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Fixazh

The question for Donkeys and Carrots Witnesses adepts

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49 minutes ago, geogif said:

After submit, every photo counts same. The later value (garbage or gold) is very easy defined, by time and buyers. No sales let the photo sink down, sales let it pop up. Of course other factors also count, but which and how is hold secret by the agencies.

Basicly, it is the milk-and-cream thing. The 1000 garbage photos are the milk.

OK, it is the milk-and-cream thing. You're the manager of the cream and milk department at the supermarket. You have 10 shelves for a hundred milk packs and 5 for cream. You cooperate with all manufacturers. Every day 1000 suppliers bring you milk and cream. 50k of milk. 5k packages of cream. Someone brings extra quality always. Somebody middle. Somebody brings water and chalk, but sometimes normal cream...You do not select a product by supplier rating. You put each package on the shelf... Every couple of minutes, the buyer sees a new product. Buyers are happy. Suppliers are delighted. You're a wizard.

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9 hours ago, Fixazh said:

OK, it is the milk-and-cream thing. You're the manager of the cream and milk department at the supermarket.

No, the meaning of this metaphor is different. Our photos are the raw milk - in the beginning. All worth the same amount or the same little. And it is only through the activities of the buyers that this raw milk is partly transformed into valuable cream that floats on top of the milk.  So it's a little different from your comparison. 

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On 12/28/2019 at 5:04 AM, Doug McLean said:

Upload as many high quality, useful pictures as you can, and use relevant keywords and descriptions.

 

+1

I refer to them as "HCVPs" - High Commercial Value Photographs (or HCV Illustrations or Videos). That means professional quality, highly relevant to identifiable commercial or editorial uses, unique (to the extent there is such a thing these days), and titled/keyworded to be found by the right customers.

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I do not delete photos after I have gone to all the work of uploading them.  However, I have chosen to only upload my very best images and 2/3rds of my images have been downloaded at least once. 

Some here have chosen to upload anything and everything.   Just because they incessantly claim the superiority of this method, doesn't mean that they know what they're doing or that it represents the most efficient way to make money in Microstock.  Accomplishment of a goal, while admirable, is just that, it proves little without documented results.

I suggest you come to your own conclusion on how to make money here, based upon the facts, not the loudest voice. 

 

 

    

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On 12/29/2019 at 10:02 PM, Fixazh said:

Ranking. If you have many unsold images, the first 5-7 pages of search are not for you. Buyers rarely look beyond this pages. Time is money.

This is the reason why I create themed collections, and I allow buyers to go to the essentials by collections with only 1 to 4 pages.

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7 hours ago, Steve Bower said:

I do not delete photos after I have gone to all the work of uploading them.  However, I have chosen to only upload my very best images and 2/3rds of my images have been downloaded at least once. 

I haven't the slightest idea what my "best images" are. My opinion of "best images" is obviously a different opinion than that of the buyers...

Of course I also select, but already at the first review of the RAWs. Every photo that made it into the PP and that I tagged with effort and sweat goes online. 
I'm glad that I didn't take my opinion about "professional", "good quality", "usable", etc. into account. Because if I had done that, I would only earn half as much today. 
Since I am not a buyer and since my normal life and education has nothing to do with photography, design, advertising or the like, I simply have no idea what buyers buy. 
Photos, which are often really bad (in my opinion), sell, even as expensive individual sales. My opinion is worth nothing, so I don't take my opinion into account, but follow important rules for stock photographers: upload, upload, upload. And never delete them. 

Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator (free version)

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On 12/29/2019 at 1:30 AM, paula french said:

Don't see the point of deleting accepted stuff - unless you personally feel they are not good enough.  I often sell sold for the first time from 2013 / 2014 -  OK only $0.36 most of the time, but occasionally they are SOD or ODD - who knows when one day they might sell - all the hard work has already been down with the uploading and keywording so why delete - unless as I said earlier they are in your opinion not good, or you can improve them.

+1

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On 1/3/2020 at 9:04 AM, Ikars said:

There are people who are uploading abnormal quantities of photos - tens of thousands per year. Real photogrpahers who has portfolios with 100 000+ photos. Many images are similar, not all of very high quality - but apparently there is a reason why they do this. And if they do this, it apparently works - because noone would be so fanatic to persistently do something which doesn't work. I will also try to approach this quantity strategy. 

