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21 minutes ago, Alexandre Rotenberg said:

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

I agree with you 100%. It just took me a bit to realize it. All of you guys make wonderful photos though. I will peek my head in here every now and then to get inspiration from you guys.

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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

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

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

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1 hour ago, Ernest J Sanchez said:

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

There are never enough photos with copy space. Buyers and graphic designers always complain of this. So its one way to get ahead of the competition. Just make sure you include the words 'copy space, copyspace, negative space', in your keywords because designers often search on that. 

Yes, photos without copy space do sell, but they probably have better search placement than someone just starting out. If you're new then you need to provide extra features that buyers need more of. 

I know people who make top money (thousands of dollars a month) from stock from shooting beautiful landscapes - so don't be afraid to keep following your passion with woodland photos - everyone needs to find their own niche. Just keep improving, hone your technical skills, and do it better than most. 

Best of luck!

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12 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 🙂

That's a beautiful photo, Deb. It makes me think of New England.

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7 hours ago, Milleflore Images said:

 

I know people who make top money (thousands of dollars a month) from stock from shooting beautiful landscapes - so don't be afraid to keep following your passion with woodland photos - everyone needs to find their own niche. Just keep improving, hone your technical skills, and do it better than most. 

Best of luck!

I could imagine that Leonid Tit, for example, could be one of them.

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38 minutes ago, Wilm Ihlenfeld said:

I could imagine that Leonid Tit, for example, could be one of them.

Absolutely amazing images. Seems like he’s not at Shutterstock though ..! Maybe he has pulled his photos from here? Another strange thing is his very short and far from accurate captions and - at least one image - simply wrong category (banana with duct tape) - maybe he’s using StockSubmitter or something …?

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29 minutes ago, oleschwander said:

Absolutely amazing images. Seems like he’s not at Shutterstock though ..! Maybe he has pulled his photos from here? Another strange thing is his very short and far from accurate captions and - at least one image - simply wrong category (banana with duct tape) - maybe he’s using StockSubmitter or something …?

He is at shutterstock, Ole. Creative Travel Projects.

He's that kind of contributor I was talking about. These images make me want to travel right there.

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1 hour ago, oleschwander said:

Oh - I see. 

Great. He surely knows his Photoshop ...!

Yes, he knows Photoshop. But I've also seen one or two pictures of him where the sun was shining from the right and the shadow of the trees was also falling to the right. 
No one seems to care about that. Because he obviously sells very well. And the overall impression and mood his pictures convey is excellent. I like bis photos very much.

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19 hours ago, Wilm Ihlenfeld said:

I could imagine that Leonid Tit, for example, could be one of them.

I dont know that person personally and have never seen his figures, so I can't say.

What I meant, Wilm, is to average $2,000 to $4,000 a month from total stock revenue is not a rare occurrence. That's been my range for the past 6 years, and I know people, whose numbers I have seen, who do much better than me - some who shoot landscapes. 

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14 hours ago, Milleflore Images said:

I dont know that person personally and have never seen his figures, so I can't say.

What I meant, Wilm, is to average $2,000 to $4,000 a month from total stock revenue is not a rare occurrence. That's been my range for the past 6 years, and I know people, whose numbers I have seen, who do much better than me - some who shoot landscapes. 

I can't compete with that, Annie. My average was $1,500, and now it's less. But anything else would be unfair, because you are many times more diligent than I am.


I'd like to add a few thoughts on the subject.

When I see real estate agents, for example, advertise their homes, more and more often you see blue skies being Photoshopped in. Only in extreme cases you can see the buildings in winter, when there is no green on the trees. So the impression of the property is obviously improved by making sure that it is surrounded by freshness, greenery, summer. In winter it is gray and dreary. This worsens the overall visual impression. It looks "sad" then. This seems to correspond to the general feeling of people around the globe.

Then, when photographing the theme of autumn, it must also be beautiful, sunny, positive, atmospheric. Bright foliage, autumn sun or great fog atmosphere - that's what makes autumn beautiful. Not gray skies, humidity everywhere and depressive mood.

In spring we want to see blossoms and in winter snow. We think and see associatively. And want to see pictures that contain exactly these associations. These, I think, are the essential factors that, along with the ones you mentioned, make for a well-selling landscape photo.

And to me, Ernest's photos just looked a little sad, which was also the reason I said that I didn't think the images would probably sell well at shutterstock or Adobe Stock. This answer was not meant evil in any way, but a sincere and honest subjective assessment. It is based on many years of observation of the market and a little of my own experience. But the assessment can of course be wrong - no question.

I also know some contributors who are very successful with their landscape and nature photos. And there is no question that you can make money with it..

Now I have seen that Ernest has deleted all but one of his pictures.

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9 hours ago, Wilm Ihlenfeld said:

 

Now I have seen that Ernest has deleted all but one of his pictures.

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 comments are not necessarily directed at you, Wilm.

I just want to say to people,  show me your first 20 or 30 photos and let me decide whether you should continue or not. Because basically that's what you are doing. 

