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16 hours ago, Milo J said:

Regarding the original topic: I'm sure that Christmas pics in general sell more than LGBT, but there are millions of traditional Christmas images already in the database, so not much need for more. But LGBT is a big thing in advertising these days. Advertisers are targeting the youngsters out there, and that's what the youngsters are thinking and talking about.

As @Former_Poster pointed out, it is likely for shallow reasons. To jump on the bandwagon, to not miss out on some trend. MONEY. You don't want to end up being the one company that seems unsupportive of LGBT and gets boycotted by the teens. And as someone who lives with two teens, I can tell you that this Generation Z has gone completely nuts. Don't get me wrong, I'm not homophobic. But I also know that LGBT is an extremely trendy thing among teens right now, to the point of where a lot of them describe themselves as bi-sexual, even if they are straight.     

 

True, but lets not forget "diversity" = racial, gender and this, which the agencies are always begging for as well because advertising wants that. I understand they are requesting what they need. My only objection was the label of trending when it's more like, please send us more of these. I don't care what personal choices or lifestyle others choose, that's none of my business or concern.

Playing right into @Milleflore Images hand and interest area, it would be like an agency saying, trending color combination is bright purple, orange, with black, when that's not what the market actually says. 😉 If they had stated, we need more of this kind of work, or these subjects are more likely to sell because there's a shortage, I'd respect that kind of message. Trending?

Holiday images are trending, probably getting more sales right now than anything else. Yes, the collection is also over supplied with the same, so competition for those sales is much higher. But that's what's trending.

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LGBT people are a smaller percentage of society. Less! And the advisers of Shutterstock put them at the beginning of their recommendations. As if this is the main priority, both for mass culture and a

It wouldn't surprise me if LGBT material is actually underrepresented on SS. Keep in mind that while there is surely an abundance, I would guess millions of little trees, snow, Santa photos and happy

That goes for you too. It is for the second time in a few days that you are calling people "narrow minded" if they post something that you consider discriminating (thought it is not) . The saying "if

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18 hours ago, Foodio said:

How many of you are aware that next week is transgender awareness week? Just sayin...my IG feed is full of businesses large and small posting related content right now...but whatever.

Didn't know that, but there's a week for everything except White, heterosexual, male, Christian. (now someone will say that's all the time, we need to celebrate and pay tribute to minorities, others and diversity.) "Los Angeles city officials will gather at 11 a.m. Wednesday during a virtual celebration of Transgender Awareness Month and Transgender Day of Remembrance."

I'm not making this up, there is, "National Jukebox Week." and Nov. 17th was National juke box day. The same day. 😉

Also, Nov. 17th is: International Students' Day, Martyrs' Day (Orissa, India), Presidents Day (Marshall Islands), Struggle for Freedom and Democracy Day (Czech Republic and Slovakia), World Prematurity Day, and Saint Acisclus day. There are probably more.

Somehow, I missed Transgender day on the busy calendar.

I'm going to start a Transylvanian/Italian Day because for sure, we are a tiny minority and some day there will be no more as Transylvania ceased to be a country. After World War I, Transylvania became part of Romania. Or maybe people without a country day? (yes I'm actually 100% American, my Grandfather was Transylvanian) So I don't get a day.

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At the moment, 'inclusiveness' is a big deal. Racial, gender, ethnic, etc.. It doesn't matter whether one agrees with it or not and it doesn't matter whether one thinks it is all made up. Corporations, media, politicians, celebrities are all rushing to demonstrate that they are 'with the program'. We can call it 'virtue signaling' or anything we like, it doesn't matter. What does matter for us is that it constitutes a potential market for our images and our videos. How big that market is remains to be seen. How long the market lasts also remains to be seen, but if we don't fill a market need then someone else will. 

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Well, I stand firm that SS would not push for a specific content without there being a need, in my opinion. As far as the subject, I do notice that here as well as other places, the labels (VS, etc) only come up when its LGBTQ+ or minorities or other groups that may be marginalized. We have three pages now about this, and not one about left handed pots, or stones shaped like favorite animals, or whatever other target niches SS is looking for fresh content to fill.

People love people. That sells. Always will. I cannot see a reason to put it in the shot list unless there is a need and a lack. No one looks at the shot list but us.

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3 hours ago, PlopandShoot said:

Well, I stand firm that SS would not push for a specific content without there being a need, in my opinion. As far as the subject, I do notice that here as well as other places, the labels (VS, etc) only come up when its LGBTQ+ or minorities or other groups that may be marginalized. We have three pages now about this, and not one about left handed pots, or stones shaped like favorite animals, or whatever other target niches SS is looking for fresh content to fill.

