r ranson wrote:
What I need to find out is
1. how long does it take to upload one photo and add all the search-love to help people find it?
2. how much editing do I need to do to the photo before uploading it?
I also like the idea that this forces me to sort my photos better.
It looks like it might be something for me.
You are competing with a tremendous amount of advanced amateur folks, now that basic DSLR's are priced on parity with upper end point and shoots. You'll have to up your game to rise above all the Uncle Bobs and MWACs.
...Compare photos to images you see in web and print advertizing and strive for that level (or better!) of quality.
It's all about clean and generic. Leave the arty shots on your harddrive, and be extremely sparing with PP sliders and adjustments. The people who buy our imagery are graphic design wizards that need to be able to mold your shot to their product. Think in terms of layout and copyspace when you frame. Can your image be made into a book cover, calendar, web banner and magazine spread? You know the cover of that now infamous 50 Shades book? Dreamstime, baby!
Your increasing sales WILL plateau after a while. The reality isn't as harsh as you think though. Start with 10 pictures online. Now double it. Now double that... See where this is going? You're not going to be able to shoot the volume of quality shots it would take to keep up the exponential surge of downloads from the beginning. Earnings are typically "long tail", but aren't perpetual. Times and tastes change, and you have to feed your portfolio fresh stuff. Stock also seems to operate by the 80/20 Rule, where 80% of your income comes from 20% of your portfolio. My bestsellers aren't masterpieces of art, but have the technical mojo to get chosen. I have many non-selling photos online I am darn proud of. You don't know until you throw them out there.
What You Can Do to Boost Your Chances:
Peg your camera at base ISO if you can. ...
Pretend you're a stock reviewer. View your images on a calibrated monitor at 100% and check for any faults. Grain, blur, chromatic aberrations, etc. will get your image booted.
Choose your battles: By all means shoot accessible subjects, but treat them as practice. Don't expect their earnings to rocket off. Try your best to shoot unique subjects. A search for "Christmas" on Dreamstime results in 413,138 images. "attractive woman" about a million. "hand arthritis" 670. "Chia Seeds" results in 80. "Foot fungus" (gross, right?) 27. Each of the lesser represented searches contains images with plenty of sales. Do you really want to go up against Yuri Arcurs? I don't, so I went the chia seed route and it seems to be working. even ended up on some packaging!
Shoot cool stuff isolated on white. This is the bread and butter of many stockers, and it's more fun than you think. They're great for graphic designers because they just drop your subject into their layout. Just make sure to take your dropper tool and check that your background is hex EEEEEE white all around.
Shoot what you do. Play golf? No angry foursome behind you? Snap a few! Handy in the kitchen? Shoot it before you eat it. ...if it moves, shoot it again. Stock photos are all about glorifying daily life and appealing to the normal everyman. Chances are, you do normal people stuff at least once a week.
Be realistic in your expectations. Everyone is different in their saleability, but you are going to have to shoot your shoes off to make real money. Do you want full time income? Your portfolio will have to be in the 4 or 5 figure mark. Full time guys have tens of thousands of stunning images in their portfolio. It can however be an additional source of passive income, just like dividend investing. It may net you enough to take the edge off of a car payment, or allow you to hit the "Proceed to Checkout" button on your B&H shopping cart (finally!). My advice: Throw what quality pics you have into the stocks, see what sticks, determine your monthly Return Per Image (RPI = Earnings/# in Portfolio) and see what you have to do to make what YOU determine to be a worthwhile sum. You may only make $10 a day, but it's $10 you didn't have before and you earned it shooting what you wanted, when you wanted to, right?
After three years of stock photography here is the truth that I've learned about making money, earnings amounts, best agencies, the real investment, images that sell, acceptances and rejections and my biggest objection to everything. No holding back, here are the pros and cons and my conclusions about whether or not it’s worth it.
Table of Contents for this Video:
Investment - 00:48
Acceptances/Rejections - 02:16
Agencies - 04:03
Money - 06:21
My Biggest Objection - 09:16
Ideas & Tips - 13:07
Is it Worth It? - 15:35
Instagram & Upcoming Workshop! - 16:42
r ranson wrote:quick question: does this image look like the subject is out of focus?
I'm not seeing it, but maybe I'm missing something. Maybe it's because I have the front of the fruit in focus but not all of the plant?
Mike Feddersen wrote:An alternative of stock image resellers/promoters might be your own shop. Or use one of the sites online that give you your own store using their printing and frames.
Also consider doing a proactive marketing with all your posts online, comment section here and everywhere you leave your two cents.
Mike Feddersen wrote:Ranson,
So your Etsy creations market themselves?
I know you must do something, if merely posting the items with descriptions and photos.
I wonder if you could find someone that understands you and how you post? Then you create, let them post and promote.
r ranson wrote:Well, Almy is out.
They don't think my camera is good enough.
I wish there was a way of finding this out before giving them my details. They had a list of numbers and stuff, but that doesn't really make sense to someone who isn't deep in the digital SLR world.
It's interesting they say this. A couple of times last year I was sent out to take photos for magazines when their regular photographers (who had digital SLR) couldn't make good enough images for the printer. Something to do with resolutions?
If I ever make a thousand dollars selling my pictures, I'll invest in a fancy camera and a class on how to use it. That would be a lot of fun.
Who shall I try next?
r ranson wrote:
My goal for next year is to have at least 500 photos in my shutterstock portfolio and 300 photos in my Alamy port. Alamy pays better so they get better quality but not as many.