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Author Topic: Portfolio only seems to sell on Shutterstock  (Read 5733 times)

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« on: March 16, 2013, 12:09 »
0
Hi -  I am new to the stock photography business and have a limited portfolio and am frankly still finding my way. I have had steady sales on Shutterstock but on DT, IS, FT, CS, BS etc. sales have been almost non-existant. I'm wondering if I am off base with what I am shooting or the quality of submissions is the problem. Any feedback would be greatly appreciated (and I have a thick skin)! Here's a couple links to my work:

http://us.fotolia.com/p/203773977
http://www.dreamstime.com/jrwasserman_more-popular-photos_pg1

Thanks,
Jeff


« Reply #1 on: March 16, 2013, 12:27 »
0
One thing: You put real people in stock concept situations.... and then your photos cannot compete with the pro concept shooters, neiter lighting wise, model wise nor concept wise.

I have done the same. It doesnt work.

You should rather photograph them while they do things from real life.

« Reply #2 on: March 16, 2013, 13:03 »
-2
One thing: You put real people in stock concept situations.... and then your photos cannot compete with the pro concept shooters, neiter lighting wise, model wise nor concept wise.

I have done the same. It doesnt work.

You should rather photograph them while they do things from real life.

1 - you have 176 pictures with "person" at SS (50 of them editorial) (no offense just a fact)
2 - I think jrwasserman pictures are all good enough to compete with all top guys, actually some are very good, just keep on uploading

« Reply #3 on: March 16, 2013, 13:46 »
+2
The concepts of your images aren't bad but the execution could often be hugely improved.

Take the image of the woman holding a stick of celery in a kitchen for example. The subject, i.e. the celery, needs to be a much bigger part of the frame (so you need to go in much closer). The background also needs to be less distracting so either use selective focus to blur the background or maybe isolate the subject on white.

Lifestyle is probably the most competitive subject matter within stock as almost all the major players compete for sales against each other. You're trying to compete directly against Yuri, Andres, Monkey Business, et al. Until you think your images are as good as theirs you might find it easier to attempt less challenging subjects. There is easier money to be made.

CD123

« Reply #4 on: March 16, 2013, 14:46 »
0
You are just spoiled rotten, by being starting your stock experience with the top seller in the industry (Shutterstock)  ;D
Many of us started from the bottom agencies working up to the top 4. Then you appreciate how many SS actually sells and how far superior they are over the rest.
I have 26000 images spread over 16 agencies. SS sales makes up one third of all my sales every month, with 700 images I have with them.
What you are experiencing, IMO is therefore 100% normal. You do not have necessarily have to change anything. Just remember that some sites focuses more on certain type of images than others, so what works well at one will not work well for all. Establish the niches of the top sites if you like and widen your spectrum if you want to cover more of the spread.
Anything below 6th place on the ranking on your right here and downwards does not justify any change in what you do, as their sales does not justify the trouble (so just upload to them whatever you have created for the top ones).

« Reply #5 on: March 16, 2013, 14:50 »
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Thank-you all for your comments. They are extremely helpful and I will take them to heart. One question about the comment about 176 pictures with person  ... not sure what you mean by this (I have no editorial photos). Can you elaborate?
Jeff



[/quote]
1 - you have 176 pictures with "person" at SS (50 of them editorial) (no offense just a fact)
2 - I think jrwasserman pictures are all good enough to compete with all top guys, actually some are very good, just keep on uploading
[/quote]

« Reply #6 on: March 16, 2013, 14:53 »
0
I was quoting Jens Jeff, forget point number 1

ShadySue

« Reply #7 on: March 16, 2013, 14:56 »
+1
I have 26000 images spread over 16 agencies. SS sales makes up one third of all my sales every month, with 700 images I have with them.
26,000 different images? WOW!

CD123

« Reply #8 on: March 16, 2013, 15:24 »
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I have 26000 images spread over 16 agencies. SS sales makes up one third of all my sales every month, with 700 images I have with them.
26,000 different images? WOW!
No (I wish), 26000 spread over 16 sites (about 2400 different).

ShadySue

« Reply #9 on: March 16, 2013, 15:26 »
0
I have 26000 images spread over 16 agencies. SS sales makes up one third of all my sales every month, with 700 images I have with them.
26,000 different images? WOW!
No (I wish), 26000 spread over 16 sites (about 2400 different).
Ah! I wondered

lisafx

« Reply #10 on: March 16, 2013, 17:59 »
+2
Personally, I think your photos look fine.  I think your models are attractive.  But I do agree that the concepts are mostly in already glutted areas.  I agree with the suggestions to shoot more unusual subjects or find ways to take cliched concepts and do an original spin on them. 

Best of luck!

« Reply #11 on: March 17, 2013, 08:16 »
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Again -  many thanks to those who have commented. It is all very helpful and I find I can really get tunnel vision without having outside eyes looking in.

cuppacoffee

« Reply #12 on: March 17, 2013, 08:57 »
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This might be a justified case of too many similars diluting your sales at DT. You have a lot of the same poses, like this one. The first could be easily cropped to look exactly like the second one.


