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Author Topic: Quantity never beats quality  (Read 20518 times)

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lagereek

« Reply #50 on: May 09, 2012, 08:58 »
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I think the secret is to either, get-in, or find places, things, where the normal photographer cant gain entry or access.


Yes. And while you are at it, shoot everything with exceptionally great light and styling. And if you shoot some activity, be sure the persons in the image does everything correctly so that no professionals will laugh at the image (see my post http://www.microstockgroup.com/general-stock-discussion/getting-things-done-correctly-research-before-the-shoot/ ) The images would be very difficult to copy by an average microstock shooter because they will fail in some aspect if they try to copy the image(s).


What are you dribbling about? ::)  did you think I meant shooting action activity, etc. I said during commissioned work, which means you have portable light, etc, with you. Have you never been on an assignment?   I am not talking about some editorial crap, you know.

I could easily reel off 20, giant names in photography, working like this. I have personally front/back-lit an entire car-production plant, with people, released and everything, some of the stuff is selling as RM.
Youre reffering to some weekend snapper with a P/S, walking into a store or something.

Besides; when I say getting-into places, it doesnt have to be indoors, I mean Cape-Caneveral is outdoors you know, as an example.
« Last Edit: May 09, 2012, 09:03 by lagereek »


« Reply #51 on: May 09, 2012, 09:16 »
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^ Sorry, I don't understand your outburst here. Or maybe I do (sorry for using word "you" in the beginning, I meant "everybody"). And I didn't mean combining commercial shoots with stock, I was just talking about accessing places for stock shoots.

(and yes, I do commissioned commercial shoots every week)

lagereek

« Reply #52 on: May 09, 2012, 09:26 »
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^ Sorry, I don't understand your outburst here. Or maybe I do (sorry for using word "you" in the beginning, I meant "everybody"). And I didn't mean combining commercial shoots with stock, I was just talking about accessing places for stock shoots.

(and yes, I do commissioned commercial shoots every week)

Hi!  but thats exactly what I mean, combining commissioned shoots with stock, if its commercially interesting ofcourse. How else would you get unique material? and thats what I mean with building up a solid client relationship, showing you can be trusted, not using their pictures in any derrogative ways.

Example: one of my clients, is the Arlanda airport in Stockholm, I do many of their annual-reports, company profiles, etc. Can you imagine all the stock I can get there, engines, planes, personell, mechanics, jets, etc and released, etc,  simply because I got in! via commissions.
I mean, anybody cant just come waltzing in on the runways, if you get my drift.

lisafx

« Reply #53 on: May 09, 2012, 09:32 »
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And how long before originality is copied to death? I've seen it happen with my own stuff, where a good seller suddenly finds that there a load of imitations. I can think of one where every single element in a set-up has been copied precisely by a fairly high-up iStock exclusive and lots of others have produced very similar stuff. Consequently, a one-time hot seller is now dead in the water.

Yep.  This is the reward you get for originality in microstock.  Safer to just keep churning out the same rehashed concepts.  Sad to say. 

lagereek

« Reply #54 on: May 09, 2012, 09:39 »
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And how long before originality is copied to death? I've seen it happen with my own stuff, where a good seller suddenly finds that there a load of imitations. I can think of one where every single element in a set-up has been copied precisely by a fairly high-up iStock exclusive and lots of others have produced very similar stuff. Consequently, a one-time hot seller is now dead in the water.

Yep.  This is the reward you get for originality in microstock.  Safer to just keep churning out the same rehashed concepts.  Sad to say.  

Yep!  go get the geezer!  seriously though, this is what I cant understand, why do the agencies allow it?  the RMs, dont, they will send you an answer like" sorry we have already this stuff"  but in micro they do.
« Last Edit: May 09, 2012, 09:41 by lagereek »

lisafx

« Reply #55 on: May 09, 2012, 09:46 »
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 And if you shoot some activity, be sure the persons in the image does everything correctly so that no professionals will laugh at the image (see my post http://www.microstockgroup.com/general-stock-discussion/getting-things-done-correctly-research-before-the-shoot/ ) The images would be very difficult to copy by an average microstock shooter because they will fail in some aspect if they try to copy the image(s).


This is funny.  Years ago I actually caught a copier red-handed because they copied something in my image that was wrong!  We had an electrical meter in the background of a photo of HVAC.  It was not the type of meter an HVAC guy would have used.  This copycat put the exact same type of meter in their photo.  When I asked about it they went to great lengths to explain how the HVAC tech had used it to "check freon levels".  Total BS.  

Of course that was years ago and I have been obsessive about getting accuracy in situations since then.  But here's the thing.  I see people post stuff all the time that is factually wrong, but you know what?  The stuff still sells.  Most buyers don't know the difference.  The average graphic designer knows nothing about the technical minutiae of whatever vocation they are designing for.  