People love people. That sells. Always will. I cannot see a reason to put it in the shot list unless there is a need and a lack. No one looks at the shot list but us.

And of course, more shots of people from Siebenbürgen? Hey wait, you mean my pictures of rocks are actually something that someone might want? 😉

No one has downloaded my potato that's shaped like a heart. Maybe you're right, I need to look for animals.

 

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16 minutes ago, HodagMedia said:

No one has downloaded my potato that's shaped like a heart. Maybe you're right, I need to look for animals.

Lol, you know why I was always modestly successful? I never went after the same stuff every other shooter went after. I figured that if you took a small niche (like my niche of rocks and minerals) the pool of buyers was very small. But small for whom? For SS? Absolutely, likely a fraction of a percent. So out of their million plus buyers, maybe a hundred or so? But then, if I am the only one supplying consistent content in that niche (ie 2-3 thousand different types of minerals), then a few hundred regular buyers is actually not so bad. I've traveled the world a few times, just from rocks.

I bet if you found a double dozen fruits and vegetables with recognizable shapes in them, all consistently shot in a similar way, they would find a niche. Speaking from experience the term "ugly fruit" sells. :)

Back on topic, diversity sells. And maybe it doesn't sell well enough yet because there isn't enough to choose from?

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15 hours ago, HodagMedia said:

Playing right into @Milleflore Images hand and interest area, it would be like an agency saying, trending color combination is bright purple, orange, with black, when that's not what the market actually says. 😉 If they had stated, we need more of this kind of work, or these subjects are more likely to sell because there's a shortage, I'd respect that kind of message. Trending?

lol. Yes, well trends and niches are the only things left nowadays, especially within big popular searches like Christmas. However, there are still some gaping holes in what's popular and not well covered in the database. 

SS gave some very useful info in their October Shot List for gift giving. And a 'trend/niche' for this year in particular.

I believe their shot lists are genuinely meant to be helpful for contributors, and if you can shoot what they are asking for, then its a good thing. 

...

 

@PlopandShoot Hey Terry! I like your posts above. You have a lot of very good advice to pass on. People often forget how experienced you are at this game. Keep well, my friend!

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1 hour ago, Milleflore Images said:

 

@PlopandShoot Hey Terry! I like your posts above. You have a lot of very good advice to pass on. People often forget how experienced you are at this game. Keep well, my friend!

Thanks Annie, I am and will forever be only a hobbyist at this . I remember when you started out and then mastered every aspect of this little world of ours. I don't think anyone needs to look farther than you to see how to be successful here on a level I (and most of us) never reached. :)

As far as "Christmas" goes as a search, my best sellers were a traditional plate of turkey dinner, and of course, Christmas bacon. Anything with bacon sells, as it should. I can share that tip since my work is completely gone from here. Only one agency left to get rid of, then I am completely out and can work on my books some more. If you ever want to make even less money than micro, get into writing fiction. sigh...

Stay safe! 

 

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On 11/18/2020 at 10:01 PM, HodagMedia said:

Playing right into @Milleflore Images hand and interest area, it would be like an agency saying, trending color combination is bright purple, orange, with black, when that's not what the market actually says. 😉 

I forgot to say, Pete. Purple, orange and black? Did you just pick those colors randomly or have you been peeking at my port? 😉

Of course, they're trending colours - for last month at least!  One of my old Halloween pics below.  lol

I am just kidding around as usual, but I get what you mean. However, luckily for us, there are all sorts of trends, all sorts of colour schemes, and all sorts of buyers. We just need to pick some that are not too overpopulated. 

happy-halloween-party-table-chocolate-26

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On 11/16/2020 at 4:29 PM, oleskalashnik said:

This is typical behavior of a gay activist: if people tell him that they are heterosexual, he replies that they are lying. He is wishful thinking.

Perhaps you consider my post a provocation? But I think that a provocation is an advice to make lot of photos on the topic of LGBT people in December.

Just keep in mind that compulsory 'tolerance' one day will lead to dire consequences in whole society.

you're literally blind. Go read some more analytics and observe the world around you and open your eyes and mind and you'll see that the LGBTQ+ community is not as small as you might think!!

Either you accept that such photos are needed, and follow it. or just keep posting your stuff and leave December and the price times alone.

Can't believe that we still have such stereotypes and such homophobic people in 2020-2021.

