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Holly Kuchera

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Everything posted by Holly Kuchera

  1. No captive animals? I can for sure state that's not true. Sea World? Probably cause it is a listed restriction - https://www.shutterstock.com/contributorsupport/articles/kbat02/Known-Image-Restrictions-Places-and-Landmarks-North-and-South-America: Known Image Restrictions - Places and Landmarks - North and South America SeaWorld Marine mammal parks with locations in Florida, California, and Texas Owned by Busch Entertainment Corporation Images from the parks (including animals, shows, and attractions) are unacceptable for commercial use Acceptable for editorial use with a proper caption Shows and performances within the park require press credentials
  2. I never knew the phrase "Sales come. Sales go." could be so literal. Time to get out and photograph something vs waiting for the system to stabilize!
  3. I use it all; flag, star, collection and color label. Flag to mark as "might be good for stock" Star: 1-3 = mediocre (not for stock), 4-5 (use for stock, 5's first then 4's if want/need more) Collection: Best illustrated by attached image Color label: blue = personal work done, green = stock work done, grey = ready to process, red = pano/hdr material As you can see, I have lots of collections I cycle through so I'm not submitting all the same kinds of images at the same time. In addition, the "MN Wildlife Stock" collections are broken down into species/shooting session. And yes, I've got a bit of a backlog (2015!)
  4. Today is so dead - both on my account and my husband's I suspect there is an issue with sale reporting. We NEVER get days like this, both on the same day, without mitigating circumstances (holiday, weekend).
  5. Awww. But they are so cute when little
  6. Yes, SS does the heavy lifting for us, but why would it hurt to promote yourself in social media? I have links to all my microstock sites on Facebook and on my company website. I used to post "just sold" or milestone posts on Facebook as well until I decided it was becoming annoying to my regular followers. Now I only publish personal images that do not end up on stock. Somehow I've managed to find a following. I get requests every few months for images via Facebook and my company website and usually point buyers to the microstock sites. If you've got the time and inclination, promote yourself. If you need to build out your portfolio more, do that. Trying for qality images, positive forum posts and some social media coverage seem to have worked for me.
  7. I would tend to agree with you, Sari
  8. I think the idea of not submitting multiple shots of the same object means don't put up 20 shots of the EXACT same object in almost the EXACT same position. I try very hard to make my images varied - different positions, angles, moods, etc. I often sell images of the same wolf in several different positions within a day. I'm guessing this is a designer (or artist looking for reference photos) searching their options. As for quick sales as a newbie; I wouldn't know. I was a newbie 13 years ago and don't much remember those heady days of microstock. I do know that new images are very VERY briefly seen first by buyers and that may be why they sell and then die off. All I can suggest, if you are looking to make anything on images is to build up a quality portfolio (don't worry about quantity, that will come in time) and hopefully attain a following. I think that is what has happened with me. Posting positive threads on the forums helps - putting links out in the Internet world helps. As for my having better equipment and being a better photographer - I certainly didn't start there. It's taken time, patience and listening to critiques for me to learn my how to approach my passion (wildlife) and stock photography has enabled me to get the better equipment.
  9. If you go by definition: pro·fes·sion·al 1. relating to or connected with a profession. 2. (of a person) engaged in a specified activity as one's main paid occupation rather than as a pastime. So... do I earn a living at microstock? No. Is it my "main paid occupation". Yes. Should we worry about mediocre images stripping sales from better images? No. Good designers will take the time to buy the best image they can find. Bad designers don't stay designers for long. And, those mediocre images can serve the purpose of examples of what a bad photo is - and there are people who buy them (or steal them) specifically for that purpose.
  10. True. That has always been the premise of SS. But, in my opinion, spending a lot of time agonizing over getting an image approved just so you can say "Hey, it's approved and people can look at it." is the premise of photo sharing sites or camera clubs. Most of us that are on microstock are in it because we love photography and are trying to earn some $$ from that passion. In the end you simply get out what you put in. Good luck to you on your future endeavors. And now I really need to get back to work processing my pet snapshots....