Quantity is fine, but remember that 100,000 images that are poor in quality or titling/keywording are likely to produce less revenue than 1,000 top-notch images. IMHO.

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41 minutes ago, GregDPhotos said:

Quantity is fine, but remember that 100,000 images that are poor in quality or titling/keywording are likely to produce less revenue than 1,000 top-notch images. IMHO.

As far as the "overall quality" of a photo is concerned, there are as many opinions here as there are contributors.  Often the limitation to a few pictures with the justification of high quality is nothing more than a mixture of lack of time or laziness with lack of ideas. 
 
I agree with you about technical quality. Respect for the buyer alone dictates that we offer a technically acceptable product. 
Of course, the level of quality can also depend on the motive and the situation. When I take a product photo in a light tent, the technical quality is of course more important than an editorial from a police operation at a demonstration.
All other quality features that play a role in photo clubs can be considered. But one can also do without them. In my experience, the motif in stock photography is much more important and significant for sales success than the "artistic" quality. So it is better to submit a "bad" photo of a "good" motive than the other way round. 
However, I have to concretize my "upload, upload, upload" advice a little bit. The effort to fill your own database with as many pictures as possible must not lead to making similars. Similars (if they are not rejected) are bad for both the seller and the buyer. One should sift them out. Or not, in the end the sales will show what was right and what was wrong. 


 

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Uploading images of questionable quality, all in the name of "feeding the beast" or reaching an arbitrary (and pointless) number of images in a portfolio, is a waste of time and effort.  There has been no proof offered by anyone who has engaged in this practice that indicates such a strategy pays off in terms of earnings. 

Shoot what's trending, do it better than anyone else, and provide comprehensive, accurate, and relevant metadata with such images, and you will be more successful than those who don't. 

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6 minutes ago, Phil Lowe said:

do it better than anyone else

You only can have an idea of "better" or "not better", if your database is big enough. 

Many of my "not so good" fotos sell better then "good" fotos from the same shooting session. 

As I said, of course a technical standard should be taken in account and similars should be avoided. 

But after all, more pictures in the database mean more information about buyers behavior. 

So do not upload garbage, but upload, upload, upload. 

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Personally I find these discussions regarding stock methodologies intriguing. However, I wonder if there would be a benefit to a one-month moratorium on members rehashing our perspectives (myself included)... :unsure:

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3 hours ago, GregDPhotos said:

Personally I find these discussions regarding stock methodologies intriguing. However, I wonder if there would be a benefit to a one-month moratorium on members rehashing our perspectives (myself included)... :unsure:

All I am trying to figure out why am I down and I do mean way down by 5 downloads when last month I ended with 92 downloads and month before 200. I know Valentines day is next month and I have nothing really for that holiday. But yet I have not experienced a full year with a large portifoilo. Just started massively uploading 4 months ago. My first drought month. 

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5 hours ago, geogif said:

Since I am not a buyer and since my normal life and education has nothing to do with photography, design, advertising or the like, I simply have no idea what buyers buy. 
Photos, which are often really bad (in my opinion), sell, even as expensive individual sales. My opinion is worth nothing, so I don't take my opinion into account, but follow important rules for stock photographers: upload, upload, upload. And never delete them.

 

4 hours ago, geogif said:

Often the limitation to a few pictures with the justification of high quality is nothing more than a mixture of lack of time or laziness with lack of ideas.


 

To be fair any or all of those could apply to me on any given day, but also to be fair you've explaned why upload upload upload is the best approach for you, not an important rule for stock photographers. As you say, you are not a buyer and you do not come from a background in photography, advertising or design. So naturally your interaction with and practical understanding of the market for visual imagery is going to be very limited indeed. Which brings me to my point - that upload upload upload might be one way - but it is certainly not necessarily the best way. Believe it or not buyers are a far more homogenous group than you care to believe. They respond to trends, styles and subject matter just like the rest of us. I would suggest that understanding more about what these buyers are actually looking for long before you press the shutter release is the only important rule for stock photographers. 

The good news for those just starting out is that you don't actually need a background in photography or marketing or design, and you certainly don't need an extensive database of 10,000 hit and miss (mostly miss) images to get a feel for what the market wants. This information is ubiquitous and free. Pick up a magazine, visit a blog, or better yet skim through the top stock agencies for the top images in their top categories. This is what is trending. This is what is selling. Are you going to set any trends of your own or win any awards for creativity with this approach, probably not, but you are definitely going to increase your own chances for sales. Steady, predictable and repeat sales.

