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Author Topic: New to microstock photography and looking for some feedback  (Read 3965 times)

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« on: October 17, 2016, 07:00 »
0
Hi guys,

I've opened a Shutterstock account a couple of years ago, uploaded a few photos and completely forgot about it.
Last month I came back and realised I made about 100$ which is not a lot but still a nice surprise so I've decided to give this another go.
I now have about 250 photos uploaded to Shutterstock, Fotolia and Dreamstime (and a few others). While I am making some money on Shutterstock I've made 0$ on all other services.
I'm trying to figure out what I'm doing wrong and would love to get some feedback. I realise not all photos are great, but most of them (I think) are usable.

My Shutterstock gallery - https://www.shutterstock.com/g/gnesher

Any feedback (serious please) would be really appreciated.



« Last Edit: October 17, 2016, 08:51 by gnesher »


« Reply #1 on: October 17, 2016, 09:10 »
0
You'll get the occasional sale from walk around stuff, but there's plenty of images of locks, doors and train tracks from people doing the same thing.

« Reply #2 on: October 17, 2016, 09:15 »
0
Any feedback (serious please) would be really appreciated.

Unless you really dive into making "perfect" corporate shots with models you're going to need LOTS of volume. Travel photography does sell, just not in incredible numbers. I too have lots of travel/nature/wildlife images, and they do sell every day, probably because they are from places in the world with not much competition.

It just takes a lot of $0.33 sales to become meaningful money...

Rose Tinted Glasses

« Reply #3 on: October 17, 2016, 09:22 »
0
You'll get the occasional sale from walk around stuff, but there's plenty of images of locks, doors and train tracks from people doing the same thing.

As spoken above, but other things to consider, your train wreck shot is shot in the worst possible light, could say the same about the Bridge on River Kwai, and many others. My advice, just because "you" were there does not make it a great or exotic photo, so if the light is not perfect then don't shoot it. Work with the light, then you will always find a subject. My observation is you are shooting some nice work, just shooting it at the wrong time of the day as most of it is flat and has no WOWSER appeal to it, thus making it average at best.

« Reply #4 on: October 17, 2016, 09:28 »
0
Thanks for the feedback.

My passion is travel photography and I'm trying to add to that some random every day objects I can find while walking - I don't have access to models and I'm not sure setting a small studio for product shots would be fun.
Are there any other obvious subjects I could start taking in the travel / city / street photography genre ?
How many sales should I expect from a gallery of 250 images? What's a good size for a gallery these days?
Finally why am I getting 0 sales for the same photos outside of Shutterstock?

« Reply #5 on: October 17, 2016, 09:31 »
0
You'll get the occasional sale from walk around stuff, but there's plenty of images of locks, doors and train tracks from people doing the same thing.

I tend to agree with Sean because your work largely reflects my portfolio: Attention to detail but how many buyers will you find looking for street numbers or train tracks? I'm starting to stay away from general subject matter and paying more attention to themes relevant to today's issues: Environment. Religion. etc.

« Reply #6 on: October 17, 2016, 09:34 »
+1
As spoken above, but other things to consider, your train wreck shot is shot in the worst possible light, could say the same about the Bridge on River Kwai, and many others. My advice, just because "you" were there does not make it a great or exotic photo, so if the light is not perfect then don't shoot it. Work with the light, then you will always find a subject. My observation is you are shooting some nice work, just shooting it at the wrong time of the day as most of it is flat and has no WOWSER appeal to it, thus making it average at best.

That is generally good advice, yes, especially for hang-on-the-wall photos. But FAR from all stock photography needs to be WOW, and many times it simply is not possible to get every location in perfect light.

Many stock buyers just need a picture from a certain location for their article or story. It doesn't need to be shot at sunrise or sunset. Will it look prettier then? Absolutely. But it's not a requirement and "don't shoot at all" is not really great advice...

Imagine if all clips in a movie were shot at sunrise/sunset... That would look quite strange now wouldn't it?

Some stuff you sell because it looks pretty and the subject is the light and the colors.

