Continuous learning and review. The art of success?
Like many people on DT I have spent time looking at other people's portfolios and wondering what they have done to get the often exceptional sales to portfolio size ratios they have.
One thing that is obvious is that there is a need for a mixed portfolio consisting of a range of topics that ideally combine the interests of the photographer with their technical capabilities and the needs of our customers.
There are clearly many talented photographers on DT who have managed to reach this wonderful 'sweet spot' that combines interest, capability and market need. Whilst reviewing images that sell and looking both for gaps in the market there is also a need for those of us still relatively new to stock photography to engage in continuous learning to enhance our technical skills and also to continuously seek inspiration.
This learning will come from a range of sources. Magazines provide an on-going, if somewhat repetitive, source of inspiration and advice on new techniques. In addition, there are opportunities to develop new skills through training, and also to try new experiences in anything from close encounters with big cats to aerial photography from hot air balloons. Lastly, of course, there is the feedback from image reviewers and from the people who choose to buy our images.
Perhaps, one day, I will be able to reach the sales to image ratios of 5:1 or more that those with more experience, inspiration and technical capability have achieved, but I am sure I won't ever get there if I don't commit myself to continuously learning, reviewing and improving my portfolio and my technical skills.
Photo credits: Mark Eaton.