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Author Topic: Travel photography Sales  (Read 19833 times)

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Uncle Pete

« Reply #100 on: October 31, 2014, 11:29 »
0
Darn, I can only click the Agree one time. We need some kind of one time monthly power boost, so I can give it a 10X agree!  :)

Anyone who thinks their casual work and snapshots will be good earning images, is one of those who says "Making money on Microstock is all about luck." Sorry Charlie, and I agree Cuppa, it's about work, planning and trying to produce what the market wants. (in the case of sports, timing and being at the right place at the right time, which is not luck or random it's a skill like knowing where to fish...)

We might not always be right, but it's not random snapping and hoping something works out.  8)

You can do a search for the best selling or most popular travel images and see that for the most part those images don't come from portfolios of people who take snapshots hoping to get lucky.

You can say that about all subjects. That's the underlying problem and definition of microstock today.


cuppacoffee

« Reply #101 on: October 31, 2014, 11:57 »
0
The problem is that "snaps" make up a good portion of the database and when there are millions of images they can dominate a search (if they are keyworded properly). More images should be rejected for low commercial value but no one wants that definition applied to their images and reviewers don't want to take the time to, or have the knowledge to define what should be thrown out. More and more useless and over-covered images are slipping through on the major players.

« Reply #102 on: October 31, 2014, 12:12 »
0
The problem is that "snaps" make up a good portion of the database and when there are millions of images they can dominate a search (if they are keyworded properly). More images should be rejected for low commercial value but no one wants that definition applied to their images and reviewers don't want to take the time to, or have the knowledge to define what should be thrown out. More and more useless and over-covered images are slipping through on the major players.
I don't think that's a very big problem.  Look at Shutterstock's most popular search for Paris, I see almost no snapshots in the top thousand results.  Good images should find their way up and snapshots should move to the bottom of the search.  For the most part people submitting snapshots and vacation pics are just wasting their time.

Hobostocker

    This user is banned.
« Reply #103 on: October 31, 2014, 22:56 »
+4
the top sellers in Travel are always the typical "postcard" images of the most famous landmarks.

said that, there's a huge amount of second-tier landmarks and hot spots that you can shoot, and then markets, shops, lifestyle, food, whatever.

to really cut costs to the bone you must sleep in cheap guesthouses and eat cheap local food.

western europe can be very expensive now, forget about places like London or Paris but of course you can get lucky, these places have been shot to death from any possible perspective and weather situation, i wouldn't even try unless you're an expert travel shooter or if you've a lot of time in your hands.

taking it to the extreme i know of people couchsurfing or living in a van and only eating a loaf of bread with tuna cans .. that way you can travel even in expensive places like Norway or London without spending too much but you're basically living like a Hobo ... how long can you last, not more than a few weeks or months i guess, maybe i would do it if i was still 20 yrs old just for the experience, but ...

eastern europe is cheaper, but not that cheap, say 30-50% in the best scenario, 70% if you really sleep in godforsaken places.

long story short, you won't get rich with Travel but at least you'll travel and see the world.
for many, this is a good tradeoff, actually i even know some hardcore travellers that claim traveling is "the meaning of life" so to each his own ..

i can agree that no matter the money reward, traveling will definitely change you for the better and give you hands-on experience and a wider perspective in world affair, that's something you just cannot buy off the shelves, of course it has nothing to do with this discussion about production costs but in one way or another if you're a travel photographer you must be a traveller first and foremost otherwise yes you better stick to studio shootings or specialize in your own city.

there's nothing wrong doing only travel pics of your own city as long as it's touristic enough and in demand enough, say you live in paris or london or NYC, and also barcelona, rome, venice, prague, istanbul, delhi, bangkok, sydney, tokyo, HK, singapore .. there will be always demand for these places and if you live there the production costs are minimal.

Hobostocker

    This user is banned.
« Reply #104 on: October 31, 2014, 23:07 »
+1
I don't have much confidence that I could make back the money from an Antarctica trip, those are pretty expensive even if you try to do it on the cheap (a quick price check looks like it could cost easily $10,000-$20,000 for one person to go on a two week cruise, taking into account hotels and flights and gear, etc..). 

it can be less than 10K $ but the problem is, what are you going to shoot apart icebergs and wildlife ? there are no cities and no villages and no autoctonous people and no polar bears, just a few dozen base camps where tourists are not usually allowed and if they do it will cost you and arm and a leg to fly there (for instance McMurdo Base to Scott-Amundsen base at south pole).

From all the pics i've seen so far Greenland seems to be a LOT more colorful and interesting than Antarctica, and i could say the same about Alaska which is probably the cheapest and easiest option for polar photography.

so, considering the costs involved i don't think you'll ever recoup the money selling on micros.



