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Author Topic: Help me understand why some sell and some just dont!?  (Read 3139 times)

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« on: May 01, 2008, 23:31 »
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Hi all,

I am new to Istockphoto. I know I have a very small portfolio and I might just be getting a little anxious here....

But, I just wanted to know...

I have a few shots in my portfolio, some are better than the others in all aspects I think.... like commerial value, quality of the image (lighitng, model etc...).... yet some of the good images just don't sell? Why? Or is it that my ideas of what is good and what is bad is wrong. Or is it some sort of luck factor that I dont understand? Or is it something else?

Or do I have to do something to promote an image once i upload it? Or do i just upload and sit back?


If you go through my portfolio, you will see that there is only one image that has sold 6 times. There are many better images as compared to that in the portfolio, but they dont seem to be selling!? Why?

I am pretty confident that there is demand fo this kind of shot! I have seen other photogrpahers whose shots are comepting on the same subject and idea...their shots sell everyday... so, is there any good reason why mine dont?


BTW... here is a link to my portfolio... http://www.istockphoto.com/file_search.php?action=file&majorterms=%7B%22csv%22%3A%22%22%2C%22conjunction%22%3A%22AND%22%7D&copySpace=%7B%22Tolerance%22%3A1%2C%22Matrix%22%3A%5B%5D%7D&userID=2682619&fileTypeSizePrice=%5B%7B%22type%22%3A%22Image%22%2C%22size%22%3A%22All%22%2C%22priceOption%22%3Anull%7D%2C%7B%22type%22%3A%22Video%22%2C%22size%22%3A%22All%22%2C%22priceOption%22%3Anull%7D%2C%7B%22type%22%3A%22Flash%22%2C%22size%22%3Anull%2C%22priceOption%22%3A%22All%22%7D%2C%7B%22type%22%3A%22Illustration+%5BVector%5D%22%2C%22size%22%3Anull%2C%22priceOption%22%3A%22All%22%7D%5D&orientation=7&filterContent=1&illustrationLimit=Exactly&flashLimit=Exactly&order=6&perPage=20&page=1&showFileNumber=true&showDownload=true&enableLoupe=true

Thanks everyone,

Khoj


« Reply #1 on: May 02, 2008, 01:20 »
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I think that if anyone knows  the answer to that one they'd  be rich. ;)

It's very difficult to know what is going to catch on.  When I upload a batch of images it's often the one that you least expect to do well that sell loads.  I had one image which I wasn't going to put up because the lighting was really bad and I was going to repeat it but in the end decided to put it up and delete when I got a better version. That first image has gone on to sell over 500 times just on istock and nearly 2000 over all the sites.  Much better than the superior version that I later uploaded. 

One way of giving an image a chance is to make sure that you upload a better image than any others with the same theme,  but with the level of competition nowadays that is very difficult.   

Just keep uploading what you think is good enough and the sales will sort themselves out.

I just looked at you portfolio and the one that is selling is a great image with a really nice relaxed happy looking model.  You need to upload much more to get your portfolio noticed by the buyers. Also I would put the word Asian in your keywords because you will open it up to a much bigger market than just putting Indian.
« Last Edit: May 02, 2008, 01:25 by fotografer »

« Reply #2 on: May 02, 2008, 02:25 »
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I have exactly the same thoughts.

Its a mystery how searching works. Some of my images are impossible to find nomatter how I do. How will then the byers find em.

Thats because its 3 miljons images. right. We need to give it  time, and pload 3000 more images, to make us visible???  But thats what everyone does. Maybe we have reached the maximum no of pictures, 3 milj.

Networking must be important.  If you have 2000 images and nobody knows it, or 50 that is well known.


« Reply #3 on: May 02, 2008, 06:27 »
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Thanks guys for your responses!

Okay, let me elaborate on what exactly my strategy is and how I am trying to archive it. Maybe you guys can tell me from your experience where I am going wrong....

