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Come on, buy my stuff already, will ya? :D


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Okay, I admit that in the past I haven't been consistent enough when it comes to uploading images. But recently, this has changed. I am uploading almost every day. I am also sharing my portfolio link on social medial and anywhere I can. I am taking care of keywords as well, making sure photo descriptions are what the customers would search. But, no sales. Last sale was on April 24th. And that's all I get throughout the year, 3-4 sales. This doesn't make any sense. The only thing that kept me going is a video sale that got me $10. That's the biggest amount I ever got here. I even thought that's some kind of mind game from Shutterstock in order for me to continue uploading. Of course, that's just an assumption of mine :D

If you want to check my portfolio and give me some tips, I would greatly appreciate it. https://www.shutterstock.com/g/famingel?rid=170608184

So, since 2017 my earnings are $18. As I said, I wasn't consistent before so I am aware most of it is on me, but now that this has changed, I'm wondering what it takes to be recognized and start earning at least you know, $100 a month?

Thanks in advance

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First, you only have 325 mages. You need way more than that to make regular sales.

Second, you need images that are more usable commercially.  Some of your images have some commercial appeal, but most do not. A lot of them look like vacation snapshots. You need to shoot subjects that are in demand, or, pick a niche that is poorly represented and do it better than anyone else.

Third, you need to work on your metadata. You have one that has the description "Green bug sleeping on a purple flower". What kind of bug? What kind of flower? Or "Cute face of a dog". What breed of dog? Young puppy, old dog, or what? What expression is on his face? Most of your images don't have enough relevant keywords or good descriptions, if the buyers can't find them, they can't buy them.

Finally, some of your images could e better technically. Many could use better composition, better lighting, etc. If you look at any of your photos and compare them with what is available for the same subject, which ones look better? Which do you think a buyer would pick?

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Good deal, Doug. You have some pretty valid insights. Thank you for sharing them. I guess I am still finding my niche. I know for sure that Nature and Macro Photography spark a light in me, but there's just plenty of photos in that category out there, and I have yet to discover how I would make it differently, so that a buyer would pick my work.

Regarding metadata, yes I can work on improving that, but technical aspects of photography, I have gotten totally lost about that. If I am able to learn one thing and apply it, I forget about some other technical aspect and I constantly struggle to get better photos.

When I had first starter kit, I made better photos, then I am making now with better equipment. I guess the name of the topic should be "When will I learn finally?" :D

Thanks again, Doug.

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48 minutes ago, color_me_light said:

Good deal, Doug. You have some pretty valid insights. Thank you for sharing them. I guess I am still finding my niche. I know for sure that Nature and Macro Photography spark a light in me, but there's just plenty of photos in that category out there, and I have yet to discover how I would make it differently, so that a buyer would pick my work.

Regarding metadata, yes I can work on improving that, but technical aspects of photography, I have gotten totally lost about that. If I am able to learn one thing and apply it, I forget about some other technical aspect and I constantly struggle to get better photos.

When I had first starter kit, I made better photos, then I am making now with better equipment. I guess the name of the topic should be "When will I learn finally?" :D

Thanks again, Doug.

Do your camera allow you to do focus bracketing? In macro photos that for sure is important technique.. Other thing that came to my mind is that you probably need to edit your photos more, I mean, at least shadow and highlight editing. I've learned also hard way, that photos without people don't sell very well. I'd recommend checking all these places constantly and seeing what is currently being searched.
https://www.shutterstock.com/explore/the-shot-list
https://contributor.stock.adobe.com/fi/insights/best/contributors

Also, if you have an Idea what in the future will be bought, you can be early bird and do photos of that also. :) For example, I am sure that in the near future there will be sold photos of people who don't need to use masks anymore etc.

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13 hours ago, Doug McLean said:

First, you only have 325 mages. You need way more than that to make regular sales.

Second, you need images that are more usable commercially.  Some of your images have some commercial appeal, but most do not. A lot of them look like vacation snapshots. You need to shoot subjects that are in demand, or, pick a niche that is poorly represented and do it better than anyone else.

Third, you need to work on your metadata. You have one that has the description "Green bug sleeping on a purple flower". What kind of bug? What kind of flower? Or "Cute face of a dog". What breed of dog? Young puppy, old dog, or what? What expression is on his face? Most of your images don't have enough relevant keywords or good descriptions, if the buyers can't find them, they can't buy them.

Finally, some of your images could e better technically. Many could use better composition, better lighting, etc. If you look at any of your photos and compare them with what is available for the same subject, which ones look better? Which do you think a buyer would pick?

This ⬆️

For commercially useable images, try to think like a buyer. The image has to fulfil a need to sell. So try to think about what that need might be. A flower photo for example could be used to illustrate a botanical article in which case you need a clear image and the botanical name in the keywords or it wont get found. It may be used as an element of a design in which case colour or shape may be more important. Or to illustrate a story, so the way it's photographed may be more important, may be in a dreamy artistic way. Someone may want to add text on top of the image, so copy space would be important to that buyer. Flowers can be symbolic and used for this reason too, poppies for remembrance, red roses for love, etc. Think of this use and photograph accordingly. Same for their use in herbal remedies. The list is endless.
The point being when you take your photo, try to think of how it could be used and photograph with this in mind. Then keep this in mind when you write the description and keywords too. Generally this would include using the botanical name, common names, colour, point of view, etc plus bokeh, copy space, symbolism etc if relevant.

