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Author Topic: Similars - is the type of smile enough for 2 versions?  (Read 12236 times)

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« on: March 22, 2011, 05:48 »
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I think picking away similars is one of the toughest jobs of editing.  I can't help but think "what if a designer wants a little different look".  Generally I would guess I err on the side of including too many shots.

Do you think it is worthwhile to include variations in the 'smile' from closed lip smile to 'toothy smile' or is that easily overkill?





rubyroo

« Reply #1 on: March 22, 2011, 06:01 »
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Well it's very subjective... but my own perception of those two is that the first has a look that says 'You look interesting', or 'guess what I'm thinking' or 'I'm content' and the second has a look that says "I LOVE this product I'm holding" she has a look of someone who has succeeded in some way.  The first is more natural and the second is more 'stocky'.

I'd say they're different enough to have quite different uses (the first being more versatile), but then my mind and a reviewers mind occasionally prove to be very different places.  ;)

« Reply #2 on: March 22, 2011, 06:02 »
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I would go with the second and lighten up the bg a bit.

« Reply #3 on: March 22, 2011, 06:05 »
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Personally, if those were my images I think I would upload only the 2nd shot. I think both images could be used by the designer for the same project but I think the 2nd image would sell better. What you don't really want is your sales spread between the images at the cost of sort-order placement for both.

Sean & Lisa are the experts on this though so I'd be most interested in what their judgement would be.

ShadySue

  • There is a crack in everything
« Reply #4 on: March 22, 2011, 06:07 »
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Ah, but remember there are some buyers who always ask for more serious expressions.
Submit both, but leave some time between uploads.

« Reply #5 on: March 22, 2011, 06:09 »
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I would go with the second and lighten up the bg a bit.


How about a nuked background :)



I have a few different shots and haven't finished editing them yet either.. I'm still trying to pick which ones to spend time editing.

« Reply #6 on: March 22, 2011, 06:15 »
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Ah, but remember there are some buyers who always ask for more serious expressions.
Submit both, but leave some time between uploads.

Yeah, that is what I have done in the past and would be tempted to do with this case unless convinced otherwise.

Gostwyck makes a good point though, which is the reason persuading me to NOT upload both.  If there is only one image to pick from the buyers (hopefully) pick the only image available pushing that images stats (sell through rate) higher and thus pushing search rank higher.  If there are two images to pick from, those two images have to share the sales.  On sites like Dreamstime where more sales = a higher price/sale it is even more important to try and force sales on the higher ranked images by not having too many similars.   

That said, if you have worthwhile similars you increase your overall database exposure getting more images on page 1 or 2 or 10, wherever the buyer is looking...

« Reply #7 on: March 22, 2011, 06:19 »
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I would go with the second and lighten up the bg a bit.


same image, lighter BG

rubyroo

« Reply #8 on: March 22, 2011, 06:22 »
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I preferred the darker bg myself - it gave her better contrast on the back of the hair, and also more of a sense of being 'inside' the shop.

But as Gostwyck said, Sean and Lisa are the experts on 'what sells'.

ShadySue

  • There is a crack in everything
« Reply #9 on: March 22, 2011, 06:28 »
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Interesting point by Sean. I like the b/g darker, as the girl 'pops' more. That's clearly why I'm not a big hitter  ;)
Gostwyck has a point too, which is a problem with they system: you have to choose between giving buyers what they might want and doing what's best for yourself. At least your girl has a natural smile, not one of these awful cheesers.
Have you ever thought of uploading one to one agency and one to another, as you're independent? Just an idea, and it wouldn't prove anything.

« Reply #10 on: March 22, 2011, 06:35 »
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Yeah, I was actually planning on uploading a dark background and light background to compare the results.  As Yuri is pretty set on the light background strategy (and Sean obviously agrees) that is probably the better seller.  It is certainly less distracting.

But back to the subject of the thread - I'm not sure what the strategy of uploading different shots to different sites would prove. I think I would just end up creating more work for myself editing more images and end up not knowing anything more than when I started.  :-\

« Reply #11 on: March 22, 2011, 06:46 »
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dont have anything to add regarding the pictures but need to say how is possible that you are still learning regarding stock? curious how can someone so experienced like you still with doubts?

lovely pictures :)

« Reply #12 on: March 22, 2011, 06:52 »
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dont have anything to add regarding the pictures but need to say how is possible that you are still learning regarding stock? curious how can someone so experienced like you still with doubts?