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16 hours ago, Hamza Makhchoune said:

you're literally blind. Go read some more analytics and observe the world around you and open your eyes and mind and you'll see that the LGBTQ+ community is not as small as you might think!!

Either you accept that such photos are needed, and follow it. or just keep posting your stuff and leave December and the price times alone.

Can't believe that we still have such stereotypes and such homophobic people in 2020-2021.

i m not agree and i dont think he is homophobic, how you can say this ???

 

Depositphotos_275514396_el0.jpg

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On 11/18/2020 at 10:02 PM, Milleflore Images said:

I forgot to say, Pete. Purple, orange and black? Did you just pick those colors randomly or have you been peeking at my port? 😉

Of course, they're trending colours - for last month at least!  One of my old Halloween pics below.  lol

Just kidding around, as usual, but I get what you mean. However, luckily for us, there are all sorts of trends, all sorts of colour schemes, and all sorts of buyers. We just need to pick some that are not too overpopulated. 

happy-halloween-party-table-chocolate-26

Yes I was joking that Halloween colors are last month and the purple and orange era was the late 60s. So the remark was about SS making up trends and telling us things that are obvious. As @PlopandShootwrote, LGBTQ? is always needed and popular for that area of the market.

Niche is something that a bunch of us have always advocated. No it's not the best selling, it's not the most demanded, it's not the trending latest hot things, but when someone makes an image, of something that might have a market, and the search is one page, maybe 2 or 3, a good image will actually make a sale now and then. While the most fantastic, amazing, (Christmas image of mine, of course, which was on the requested/needed list) has never sold.

Since I'm not good at the latest colors and trends, I tend to just have fun and go off into the obscure. I didn't make this, it came this way and I thought it was a bit funny. One shot, One sale but that sale was for $3.25

Waubedonia, WI – April 23, 2020: Crushed Pineapple Can, red and yellow, which is actually crushed. illustrative editorial.

Bacon! One shot, One sale in four years, but 87¢

Peppered Bacon slices. Thick cut raw uncooked bacon with pepper seasoning. Smoked country style slice. Front focus, depth of field. Cured sliced bacon stacked on top of each other.

Yes, I am having fun

Silly little things with copy space, that's my suggestion.

 

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18 minutes ago, oleschwander said:

Haha - crushed pineapples - good one ... only on Shutterstock ...!

Thanks, I'm an advocate of Terry's Plop and Shoot for fun and money. I also see it, I shoot it and even if off the wall, maybe someone out there wants something obscure.

The people who do well with trends, and colors, and most popular subjects are far above anything I can do in those areas, so I stay away. Why torture myself. They are also lighting experts, which is why some people can shoot the same things as 100 others, and theirs will sell. Lighting is one of the most important composition aspects of any image.

I can shoot raw (I don't) with a fancy L lens on a full frame camera, and who knows what else, like the best editing software, a calibrated monitor, and more. But if the lighting isn't right, from the start, there's a difficult, possibly losing battle, ahead. Get the lighting right, color balance correct, and the right exposure, in the camera, the original shot and you're on your way to success.

One of my top ten best earning images, and no I'm not telling, was something I found in a drawer at work and said, heck, isolated on white... apparently it's something that got good placement from sales and stays on page one. Lucky Me.

Page one of one for a four word search, who knows where of 696 pages for a three word search. One word makes the difference?

 

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3 hours ago, Ackab Photography said:

For placement, four words search do not count. No one will type those four words.

Really, you mean a customer is so stupid that they will use only 1, 2, 3 vague word searches and not looking for something simple and specific. Why do we spend so much time on good keywords, if the people searching are ignorant or lazy... in your opinion?

A good search brings up relevant, good images. A four word search is exactly why some of my images sell, because they are what's in the image. Funny part is how many bad matches also show up, which also gives me an edge, as my images are what the words say they are. Not spammed up lists of nearly irrelevant images.

Try this on your own, do you keyword with precision and accurately? I'll invent a search that has nothing to do with my images.  https://www.shutterstock.com/search/granny+smith+apple+isolated

Granny Smith Apple Isolated = 73 pages.

How about this? https://www.shutterstock.com/search/venison+sandwich+isolated+white

Venison sandwich isolated white = 2 results

😁

Or did something get lost in the translation? If you wanted a Reuben sandwich on a wood background? https://www.shutterstock.com/search/reuben+sandwich+wood+background

Reuben sandwich brings up hundreds of pages, but the four words, brings up 61 images. One page. I have one image on that page. 27 are similar and look like purple meat that has spoiled, poor exposure and color. Plain nasty. So almost half are non-contenders.

