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Messages - photojay

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26 / Re: My dog selling like hotcakes
« on: January 26, 2008, 20:26 »
I keep hearing everyone talking about this idea of making room for text.  It is my opinion that any designer worth his salt can easily do just what you did and make his room for text.  I am sure that on SS, where images are one flat rate, it may not be a big deal, but on DT, no designer wants to pay for a larger image because I added more pixels that are just black (or white or whatever the background color is). 

I have a tendency to laugh a little bit when I see an image that takes up a quarter of the frame and the rest is all white.  I always think: Why not crop it down and give the designer his money's worth?  Of course this only applies to MS sites that charge different prices for different sized images like DT, etc.

27 / Re: Beware of Shutterstock
« on: January 26, 2008, 18:19 »
What I mean is who has the copyright on a colour a rectangle an arrow a traffic sign a web button the business handshake or the pretty girl with headset?

In regard to copyright on a color check out THIS link  Can copyright issues get any more complicated?  It seems as soon as lawyers get involved, right and wrong goes out the window and winners and losers are formed based on who can argue their point better and nothing else. :o

totally agree.

..... cause all that the lawyers in the U.S. think about is .........the color 'green'.

Photo Critique / Re: Tear me apart
« on: January 26, 2008, 18:18 »

Tell me, is that your son crying ? I could never take pictures of my son crying. I would be too busy comforting him...

Yes, he was crying.  I punched him in the gut and told him to man :o  (just kidding)

My kids are actually great actors.  I have always hated wading through tons of images of happy people on the MS sites, so I have made it my mission to catch people being mad, sad, or lonely in a real way.  Not some skinny model with a forced sad look on her face. 

I still do the smiley faces, but they are becoming less and less.  Funny thing is that I love to laugh.  I am a clown, by nature, so these images are kind of a way for me to get out of my comfort zone and push my limits. 

StockXpert just rejected 2 of those three images, BTW, for poor lighting.  I guess there needs to be a "notes to the reviewer section" like there is in SS so I can explain that the lighting was created on purpose to add to the somber mood and not an accidental flop.  I created the one with more light on his face because I figured that some stock sites wouldn't get the whole "mood lighting"

Thanks for the input, all.  I appreciate it. 

29 / My dog selling like hotcakes
« on: January 26, 2008, 17:00 »
I don't usually do this, but I had my dog in my studio last month and I caught this image of him:

I love my dog, and have a good number of pictures of him throughout my portfolio, but this capture has almost made Simon famous.  It is one of the images in my SS folio that gets downloaded just about everyday. 

Don't you just love it when you find that one image that gets the attention that you feel your whole portfolio deserves?????? :o

30 / Re: Beware of Shutterstock
« on: January 26, 2008, 16:55 »
What I mean is who has the copyright on a colour a rectangle an arrow a traffic sign a web button the business handshake or the pretty girl with headset?

In regard to copyright on a color check out THIS link  Can copyright issues get any more complicated?  It seems as soon as lawyers get involved, right and wrong goes out the window and winners and losers are formed based on who can argue their point better and nothing else. :o

Photo Critique / Re: Critique need for Shutterstock Application
« on: January 26, 2008, 16:13 »
...and am currently learning more about lighting.

I highly recommend the book "Light: Science and Magic".  It is by far the best $30 I have ever spent.  It talks about all the normal "studio lighting" issues (fill light, main, reflectors, etc.) but it talks about much MUCH more.  Understanding light AND how it interacts with different subjects is so important and this book is packed with just about everything you need to know to start experimenting in a more controlled environment and understand what you are seeing and why you are seeing it. 

32 / Re: Review time @ Stockxpert...
« on: January 26, 2008, 15:48 »
How long does the wait for the review of the initial application take?

After going back into "Artist Earnings" Sign-up to sell images it says "You don't need to apply again. Your application is pending and it will be reviewed within a few days."

That's the only indicator that I have that anything is happening ...


