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On 6/23/2021 at 2:01 AM, Doug Jensen said:

My advice is to enjoy your hike in the woods and taking all the photos you want -- for pleasure, but don't waste your time uploading them and doing all the metadata.  Photos like that have very little commercial value and there is no chance it will be worth your time monetarily to create keywords, description, etc.  With the time you save you can do even more hiking and shooting.  That's my 2 cents, but then again, I don't do photos so why listen to me?  I did the math and photos are not worth my time either.

I just had a look today. A contributor has - only at the competitor - with the 100 best-selling images in his portfolio only there reached more than 150,000 downloads. Considering the RPD, that makes an estimated 180,000 dollars with only 100 images - maybe much more. Only there. And he also offers here and elsewhere. I assume at least 500,000 downloads for his 100 best selling images. And he has many more top sellers.

He's only been at it for a few years, too. I don't know exactly. I estimate 7 or 8 years.

The question from my point of view is not video or photo. The question is what sort of videos or photos. 

 

 

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Ernest, if you enjoy the whole process of taking and submitting photo's don't overly worry about what you are submitting. If they are accepted that is good enough TO START WITH. This business /hobby i

Thank you for those kind and encouraging words. I took my photos down to work on the things you and some others have been giving me advice on. After reading the helpful comments I felt like I jumped i

I was really angry when I read this last night and realised that Ernest had deleted his port. But deleted my comments to wait and see how I felt about it in the morning. Its now morning.  My comm

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43 minutes ago, JDzacovsky said:

Do you really think that among the photos you've presented here, there's one that someone would print on their wall? There are a gigantic number of nature shots or landscapes that are worthwhile, but your photos aren't it.
Besides, Adobe definitely has fewer downloads, at least in my case (for 2021 - Shutterstock 494 downloads / Adobe 59 downloads).
Good luck.

I don't know. I guess none of us really know what would sell. One man's junk...

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44 minutes ago, Wilm Ihlenfeld said:

I just had a look today. A contributor has - only at the competitor - with the 100 best-selling images in his portfolio only there reached more than 150,000 downloads. Considering the RPD, that makes an estimated 180,000 dollars with only 100 images - maybe much more. Only there. And he also offers here and elsewhere. I assume at least 500,000 downloads for his 100 best selling images. And he has many more top sellers.

He's only been at it for a few years, too. I don't know exactly. I estimate 7 or 8 years.

The question from my point of view is not video or photo. The question is what soft of videos or photos. 

 

 

To be honest, 'm not sure exactly what your point is.   Nevertheless, how many images does this contributor have?  Just looking at the income from his 100 best selling images means nothing unless you know how big his portfolio is, what  his averge income has been per image, how much time and expenses has been invested into each image.

For example, if a contributor has 100 images and 150, 000 downloads that is very impressive.  But if he has 100,000 images and has cherry picked the best earning 100 images, what does that say about the other 99.900 images that took a hell of a lot of time to shoot, process, upload, etc. but don't earn any money.

I have only have 6000 downloads, but I have earned over $182,000.  But that information is virtually meaningless to someone else.

 

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9 hours ago, Doug Jensen said:

To be honest, 'm not sure exactly what your point is.   Nevertheless, how many images does this contributor have?  Just looking at the income from his 100 best selling images means nothing unless you know how big his portfolio is, what  his averge income has been per image, how much time and expenses has been invested into each image.

For example, if a contributor has 100 images and 150, 000 downloads that is very impressive.  But if he has 100,000 images and has cherry picked the best earning 100 images, what does that say about the other 99.900 images that took a hell of a lot of time to shoot, process, upload, etc. but don't earn any money.

I have only have 6000 downloads, but I have earned over $182,000.  But that information is virtually meaningless to someone else.

 

He has 2400 images. And he has made between 250.000 and 1.000.000 Downloads only at the competitor.

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On 6/22/2021 at 7:32 PM, Ernest J Sanchez said:

https://www.shutterstock.com/g/Ernest+J+Sanchez?rid=299125724

Just curious. I want to make sure I am going down the right path. I do a lot of bushwhacking and find interesting woodland photos but I am not sure stuff like that is in demand much.

From my own experience, no, i've been there my self, hard to sell these kind of pictures.

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12 hours ago, Ernest J Sanchez said:

I don't know. I guess none of us really know what would sell. One man's junk...

You're absolutely right nobody here knows what the customer wants to buy,

I don't count the number of times or I was told it won't sell and well here's good news, anything sells if a buyer want it, it's up to you to find your marks and listen to the advice ... but not too much either, egos are exacerbated and people are confused, go for it and do what you think is best for you and not for them !!!

