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Am I wasting my time?

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Bubbity
Hi, I'm not new to this site as I have bought images here before for book covers but I am new to uploading pictures. I've uploaded over 40 and had them all rejected for a variety of different reasons but probably included all the possible reasons in toto. For instance I only have a small digital camera and some have been rejected for camera shake or poor lens. The latter I can do nothing about and wonder if anybody actually does get their pictures accepted with a small pocket camera. Others have been rejected for not being what they're looking for. Yet others have been rejected along the lines of stock being very different than art, and I suppose I do consider my photos to be on he more arty side than technically accurate side, and probably not conceptual. Is it worth pursuing the art side instead or will that result in the same rejections?

Any advice or links to relevant threads welcome.

Posted: 12/10/2013, 14:23:24 PM
Red
Depends on what your expectations are. Check out the Stats and Community - Top Contributors to see what/who you are competing against. Many are in this to make money, not as a hobby. No one can answer all of your questions but yes, many top selling images are taken with point and shoots but it is getting harder to get those images accepted unless the lighting is perfect, the post-processing enhances the original shot and the image is of high commercial value. If you feel you take better "art" shots this is not the venue for you. Take a look at Fine Art America and see if you fit in better there but they have millions of images. If you want to make money you have to rethink things.
Posted: 12/10/2013, 15:18:07 PM
Bubbity
Hi Red
Many thanks for getting back to me with that helpful information. I hadn't really thought about my expectations. I suppose I'd seen a few blogs come through my emails and saw the success some were having. As I love taking photos of many subjects and they are generally quite well-received I thought I'd upload some. I had no idea what to expect but I suppose I wasn't expecting them all to be rejected. I do see though how the more images you're competing against the more difficult it gets and the images I've uploaded so far have been in very popular categories. I do have some that may be less over-subscribed. I'm not really here to make a lot of money as my main area is writing books (in fact it is via that route, ie searching for images for various books, that I arrived at this site!) though if I did make money I would obviously rethink where my priorities lie.

I will have a look at the link you suggested and also the art site, thank you. I'm actually in the UK though I don't know if there are such sites here or not.
Posted: 12/10/2013, 16:01:45 PM
Wisconsinart
You will have greater success overcoming the technical issues if you have a quality camera and appropriate software.

Yes, you can do this with a good point-and-shoot and Photoshop Elements. You can also bake a real cake in an Easy-Bake Oven but it will be a stretch having a side business making wedding cakes.

If you are truly passionate for photography then you should be willing to get a quality camera, good software, and invest the time to master both.

As for content, I have found that it's fun doing the art stuff but strong commercial images is what pays for the hobby. No one ever said you could only do one or the other. Never stop uploading the fun art stuff but upload commercial images when there are opportunities to do as such.

You also have to remember this: There are hundreds of hard-core professional photographers here who do this for a living and they set a standard that makes it tough for the rest of us to achieve. An amateur can beat the pros at their own game but it still means the amateur has to compete at the same level as the professionals. If you look around you will see many amateurs who can handle the challenge, and many who can't. The twist here is the lure of easy money for doing something anyone can do. And it's true, stock photography is something anyone can do (but go back and re-read the first sentence of this post).

Santa Claus, Bigfoot, the Easter Bunny, and Elvis secretly working in a 7-11, the one thing they all have in common is they are as real as "Easy Money."
Nikon D800, D100, Canon G15
Posted: 12/10/2013, 22:29:36 PM
Bubbity
Thanks for your input, Wisconsinart. I think in all honesty what I'm passionate about is artistic photography and therefore not sure that stock photography is for me. It's not about making easy money for me it's about doing something I enjoy and if that makes money too then that is a bonus.
Posted: 12/11/2013, 08:35:03 AM
Afagundes
hi Bubbit, I am coming a little late for the discussion.

I would suggest you invest in an entry level DSLR if you can afford, specially for the "artistic" images, you will have so much latitude to play around!

I think artistic images can sell, but they have to say something, they need a purpose, a clear purpose.

Its easy to see that, if its easy to describe it and find the keywords probably it has a nice concept behind it.

just a blurr says nothing, a yellow blurr in manhattan is a fast taxi...the speed and the pace of the city, you know, it has a meaning, something buyers might be looking for because it express something.

