Increasing Acceptance Level
I started with Dreamstime in July 2011. After years of putting serious photography on the back burner as we raised our son, the purchase of my first serious digital camera lead me to micro-stock and the possibilities of turning a passion into income.
At first my acceptance rate was abysmal - somewhere in 30% range. But by September my acceptance rate jump to 50% and kept climbing all the while my output increased. This month I had a personal record number uploads (over 90) and enjoyed an acceptance rate of 70%. I'm also up to over 600 images in my portfolio.
I don't keep a log or diary of everything I've done since starting to shoot microstock but think the following things have effected my learning curve. Some of these things are equipment base and others are simply learning the craft.
Lightroom 3 - In Sept I purchased Lightroom 3 and learned how to use it to tweak my images.
Shooting RAW - Shooting RAW files had an big impact on the control of my images
Learning to Shoot Stock - Basically just taking the time to look through the Dreamstime database and blogs to learn how to "see" stock photos.
Upgrading my lens - I ditched the kit lens when it seemed to be the cause of many rejects.
Read - I read Scott Kelly's book on Lightroom 3, Microstock Money Shots and Taking Stock as well as plenty of magazines and online blogs. Thanks Lately I've read "Food Photography" by Nicole S. Young which is an excellent book on setting up and shooting food shots. I've also collected some of my favorite microstock tips on a blog.
The other big change I've made lately, mostly due to the weather, is that I've been creating more images rather than searching for them. Over the summer I was taking trips looking for scenes that might sell as stock. Since the cold weather has set in, I've been creating a lot more images in the studio.
So in summary I think the trick to increased acceptance level comes from using good equipment, learning your workflow in processing images and learning to see stock images.
There is a learning curve, how long it take you to move up the curve depends your individual effort. The more you shoot, the faster you'll learn.
Some of my latest food photos:
Photo credits: Peanutroaster.
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