Other stuff you sell because the subject is an event, location, person, and the light and the colors may not be as important.
« Last Edit: October 17, 2016, 09:41 by increasingdifficulty »

« Reply #7 on: October 17, 2016, 09:34 »
0
I tend to agree with Sean because your work largely reflects my portfolio: Attention to detail but how many buyers will you find looking for street numbers or train tracks? I'm starting to stay away from general subject matter and paying more attention to themes relevant to today's issues: Environment. Religion. etc.

I just find it incredibly hard to take those photos as property / model release have become so aggressive that I can't get anything in that has something that might resemble a logo etc. this has been incredibly frustrating and even if I can challenge (and sometime win) rejections, its a very long process (weeks) and is usually not worth the effort.

Could you share your portfolio btw? Would love the inspiration :)

Rose Tinted Glasses

« Reply #8 on: October 17, 2016, 09:41 »
0
As spoken above, but other things to consider, your train wreck shot is shot in the worst possible light, could say the same about the Bridge on River Kwai, and many others. My advice, just because "you" were there does not make it a great or exotic photo, so if the light is not perfect then don't shoot it. Work with the light, then you will always find a subject. My observation is you are shooting some nice work, just shooting it at the wrong time of the day as most of it is flat and has no WOWSER appeal to it, thus making it average at best.

That is generally good advice, yes, especially for hang-on-the-wall photos. But FAR from all stock photography needs to be WOW, and many times it simply is not possible to get every location in perfect light.

Many stock buyers just need a picture from a certain location for their article or story. It doesn't need to be shot at sunrise or sunset. Will it look prettier then? Absolutely. But it's not a requirement and "don't shoot at all" is not really great advice...

Imagine if all clips in a movie were shot at sunrise/sunset... That would look quite strange now wouldn't it?

Where did I say "don't shoot at all"? I said if the light is not perfect then don't shoot it and move around and find where the light is and you will always find a subject. Huge difference Amigo. Perfect light is to be found everywhere around you if you know and understand light. Just sayin.


« Reply #9 on: October 17, 2016, 09:44 »
0
just shooting it at the wrong time of the day...

What I said was that when you travel, it simply isn't possible to get all locations in the best possible light. It's not something that works in the real world unless you spend a year at each place.

Pictures with less wow still sell if the location is needed.

Naturally, this depends on how unique something is.

Even in the best wildlife documentaries not all shots are in good light, because it's simply out of the photographer's control. If the action happens they're not going to have time to wait, or move, they just need the shot.

Do you want to see a great white jump in the middle of the day in dull light, or a perfect sunset with no shark?

Yes, these are extreme examples, and if we're talking the Eiffel tower you'd better find perfect light, but there are so many situations where a shot is worth taking even if the lighting is bad.
« Last Edit: October 17, 2016, 10:04 by increasingdifficulty »

« Reply #10 on: October 17, 2016, 09:47 »
0
white balance looks off on the majority of the photos, they are a bit 'warm' and you shoot with on camera flash, which gives you horrible results if it is the only flash you use or if not diffused

« Reply #11 on: October 17, 2016, 10:18 »
0
white balance looks off on the majority of the photos, they are a bit 'warm' and you shoot with on camera flash, which gives you horrible results if it is the only flash you use or if not diffused

I've never used flash - though some of the photos are somewhat old (using Canon 350D) and technology has improved. Could you point on examples?

« Reply #12 on: October 17, 2016, 10:20 »
0
I've never used flash - though some of the photos are somewhat old (using Canon 350D) and technology has improved. Could you point on examples?

The coati images. By the way, I believe you misspelled coati in your descriptions. They say caoti.
« Last Edit: October 17, 2016, 10:33 by increasingdifficulty »

« Reply #13 on: October 17, 2016, 10:45 »
+1
The coati images. By the way, I believe you misspelled coati in your descriptions. They say caoti.

Ah, yes there was flash in use and yes it's horrible, I'm just flushing some of my old photos in to try and increase gallery size. Also good spot on the spelling I think your right :)

Most of the images are newer and are of better quality / white balance it just seemed a shame not to use some of the old ones as well

« Reply #14 on: October 17, 2016, 10:49 »
0
Your white balance is very warm on many of the images, which is of course a matter of taste and doesn't have to be bad, but maybe some of the salt desert shots could have a more neutral white?

