I bought my first camera less than year ago and joined dreamstime.com in December 2007. After half a year here I have approx. 60 uploads and 10 downloads and just became exclusive photographer for Dreamstime. It’s not that much at all, but still enough to think of lessons I’ve learned through this experience. For some photographers it might be useless, cause they know much more, but I hope it will help beginners like me.
Lesson 1. Think of the reason you do it.
Acceptance ratio was very low first weeks. But then miracles start to happen – it increased. The reason is quite simple – I became stricter to myself, started to THINK when I made shots, when I uploaded them to Dreamstime, when I keyworded them. THINK every time about how good your shot is, until your action becomes automatic. I cleared it out for myself – I joined Dreamstime not to earn money, but to increase quality of shots I take, to understand if they are good enough.
Lesson 2. Know what designers want.
First download I had was picture of an empty fridge. I couldn’t believe it! I thought it’s the worst and the most useless picture I have in my portfolio. Sometimes it’s really good to feel you were wrong. Conclusion is – you’ll never know what they (designers) want, so take pictures of anything you want! Be creative and you’ll get paid for it.
Lesson 3. Always be ready.
Always keep camera by yourself, be ready to take picture! Compensate lack of equipment by your imagination. Some of shots I have were taken in the bathroom; when I stayed at a hotel this was the place with best lighting (light-colored walls, soft light). For some shots I used paper bag as a background to isolate the item. It’s really great to bring your ideas to life not limiting yourself by set number of accessories you use.
Being good photographer is not about equipment you can buy, it’s all about eyes, hands and imagination you have.