This is my first blog and first post ever published anywhere on internet and it's just because I think I have some great tips for all new stock photographers such as myself. First of all, I would like to say few things about myself because later you'll see why is that important.
I always liked photography, made fine photos with every little camera that I had, but never been truly satisfied. Maybe it was because first I went to wrong high school, then pretty nonprofitable faculty, finished everything, got a job, quit job, got married, had 2 kids and maybe still I wouldn't do the thing I love the most (with a chance of earning some money) if there wasn't my husband who looked at me one day few months ago while I was trying to get perfect photo of my kids: Do you want a good camera to do that??? And there it was..perfect question at perfect time! Of course I want a good, a great camera to do that!!!!
I always wanted but somehow always something else was in the way...after lot of research I got my very first beautiful NIKON D5200, and after studying what are the options with it I decided to become stock photographer. Totally new in this I knew this is my way...I read lot of blogs, lot of forums, articles, watched youtube from night to night (because this is my time when everybody is asleep) and enjoyed so much in learning new cool stuff...and then I started shooting!!!
I was confused what to shoot, but after I put the first scene new ideas were running so fast through my mind that I had to start writing them all. And then this is what happened and also these are my tips for everyone who is new at this:
1. read forums, articles, blogs from photographers all around the world - you WILL learn a lot about your camera, stock agencies, photoshop, light etc.
2. watch youtube videos about ANYTHING you want to know because someone has already been there, done that and took a video of it, describing in every little detail of that matter.
3. spend some time ALONE with your camera just to get every single information it wants to show you.
4. start taking pictures (I first started with objects and food in lightbox with 3 LED reflectors because it seemed so easy, but IT IS NOT!!! But I enjoyed every second because the next shoot was always better than last one and that is how I got my self-confidence higher. And also I started with lightbox because the night is the only part of the day that I have it to myself entirely).
5. go outside (then after a month I went outside with my camera and took some really really good photos and realised that I can do both, which made me very happy because I'm always out with my kids and I thought I could never do both at same time, but I surprised myself very nice) because the world is out there, there is always interesting scene to shoot, lot of beautiful things in outdoors no matter what kind: city, village, mountain, buildings, beach, park, roads every single thing could be a potential great photo.
6. include people and imagine scene, if you need write them because you can't remember all - at least I can't because I take my kids with myself and that's why I have to be quick while the baby is sleeping in a stroller and a toddler is still fine with the game I created for her ( of course, for start use your own people: family, relatives, friends, kids and of course GET THE RELEASES SIGNED! You will be surprised how many people actually wants to be in your photo and want to help you with no payments attached).
7. get the basics of photoshop and start editing your photos.
8. sign up on what every micro stock agency site you want and
9. start uploading your photos and after you are done, START AGAIN FROM THE START!!! FROM THE VERY 1. TIP I WROTE - because after you upload a photo you will know a lot more then you did before and you will probably want to fix something and to learn more, and try to upload every day, that's how you will always be among the NEWEST in the search engine what will lead buyers to your portfolio.
For the end of this pretty long my first post THE MOST IMPORTANT TIP is probably:
DON'T GIVE UP!
So what if your file got rejected, you see the reasons, study them, make another photo without them and that's it. Ok, your approval rate is important too, but if you don't upload your work you'll never know if you are doing it right. So, shoot, upload and do it again from start.
If I can do it (at the age of 33 finding my way, with one 3,5 toddler and 10 months baby, with everything what a day is bringing as a housewife) then I think everyone can! It would be great to have the biggest support from your closest as I have because when sale started happiness was just small word for the feeling that I had and you WILL need someone to share with, even in 3 am. Sales are small, but it will rise as you go.
That would be all for the first time and I hope I've given good tips.
Best of luck,
Nikkor 50 mm 1.8g
Nikkor 18-105 mm
Thank you for your article :) I had a history similar to yours (not with the kids :D but as someone who loves photos and buy a D5200) I love making photos and I am now having nice money from Dreamstime. As an exclusive photographer I receive 175 dollars on this month (2014 may). And I already buy a ticket to europe (I live in Brazil) and buy many things with Dreamstime income. It's a great money because It works for me as a money from my hobby that allow me do real things. You said quite many right things, above all when you say about refused files, I think this is the best way to learn when they refuse because they explain and you can know how good the image must to be.
Thanks to all of you and I'm really glad if I helped a little bit...next I'll write something about equipment for newbies cause I spent lot of time researching before I bought mine and I would like to share that information with all of you...see you soon!
Thank you all for great and supporting comments...I really appreciate every word...I hope someday I'll be in your place giving support to someone else. And the equipment that I have is: Nikon D5200,lenses Nikkor 50mm 1.8g and Nikkor 18-105 mm - for all this I paid 1090 euros in February this year and now I see that D5200 is on sale here in Serbia. I chose 18-105 instead of kit lens 18-55mm because I read about both and wanted better. I also have lightbox with 3 led reflectors (I couldn't find lights of 5000 -5500K so I bought LED reflectors with 6500K temperature color and I do have troubles with isolating on white because I always get some blue or purple color, so I have to spend more time editing these kind of photos), Bilora tripod, very cheap but very good one. I'm pretty satisfied with everything, especially with lens 50mm, photos are beautiful with it, I always use this one in lightbox and for my kids. And I hope in time I will get some greater zoom because what I want to zoom...(More)
Well you've done 100 x better than I did at the start and your portfolio is already impressive. When I started 4 years ago there were 8 million images on the DT database now its about 23 million and consequently it is more difficult to sell............. why ? competition is fiercer. I am just approaching 2950 images but it is clear you will get there very quickly. Your husband and children are ready made models............ all partners don't cooperate ! David
Thanks a lot Msalena...yes, I am...and I'm also very positive about everything, so that's how I know it WILL pay off. Many people give up after 2 months and small number of excepted files thinking the sale isn't quite good, but the sales comes after more and more great photos, and you need an experience for that...until then, I'm just enjoying in doing what I like and spending my (little) free time to learn new things and feel great about myself...
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