10 are out of focus, or poorly exposed. Four are not a Reuben, that I can tell, like some wrap with catsup and mustard, and four are subs?  Not that mine is the best one on the page or nearly as good as the 20 or so that are left. But, I have a much better chance of getting a download, for specific words, that buyers might use if they know what they want.

If you can't be seen, you can't sell anything. Good, specific keywords will help your sales, more than people who just think, I must have 50 words. Because in those 50 words, you'll get lost in the crowd of others who just slapped on 50 words, because they could.

Yes buyers will type in four words, or more, if they are smart and know what they want. None of the examples are my good selling images, just example of how something simple might be found with specific words and searches. Four good words. 👍

 

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53 minutes ago, HodagMedia said:

Really, you mean a customer is so stupid that they will use only 1, 2, 3 vague word searches and not looking for something simple and specific. Why do we spend so much time on good keywords, if the people searching are ignorant or lazy... in your opinion?

A good search brings up relevant, good images. A four word search is exactly why some of my images sell, because they are what's in the image. Funny part is how many bad matches also show up, which also gives me an edge, as my images are what the words say they are. Not spammed up lists of nearly irrelevant images.

Try this on your own, do you keyword with precision and accurately? I'll invent a search that has nothing to do with my images.  https://www.shutterstock.com/search/granny+smith+apple+isolated

Granny Smith Apple Isolated = 73 pages.

How about this? https://www.shutterstock.com/search/venison+sandwich+isolated+white

Venison sandwich isolated white = 2 results

😁

Or did something get lost in the translation? If you wanted a Reuben sandwich on a wood background? https://www.shutterstock.com/search/reuben+sandwich+wood+background

Reuben sandwich brings up hundreds of pages, but the four words, brings up 61 images. One page. I have one image on that page. 27 are similar and look like purple meat that has spoiled, poor exposure and color. Plain nasty. So almost half are non-contenders.

10 are out of focus, or poorly exposed. Four are not a Reuben, that I can tell, like some wrap with catsup and mustard, and four are subs?  Not that mine is the best one on the page or nearly as good as the 20 or so that are left. But, I have a much better chance of getting a download, for specific words, that buyers might use if they know what they want.

If you can't be seen, you can't sell anything. Good, specific keywords will help your sales, more than people who just think, I must have 50 words. Because in those 50 words, you'll get lost in the crowd of others who just slapped on 50 words, because they could.

Yes buyers will type in four words, or more, if they are smart and know what they want. None of the examples are my good selling images, just example of how something simple might be found with specific words and searches. Four good words. 👍

 

@HodagMedia you took it too seriously, I was slightly ironic and this did not come through, of course. Four words can and will be used by customers, and this can lead to sales, of course. Still, in my (very humble) opinion if an image needs 4 words to come out on the first page, it's not what I consider a very strong image. I have a few images that rank in the first page for just one one world, and become first result with a couple of words. Those sell very regularly and when I think about a strong image, this is what comes to my mind. I absolutely didn't want to start arguments, I was a bit blunt, my apologies. And yes, I do keyword and title my images very very accurately, at the best of my possibilities.

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13 hours ago, Ackab Photography said:

@HodagMedia you took it too seriously, I was slightly ironic and this did not come through, of course. Four words can and will be used by customers, and this can lead to sales, of course. Still, in my (very humble) opinion if an image needs 4 words to come out on the first page, it's not what I consider a very strong image. I have a few images that rank in the first page for just one one world, and become first result with a couple of words. Those sell very regularly and when I think about a strong image, this is what comes to my mind. I absolutely didn't want to start arguments, I was a bit blunt, my apologies. And yes, I do keyword and title my images very very accurately, at the best of my possibilities.

OK I accept that I missed the irony and humor doesn't always come through in a message, in text format. 🤓 My apologies.

Back at the subject, one word searches? Do buyers use one word searches? If you were looking for a Pumpkin Pie Slice, on a brown plate, what one word would you type in? LOL

Yes of course, many of us use best words and are very careful, while some others seem to think this is a trick and a game and the secret is, if you have 50 words, you'll make more sales. Instead of, if you have better images, you'll make more sales.

But still, we must be found and seen or we'll sell nothing, even if we have the best photo of that subject. Always a problem, how do we have our work discovered by buyers?

One answer, at least for myself, is try to find things that there aren't already hundreds of pages and thousands of good images. That's a long hard uphill battle. Rather, find things that are potentially interesting to a buyer, that don't have enough good images, and work on those.