« Reply #105 on: November 01, 2014, 13:31 »
0
  ......
From all the pics i've seen so far Greenland seems to be a LOT more colorful and interesting than Antarctica, and i could say the same about Alaska which is probably the cheapest and easiest option for polar photography.
......


I agree completely about Antarctica as poor choice for stock, but the trip itself is  amazing - most beautiful landscapes I've ever seen -- only close competitors are the khumbu himal and andes cordillera, which are only accessible to trekkers.  stark, ice carved mountains dropping right into the sea, subtle light & colors and ice in incredible forms -- brash, iceberg, glaciers constantly changing.  but again, low demand in the stock marketplace.  we sailed past one huge tabular iceberg at sunset that was more than 3 miles long.   

Alaskan cruise was fun but not in same class  (actually best stock results from that cruise were the seattle skylines as we left port)


« Reply #106 on: November 01, 2014, 13:40 »
+1
.......long story short, you won't get rich with Travel but at least you'll travel and see the world.
for many, this is a good tradeoff, actually i even know some hardcore travellers that claim traveling is "the meaning of life" so to each his own ..

i can agree that no matter the money reward, traveling will definitely change you for the better and give you hands-on experience and a wider perspective in world affair, that's something you just cannot buy off the shelves, of course it has nothing to do with this discussion about production costs but in one way or another if you're a travel photographer you must be a traveller first and foremost otherwise yes you better stick to studio shootings or specialize in your own city.
....

exactly - travel is not my life, but it's a major part of it -- being able to recoup SOME expenses means more travel  -- I've escorted hiking and cultural tours, mostly in Turkey, but also Nepal, Peru, India & China, and one of the pleasures of those trips is watching people's horizons expand.  the opposite is trying to explain that turkey doesn't border on Afghanistan, and dealing with misconceptions about Islam, particularly in Turkey.   on our independent trips it's the non-photographic incidents that become the strongest memories. 

« Reply #107 on: November 01, 2014, 14:52 »
+1
More than half of my stock is travel and I license a lot of it directly - some through my Photoshelter site and some via queries to publishers, some through Alamy and some smaller trad sites, and also sell some on FAA and redbubble, but I also license a lot through Shutterstock and some through the other micros too.

I wouldn't put all my travel on the micros but it's not been a bad investment there. For example, I've got a handful of images of New England tourist places (landscapes with landmarks mostly) that have been "done to death" that are on the first or second page of ss and have been licensed hundreds of times - with many ELs. Different photos from those trips have been in numerous calendars and also do okay on Alamy and through my Photoshelter website.

They are all tourist destinations and destinations in rural areas that won't change, unlike a city skyline, so even those from 2009 still get downloaded weekly on ss.

It's not going to make me rich but I do plan it out and treat it as work, but it's work that includes meeting locals, seeing places I've never been or returning to places I love, and the value of the travel itself is an intangible benefit that can't be measured in terms of money but is worth more to me than a paycheck. After all, as that guy in the blog said, how many of us work our whole lives so we can afford to travel in retirement?


« Reply #108 on: November 01, 2014, 15:45 »
+2
I take trips few times a year. i just was in asia now and i have beautiful pictures that i take. my question is travel photos popular? if i post, should i bother tag with the name of place? do people look for name of place? or just say "girl play with dog on sea" or something that describe pictures? sunset in australia or sunset on great ocean road?

Everyone takes vacations and shoots pictures and thinks their images are beautiful.  It's unlikely that trying to sell them as stock will be worth the effort, as people already in the area, and professional photographers have likely already spent lots of time and money creating salable works from the area.

Cityscapes and popular tourist spots actually sell pretty well. Even editorials of landmarks sell pretty well. Enough to make it worth the time to shoot those kinds of things when you're already there anyway.

Hobostocker

    This user is banned.
« Reply #109 on: November 01, 2014, 22:55 »
+1
how many of us work our whole lives so we can afford to travel in retirement?

classic.
they're all deluded and searching excuses to avoid traveling.

besides, do they really think once they hit 60-65 yrs they will still have the mental and physical energy to seriously travel around the globe ? what a joke ... best scenario they will hop on a 5-stars cruise and scammed in the usual tourist traps, i see this sh-it every day as i lived in touristic megacities since the last 20 yrs.

there are a few notable exceptions, i've met crazy oldmen and grannies traveling the world on bicycle, on foot, on a van, on a moto, that's refreshing and inspiring but they're one in a million or even less.

for the average westerners the "dream" is a cruise in the caribbeans, a 30 days trip in europe, 2 weeks across china, a quick holiday in japan and south-east asia, a safari in africa, or if they're cashed up and still in good shape maybe a round the world ticket, that's all.




