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Author Topic: It hit me like a ton of bricks....  (Read 4322 times)

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« on: March 07, 2008, 15:58 »
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Ever since I joined the MS industry I have ever pondered what makes a good MS photo, after all #'s of photos don't make you money, good photos make you money, what the clients want.  What do the clients want?, there are so many thoughts about it, about what the customer base is and what they are seeking, all the sites tell you to go look at the big sellers, but that just tells you what others have done, if anything it saps creativity more than fostering it.  What are the vast majority of the clients looking for?

It finally occurred to me.  Maybe I'm way off (I'd love to hear the thoughts of those more experienced than me), but it is a theme that seems to run through my bestsellers and those on the sites.  Clip Art.  They are looking for good, high resolution, photographic, clip art.   Something just as accessible as a thumb as a large high res, something that is immediately understandable from the initial peek.  Clip art does not crop out lesser elements for a cool composition.  Whether a frame to frame shot or an isolation, all seem to be nothing more than a simple bit of clip art.  Sure they are infinitely more complex because of the medium and the possibilities with it, but when approached as a piece of art would be approached the same theme tends to emerge, on a basic level they are a piece of clip art.  Some have a story or a theme or a concept, but it is always very recognizable and understandable.  They are easy pics, just as clip art is.

With this in mind, marketable subject determination and how to frame and present that subject for the clients becomes much easier when you view your work not as an artistic masterpiece, but as a piece of clip art for a designer to put to use.

Thoughts anyone?  Have I possibly stumbled upon the frame of mind to have to be successful in the industry, instead of stumbling in the dark, throwing poop at the wall and seeing what sticks, which in many ways is how it feels at times.
« Last Edit: March 07, 2008, 16:00 by Waldo4 »


« Reply #1 on: March 08, 2008, 10:36 »
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From my short experience in MS my isolations sells a lot more than shots with setups and props for the very reasons you put in your post. An isolated apple with good diffused light can be used in a gazillion of ways by designers, a shot of a bowl of apples with great dramatic light, while artistically a lot more interesting, can be used in a handful of graphical situations. That's why I'm trying to add those shots to the macrostock market, if they sell once there they can be profitable, if they sells 3 or 4 times on MS they are a waste of time and work.

« Reply #2 on: March 08, 2008, 11:55 »
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You are wasting too much energy into trying to figure things out. Stop trying.


Instead, direct your energy into being creative. Find a niche in MS you are good at.
Splatter the industry with your work. Forge ahead, and stop looking over your shoulder behind you.

This is a simple game for complicated people. So keep it simple.

The MIZ
« Last Edit: March 08, 2008, 11:57 by rjmiz »

« Reply #3 on: March 08, 2008, 12:03 »
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The trouble is the "this is not stock" rejection that I face on 60% or more of my shots at Fotolia (I have considered dropping them as the amount of time spent uploading is an absolute waste of my time, it'll just be rejected anyway, if not, it won't sell).  It helps to have an idea as to who your customers are.  It's easy when your customer is a bride, or a newspaper and there is a specific task at hand, or even if it is the display of your ultimate in creativity as fine art.  But for an unspecified we want useful pictures (it honestly isn't any more clear than that anywhere), and that is about as much as you get, any clearing of the fog is helpful.

« Reply #4 on: March 08, 2008, 12:03 »
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So keep it simple.

That is essentially what I talked about. 

"Be creative...forge ahead...stop trying to figure things out"

Things like this are nice to think about, then again it doesn't help much when 10 out of a batch of 10 are rejected for not being stock because of being creative, and I essentially wasted 20 hours of work for absolutely nothing in return.

I have all day when at my job to sit and ponder and think about things, it is what I am paid to do anyways, pondering and thinking does nothing to my camera or PP time, but hopefully makes it more efficient.
« Last Edit: March 08, 2008, 12:11 by Waldo4 »

« Reply #5 on: March 08, 2008, 12:08 »
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I offer you a look at my portfollio on DT. Use it as an example of the niche I have found.
I do strictly concept images. Half photo's half digital art.

I concentrate on business, and marketing, as well as the internet as a whole.
Peruse it if you wish and gather some ideas from me to get you jump started.

http://www.dreamstime.com/rjmiz_portfolio_pg1

The MIZ

« Reply #6 on: March 08, 2008, 12:20 »
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I offer you a look at my portfollio on DT. Use it as an example of the niche I have found.
I do strictly concept images. Half photo's half digital art.