I recommend getting the technical details right for your own piece of mind, but don't expect it to translate into significantly higher sales.  A pretty, fake looking picture with the details wrong will still outsell a more accurate one unless it's equally pretty.  

lisafx

« Reply #56 on: May 09, 2012, 09:48 »
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 And if you shoot some activity, be sure the persons in the image does everything correctly so that no professionals will laugh at the image (see my post http://www.microstockgroup.com/general-stock-discussion/getting-things-done-correctly-research-before-the-shoot/ ) The images would be very difficult to copy by an average microstock shooter because they will fail in some aspect if they try to copy the image(s).


This is funny.  Years ago I actually caught a copier red-handed because they copied something in my image that was wrong!  We had an electrical meter in the background of a photo of HVAC.  It was not the type of meter an HVAC guy would have used.  This copycat put the exact same type of meter in their photo.  When I asked about it they went to great lengths to explain how the HVAC tech had used it to "check freon levels".  Total BS.  

Of course that was years ago and I have been obsessive about getting accuracy in situations since then.  But here's the thing.  I see people post stuff all the time that is factually wrong, but you know what?  The stuff still sells.  Most buyers don't know the difference.  The average graphic designer knows nothing about the technical minutiae of whatever vocation they are designing for.  

I recommend getting the technical details right for your own piece of mind, but don't expect it to translate into significantly higher sales.  A pretty, fake looking picture with the details wrong will still outsell a more accurate one unless it's equally pretty.  (and real life accuracy is seldom as "pretty" as a fake setup)
« Last Edit: May 09, 2012, 10:58 by lisafx »

« Reply #57 on: May 09, 2012, 10:15 »
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On the question of quantity or quality -I believe in both. Quantity in the number of photos i shoot- Quality in the  number photos I submit.
Smiling Jack

« Reply #58 on: May 09, 2012, 13:39 »
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Your nische might not be a photographical one, but more where you are.
If you are a clown in a circus it might provide you with certain unique shoots.
or if you work in an oilwell?

or if you are accustomed to ants or dogs:

« Reply #59 on: May 09, 2012, 13:47 »
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And just how big is the demand for circus shots on microstock?

« Reply #60 on: May 09, 2012, 13:56 »
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What are you trying to prove?
I just point out some mechanisms.

If you are a clown, then photograph your circus.
if you are a vampire, then the tombstone.
If you are a vet,  the animals...

How difficult can it be?

lagereek

« Reply #61 on: May 09, 2012, 15:08 »
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Your nische might not be a photographical one, but more where you are.
If you are a clown in a circus it might provide you with certain unique shoots.
or if you work in an oilwell?

or if you are accustomed to ants or dogs:



Lovely portrait!  nice pose, etc.

lagereek

« Reply #62 on: May 09, 2012, 15:09 »
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On the question of quantity or quality -I believe in both. Quantity in the number of photos i shoot- Quality in the  number photos I submit.
Smiling Jack

No matter how we twist and turn the word quality,  micro, is a numbers game, lets not forget that.

« Reply #63 on: May 09, 2012, 15:34 »
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But the post really has nothing to do with quality, it has to do with sales potential....

This would be my answer to the debate of quantity vs quality.  The winner is neither.  The winner is sales potential.  Second place is quantity.  Third place is quality.

Not that quality is unimportant.  But for the most part the images you find on MS must have technical quality to make it online.   Oh, you're talking about "artistic or aesthetic quality"?  Then I'd put quality down around fifth or sixth.

Fact is, you can have a high "quantity" of stuff people don't want... or you can have a high "quality" of stuff people don't want.... and you're dead in the water.  Quality vs quantity is moot.  First find out what topics sell well, are underserved, and you can offer a unique take on.  Then focus on doing LOTS of those.  Then worry about how to do them better and better.

But you say, "Of course I only focus on subjects with high demand, that's a given!"  Are you really?  Are your sales continually growing?  RPI continually rising?  If not, take a long hard look at whether you're really meeting a demand that hasn't already been served many times over and see if you can forge new ground in hot topics your competition hasn't already uncovered.  Try a bunch of new topics, and when you find some that tap into a real hunger among buyers, do LOTS on that subject or theme.  Don't repeat yourself, or you'll just cannibalize your own sales... find creative ways to tackle the general subject in a number of ways.  But get a lot up there while you're under the radar of other contributors.  Quality doesn't even factor in to this strategy.  Of course you'll do the best you can, but since you'll have little competition, it won't be a big factor in the buyer's decision.
« Last Edit: May 09, 2012, 15:42 by stockmarketer »

rubyroo

« Reply #64 on: May 09, 2012, 15:38 »
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You know, I'm not really a dog person... and I'm pretty dismissive of any dog shots I've seen in microstock, but that is a beauty.

It certainly makes sense to me that a person in an uncommon area of work will have access to scenarios, objects, perspectives, specialist knowledge etc. that the rest of us won't - and that such access/knowledge will provide them with a particular niche that would be very difficult for others to copy.

lagereek

« Reply #65 on: May 09, 2012, 15:54 »
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You know, I'm not really a dog person... and I'm pretty dismissive of any dog shots I've seen in microstock, but that is a beauty.

