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Author Topic: Submitting to several agencies / Workflow / Keywording  (Read 4769 times)

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« on: October 12, 2010, 18:49 »

I've been in the stock industry for a while now, but new to microstock. Although happy with my earnings from my other agencies, I'd like to diversify for a certain type of photography, which I believe might be best placed with microstock. I've also been with Alamy for a while but haven't submitted anything for years, because I find them too labour-intense for keywording.

So, I'd like to at least submit to the "Big 4", i.e. Shutterstock, iStock, Fotolia, Dreamstime. (Possibly to some others as well). But it all depends on the amount of "manual work" I have to put in AFTER retouching and IPTC Keywording.

My workflow is as follows. (And I'd imagine other photographers to have a very similar workflow):

2) IMPORT images from camera card onto hard-drive & database (Lightroom in my case)
3) Creative EDIT on the images (i.e. throw out the crap / outtakes)
4) KEYWORD my 'Selects'
5) EXPORT selected/keyworded files as a tif (captions, keywords,... embedded in IPTC fields)
6) RETOUCH camera dirt, logos, noise, brightness, contrast,...
7) CONVERT retouched tif to jpg, ARCHIVE the tif
8) UPLOAD the jpg file
9) Back to 1)

Given the low sales price per image, I don't want to spend precious time for any cumbersome online-keywording / non-standard IPTC fields like I'd have to do with Alamy. (With Photoshelter, it used to be similar: very labour intense classification & clicking-through-keywords AFTER the upload... a real pain!)

Which of the Microstock agencies you're using would suit my above workflow? In other words: Where can I upload my files and then get on with shooting? And which ones of the micro-agencies have a similar workflow?

Thanks a lot!


« Reply #1 on: October 13, 2010, 01:20 »
Not a big deal or debate alert but I'd keyword after editing, instead of before. Then batch convert to JPGs as the final step.

Sometimes while I'm editing, I decide that the shot didn't work, or it can't be saved or I find a flaw. I can't see wasting time putting data into a file that I'm going to toss into the archives or delete.

I'll let others advise on keywords, but as far as my experience, every agency needs some fine adjustments with words, titles and description, IS the most with the CV. Then there are the different categories which are non-standard and I have no idea how to embed them. I upload everything manually, on site, ftp, or java, but some people use software to upload and that may resolve some of the cross agency differences. Don't ask me, I refuse to pay for a utility to submit photos.

Top four if that's what makes you happy, but keep the uploads in batches in case you want to add someplace new someday. I have mine all done by agency and date and even with that, it's a total mess. :( I gave up doing different sizes for different agencies. Too much effort. But if you do want to send things to the smaller sites, you can always batch convert your original TIFs and downsize at the same time.

« Reply #2 on: October 13, 2010, 01:36 »
why don't you try it yourself, every agency is different, in a few days you will know what is better, I found easy to submit to the top ones! I just don't like Alamy, PhanterMedia..

« Reply #3 on: October 13, 2010, 02:12 »
mine is

import lightroom
grade images 1 = delete, 2 = keep for self, 3 = stock
get whole of image adjustments, levels etc + grad filter if reg'd done in lightroom
for self and micro export as jpeg (quality 97)
work through stock images in photoshop with local adjustments etc.
keyword stock images in bridge
upload & archive

basically when I changed from editing tifs to jpgs for micro their was no difference in rejection rates

I generally keyword in rough order of importance, and 99% of images go through fine for all sites with those keywords and captions. Alamy as you know requires more work, panther media is more work than alamy as is istock (basically I can get about 3-4 images through alamy's batch system or about 4-5 at DT or FT for each image on istock).
« Last Edit: October 13, 2010, 02:16 by Phil »


« Reply #4 on: October 13, 2010, 02:39 »
Mine is:

1.  Import RAWs into Lightroom
2.  Delete unwanteds
3.  Make any colour/light/intensity adjustments in Lightroom
4.  Export as TIFF
5.  Work in Photoshop on any dust removal/cloning issues + levels tweak if needed.
6.  Once completed... keyword and copyright via the 'File Info' form in Photoshop.
7.  Save as JPG in an 'Upload Queue' folder
8.  Upload files
9.  Move files to 'Uploaded JPGs' folder and archive the TIFF separately.


« Reply #5 on: October 13, 2010, 03:29 »

Back on topic....

IStock is just as bad, if not worse than, Alamy. You have to through each individual keyword ticking boxes for the meaning of the word.
SS, DT and FL are all easy as far as keyword input picking it up from embedded meta.
All three require that you chose categories for the images. With SS you can now do it across multiple images in one go, FL retains the last selected categories between images so good for batches, DT lets you choose from the last few uploads.
So you shouldn't have a problem with any of the top 4 except IStock, which is a huge PITA.

« Reply #6 on: October 13, 2010, 07:59 »
With iStock, use DeepMeta.

It may seem like an extra step, but it will make everything SO much easier.

Punit Patel

« Reply #7 on: February 02, 2011, 04:30 »
Hope this could help

1) Access the card and open RAW's in Lightroom / Capture one (I prefer capture one its easier and most of all gives a consistent color tone to images, but again that is as per my convenience). Once selected color correct the images and save them as tiffs.

2) Create an action in Photoshop to save the images on a desired location in separate formats & folders called "TIFF & JPEG".

3) RETOUCH the images are per requirements and run the action so the images will automatically be saved in 2 formats and on a desired location.

4) Open JPEG folder in Lightroom and KEYWORD as per stock standards.

5) Upload the images and wait for the selection process to be completed. (DeepMeta has certainly proved to be extremely handy while uploading the images on Istock ).



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