Getting Increased Portfolio Exposure for Newbies

For those just starting out in stock photography, you know there are a lot of frustrating hurdles to overcome before it becomes rewarding. But one of the most frustrating things for me is how on earth is my small portfolio going to stand up against the thousands and thousands of photos? How on earth is the designer going to find my photo in the search engine? For most of us newbies our portfolio exposure is less than 1%.

Planet Hollywood and Paris Hotel

Las Vegas Boulevard

One way is of course to have relevant keywords for your photo. Another is to participate actively in forums and writing blogs that are useful. Another is to submit to DT assignments. And of course there is always upload like crazy and hopefully your portfolio will have more exposure based on numbers. These are definitely ways to get some exposure. But there is another way that may give you even more exposure than any of the above mentioned that you might have not thought of...

What I found personally is about half of my downloads do not have a keyword associated with the download. Which means in many cases that the designer or buyer happened to buy my photo by just browsing through by portfolio. I think newbies have an advantage in this way over larger portfolios since it doesn't really take much time for the buyer to look through a small portfolio. So if your portfolio is small but the photos are of high quality, then as long as the buyer finds your portfolio, there is a likelihood of him/her looking through your entire portfolio and potentially buying a photo.

Ginza District in Tokyo

As I go through my portfolio, I find a pretty interesting trend. The photos with the most views seem to be Editorial photos. And the ones that get the most views the quickest is also editorial photos. More views translates to more exposure. And if you do produce a significant editorial photo, it may actually be placed on the homepage on DT which will give you even more exposure.

So here is my tip for newbies, go out and try to produce some editorial photos as well. Although editorial photos are not a broad in terms of audience and usage as RFs, it definitely will increase your portfolio exposure much easier than any other means.

Busy streets of Shinjuku, Tokyo

The last photo on this blog is a photo of the streets of Shinjuku. I've had this photo online since Jan 30/09 and it already has 309 views as of when I wrote this blog.

If this strategy is working for you, please comment on this blog to help other newbies.


Photo credits: Retina2020.
  • Retina2020
I would love to see where and what my downloaded photos are being used for. Please leave a comment on my photo of how or where the photo is being used. I hope my photos are useful for you. Thanks for viewing.

Please note: I shoot in RAW format. So if any buyer needs the RAW file format of any of my photos, please leave me a comment in the given photo and I'll upload it.

Monthly Dreamstime assignments Achievement:

Second Place

Third Place

Managed Collections:

Beautiful Wedding Cakes
Beautiful Wedding Bouquets
Everything Eye Care
Luxury Meals
Surrealistic Photos

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This is very useful tips, my portfolio exposure has been increasing. Also my editorial photo has more views but no sales yet.


Thank you for the useful tips!


Great tip have never thought of taking pics for editorial...will have enough to give it a try! Thanks!


That's a great tip! Do you have any suggestions for creating editorial images that do wel?


Thank you for the info! I'llhave to upload some editorial images!


Thank you very much for you r writing. I am with dreamstime, suddenly my portfolio exposuredrop 0.01 from 0.09. Can you please ssuggest me what is the reason ?


I had uploaded only two photos but when i got one sale , i got so motivated that I uploaded many more. I now have 33 online mostly editorials and still shooting n uploading.


I stumbled across this recently and have not thought about getting fully involved in the Dreamstime community to increase the exposure on my portfolio. Thank you for the tip!


thank you for your sharing


Thank you for sharing. I need to carve out some time to update my keywords!


Yes. Surprisingly my best selling are editorial photos.


Thank you fo sharing


Interesting tips! Maybe I'll have a try in the editorial field. Personally I never though at dt as outlet for that type of work.Cheers


Hi All, I am another "Newbie" and am having loads of fun with taking photos ... even more now that I am uploading and sharing them. I take my inspiration from my boss... Jon Le-Bon who has given me loats of advice on lighting and what to take and not to take. I now have 9 photos approved and countless rejected - but this will not drive me down. I am keen to carr yon and improve and share my newly found skills and ideas. Good Luck Everyone. Steve


Hi, I've been a member here for about a month, have only 6 images, and had a single download. Thanks for the tip, I've tons of editorial shots, and would upload some and see it it works! This, too, is my first comment here, maybe I should be a little more active... thanks again!


Hey Larry. Your welcome. I'm glad this blog was helpful to you. Many have stated in forums in the past that your active participation in Dreamstime does affect your search priority. BTW, your wedding ring photos are great. As your variety of photos increase, the downloads will surely come.


Hi everyone, I have only been with dreamstime for about 4 months with only 72 images online. I really enjoy closeup shots and have been trying some jewelry shots which are very difficult but fun. As of today I still do not have a single download which is very frustrating. So I am taking your advice and will try to participate in more forum talks. This is my first post in the forums because I spend most of my time reading and learning from you guys and gals. I will also try some editorials also. Thanks for the advice.


Thanks Ami for your additional comments to this blog. I think others will find it to be helpful.


Very good blog!! I will try some more editorial images, although the ones that I have submitted, like Carolyn's, were refused due to not being newsworthy.


Great Blog!!

I also uploaded some editorials. In addition to the many many views they get I even managed to sell 3 of them for very nice prices.

Great tip for us newbies!! :)