Don't look for an email, that's for sure.  There will be message in your inbox on the site.  I was waiting for an email and found out on 21Jan that I was accepted on 3Jan.  I could have already had my whole portfolio uploaded and reviewed by now if they would have sent me an email notification!  Oh well.... ::)

Photo Critique / Re: Portfolio Critique Thread
« on: January 26, 2008, 12:49 »
Right now there is a Portfolio Critique thread running on the Shutterstock boards.  Basically everyone rates the portfolio of the person to last post. 

I think the idea of throwing a rating on someone's portfolio is a little discomforting.  What I feel is most useful is a thread in which the more experienced image producers take a look at a portfolio and add a brief recommendation for improvement.  Could be to shoot a certain subject they are lacking.  Maybe improve lighting, get better colors/pop/contrast...  If the "reviewer" wants to provide an example of a picture they like and why it works, or one which clearly needs some work to be a seller, then that is great.

Anyhow, if others are interested, this could hopefully be both fun and educational.  If anyone wants to lambaste me, go for it.   ;D  (SS link below doesn't work, and I don't know why)

I looked through your SS portfolio and here is what I see from someone who has only been doing this for two years and made some big mistakes as I went along:

1: isolated pictures of toys---don't do it.  It looks cheezy.  (ie. the picture of the remote control car. 

2: Real estate pictures like this one:   

Pictures of houses are a dime a dozen. That house looks just like every other house.  The power lines have to be cloned out and you need an interesting sky to even be competitive, but there is nothing special that catches someone's eye when looking at the thumbnails.  On SS, the thumbnails matter more than any other site, because there is no larger thumb popup like on DT or other sites.

This one is much better: and I am guessing it is a better seller for you.

3. I love the natural feel of the football and cheerleader photos, but images from the front would obviously do better.  If you can't get a model release for it, you may want to not use it.  Images from the back have limited comercial value and when designers look at your portfolio they are going to get an ameteur vibe. 

Finally, your images are bright and colorful and have some real nice food photos.  I think you are on the right track. 

Hope that was what you were looking for. 

Feel free to critique my portfolio anyone!  I can take the abuse...I mean positive criticism.   ;D

Photo Critique / Re: Tear me apart
« on: January 26, 2008, 12:35 »
Sorry, I should have given sort of a theme.  Also, if you click the image, it should bring up other images from this series so you can see that I actually shot all four of my kids (including my son) in my suit.

The theme I was going for is to illustrate 1) younger worker pool 2) young-hip mentality about marketing 3) young businesses in general.

Basically, the youth of up and coming businesses that have a professional appearance and room to grow into their respective market.

35 / Re: Left CS yesterday
« on: January 26, 2008, 12:13 »
I am not in any way jumping on the perverbial bandwagon, but I have been re-evaluating my own uploading strategy and I just can't see wasting my time uploading to CanStockPhoto when I am amongst some cheezy, poorly isolated images (not yours Michael  ;) ), and not making any sales!  One sale a month with 500 images is just beyond slow.  And to see that one sale be a sub sale half the time, is just a kick in the face with a golf shoe. 

I am having a hard time parting with the hard earned $28.50 that I currently have there.  If you are thinking about bailing on CanStockPhoto and want to convert your earnings to credits rather than forfeit them, you can purchase one of my images so I can sleep at night when I go through the laborious task of deleting 500 images off the site.

here is a link to my portfolio

4. Convert my $8 in earnings on CS to credits, download someone else's photos and close my account there. I'd rather another photographer get some revenue than the site.

I am looking to cash out on CanStockPhoto so I can close my account, so here is a LINK to my portfolio there.  As soon as I hit the minimum payout I am cashing out and closing the account because they won't let me opt out of sub sales.

