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Steve Bower

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About Steve Bower

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    Photography, woodworking, travel,

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  1. Pixel_ace_photography I just noticed your request for advice. Given the number of your accepted images, I find it a almost amusing that you would be asking this question. My first recommendation "to move forward and get more and more numbers of downloads" is to upload a few thousands more images. You have ten images of very common plants and birds. The competition for similar images in huge. Second recommendation: photograph something different! You will need to upload unique images, to which no one else has access. Without them, it won't matter where you share your profile (portfolio?). The key technique to getting recognized here is to have a portfolio of unique, commercially relevant photos. Photograph something advertisers, bloggers, and people in general are looking for. It's Shutterstock's job to market your photographs, it's your job to create a portfolio people like and need for the sale of their product or idea..
  2. I can't really complain. Thanks to a large SO, an EL and a number of ODs, this month is looking pretty good (especially given the new fee structure). My RPD so far this month is 1.27 and since the Shutterstock money grab started in June, I've maintained an RPD of just over $1.00. That's better than I expected when this all started but I still have no plans on uploading any more images here. If the big payments continue I may change my mind in this regard but I hate to support SS decision to make their profit by cheating the contributor.
  3. As usual I'm getting the tiny 10 cent and teens payments but each month (to include October) I've gotten a number of large SOD or enhanced sales that boosted the monthly total to a figure just below my normal monthly average. This month I got a 97.40 SOD which should bring my month end total to a respectable level, regardless of the sales for the rest of the month. I don't know if I've just been lucky these last few months but I don't get these large sales anywhere else. I might start uploading again in spite of the lousy minimal payments.
  4. Wilm, I understand your pain! Now that I've posted that comment, my earnings will probably go straight down. I'm not making any rash decisions until I see at least a years worth of earnings. Hope you see better days in the future. Given your quality port, I'm betting you'll see an earnings turnaround soon.
  5. Like a lot of you I was "ticked off" when SS reduced the payment structure and I discontinued uploading to SS. June was the worst earnings month I've had in many many years and I assumed all future months would be similar, Then came July and thanks to 3 large SOD I had the best month I've had in over a year with an RPD of $1.53. I assumed this was an anomaly and expected August would resort back to June's numbers. While it hasn't been great. it's close to my typical earnings with an an RPD just under my Lifetime earnings RPD of .86. While I don't expect future monthly earnings to be this good, I have to admit that the possibility of receiving large SODs and ELs is a factor that should be considered when looking at the payment structures of various agencies. I haven't change my mind about uploading to SS but I can't rule that out that possibility, if my RPD stays at a reasonable level. I know this will be unpopular, but . . .
  6. Laura, I recognize you could have been offended by my comment, thank you for your willingness to accept what I hoped would be constructive criticism. You have the right attitude which will go far in your quest to become a good stock photographer. You are correct, stock photography pays very little (especially since the fee restructuring here at SS) but it is an opportunity to learn to become a good technical photographer. If that's your goal, you will be much happier. Make every image the best it can be through proper composition, lighting and post processing and the money will begin to trickle in. Keep in mind that Stock Photography was established to provide commercial establishments, bloggers and individuals with images to promote their business, product, idea or location (among others). If your image doesn't assist them in that, it will have little commercial value and will generate few, if any sales. Images of common items like flowers or unknown landscapes must stand out and be technically near "perfect" in order to be noticed, let alone purchased. Again, learn the basics of photography as well as how your camera settings (shutters speed, aperture and ISO) affect the look of your image. Without this knowledge, you will struggle to compete as a photographer. Once again, good luck!
  7. Laura, Sorry, but it does appear out of focus to me as well. Stock photography is very picky about the technical aspects of photography and the reviews are now done by AI which is not very intelligent. Reviews are no longer done by humans as it use to be. Again the forum has multiple threads on this subject. These might help you some but the majority are mostly justifiable complaints. If you haven't already seen my comments regarding your initial post, I would suggest you read that and begin with the basics. Good Luck!
