wait it out and see.

But i am starting to wonder if I have allocated my Micro and Macro allocations wrongly and the landscapes and others that im still sat on waiting to see what i can do with them.

« Reply #17 on: July 22, 2017, 12:01 »
0
Quote
As for getting model release's from strangers! Hmm thats some personal skills im going to have to work on. haha.

Fair enough, that's really tough and I've never done it...perhaps you could capture a friend/relative? Or shoot them in silhouette. As a last resort just crop them and show their ankles with a surfboard. Anything but editorial!

Are you saying this as a general for editorials with people in or just these surf ones?

Brasilnut

  • Author of the Brutally Honest Guide to Microstock
« Reply #18 on: July 22, 2017, 12:10 »
0
Quote
Are you saying this as a general for editorials with people in or just these surf ones?

Just surf ones.

Bad Company

« Reply #19 on: July 22, 2017, 12:11 »
0
Is your goal to make your photos your primary income source? If so, you have your work cut out for you.

On the other hand if this is just extra spending money than your on the right track. Shot what you love...

Its my dream that I am happy to enjoy the process of trying to achieve and i have the time.

I have my work cut out because of Myself or because of the industry?

Sounds like your retired?

The industry is very, very competitive as you know.  Just six years ago you would've already started making much more in sales that you can today.

« Reply #20 on: July 22, 2017, 12:26 »
0
Is your goal to make your photos your primary income source? If so, you have your work cut out for you.

On the other hand if this is just extra spending money than your on the right track. Shot what you love...

Its my dream that I am happy to enjoy the process of trying to achieve and i have the time.

I have my work cut out because of Myself or because of the industry?

Sounds like your retired?

The industry is very, very competitive as you know.  Just six years ago you would've already started making much more in sales that you can today.

Ha no, I'm only 38!
I have been nosing around this forum for a while and despite the cheeriness of the forum I have got that impression. 


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

ShadySue

  • There is a crack in everything
« Reply #21 on: July 22, 2017, 13:38 »
0
Quote
As for getting model release's from strangers! Hmm thats some personal skills im going to have to work on. haha.

Fair enough, that's really tough and I've never done it...perhaps you could capture a friend/relative? Or shoot them in silhouette. As a last resort just crop them and show their ankles with a surfboard. Anything but editorial!

For the OP's info, which agencies would accept ankles without a CR? iS (unless things have changed) and Alamy would need releases for ankles1. iS won't (or at least wouldn't) take silhouettes, even when taken to literally black against white. You'd also need to be careful that the surfboard wouldn't need a PR.

1 However, Alamy buyers can see the indication that there is no release and if you haven't ticked the 'editorial only' box, they may decide that certain files are very unrisky, and use it on their own responsibility as commercial.

« Reply #22 on: July 22, 2017, 13:49 »
0
Quote
As for getting model release's from strangers! Hmm thats some personal skills im going to have to work on. haha.

Fair enough, that's really tough and I've never done it...perhaps you could capture a friend/relative? Or shoot them in silhouette. As a last resort just crop them and show their ankles with a surfboard. Anything but editorial!

For the OP's info, which agencies would accept ankles without a CR? iS (unless things have changed) and Alamy would need releases for ankles1. iS won't (or at least wouldn't) take silhouettes, even when taken to literally black against white. You'd also need to be careful that the surfboard wouldn't need a PR.

1 However, Alamy buyers can see the indication that there is no release and if you haven't ticked the 'editorial only' box, they may decide that certain files are very unrisky, and use it on their own responsibility as commercial.
Certainly in the past a fingernail has been enough to get a rejection on IS.

« Reply #23 on: July 22, 2017, 15:31 »
+2
This guy travels and makes money from his photography/video work, some on stock, he gives regular break downs on what he makes, he has several sources for his income, youtube, his blog, stock photographs etc -
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=df2tiqH3n_4 [nofollow]




« Reply #24 on: July 22, 2017, 21:43 »
0
This guy travels and makes money from his photography/video work, some on stock, he gives regular break downs on what he makes, he has several sources for his income, youtube, his blog, stock photographs etc -
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=df2tiqH3n_4

Yes I've been following Brandon and a few other on YouTube for a while now. He travels back and forth and has a uk base, Im a lot more about constant travel. It saves me spending too much time in the Heathrow passport control queue


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk


 

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