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Author Topic: Dazed and Confused  (Read 4159 times)

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« on: February 05, 2008, 06:16 »
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Hi everyone, first, post and I'm brand new to stock photography. I was glad to find this forum as it seems like a very informative and interesting place.

Anyhow, as the topic states I am a little bit dazed by the number of options out there right now. My goal is to replace my current part time job with stock photography over the next year or so because I am entering a very intensive two year commercial photography program and it wont be possible to retain a conventional job during that time period.

I already have all of the requisite equipment (D300, lenses, flash, studio setup, etc.) so thats no issue. My issue is what direction to focus on?

With so many sites and options and the current (rather fluid) state of the market I thought I'd ask around and see if some of the more experienced shooters had an opinion?

So if you were starting out fresh today which direction would you go in? What to focus on? What to forget?

Any help is appreciated. Look forward to hanging around this forum and learning a lot hopefully.


Cheers.


« Reply #1 on: February 05, 2008, 07:56 »
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I would focus on things you are intersted in.

Pick a subject and do a few searches on the stock sites.  Look and see what you can do better, or areas where there are holes.  There is getting to be a lot of images on the sites, but there are still a few holes, and if you shoot a subject very well - there is definatly room for improvement in most areas.

Also look at what sells to see which images are worth shooting, or what type of images the buyers are buying.

What is your income goal for the end of next year? 
If you are taking a commercial photography program, that should be very helpufl.

« Reply #2 on: February 06, 2008, 10:35 »
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My income goal is about a thousand dollars a month, which is roughly what I make now. Something that seems reasonable if I commit myself to it.

« Reply #3 on: February 06, 2008, 10:39 »
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My income goal is about a thousand dollars a month, which is roughly what I make now. Something that seems reasonable if I commit myself to it.

yes, it is definitely a reasonable goal.  Peopl generally earn between $.50 - $1.00 / picture / month which means you need 1000-2000 images.

« Reply #4 on: February 06, 2008, 11:00 »
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Now my question is, given the rather large number of sites out there... is there an efficient or "best" way to meet that goal?

Should I start a profile on all nine of the sites that seem popular or is it more productive to target a certain number of sites?

My "gut feeling" is that more portfolios on more sites equals more sales. But if it would be more profitable to spend more time shooting and less time uploading I'd welcome that. So I figured I'd ask some of you stock photography veterans for advice.

I currently have uploaded twenty-five "feeler" images on the Big 6 and the 3 sites listed as Up and Coming. But I'd love to hear opinions and advice from some established photographers.

« Reply #5 on: February 06, 2008, 12:00 »
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Wellcome to microstock Precarious. My advice would be focus on the first 5 of the Big 6 to the right hand. Thats what I generally do and when I have time/am bored and have nothing to shoot or edit I upload to a few others as well. All the best!

« Reply #6 on: February 06, 2008, 12:16 »
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Wellcome to microstock Precarious. My advice would be focus on the first 5 of the Big 6 to the right hand. Thats what I generally do and when I have time/am bored and have nothing to shoot or edit I upload to a few others as well. All the best!
I think this is a good idea... I make more than your goal uploading just to the first 4 on the list.

Good luck!  :)

« Reply #7 on: February 06, 2008, 12:24 »
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I'm just getting started as well (a bit behind you), and have only joined two sites, but more are going to be coming.  At least at first I am planning on uploading all images, that I am happy with the quality of and expect to get accepted, to all sites, though I will only waste time uploading in down time between shooting and PP.  To keep track of what is what, I created a main stock directory on my photo HD separate from my general filing system, once I have a final copy of an image I save it not only to the general directory, but the stock directory.  Inside of this directory I have a folder for each site that I have joined or are planning to join, and I copy the file to each of those directories, making it easy to keep track of what I have or haven't uploaded.  Once it is in each subdirectory I delete it from the main stock directory, once it has been uploaded I delete it from the applicable subdirectory.  In essence each subdirectory is a upload cue for each site.  Not sure if anybody else does something similar to this, but I find it an easy way to keep track of what files have been uploaded where, and what needs to be uploaded where.