« Reply #13 on: March 17, 2013, 09:29 »
+1
This might be a justified case of too many similars diluting your sales at DT. You have a lot of the same poses, like this one. The first could be easily cropped to look exactly like the second one.




I understand you are DT exclusive and follow very well what they ask but in that case cropping the first one you would have a HALF size picture not the FULL horizontal version ;D

cuppacoffee

« Reply #14 on: March 17, 2013, 10:48 »
+3
Every post, every opinion is tainted by our experiences. Exclusive or independent, small or large port, member of 1, 2 or 9 sites, conservative or liberal, a preference for brandy or vodka (or perhaps today, green beer). I try and post with no bias but that is impossible due to human nature. It would be so much more refreshing if replies were based on the content rather than any perceived bias. I was trying to help by suggesting that the 2 similar images might sell better if only one was available, the larger one. Yes, I know that cropping decreases the size but DT upsizes their offerings so, in this case I don't believe a loss of size is a major factor. Obviously, the smaller cropped version already offered for sale has less potential since the entire scene is not there. I would delete that one. You may (and will) disagree.

CD123

« Reply #15 on: March 17, 2013, 15:49 »
+3
Had a look at your images and just noted one thing I would would like to mention and that is the lack (IMO) of adequate descriptive keywords. Many images you even have more descriptive words in the Description field than what you have in your keywords. You also need to learn what standard synonyms you need to add, like "background white" = "isolated".

People find images by typing in what they seek. As buyers know they will get a result of 25 000 images if they just type e.g. woman, headache. So they add additional detail for what they might specifically be soughting, like age group,  nationality, hair color, eye color, wearing glass, other relevant situations.

Take your: "A female executive is unhappy after looking at sales report "
You do not have the words paper, read, reading, glasses, holding, look, looking, isolated, blond, European, middle aged. You also only selected one interpretation of her expression, while it can be interpreted in a few ways (which sellers will definitely be interested in). According to what I see, she is not only unhappy. She can be surprised, questioning, confused. And do not forget all the possible synonyms for "unhappy" (discontented, dissatisfied, etc.).

Some of the more experience "people" photographers might have other insights, but this is what I will suggest to get more views and therefore more sales of your images. 

« Reply #16 on: March 17, 2013, 16:26 »
-1
Every post, every opinion is tainted by our experiences. Exclusive or independent, small or large port, member of 1, 2 or 9 sites, conservative or liberal, a preference for brandy or vodka (or perhaps today, green beer). I try and post with no bias but that is impossible due to human nature. It would be so much more refreshing if replies were based on the content rather than any perceived bias. I was trying to help by suggesting that the 2 similar images might sell better if only one was available, the larger one. Yes, I know that cropping decreases the size but DT upsizes their offerings so, in this case I don't believe a loss of size is a major factor. Obviously, the smaller cropped version already offered for sale has less potential since the entire scene is not there. I would delete that one. You may (and will) disagree.

I would love to agree if they DID that with everybody ;D


« Reply #17 on: March 17, 2013, 16:34 »
+4
Honestly, there isn't much in there I'd see selling.  Most of the images are looking straight at camera, mid-chest up, with funny or odd expressions.  The concepts aren't clear or strong - "carrot or celery ?", "carrot or bagel ?"  The kitchen background is kind of bland and sterile.  It kind of looks like a collection from a few years ago.  Laying a 20 on a motherboard just isn't a very creative way to illustrate "digital currency".  I just don't see anything illustrating something that I couldn't find a more interesting image of. 

« Reply #18 on: March 17, 2013, 17:36 »
0
Honestly, there isn't much in there I'd see selling.  Most of the images are looking straight at camera, mid-chest up, with funny or odd expressions.  The concepts aren't clear or strong - "carrot or celery ?", "carrot or bagel ?"  The kitchen background is kind of bland and sterile.  It kind of looks like a collection from a few years ago.  Laying a 20 on a motherboard just isn't a very creative way to illustrate "digital currency".  I just don't see anything illustrating something that I couldn't find a more interesting image of.

That is what I meant, but I didnt dare say it.

CD123

« Reply #19 on: March 17, 2013, 17:53 »
+1
I have a thick skin)!
Anything less than rhinoceros skin thickness will not suffice around here  ;)

« Reply #20 on: March 17, 2013, 18:39 »
+8
My skin is rhino thick! Getting negative feedback is useful and as appreciated as positive feedback. Operating in a vacuum is the toughest part.

ShadySue

« Reply #21 on: March 17, 2013, 19:54 »
0
My skin is rhino thick! Getting negative feedback is useful and as appreciated as positive feedback. Operating in a vacuum is the toughest part.
Good for you!
I'm always far too defensive.

tab62

« Reply #22 on: March 17, 2013, 21:44 »
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"My skin is rhino thick! Getting negative feedback is useful and as appreciated as positive feedback. Operating in a vacuum is the toughest part."

