Build Your Brand

posted on 25th of november, 2008

Dreamstime success depends on many factors beyond an exciting and diverse portfolio. Building a reputation for a particular style or special subject niche creates a ‘brand’. As designers become familiar with your work, they will seek out your images by searching first within your portfolio.

In short, you want to develop a specialty, especially one that is easily recognizable and not widely covered by others. For example, without thinking, I know immediately where to go on Dreamstime for conceptual images of penguins. How do you develop a group of images that can be considered a niche collection? Ask yourself what you do best and what you have access to. Perhaps you ski; obviously you know something about winter sports and have access to friends that participate. Decide to devote a large block of time one winter to developing your connections and skills shooting skiing and related materials. Then continually update your images in order to grow your brand. Or pick a more esoteric subject based on your unique interests or career outside of photography.

Once you have developed a niche, you need to build awareness of your brand among the members. There are several tools on Dreamstime to help you get your images out in front of buyers to enhance your reputation. The main thing you need to do is to become an active part of the community. Participate in the forums with positive encouragement and advice. Write useful blogs to increase your name recognition.

Not only do you want your user name to become a household word in our community, you want to show up on the home page if possible. One way is to participate in the assignments. Everyone wins when they get images accepted into an assignment: the image and your name get great visibility as people review the images throughout the weeks that the assignment is active. If your image is a winner, it and your user name will be on the home page for a week or more.

Another way to help yourself and the community is to donate images to the ‘free’ section. I’ve heard some ask why they should give their work away. Actually there are several reasons: consider the free section a place where young designers or others with small budgets can become acquainted with your work. It is also a place that can lead a user directly to your portfolio. If the free image catches a designer’s fancy, she may continue on to look at your full portfolio. Think of the free section as one of the oldest forms of advertising: the free sample. Finally remember the old adage: If you want something, give it away.

Dreamstime remains true to our goal of being a peer-to-peer based community. Those that give most to the community stand a much better chance of getting what they need from it. To honor past assignment participants, all the images for this blog have been previous assignment contributions…and not even necessarily winners. Nice!

© Eprom (Help)

I’ve kept to a winter/holiday theme again this week as Thanksgiving in the U.S. kicks off the holiday party season. Why the birdhouses and sock picture? No reason except the bird houses are holiday red and the stocking feet look like ‘Baby, it’s cold outside!” As for the penguin brand guy mentioned above, if you don't already know him go here to find him

Happy Thanksgiving to those in the U.S.

Comments (24)

Posted by Johoden on January 29, 2009
Really like your blog,Im finding my way here and your helpful advice is a great help.
Posted by Magsellen on December 17, 2008
found this very intresting thanks
Posted by Nicemonkey on December 07, 2008
As usual Ellen, great read with some interesting comments
Posted by Linqong on December 07, 2008
Great article!
This is a very good suggestion!
Posted by Diver721 on December 05, 2008
WOW Great advise. I haven't any free images, but I understand why I need them. I will start putting some free images in my portfolio. Nice blog Ellen thanks.
Posted by Ellenboughn on December 05, 2008
Thanks, LittleMACProductions, for your kind words. My greatest fear these days is that one day I will run out of things to write about!
Posted by Littlemacproductions on December 04, 2008
Ellen, I don't know how you do it but you always have an interesting and useful blog. I am glad DT "found" you and snatched you up! Keep up the good work. Eti
Posted by Tipareth on December 03, 2008
Thank you, for your creative ideas... I've also thought about developping a speciallity however I've been undecised... I really need to brainstorm this and put in practice! :-)
Posted by Zumaandme on December 02, 2008
Ellen, your advices are a matter of course, sometimes someone like you must tell someone like me to remind them.Thanks for your great helps!
Posted by Nicemonkey on November 30, 2008
Great article, I like the stock industry (unlike many others walks of like) because people are always willing to share information.
Posted by Aughty on November 28, 2008
Hey Ellen,
Love your articles, very imforative.

Hope your Thanksgiving Day was great.
Posted by Knightshade on November 28, 2008
Hi Ellen, thanks for the advice. I'm new to this whole stock photo thing and don't have many uploads yet but hope to soon. All the advice you can give is appriciated.
Posted by Photostar73 on November 28, 2008
I liked very much this article.
I was trying to create for me a "niche" on fashion shoes... and now i'm more emcouraged than before.
Thank you!
Posted by Del69 on November 28, 2008
Hi Ellen.

Good reading as usual as with all your Blogs.

Posted by Ellenboughn on November 28, 2008
Today in the US is Thanksgiving...so I want to thank all of you for your very kind and supportive comments!
Posted by Py2000 on November 27, 2008
hi! Can you tell me how can I donate images to the "free" section? Thank you.

This message thread may help you:

How to submit free images?
Posted by Justmeyo on November 27, 2008
I readied all your blogs article till now but i never let you a comment till now...and i wanna to thank you for teaching us how to sell our photos and how to become good photographers.Your article its very useful,Gabriel
Posted by Genielamb on November 27, 2008
I am new here and find your blogs to be so interesting and full of such great advice. Thank you so much.
Posted by Agdar on November 27, 2008
hi! Can you tell me how can I donate images to the "free" section? Thank you.
Posted by Littledesire on November 27, 2008
I was looking the hole penguin guy' portfolio and almost forgot to say: Thank you Ellen for the great blog! Waiting for the next!
Posted by Marilynv on November 27, 2008
Lots of good advice, I like the way you write! Thanks Ellen!

Best regards,
Posted by Cleaper on November 26, 2008
Nice blog Ellen thanks. I agree that brand recognition is an essential part of the marketing strategy...I just hope that I can develop my skills enough to build my own niche!!
Posted by Madartists on November 26, 2008
Thanks for using my image Ellen. I always appreciate your articles and how you integrate images into them to get your messages across :)
Posted by Marilyngould on November 26, 2008
This is a great blog with sound business advice, not only for photographers but also for anyone wishing to become successful in their field of choice! Thank you and best wishes to you and yours as well.

Comments (24)

This article has been read 4876 times. 7 readers have found this article useful.
Photo credits: Gianna Stadelmyer, Carlosphotos, Elkeflorida, Eprom, Lightkeeper, Eti Swinford, Madartists, Isabel Poulin.

About me

I have written a about microstock photography released in 2010. I was the Director of Content at Dreamstime for two years ending in Feb, 2009. You can order my book from amazon via my website at www.ellenboughn.com/blog.

Bainbridge Island, US

April (1)
January (1)

Stock Photography that BLOGS!

Interact, make friends, share tips and techniques, have fun. Dreamstime wants your ideas and thoughts whether you are a photographer, designer or regular user. Create a blog to tell your story, promote favorite images and photographers, post tutorials or simply exchange opinions with your with fellow dreamstimers.

Don't forget words and pictures go great together so make sure you choose some Dreamstime favorite pics to brighten your article. For inspiration, check out the hottest or the most useful blogs on the left.

Create a blog to tell your story, promote favorite stock images and photographers

Create your blog

My favorite articles


More favorite articles

Related image searches

brand build reputation portfolio speciality