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Author Topic: Your Own Store - What's Your Take on Similars  (Read 6991 times)

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« on: March 24, 2011, 12:16 »
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If you have your own photo store (Ktools, Smugmug, etc.), how do you treat your own similars?

I don't have a store (yet) but as I am going through my backlog of files I keep asking myself if I should edit the best of each series for my own future store or if I should just keep it at the limited number that I will upload to the agencies (hehe and the 1 of the series that I will upload to Dreamstime).  

No - I wouldn't try to sell anything that I wouldn't expect to pass the process at other agencies - this isn't about questionable quality - but sometimes there's shots that are quite similar (like Leaf's big smile little smile post).  Do you upload both of those shots to your own store, or do you keep it lean and mean?


Xalanx

« Reply #1 on: March 24, 2011, 12:51 »
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For an agency the similarities would cause problems indeed, because there are so many contributors. That's why they need to deal with this - I'm not talking about Dreamstime's schizophrenic approach to what they think it's similars.
But for only your portfolio, I would advise to let the similar shots on display. You're only one photog, the prospective buyer would scroll through at most 2-3 pages, not 100, to choose.
So yea, those two shots of Tyler - I would keep them both.

« Reply #2 on: March 24, 2011, 12:53 »
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Is it possible for you to make a link with "more of this series"?

« Reply #3 on: March 24, 2011, 14:01 »
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Since you can invent and experiment for yourself - why not stack them, like how stacks work in Lightroom or in Snow Leopard. It would potentially be a neat solution.

« Reply #4 on: March 24, 2011, 14:07 »
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Do what you think is right or what your customers will like. It's your store after all. I think the similar thing is kind of a lame excuse by agencies, so I put them all in and try to organize them properly in my store.

« Reply #5 on: March 24, 2011, 17:26 »
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I think the main problem with series is when the results show in a row and therefore it looks that there is no variety. Say, you have a series of ten lasagna shots that will have the same (or almost) keywords, then a series of eight maccaroni shots and another 11 of spaghetti. Then for some reason the search shows them together series by series. The first page may show only one series and so at first look the buyer will see only the lasagna shots, what looks boring.

But then also I think we should not exagerate in the number of shots in a series - six for me is already more than enough. I've seen larger series in DT, where they often show together, and is it tedious to see such slight variations.

lisafx

« Reply #6 on: March 24, 2011, 17:37 »
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But then also I think we should not exagerate in the number of shots in a series - six for me is already more than enough. I've seen larger series in Dreamstime, where they often show together, and is it tedious to see such slight variations.

How many images to upload from a series is highly dependent on what you are shooting.  Six is definitely more than enough for a plate of spaghetti, or an isolated object, but for a series of people doing something, like getting a medical examination, or having a business meeting, there are quite a few different setups you can do without getting too repetitive.  
« Last Edit: March 24, 2011, 17:39 by lisafx »

« Reply #7 on: March 24, 2011, 20:18 »
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Lisa,

It depends a lot on the variations. I have seen many that are too similar - even mirrored images and images with a slight different crop (not a second shot, but the same image cropped). Ok, that litte detail may be just water a buyer will prefer, but when you see all those repetitions together on the screen, it looks boring.

Sidenote: I went to one site to search for some examples I remember, and discovered that a certain famous contributor is still a keyword spammer. I remember in my early and naive days having reported him one image with inadequate keywords. He thanked me, but never changed keywords. It seems it is his style. A naked woman wrapped on a yellow towel with keywords "christmas" and "december" ? :)

« Reply #8 on: March 24, 2011, 20:50 »
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I think the main problem with series is when the results show in a row and therefore it looks that there is no variety.

I say put in the similiars but not all together on the same page.  I have seen a few stores and the first page might be all hot chocolate shots with maybe a business snot or two; better to mix them up  on different pages so someone just cruising you site does not see all the same series on one page.  Some of have a limited attention span; get bored easy.