I hope this helps a little


stock photography helps you also on the technical side which isnot a bad thing, you learn techniques to have a not shaken image, how to avoid the deffects of your lenses, etc, and how to process them in a software in order to take most out of your images.
f/4L Canon EF 70-300mm IS/USM f/4-5.6 Canon 100mm f/2.8 USM/Macro ...
Posted: 12/11/2013, 11:25:22 AM
Bubbity
Many thanks Agagundes. That's very helpful too. I expect my camera is very limited. One of the suggestions was a tripod which I do have but by the time I have set it all up.. well, you know how it is. Nature changes in an instant. But for other shots I should try using it more. I think the conceptual side of it is something I could work on and the key words. As a beginner to uploading to this site my descriptions and keywords were very basic and prosaic with very little concept. I suppose I would stand a slightly better chance if I'd given it some more thought so any tips in that department would be most welcome.
Posted: 12/11/2013, 15:46:13 PM
Robinstockphotos
Tripod is not necessary in most cases, certainly not with a small compact camera. The lens quality is the problem. Read my blog posts, might help as most of my photos are shot using a compact camera. If your camera is small, I guess you need to hold it properly with both hands with a proper stance and hold your breathe while pressing the shutter button. You can easily go down to 1/6 sec shutter speed without tripods.

You could try a Canon 1100D to begin with, you can compete with those using a 7D and probably do better. You just need to get the minimum requisite level of equipment first to eliminate the wastage of time spent over correcting technical issues.

As for artistic stuff, I avoid them. Handicraft, rock carvings, etc may look good but they will most probably not be accepted for stock. Just try some innovative ideas, should work. :)
By concept, I'd say you shouldn't push it too hard. Some people shoot a photo of a single man working on a vast bright, sunny field and put keywords like "lonely", "depressed"...that's not it.
55-250mm standard lenses. Dual tube macro flash and external speedlit...
Posted: 12/12/2013, 03:49:39 AM
Therealdarla
It sounds to me like you would enjoy posting to fine art sites, rather than selling stock.

If you don't enjoy it, you really are wasting your time. It takes a LOT of work to make any progress selling stock, and if you aren't getting more out of it than the sales, you won't be willing to do the work.

Nikon D70, standard lens
Posted: 12/12/2013, 09:24:01 AM
Bubbity
Many thanks Robin and Therealdarla.

First Robin: yes, lens quality is one of the reasons often quoted for rejection. If I click on your name will I find my way to your blog posts easily? I will have a go after I've finished posting. My compact camera is a Sony W115 - can't remember the rest of the specs. It was a present for my half century which seems only yesterday but time flies when you're of a certain age and already several years have passed!

I think Therealdarla you have probably hit the nail on the head. My passion is for more artistic shots and if any of them are saleable in the commercial field, all well and good, but I'm certainly not inclined to go out and start something which I don't enjoy. I do have a lot of photos of various subjects and haven't submitted the ones that might be more commercial. Then again, I might be totally wrong. Someone recommended Fine Art America and if you know of any others I would be very grateful.

Thanks again.
Posted: 12/12/2013, 11:55:25 AM
Robinstockphotos
Well you should not mention other agencies on the forum (it's in the rules).

Yes, open my profile and look at the right column, there's a list of blog articles.
Haha I'm 19, by the time I'm half century there will probably be 4D DSLR capturing images and weather and feelings. :P
Leaving the thread now, feel free to ask anything by commenting on an image, everyone is very helpful here. Good luck!
55-250mm standard lenses. Dual tube macro flash and external speedlit...
Edited: 12/12/2013, 12:27:40 PM
Bubbity
Many thanks, Robin :-)

Nineteen, I dimly remember that ;-)

Yes I've already had a look at some of your blogs and found them very helpful.
Posted: 12/12/2013, 15:53:12 PM
Bobbrooky
Bubbity I hate to see a passionate person "knocked down", so to speak. As the other contributors have said, your work may just not be within the DT parameters. Please dont be disheartened with your work. You may be knocking on the wrong door. There are picture agencies for every subject you can think of, and there will be one out there that suits your genre. In this age it is easy to find and contribute to an agency, but you will have to spend some time searching for it.
As Afagundes said, you will do well with an entry level DSLR, so you know that you have the basics for quality issues. Again you must remember that no artist ever picked up a brush and painted a masterpiece, it takes practice and a knowledge of the subject.
Very good luck with your endeavours, and future work!
170-500 Sigma zoom. Horseman 45HD field camera, various lenses, 6x9 a...
Posted: 12/13/2013, 10:50:00 AM
Bubbity
That's very kind of you, Bobbrooky, and much appreciated. All your comments have been so helpful and don't worry I am sufficiently satisfied with many of the shots I have done within the limits of my camera but as you and Afagundes said if I'm to improve I may need to shell out for a DSLR at some point. Even if I decide stock photography isn't for me a person can always improve techniques etc so nothing will be wasted. With me it's just a problem of time and though I love taking shots (and applying filters in Photoshop even more!) my main outlet is writing which is much more time-consuming! I will probably submit some more shots to DT as I have a variety but I fear that I will probably get the comments about lens-fringing and all the other things I can do little about until I upgrade my camera!
Posted: 12/13/2013, 15:17:04 PM
Lenutaidi
Hi, Bubbity! Let me show you a few pictures accepted with a small pocket camera:
    Wine tasting       Weaving of canes      Exotic fish   
So, me too, I had a lot refused pictures when I uploaded images taken with a pocket camera, but that was not the end of the world. I do not think it's worth it to keep trying to upload images taken with a pocket camera. So....Try with a DSLR camera. Good luck and Merry Christmas! Don't give up! Good luck! Best regard, Lenuta!
Edited: 12/14/2013, 00:37:59 AM
BCritchley
Admin
I started here 4 years ago thinking I was a great photographer, partly because lots of friends and family members told me I was on FB. Well I too had pretty much everything rejected and pretty much chose to give up, as I'm sure most in the same boat do. But over the next 12 months I kept coming on here, reading blogs, looking through images, seeing what sells and what these images look like to give me a bench mark to aim for. I had a small point and shoot so I upgraded then to a Canon 50D and a couple of kit lenses. So around April 2010 I tried to upload some new works and to my surprise they were accepted. I have pretty much been involved with my work everyday in some level since then, either working on ideas, taking shots, learning how to use Photoshop, trying different things. I still don't have all the answers but I'm sure having fun creating images and I'm as thrilled today as I when I started every time I get a sale :)

