Build Your Brand

Dreamstime success depends on many factors beyond an exciting and diverse portfolio. Building a reputation for a particular style or special subject niche creates a ‘brand’. As designers become familiar with your work, they will seek out your images by searching first within your portfolio.

In short, you want to develop a specialty, especially one that is easily recognizable and not widely covered by others. For example, without thinking, I know immediately where to go on Dreamstime for conceptual images of penguins. How do you develop a group of images that can be considered a niche collection? Ask yourself what you do best and what you have access to. Perhaps you ski; obviously you know something about winter sports and have access to friends that participate. Decide to devote a large block of time one winter to developing your connections and skills shooting skiing and related materials. Then continually update your images in order to grow your brand. Or pick a more esoteric subject based on your unique interests or career outside of photography.

Once you have developed a niche, you need to build awareness of your brand among the members. There are several tools on Dreamstime to help you get your images out in front of buyers to enhance your reputation.

The main thing you need to do is to become an active part of the community. Participate in the forums with positive encouragement and advice. Write useful blogs to increase your name recognition.

Not only do you want your user name to become a household word in our community, you want to show up on the home page if possible. One way is to participate in the assignments. Everyone wins when they get images accepted into an assignment: the image and your name get great visibility as people review the images throughout the weeks that the assignment is active. If your image is a winner, it and your user name will be on the home page for a week or more.

Another way to help yourself and the community is to donate images to the ‘free’ section. I’ve heard some ask why they should give their work away. Actually there are several reasons: consider the free section a place where young designers or others with small budgets can become acquainted with your work. It is also a place that can lead a user directly to your portfolio. If the free image catches a designer’s fancy, she may continue on to look at your full portfolio. Think of the free section as one of the oldest forms of advertising: the free sample. Finally remember the old adage: If you want something, give it away.

Dreamstime remains true to our goal of being a peer-to-peer based community. Those that give most to the community stand a much better chance of getting what they need from it. To honor past assignment participants, all the images for this blog have been previous assignment contributions…and not even necessarily winners. Nice!

© Eprom

I’ve kept to a winter/holiday theme again this week as Thanksgiving in the U.S. kicks off the holiday party season. Why the birdhouses and sock picture? No reason except the bird houses are holiday red and the stocking feet look like ‘Baby, it’s cold outside!” As for the penguin brand guy mentioned above, if you don't already know him go here to find him

Happy Thanksgiving to those in the U.S.

Photo credits: Gianna Stadelmyer, Carlosphotos, Elkeflorida, Eprom, Lightkeeper, Eti Swinford, Madartists, Isabel Poulin.

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Really like your blog,Im finding my way here and your helpful advice is a great help.


found this very intresting thanks


As usual Ellen, great read with some interesting comments


Great article!
This is a very good suggestion!


WOW Great advise. I haven't any free images, but I understand why I need them. I will start putting some free images in my portfolio. Nice blog Ellen thanks.


Thanks, LittleMACProductions, for your kind words. My greatest fear these days is that one day I will run out of things to write about!


Ellen, I don't know how you do it but you always have an interesting and useful blog. I am glad DT "found" you and snatched you up! Keep up the good work. Eti


Thank you, for your creative ideas... I've also thought about developping a speciallity however I've been undecised... I really need to brainstorm this and put in practice! :-)


Ellen, your advices are a matter of course, sometimes someone like you must tell someone like me to remind them.Thanks for your great helps!


Great article, I like the stock industry (unlike many others walks of like) because people are always willing to share information.


Hey Ellen,
Love your articles, very imforative.

Hope your Thanksgiving Day was great.


Hi Ellen, thanks for the advice. I'm new to this whole stock photo thing and don't have many uploads yet but hope to soon. All the advice you can give is appriciated.


I liked very much this article.
I was trying to create for me a "niche" on fashion shoes... and now i'm more emcouraged than before.
Thank you!


Hi Ellen.

Good reading as usual as with all your Blogs.



Today in the US is I want to thank all of you for your very kind and supportive comments!


hi! Can you tell me how can I donate images to the "free" section? Thank you.

This message thread may help you:

How to submit free images?


I readied all your blogs article till now but i never let you a comment till now...and i wanna to thank you for teaching us how to sell our photos and how to become good photographers.Your article its very useful,Gabriel


I am new here and find your blogs to be so interesting and full of such great advice. Thank you so much.


hi! Can you tell me how can I donate images to the "free" section? Thank you.


I was looking the hole penguin guy' portfolio and almost forgot to say: Thank you Ellen for the great blog! Waiting for the next!


Lots of good advice, I like the way you write! Thanks Ellen!

Best regards,


Nice blog Ellen thanks. I agree that brand recognition is an essential part of the marketing strategy...I just hope that I can develop my skills enough to build my own niche!!


Thanks for using my image Ellen. I always appreciate your articles and how you integrate images into them to get your messages across :)


This is a great blog with sound business advice, not only for photographers but also for anyone wishing to become successful in their field of choice! Thank you and best wishes to you and yours as well.

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