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Author Topic: Size, does it matter?  (Read 3943 times)

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« on: May 02, 2008, 07:59 »
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Hi all,

Here is something I just don't get.....

When I ask people advice about why I cant sell a lot of photos on Istock, they keep telling me that "my portfolio size is too small!". I know that it is small as compared to other people, no doubt!

But at the end of the day, a good image is a good image is a good image.

From what I understand, each new image is given a high place int the best match search for the particular keyword, and given some time before it is moved down the search pages. It it performs in this time, it keeps moving up. Else, it keeps moving down. I think that the time given for an image to perform is around 2-3 weeks.

Am i right about this?

If i am right, that would mean that the size of the portfolio is not a criteria. The quality of an image is the only criteria.


Lastly, if the size of the portfolio is a criteria, that would mean that everything is utterly random and the more you throw out there the greater the possibility of success is.


Finally: I am interested in this game only if the quality of a photo determines it success in selling. I am ready to accept that my photos are bad quality. I am not ready to accept that it's a statical game and I need to have luck to succeed. I was born unlucky, so i will likely fail here.

What are your experienced comments? Thanks a lot!

Khoj


« Reply #1 on: May 02, 2008, 08:07 »
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You have seven very similar pictures, all the same theme (Indian Men).  You must diversity your portfolio and make it larger to see sales.

Stock is a numbers game.  There is an often quoted figure, that is a little out of date now, than one image will make one dollar per year on average.  Which means you need to have a portfolio of thousands to make a living in traditional stock (there are exceptions to the rule).

Basically, you have seven pretty dull images of Indian men, with faked smiles not doing anything.  What exactly do you see your pictures being used for?

« Reply #2 on: May 02, 2008, 08:15 »
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@Seren.. Thank you.

I really thank you for telling me that the images are dull. That means that there is huge scope for improvement. Cheers.

However, can you comment on the question I asked please....

"From what I understand, each new image is given a high place int the best match search for the particular keyword, and given some time before it is moved down the search pages. It it performs in this time, it keeps moving up. Else, it keeps moving down. I think that the time given for an image to perform is around 2-3 weeks."

is that true... is it the images worth that decides its success or is it the size of the portfolio because sice everything is random. And the more the you throw other there, the more sticks?

Looking for your opinion on this issue.
Khoj

RT


« Reply #3 on: May 02, 2008, 08:20 »
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Take good photos, keyword them well, upload them, move on to the next.

Honestly thats the best advice you can have, worrying about the best match and where your images appear in search rankings will drive you nuts if you spend too much time on it.
If you have a good photo and keyword it correctly it will sell, if it doesn't it means it aint a good photo or just not one that's right for the site you're on.


« Reply #4 on: May 02, 2008, 08:26 »
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"From what I understand, each new image is given a high place int the best match search for the particular keyword, and given some time before it is moved down the search pages. It it performs in this time, it keeps moving up. Else, it keeps moving down. I think that the time given for an image to perform is around 2-3 weeks."

Each new image is not automatically given a high best match ranking for any particular keyword.

It is not given time before it is moved up and down the search pages.

If it performs, it will not automatically move up.

The time given for an image to perform is not 2-3 weeks.


The Best Match search is not known by anyone but those that developed it.  It changes fairly frequently too.  You cannot play the system by trying to make images suit it.  People did this and they were banned.

michealo

« Reply #5 on: May 02, 2008, 08:50 »
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I disagree with the 1 dollar per image per year figure.

IS paid out 21 million last year
Portfolio was on average about 2.5 million
which makes about $8.50 per image per year, slightly more for exclusives proabably about $10 and about $5 for non exclusives

p.s size always matters!  ;D

« Reply #6 on: May 02, 2008, 08:56 »
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@Seren - Thanks again. You seem like a very warm person.

Anywho, "You cannot play the system by trying to make images suit it."... I'm not trying to do any such thing. I'm just trying to understand how new images are treated. But, I don't think i need to explain that, I think most people get it.

Okay, the reason I believe that new images are treated in this way is cause I have seen it happen my self to my image and also have read it number of times.. even on this forum. Nobody, knows this for fact, but its a working approximation that people use.

Still, if I am wrong, it would be cool if more people could tell me so.

If you are reading this and think that what I have said above, about the way new images are treated about is incorrect, please do let me know.

Thanks all!

« Reply #7 on: May 02, 2008, 09:08 »
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I disagree with the 1 dollar per image per year figure.

IS paid out 21 million last year
Portfolio was on average about 2.5 million
which makes about $8.50 per image per year, slightly more for exclusives proabably about $10 and about $5 for non exclusives

Don't forget, Video has a MUCH higher average selling price.  And Vectors on average sell many more times over than photos.  I would hazard a guess that for anyone doing just photos for a living, 10,000 online would be a good mark to aim for.  Perhaps it was 1 per image per year, which is about $2.  And don't forget I'm talking about the traditional market, Microstock has not got figures like this yet, since it is still in it's infancy.

michealo

« Reply #8 on: May 02, 2008, 09:49 »
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Mea culpa Seren, forgot about video and vectors

jsnover

« Reply #9 on: May 02, 2008, 10:40 »
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When I ask people advice about why I cant sell a lot of photos on Istock, they keep telling me that "my portfolio size is too small!". I know that it is small as compared to other people, no doubt!

But at the end of the day, a good image is a good image is a good image.

Size of portfolio is a huge help, although it isn't the only factor - 2000 mediocre images won't do you much good.

There isn't a single, simple formula for how to make a hit stock portfolio, but you could do with some skill building - in prop choice, model poses/expressions (photo styling), lighting and good post processing. Your images aren't bad, but your best seller isn't anything like as appealing as the one you were inspired by.

The reason portfolio size influences things, I think (and realize that even those of us who've been doing this a while are just extrapolating from our experiences; we can't know with certainty) is that buyers sometimes wander through portfolios when they find an image they like; they feel more comfortable buying from someone whose image they bought before and the quality was good; and there is some randomness thrown in (see all the threads about what happened to former best sellers when iStock made a big change in its best match algorithm a while back).

You need to try to get as many things working for you as you can.

If you had 7 truly stellar images, you could probably make tons of sales from them even though your portfolio is small. Your images are OK, but they aren't stellar, and your portfolio is small. Given how hard it is to make stellar images, your best bet at the moment is to try and improve the quality and quantity to tip the odds a bit more in your favor.

lisafx

« Reply #10 on: May 02, 2008, 11:49 »
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Did I miss something?  I don't see a portfolio link to the OP.

In general though, I would say that with India being a huge emerging market, it will be a great niche if you can get your foot in the door. 

Without seeing your pictures, I can only second the advice given which is to shoot a variety of models in a variety of poses, and definitely have an original concept in mind for the shoot.  Portraits generally don't sell as well as images that have a concrete message. 

In regards to your original question, nobody knows for sure what the best match algorithms are from day to day or week to week.  I do feel that a smaller portfolio of high quality images (by small I mean a couple hundred images, not a couple dozen)will most likely perform better than a shotgun approach of shooting and uploading everything indescriminately. 

Hope any of that is helpful :)


 

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