« Reply #8 on: February 06, 2008, 12:35 »
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yeah.. dido

I would pick the first 5 of the stop sites over on the right there.  Upload your images to those and see how sales are and how much more time you have for uploading.  If you have dead time that you could be uploading then you may as well add another site.. but if you don't have 'dead time' at the computer you may as well shoot more images.

Some sites like 123RF, crestock, and luckyoliver take basically no effort to upload to, so they are good options, but the sales are pretty low.

For your info earnings from crestock, featurepics, luckyoliver, canstock, and snap village TOGETHER, are less than my earnings on bigstock.... which is a low earning itself.

« Reply #9 on: February 06, 2008, 12:52 »
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Just my 2 (Euro!)cents

- Subjects: whatever you feel happy with. On most sites there is a section with most popular images, so you can browse there to see what sells. But beware, those subjects are very popular so competition will be stiff. For instance I almost never do food shots since it bores me, it costs money, and much better food shooters around. Better find a niche (a hole) that is underrepresented and you like to shoot.

- Keywords: tag your images well. Given a good shot, the quality of keywords determines sales.

- Income: depending on your niche, a port of 2000-3000 should do. My niche of nature shots is not so popular so I would need 4000.

- Agents: don't waste time on beginning or low sale sites, like CanStockPhoto and LuckyOliver. Avoid overtly subscription sites like Crestock, except for ShutterStock which is a big money maker for most. I'm concentrating now on SS,DT,BigStock,iS,FP,Fotolia,StockXpert,123RF. The rest is peanuts and not worth the time. Also consider mid/macrostock like Alamy,Zymmetrical,MostPhotos as an investment.

« Reply #10 on: February 06, 2008, 13:14 »
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Wow, great info. I can already tell I'm going to like this forum.

It's reassuring to hear that my goal is realistic and that I won't have to upload to 20 different sites to meet it. I'd really rather spend that time shooting than keyboard pounding.

I use Lightroom to edit which really lends itself well to keywording and I've been careful to get in the habit of throughly keywording each image.

« Reply #11 on: February 06, 2008, 16:22 »
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Welcome Precarious!  I just wanted to add my 2 cents and reiterate what a few others have said.  Like Leaf mentioned, do some searches on the big 6 and see which subjects need some filling out, or even see what you can do better than what exists.  Coming up with creative concept imagery is also a good idea.  I know many mention that you'll need between 1000-2000 images to reach your $1,000.00 month goal but that isn't necessarily the case.  If you can find a good niche and capture some much needed subjects you can achieve that goal on much less.  I didn't think it was possible but I reached that goal last month with my portfolio of between 345-450 images, which varies depending on the site. (I'm still doing the happy dance! ;D)  Good luck to you and hope to see you more around here!!

« Reply #12 on: February 06, 2008, 17:17 »
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Sounds good  8)

I just got 3 rejection notices from Fotolia. First response from any site. Not exactly suprised but a little startled that the reasons are so vauge and broad. Oh well, two of them were deemed white background issues which I think I may be able to salvage. back to work!

« Reply #13 on: February 06, 2008, 17:28 »
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yes, it is definitely a reasonable goal.  Peopl generally earn between $.50 - $1.00 / picture / month which means you need 1000-2000 images.

So as not to discourage you with the above,  I make .50 /pic/ month on 275 images... just be very selective and don't post anything and everything. Only post what is stockworthy.

« Reply #14 on: February 07, 2008, 14:40 »
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yes, it is definitely a reasonable goal.  Peopl generally earn between $.50 - $1.00 / picture / month which means you need 1000-2000 images.

So as not to discourage you with the above,  I make .50 /pic/ month on 275 images... just be very selective and don't post anything and everything. Only post what is stockworthy.

Woops - my math was wrong. It should be $2.00 / pic / month on 275 images.

« Reply #15 on: February 08, 2008, 11:33 »
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Ahh.

So fewer of the right pictures is better than many of the wrong ones.

Very handy. 


 

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