I'm new to stock photography and so far I haven't done photography seriously. It was just a hobby - snap whatever you like looking at or whatever looks beautiful. But since I decided to do it for some income (to buy more equipments, etc), I joined several stock photo sites. But things suddenly become hard as a newbie. You find yourself on the same site as the world's top stock photographer. I was quite discouraged after 4 rejections at first and left for some time.
Then after I came back to take a look, I saw that someone else who had started around the same time as me had 11 sales already. I wondered why he and why not me? Agreed I don't have the equipment he has, but I can do something about it, right? So I learned Photoshop.
After observing some new people on here, I found this site to suit me best. I deleted all other accounts and went exclusive. I'm still getting better - I feel it when I compare my oldest and latest uploads...and it's a good feeling. :)
The rejection list no longer tells me "You're a fool, stop wasting time uploading trash", it just tells me "This is trash because you did it the wrong way, do it another way". And then they get accepted - lesson learned!
Here is why I loved this site as someone newly starting out with serious photography:
- The feature I love MOST is the availability of the EXIF tag for me to take a look at. Whenever I see a photo I can't figure how it was shot, I look at the EXIF and it usually tells me the lighting condition/flash usage or focal lengths and DOF. Helps a lot. I don't have to experiment too long. Just see the EXIF of something similar and experiment closest to those values.
- The second best feature is the comments section. If they don't have an EXIF, I ask in a comment. People explain how they created the photos. If anyone new here thinks you shouldn't ask a big guy with 10,000+ sales because you're a mouse and he's a mammoth, you're wrong. Very nice people here and I have always got a response, a patient one even to foolish questions.
- The favorites list is another good feature. It helps me add someone there and take a look once in a while at their performance and study the stock concept.
- The photo requests section - you MUST look in there often even if you're a newbie. Nothing better than competing with others and selling something of your own even when others offer many variations.
- The message boards have some successful people too. Unlike most sites where there are either totally new people or very highly skilled ones. It creates a gap and sometimes hostile to new guys. Nothing like it here.
So my advice is, if you are new, stick to Dreamstime. The standards aren't ridiculously high and the rejection reasons are explained anyhow. If you have the will to survive here and get the taste of first sale, you're good to go and it becomes an addiction.
Just hang on!
Above are two uploads, one is quite stock oriented and another a really bad one. The lighthouse was one of my first stock type shots. I have no hope of its selling though.