Every now and again, you see someone new come along who you can just sense has that extra something. I thought Ernest had that, just by the very fact that he wrote this on his bio:

Hiking into the National Forest to untravelled regions to capture nature at it's most pristine ... untouched by humans.

If you can write that, you can learn the rest. Plus he had some good photos and just needed some direction.

 

I like newbies, but they are fragile because they think everyone here is much, much better than them - and you know all the answers. And frankly, that is not always necessarily true. 

 

Anyway, if it was a couple of years ago I would have fought harder. I hope he comes back with more photos - but just reads the forum - and NOT ask for feedback!

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1 hour ago, Milleflore Images said:

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 comments are not necessarily directed at you, Wilm.

I just want to say to people,  show me your first 20 or 30 photos and let me decide whether you should continue or not. Because basically that's what you are doing. 

Every now and again, you see someone new come along who you can just sense has that extra something. I thought Ernest had that, just by the very fact that he wrote this on his bio:

Hiking into the National Forest to untravelled regions to capture nature at it's most pristine ... untouched by humans.

If you can write that, you can learn the rest. Plus he had some good photos and just needed some direction.

 

I like newbies, but they are fragile because they think everyone here is much, much better than them - and you know all the answers. And frankly, that is not always necessarily true. 

 

Anyway, if it was a couple of years ago I would have fought harder. I hope he comes back with more photos - but just reads the forum - and NOT ask for feedback!

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 in too soon and need to work a little more on the lighting and compositions. Once I feel I have done that I can try again. I don't know if SS will let me swap out the same photo retouched or not. But, if not, I will have more. The forest is my second home.

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10 minutes ago, Ernest J Sanchez said:

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 in too soon and need to work a little more on the lighting and compositions. Once I feel I have done that I can try again. I don't know if SS will let me swap out the same photo retouched or not. But, if not, I will have more. The forest is my second home.

Yay. All's well that ends well.

I had thought we had scared you away. LOL 

 

Good luck, Ernest. 

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57 minutes ago, Milleflore Images said:

If you can write that, you can learn the rest.

I love this comment and agree...but would also caution that the sort of passion and poetic spark you seem keen to mentor is in and of itself a fragile beast, easily stifled by the mere act of producing the kind of marketable microstock content we all have our individual notions of. Having read each of the comments and the OP's response to them I have to say I don't think he's a fragile newbie at all. On the contrary, I see someone who took all of the comments at face value and quickly understood the limitations of microstock - particularly where they were addressing his own specific questions or were at odds with his own agenda. Hardly a snowflake, just someone confident enough in the pursuit of their own true passion to make an informed decision based in part on the advice of others who have had the practical experience to warrant consideration. True mentorship and advice have far more responsibility attached to them then just being helpful. Personally, if the port was pulled because the OP understood that creating marketable content was not what they ultimately wanted to do, then I commend the OP for the decision and wish that I had that kind of focus in my own life.

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2 hours ago, Ernest J Sanchez said:

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 in too soon and need to work a little more on the lighting and compositions. Once I feel I have done that I can try again. I don't know if SS will let me swap out the same photo retouched or not. But, if not, I will have more. The forest is my second home.

I have deleted photos and replaced them with (in my opinion) better photos of the same subject. Just give the delete a few days and then resubmit.

When it comes to sales, the only opinions that matter are those of the buyers. Not those of the posters on here - including me!

I've put up what I consider to be not very good photos and they have sold. In some cases quite a lot. If you have fun taking the shots and working on them in photoshop then a few more minutes spent keywording isn't too much. If they sell, then great. If they don't sell then at least you had fun taking them.

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4 hours ago, Foodio said:

True mentorship and advice have far more responsibility attached to them then just being helpful. 

True. But its starts with constructive not destructive advice. I still stand by my comments above, Foodio, because they are meant for newbies in general not just one person. 

You have probably missed my comments earlier about my background in training on another thread, but suffice to say that I was taught by one of the leaders in advanced and accelerated learning, an American lady who I met while she was doing her Ph.D here in Adelaide , and she was amazing. She had one of the best track records for successful training that I have ever seen, but the one thing I learnt from her is that she never, ever, ever, let any of her students feel intimidated, less than, or not good enough. That was the secret to her success. 

 

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10 hours ago, Ernest J Sanchez said:

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 in too soon and need to work a little more on the lighting and compositions. Once I feel I have done that I can try again. I don't know if SS will let me swap out the same photo retouched or not. But, if not, I will have more. The forest is my second home.

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 is a huge learning curve. Having images in your port, whether good or bad, will help you learn. You'll progress faster from your own observations. Everyone else will have an opinion (including me!) take on board the ones that resonate with you, but always follow your own path.
If you enjoy what you are doing and try to improve as you go you'll do OK. But you really don't have to remove images to improve them. Just continue to submit, always trying to do better. Build up your port and as time goes by your understanding of what is needed will develop.
Having less that perfect images in your port wont harm it. Just keep adding and improving as you go.
If I just added my best images I would have missed out on some great repeat sellers! It isn't always the quality that matters most, it's content. Or may be I wouldn't have submitted any, I don't think my photo's are really that good. But they still earn me money :) 

Anyway at the end of the day if at the very least you want to show off your photos online, they're better here with the potential to earn you some money than on social media where they will earn you likes, or your hard drive where they will earn you nothing!