  8. Laura, May i ask what kind of camera are you using, is it a point and shoot or a digital DSLR? 2nd question, do you own and use any post processing software (i.e. Photoshop, etc.)? Most if not all of your competition uses either a DSLS or a Mirrorless camera and they do post processing before submitting their images. If you really hope to make any money from stock photography you must be able to compete with photographers that own top notch equipment and are on "experts" in Photoshop and Lightroom. I say this not to scare you but to help you to set realistic sales expectations. Having said all that, I think a number of your images could sell however, most need some help either through post processing, better composition or improved lighting. The majority of your landscape images look like they were taken in very flat lighting and tend to lack a definite subject. Your still life images (pomegranates, etc.) often are cropped too closely (the subject is cut off). If you want to photograph macro subjects and or wildlife, I would suggest you get closer to your subject which may require a telephoto or macro lens (there never should be a question as to what your subject is in any of your photos. I'm Sorry if my critique appears a bit harsh. We all had to learn photography and it takes a lot of work and practice. I would suggest you study the basic of photography and learn what makes a good photograph and specifically what stock photography is all about before you invest too much more time in uploading more images. Check out past critiques and help threads here on the forum or check out the internet for YouTube videos. Good Luck ! !
  9. Evgeniia, In the past I have had minor repairs made to my camera (cameras) and unless the repair is quite simple, I've found that the cost of repair exceeds the value of the camera. I live in the United States which is a different market than Russia but I suspect you will find similar cost where you live. It's hard to tell the extent of the damage based upon your description but the squeaking noise does not sound good. See if you can get a local estimate but I suspect the labor cost will make the repair a poor "investment". I know we never like additional expenses but this might be an opportunity to "upgrade" your camera body. Good luck!
  10. Fercast, Hopefully, I didn't confuse you. That figure of 1,000.00 plus is the total sales on this image which was in my portfolio for nearly ten years. I recently removed it from Shutterstock as I couldn't stand to see it sell for .10. The image was of baby elephants playing and it has been down loaded here at Shutterstock over 800 times. I also have it at each of my other agencies and it is one of my top selling images at those three, as well. I agree with your conclusions on macro images, they just don't compete with the big exotic animals. Regretfully, unless you come into a boat load of money and travel the world shooting animals, I believe your dream of making a living as a wildlife photographer is just that, "a dream". Sorry!
  11. Fercast, I don't shoot wildlife exclusively but I love the challenge and have a number of wildlife images in my portfolio. While my best selling image (over a $1,000.00) is a wildlife image, I agree with those contributors that have already commented. You probably won't be able to make a living shooting wildlife. Up until the fee restructuring, I was making far more on SS than any of the other sites (3 additional sites) to which I contribute. Now, it appears that SS is no longer my best earning site. While your macro shots may be better than mine, I haven't seen a great demand for this type of image. I love doing them but the return has not justified the effort (at least for me and my images). Since very little of my monthly income is from wildlife images, that figure wouldn't be of much assistance to you. Hopefully, one of the individual you cited will respond giving their direct experience.
  12. Wilm & Christina, For your info. I also got this e-mail. This is actually the second request to download more images. Like a lot of us, I quit downloading after the new pricing structure.
  13. Adri, June was down approx. 40% from an average month. Worst month I've had in Years. July, however, was the best month I had in the last year thanks to 3 SOD, two of which were over $70.00. August at the current time will be an average month if things continue as they have so far. While this sounds encouraging, I recognize that one good month means nothing. I quit uploading in June and I haven't changed my mind yet.
  14. David, I sold one in June for 11.63. It appears that the marketing experts got a little carried away with their "package deals". I'm sure that had nothing to do with the need to come up with a new pricing structure. Or did it?
  15. I was just accepted at Alamy and I am in the process of uploading the majority of what I have here to their data base. Their Keyword process has both a mandatory and optional section. My question is: how important are the optional questions? I am considering not entering the optional stuff, will it's absence affect the buyers ability to locate my image? I've chosen to upload in batches of 20 to 30 until I find how stringent their review process is and I can imagine filling in all of the optional info will be very time consuming on 3,000 images. If the optional stuff is just "fluff" I may forget it. In addition, is some of the optional stuff more important than others? Does anyone have evidence (know) one way or the other? Thanks for your input!
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