Good luck on your journey and everything you need to know to be a success can be found in the forum threads and blogs.
28-300, Canon L 24-70, 50mm prime f/1.4, 2 x Canon 580EX II Flash uni...
Posted: 12/14/2013, 04:17:54 AM
Wisconsinart
Y' know, the fundamental thought behind this thread has been discussed many times in different ways but they all boil down to one thing:

"This is just a hobby and I only want to do it for fun."

People with this reasoning shouldn't be here because it's going to be a waste of time. Going 16 days without a sale just for the thrill of making 42 cents on a subscription so you can pat yourself on the back and say "I sold a picture!" is, to me, an excuse for having poor sales.

I do not understand why people are here "For fun" when you can be here for fun AND profit.

If all you do is shoot pictures of squirrels in the park, do you have to stop doing what's passionate for you the day you take a picture of the salad you're about to eat?

If you're in the park chasing squirrels with your camera, do you have to ignore the farmers market, the flea market, the baseball and soccer games, the tennis court, the fishing pond, and whatever else is there in the park? That's how you do this For Fun AND Profit!

I've also found that doing advanced stock concepts gains me skills that I can utilize in my fine art endeavors. I'm a better photographer and a better ARTIST because I'm having a fantastic amount of fun doing it all... and... FOR PROFIT.
Nikon D800, D100, Canon G15
Posted: 12/14/2013, 11:38:08 AM
Bubbity
Thanks all. Some interesting replies. First of all, Lenuta. Thanks for sharing what you did with a pocket camera and also for your encouragement. Thanks too BCritchley for your feedback. I'm certainly not under any illusion I'm a great photographer or anything, though coming from a family of artists I probably have an idea of a well-composed shot artistically if that makes any sense. But as you say, there's always room for improvement and the more you learn the more you realize how much more there is to learn! I'm always willing to learn new techniques and tips.

Wisnconsinart, your post was perhaps the most thought-provoking as I come across parallel discussions every day with writers. To draw a parallel, I write because I have to and need to and am passionate about writing, but I don't sell in the numbers that some do because I'm more of a niche writer. Now if I have fun writing and make a profit that is indeed a bonus. But does that mean I have to give up writing because it doesn't sell in the numbers other do? Of course not! Though some might.

But you are absolutely right, about not just snapping the squirrels but snapping all sorts of other subjects and this is exactly what I do and which is why I'm still going to submit some of other subjects just to see how the land lies. Then take it from there.

Thanks again.

Posted: 12/14/2013, 16:52:13 PM
Peanutroaster
Microstock is the most demanding of all markets. Requirements are:

- Deep depth of field (use lower F stops instead more artsy blurry shots)
- Sharp images - use a tripod if you can't shoot at high speeds.
- No noise - use a decent camera and ISO 100
- Leave room for copy space
- Take images that buyers need (advertising, commercial images)

Step one is to get a camera that meet the requirements and master post processing to create good images.

Step two is to study the images that sell here and other such sites. It takes a while to start seeing and learning to compose for this market.

Its a great learning environment for those who stick with it. Most don't and fail.
lens. Alien bees studio lights....
Posted: 12/15/2013, 15:13:27 PM
Peanutroaster
About the tripod - the tons of "static" images that sell here every day so there is no excuse not to use a tripod. A tripod does the following:

1. Gives you sharp images - no camera shake (use the timer or a shutter release
2. Slows you down so you can really see your composition

Do you have to always use a tripod? No but until you can develop your eye and see compositions on the fly, use a tripod and learn.
lens. Alien bees studio lights....
Posted: 12/15/2013, 15:18:58 PM
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