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Author Topic: New to microstock, critique request  (Read 3208 times)

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« on: December 22, 2009, 17:42 »
I'm new to microstock, and I'm looking to take it seriously this year. 

I've had a few images in at Fotolia for a couple of years, but they declined about 15 images in a row last month so I'm really questioning if what I'm shooting makes any sense.

I was recently accepted by iStock, but haven't submitted anything yet.

On to the critique.  I shot this the other day - is this a viable microstock image?

Thanks in advance for the help.

« Reply #1 on: December 22, 2009, 17:49 »
Distracting background, the hand seems to be detached from the body, lighting could be improved
The overall composition is not very good

I recommend shooting again
« Last Edit: December 22, 2009, 17:51 by Tom »

« Reply #2 on: December 22, 2009, 17:54 »
On to the critique.  I shot this the other day - is this a viable microstock image?

No it isn't. The composition is strange, and one important part (hand with the pen) is cropped. I'm not sure where the focus is. Eyes looking down look a bit like they could be closed, with the hand/pen visible it wouldn't bother, now we can't see where she is looking at. The right hand looks like it's detached from the body, and the left hand has an awkward position.

The colors and tonality are quite nice. The other half of the face is too dark for my taste.
« Last Edit: December 22, 2009, 17:55 by Perry »

« Reply #3 on: December 22, 2009, 19:06 »
I tend to disagree with the others - to some extend.

The background does fit with the image, although I would try to remove the grey strip on the top edge.

I do believe the composition could've been stronger. Whilst it isn't terrible, I think there is one major compositional issue on the lower edge; If you'd include the hand holding the pen, the message would've been a lot stronger, and the image more complete. A lower camera position would've also assist in creating a more personal feel to this photo, thus emphasizing the concept.

I like the styling and the natural - unposed - feel, tho. A nice smile and introvert model. Lighting works for me, too, it's subtle.

There seems to be some fringing on her left collar - hard to tell without a full sized view.

« Reply #4 on: December 22, 2009, 22:02 »
If that's the entire image, that isn't something that someone would probably buy, with better choices out there.

« Reply #5 on: December 22, 2009, 22:31 »
You chose a theme which has been covered many, many times already by photographers who shoot these things every single day.

That doesn't mean you shouldn't or can't do it but be aware that you are wrestling with the best. Huuuuge competition.

I'd suggest to try a concept that hasn't been shot tens of thousands of times already It will also increase chances of selling more images...

« Reply #6 on: December 23, 2009, 02:59 »
Where is the hand???

« Reply #7 on: December 23, 2009, 06:22 »
Some good advice here!

I would agree, business is covered by TONS of photographers.  If you want to shoot business you are up against some stiff competition.  If you want to get into micro more seriously I would shoot a subject that is less populated. 

It looks like focus is on her collar instead of her eyes, or hand/pen (which should be i the shot).  You need to get focus on the subject of the image, or the part you want to draw attention to.

« Reply #8 on: December 23, 2009, 13:14 »
Good tips here about cropping, focus, background, etc.

But the best possible advice a newcomer can hear is this:  research what subjects are already being oversaturated by pros who have been doing this for many years.  The odds are stacked so high against you that you should not bother attacking those topics... and business people in generic poses fall squarely into that category.

The best plan in this business is the best plan for any business: find a need that isn't being met and fill it.  Find a niche that is underserved and approach it differently than anyone else.  Create your own style that is difficult to imitate. 

Microstock has become swamped with photographers who think that since other photographers have had luck shooting certain topics, they can as well.  The pool is too full for "me-too" microstockers.  You'll immediately drown unless you're unique and savvy to the needs of the market.

Make these your words to live by and you'll do well.  Best of luck!


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