For those just starting out in stock photography, you know there are a lot of frustrating hurdles to overcome before it becomes rewarding. But one of the most frustrating things for me is how on earth is my small portfolio going to stand up against the thousands and thousands of photos? How on earth is the designer going to find my photo in the search engine? For most of us newbies our portfolio exposure is less than 1%.
One way is of course to have relevant keywords for your photo. Another is to participate actively in forums and writing blogs that are useful. Another is to submit to DT assignments. And of course there is always upload like crazy and hopefully your portfolio will have more exposure based on numbers. These are definitely ways to get some exposure. But there is another way that may give you even more exposure than any of the above mentioned that you might have not thought of...
What I found personally is about half of my downloads do not have a keyword associated with the download. Which means in many cases that the designer or buyer happened to buy my photo by just browsing through by portfolio. I think newbies have an advantage in this way over larger portfolios since it doesn't really take much time for the buyer to look through a small portfolio. So if your portfolio is small but the photos are of high quality, then as long as the buyer finds your portfolio, there is a likelihood of him/her looking through your entire portfolio and potentially buying a photo.
As I go through my portfolio, I find a pretty interesting trend. The photos with the most views seem to be Editorial photos. And the ones that get the most views the quickest is also editorial photos. More views translates to more exposure. And if you do produce a significant editorial photo, it may actually be placed on the homepage on DT which will give you even more exposure.
So here is my tip for newbies, go out and try to produce some editorial photos as well. Although editorial photos are not a broad in terms of audience and usage as RFs, it definitely will increase your portfolio exposure much easier than any other means.
The last photo on this blog is a photo of the streets of Shinjuku. I've had this photo online since Jan 30/09 and it already has 309 views as of when I wrote this blog.
If this strategy is working for you, please comment on this blog to help other newbies.