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Author Topic: Portfolio Critique  (Read 5375 times)

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« on: November 16, 2010, 19:14 »
I new here (obviously) and am an avid (nearly obsessive) amateur photographer.  About 9 months ago I started submitting to several agencies. currently, dreamstime, fotolia, depositphotos, and can stock.  I am repeatedly turned down by shutterstock.  
Im off to a pathetically slow start in earnings and would like to get more serious about getting views/downloads.  I typically shoot what I like (vacations, landscapes) and then try to throw other things that I hope will gain attention.
I was hoping for some of you more seasoned photographers would take a look at my portfolio and just give a general look to give me some tips on what I can do to improve my portfolio quality/exposure.
Where do I need improvement?  is it my photo skills?  the variety of shots i take?  my keywording? lol all the above.

« Reply #1 on: November 16, 2010, 19:33 »
double post  :o
« Last Edit: November 17, 2010, 18:43 by cclapper »

« Reply #2 on: November 16, 2010, 19:34 »
Hi Lisa
I took a look at your portfolio and I think all of your shots are usable. I am sure others will have more critiques for you. The only thing I might mention is that with only 77 images, you are virtually invisible. A few years ago, once a contributor hit 100 images, they started to see sales. Today I think the number is closer to 500 images in your portfolio. But don't give up.

I think variety is good. People shots in everyday life situations are good. The only thing I can say is shoot and upload. You might also create lightboxes and your own images and other images you think are good and ask others to include your images in their lightboxes. That helps your exposure. Look at other photographers work and make them your favorites if you like them.

Best of luck to you!

PS I added you as a favorite to my list.
« Last Edit: November 16, 2010, 19:36 by cclapper »

« Reply #3 on: November 16, 2010, 19:48 »
Thanks cclapper...that is very encouraging...
and to be honest, i dont know a thing about lightboxes, nor did i know that the social aspect of microstock played a factor in exposure.  interesting..

« Reply #4 on: November 16, 2010, 20:07 »
love the shots. Shoot more and more variety. Make sure you keyword in raw through bridge.Check the keywords on other similar photos to make sure you give yourself a chance in searches.

« Reply #5 on: November 16, 2010, 20:09 »
As for shutterstock it is very worth getting in. Post your images prior to application for review and save some heartache next time

« Reply #6 on: November 17, 2010, 06:44 »
I'm too new at the game to give portfolio advice but I think it would be worth your while looking at fotilia also.  Review standards seem similar to DT - I only started in August and am getting twice as many sales as DT with half the portfolio.  I'm also getting equivalent sales to DT on istock with < 5% of my DT portfolio (really tough reviewers but good incentive to try and produce better technical quality).  Looking at SS - I gather they are pretty tough also but hope to get my istock images on there at least.


« Reply #7 on: November 17, 2010, 07:35 »
I would say there's some good work there. As others have said, it's probably down to volume.
I'm sure if you could pass the initial hurdle at SS you would see sales there.
Maybe post your initial ten for critique here before trying again?


  • Think before you speak
« Reply #8 on: November 17, 2010, 12:09 »
Shutterstock is sometimes hard to get through. It usually takes three sometimes four to get approved. I was on all other stock sites before I even got my foot in the door at Shutterstock. Just send them a very good variety and don't give up.

As for your port at's very nice. One thing though is that several of the stock agencies....not all...but they don't accept cropped shots of people because they consider them bad composition even though they aren't. SO you might want to start shooting a little farther out as far as your models are concerned. The one with the boy amongst the leaves is a good shot, but you know what....if he was throwing the leaves up with a look of joy on his face would be good also. You might want to take him back and shoot another one with him doing just that. Just don't give it and keep trying. Variety is always helpful...not just landscapes.

Oh by the way I love the foggy one and the flower in the little girls hand. Those are beautiful shots!


« Reply #9 on: November 17, 2010, 14:10 »
I agree with what's been said.  Very nice variety of shots.  Your compositions and your perspective are appealing.  Just keep adding more shots - the sales will build over time.

One suggestion though - the River View skyline photo would probably sell a LOT better if you put the name of the city in the title.  Dreamstime search engine is heavily weighted toward the words in the title.  You are missing out on sales from people searching for whatever city that is. 

Make sure your other images have good descriptive titles too.