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5 hours ago, Jose HERNANDEZ Camera 51 said:

You're absolutely right nobody here knows what the customer wants to buy,

I don't count the number of times or I was told it won't sell and well here's good news, anything sells if a buyer want it, it's up to you to find your marks and listen to the advice ... but not too much either, egos are exacerbated and people are confused, go for it and do what you think is best for you and not for them !!!

My sentiments exactly. I take photos first and foremost because I love doing it. I just posted them here to maybe make some gas money for my trips. If not, all is good because I will still shoot and enjoy the hell out of it.

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6 hours ago, Jose HERNANDEZ Camera 51 said:

You're absolutely right nobody here knows what the customer wants to buy,

And yet I dare to say that someone with several hundred or thousand sales each month might have a better idea of what customers want to buy than someone with 50 sales a month.

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3 hours ago, Firn said:

And yet I dare to say that someone with several hundred or thousand sales each month might have a better idea of what customers want to buy than someone with 50 sales a month.

Ever had a situation where you took a photo, just because something caught your eye, nothing special, but it ended up selling dozens of times and you never expected it?

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36 minutes ago, Charles Lewis said:

Ever had a situation where you took a photo, just because something caught your eye, nothing special, but it ended up selling dozens of times and you never expected it?

Yes.  But video, not photos.  More than $18,000 of my lifetime earnings can be attributed to a series of clips I shot in about an hour without any warning.  That is just one example.

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9 hours ago, Charles Lewis said:

Ever had a situation where you took a photo, just because something caught your eye, nothing special, but it ended up selling dozens of times and you never expected it?

Not really.

I had such images that sold once or twice, some even for higher sums, that I did not expect. But images that sell regularly for me were all images I planned and composed ahead or where I thought they had good sale potential the moment I took the photo.

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9 hours ago, Charles Lewis said:

Ever had a situation where you took a photo, just because something caught your eye, nothing special, but it ended up selling dozens of times and you never expected it?

Yes, I have. A single image. Taken with a bad 8 MP compact camera. 1388 downloads here. It’s a nature photo. Sold well at two other agencies, Top. It has never been accepted at AS.

The photo is nothing special at all. But it looks reasonably fresh, not sad. And it shows „healthy“ nature, which you can't photograph everywhere.

Of course, it's possible that any picture you upload might sell. But personally, I'm not one of those who goes through the trouble of keywording for a sale or two. That just wouldn't be fun for me.

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Earlier this month, I had my 150,000th microstock download. That's nothing compared to many others I know, and nothing compared to the contributor I mentioned above. Still, I'm arrogant enough to claim that I have at least a little bit of an idea of what might sell and what doesn't. 

For me, nature and landscape photos are among the images that don't sell very well. There are just tons of excellent pictures - much much better than mine.

If you want to put it in a very simple formula, it could be like this:
If what I photograph is nothing special, the photo must be very good in terms of color, exposure, composition.
If I am not able to take a very good photo, then the subject/content must be something very special.
And in both cases I need very good keywords and a very good description.

A landscape or nature photo should trigger the viewer's wish: that's where I'd like to be right now. Or it shows a very special species. Or the destruction of nature in an impressive way.

I don't see these criteria fulfilled in the portfolio of the OP. And therefore I maintain that it will be difficult to sell such pictures.

My 10 cents.

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On 6/23/2021 at 3:02 AM, Ernest J Sanchez said:

https://www.shutterstock.com/g/Ernest+J+Sanchez?rid=299125724

Just curious. I want to make sure I am going down the right path. I do a lot of bushwhacking and find interesting woodland photos but I am not sure stuff like that is in demand much.

I really love your photography, Ernest. Your colors are rich, you have great dynamic range in your images, and you have captured the essence of the woodlands.

You have a lot of competition in this area, but you can get ahead of the crowd firstly by great keywording. Keywording is an art unto itself. Before you start keywording, always look at the drop down menu on SS for the main subject - and see what other words come up. They will be the most popular searches that buyers use - use any of those, but only those that are relevant to your photo. That's just a quick tip - there's lots, lots more to learn for keywording. 

The other thing you should do is always allow lots of copyspace for buyers. At least 1/3 to 1/2 of the image. You can achieve this with woodland photos by using shallow dof to blur backgrounds. I noticed that you have done that with at least one of your images, but you need lots of copy space. Also make sure you try to avoid any distracting elements in backgrounds for the same reason. 

When composing for copy space, you can also use grassy areas or rivers for these areas, as you have for some of them, but I would have even more of that space for buyers' copy.

When using shallow DOF, make sure you really nail the focus on the main subject area to avoid out-of-focus rejections. You may already know this, but I thought I would just mention it anyway.