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18 minutes ago, Aaron of L.A. Photography said:

All I am trying to figure out why am I down and I do mean way down by 5 downloads when last month I ended with 92 downloads and month before 200. I know Valentines day is next month and I have nothing really for that holiday. But yet I have not experienced a full year with a large portifoilo. Just started massively uploading 4 months ago. My first drought month. 

Aaron have you been uploading at the same rate?

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9 minutes ago, Foodio said:

To be fair any or all of those could apply to me on any given day, but also to be fair you've explaned why upload upload upload is the best approach for you, not an important rule for stock photographers. As you say, you are not a buyer and you do not come from a background in photography, advertising or design. So naturally your interaction with and practical understanding of the market for visual imagery is going to be very limited indeed. Which brings me to my point - that upload upload upload might be one way - but it is certainly not necessarily the best way. Believe it or not buyers are a far more homogenous group than you care to believe. They respond to trends, styles and subject matter just like the rest of us. I would suggest that understanding more about what these buyers are actually looking for long before you press the shutter release is the only important rule for stock photographers. 

Agree. This is only my way and surely not the onliest way. But a way, everybody can walk.

But you are right, one advantage of Stock is, that there are many ways. If someone loves it to take shots in a light-tent, or takes big efforts in composing, it can be different. 

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7 minutes ago, Aaron of L.A. Photography said:

Leaning off a bit. Been running to events and been doing photo editing for travel organizations in my state. 

So I am just speculating here, but if you are seeing a direct correlation between sales volumes and upload volumes then that would be quite natural. Keep in mind that a lot of buyers use the "fresh content" filter if they don't immediately find what they are looking for on the default search sort. Still though, January and February can be funny months and it is still probably way too early for you to draw any meaningful conclusions.

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We all sell "stock photos", however, there are many different photo genre in addition to the commercial and editorial distinction as well.  Each "category" has different BUYERS and different criteria or standards these buyers apply to their purchases.  

The competition within the nature, travel and landscape genre is huge and I can safely say popular images within that category must have great composition, lighting and post processing as well as unique timing or prospective.  Portrait/fashion photographers also must meet a very high technical standard in order to compete.  It is our responsibility to know the standard for our genre and then be able to recognize and or be able to recreate it in our submissions.  In my opinion, images that don't meet the standards or criteria of their specific genre, seldom become popular.  

It is quite apparent that we all (myself included) tend to assume that our portfolio experience should or could be applied to all portfolios and genre, even to the stock industry as a whole.  This is a big mistake.  It should not be assumed that if an individual with a large editorial portfolio sells an editorial image of questionable quality that similar quality photos (in other genre) will be acceptable to their buyers.  Editorial images have a different acceptance standard for a reason.  The "moment" is all important, not the technical aspects of the photo. 

If we think about it, I'm sure we could all come up with standards or scenarios that should not be applied universally to the stock industry.        

    

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1 hour ago, Foodio said:

So I am just speculating here, but if you are seeing a direct correlation between sales volumes and upload volumes then that would be quite natural. Keep in mind that a lot of buyers use the "fresh content" filter if they don't immediately find what they are looking for on the default search sort. Still though, January and February can be funny months and it is still probably way too early for you to draw any meaningful conclusions.

True. I got a sub for a photo of tree bark. Like I keep saying we don't know what these buyers want.

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On 1/10/2020 at 9:44 AM, GregDPhotos said:

Quantity is fine, but remember that 100,000 images that are poor in quality or titling/keywording are likely to produce less revenue than 1,000 top-notch images. IMHO.

Probably. If I would know what is my "1000 top-notch" images then I would upload only them. But as I don't know that (see my other thread "Mediocre photos which has sold AND great photos which hasn't") then I have to aim to 100 000 and then hope that those 1000 top-notches will be between them ;)

P.s. However I like to think that I don't upload many "poor quality" photos - just photos which isn't beautiful or special but still (mostly) carefully processed. Titles and keywords are different story though - I really doesn't have a patience to adapt keywords and titles to each single average photo I upload, there I use mass copy/paste keywording. But for the photos I see as more special in my own eyes, I devote more care and time to describe and tag them appropriately.

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On 12/28/2019 at 8:29 PM, oleschwander said:

No.

And your "no" has to be underlined a thousand times; basta --

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