Photo Critique / Re: Critique need for Shutterstock Application
« on: January 26, 2008, 11:21 »
I had to apply to SS I think 4 times.  My problem the first two times were the noise issues previously discussed, but I think that others have also mentioned the idea of colors and composition.  The images in your DT portfolio are not exactly great compositions for stock or you are submitting to a category that is saturated, making your competition very tough.  Your image: Urban Living V1, for example, has what appears to be part of a parking garage at the bottom.  I would have either included more of it or found a different angle to completely crop it out.  With all your skyline images, to SS you are going to seem like just another guy submitting pictures of buildings that may or may not need a property release.  For me, its not about the quality of your images that I think will keep you out, I think it is the subjects.  Even the key in scarred hand image if you do a search for the words   key + hand the results turn up 3,330 images on DT.  That is alot of competition.

There are two things that are going to get you noticed:  1: A really great camera (quality images are made by good photographers, but the camera data makes a difference in MS.  If you had two pictures of a key in a hand and one was taken with a Canon 1Ds Mark III and the other was taken with a Kodak Easyshare P&S, which one do you think the designer is going to download?)  2: Images that nobody else (or very few people) are uploading.  (The top five already have hundreds of thousands of images to choose from for their advertising numbers.  What they are looking for now are DIFFERENT images.) 

That is my two cents.   I hope I am not being too harsh, but any one of the veterans here will tell you that we have been where you are, just starting out.  If you want to increase your chances, find a reason for Shutterstock to say yes, rather than trying to dodge the reason they could possibly say no.

Photo Critique / Tear me apart
« on: January 26, 2008, 10:45 »
OK, I have been dead in the water on sales for the following series of images:

The one I provided is the only one of the series that has a sale.  I have already been told that the images are "cute" but are "inanimate".  I should have photographed them with a briefcase or sitting at a desk.  I am going to redo the series, but before I do, I want to hear what you really HATE about the images.  I just installed a new background support, wooden floor, and seamless paper backgrounds in my studio, so the wrinkled black material on the floor will also be gone.  I am looking for some things that just aren't hitting me in the face.  I think this is worth reshooting, I just want to make sure that I maximize my efforts.  Thanks for your help!  Please be BRUTAL!  I can take it.   :-X

I don't think I have ever reloaded an image that was rejected.  I know that the reviwers make mistakes, but I just don't bother.  I have sent an email to support on certain sites and had a decision overturned.  The difference is that the problem is brought to someone's attention.  If a reviewer gets enough complaints about him or her then he or she will either be released or have to fix themselves, but if we just keep reuploading the images to get around that sorry reviewer then the problem persists.   8)

40 / Re: Rate/Comment/View the Image Above Yours!
« on: January 26, 2008, 08:26 »
can't figure out how to rate, only comment.  Has anyone seen any more sales from doing this?

41 / Re: Review time @ Stockxpert...
« on: January 26, 2008, 07:44 »
does StockXpert review on weekends???  I got another 100 in the queue waiting to be reviewed.  :o

Add me to the list.  I am with MShake.  I am going now to see about cancelling my account with CanStockPhoto.

Yuri Arcurs
Freezingpictures (558)
Smithore (596)
sharpshot (2756)
Mjp (994)
sorsillo (538)
Rozmaryna (68)
Read_My_Rights (277)
faber (300)
rosendo  (313)
aremafoto (2147)
IKOphotos (1842)
nativelight (195-StockXpert & 213-SV)
ljupco (1920)
techno (2057)
Aurelio (2426)
Mshake (860)
Photojay(103, but adding 50 everyday until I get my 500 image portfolio transferred.)