How is it possible to ever stop learning (about stock or any subject)? That's what makes it interesting and that's what makes the difference between the top sellers and the rest.

« Reply #13 on: March 22, 2011, 06:57 »
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dont have anything to add regarding the pictures but need to say how is possible that you are still learning regarding stock? curious how can someone so experienced like you still with doubts?

How is it possible to ever stop learning (about stock or any subject)? That's what makes it interesting and that's what makes the difference between the top sellers and the rest.

so true, I agree 100% as I do learn everyday but I am very new to stock regarding Tyler, yourself or others in this post, I found this great but after so many years doing the same ligthing setups, directing models and uploading/selling it is hard to imagine someone with doubts :)

« Reply #14 on: March 22, 2011, 06:58 »
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Post-process 2 or 3, then maybe you could upload the toothy smile and see how it does, sales-wise. If after a couple of months, no sales, upload another.

« Reply #15 on: March 22, 2011, 07:16 »
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dont have anything to add regarding the pictures but need to say how is possible that you are still learning regarding stock? curious how can someone so experienced like you still with doubts?

How is it possible to ever stop learning (about stock or any subject)? That's what makes it interesting and that's what makes the difference between the top sellers and the rest.

so true, I agree 100% as I do learn everyday but I am very new to stock regarding Tyler, yourself or others in this post, I found this great but after so many years doing the same ligthing setups, directing models and uploading/selling it is hard to imagine someone with doubts :)

haha, yeah well I probably question myself too much :)

If I was going to go with my instinct, or what I have 'always done' I would just take them both, but I have been thinking lately that perhaps I should change strategies and edit much much tighter than I generally do.  Like cut down my selects by half.  I have tried that in a couple shoots recently and am still pondering and looking at the results but I am always interested in hearing what strategy others have.  It is important not to sit still or think we have things 'figured out'

« Reply #16 on: March 22, 2011, 07:24 »
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dont have anything to add regarding the pictures but need to say how is possible that you are still learning regarding stock? curious how can someone so experienced like you still with doubts?

How is it possible to ever stop learning (about stock or any subject)? That's what makes it interesting and that's what makes the difference between the top sellers and the rest.

so true, I agree 100% as I do learn everyday but I am very new to stock regarding Tyler, yourself or others in this post, I found this great but after so many years doing the same ligthing setups, directing models and uploading/selling it is hard to imagine someone with doubts :)


Not even Sean stop learning! :)

We would be in trouble if we stop.
« Last Edit: March 22, 2011, 07:44 by ProArtwork »

rubyroo

« Reply #17 on: March 22, 2011, 07:35 »
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@ Luis

Life gets very dull if we stop learning and experimenting.  It's nice to stop and luxuriate in your successes for a short while, but it soon gets boring.   Humans were built to keep challenging themselves or waste away (IMHO).

Not only that but if you get complacent in something like stock, some young whipper snapper will soon come up the rear and start taking your sales away ;)  Doubts are good things - they keep us growing and stop us from becoming unbearably smug.

(Sorry to be so OT)

microstockphoto.co.uk

« Reply #18 on: March 22, 2011, 08:08 »
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yes, they are different enough - but Dreamstime won't think so

I prefer the second one, but others may well like/need the first one; so, upload just one on Dreamstime
and both on all other sites leaving decision to buyers where they can
« Last Edit: March 22, 2011, 08:11 by microstockphoto.co.uk »

« Reply #19 on: March 22, 2011, 08:24 »
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To me, the darker bg says "I could only light the person in the front and took what I got in the back".  A lighter bg says "I had full control of the area" (even if you fake it).  Also, I'd take out some of the pink color, overall.