  11. Come back in a year to let us know how well it's selling.
  12. If that's your attitude and opinion, good luck to you. Just trying to give you 18 years of stock wildlife photography experience and 25 years of photography experience.
  13. Before going on the idea that commenters don't know what they are talking about, take a look at what you are up against. https://www.shutterstock.com/search?searchterm=deer+woods&search_source=base_search_form&language=en&page=1&sort=popular&image_type=photo&measurement=px&safe=true Buyers want natural looking images, but they more-so want natural looking images they can use. You need to learn what SS will accept and go with that. I have plenty of shots like yours that are great, but are put in the "personal use" area cause I don't see the point in spending hours trying to make them okay for stock. (And before you look at my gallery and say "But all your wildlife images are in controlled situations!" Not all of them are. And the ones that are captive animals, they are still doing their own thing which is impossible to control, plus weather conditions are whatever happens the day I am shooting. Too bright? Wait or too bad. Too dark? Up the ISO and hope for the best.)
  14. I have no doubt they did. And canvas material and stretcher material and most importantly, paints! (Damn Art History minor)
  15. 28% less than last April. 127% up from last month. $$ - 30% Subs, 36% On Demand, 10% Enhanced (1), 24% Single & Other
  16. I do have some in my portfolio though...
  17. Not on stock 'cause it's not good enough, but I still like it
  18. Strange as it might sound, it might be the wallpaper that's causing the rejection. Try submitting the black and white - especially if it looks like Laurin's version. I think of this cause a while back I got an image of a telephone operator's board with chair rejected due to "intellectual". If it had been a property release needed rejection I would have shrugged, accepted it and let it simply sell on other sites. The intellectual rejection got me searching the image for anything I might have missed - the only thing I found ... a rug with a design under the chair.
  19. I just got dinged for a similar shot submission: The attached image (_H107610-Edit.jpg) was rejected - my initial thought was "Whaaa? and then I browsed through shots I had already submitted and thought "Oh. Okay. Justified." The way I process groups of same subject images is 2 from the front of the pile and 2 from the end of the pile. If images are similar I bypass them to process and submit at another time. I try not to get images this close in similarity during my initial selects, but sometimes they slip through. I fully accept this rejection as I should have caught how close the two images were at some point in my process. Now if it were a winter image rejected because it was a wolf head shot (looking right, ears forward, etc etc) I'd have to disagree. The funny part is that I submitted a bunch of cougar kitten shots in this same batch that I thought "might" get dinged for similarity. They all went through Long story short - you can have similar images - just don't let them be too close in similarity.
  20. Aaaaannnddd... it gets shadier. Got a letter today from my lawyer "friend" stating that he should have told me he was contacted by another photographer (I'll call him P) who had communicated with me last year (true - the P and I did exchange emails in which I basically told him I wasn't interested in chasing down illegal users of my images). The lawyer listed off a bunch of "why we are greatest law firm" plus a number of "world-class, best in the world" photographers P had represented (none of which I've ever heard of). At the end of the 2nd page of the 3 page letter is the meat of the .... dare I say it? ... scam. "[P] has authorized me to discuss two approaches with Tortoise Productions. The first option is that he serve as an agent of Tortoise Productions (or the copyright owner), identify apparent copyright infringements, and, with the assistance of this law firm, contact the infringers, and negotiate a license agreement. The agreement typically consists of a retroactive license, in some instances a limited prospective license, and the payment of a license fee. The copyright owner would retain the largest share of the revenue and maintain ownership and control of the copyright." (ooh, sounds good, doesn't it?) "The second option is that [P] purchase from Tortoise Productions (or the copyright owner) the copyright in several photographs. [P] is will to pay in the neighborhood of $10,000 to $15,000 per image to acquire the copyrights in these photographs." (oooh, money money - I should jump right on this right?) The scary part is that the lawyer goes on to say his son is coming to work in MN and he would be happy to meet with me during one of his fatherly visits and discuss. The letter was sent to my home address. So... I'm irate and spooked at the same time. I told [P] enough times to bugger off. I've simply ignored this lawyer guy. My gut feeling is to stay the course and continue to ignore them both. If the lawyer guy shows up on my doorstep, I'll probably be calling the cops. I know I'll be told to contact the lawyer and tell him "No, thank you." But neither of these guys seem to get that I'm not interested. And if anyone has gotten this far in this post, congratulations and thank you...