My list:
1. Cling to my regular (non photografic) job
2. Try to see this Photo stuff more as a nice experiment
3. Take all rejections smiling
4. Experiment a bit more with my camera
5. Take my camera with me, ALWAYS !
6. Use my imagination
7. Try out some crazy ideas for concepts
8. Use hideous photos for some fun photoshop experiments
9. Buy an icecream and a coffee from my total photo earnings
10. Be terribly proud of my achivements

Carla,  you sound like me when I first started Stock.  Don't worry, if you stick to #3, and keep asking questions, it won't be long before your earn enough for a burger and fries once a week!  ;D

General Stock Discussion / Re: Megapixels going UP.......
« on: January 25, 2008, 09:50 »
This whole Megapixel craze has really outlived it's usefulness, in my opinion.  As stated above, the 5D proves that a bigger sensor with less pixels will far out-perform the APS-C sized sensors with more pixels crammed in, even if the bit depth is greater.  I was a hair away from buying a 5D, but chose the cheaper 40D, as I am just getting started in MS, but had I had another $800 to drop, the 5D would have been my choice, hands down.  I also have a few EF-S lenses that I didn't want to lose use of with the full frame of the 5d, even though I still have my 350D (which feels like a toy compared to the 40D). 

Bottom line is that I think that, just like SLR users measure focal lengths according to a 35mm standard rather than the 2x, 3x, 4x of a P&S, there should be a different measuring stick for sensors than the "effective pixels".  Any suggestions on what that measuring stick terminology might be?  I like the the "LPH" system that DPreview uses to show the the resolution up to 4000 LPH.  That is a great measuring tool.

My top ten:

1.  Be more bold about approaching people to shoot them.
2.  minimize shooting "isolated images"
3.  Figure out my new 40D
4.  Become an expert at studio lighting
5.  See light how my camera sees the light
6.  Be more confident
7.  Be more selective
8.  Stop obsessively checking the sales stats
9.  Use that time to shoot more images
10. Shoot better images out of the camera and us PS to embed keywords, etc. only

you don't mind if I borrow your list ,do you?
in addition I'd only add invest on better equipment especially glasses  but wisely and try to create some stuff especially for macro stock.

I don't mind at all!  ;D  I definitely need to invest in better glass.  I took my 70-200 lens to Iraq with me and now I can't get a good image out of it at any focal length!  I am looking to get a Canon lens with a USM motor in it so I can use it with a 580EX external flash unit. 

a little bit slow but sales are going up!

same for me

Definitely not a great seller, but for this month, it is doing better than Istock!  $9 on BigStock whereas I have only had $3 on IS!  I don't think I am uploading the right images to Istock, but at 15 a week, I am working slowly through the hundreds of images I already have on all the other sites, so maybe I will come across something that will sell eventually!   ::)

47 / Re: Review time @ Stockxpert...
« on: January 24, 2008, 21:04 »
final count: 113 out of 150.  Not bad, I guess.  Everything I uploaded had been accepted elsewhere, but not all of them on one site.  I amjust playing the numbers!!  ::)

48 / Re: Review time @ Stockxpert...
« on: January 24, 2008, 20:01 »
I don't know if it is just a coincidence or what, but I just got some reviewed.  out of 150 images, 88 accepted, 18 still pending.  I guess it could have been worse.  Some of the rejections asked me to fix the image, but most rejections were either a) sorry, but we are not interested in this subject or b) too many of the same series, please pick your best. 

i never know how many is too many.  I don't get upset about the subject, because every site wants something different. 

Now I just can't wait to see what the sales are like. :o

49 / Re: Review time @ Stockxpert...
« on: January 24, 2008, 16:30 »
So, being a newbie doesn't have anything to do with the 150 images I currently have waiting in the queue?  It's only been a few days, but I have been reading that people get their images reviewed in less than 24 hours?  I wonder why there is such a discrepency in review times? had this same issue for a while.  I never got an answer from them either on the way their queue worked, but I have a feeling that they work(ed) the same way.   ???

Site Related / Re: StockXpert nightmare
« on: January 24, 2008, 15:31 »
Well, this was an enlightening thread... I just got accepted to StockXpert (first try) and currently have 150 images in the queue and at least that many in my briefcase waiting to be transferred at 50 per day.  It will be interesting to see what happens when they get reviewed.  I think I will continue to upload what I currently have until I see what happens and take it from there.  I see that StockXpert is in the "big 6", which is strange!  I figured BigStock or Fotolia wout be above it, but I only have about 500 images in my portfolios.

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