« Reply #15 on: October 17, 2016, 11:08 »
+1

I'm not sure if your stuff will sell, but i sure do like your photo's.

Hi guys,

I've opened a Shutterstock account a couple of years ago, uploaded a few photos and completely forgot about it.
Last month I came back and realised I made about 100$ which is not a lot but still a nice surprise so I've decided to give this another go.
I now have about 250 photos uploaded to Shutterstock, Fotolia and Dreamstime (and a few others). While I am making some money on Shutterstock I've made 0$ on all other services.
I'm trying to figure out what I'm doing wrong and would love to get some feedback. I realise not all photos are great, but most of them (I think) are usable.

My Shutterstock gallery - https://www.shutterstock.com/g/gnesher



Any feedback (serious please) would be really appreciated.

« Reply #16 on: October 17, 2016, 11:13 »
0
Your white balance is very warm on many of the images, which is of course a matter of taste and doesn't have to be bad, but maybe some of the salt desert shots could have a more neutral white?

Agree, I've been better at it since (shots from 2008) so I'd like to think I've learned something in the process :) I doubt any of them would sell anyway but it feels like it's a numbers game


« Reply #17 on: October 17, 2016, 11:14 »
0
I'm not sure if your stuff will sell, but i sure do like your photo's.

Thanks :) That means a lot
I really need to find some way to make some money out of this hobby as it's costing me a fortune and microstock seems to be the only way (I'm trying society6 for prints with 0 luck)

I'd be open for other ideas ^^

« Reply #18 on: October 17, 2016, 11:37 »
+1
I'm similar I've done some pics firmly aimed at the Mstock market some of which have done quite well.....but mostly I shoot stuff I enjoy some of which also does well. I'll never make much $ but I enjoy it so if you are the same carry on and have fun.

« Reply #19 on: October 17, 2016, 11:59 »
0
i haven't been very successful at microstock myself, and now i'm looking to footage as that's an interesting medium i think, and one i may be able to do ok in.  i hope.


I'm not sure if your stuff will sell, but i sure do like your photo's.

Thanks :) That means a lot
I really need to find some way to make some money out of this hobby as it's costing me a fortune and microstock seems to be the only way (I'm trying society6 for prints with 0 luck)

I'd be open for other ideas ^^

« Reply #20 on: October 17, 2016, 13:18 »
0
I'm similar I've done some pics firmly aimed at the Mstock market some of which have done quite well.....but mostly I shoot stuff I enjoy some of which also does well. I'll never make much $ but I enjoy it so if you are the same carry on and have fun.

Could you share some of the things that did work? I'm not going to be rich from this, but I can get better :)

« Reply #21 on: October 17, 2016, 15:04 »
+3
volume seems to be the key for travel images, but still worthwhile

for travel shots in poor light (SS often rejects early morning and late afternoon as lighting problems!) you cvan often improve by autotone, vibrance or level adjustments

re lack of sales on other sites, it is probably just a scaling issue - the other sites may only generate 10-20% of sales SS does with such a number of travel images

for travel, keep looking for the non-obvious - my 2 best sellers from Antarctica trip are a traffic jam in Buenos aries  and shot of the bridge controls of the cruise ship

SpaceStockFootage

  • Space, Sci-Fi and Astronomy Related Stock Footage

« Reply #22 on: October 18, 2016, 17:33 »
0
Putting everyone's excellent advice aside for one moment, think about 'the math'...

$100 over two years is about $4 a month. So even if the other agencies had the same kind of sales figures as SS, you'd only be expected to get about $4 per site in the month you've had your stuff there. And as $4 and $0 are very close in the grand scheme of things, it's not that out of the ordinary that you've not had any sales from them. Yet.

But as SS is, on average, the highest selling site, I would expect you to get less sales at other places than you would there.

Combine that with the general consensus that on most sites sales take a while to get going, I don't think you're doing anything wrong, compared to the $100 over two years that you were doing right.

But yeah... give it a bit of time. Follow the fine advice from the people above and hopefully your SS sales will increase and your other sites will too. Upload more stuff and better stuff... I think nobody will argue with that!


 

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