This applies to everything, but you can still take photos just because you want too! Then if you bare this in mind when keywording it will still help.

 
 

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On 7/12/2021 at 7:27 PM, color_me_light said:

I'm wondering what it takes to be recognized and start earning

In order to earn money you have to speed up your uploads. In my view the most sellable image is the one with the tree trunk and the chainsaw. Why don't you shoot some alternative images when you are shooting. One from a distance. One closer - and from another angle - and one or two close ups? Then you have three or four images to upload instead of just one. Croatia is becoming a great country for many tourists, so go and shoot images for tourism. If you don't live near the places where tourists go then shoot nice  houses, people at a square, people working, relaxing and maybe enjoying themselves. Use your imagination, look at other images of Croatia and neighbour countries. To earn money you have to 'shoot' people (maybe use some family or friends so you can submit as commercial images) - or be a hell of a good landscape photographer. You can reach your goal faster by getting a drone - but they are of course expensive. Go and shoot sellable images and upload - not one - but ten a day. Ask yourself what customers want to buy. Learn to shoot and process images from Youtube or elsewhere. Lots of great tips. (even still here at Shutterstock forum). Good luck.

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On 7/13/2021 at 3:15 AM, MrSorbias said:

Do your camera allow you to do focus bracketing? In macro photos that for sure is important technique.. Other thing that came to my mind is that you probably need to edit your photos more, I mean, at least shadow and highlight editing. I've learned also hard way, that photos without people don't sell very well. I'd recommend checking all these places constantly and seeing what is currently being searched.
https://www.shutterstock.com/explore/the-shot-list
https://contributor.stock.adobe.com/fi/insights/best/contributors

Also, if you have an Idea what in the future will be bought, you can be early bird and do photos of that also. :) For example, I am sure that in the near future there will be sold photos of people who don't need to use masks anymore etc.

I think that camera is broken

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On 7/12/2021 at 3:03 PM, Doug McLean said:

First, you only have 325 mages. You need way more than that to make regular sales.

Second, you need images that are more usable commercially.  Some of your images have some commercial appeal, but most do not. A lot of them look like vacation snapshots. You need to shoot subjects that are in demand, or, pick a niche that is poorly represented and do it better than anyone else.

Third, you need to work on your metadata. You have one that has the description "Green bug sleeping on a purple flower". What kind of bug? What kind of flower? Or "Cute face of a dog". What breed of dog? Young puppy, old dog, or what? What expression is on his face? Most of your images don't have enough relevant keywords or good descriptions, if the buyers can't find them, they can't buy them.

Finally, some of your images could e better technically. Many could use better composition, better lighting, etc. If you look at any of your photos and compare them with what is available for the same subject, which ones look better? Which do you think a buyer would pick?

i'll second (third) what Doug and  mcowenlevi said.  My port isn't huge by any standards, nor do I claim to be a big earner here (less than 2x @McOwenLevi's  port, but a similar # of downloads). I've also slowed my uploads while I figure out what I can shoot that's under-represented and/or unique to SS from around where I live, and figure out how to improve my photos. Anyhow here are some thoughts and advice I've been given:

Find stuff that's unique to croatia (that's what your profile says as to your location) that you can get to. Also keywording is important, as mentioned. I know with some of my better sellers, people had looked for photos of the subject, and used the location as well (ie, autumn and the US state I'm in or  the city/town that the photo was taken in), so even if the photo is rather generic and well (eg, 4,800,000+ photos) represented here on SS, there still might be room for photos of farms, autumn foliage, etc in croatia, for example.   Some subjects do have millions of images up here on SS, others just a few, or just tens or a few hundred. The # of images doesn't necessarily correlate with the demand for them (Do there really need to be millions of rose photos on SS for people to find what they need?), though some subjects that argument could be made, but on the other hand, a photo of a church that's not well known outside the country it's in might not have a huge market. That doesn't mean there's no market for it, and 2 or 3 good photos of said church is more likely to stand out in a group of 10 or 100 photos than a good photo of a rose who's competition is thousands of times larger, so if on a rare occasion someone needed a photo of that church one of those 2-3 photos will more likely be found and chosen, than a2 to 3 photos out of 4+ million. In other cases, little representation on SS may just mean there haven't been that many people uploading photos of that subject and there's a decent demand for said subject. WHat "decent demand" is likely to mean different things to different people and depend on the subject.

Needing to improve my skills as well, I tend not to (even sound like) I'm being critical of other's photographs, but with photos like this: https://www.shutterstock.com/image-photo/spring-evening-scene-meadow-full-colorful-1403871839   might benefit from being made into HDR photos (if your camera doesn't have the functions to do that, you can bracket the subject and then make an HDR image using software). In either case, using a tripod would probably be needed.

There have been multiple threads as to which is more important, quality or quantity. The real answer, I suspect, is a bit of both. A port of poorly exposed, poorly composed. photos with 4,000 images isn't going to sell as well as a port the same size, of the same subjects that are well exposed and well composed.

 

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