It certainly makes sense to me that a person in an uncommon area of work will have access to scenarios, objects, perspectives, specialist knowledge etc. that the rest of us won't - and that such access/knowledge will provide them with a particular niche that would be very difficult for others to copy.

Exactly!  you somehow worded it better then I did and thats how many of the top RM,RF and micro shooters work it. Especially in the RM, where the revenue is so much more.

« Reply #66 on: May 09, 2012, 16:05 »
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+ the upload process  = much more annoying...


« Reply #67 on: May 09, 2012, 16:24 »
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I am a rock climber and as far as I can tell the best selling rock climbing picture on SS is completely laughable as far as rock climbing goes. So having knowledge and access isn't necessarily what is required. That said - if you do have knowledge and or access to something specific you have the potential to get good images a lot easier than others without that knowledge / access do. That works for the hobbyist, but someone who wants to do stock full time needs more.


Depending on how you define quality and quantity, it could go either way. If you define quality by microstock sales then of course quality wins. I'd rather have the sales from all but someone's top selling (highest quality?) image than just the top seller though - it just depends where you make the cut.

Of course thousands of images that don't sell are useless - especially compared to a few images that sell well.

« Reply #68 on: May 10, 2012, 04:43 »
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why dont everybody continue doing whatever they are doing and drop this useless topic or anybody is here to help competition?

ShadySue

  • There is a crack in everything
« Reply #69 on: May 10, 2012, 07:17 »
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I am a rock climber and as far as I can tell the best selling rock climbing picture on SS is completely laughable as far as rock climbing goes. So having knowledge and access isn't necessarily what is required.
The top selling "House Sparrow" picture on iStock - by a long chalk - is actually a Tree Sparrow.  ::) The buyers aren't as discerning as some of us may like to think.

« Reply #70 on: May 10, 2012, 07:35 »
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I am a rock climber and as far as I can tell the best selling rock climbing picture on SS is completely laughable as far as rock climbing goes. So having knowledge and access isn't necessarily what is required.

You are right. But I personally wouldn't spend time shooting images that are "wrong", it just doesn't make sense because everything could be done "correctly" just by asking some specialist or by googling around.

We also don't know if a portion of buyers have noticed that the rock climbing pictures look "wrong" and they have searched for better ones, maybe even contacting a macrocstock site or some rock climbing photographer to get the needed images. We just don't know it. We only know that many of the buyers are totally clueless :)

wut

« Reply #71 on: May 10, 2012, 07:54 »
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We only know that many of the buyers are totally clueless :)

One more reason to start charging them more :)

« Reply #72 on: May 10, 2012, 10:59 »
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Dont underestimate the customers.

I frequently get sales from the latin names  in my nature photos.
Fx today I sold 2 Catocala fraxini on SS.

keyword presision adds to the quality and usability of an image.
ball bearings are not just ball bearings.
« Last Edit: May 10, 2012, 11:03 by JPSDK »

« Reply #73 on: May 10, 2012, 14:50 »
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I am a rock climber and as far as I can tell the best selling rock climbing picture on SS is completely laughable as far as rock climbing goes. So having knowledge and access isn't necessarily what is required.

You are right. But I personally wouldn't spend time shooting images that are "wrong", it just doesn't make sense because everything could be done "correctly" just by asking some specialist or by googling around.

We also don't know if a portion of buyers have noticed that the rock climbing pictures look "wrong" and they have searched for better ones, maybe even contacting a macrocstock site or some rock climbing photographer to get the needed images. We just don't know it. We only know that many of the buyers are totally clueless :)

The problem comes if, for example, a designer gets given a brief by a holiday agency to prepare a full page advert for Mountain Climber magazine. Neither the designer nor the holiday company management in London know the first thing about climbing, so they happily slap the advert in the mag .... and become a standing joke among their entire potential customer base.

ShadySue

  • There is a crack in everything
« Reply #74 on: May 10, 2012, 15:02 »
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I am a rock climber and as far as I can tell the best selling rock climbing picture on SS is completely laughable as far as rock climbing goes. So having knowledge and access isn't necessarily what is required.

You are right. But I personally wouldn't spend time shooting images that are "wrong", it just doesn't make sense because everything could be done "correctly" just by asking some specialist or by googling around.

We also don't know if a portion of buyers have noticed that the rock climbing pictures look "wrong" and they have searched for better ones, maybe even contacting a macrocstock site or some rock climbing photographer to get the needed images. We just don't know it. We only know that many of the buyers are totally clueless :)

The problem comes if, for example, a designer gets given a brief by a holiday agency to prepare a full page advert for Mountain Climber magazine. Neither the designer nor the holiday company management in London know the first thing about climbing, so they happily slap the advert in the mag .... and become a standing joke among their entire potential customer base.
I've told before about the Safari company which "knows Africa like the back of our hand", but whose expensively-produced brochure featured Asian One-horned Rhinos. Lost our custom, which would have been several thousand pounds about ten years ago, and of course any future business. (I'm not sure they're still in business, to be honest.)


 

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