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Father I am thy sheep - lead me

It's been a fun 2 months of uploading to DT. I've posted over 80 images out here of which around 20 have made it to my final portfolio. I've learn't quite a bit from stalking and occasionally participating in the forums. I've had a chance to look at some amazing portfolios with great work and amazing sales and have shamelessly tried to emulate, integrate or otherwise learn from them

Please have a look at my portfolio and tell me what is the stuff that I'm doing right, where do I need to improve and what are the things that I'll need to learn to make it as a stock photographer
Sony NEX 6
Posted: 10/28/2013, 13:00:10 PM
I hope that this is not your "final Portfolio"!!!
19 Pictures are far too few! Also far too few to give real advise...
I like most this pic from your port - maybe since I mainly take landscape photos as well:    At the very top   
But to be honest, with landscapes it is hard to make the big money here ;-) Try to shoot as many different genres as possible! And the more pictures of you are online the more you will have the chance to have sales!
Wish you much success for the future!!!
10 Photoshop elements premiere 10...
Posted: 10/28/2013, 14:23:11 PM
You'll get there quicker when you realize stock is all about images with COMMERCIAL potential and not generic snapshots.
Nikon D800, D100, Canon G15
Posted: 10/29/2013, 06:36:35 AM
Thanks Dieniti, definitely not my final portfolio, but was looking for some advise before I go out and shoot more. Currently I get almost 3 rejections out of every 4 I upload, I can understand the technical aspects but am still struggling

Wisocnsinart, that is exactly my problem. Still trying to figure out how to gauge the commercial potential of an image. Tips on this would be really helpful
Sony NEX 6
Posted: 10/29/2013, 07:29:19 AM
If I could just say "shoot pictures like this" and you suddenly make tons of cash with stock, I'd be a millionaire from book sales.

However, this is one way you can start:

First of all, put the camera away. Then get a table and a chair. There should be nothing on the table but a blank sheet of paper and a pencil. Sit down in the chair and at the top of the sheet write the word BUSINESS. Now... let your mind wander... what kind of ideas can you think of that will COMMUNICATE the CONCEPT of "Business?"

When you're done, get another blank sheet of paper. On the top write (in big letters) "FAMILY." The next sheet of paper will be SALES. Then HEALTH CARE. Etc.

Don't worry about not having a venue to shoot in, models, props, or anything else. The first step is to have concepts. If they are ideas you can't shoot because of the lack of resources, then you refine the ideas into images you can actually shoot.

Then shoot and upload!

And no, the above is not that easy to do, which is why 99% of amateur stockers and part-timers keep uploading generic snapshots and landscapes.
Nikon D800, D100, Canon G15
Posted: 10/29/2013, 08:19:02 AM
Wisconsinart.... will start that mindmap thing today, it is a brilliant idea although I agree that it's probably easier said then done.

Do you think I should actively look at the best sellers or portfolios of people who come from India (where I am) to get ideas. My only gripe is that I've had a couple of sales on another agency (and even a few through personal contacts) but they weren't always shots that I thought could sell (ships on water, an indian railway station, some high rise buildings). So am a little confused on should I be creating studio type shots (the cliched businesswoman on a white background) or should I be out shooting unique stuff that is in a niche of it's own
Sony NEX 6
Posted: 10/29/2013, 10:21:51 AM

Originally posted by Wisconsinart:
Quoted Message: ...And no, the above is not that easy to do, which is why 99% of amateur stockers and part-timers keep uploading generic snapshots and landscapes.

That`s not fair Wisconsinart... Even though I try to upload images to different genres (Illustrations, Concept photos, Family, etc.) may landscape pictures are the ones that sell best! Of course, as I said, you will not make the big money with these but still...
The rest of your written word I totally agree with ;-)

@Amlanmathur: In case you have the possibility to shoot "Studio photos" go ahead - these sell well, but have to be somehow different from the ones already online...
If you found a niche - that brilliant as well. Check how many pictures of a location you want to shoot are online and of what quality they are and don`t forget to give detail information of the locations.
10 Photoshop elements premiere 10...
Posted: 10/29/2013, 12:44:09 PM

Originally posted by Amlanmathur:
Quoted Message: So am a little confused on should I be creating studio type shots (the cliched businesswoman on a white background) or should I be out shooting unique stuff that is in a niche of it`s own

All of the above. And there is a lot more yet to be learned and realized. That goes for me, too.
Nikon D800, D100, Canon G15
Posted: 10/29/2013, 20:03:52 PM

Originally posted by Dieniti:
Quoted Message: Check how many pictures of a location you want to shoot are online and of what quality they are and don`t forget to give detail information of the locations.

