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Mediocre photos which has sold AND great photos which hasn't


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Hello, Foodio,

I know that relevance sorting has become more dynamic. But here at shutterstock it has remained fairer than at other agencies.

I've read this article as well.

If the entire search results are now only dynamic at some point, contributors who invest a great deal of time in a single image will think very carefully about whether they will then still upload high-quality material.

In the end, it's like doug always writes: How much time do I need for an image or a video? What hourly wage will I get? If you work on a picture for three hours, but it's only visible for 2 weeks, you get 50 downloads for 0,38 US$ in that time, then that's an hourly wage of a little over 6 US$. If the image disappears afterwards because of a newer one, it isn't worth it, to spend this time. This is simply no longer profitable for providers coming from countries where the cost of living is high.

Extraordinary pictures sometimes take time. Or they cost money, because the contributor has to pay models. This is no longer possible then.

So agencies should not only keep an eye on the "freshness" of the pictures from the customer's point of view, but also think of their providers.

 

BTW: I believe in a portfolio ranking. But I know many people don't believe that.

 

Cheers, Wilm

 

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My biggest single sale at SS. Made with a tiny pity camera through the dirty plastic window of the visitor terrace.     A great photo. Sorry I cannot give example for mediocre, I

Would be interesting to share with two types of photos here: 1) The ones you view as mediocre (at best) and didn't expect anything, and yet they somehow got sold at least once 2) The ones yo

This keeps selling despite the drab, overcast sky.  I'm glad it does, but I have better. This has never sold despite its rich, vibrant colors and tack-sharp focus.

Posted Images

3 hours ago, Starsphinx said:

So on the "why did that sell" front I have male-female-catkins-on-alder-250nw-1337927708.jpg

And on the "Why is nobody buying this" I offer Robin (erithacus rubecula) on a post with a river in the background (landscape)Which as specifically composed with stock in mind - hence the big blurred space for text (The robin was being very cooperative that day sitting still for ages while I faffed around)

Mind you I am still shocked when any of my stuff sells - on any agency.  I also see little to no overlap between agencies and seeing as so far my ability to predict what will sell and what will not is non existent I am sticking with the "if it is sharp upload it everywhere anyway even when I do not have the foggiest idea what anyone would want it for" method.  If it is available it might sell (people are weird) if it is sat on my harddrive it definitely will not.

nice one Starsphinx! my version of it. I never uploaded it though, cuz it is a bit on the "soft side" (it surely would risk rejection). besides, if you consider the competition... just no chance. so it's just sitting on my harddrive : ). 

Robin-1-P1320001-small.jpg

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2 hours ago, Wilm Ihlenfeld said:

I had several of those "no commercial value" images rejected there. Most of them were images, that I had uploaded after they were selling at other sites. When the first refusal came in because of this reasoning, I wrote an e-mail and told them, that this image without commercial value had already sold hundreds of times. But that didn't interest them.

It's their decision that I have to accept.

LoL! I think I only got that particular rejection reason maybe twice. It didn't bother me at all though (and just like in your case, other sites accepted them). but after closer examination I tended to agree with the reviewer. That doesn't mean though that my accepted photos sell well : ). some do sort of O.K., but very few and nothing like your thousands of DLs. I completely agree with you that unless it is picked up early on after submit, it will just sink into some deep and murky abyss despite of it's potential "value" and "usability". And even if someone finds it (based on keywords) once or twice, it will never recover. 

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14 minutes ago, Istvan Balogh said:

nice one Starsphinx! my version of it. I never uploaded it though, cuz it is a bit on the "soft side" (it surely would risk rejection). besides, if you consider the competition... just no chance. so it's just sitting on my harddrive : ). 

Robin-1-P1320001-small.jpg

Hello, Istvan,

Excuse me - I hope I may:

Wouldn't it be better to crop the image so that the black areas on the right disappear?

