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My photos aren't selling, it's been 1 week and I've posted 26 approved photos yet


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I've started uploading photos to Shutterstock a week ago, there are 26 approved photos in my Portfolio and none of them have been sold yet. This is really disappointing or maybe I've been doing something wrong, if you can please help me. Tell me what am I doing wrong or what kind of photos should I be uploading.

My Portfolio:  https://www.shutterstock.com/g/Travelling.north?rid=222543623&utm_medium=email&utm_source=ctrbreferral-t-link

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Hi,

I also have 26 photos and been on SS for around 30 days and within that time I have sold two photos.
Reading through these forums, there is a wealth of information that has helped me and I'm sure will help you too.

As a photographer starting out in stock I see every photo that I capture as a lesson to my myself and run it past a mental checklist to critique it sufficiently. Technically is the photo up to standard? focus, composition, exposure? if so I move on to the subject. Is the subject or main point of the photo clear? what am I as a photographer trying to portray to the end user? and most importantly, is the photo sellable? I often look at my port and think what could this photo be used for? advertising? editorial content? instore wall art? My port is by nowhere near the standard that I want it to be, but hey, we all need to start somewhere right?

Some people will say quantity is more important than quality when talking about stock, however, I believe in the opposite. I would much rather have 10 awesome photos than 100 so so photos. I mean what's the point in having 1700 photos if you don't get any sales right?

Pinterest and google is your friend and holds a wealth of information, you just need to know where to look.

 

Hope this helps.

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Well, for starters this business is for the long haul only, not e quick way to make money, we all start small on here, growth is up to you.

So as mentioned above, we have to start somewhere and if you are new to this there is a learning curve.

Advice? Look at what IS selling well an take it on board, success leaves clues!, Think like a buyer, think composition, leave space for text/copy etc., get your technique perfect.

Last, don't be disappointed at low sales to begin with, be thick skinned and if you've 'got it' you'll get there.

All the best.

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You are doing the right steps, but you need a lot more work to start selling. If you want something from your 26 works to be sold, one of them should be unique and better than a million others. Take the first tip to take more, more and more. 26 it's nothing. Have at least 500 jobs and try to do it with better quality. Don't forget the commercial value. Always think about where this work could be used? If you can't find the answer for you, it's better not to charge that photo. Get started, don't drop your hands and keep working. You will soon see results

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Well, without putting too fine a point on it, you aren't selling because you aren't offering anything a buyer wants or needs.

Remember these letters: LCV - Low Commercial Value. Just about every photo in your port is LCV, and they are, technically and artistically speaking, not very good. 

2019-01-12_06-47-54.thumb.jpg.8233d7b5adb8b850a6b945252c168574.jpg

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I will leave critique to others, because while it's important to learn what to offer and be able to produce it in a high quality way, that is not the only element to your question.

Your expectations are WAAAAY too high, regardless of the images. You have 26 images in a sea of 257 million, (that's 257,000,000). Elizabeth Warren has more native American ancestry (well, more Mexican, Peruvian and/or Columbian ancestry) than that! My calculator doesn't have enough digits to extrapolate the nth degree to which your 26 images represent of Shutterstock's entire collection.

So, in a word, if you're impatient now, then this is definitely not for you.

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As others have said, it takes a while. I would suggest you take less portrait and more landscape photos. It could be just my experience, but landscape seems to sell better (I'm talking about the image dimensions, not the subjects). Other than that, just make sure you really love what you're doing and that would be doing it anyway even if your photos don't sell. I would be shooting and editing even if my photos didn't sell, because I love the creative process and it's my hobby. That they happen to sell is just an added bonus.

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This is not meant to discourage, but rather give you realistic view.

Based on number of data points gathered in other threads, average portfolios tend to sell around 2-4% of total images per month. This is no guarantee and individual results will vary a lot based on subject, commercial value, uniqueness and many other factors; some make a lot with very small port, some make very little with huge ports. Never the less, this can help you estimate and judge where you are relative to a generic average port. So with 26 photos your baseline number would be 1 sale (assume 25c) every 3-4 months. 

Given all the valid feedback others have provided, the quality of your port is at this point not that great even for average number, which means your sales will probably be worse than anticipated above.

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On 1/6/2019 at 11:32 PM, Travelling.north said:

I've started uploading photos to Shutterstock a week ago, there are 26 approved photos in my Portfolio and none of them have been sold yet. This is really disappointing or maybe I've been doing something wrong, if you can please help me. Tell me what am I doing wrong or what kind of photos should I be uploading.

My Portfolio:  https://www.shutterstock.com/g/Travelling.north?rid=222543623&utm_medium=email&utm_source=ctrbreferral-t-link

How did some of these ever get accepted? 
I've got about 500 images and my port does exactly what I want it to - it buys me a round trip ticket to almost anywhere once and sometimes twice a year. Who would purchase the OOF birds and for what reason? If there's one OOF image that means they're all probably OOF. Taking photos that are in focus is part of the skill and believe me I had to learn this lesson the hard way.

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On 1/12/2019 at 11:08 PM, Phil Lowe said:

And, by the way, this one, the birds in flight, never should've been approved. They are completely out of focus.

2019-01-12_18-06-15.jpg.0e02726ced554bc8ce6567305089a9bd.jpg

Zero technical competency is required now. Literally anyone who owns a camera of any sort can contribute.   

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Geez dude, if selling photos is easy then everyone would be snapping around with camera. It takes practice, thinking and effort to actually earn. I've got measly 200 photos and sell maybe 1 per month, mainly because its not big portfolio and I still got a lot to learn about what actually sells. Lowering standards in acceptance on SS do not actually help because data base is filled with mediocre photos, so the quality can't come through. 

So you want to earn, triple your efforts and learn along the way. 

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5 hours ago, paula french said:

OOF !!!!  That is an  understatement - I recently uploaded a photo and it was rejected for bring OOF - Fair enough - BUT - there is OOF and OOF - how the hell did this get through??

Most of those images are OOF. As to how they got through, I've got to believe that SS has just told reviewers to accept everything.  I mean, how else can anyone explain a port like this?

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I sell about 5 per month on this site. I have nearly 300 images. Im still nowhere near where I want to be, but I feel I’m improving. 

I think there are too many websites that give terrible advice if you do a search for ‘ways to make money with Photography’ or whatever phrase, a lot of them suggest micro stock. But they have it all wrong. They say if you have photos sat on your hard drive why not upload them and make money. As if it’s that simple. Then you’ll have a ‘passive income’ with minimal effort. Like anything, if we want results in takes a lot of time and effort.

I have a lot in my portfolio which now, I don’t think are much good. I’m no expert by any means. But I’m open to advice and learning.

Competition is fierce but luckily people here are generous with critique and advice. I wish the reviews were stricter. It would certainly help me to know what I need to do better. 

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