It's one thing to sit down and think of ideas to submit for stock, but I see a lot of people taking the same approach as I do: We mainly shoot what we know. Specifically, we work within our comfort level and skillset. I don't have a studio nor do I have access to models so I generally revert to do the same types of images. Keeping your portfolio growing is a challenge if you're going to continue in the same rut.
I can do studio-type shots but it's a pain to try; I don't have backdrops, I don't have the proper lighting, etc. It doesn't stop me but it also makes me lazy. I think of an idea and I put it on the back shelf because of the effort required.
So that got me to thinking; what can I do that is beyond the norm but much more manageable to accomplish? The thought process got me to break down the...
I do not yet have any accepted images. All 40 or so have been rejected for various reasons. I have to keep my chin up although I have been shooting over 45 years. i've won photo contests and state fair ribbons. What advice does anyone have other tahn to keep submitting?
Reason One: Competition. DreamsTime is saturated with images and the deluge of new images covering the same topics continues to keep coming in. Multiply that over all the other stock agencies and there is little chance for your images to sell. At least often enough to make it worthwhile.
Reason Two: Even if you produce top-notch stuff, the ever-growing and saturated database is going to prevent you from being discovered. Great keywording isn't going to matter. It would be considered fantastic placement if your image came up on page nine out of 500, but how often do buyers actually get past the first three pages of search results? The best stock images will never sell if they are not found.
Reason Three: You need professional grade equipment. Minimal bare-bones lighting equipment can cost $2000....
I like your thinking! Royalty free microstock is not an industry you can make an income from that is worthy of your time input! It might be good for some supplementary income out of your passion, but you will struggle to make returns that meet your cost and time input, let alone make profit! Even one hour in post production to remove trademarks from an image has to be worth at least U$40 worth in time. To cover this time you would need 80 down loads at 50c a download and that's only to cover your post production time! It is for enthusiast's seeking to help pay for their passion, being very selective in what they submit! Professionals desire income from royalties they can estimate!
Great blog - love it! Sums up everything I'm learning to like about stock photography!
My basic 2.5 year old DSLR camera Vs other people's monsters, basic photography skills Vs. professional photographers, no free time Vs. people who do this for a living, tiny amount of images Vs millions of others taken by said photographers with said hardware.......yet people still find my images and see them worthy of their $0.42 subscription price tag!
The challenge is huge.....but that's why we like it!
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My greatest passion is landscape and fine art photography. However, stock does provide a challenge in itself. I enjoy coming up with new ideas and concepts and learning new techniques. In the end, each compliments the other. The things you learn from one can apply for another and you grow with the craft. I have over 30 years experience with different kinds of art and freelance endeavors and have yet to become tired or bored with finding new ways to exercise the creative side of me. Thank you for visiting my profile and I hope your time here will be a reward in itself. I am located in Wisconsin, USA.
My collections:Farm and Country Living
Surreal and Dreamlike
Fall Colors and Waterfalls
If there is anything Wisconsin-related that you have a special need for, just ask! I would be glad to accommodate.
My greatest passion is landscape and fine art photography. However, stock does provide a challenge in itself. I enjoy coming up with new ideas and concepts and learning new techniques. In the end, each compliments the other. The things you learn from one can apply for another and you grow with the craft. I have over 30 years experience with different kinds of art and freelance endeavors and have yet to become tired or bored with finding new ways to exercise the creative side of me. Thank you for visiting my profile and I hope your time here will be a reward in itself. I am located in Wisconsin... [Read more]
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