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.
Hi All, I am another "Newbie" and am having loads of fun with taking photos ... even more now that I am uploading and sharing them. I take my inspiration from my boss... Jon Le-Bon who has given me loats of advice on lighting and what to take and not to take. I now have 9 photos approved and countless rejected - but this will not drive me down. I am keen to carr yon and improve and share my newly found skills and ideas. Good Luck Everyone. Steve
Hi, I've been a member here for about a month, have only 6 images, and had a single download. Thanks for the tip, I've tons of editorial shots, and would upload some and see it it works! This, too, is my first comment here, maybe I should be a little more active... thanks again!
Hey Larry. Your welcome. I'm glad this blog was helpful to you. Many have stated in forums in the past that your active participation in Dreamstime does affect your search priority. BTW, your wedding ring photos are great. As your variety of photos increase, the downloads will surely come.
Hi everyone, I have only been with dreamstime for about 4 months with only 72 images online. I really enjoy closeup shots and have been trying some jewelry shots which are very difficult but fun. As of today I still do not have a single download which is very frustrating. So I am taking your advice and will try to participate in more forum talks. This is my first post in the forums because I spend most of my time reading and learning from you guys and gals. I will also try some editorials also. Thanks for the advice.
I also thought that N/A indicated that the buyer found your stuff by browsing, but it turns out that is not necessarily the case. In the original post by Achilles on this feature, it states:
"Also, downloads made through visual search features (such as collections, lightboxes, featured tabs, etc.) will not show anything (but n/a)."
The collection and lightbox ones are interesting to me, as these could still be the result of searches, but ones where the buyer comes back later to make the purchase. So really it is hard to know for sure how many of the N/A entries are the result of browsing.
I still think it is a good idea to make use of the features you suggest to gain exposure, but thought I would pass on this info as well.
Hey Jo - Your welcome. I think continued learning is also a key to stock photography. So one will never stop learning.
Hey Carolyn - I've been submitting more "editorial" related topics for the editorial section, rather than "news worthy" stuff. i.e. stuff that I thought will be useful for editorial things such as travel magazines, tourism information, etc. More iconic stuff that can be used for those situations rather than "event editorials" I hope that helps.
I tried the editorial, too. Unfortunately, it didn't work as well for me as it has for you. Living in Tampa, FL (SuperBowl hosted here), I took some pics of the interior of a local small airport that was going to be having private planes coming in for the Super Bowl. Thought it would be relevant to travel during this special one-time-a-year occasion. Also had a shot of a popular restaurant that had been converted to a Super Bowl Merchandise only store. Reviewers didn't find them "news worthy". That's where I'm really confused on this editorial topic. Your street scenes are gorgeous! But how are they "news worthy"? I don't mean this as a derogatory statement by any means, but rather a question as to "what makes an editorial image newsworthy" enough to be accepted as editorial. I was able to get two outside shots of the stadium accepted. But, overall, I have not had much luck with editorial. Wish there were some sort of more detailed guideline for editorial other than what is already here. You make a very valid point, though. Hey, Ellen, if you read this, maybe you could do one of your wonderful blogs to cover this topic in more detail.
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