So, 3 things to try and get ahead of your competition: Copy space, Keywording, and Composition. If this is the work you love to do, then keep going.

 

ETA: Perhaps work on your dynamic range even more. I noticed they looked better on my iPad than on my PC.

Use the histogram graph in your camera or editing software. Make sure your graph stretches all along from dark through to the lightest, with strong peaks in between. That's what the human eye subconsciously sees, and why people say, 'wow that a great photo'.  Remember, flat photos don't sell (or at least very well - unless its unique subject matter with very little competition)

That's another way you can get your images to stand out on crowded search pages. 

If you can get it, try Nik Collection plugin for your editing software and use Viveza set to at least 10/10/10/10. It really makes things pop.

New Nik Collection 4 - Creative photo-editing software (dxo.com)

 

Good luck,

Cheers,

Annie

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Hey Ernest. I'm a nature photographer as well and I have taken and sold some bushcraft pictures too. After two years on SS I think selling nature images in general (wildlife, woodlands, landscapes, macro, etc) does sell, but theres a lot of competition and it's both a saturated and demanded market. You have to have A LOT of images to make some money and they have to be quality and unique/original pictures. 

To be more precise, I think woodland images are hard to sell unless you have very good ones. Theres are lot of amazing photographers taking this style of images. About wildlife, I've sold average images of known and iconic animals (elephants, deer, storks, etc.) and I've sometimes failed to sell better quality images of animals of less interest. 

And about bushcraft in particular I think theres a good little niche there. I have uploaded very few bushcraf images (mostly some pictures of a wooden shelter with a fire pit I built) and they have sold suprisingly well, so Im looking forward taking and uploading more bushcraft pics, but I struggle to find time.

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11 hours ago, Wilm Ihlenfeld said:

Earlier this month, I had my 150,000th microstock download. That's nothing compared to many others I know, and nothing compared to the contributor I mentioned above. Still, I'm arrogant enough to claim that I have at least a little bit of an idea of what might sell and what doesn't. 

For me, nature and landscape photos are among the images that don't sell very well. There are just tons of excellent pictures - much much better than mine.

If you want to put it in a very simple formula, it could be like this:
If what I photograph is nothing special, the photo must be very good in terms of color, exposure, composition.
If I am not able to take a very good photo, then the subject/content must be something very special.
And in both cases I need very good keywords and a very good description.

A landscape or nature photo should trigger the viewer's wish: that's where I'd like to be right now. Or it shows a very special species. Or the destruction of nature in an impressive way.

I don't see these criteria fulfilled in the portfolio of the OP. And therefore I maintain that it will be difficult to sell such pictures.

My 10 cents.

I think that sums things up nicely Wilm from a professional point of view.

The forum is I think a mixture of hobbyists like me and people who work in microstock (and have a business plan) to a professional standard, like yourself.

With regard to the OP's question, yes they do sell, but, in my case, in small numbers.  This one just sold for the first time but it's been up a long time:

Liquidambar styraciflua tree red leafs close-up with vibrant orange yellow red and green colours

My editorial photos are by far my best sellers for volume, although they are I believe a smaller proportion of my portfolio.

However, regarding money, my animals have made me the most.

I think that the advice you take depends on what you are trying to achieve.  If you are looking to make a lot of money nowadays, you'd find it hard whichever road you take, but I would personally not go for nature (per @Wilm Ihlenfeld's (and others) posts above).

If you are doing this as a hobby anyway and are just pleased to make some money, then you are on a good road.

Good luck and enjoy your photography 🙂

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and to add a bit of depth, here is the Sunday Poem about the choices we make in life (and photography/microstock):

The Road Not Taken

 
Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;
 
Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,
 
And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.
 
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
 
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Here's my best-seller "nature" photo....

It's useful for something. That's the whole point of stock, it needs to be useful. Pretty isn't enough.

Concepts here around: sustainability, urban farming, future living, livability, organic

 A purely nature photographer may struggle in microstock, best to go for the midstock / niche agencies. 

shutterstock-Italy-urban-farming-1086818915.jpg

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15 hours ago, Wilm Ihlenfeld said:

Earlier this month, I had my 150,000th microstock download. That's nothing compared to many others I know, and nothing compared to the contributor I mentioned above. Still, I'm arrogant enough to claim that I have at least a little bit of an idea of what might sell and what doesn't. 

For me, nature and landscape photos are among the images that don't sell very well. There are just tons of excellent pictures - much much better than mine.

If you want to put it in a very simple formula, it could be like this:
If what I photograph is nothing special, the photo must be very good in terms of color, exposure, composition.
If I am not able to take a very good photo, then the subject/content must be something very special.
And in both cases I need very good keywords and a very good description.