« Reply #9 on: March 24, 2011, 21:21 »
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I think the main problem with series is when the results show in a row and therefore it looks that there is no variety.

I say put in the similiars but not all together on the same page.  I have seen a few stores and the first page might be all hot chocolate shots with maybe a business snot or two; better to mix them up  on different pages so someone just cruising you site does not see all the same series on one page.  Some of have a limited attention span; get bored easy.

I'm curious, since I don't have Ktools, is it possible to make the results show results more randomly? I find that trick in Alamy that they show one result and a link to the others very smart. All results are shown in the end, but not side by side.

« Reply #10 on: March 25, 2011, 11:38 »
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I consider it my job to supply customers with enough variations of compositions on the subject (I've had many direct emails from people asking me if I had the same subject shot at different angles, with more space to the side/top/bottom, different orientations) but at the same time not offering images that are too similar. For me, it's just common sense. So, with my own store (www.elenaphoto.com) I don't see a problem - if I have 10 images of the subject showing up in a row, I know they are different enough and there is no need to mix them up.
With agencies though it's a different story - sometimes reviewers don't have a good understanding of what is too similar and what's not (Dreamstime often drives me nuts - for example, images of the same model, one smiling, one totally serious were considered "similars", one approved, one rejected). So I do mix up for agencies, but not because I supply images that are too similar...

« Reply #11 on: March 25, 2011, 11:56 »
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I consider it my job to supply customers with enough variations of compositions on the subject (I've had many direct emails from people asking me if I had the same subject shot at different angles, with more space to the side/top/bottom, different orientations) but at the same time not offering images that are too similar. For me, it's just common sense. So, with my own store (www.elenaphoto.com) I don't see a problem - if I have 10 images of the subject showing up in a row, I know they are different enough and there is no need to mix them up.
With agencies though it's a different story - sometimes reviewers don't have a good understanding of what is too similar and what's not (Dreamstime often drives me nuts - for example, images of the same model, one smiling, one totally serious were considered "similars", one approved, one rejected). So I do mix up for agencies, but not because I supply images that are too similar...

Nice post. I agree. I often sell 3 or more images of the same subject. Sometimes 10 or more, so I think it is definitely something you want to have prepared for customers that want a series.

lisafx

« Reply #12 on: March 25, 2011, 16:40 »
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Lisa,

It depends a lot on the variations. I have seen many that are too similar - even mirrored images and images with a slight different crop (not a second shot, but the same image cropped). Ok, that litte detail may be just water a buyer will prefer, but when you see all those repetitions together on the screen, it looks boring.


Absolutely, yes.  When they are THAT similar it is pretty boring.

I agree with Elena's comment about using common sense.   

« Reply #13 on: March 25, 2011, 16:56 »
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I agree with Elena's comment about using common sense. 

And do you know anyone who says he/she doesn't have common sense?  ;D

« Reply #14 on: March 25, 2011, 18:51 »
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We do have our own store, and I agree with Cory and Elena.  Similars provide designers with more options.  The problem the agencies have is there are so many similar themes which are poorly executed.  Because we are only collecting images from contributors with strong portfolios, it is not a problem we have to deal with.   8)

If I were running an agency I would rather have 10 similars from Steve Cukrov, than 2 from Steve and 8 poorly lit photos from 4 other artists.

RacePhoto

« Reply #15 on: March 25, 2011, 20:57 »
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I agree with Elena's comment about using common sense. 

And do you know anyone who says he/she doesn't have common sense?  ;D

If it was so common, we'd all have it? ???

I already decided that too many choices are a waste of space and energy. Two maybe three good shots is enough, the rest are just hoping that one inch different is meaningful, when it's not. So maybe one portrait, one landscape, or one square and after that, you've got it covered.

If there is a significant difference, the pose, the model, the clothes, something distinctive and different, yes. But please no girl on bicycle and there are a dozen different arm positions and then a dozen different expressions. More is not always better. Sometimes it dilutes the image and makes it look common and less distinctive, so no sale.


 

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