I study a portfolio every weekend and I thought I'd share what I study. Not all of it, only some parts of it. I don't pick up images or artists from the editor's choice collection of featured photographers collection either....which means that the portfolios I pick are one of the least likely ones to be noticed by us contributors but they do have a crazy number of sales. Some of you may find this useful.
I choose portfolios based on these points:
- Artists with no message board activity
- With weird photos having unexpectedly high sales
- Artists who didn't use million dollar equipment to shoot their best sellers.
If this helps you, read on...
I studied this portfolio this weekend: Raman Maisei - Portfolio
600 uploads and 11,500+ sales with an average 20 sales/image. Okay, he looks like he's been around here a long time...but still very few people get sales by just being around for long.
First noticeable thing is that he has extremely generic stuff. I sure took notes from those. Especially the color combination he is choosing for the illustrated backgrounds. Here are some generic backgrounds:
The shades of reddish brown (as in wine or coffee) combined with shiny silver or golden colors or details tend to sell best. It probably strikes a good contrast. Gold stands for luxury and reddish brown stands of power and control. Even aggressive or something commanding and authoritative. Of course, more than three quarters of the customers wouldn't have the slightest idea what color stands for what - but it DOES matter a lot. Whenever possible, colors can be employed to make someone buy stuff from you. If you notice the bestseller backgrounds, you'd laugh at how colors and certain patterns totally lure away and enchant customers into buying them and taking them way above level 5. Interesting!
I also noticed that this artist loves copy space. There is space everywhere, even where people would be uncomfortable about putting them. So another thing I learnt is - consider CREATING copy space where it can be possibly done.
Look at the Santa and the balloon. Okay, the balloon is imaginable. But the Santa was a pretty good idea, would never have struck me to make space on the bag.
The use of "shiny" lighting in illustrations is also brilliant. It is a feature that you can add using the dodge tool in Photoshop. The musical notes background image is perfect with the attractive background of soothing blue and the shiny 3D notes. A good image from the psychological point of view.
Look closely and find out more about what made these images sell better than other similar ones. There is so much to learn on a stock photo site when you have all the stats laid bare. Anyone can create a portfolio like this because I don't think there is some very complicated or expensive equipment involved. It is all about just skills...
This latest search preview of DT is being troublesome now because I have to hover mouse pointer over every image to see its level. I wish it could be rolled back. :/
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