That is what has worked for me so far. I'm sure it's not as widely selling as studio shots, but it's a niche that I can provide, and possibly a lot of others cannot :)

@Wisconsinart, will absolutely be shooting a wide variety of stuff.

Just a bit more help. Could you go over my images and give me some feedback on how to improve them, both technically and artistically. That should help me make much better shots in the future
Sony NEX 6
Posted: 10/30/2013, 03:28:30 AM
Technically, the images are sharp and colorful. They pop. That fundamentally helps an image to sell when compared to a similar.

Artistically... Let's tell a little story in that regard... There is a Contributor here who is a professional photographer. He makes a living from photography. He was running amok in the forums, blogging about all kinds of subjects. He was even writing dissertations on photography subjects for which he had no experience. Since he made a living with photography, he scoffed at the notion of taking classes in the subjects for which he knew nothing about. He knew everything there was to know about photography.

He eventually stuck his neck out a little too far and hasn't been seen since after being made a fool.

The point is this: If you think you know it all reach a point where you feel you never need to improve, then you're not a photographer.
Nikon D800, D100, Canon G15
Posted: 10/30/2013, 07:34:18 AM
I think some of the images of your portfolio could be sold, including the "top landscape " cited by Dieniti .
Personally, however, I have experienced that normally the first sales of any photo occur many months after they have been loaded.
Also it is not always easy to understand what have more potential market. I went as a spectator to the Opera of Verona and saw Verdi's Aida. Here I made a lot of pictures , but I never imagined such photos would have been sold so frequently. Once, in the center of Rome I photographed crowds for Christmas shopping and also this photo has been sold many times. In Rome, where I live, I have taken many photographs of architectures, but contrary to what I believed, they have not had a great success.
My impression is that the understanding of what are the most salable photos, realisable with your own resources, is achieved mainly through personal experience once you 've loaded a portfolio large enough (200-300 photos ). So I suggest you to continue to charge and see what happens....
Nikon D90 Gimp 2.6 Adobe Photoshop
Posted: 11/01/2013, 13:46:06 PM
@Wisconsinart: point noted

@Baldas1950: I wholeheartedly agree to that. What little sales I've had (on other agencies or personally) have surprised me in their choice of images. But I guess no matter how good I get I can only predict what a customer might need, I can fit it well to that need but eventually the real test comes only after the uploading is done
Sony NEX 6
Posted: 11/01/2013, 21:29:18 PM
Construction theme photos has work for me and then I have some success with food oriented photos. target a specific area like construction what do you see in there ads and more and try to take images they can use to put there. thats little how i think when Iam stock photo shooting. havent been shooting for 3 years now but my sells are still going up.
Sharp eyes and trigger happy fingers
Posted: 11/14/2013, 08:00:15 AM
thanks peter, That's what I'm figuring out nowdays. How to put up photos that actually convey a message. Your Idea of construction photos is a really good one since I have a number of construction projects running in the areas around me. Will give it a shot

You have some really beautiful photos on your profile, I guess the 3 years of experience really shows
Sony NEX 6
Posted: 11/15/2013, 08:31:58 AM
Having a crazy number of rejections these days.... barely 1 out of every batch makes it through ...:(
Sony NEX 6
Posted: 12/05/2013, 09:05:19 AM
I think your images are awesome and unique. I definitely think you can lock in a niche with your traditional lamps alone.

Your biggest problem may be in the keywords. For instance, I didn't see the word "Candle" for your traditional lamp. If someone searched for a candle and saw your photo in among all the bland Christmas that are likely to pop up.

I'm excited to watch your portfolio grow!

Posted: 12/24/2013, 06:29:21 AM
thanks for the kind words and advise Christopher .... you have an awesome portfolio too. Hope we both end up selling crazy amount of pictures :)
Sony NEX 6
Posted: 12/24/2013, 09:23:53 AM
Finally got my first sale :)

   Entry gate to Taj Mahal   
Sony NEX 6
Posted: 01/18/2014, 02:40:21 AM
Congratulations! Your photo portrays a giant iconic building with an alarming sense of calm.
Posted: 02/07/2014, 01:33:39 AM
@Anne . Alarming sense of calm, that just has to be the most amazing oxymoron I've ever heard :) . Thank you so much, wishing you loads of sales as well
Sony NEX 6
Posted: 02/18/2014, 01:21:55 AM