The Impossible Dream?

posted on 15th of august, 2017

Today was a milestone for me—10,000 sales. So, I feel like celebrating and sharing my news. In the early years, I never thought it possible to reach such a milestone. It was my impossible dream.

Living a dream is not easy. It takes hard work and perseverance And the nature of the business has changed. But I am still thrilled that every day someone wants to purchase one of my photos. It is exciting to see my images on book covers, in popular travel books, and on important websites.


If you are looking for words of wisdom, I have no magical insights to pass on. Just my personal list of do’s and don’ts that I have developed through my years at Dreamstime. Hopefully it will help.

1. Be patient, it takes time to build a marketable portfolio, and experience significant sales. I saw a shift in sales once I hit 1000 images in my portfolio.

2. Understand what makes a good photograph, and why a photograph has sales potential. A beautiful fine art image will not necessarily sell well. Think in terms of the story you are portraying—the concept you are describing—and what type of buyer you are appealing to.


3. Constantly work to improve how you take and process your images. Learn to be consistent and efficient. This is very important when you are working with a great number of files to upload for sale.

4. Distinguish your images and your brand—develop an identifying style or niche. Do not dilute your brand. It is better to upload fewer high quality images with sales potential then lots of bad images with no potential. Delete the images that are not selling. Keep the clutter down and quality up. Photography may be your passion, but selling images is your business. Treat it like a business.

5. Step outside your comfort zone and diversify. Learn to photograph subjects you have not photographed before. Diversification is important and should bring more buyers. I had never used a large soft box on an off-camera flash or photographed models before coming to Dreamstime. Looking back, I have done very well with sales of images using models, as well as my travel images.


6. Understand how metadata works, and take the time to input it to your strategic advantage on each of your uploaded images. By strategic advantage I mean be careful on your choice and number of key words, understand how “Title” and “Description” work vis-à-vis the search engine. Don’t make your titles too long. Provide a very specific description. You can have the best images in the world but if the images can’t be found, what’s the point of trying to sell them.


7. Our fellow Contributors are a wealth of information. Their eagerness to share is what distinguishes the Dreamstime community. Read their blogs and message boards, even the archives. I read everything when I first got started. That is how I eventually found my way.

8. Have fun. Otherwise, what is the point? You certainly won’t get rich at Dreamstime, although you may make enough to pay for your equipment.

Good luck to all of you! I wish you many milestones☺

Comments (56)

Posted by Udurovf on October 03, 2017
Good article
Posted by Adeliepenguin on October 02, 2017
Again, thank you all so very much.
Posted by Paulst01 on October 01, 2017
Congratulations your image are stunning!
Posted by Jonkio4 on September 20, 2017
congrats :)
Posted by Saryanto on September 17, 2017
Good article.
Posted by Ctmphotog on September 11, 2017
Good article with good advice! Congratulations on this big milestone! Your portfolio is awesome!
Posted by Jam59wil on September 08, 2017
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Posted by Gluestick on August 29, 2017
Awesome article and congrats!
Posted by Adeliepenguin on August 27, 2017
Maen, you have always been my big supporter. Thank you again:) And again:)
Posted by Adeliepenguin on August 27, 2017
I am overwhelmed with the response. Thank you all.
Posted by Anuraa30 on August 26, 2017
Congratulations to you for such a awesome milestone...
Posted by Aenyeth on August 25, 2017
Congratulations! 10k sales is uimaginable number of sales for me, for some reason Dreamstime is quite poor for me in this aspect :)
Posted by Felixbroennimann on August 24, 2017
thank you for this and gratulation! my milestone is 100 pictures :) but i just started, will see what happens :)
Posted by Mani33 on August 24, 2017
You're doing a great job! More milestones to come :)
Posted by Zkzfx5 on August 24, 2017
There is not much talk.
Titles,descriptons,and keywords,even if appropriate,can't be found,or in hundreds of pages.What to do?Listen and teach. Zhaofuxin
Posted by Cacrov on August 23, 2017
Looking at your portfolio, I can definitely see why you hit this milestone. Congratulations, it's a huge one.
Posted by Tonycuesta on August 23, 2017
Congratulations and thank you very much for the advice, I just started I'm lost, thank you from the heart.
Posted by Adeliepenguin on August 21, 2017
Hugoht--it has been forever!! I hope you are well. It looks like you and I are still here, and still selling. I can't believe how quickly the years fly. Thank you for your nice comment. I could say the same about your photos.
Posted by Adeliepenguin on August 21, 2017
Westwoodkuba and Bluwarrior, I hope my tips help you with sales! Thank you.
Posted by Westwoodkuba on August 21, 2017
really useful tips thanks
Posted by Hugoht on August 21, 2017
Amazing job my friend!
Your images are stunning as usual.
Posted by Bluwarrior on August 21, 2017
Congratulations Adelie,for your milsetone and achivement ( and your tips :)
All the best!
Posted by Joliephantasm on August 20, 2017
Enjoyed your photos, they are so beautiful! Congrats on your milestone and thanks for your advise.
Posted by Adeliepenguin on August 20, 2017
Again, thank you all. Yes, Hel080808 it takes time to maintain a portfolio.
Posted by Adeliepenguin on August 20, 2017
Again, thank you all. Yes, Hel080808 it takes time to maintain a portfolio.
Posted by Hel080808 on August 20, 2017
Wow, that's fantastic! Only 1551 photos in your portfolio and 10.000 sales! Congratulations to your great work and outstanding photos! I think I have to delete some photos, but it's not possible to delete a lot in one month.
All the best to you for your future work!
Posted by Madrock24 on August 20, 2017
Thanks for the advices :) Congratulations ;)
Posted by Podichi on August 20, 2017
Nice article
Posted by Nilotpalr on August 19, 2017
Congratulations ! Very inspiring !
Posted by Teyakp on August 19, 2017
Wow! What a photos... Amazing. Congrate for your milestone... :)

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Comments (56)

This article has been read 2578 times. 18 readers have found this article useful.
Photo credits: Adeliepenguin.

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My photographs are my diaries, capturing my travels through life, both literal and metaphoric. Personal Collections (links provided on right side of page): Wildlife Forces of Nature People Wine Country and Vineyards Antarctic, Arctic South America & Central America, Mexico Europe, Asia, Africa California US except California Wanderings: Generic Concepts Managed Collections: National Parks of the World

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