  21. 6.14 is the last perpetual update for Lightroom (http://blogs.adobe.com/lightroomjournal/2017/12/6-14-now-available-last-perpetual-update-of-lightroom.html) Here we use both LR CC (Classic) and LR6.14 because we technically have 3 seats - 2 desktop computers plus a laptop which gets used when we travel. LR 6.14 works on the laptop cause any editing we do on the road is usually minimal and quick. Until we get different cameras and need native camera raw, it'll work for our purposes. After that, I have to reconsider as I really don't like the extra step of going from raw to dng to processing in Photoshop. I do selections and minor editing in LR. Photoshop is for heavy lifting, layers and sharpening/noise reduction I can control (as well as my artistic bent which goes into non-stock images). Plus, our laptop really didn't like running Photoshop CC as it is a resource hog. We have used On1 in the past and really liked it - especially the ability to see where focus was when the photo was taken. The reason we chose LR instead was due to LR's cataloging. We (2 photographers) shoot events that result in thousands of images and LR gave us the ability to quickly check and minor edit multiple images.
  22. Noticed an oddity today. My Recent Rejections is showing I've had 24 rejections in the last 3 weeks - the oddity is that if I go to the Rejections page my last rejections were 4 on 2/28, before that was 2 on 11/10 and before that 3 on 10/27. Probably a minor thing, but if it's being counted in any way towards my "viability" as a contributor, I'd like it fixed. Thanks - Holly
  23. Hi everyone. I guess you could say I specialize in wildlife photography (as that is what most of my portfolio contains). I do have my wildlife in sets - 5 in fact. Wolves, Animals, Birds of Prey, Horses and Domestic Animals. I've been doing this since 2005 and after many hiccups at the beginning found my passion of wildlife photography. I do what I would consider pretty good in selling those images. Between my husband and I and our 4 other stock sites we've kept our business alive and well, upgrading cameras about every 3 years and other equipment (computers, back-up drives etc) as needed. And manage one or two $2K photography trips per year. The only suggestion I can give is to use latin names if you know them, and focus your keywords and descriptions on the critters, not necessarily the location. It's something I noticed in both Sharon's and Susan's portfolios. I don't know if it helps buyers find photos, but if a buyer is looking for a wolf photo, they'll probably search for "canis lupus" (if they are into the scientific aspect) "wolf" "wolves" "grey wolf" "gray wolf" or "timber wolf". Use every identifier of the animal you can think of or find. Another example: my photos of Ground Hogs are keyworded with "ground hog" "woodchuck" "whistle pig" "ground squirrel" "marmota monax" "rodent" and "chuckling" (for the babies and juveniles). It might seem a silly place to look, but Wikipedia has a wealth of information on details about animals. Is it an omnivore, herbivore, carnivore, crepuscular , nocturnal or cathemeral? Every detail helps. Good luck! P.S. Sharon - nice North Shore shots! Are you a native Minnesotan or did you just visit our fine state?
  24. From https://www.shutterstock.com/contributorsupport/articles/kbat02/Known-Image-Restrictions-Places-and-Landmarks-North-and-South-America: (emphasis mine) SeaWorld Marine mammal parks with locations in Florida, California, and Texas Owned by Busch Entertainment Corporation Images from the parks (including animals, shows, and attractions) are unacceptable for commercial use Acceptable for editorial use with a proper caption Shows and performances within the park require press credentials
  25. Well, I found one case where he was quoted and labeled as a photographer's attorney. Other than that I've tried not waste a lot of my time. Wanna look him up for me?
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