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Adam Gladstone

Thoughts on an Idea...

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I think it's been mentioned ad naseum in other threads (mostly with new/newish submitters) about how nature shots - I think flowers in particular - is a saturated subject here on Shutterstock. I've also heard/gotten advice about submitting things that are unique, especially to areas near home (hey, not everyone can get to the Boston area, for whatever reason). One thought occured to me when I was going through some photos where I have shots of plants, flowers, etc where there are relatively few photos here. I'm talking like 90 photos, 78, 1150. Not millions, like if one searches for "roses" for example. Do any of the more experienced folks here think it's worth submitting photos of such subject matter even though it's nature photography? I realize the call for such photos might be small, but then again, stock photography isn't a get rich quick arena.

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Flower shots do sell. But there are other subjects that will sell better. That doesn't mean you shouldn't bother. As to whether it's worth it, well that will be different for everyone, some wont think it is, others will. My thoughts are if you have the time and want to upload them then do it. Just don't expect them to do well. If you are submitting flowers or plants then make sure you include the scientific name for them, and as many common names that you can find. If the plant is not well covered in the catalogue then you may get a sale because someone specifically wants that plant. 
I have flowers. Some have sold multiple times, most not at all or rarely. Not really worth it, but they are easy and I took the opportunities because they arose. I wouldn't go out of my way to get them. 
 

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1 hour ago, Linda Bestwick said:

Flower shots do sell... My thoughts are if you have the time and want to upload them then do it. Just don't expect them to do well. If you are submitting flowers or plants then make sure you include the scientific name for them, and as many common names that you can find. If the plant is not well covered in the catalogue then you may get a sale because someone specifically wants that plant...

I do know they selll. I do have a few flowers in my port, some of which have sold as well.  I already do put the common name(s) and scientific names not just in the description, but in the keywords as well. And no, I wouldn't expect a huge amount of downloads, just a few more perhaps, if the photos were, say 1 or 2 out of 100 photos  than if they were 1 or 2 out of four million photos.

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My best earning image is a flower - but you won't find it in my port (or won't be able to tell which one), because it's nowhere near the top of my "most relevant", even if you do a search on flowers.

 

So, I will always be submitting flowers when I get a good shot - you just never know which one is going to be THE one that's needed all over and does the job for the buyers.

 

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I uploaded a Mahonia Japonica - not a particularly rare type of flower shot.  It sold within 24 hours of upload.

It is not just whether the plant is unusual or there are not many examples of it.  Sometimes it is that the way you took it was different or your style just happens to match what is in a designers head at the moment they search.  I am not some super whizz - I am a bulk standard photographer.  If I take it I upload it - no matter what it is or how many examples there are because it may just happen that my rose has the exact background colour someone is hoping for - or at least is the first one they see.

If you go around not bothering to take photos of certain subjects or not uploading them "because the market is saturated" the only thing you achieve is to deny yourself a chance.  They may not sell - hell on plain statistiscs they wont sell (that goes for every damn shot ever uploaded here) but then again they might.  Never say never.  And take a look at the "mediocre stuff that sold against great stuff that didnt" thread.

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What adds the most value to my "biological port" is precisely the species id. With proper identification it is difficult to sell, without identification would be a lottery!

Identification is often more laborious than image capture itself, post production or keywords. Often all I have is the popular local name that only works within a few miles, which often ends in a surreal investigative process. An example is this tiny wasp, which took me over a couple weeks to identify it  in this case, partially. And I only got it thanks to my projectnoah.org partners!

https://www.projectnoah.org/spottings/1106665015

It's another niche, very specialized, that gets easier to work with as you get used to it. If you specialize in flower photography, for example, take a little time for this. And I believe that according to your level of expertise in flowers, you will sell well.

I've been selling things a little more, as you might say, disgusting than flowers. :)

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51 minutes ago, Leonardo Castro said:

What adds the most value to my "biological port" is precisely the species id. With proper identification it is difficult to sell, without identification would be a lottery!

Identification is often more laborious than image capture itself, post production or keywords. Often all I have is the popular local name that only works within a few miles, which often ends in a surreal investigative process. An example is this tiny wasp, which took me over a couple weeks to identify it  in this case, partially. And I only got it thanks to my projectnoah.org partners!

https://www.projectnoah.org/spottings/1106665015

It's another niche, very specialized, that gets easier to work with as you get used to it. If you specialize in flower photography, for example, take a little time for this. And I believe that according to your level of expertise in flowers, you will sell well.

I've been selling things a little more, as you might say, disgusting than flowers. :)

The problem for me with species ID is the sheer number of gross inaccuracies when it comes to people identifying their photos.  I do a lot of research online - and while I can understand when people get something like an ivy bee ( Colletes hederae ) confused with a honey bee (Apis mellifera) it drives me nuts with things like dragonfly and damselfly.  Or worse.  Now there are beasties out there that precise identification of is damn near impossible - some insects you have to get under a microscope (and the cross over between solitary wasps and sawflys can be evil) but please if you are going to label with species (and yes you do need to) please made an effort to get  the basics right.  Dont call a donkey a horse. 

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15 hours ago, Adam Gladstone said:

I think it's been mentioned ad naseum in other threads (mostly with new/newish submitters) about how nature shots - I think flowers in particular - is a saturated subject here on Shutterstock. I've also heard/gotten advice about submitting things that are unique, especially to areas near home (hey, not everyone can get to the Boston area, for whatever reason). One thought occured to me when I was going through some photos where I have shots of plants, flowers, etc where there are relatively few photos here. I'm talking like 90 photos, 78, 1150. Not millions, like if one searches for "roses" for example. Do any of the more experienced folks here think it's worth submitting photos of such subject matter even though it's nature photography? I realize the call for such photos might be small, but then again, stock photography isn't a get rich quick arena.

I have had 2 "flora" downloads in my years on SS. I don't see it as worthy of dedicated time and effort, but when I have the opportunity while doing other  photography I'll take advantage of it. That said, I'd keep post-processing time as close to 0 as possible.

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I've been here over ten years so my experience may not be an indication of what it is possible (for the newcomer) in the current stock environment. However, I would say the answer is, YES,  with a few caveats.  Again I've been here a long time but I've made good money ($200.00+) on a number of my flower/plant images.

Studio shots tend to do better than those taken outside, especially the typical image taken in full sun.  Lighting is key, "snapshots" from the back yard are a waste of time IMO.  If your image doesn't stand out in some way, the competition will sink it to the bottom of the huge flower pile.

There is a large market for flower images and it was my understanding that "flower" was one of the top searched keywords in the microstock industry. That may have changed over the years but there is a demand. 

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