I concentrate on business, and marketing, as well as the internet as a whole.
Peruse it if you wish and gather some ideas from me to get you jump started.

http://www.dreamstime.com/rjmiz_portfolio_pg1

The MIZ


One theme that runs through your work, it goes back to my first post, it is all presented as clip art.  The camera angles, the approachability, everything about the way it is presented has a lot in common with clip art.  Which is fine, it is what sells.  If anything however I have no interest however in getting ideas from others, I have plenty of my own, maybe themes and generalities, but that really is as far as I like to use others.

I'm just trying to find a way past the Fotolia "this is not stock" rejection in a way.  It will help me everywhere, a lot, but I basically hit a brick wall there and had almost 25 straight rejected for the same reason.  They have my lowest acceptance rate by a pretty good margin, though since I came to this realization I had 2 straight accepted.

Hmmm...post #100.
« Last Edit: March 08, 2008, 12:33 by Waldo4 »

« Reply #7 on: March 08, 2008, 14:31 »
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I'm baffled by the word you use so often "Clip Art".
I have had it in my mind that clip art was a collection of icons, buttons, cartoons, and small graphic pictures.

I hardly think that dominates the stock community. Perhaps you will elaborate on why you think
stock is all presented as clip art.

The MIZ

« Reply #8 on: March 08, 2008, 15:56 »
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There are tons of people who make what you call clip art. They make pictures of stuff like scissors, dice, water drops, staplers, computer mice, and car keys. Some shots are isolated, some aren't. Some include hands, some don't. If that's how you want to define stock photography, and making that sort of imagery 'floats your boat', then go for it. Be the best clip art maker out there!

One of your 100 posts, Waldo4, sticks out in my mind. In it you presented a few samples of your work. I took a quick look and classified only one of the images - an exterior shot of a theater(?) - as stock. The other shots (I can recall some flowers and a vaulted ceiling), although nice to look at, are definitely not stock material.
Fine art: yes.
Commercial stock photography: no.

« Reply #9 on: March 08, 2008, 16:08 »
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I understand sharply_done, that there are those types of images.
However my question is to Waldo4 whom I think may be perhaps
a bit confused about what "Stock" is, and what it is not.... actually (not you for sure).

« Reply #10 on: March 08, 2008, 16:43 »
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Sorry that you mistook my post for being addressed to you, rjmiz - I should have quoted Waldo4 before beginning my prattle.
« Last Edit: March 08, 2008, 16:45 by sharply_done »

« Reply #11 on: March 08, 2008, 17:06 »
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The trouble is the "this is not stock" rejection that I face on 60% or more of my shots at Fotolia (I have considered dropping them as the amount of time spent uploading is an absolute waste of my time, it'll just be rejected anyway, if not, it won't sell). 

Don't give up on Fotolia, like StockXpert it's not unusual for people to get rejections for "not stock". Most of my sales on Fotolia are in Europe usually to online estate agencies, travel agencies and web site designers.

Take time to have a look what is selling at each site.  What sells on one site may not sell on another. At one site this month I have sold one photograph nearly 100 times on another just once, yet they were both uploaded the same day.

As I said before if your images are more fine art or creative try Photoshelter or MyLoupe.

All the best.

« Reply #12 on: March 08, 2008, 17:27 »
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There are tons of people who make what you call clip art. They make pictures of stuff like scissors, dice, water drops, staplers, computer mice, and car keys. Some shots are isolated, some aren't. Some include hands, some don't. If that's how you want to define stock photography, and making that sort of imagery 'floats your boat', then go for it. Be the best clip art maker out there!

One of your 100 posts, Waldo4, sticks out in my mind. In it you presented a few samples of your work. I took a quick look and classified only one of the images - an exterior shot of a theater(?) - as stock. The other shots (I can recall some flowers and a vaulted ceiling), although nice to look at, are definitely not stock material.
Fine art: yes.
Commercial stock photography: no.


The items you describe, plus the type of stuff found on "5000 images" CD's that are available is what I think of as clip art (if fact it wouldn't surprise me if the makers of those CD's are just someone with a commercial CD burner and a SS subscription).  Then again there is the whole segment of shots with people, but minus a model or willing person to work with that remains closed to me.

Funny, I never would have thought of the theater front as stock (I really don't like the shot all that much anyways, very much not my style with architecture, but it is one of a handful that I have taken with a lens wider than 50mm, the point I was trying to illustrate with the post), but I did upload the ceiling to a few sites and it has sold well at SS.  The flowers too I never would consider (especially the last one, the shot is pretty awful IMO), but they were illustrating the difference between a standard focal length and macro in the post.
« Last Edit: March 08, 2008, 17:53 by Waldo4 »


 

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