Lessons to have 10000 Sales

It will be 5 years in September since I joined Dreamstime. This site/agency inspired me to click more pictures, improve my photography and earn a lot of income through their great commission structures through the years. I was also a FEATURED PHOTOGRAPHER at sometime. I recently completed 10,000 downloads of my images which consist of all kind of sales including one SR-EL sale and several other EXTENDED LICENSES. I had my own frustrations with royalty rates and other things like any other photographer but I thank DT and its team to be always modest, quick and clear for every query I had for them.

I would like to give some revised tips for everyone. I am aware that I might have posted them in earlier blogs, but still if there are newbies in here, this might help!

Rejections help you improve your photography and in the long run increase income. We do get frustrated but that is momentary in terms of finance.

Instead of researching best sold subjects and images, try to create a niche of your own which will make buyers visit your portfolio specifically.

Try not to repeat the type of images or have duplicate images. Too many images from the same shoot will result in lower levels of your images and hence lower commissions.

Be active on message boards. Even if you don’t post atleast make a point to read what is going on.

Keep upgrading your equipment whenever you hit a certain target of income from your photography sales. For contributors who don’t take this as their main source of income, they will find this easier! But remember that better equipment always doesn't mean better sales, better equipment only helps more in more approvals in my experience.

If you have lower end equipment, concentrate on photoshop tutorials on the internet and try to create magic through it. You will be able to give the results like high-end cameras if you manage to master photoshop.

In reference to the above point, according to me processing of the image has 60% more importance than composing it real time! Buyers don’t care to know whether it’s a unprocessed image or a processed one, they just want the final product worth buying. The photography part of the image shouldn't be in your head as a contributor who is selling it, just think the selling perspective and not the photography technicalities.

Neither should approvals enhance your ego nor should rejection break it apart. The approval ratio is nothing to do with your photography creativity. So what doesn't get approved here might fetch in any stock agency might fetch a great price in an exhibition.

If you have a best-seller, follow the same kind of subject of the image not more than 4-5 times, you might saturate your own portfolio.

If you are non-exclusive, try to identify and analyse the difference of the subjects that sales in various agencies. e.g if politics might sell more in here, entertainment might be selling more elsewhere. This will help you decide what to upload on which site.

Information is power! You should be aware of everything going technically in the photography market in terms of equipment as well as the market in terms of sales. You should know the trends that the world is upto. There are many blogs and sites that will help you understand microstock trends better.

Don’t go and ask anyone for their opinions on your photos. This might have proved to be a good process when you are a newbie. The best way of learning later is learning through your own sales as well as sales of other contributors.

Sale trends shouldn't be followed for the highest downloaded image ever. Rather follow what is the highest subject searched in last one year. After analysis of 2-3 years you will identify a trend that will help you predict what will sell in the next year.

Last but not the least. Thank God if you believe in one, other than that thank your equipment, models, those special moments that nature gives you to capture the perfect pic and be grateful to all those for being the 80% contributing factors in your income!

Processing files for noise reduction and other corrections is good, but not if the effect is applied globally. Always make it a point to select only certain areas to apply a certain effect like noise reduction to retain the sharpness and other important aspects of the rest of the image.

All the best!



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Photo credits: Nikhil Gangavane.

Your article must be written in English

July 14, 2011


thx a lot for the tips

July 13, 2011


Thanks for sharing. It really helps for us that are newbies/clueless.

July 11, 2011


nice one! thanks for sharing

July 09, 2011


Thanks for the motivational post :D

July 08, 2011


Great job!

July 07, 2011


Good tips, thank you!

July 03, 2011


Great job! Thanks for the lesson!!!!

June 29, 2011


@Tan410jomast - I write blogs to write, expecting no responses :) that helps good writing :D

June 28, 2011


Great lesson!

June 28, 2011


Write well. Thanks to share!

June 26, 2011


useful blog,thanks a lot.

June 25, 2011


hello, good blog. i fully agree with your advice about "Instead of researching best sold subjects and images, try to create a niche of your own which will make buyers visit your portfolio specifically". Yuri and other top sellers have always stressed that to new contributors bc realisitically why would anyone look elsewhere if they already know Yuri, etc work.
So, yes, to be different is to find a niche so buyers will have a reason to remember you.
Good point.
As for writing in blogs here, I am not sure, I used to be a regular and it didn't make a difference. My friends still sold more than me, and they never wrote in this blog ever. So, naturally, I lost interest in writing regularly in this blog community. Instead spending more time making new photos , or going back to my old images with no downloads to find better keywords. I think that alone has found me increased sales.

June 24, 2011


Well written and thanks for sharing your experiences, regards

June 24, 2011


thanks for the tips

June 24, 2011


Great portfolio and thanks for sharing your experience :-) Bye, Francesca

June 22, 2011


Congratulations and many thanks for your tips!

June 22, 2011


Thanks for the lesson Nikhil! :) I`ll try to keep in mind your advices when doing my next shots :)

June 22, 2011


Really great words of wisdom from a pro. Thanks!

June 21, 2011


@Marugod - There was no reason like this earlier, but yes I had faced this is not a stock image n' things like that. I still get. It seems like its not a niche then because they might be getting other submissions which are similar.

June 20, 2011


Thanks for sharing this info with us.

Still, I'm not 100% agree with you when you say "... try to create a niche of your own which will make buyers visit your portfolio specifically", because I had a lot of rejection with the reason was: "Image subject is too specific or niche-oriented. The primary goal of a stock image is to be generic and match as many usage types as possible. Your image is not generic enough and will not generate significant sales."

Some times, having this rejection reason, make me wonder what should I be shooting.

I'm new in stock photography, i've a lot to learn :))

Anyway, great article !!!

June 20, 2011


Thanks Everyone!

June 20, 2011


Thankyou for the great advice. Very encouraging words.

June 20, 2011


congrats :) keep clicking :)

June 20, 2011


Thanks for sharing!! :)

June 18, 2011


Very special thanks for your sharing. It gives me the spirit. :-)

June 17, 2011


Great job! Congratulations!

June 17, 2011


thank you great post congratulations

June 17, 2011


Great tips and your blogs are always enlightening...thanks!

June 17, 2011


Great post, thank you

June 17, 2011


Thank you Nikhil!!

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