IMO I wouldn't say it is 'Negative' feedback at all! It is straight forward honest feedback to improve you.  Really look at Sean's comments and make adjustments- you have nothing to lose and all to gain... 




« Reply #23 on: March 18, 2013, 01:20 »
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   I'm nowhere near the pool, too. Only IS seems to make the average  amount that matches the pool results. And this is due to PP as dlds on IS are down... newbie here 1 year on MS. I would be very happy if the others sites would sell what the pool says, but I'm making half the money on SS and I upload to many of the others.
   DT is making less than 5% from what SS makes for me...and have  slightly bigger port on DT. So you are not alone.
« Last Edit: March 18, 2013, 01:22 by tavi »

ShadySue

« Reply #24 on: March 18, 2013, 05:40 »
+1
I've never done a serious study, with proper stats etc, but I'm sure different ports do better at different sites; but that's casual observation of ex-iS-exclusives doing well or badly at SS. So e.g. if you have lots of a certain type of image (genre, style ...) at iS and they're selling OK there, and SS reject most of them, probably that means buyers won't look first to SS for that sort of pic.
Presumably buyers don't go to DT first if they want a series of images, as they have an often uber-strict 'similars' policy.
Etc.

« Reply #25 on: March 18, 2013, 10:41 »
+1
I do primarily vectors so our experiences may differ. However I find, especially lately, that my new submissions sell well at SS and my new submissions are not selling elsewhere. I have decent sales at other agencies but it is all files that are 6-12 months old or older.

CD123

« Reply #26 on: March 18, 2013, 11:34 »
0
I do primarily vectors so our experiences may differ. However I find, especially lately, that my new submissions sell well at SS and my new submissions are not selling elsewhere. I have decent sales at other agencies but it is all files that are 6-12 months old or older.
I think that is quite universal for most ports Dave. SS is very fast on new submissions, probably due to their sort order.


« Reply #27 on: March 18, 2013, 14:34 »
+1
I do primarily vectors so our experiences may differ. However I find, especially lately, that my new submissions sell well at SS and my new submissions are not selling elsewhere. I have decent sales at other agencies but it is all files that are 6-12 months old or older.
Lately I'm finding that new files take off as quick at fotolia as they do at SS

CD123

« Reply #28 on: March 18, 2013, 15:03 »
0
I do primarily vectors so our experiences may differ. However I find, especially lately, that my new submissions sell well at SS and my new submissions are not selling elsewhere. I have decent sales at other agencies but it is all files that are 6-12 months old or older.
Lately I'm finding that new files take off as quick at fotolia as they do at SS
Lucky. My sales all but stopped there.  :'(

« Reply #29 on: March 18, 2013, 15:16 »
+1
I do primarily vectors so our experiences may differ. However I find, especially lately, that my new submissions sell well at SS and my new submissions are not selling elsewhere. I have decent sales at other agencies but it is all files that are 6-12 months old or older.
Lately I'm finding that new files take off as quick at fotolia as they do at SS
Lucky. My sales all but stopped there.  :'(
It only is really new images that sell. Probably about 7 out of 10 of my sales are images uploaded this year.

lisafx

« Reply #30 on: March 18, 2013, 15:54 »
0
I do primarily vectors so our experiences may differ. However I find, especially lately, that my new submissions sell well at SS and my new submissions are not selling elsewhere. I have decent sales at other agencies but it is all files that are 6-12 months old or older.
Lately I'm finding that new files take off as quick at fotolia as they do at SS

I've found the same.  Although my sales at FT have declined dramatically over the past year, the files that ARE selling are mostly newer ones. 

« Reply #31 on: March 18, 2013, 16:20 »
0
Read everything Lisa, Sean, Sue, etc tell you 3x and then copy and paste it on your monitor screen. They have BTDT and will tell you exactly how it is.  I'd much rather get their feedback here than spend umpteen hours shooting and uploading useless stuff only to get it rejected.

CD123

« Reply #32 on: March 18, 2013, 16:20 »
0
Lisa/Fotografer: that will explain a lot, as I am really struggling to get much approved at FT of late.

« Reply #33 on: March 18, 2013, 18:11 »
0
Is it really necessary, today, to include "background white", "isolated" etc in the keywords?  I thought the agencies were, by now, recognizing a white background automatically i.e. using software, as a routine feature of search.

CD123

« Reply #34 on: March 18, 2013, 19:34 »
0
Is it really necessary, today, to include "background white", "isolated" etc in the keywords?  I thought the agencies were, by now, recognizing a white background automatically i.e. using software, as a routine feature of search.
Doubt it, as not everything with a white (or majority white color) background is necessarily isolated.

« Reply #35 on: March 19, 2013, 01:51 »
0
   Until now my sales are 73% on SS this month. And not because SS is selling like crazy for me, but because the others are selling almost nothing. One year in MS and really tired to see how the sales are not improving even if I upload files. Seems that only SS does a good job for me and has picked a growing trend.


 

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