All those Myths...

posted on 28th of september, 2013

I love stock photography, my favorite hobby. When I have a chance in my busy life, I go over my photos and look for the "Dreamstime quality" ones that I can submit. Even though I have still a very small portfolio, I try to understand my statistics to find some kind of pattern and hope that my numbers will get better over time.

There are so many Myths I read over the years about how uploading in a constant manner will give you more exposure and more sales, how your acceptance ratio influences your placement in searches, etc.

Well, after increasing my portfolio over 50% in the last three months or so with my acceptance ratio higher than ever and seeing my sales plunge, the revenue per download in a record low, I can be certain that all that theory is wrong.

My conclusion is that the sales are influenced by Seasonal reasons and just "plain luck".

Sorry if I disappoint the theory makers or the hunters of the Holy Grail of stock photography out there, I don't consider myself an expert and I know that my portfolio is too small for any definitive conclusions, but I am convinced that most of the increase exposure advise is just "wishful thinking".

So, I'll keep shooting and increasing my portfolio for the fun of it, hoping that my luck will get better!

Comments (6)

Posted by Bradcalkins on September 30, 2013
There is no question that sub sales are on the rise. I looked back at various dates in the past, and a given set of 20 sales. I routinely had twice as many credit sales back in 2008/2009 than I do now. So I don't disagree with your statement about declining credit sales, but I also maintain that you cannot really draw conclusions on three months of data with a small portfolio. Still, averages only matter to Dreamstime - as photographers we need to evaluate our success or failure based on our own personal results. The fact that others have increased their revenue while yours has declined has no bearing on whether you find the results justify your personal efforts :)
Posted by Jackbluee on September 30, 2013
I've been selling images for just one year. I guess Bead is right. I will wait and see How it goes next year. The problem is the percentage of subscription sales are much higher than a few months ago. It is getting higher each month.
Posted by Vilaimages on September 29, 2013
Glad you joined the discussion Brad, my conclusion comes from six months periods. Three months in a row of having almost only subscriptions is raising a red flag and gets me the feeling that something has changed.
Posted by Bradcalkins on September 29, 2013
How are your year over year results? While uploading in a steady way would be advice I would give, I also find that you can't see any patterns looking at monthly results. For example, I upload a very steady number of images and my current results for September are down from last November. At one glance it looks like I've lost sales over the year despite uploading. Yet in the last 12 months I've earned $5K more than the previous 12 months...

Of course, you could also just be losing ground - but you should make sure you ignore the seasonal changes and look at year over year results.
Posted by Vilaimages on September 29, 2013
It makes sense, 90% of my sales lately are subscriptions. Thanks for the advise.
Posted by Jackbluee on September 29, 2013
Your images are very nice. I had more subscription sales this month than ever before. I think because DT's subscription prices became dirt cheap. I am a buyer too. Because DT's subscription prices were so low, I bought subscription packages too. Photographers should think of moving to the other websites now. Their subscription prices are much higher. I never bought any subscription packages from the other companies.

Comments (6)

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Photo credits: Sergio Vila.

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