My story at Dreamstime or how to became a better stock photographer - 3


subtitle: how to learn from others and submit quality images

Year 2006 for me went well with growing sales month after month.

Steadily but slowly. The portfolio continued to grow, reaching 600 then 700 and hitting the 900 images at year's end. My concern was to learn quickly how to improve sales a bit faster than it was going on. I started to study portfolios of best photographers, their numbers (you learn a lot from those stats if you know how to look at them) and analyze my own portfolio to see where could be improved.

This year the result of my studies produced some good results.

Sales jumped at next level and now I'm quite satisfied with the proportion of time I spend in photographing and the payout.

I call this year, 2007, year of expansion. Expanding into new levels of earnings and quality of images produced. That means more quality images submitted. I do now submit less images but better quality than one year ago. This directly produce an increase of the 'famous' Acceptance Ratio (see note at end of article).

(example of one image submitted this year)

I want now to give away one of my small 'secrets'. This I employ sometimes before submitting.

I make a search on, say: red peppers. I want to see results for the most downloaded from the top sellers down (one to four pages) and then compare if my image fits in there as something really different and new. If yes, is definitely worth to submit. If not, depends. Maybe I can submit anyway if I think my image is somehow better than one already there. But... only if that topic-subject is not too well covered yet in Dreamstime. Otherwise is a sure Not-to-submit situation.

I underline again: check your images against the ones that are already on sale. This will avoid also the chances of rejections for: 'this is well covered subject' or 'we don't need this kind of images'.

P.S. For who is thinking 'what the heck is acceptance ratio'? Here the very brief description: the ratio of images accepted every month. More images accepted=higher the ratio. Higher ratio means you are a 'higher quality' photographer. That has practical results: more sales, probably your images will appear higher in searches, more chances to be chosen as photographer of the week and so on. Just good thing happens when you have high AR.

Photo credits: Saniphoto.

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August 19, 2007


Hi, good tips. Nevertheless I have encountered that sometimes, even an image is well covered, you submit one that is very similar, gets accepted and starts selling. It's like an old german saying "every pod has a lid", meaning, there is always somebody that sooner or later needs your image. I feel that the more pictures you got uploaded, the higher the sales. And the secret is to keep uploading and uploading. If it does not become a bestseller fast, the image gets lost after a while. What keeps me having a steady income is some bestsellers no doubt, but then more, the people searching by "newest" or "latest upload" and as soon as I upload, the same day a lot of new pictures get purchased.

August 18, 2007


Those are some good tips. If a topic is already well covered, we better make sure that the image we are submitting is outstanding, otherwise there is a high risk of it getting rejected. I have already encountered that. I have had several images already rejected because that subject is already well covered in the database. Now I make sure to check before uploading!

August 18, 2007


You are right, but I rather suggest people to do some new stuff that there is no hundreds or thousands of photos online. Look for red peppers, but do it in totally different way and with some concept or idea if it is possible, to be unique as much as possible in that search.

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