My short term aim is: To have 3 downloads per day minimum!

To do this, here is the plan..... I identified this photo....
http://www.istockphoto.com/file_closeup/object/4617143_indian_business_man_smiling_clipping_path_available.php?id=4617143

It sells on an average 3 times a day. It is the first image according to Best Match search for the term "Indian businessman"
http://www.istockphoto.com/file_search.php?action=file&text=indian+businessman&oldtext=&textDisambiguation=&oldTextDisambiguation=&majorterms=&fileTypeSizePrice=%5B%7B%22type%22%3A%22Image%22%2C%22size%22%3A%22All%22%2C%22priceOption%22%3Anull%7D%2C%7B%22type%22%3A%22Video%22%2C%22size%22%3A%22All%22%2C%22priceOption%22%3Anull%7D%2C%7B%22type%22%3A%22Flash%22%2C%22size%22%3Anull%2C%22priceOption%22%3A%22All%22%7D%2C%7B%22type%22%3A%22Illustration+%5BVector%5D%22%2C%22size%22%3Anull%2C%22priceOption%22%3A%22All%22%7D%5D&showPeople=0&printAvailable=0&exclusiveArtists=0&extendedLicense=&illustrationLimit=Exactly&flashLimit=Exactly&showDeactivatedFiles=&membername=&userID=&lightboxID=&downloaderID=&approverID=&clearanceBin=&color=&copySpace=&orientation=7&minWidth=0&minHeight=0&showTitle=&showContributor=&showFileNumber=1&showDownload=1&enableLoupe=1&order=Best+Match&perPage=&within=4

(I think that the people looking for this photo most likely use that as their search term!)

So, I thought that if i had an image that was better than that, I would have the top spot and I would be selling 3 time a day. Because, obviously there is a demand for that kind of shot.

So, i set out to make a similarly themed but better shot than this... And some of the shots I made are here...
http://www.istockphoto.com/file_search.php?action=file&majorterms=%7B%22csv%22%3A%22%22%2C%22conjunction%22%3A%22AND%22%7D&copySpace=%7B%22Tolerance%22%3A1%2C%22Matrix%22%3A%5B%5D%7D&userID=2682619&fileTypeSizePrice=%5B%7B%22type%22%3A%22Image%22%2C%22size%22%3A%22All%22%2C%22priceOption%22%3Anull%7D%2C%7B%22type%22%3A%22Video%22%2C%22size%22%3A%22All%22%2C%22priceOption%22%3Anull%7D%2C%7B%22type%22%3A%22Flash%22%2C%22size%22%3Anull%2C%22priceOption%22%3A%22All%22%7D%2C%7B%22type%22%3A%22Illustration+%5BVector%5D%22%2C%22size%22%3Anull%2C%22priceOption%22%3A%22All%22%7D%5D&orientation=7&filterContent=1&illustrationLimit=Exactly&flashLimit=Exactly&order=6&perPage=20&page=1&showFileNumber=true&showDownload=true&enableLoupe=true

But, for some reason they are not selling.

So, the question is, "Why?"
Are my shots too new... how much time should I give it?
Are my shots not better?
Are my shots bad?
Any other reason?

Lastly, is there any other way to tackle this aim/target that I have?

Thank you all guys!!!
Khoj

Looking forward to your responses!

Contakt

    This user is banned.
« Reply #4 on: May 02, 2008, 07:15 »
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Don't take offense but I think some of your models are not the greatest looking fellas in the world and especially this lad. He's a bit scruffy looking if you can see what I mean.
 
http://www.istockphoto.com/file_closeup/object/5973360_portrait_of_a_indian_senior_executive_businessman.php?id=5973360

Overall he looks like he went a bid mad with the hairspray or the hair-dye I can't decide which, but that's just my honest opinion for what it's worth.  ;D
« Last Edit: May 02, 2008, 07:17 by Contakt »

« Reply #5 on: May 02, 2008, 07:21 »
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I'm doing so so good on SS and so so poor on IS... In last three months I have only 4 DL's on IS and more than 320 DL's on SS. I don't have an idea why. I use the same keywords of course. Yes, the IS is bigger and my portfolio is twice smaller there, but that is not an explanation for such difference

« Reply #6 on: May 02, 2008, 07:52 »
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I suspect you may have shot yourself in the foot with this one!