Hobostocker

    This user is banned.
« Reply #110 on: November 01, 2014, 22:57 »
+1
I agree completely about Antarctica as poor choice for stock, but the trip itself is  amazing - most beautiful landscapes I've ever seen -- only close competitors are the khumbu himal and andes cordillera, which are only accessible to trekkers.  stark, ice carved mountains dropping right into the sea, subtle light & colors and ice in incredible forms -- brash, iceberg, glaciers constantly changing.  but again, low demand in the stock marketplace.  we sailed past one huge tabular iceberg at sunset that was more than 3 miles long.   

Alaskan cruise was fun but not in same class  (actually best stock results from that cruise were the seattle skylines as we left port)

in fact i would go in Antarctica anyway, no matter if the place has less photo opportunities tha greenland or even the Alps, as a traveler it would be a badge of honour to add Antarctica on my travel CV ! :)


Hobostocker

    This user is banned.
« Reply #111 on: November 01, 2014, 23:12 »
+4
exactly - travel is not my life, but it's a major part of it -- being able to recoup SOME expenses means more travel  -- I've escorted hiking and cultural tours, mostly in Turkey, but also Nepal, Peru, India & China, and one of the pleasures of those trips is watching people's horizons expand.  the opposite is trying to explain that turkey doesn't border on Afghanistan, and dealing with misconceptions about Islam, particularly in Turkey.   on our independent trips it's the non-photographic incidents that become the strongest memories.

indeed.
we live in a society where almost everything is fake and embellished and trasnformed into a product with bells and whistles, the only glimpse of truth we're allowed to learn is by traveling and touching things with our hands, there's NO exceptions to this.

i'm more and more depressed seeing people dismissing travelling convinced it can be replaced by watching movies or documentaries, especially among my friends and my family back home.

you say Turkey i could say pretty much any country i've been so far, the logic is the same, even super touristic places like Bali and Phuket are quite a different story from how they're painted in the mainstream medias, pretty much anything the average guy in the West knows about the outer world is total bull-sh-it and he'll NEVER KNOW nor accept it.

people who don't travel live in their bubble, at best, and good luck telling them otherwise.

i see many negative comments here about selling travel stock, yes of course it doesn't sell like hotcakes but this is a lifestyle for us, it's a way for us to live the way we want and while there's a big price to pay for it we feel it's well worth it, i would never go back into a cubicle enslaved into a 9-to-5 "job", to each his own.



Millionstock.com

  • Architecture; Arts; Historic buildings, Landscapes

« Reply #112 on: November 02, 2014, 18:59 »
0
To increase sales on my self hosted site (most of them are travel pics) I'm developing some mobile Travel Guides for smartphones with my pics.
See the first one at www.millionstock.com/rome.htm
In general my advice is to add some interesting material on your site.
Cheers
« Last Edit: November 02, 2014, 19:32 by Alessandro0770 »

Buffalo Bill

« Reply #113 on: November 02, 2014, 19:05 »
+1
I feel my portfolio should be just like my diet- a well balanced portfolio having a little bit of everything to cover all bases.

« Reply #114 on: November 03, 2014, 12:49 »
+1
  i see many negative comments here about selling travel stock, yes of course it doesn't sell like hotcakes but this is a lifestyle for us, it's a way for us to live the way we want and while there's a big price to pay for it we feel it's well worth it, i would never go back into a cubicle enslaved into a 9-to-5 "job", to each his own.

yep - I left the cubicles early in my career - I'm probably one of the few programmers in seattle who never worked for boeing or Microsoft.  from the start a primary goal was 10-12 weeks of travel per year, and I almost always succeeded.
 
no individual trip pays for itself, but by continuing to build a portfolio,  it finances several trips per year.

« Reply #115 on: November 03, 2014, 12:52 »
0
To increase sales on my self hosted site (most of them are travel pics) I'm developing some mobile Travel Guides for smartphones with my pics.
See the first one at www.millionstock.com/rome.htm
In general my advice is to add some interesting material on your site.
Cheers


I do similar on my site -- I'm always looking for people interested in exchanging relevant links --  http://cascoly.com/main-travel.asp

also, a quick way to make those thumbnails interactive on your webpages is to create contact sheets & extract the already formatted url, alt, caption, etc
http://cascoly-images.com/pix/how-to-make-interactive-contact-sheets/
« Last Edit: November 03, 2014, 18:55 by cascoly »


 

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