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.
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