Neirfy, won our musical contest so now it is time for her prize to take form.
“I love the forest image too (for its depth and color, it feels like 3D-image), Kutt replies, and also the rocket
Martine looks at Kutt saying “You know, I love the rocket too, it’s spectacular because the shot was taken from so low, if she would do the same with her models the images would be much more dynamic”
Marius, looking at the portfolio with the keen eye of an editor who has seen thousands of pictures, says “I believe that she has a decent portfolio for a photographer that it is taking pictures as a hobby. Looking at the first and last 200 submissions, I can see improvements of composition (for travel photography) and lighting (for isolated objects).”
Viorel is pondering things and gives his verdict “I like her portfolio, it gives me an optimistic feeling. Travel photos are nice, well lit, well composed, but she should try to be more selective with her submissions (one good photo with Trakai Castle should have been enough, instead of four, and as a proof- only the best one was sold until now).”
At this point we have pretty much established what we do like about Neirfy’s portfolio and Ioana asks everyone to take a few minutes and put out on the table what she can improve and, more important, how she can do that.
After another brain stormig session this is what the team came up with:
- Travel photos - most of the shots are 'standing man standard perspective'. Try different angles, panoramas, BW conversions etc.
Use the model more often, and definitely look for more people shots. 3 models are a bit too few. Don’t take only portraits, but go for more people in action images.
- Combining people images with the travel locations can be a great new venue. Either way, more people images with better composition and better lighting. Use at least a reflector when shooting outdoor portraits.
- From what I've reviewed recently, there are some lighting and white balance issues. Use a gray card to correct the WB of the images.
- In architecture shots, very often you have to compensate for the lens distortions. I'm not speaking of focus falloff, but barrel distortions mostly. Open the image in PS, make a free transform and confidently drag those upper corners apart. Even moderate transformation will do good for the overall effect. Unless you purposefully wish to display the sense of perspective and vastness of the building, like when standing in front of a church or skyscraper and pointing upwards. Always check that your horizon is level. Avoid mid-day shoots with drop shadows, also dull and gray weather will not do.
- Put the models into some context, they do not sit on a chair all day, do they? Follow them around, perceive what they do and how and where. Which activities would be useful to capture and fun. Experiment with light and movement - when chasing or being chased by a child, there should be fun and action in the image, motion blur, but only in the moving background, etc. If you work at home this would provide you a lot of opportunities by just watching your family go along with their activities at home...
- Analyze your own portfolio once in a while, and see what sells, what is interesting (many views), but for some reason does not sell that well (few downloads). You'll see, that the most popular images are those with good or even innovative lighting, and with people in them. People occupied with activities. Strong feelings, good backgrounds (blurry enough to enable the subjects to stand out), abstract enough to be able to illustrate a multitude of concepts.
- Especially with buildings/architecture, watch your horizon and verticals. Straighten them, or go diagonally all the way. No in-betweens :)
- Many of your images have leading lines which give a nice feel of depth. Try to optimize those lines by starting them from the corners as much as possible without looking unnatural, like you did in the image on the right. Small investment, large gain!
- Take care to choose the subject of your image and compose the image around that by, e.g. using the rule of thirds. Often that way you will end up with some natural looking copy space as well as a more appealing image.
Exploit/bribe the kid! Great model you have there!Use the three models in a session, there are endless family concepts. Both the park and beach locations could be visited for lots of happy, playing family interactions with these three models.
You need to be less shy composition-wise. Food shots could be more elaborated rather than depicting single subjects over white; most of the architecture shots lack dynamics and dramatics, ie. too many verticals and horizontals.
Browse through our categories and subcategories and find more subjects to explore in order to diversify your portfolio
Eye contact is important in stock images but some exceptions can be made when the situation requires it.
More punctual examples:
Update: Another important aspect of your portfolio with direct effect on your sales is the keywording. While your keywording is good on the overall, you may want to check some misspelled titles. The titles are very important for the search algorithm and we recommend users to check spellings with online dictionaries when in doubt. Also, a few titles tend to be quite long and this may influence the search relevancy and ranking. The average number of keywords recommended per title is five. A few irrelevant keywords appear here and there for some of your images. Not only are they annoying but they also affect the image ranking in searches so the best thing is to get rid of them as soon as possible.
Taking a final look at your portfolio, you are off to a good start and diversifying with varied subjects, different angles and creative lighting will rise you to the top.
It’s been a a great, fun experience for the editors of Dreamstime to analyze your portfolio and we hope you will have something to learn from this.