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10 hours ago, Ernest J Sanchez said:

The forest is my second home.

Spending time in the forest (whichever country you are in) sounds wonderful. I love trees 🙂

One important piece of advice you will already have been given, but I will stress it, is accurate keywords.

Do put the place you are in, including the country, whatever is in the image, including colours and concepts it could be used for.

I have trees in my port that are creepy as they are very ancient yew trees in strange shapes, so I have included words like 'creepy' 'strange' etc.

Once you sell a few of an image you sometimes are told (in the 'Top Performers' section) which keywords have been used.

For one of my forest photos the list below is a good example, showing the keywords that have been used to find the image:

  • forest
    30.8%
  • blue
    15.4%
  • garlic
    7.7%
  • beech
    7.7%
  • woods
    7.7%
  • tree
    7.7%
  • english
    7.7%
  • wild
    7.7%
  • bluebells
    7.7%
 
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Annie,

if I read everything correctly, no one here has written that Ernest is incapable. From my point of view, the only thing that has been written here is the assessment of whether such images as he had in his portfolio would sell or not. I ask you to differentiate accordingly.

I would like to explain things here from my perspective and background.

When I decided as a young person to study industrial design, I applied to a prestigious design college. There were 400 applicants for 18 study places. They all had to submit a portfolio with drawings and designs.
After a few weeks, I received a rejection letter.* I was completely unqualified and was not allowed to apply to this university once more. So I was a newbie as well and had to deal with the professors' assessment. By submitting a portfolio there, I asked if my work was good enough. My designs were bad according to their assessment.

I made many new drafts, rebuilt my portfolio and applied to another university. Here there were 180 applicants for 8 study places. I was lucky and was accepted. I guess because of the improvement of my portfolio.

I studied industrial design and then taught for two years. As a lecturer, I had to evaluate the work of my students at the end of the semester - give a grade. I always gave very detailed reasons for this grade.
A grade is always the symbol for the assessment of a student's work. It is possible that it is never really fair, because subjective opinions always influence the grading to a small degree. But for the most part, there was a range of objective design bases for these grades.

At the same time, I was on the committee that had to decide which of the students who applied to my university would get a place. Now I sat on the other side and had to judge, who had sufficient ability to be allowed to study.

I have been self-employed since 1991. And get applications on a regular basis.

A lot of these applications come from a private college of design in a major city nearby. Here, the parents of the children who study there spend a lot of money per semester on education. 
The report cards of these students are excellent - exclusively very above-average grades. But when I see their application portfolios, I can only marvel. The finished students of this private university are not suitable for professional life. No skills.

This is theft! They have robbed the young people 5 years of their life and the parents the money for a five-year study. They left the young people by dishonesty for 5 years in the belief that they do something meaningful for their later life. I find that incredibly rotten! I don't think these professors deserve the money they are getting.

Based on this personal history and experiences, it results that I try to give serious assessments.

If someone has the courage to ask the question whether his images are sellable or not, he deserves an honest and sincere answer.
If he can't bear the answer - we had such cases here too, then he shouldn't ask the question. Wanting only positive answers, even if they may not be justified, will not get you anywhere. On the contrary.

My impression is that Ernest was serious about his question, is open to criticism, and wanted to get an impression of other contributors' assessments. And, from the looks of it, these assessments have also given him insights.

Good luck and success for your stock future, Ernest!

 

*There used to be something like that here. 10 application pictures that you had to submit and that decided whether you could sell stock images or not. Today, this assessment is discussed in the forum.

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2 hours ago, Wilm Ihlenfeld said:

If someone has the courage to ask the question whether his images are sellable or not, he deserves an honest and sincere answer.  If he can't bear the answer - we had such cases here too, then he shouldn't ask the question. Wanting only positive answers, even if they may not be justified, will not get you anywhere. On the contrary.My impression is that Ernest was serious about his question, is open to criticism, and wanted to get an impression of other contributors' assessments. And, from the looks of it, these assessments have also given him insights.Good luck and success for your stock future, Ernest!

Great post.  I agree completely. 

And I stand by my original advice . . . 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 boring metadata.

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On 6/25/2021 at 9:10 PM, Ernest J Sanchez said:

After thinking for a couple of days you guys are right. This is probably not the right forum for what I do. I'm thinking I would do better on a POD site where people want to hang stuff on their walls or I might do okay on Adobe stock. I'll probably leave my stuff up just to see if I can make some pocket change. No complaints from me. Reality just hit and facts are facts. This place is more business oriented and that is not what I enjoy doing.

Thank you everyone for the feedback. I will work on the technical and artistic aspects everyone mentioned. I certainly learned a lot from this post.

Don't know if I'm allowed to post this here but you could try Wirestock - they distribute photos to a few MS sites - it does save a lot of time (they take a modest commission though). 

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