For the length of time it's been available your main shot in question, 5791245,  was doing ok, it was doing well in the best match already and in time it could have snowballed and reached the daily sales that you were hoping for in reference to its competition. You had a decent downloads per view ratio, which probably helps in best match placement....... now however by drawing attention to it here people are looking with no intention of buying and that ratio will suffer, and as it's early in that files lifetime it could be a permanent stunting.

Many of my files that went flames have taken off in about month 3 after a building start.

Also I'd be careful about giving out links to images you have been 'inspired' by in public as it's not beyond the realms of possibility that someone may tip off the owner of that image!

I'm sure with time and work you'll get some take off files in that category.

« Reply #7 on: May 02, 2008, 08:14 »
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Overall he looks like he went a bid mad with the hairspray or the hair-dye I can't decide which, but that's just my honest opinion for what it's worth.  ;D

Plus, what exactly makes him a senior executive business man?

Looks like a bloke in a cheap suit to me.

And Senior Execs don't smile, they look permanently stressed.  ;)

« Reply #8 on: May 02, 2008, 08:22 »
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I don't agree at all, I think that he is a very good looking model with a very nice friendly face perfect to portray   a friendly approachable business man rather than a stuffy approach.

Don't take offense but I think some of your models are not the greatest looking fellas in the world and especially this lad. He's a bit scruffy looking if you can see what I mean.


Contakt

    This user is banned.
« Reply #9 on: May 02, 2008, 09:13 »
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Overall he looks like he went a bid mad with the hairspray or the hair-dye I can't decide which, but that's just my honest opinion for what it's worth.  ;D

Plus, what exactly makes him a senior executive business man?

Looks like a bloke in a cheap suit to me.

And Senior Execs don't smile, they look permanently stressed.  ;)

Were you not going to mention the tie coz that's even worse  ;D

« Reply #10 on: May 02, 2008, 09:37 »
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We see this all the time. You do a search on your favorite photography subject in iStock and the top selling image is crap. We all think we can shoot a better image, and in many cases we can. Then we upload it waiting for the downloads to roll in and nothing. You search for your own image and it's buried on page 96 and no one is ever going to down load it.

It all boils down to the IS search engine. It is truly a mystery why some images rise to the top and others don't. Then sometimes, they magically drop out of the top ranking. Also, designers are lazy. Many of them search on Best Match and download the same image that 500 other people downloaded. Many of the top selling images are 2-3 or more years old.

With 3 million images on IS it's becoming about volume. I just had my BME for money, but my best month for downloads was THREE years ago when I had a port a tenth the size it is now and had double the downloads. So, like they say at IS, shoot frequently, upload frequently... It also helps if you are exclusive.

Contakt

    This user is banned.
« Reply #11 on: May 02, 2008, 10:36 »
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Quality will always win out no matter how you interpret it. That said, specific ethnic minorities have always been low down on the hit list and this original OP's portfolio has a series of individuals that are clearly in that genre.

Take a leaf out of Getty's top contributor list and mix it up if at all possible. That way you're covering all the bases.

lisafx

« Reply #12 on: May 02, 2008, 11:55 »
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Ah, so this is the thread with the links to the portfolio.  I think the OP's images are good enough images.  Just not enough variety of poses and expressions.   

Don't just mimick the success of another photographer.  Do something different that will catch people's eyes and stand out as being unique. 

And I disagree that Indian people are a low selling ethnicity.  With India as an emerging market there should be lots of sales for Indians.   Just have to make the pictures more interesting IMHO. 


 

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