This is one of my recent uploads. No amount of keywords, or details or anything, will ever make it a sale. Too many eggs, too many of the same subject. Nothing outstanding or unusual for a buyer. I can upload a thousand images like this and get no sales.

Two eggs cooked sunny side up.

Then people ask, why don't I get sales... 😉 Because they upload common, best selling, over supplied images, instead of unusual, or outstanding (in the sense of being different) images. Two eggs on a white plate, isolated? Really? It's just filler for my portfolio.

Sometimes four words isn't enough, six would be better, and if you can find what buyers are searching for, and there isn't a huge amount of competition, there you have it.

From another site. Maybe not "trending"? But in demand according to them. Which means to me, the same would be likely to be in demand on ShutterStock.

keywords-suggestion-pixbay-nov-2020.jpg

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6 hours ago, oleschwander said:

Another subject ... I see you have some vintage images in your port. I thought they were difficult to get accepted. Is it enough with a release saying they are in your possession or ..?

Impossible to get accepted. Those few were uploaded before 2012. But yes, I own most of the originals, I collect old books and photos. A few more (and I think it is literally only three more) are from before 1900, and most important detail was, they are all copyright expired. Most stock sites on the top of the list for sales and images, will not accept anything public domain.

Content in the public domain or content incorporating elements from public domain content, such as scans of photographs or copies of public domain artwork or footage, cannot be accepted for commercial or editorial use

https://www.shutterstock.com/contributorsupport/articles/kbat02/Known-Image-Restrictions-Objects-and-Subjects#:~:text=Public Domain Content Content in the public domain,use Shutterstock does not accept public domain footage

In 2011 some illustrators here had a discussion about using vintage books as source material. The negatives seemed to outweigh the positive. For example, what if 2 or 3 people use the same image from the same book? Will SS start to think, they are copying from each other? Could someone have their account closed?

Basically before 2012 people were finding PD images, say the NASA collection, or library archives online, which was many accounts, and the similar were flooding in. SS probably had others where many people were uploading the identical images. Easy way to solve that? No More.

Then there's always the question, can we license a PD image as our own? I will say that some of mine, I spent over and hour, restoring and retouching. Part of the legal definition of new work (and even at that, pretty vague) is, did the new work become substantially different from the original? Then there's appropriation art which I don't agree with, which has gone through a popular trend. I hope it dies.

Anyway, NO we can't upload Vintage Images to Shutterstock. If someone is interested in that kind of effort, try some places starting with the letter D 😉

 

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6 hours ago, oleschwander said:

You’re welcome. I didn’t mean the simplicity of the motif - but the fact that also the can is crushed.

Yes, I got that and yes it's humor and obscure.

I got it at a church store that sells dented cans, overstock and crushed boxes, kind of things. Where else can I get a box of Wheat Thins or fancy dark chocolate cake mix for only a dollar. Sometimes there are things like marinade, in a bottle, 10 for a dollar. I can BBQ for a year and not need any more. But also, since we're stock photographers, I can make something individual and different, shoot it and have lunch, before it cools.

I buy props at the church resale shops, when the season or event has passed. Last year, I stocked up on Easter theme. They have been sitting waiting. What they don't sell goes half price.

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Again I come back to, is that what is popular for SS as a company might have little relation to what is popular for a contributor. A few thousands of dollars a month in a niche may not even show up on their scorecards, but is easily the difference between success and failure for a small time shooter like me.

So that one-off term, or common mis-spelling (that someone once mocked me for), does work once in a while, and I smile on my way to the bank. Back when we got real SODs, something like "tahitian wedding chair" could net an easy 60-100 bucks. Not bad for a vacation snapshot.

I took a simple approach to keywords. I would get roughly half from a decent micro keywording tool, the most popular and relevant ones. Next I would put on my buyer hat and pick off those words and phrases that made the most sense for a search, and then I would add my "out there" keys that were very relevant, but also unlikely to be very popular. 

Case in point, a Beef dip is a common diner food worldwide, also called a French dip. A classic french dip does not have cheese on it (yes, many places have cheese as an option), so you can see easily that there are less than a dozen relevant images in the first page of that search. Add "au jus" to it (very common menu term that accompanies it), ie: "french dip au jus" and you have cornered the market for a very common sandwich, reducing 165 pages down to 1. If you shot vertically for at least a few, it cuts a vertical search down to almost nil (verticals are wonderful for articles and menus, and very few people supply them. Easily cut your competition by up to 60%).

As always, there is more than one way to do this. If something works for you, then that is the right way.

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