« Reply #20 on: March 22, 2011, 08:25 »
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If I was going to go with my instinct, or what I have 'always done' I would just take them both, but I have been thinking lately that perhaps I should change strategies and edit much much tighter than I generally do.  Like cut down my selects by half.  I have tried that in a couple shoots recently and am still pondering and looking at the results but I am always interested in hearing what strategy others have.  It is important not to sit still or think we have things 'figured out'

After 6 years I've still not varied from the conclusion that trying to predict which images out of a series will be the most popular is almost impossible. Sometimes a potential best-seller is fairly obvious but that's about it. The images that do well on one agency may well bomb on others and vice versa. Sometimes the initial images of a series will have disappointing sales but then, some months later, I can upload another image from that series ... and it does take off. Weird.

lisafx

« Reply #21 on: March 22, 2011, 12:24 »
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Great series, Tyler!  If I had to choose one of the other photo only, it would be the second one.  I like your edit, where you have lightened the background.  Don't like the "nuked" background though, as it is less obvious where she is. 

To me, those two shots are different enough to upload both.  I have heard Europeans prefer less toothy grins (you would know if that's true better than I would) and Americans tend to go with the bigger smiles.  So different markets for each. 

Not only are the smiles different, but the reserved smile is a wider shot, with more copyspace.  I would probably crop the toothier one to a square to better emphasize the girl, then upload the other one wide.  Hopefully that would differentiate them enough. 

But like Gostwyck says, it is impossible to know for sure which will be the better seller. 

« Reply #22 on: March 22, 2011, 13:07 »
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Great series, Tyler!  If I had to choose one of the other photo only, it would be the second one.  I like your edit, where you have lightened the background.  Don't like the "nuked" background though, as it is less obvious where she is. 

To me, those two shots are different enough to upload both.  I have heard Europeans prefer less toothy grins (you would know if that's true better than I would) and Americans tend to go with the bigger smiles.  So different markets for each. 

Not only are the smiles different, but the reserved smile is a wider shot, with more copyspace.  I would probably crop the toothier one to a square to better emphasize the girl, then upload the other one wide.  Hopefully that would differentiate them enough. 

But like Gostwyck says, it is impossible to know for sure which will be the better seller. 

Thanks for the thoughts everyone.

Good points on the nuked background, I agree, since I went to the work of actually shooting in a grocery store it is smart to retain some of that information.  That said it is also nice to isolate the subject over a near white background making the background very unnoticeable offering just a hint of location.

I have also noticed the european / american preference.   If someone see's an image of an overly smiley person on an advertisement here they say it looks 'american' (for better or worse).  There is an obvious preference for more natural, less 'over the top' models in Europe contrasted with the over the top - barbie type model preference (with overdone smile) in America.  Teeth for example can be a little crooked or a small gap or a shade or two off snow white.  The first time I saw such models in an ad I was quite surprised.

I did a few microstock shoots in New York a couple years ago and had an a-ha moment.  I realized how people get those models with the big happy smiles... you shoot in America.  as they say... 'everything is bigger in America' ... the smiles are no exception :)

digitalexpressionimages

« Reply #23 on: March 29, 2011, 08:00 »
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To me, the darker bg says "I could only light the person in the front and took what I got in the back".  A lighter bg says "I had full control of the area" (even if you fake it).  Also, I'd take out some of the pink color, overall.

No disrespect intended but I was under the impression that stock photography was intended to serve the image needs of buyers not a venue to prove your photographic skills by "controlling the area". I'm not a stock photography expert but I am a graphic designer with going on 2 decades of experience and I know something about images. Dark areas recede and lighter areas advance. If you want the subject to pop and the background to be, well, in the background, the darker image is better. I'm not really a fan of the Yuri Arcurs style of blowing everything out to look bright, happy and shiny.

On top of that, as far as being useful for design, the dark background provides a far better foundation for placing text. It recedes into the background (as it should) so it won't fight for attention with the message.

A note on the original topic: the half smile makes her look unsure while the smile has more confidence. I think, as a designer, there's not much different about them but there's a place for both. The similars policy of most agencies would likely disagree.
« Last Edit: March 29, 2011, 08:05 by digitalexpressionimages »

grp_photo

« Reply #24 on: March 29, 2011, 08:08 »
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CERTAINLY WAYYYYYYYYYYYYYY OVERKILL!!!!!!! that is not similar its the same photo!


 

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