As I reach 24 accepted photos on Dreamstime I feel like I’ve climbed Mont Blanc. I set out with my little 350D a year or so ago and thought, ‘this will be easy; point, shoot, submit and perhaps earn a fortune.’ In reality I have faced raging storms (of frustration) and avalanches (of rejects). And of course, my Mont Blanc of 24 photos has turned out to be a mere mole hill. Forget the fortune though, my overriding motivation has been that I love taking photos. Which leads me to something I want to share. As I slowly gained my photography skills, I developed something of an obsession with taking what I thought of as ideal stock photos. I bought myself a light box and flashes and set about trying to isolate all manner of frankly dull objects on pristine white backgrounds. Many hours evaporated in my kitchen-cum-studio with tables and chairs rearranged, sheets pinned to walls and so on, all to the extreme annoyance of my girlfriend. Further countless hours evaporated with me in front of my laptop trying to edit out the various flaws and defects resulting from my poor photography and limited, cheap equipment.
After a while I got bored and stopped taking photos. My 350D sat in a draw gathering dust for a couple of months. One or two of my photos had been accepted, but somehow I had lost interest. Here are two of my more succesful attempts:
It was only when travelling to Japan a few weeks ago that that I found myself shooting again at every opportunity. It was automatic, a reflex; I just couldn’t help myself. So I have come to a conclusion. I’m not a professional (yet). It’s a hobby. I do it for fun. Therefore if a shot takes me more than a few minutes to set up, or if I have other things to do, or the photo is getting in the way of things, then forget it! More opportunities will come by and I will always have my beloved camera to hand. And if as a result my photos are more for art and my own pleasure than stock, then so be it. Afterall I always have my own website to showcase these (hiblaze.comuf.com)
But that won’t stop me from submitting and learning from Dreamstime comments and grinning each time I have an accepted shot. I’ll just be a happier photographer!
Never give up, Dreamstime is an useful tool to learn photography, know people, and earn a little amount of money. In my experience, the things changed since I became an exclusive photographer for DT. So, take it easy, it's just an hobby, don't get frustrated if some of your images haven't been accepted.. you're not the only one..
I think there are many of us here who can relate to your experiences. Although you only have a small portfolio so far, you have a good variety of images, so keep adding. I'm still a small fish but each month it keeps improving and I get excited when I turn my computer on and see that I've had new sales.
The fun easy stuff doesn't sell unless it's a blockbuster. No snapshots of your kids, sunsets or common stuff silhouetted. The pros have already done that and better than you could. Goes for flowers and semi sexy shots of your girlfriend. The hard to produce, creative idea stuff will sell. Also, if you own a modeling agency, you'll have an easier time of it. Cameras don't matter that much if you're careful. I've sold lots of shots taken with my point and shoot Canon S95. So, go out and shoot, throw it on the wall ( Dreamstime ) and see what sticks!
Nice story on your feelings, and experience ;) I am new on DT,loaded my first images last week.Only 14 accepted,but I take it as a hobby... It is a nice feeling though when a photo is sold,sold one very quickly on DT,I think less than 24 hours after it was online. At the moment I do not have the right equipment,started with compacts and now a bridge. I think patience is the name of the game,and do not force yourself to take shots....... You have nice photos on your portfolio,keep up the good work!
I think you have been reading my mind too! 147 accepted.. almost 400 rejected! but wow.. they looked good on facebook! *L* if you shoot what you love and enjoy doing it,, then its worth it no matter what. My bf complains when i go to the same beach near his place over and over summer winter spring... he says its the same! but its not.. the day the clouds the people the water the light.. and I love that place. keep shooting and get excited about it.. if you have to stop because you are burned out then do so. but its in our blood and we have to do what we love
Ditto on DT being good about explaining rejections. I tried a lot of agencies when I first started and they would just reject without any reasons given. As far as "usefulness for stock" this comes with time, learning to see like a buyer. Also I suggest to all newbies, don't be afraid of taking photos of people. Start with yourself if need be. I've sold several ridiculousness photos of myself. It took me a long time to get up the nerve for people shots but it pays off. You can create a lot of great images in a short time with models and get your portfolio numbers up to the point of consistent sales.
I also share your same experiences and have 29 accepted photos at this point, but am enjoying the 'challenge' of finding interesting subjects to shoot, and then figuring out how to take exceptional photos of them. Keep enjoying what you're doing and maybe the financial aspect will improve in time :)
Thanks for the comments! I came to the conclusion that ultimately, the best way - and most satisfying way to acheive something is also to enjoy it and have fun. One of the things that set Dreamstime apart from other agencies for me, is that their feedback on rejections are genuinely useful. I may grumble for a bit, but once I get over that I usually end up thinking, hmm actually they have a point - next time I'll do things differently!
You are reading my mail. :D I too have been in a learning process, sooo many rejections, on and off inspirations, but I love my camera, taking pictures, DT, finding where my images are being used, and the people on this site. I'm hooked!! I loved your blog, thank you. Your future looks great!!
I had a look at the photos on your web site and I think you surely could find a good way to upload acceptable photos on DT. Like you, I had also a complicated story before to discover my way to upload images on DT. You cold see this story on:
Hi Peanutroaster. Every time I get a photo rejected, I learn someting - I've probably learnt more this way than all most any other. My first lesson was indeed to upgrade my lens - I now have a Tamron 17 - 50 f2.8 which I love, it's very crisp. The main reasons for a lot my rejections have been issues around usefullness for stock, for example photos being too tightly cropped, and also poor lighting in some of my studio attempts. I've also discovered that trying the more complex processing in photoshop such as splicing images/swapping skies around etc lead to rejections - but I think if I practice that I should eventually get the hang of it. I completely agree that the only way I'll learn and improve is to keep on taking.
Have you figured out a trend in the rejections? Camera equipment or bad subjects? Noise, lens quality, post processing? More shooting leads to more learning which leads to better seeing which leads to higher volume of acceptable stock but if the equipment lets you down it might be time to upgrade. I ditched my kit lens when it kept producing images with lens fringe.
This article has been read 1250 times. 1 readers have found this article useful. Photo credits: Kim Deadman.
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