A landscape or nature photo should trigger the viewer's wish: that's where I'd like to be right now. Or it shows a very special species. Or the destruction of nature in an impressive way.

I don't see these criteria fulfilled in the portfolio of the OP. And therefore I maintain that it will be difficult to sell such pictures.

My 10 cents.

All these are very fair critiques.

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12 hours ago, Milleflore Images said:

I really love your photography, Ernest. Your colors are rich, you have great dynamic range in your images, and you have captured the essence of the woodlands.

You have a lot of competition in this area, but you can get ahead of the crowd firstly by great keywording. Keywording is an art unto itself. Before you start keywording, always look at the drop down menu on SS for the main subject - and see what other words come up. They will be the most popular searches that buyers use - use any of those, but only those that are relevant to your photo. That's just a quick tip - there's lots, lots more to learn for keywording. 

The other thing you should do is always allow lots of copyspace for buyers. At least 1/3 to 1/2 of the image. You can achieve this with woodland photos by using shallow dof to blur backgrounds. I noticed that you have done that with at least one of your images, but you need lots of copy space. Also make sure you try to avoid any distracting elements in backgrounds for the same reason. 

When composing for copy space, you can also use grassy areas or rivers for these areas, as you have for some of them, but I would have even more of that space for buyers' copy.

When using shallow DOF, make sure you really nail the focus on the main subject area to avoid out-of-focus rejections. You may already know this, but I thought I would just mention it anyway.

So, 3 things to try and get ahead of your competition: Copy space, Keywording, and Composition. If this is the work you love to do, then keep going.

 

ETA: Perhaps work on your dynamic range even more. I noticed they looked better on my iPad than on my PC.

Use the histogram graph in your camera or editing software. Make sure your graph stretches all along from dark through to the lightest, with strong peaks in between. That's what the human eye subconsciously sees, and why people say, 'wow that a great photo'.  Remember, flat photos don't sell (or at least very well - unless its unique subject matter with very little competition)

That's another way you can get your images to stand out on crowded search pages. 

If you can get it, try Nik Collection plugin for your editing software and use Viveza set to at least 10/10/10/10. It really makes things pop.

New Nik Collection 4 - Creative photo-editing software (dxo.com)

 

Good luck,

Cheers,

Annie

Very good advice. Thank you for taking the time to offer me that advice. It was very helpful!

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10 hours ago, Fercast said:

Hey Ernest. I'm a nature photographer as well and I have taken and sold some bushcraft pictures too. After two years on SS I think selling nature images in general (wildlife, woodlands, landscapes, macro, etc) does sell, but theres a lot of competition and it's both a saturated and demanded market. You have to have A LOT of images to make some money and they have to be quality and unique/original pictures. 

To be more precise, I think woodland images are hard to sell unless you have very good ones. Theres are lot of amazing photographers taking this style of images. About wildlife, I've sold average images of known and iconic animals (elephants, deer, storks, etc.) and I've sometimes failed to sell better quality images of animals of less interest. 

And about bushcraft in particular I think theres a good little niche there. I have uploaded very few bushcraf images (mostly some pictures of a wooden shelter with a fire pit I built) and they have sold suprisingly well, so Im looking forward taking and uploading more bushcraft pics, but I struggle to find time.

Thank you very much for that information.

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4 hours ago, Studio 2 said:

I think that sums things up nicely Wilm from a professional point of view.

The forum is I think a mixture of hobbyists like me and people who work in microstock (and have a business plan) to a professional standard, like yourself.

With regard to the OP's question, yes they do sell, but, in my case, in small numbers.  This one just sold for the first time but it's been up a long time:

Liquidambar styraciflua tree red leafs close-up with vibrant orange yellow red and green colours

My editorial photos are by far my best sellers for volume, although they are I believe a smaller proportion of my portfolio.

However, regarding money, my animals have made me the most.

I think that the advice you take depends on what you are trying to achieve.  If you are looking to make a lot of money nowadays, you'd find it hard whichever road you take, but I would personally not go for nature (per @Wilm Ihlenfeld's (and others) posts above).

If you are doing this as a hobby anyway and are just pleased to make some money, then you are on a good road.

Good luck and enjoy your photography 🙂

The latter is what I am trying to achieve. I just came to the realization that this isn't the proper forum. I don't have complaints about SS, I just figured out it is more for corporate business purposes. Nothing wrong with that, it's just not what I want nor planned on doing. Like I said, if it buys me some gas money and my dehydrated meals on my bushwhacks that is great. I think that is a beautiful photo by the way.

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