No advice here! - Dreamstime

Time and time again I see articles about tips and/or advice for newbies, written by... well, newbies. When I read a blog that might contain new, useful info, I check the source. I look at the author's profile page, his online files/sales ratio but most importantly at the quality of his work. And in many cases I find that they have a small portfolio, very few sales and not so great images.

Which doesn't necessarily mean they're wrong about what they have to say, but after four years in the business and more sales than uploaded images I still don't feel like I know enough to give any advice. Well, in fact I've learned over the years that the more I know about photography in general, the more I realize how much more I have to learn. And I don't think this is ever going to change. At this point I strongly believe that I will NEVER stop learning photography, and will never be fully satisfied with my work.

So i can’t give you any tips or advice, but I can tell you about some of the mistakes I made :)

I probably cannot tell You anything that hasn’t been said before me by others, but the more people have the same experience, the more probable is that that something is true, so... The first mistake I made as a beginner is one that probably all beginners make: I thought that most of my photos are awesome. Cartier Bresson said: “Your first 10,000 photographs are your worst.” I didn’t believe that at the time, now I know it’s true. So I uploaded lot of stuff that got rejected or, if accepted, didn’t sell. I didn’t care much about my acceptance rate until I very recently learned from Mirco Vacca’s blog (https://blog.dreamstime.com/2014/04/23/small-tip-to-all-new-photographers_art40374) that it also affects the search rank. And the acceptance rate can be easily brought down especially at the beginning, and it will be very difficult to build it up again.

Another mistake I made is trying very hard to create “stock-oriented” images, before I even knew what that really means. So I looked at the best selling images at every major agency and tried to do something like that, but what I really created were just cheap replicas, that didn’t sell. Like these

And I see many newcomers doing the same thing. I think it’s more important trying to create something new, something different. And most importantly, something better. Wisconsinart has written several great articles about this. (https://www.dreamstime.com/wisconsinart_info) Off course this isn’t easy, in fact it’s really hard when You have to bring something new and compete with great artists and more than 23.000.000 images.

One of my first rejected images was “sent back” to me with the reason that said something about over-processing, over-editing. I didn’t even edit that one, it was shot before sunset with a graduated filter, so it had some unusual colors, etc… But because of that rejection I was really careful not to over-process my images for a long time, and as a result I have a lot of images among my first 2-3 hundred that in my opinion have potential, but they simply don’t stand out and don’t sell because they are dull, uninteresting, especially compared with other similar images. So this was another mistake I made, not enhancing my images properly. Well, at first all beginners tend to over-process photos, I did too, it’s not easy to find a happy medium here, takes a lot of practice, and don’t forget, photography isn’t exact science, and DT inspector are only human, they are not infallible. Sometimes You just have to go with your instinct.

Photo credits: Zoran Mladenovic, Libux77, Rigmanyi.

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May 06, 2014

Perstock

Right you are!
In the end there must be someone willing to pay for your work.
Otherwise will the contribution be some kind of stamp collection...

May 05, 2014

Rigmanyi

Davidwatmough: "Difficult to disagree with your thinking................ we start expecting it to be easy but as time goes on it gets more competitive.
Its noticeable that those starting in 2004 and 2005 have done a lot better because they've being improving over a long period and have more level 5 images from a time when the database was
small! Please tell me if you disagree with that. "

I agree. We have to accept this as a fact and work very hard to catch up.

But level 5 images have to be very good or unique in order to keep the buyers interested... Because if not, they can now easily find similar, lower price level images to download. So quality always makes a big difference.

May 05, 2014

TMarchev

Great blog :) Tnx!

May 04, 2014

Cammeraydave

Good Points ! Nice fridge shot.

May 04, 2014

Jdanne

Thanks for sharing! I made nearly all of these beginner mistakes by myself.

May 04, 2014

Davidwatmough

Difficult to disagree with your thinking................ we start expecting it to be easy but as time goes on it gets more competitive.
Its noticeable that those starting in 2004 and 2005 have done a lot better because they've being improving over a long period and have more level 5 images from a time when the database was
small! Please tell me if you disagree with that.

May 04, 2014

AuthenticCreations

Great Blog! I like your thinking about sharing experience rather then advice. Thanks to add my in your article. Good luck.

Mirco

May 03, 2014

Alexstork

Thank You Rigmanyi, very much, for your willingness to share your insights and hard work/earned wisdom!!

May 03, 2014

Vilaimages

Thanks for sharing your experience. Quite a journey isn't it? you never stop learning new things as you go along. Looking back and saying to yourself "oh If I would have known that back then"...To me, this is what makes photography so fascinating.

You have a wonderful portfolio!

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