Robin-1-P1320001-small.jpg.16b335900b241c6087ea11bdbffc9ae3.jpg

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2 minutes ago, Istvan Balogh said:

LoL! I think I only got that particular rejection reason maybe twice. It didn't bother me at all though (and just like in your case, other sites accepted them). but after closer examination I tended to agree with the reviewer. That doesn't mean though that my accepted photos sell well : ). some do sort of O.K., but very few and nothing like your thousands of DLs. I completely agree with you that unless it is picked up early on after submit, it will just sink into some deep and murky abyss despite of it's potential "value" and "usability". And even if someone finds it (based on keywords) once or twice, it will never recover. 

Well, I have to admit, that those images were no microstock highlights. Why they were sold so often - I don't know...

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Yep that's why I upload photos that in my mind dont have much commercial value cause you never know what people are lookiung for and for what usage

Here are some poor photos that sold;

apples-tree-260nw-350308706.jpg

ausable-chasm-grand-canyon-adirondacks-6

morialta-conservation-park-600w-11077229

 

I don't have anything stellar that has never sold however, my best images imo have sold and most of my work is average anyways

If I have to pick one maybe this one?:

People Watching Fireworks at Sunset in English Bay Beach, Vancouver Canada

 

I just came back from holiday with a few disappointing photos that I decided to upload anyways cause you never know...

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7 hours ago, Istvan Balogh said:

somewhat along the line of the OP's subject - yet a bit different - if I could pick contributors' brain here!? here is my dilemma: I have been uploading to 3 micro sites (5, if I also count 500px and FAA, but have not sold a thing ever on these two) for quite some time and recently decided to start uploading to yet another. and my "logic" was, that I am not gonna waste too much time with this, but rather upload only (!) stuff that already sold several times (4-6-10-15...) at those 3 other sites. you might say that I only wanted to post the "popular" ones to save everybody time (myself firstly, but also potential buyers). but after about 2 months and several dozens of photos up, not a single buy! so was my original thinking flawed? where did I go wrong? is it that what sells at one (two, three) site may not have a chance at another(s), because it caters to a different clientele? or is this simply a numbers game and all a contributor can do is shoot, upload and rewind (shoot and upload again, and again...) and hope that something will stick at the end? just beats me! any thoughts? Thanks. 

I did the same, to a point, but it turns out the overlap is not that big. My bestseller at AS (69 DL in less than a year) has NEVER sold on SS. So, you're better off uploading everything to everywhere. I personally don't have the time / enthusiasm for that, and I can't get past the lousy interface of stocksubmitter. Besides, I'd still have to go into the individual sites to tweak the keywords, because each has their own way of doing things. Instead, I have limited myself to the two big agencies for now, and am ok with leaving a few bucks on the table.

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5 hours ago, Starsphinx said:

So on the "why did that sell" front I have male-female-catkins-on-alder-250nw-1337927708.jpg

And on the "Why is nobody buying this" I offer Robin (erithacus rubecula) on a post with a river in the background (landscape)Which as specifically composed with stock in mind - hence the big blurred space for text (The robin was being very cooperative that day sitting still for ages while I faffed around)

Mind you I am still shocked when any of my stuff sells - on any agency.  I also see little to no overlap between agencies and seeing as so far my ability to predict what will sell and what will not is non existent I am sticking with the "if it is sharp upload it everywhere anyway even when I do not have the foggiest idea what anyone would want it for" method.  If it is available it might sell (people are weird) if it is sat on my harddrive it definitely will not.

I really like this little bird. If the focus is crisp, and you have enough resolution, I'd suggest cropping the image tighter to lose the distracting elements on the left and some of that thing he's sitting on, give it a new name and resubmit.

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1 hour ago, Wilm Ihlenfeld said:

Hello, Istvan,

Excuse me - I hope I may:

Wouldn't it be better to crop the image so that the black areas on the right disappear?

 

I totally agree Wilm! always good to have a second pair of eyes (that black patch on the right is really bothersome).. especially if those are extremely experienced as yours! I will try to post it after all. stranger things succeeded before! and as many pointed out here, one can never know what may sell! thanks for all the advice. You all have a great new week with many downloads!
Cheers!

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25 minutes ago, Milo J said:

I really like this little bird. If the focus is crisp, and you have enough resolution, I'd suggest cropping the image tighter to lose the distracting elements on the left and some of that thing he's sitting on, give it a new name and resubmit.

Thank you.