Hope that helps :)


    This user is banned.
« Reply #10 on: November 17, 2010, 15:56 »
Weird, SS seems to accept just about anything. I throw trash at them sometimes and at least 50% of even that gets accepted. You have nice shots, not very microstock oriented in their styling tho, but I can't blame you for that, microstock style is generally a degaradation of photography. If you don't want to seriuosly push towards microstock as money source, I suggest you shoot for fun, do stuff that you would do anyway, maybe insert a few moves with stock in mind, and upload whatever is produced that might get downloads, thats what I did to have a peek inside. Don't let it get you into some microcrap achievemnt stress which might riun the fun, and still not produce good results as the whole thing is kinda falling apart.  You have a really attractive model in that brunette girl, she looks to be an ideal stock model with that warm friendly expression.

« Reply #11 on: November 17, 2010, 16:17 »
I agree that your shots are better than most people who come in asking for a critique.

« Reply #12 on: November 17, 2010, 17:37 »
I agree that your shots are better than most people who come in asking for a critique.

So do I. You're a good photographer and you just need to spend time learning about stock and uploading more. You have the potential to do well.

« Reply #13 on: November 17, 2010, 18:03 »
I agree that your shots are better than most people who come in asking for a critique.

So do I. You're a good photographer and you just need to spend time learning about stock and uploading more. You have the potential to do well.


(If you need help deciding which files to send to SS we may be able to help)

« Reply #14 on: November 27, 2010, 22:48 »
0 feeling a bit more encouraged.  so much thanks. 
i think i have another week or so before i can resubmit to ss.. im siding on the cautious side next time around and will post here for advise on what to go with.

« Reply #15 on: November 28, 2010, 01:00 »
littleNY - LOVE your DT portfolio.

You've already got lots of useful advice. While building size of port, keep the quality priority number one. Getting even one image to "catch fire" will help overall port - which is one reason why advice to create lightboxes is brilliant. Also, post ongoing blog entries on DT.

Keywording/titles have been mentioned.
How about doing this for several of your strong images:
pick 2 or more crucial words from title/keywords and see what images come up. Does your image fit that crowd (making big assumption other images are accurately keyworded)?

For example, I did that for your "Young Man" image.  (BTW, I'd put it on stock site homepage, if it were up to me, in some alternate universe).

Check the similars below it - those people look older - so there must be something about combo of  Title + Keywords that's landing him in that grouping.

"Smiling Teen Boy in Suit" would be more on target than "Young Man."

...from one NY to another :D
« Last Edit: November 28, 2010, 01:10 by ann »

« Reply #16 on: November 28, 2010, 01:03 »
(double post)

« Reply #17 on: November 28, 2010, 04:31 »
I see you adding vignetting effects on your landscape image?

I guess effects on images won't help on sales..



« Reply #18 on: November 28, 2010, 10:06 »
I'm in the same than you, I'm new in micro since a few months ago, I have had a little sales, but a ridiculous amount per month (I know I need a strongly bigger portfolio), and I have the same problem than you with SS, it's impossible for me, I need to have 7/10 accepted images and I always have 5 or 6.

So, compare you with other newbies like me, I use to do that, and I see I go better that the most of them (but nothing to do with vector artist, that is another world).

I think like others your portfolio is very attractive, and sure you will match the micro style little by little (I'm working in it, but I have to do much better).

I also think like others that several of your pictures are too much filtered (but if DT have accepted them is because they think they can be sold), and that way makes more difficult to sale them. Think it's better for you working less a picture, less work and more possibilities.

And for the suggestion of doing collections and caring the tittles/keywording, I am working in it too, and I think it'is very important. Have you tried Picniche, prostockmaster or other keywording tools?

« Reply #19 on: November 30, 2010, 19:41 »
How about doing this for several of your strong images:
pick 2 or more crucial words from title/keywords and see what images come up. Does your image fit that crowd
love that advise Ann...
i've actually never tried to search my images or those similar

fxegs.. good luck to you in your ss quest.  you right i do tend to filter..i really enjoy the post production process.  i have a graphic design/art background and this is an extension of that.  although i know, especially for the initial contributor submissions, i need to show off my photo skills not my ability to finese an 'ok' shot with filters and photoshop.  I think this is why the process is so tricky for me. 



« Reply #20 on: December 01, 2010, 10:22 »
I also enjoy with postedition, but in the last months I have worked the pics less and less, and my approved files were increasing. Many buyers want to edit the photos their way, so we have to correct minimal issues, that's all. I don't like very much the result, too fade, too homogeneous for me...
Nevertheless I see sometimes very photoshoped images with a lot of sales, or chosen by editors, so it seems there is no absolut rules.

« Reply #21 on: December 01, 2010, 10:35 »
Good Start...I added you to my fav's and also added one of your images (Trees in the Fog) to my "Dark Skies" lightbox...hang in there.


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