One year report. (Thoughts on the first 12 months with Dreamstime)
My first year on Dreamstime as a new photogrpaher and and I've realised just how quickly the time passes!
I was a novice photographer when I joined and I think, to be fair, I'm still in that category, although I'd like to think that the photos have improved in this time.
First approved photo.
So, what has happened in the year? I joined with no illusions of making lots of money but when the first sale came, it was such a great feeling. I've achieved some of the targets that I loosely set as things went along, such as...
Getting a photo approved.
Making a sale.
100 photos approved.
Getting accepted for an assignment.
Selling more than one photo in a day.
Selling the same photo more than once. (As it happened, the last two entries occurred on the same day.)
I know this won't seem like much to many on here but you have to start somewhere and to people who are newer, it might give you an idea of how things have gone for me. When I joined DT, I had an old bridge camera, which was sold and I bought a secondhand crop sensor camera and now, that too, has been sold to make way for a full frame camera. I've learned from using each one but I have to say that the full frame has been a fantastic move for me.
So, what else have I learned since being on DT?
There are a lot of people who pass on their knowledge and experience on the forums/blogs. It's there if you look for it.
I still get excited seeing a sale.
To think more about the photo I'm going to take, even simple things like moving back and forth, to the side, higher or lower and see how it works.
To not beat myself up over a rejected submission and to treat it as an opportunity to see where I went wrong.
To really look at a photo before submitting it and think "Is it really how I envisaged it"?
Looking OK isn't really good enough (The photos, not me)
If you don't put in the effort, it's likely you won't get anything out.
Photos from other contributors are a great way to get inspiration and to see how they are taken. Try picking a contributor, look through their photos and then pick one of their favourite contributors and do the same again and again. You'll find unexpected gems all over the place.
Not to give up. I've tried to learn from reading blogs etc, looking at other peoples photos and being really hard on which photos make the cut or not. More importantly, I've tried to improve the kind of photos I take and have tried different techniques, some successful, some, not so much but it's the best way to learn. Basically, pick up the camera and get clicking.
And so a second year is about to begin and I have a few more targets to aim for...
Try to have every submission approved.
200 submissions, 300 submissions etc.
Consistent sales per month.
Reach > 0.1 downloads per image and keep building from there.
10 sales by Christmas. (Update- Made it at the weekend)
Other targets may come up as time goes by but right now, I'm trying to make them realistic and so, won't be too disappointed if they don't come as quickly as I'd hoped.
A newer photo.
So that's a year, compressed into less than one minute of reading. For me, I enjoy photography very much and I wish I'd found it a lot sooner but there's time left to learn more and to take more photos. Now, onto the second year.
Photo credits: S Walker.
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