I will have another look but I think it may already be cropped and a tighter crop will make it too small.  While robin was tolerant he still needed a bit of distance.

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1 hour ago, Phil Lowe said:

This has never sold despite its rich, vibrant colors and tack-sharp focus.

stock-photo-beautiful-male-red-bellied-w

That is a real pity Phil, because it's so rich and in fact a really "lucky" frame with beautiful tones! Don't get me wrong. I would not try to "give advise" to a seasoned veteran like you!! But in case like this, if I truly believe in the photo and if it never sold, I simply copy the keywords and description from it, delete it and re-submit it. That way it gets a "new life" in a sense. and somebody may buy it from the fresh content. Really it takes only 2 minutes and it gets a fresh new start! Not in your case, but one time it happened to me though, that they rejected the resubmit, but of course I deleted the "original" one : ). It bothered me a bit. But eventually I drove it thru!

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On 1/11/2020 at 10:04 PM, balajisrinivasan said:

I have plenty of shots of mountains in my port, most of them infinitely better and this is the only one that consistently sells. Here the white balance is off, the light is terrible and the image is flat thanks to my newfound 2 minute stock LR workflow. I guess the moral of the story is, post your least favorite shots, don't do a lot with them and you'll get the sales.

portrait-chaukhamba-peak-glaciers-below-

 

I guess this is something to do with so called "negative space" - well, there isn't exactly a blank space in your photo but due to it being evenly colored and not of high contrast it's a good material for writing some texts over it. I see many photographers who post such sort of greyish photos just to target designers needs. Apparently there are large demand for this.

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Possibly my worst image sold. But it's the only time I have ever seen one, and there was no way for me to get a better shot. It's a Common Potoo (Nyctibius griseus)

Common Potoo (Nyctibius griseus) in Costa Rica

 

Listing something on here that I'm surprised hasn't sold is a bit harder - I think I have some nice nature stuff (maybe not great, but nice). Maybe this:

Red-Eyed Leaf Frog perched on a fence postt,  taken in Costa Rica

 

I have not been doing this all that long, and am improving in both taking photos and processing them, so hopefully I will see an uptick before long. 

Part of me would like to go back and re-process some images I did 6 months to a year ago, but that would just take so much time. I want to move forward for a while.

 

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On 1/14/2020 at 11:30 AM, Chris_M_Rabe said:

Possibly my worst image sold. But it's the only time I have ever seen one, and there was no way for me to get a better shot. It's a Common Potoo (Nyctibius griseus)

Common Potoo (Nyctibius griseus) in Costa Rica

 

Listing something on here that I'm surprised hasn't sold is a bit harder - I think I have some nice nature stuff (maybe not great, but nice). Maybe this:

Red-Eyed Leaf Frog perched on a fence postt,  taken in Costa Rica

 

I have not been doing this all that long, and am improving in both taking photos and processing them, so hopefully I will see an uptick before long. 

Part of me would like to go back and re-process some images I did 6 months to a year ago, but that would just take so much time. I want to move forward for a while.

 

The frog photo is great!

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Found this topic and love it. Here you can see that you can never know who is looking for a picture and forget about thinking you know the stock-market:

Sold this one:

stock-photo-hamelin-pool-stromatolites-w

It shows Harmelin Pool Stromatolites in Western Australia. Shot in bright sun at 47° degrees celsius.  Downloaded in Sofia, Bulgaria 😁

And:

stock-photo-to-bondi-beach-markets-bondi

Shot at Bondi, Sydney. Very specific never thougt it could seriously sell. Downloaded in the US.

 

I love this one but probably it will never sell...

stock-photo-sunset-at-grand-canyon-with-

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Two pictures of the same subject:

the first taken when my photographic skills were close to zero: crooked lines, unpleasant colors, etc.etc.

the second shot taken some time later, when I had (at least a little) learned to photograph decently

Of course the first one sells (much) more than the second (and other similar, better pictures), because it was uploaded earlier.


I am often tempted to delete it but then I think: who cares?

 

Taranto old Aragonese Castle on sea channel and revolving bridge

 

stock-photo-aragonese-castle-of-taranto-and-revolving-bridge-on-the-channel-between-big-and-small-sea-puglia-1362280019.jpg

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