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Hey everyone, I'm wondering if any of you are interested in looking through my portfolio to help me critique my photos? I'm new to stock photography and just starting to edit/ upload some old photos of mine. I didn't shoot them with stock photography in mind, but I do feel like they are decent photos, hoping I can make something off of them. 

I am aware I need a lot more photos and will be trying to upload a few everyday. Just needed help getting started on this huge platform...

 

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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 ! !       

 

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Hey thanks for the reply and detailed explanation!

 

I do have a dslr camera. It’s a Nikon d7000 and I’ve been learning Affinity Photo for post production. A lot of the photos that got accepted in here were actually just taken with my iPhone 10, or my old camera which wasn’t a dslr. I didn’t edit every one of them. Also, most of them are pretty old so I wasn’t thinking about stock photos when I took them. 
 

Originally, I was trying to do as little processing as possible on the photos since it sounds like you get so little money for each sale, but I realize it’s best to make them stand out a bit. My last uploads were frustrating though because I did spend a lot of time thinking about the shots specifically for stock photos, and spent some tome editing them as well, yet only one of them was accepted. It’s frustrating but I’ll keep trying to get some better photos. 

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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! 

            

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Hi Laura. So you've got a few things going against you if making money was your reason for joining:

1.) For starters, I agree with Steve's assessments above concerning image quality, subject, composition, lighting, etc. If someone asks if you're familiar with post processing software like Photoshop or LIghtroom, it's usually a polite way of saying your images need them. It's definitely not an insult though, as all of us started somewhere. I would add it helps to shoot in RAW + JPEG so you can have better control over your images. 

2.) You have very few images in your portfolio. Maybe you're testing the waters to see if anything trickles in before uploading more? The way things are now, I would aim to submit around 1000 images. If they are successful it could lead to a monthly payout of maybe $5 - $10 which leads me to #3...

3.) Unfortunately SS has slashed contributors' royalties by a pretty steep margin.  This has been discussed at great lengths already so I won't beat a dead horse talking about that. All I'll say is things have gotten so bad that many long contributors have packed up and left. Others have frozen their portfolios in hopes that commissions will be restored to reasonable levels. A good deal have stopped uploading anything new altogether. 

4.) Rejections are simply ridiculous. Most of what you submit will most likely be rejected by AI for focus or noise regardless of the content. The advice around here used to be to resubmit a few days later and "voila".  I don't know what kind of free time you have on your hands but It'd probably be better spent doing something else: cutting grass, driving for Uber or Lyft, delivering pizzas. You'd make more money simply asking strangers for cash at a gas station. 

This used to be a place where you could make a nice bit of income.......enough to make you want to keep uploading. Today it's a depressing collection of contributors who've had the rug yanked out from underneath them. A place full of memories. Imagine being 30 minutes late for a huge department meeting. Your an entire department has learned their positions have just been eliminated in a merger. The boss you've been so chummy with for years is nowhere to be found. Some have already stormed out of the conference center in anger. Most of them have sad looks on their faces as they stand in a long line to collect severance/stockholder packets. A few can't hide the tears of agony running down their cheeks. Yesterday they all had jobs. They had vacations planned. They talked about the weekend's best games in the break room. Retirements to look forward to. Kids' high school graduations. Weddings too. And now it's all over.......just like that. Imagine walking in on that. This is what SS is like today. 

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Hey thanks for the response.
 

Yea I’m aware of most of the issues with my photos at this point. As I’ve said a few times, most of these are old photos and I wasn’t shooing them in RAW with the DSLR I have now. I’m also aware I need a lot more photos, but a lot of the ones I submitted got rejected. It’s interesting to hear about the AI doing the reviewing. I will definitely keep that in mind and potentially resubmit the ones that I recently tried to submit that were all shot in RAW and edited in Affinity Photo and shot with stock photography in mind.
 

I honestly have another job, just trying to see if I can eventually make some passive income if I ever decide to hike a long trail like the PCT, and take my camera with me then. I love photography, and have a lot better photos than the ones on here but I sincerely appreciate the comments. I have a general understanding of photography- been playing around with the depth of field a lot lately adjusting the f stop and trying the manual focus to see if that helps me with the focus rejections. I have a long way to go, but hoping I can make anything off of this thing. It’s sad to hear about the decline of this industry. Any other stock photo sights that may be a better option?

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