Let's face it. No matter why you contribute photos to Dreamstime, whether you are a professional photographer or a hobbyist just starting out, one of the biggest rewards a photographer can get is finding one of your images in use. It is human nature to want to see your efforts being appreciated and used effectively by someone else. Stock photography is uniquely able to provide affirmation when due credit is given. It is as satisfying as applause at the end of a good performance.
I have been a contributor to Dreamstime long enough (October, 2005) and have enough images out there floating around somewhere to have been able to find a few. There are several message threads on the subject so I won't go into all of the methods or ways people search. The short explanation is to do a search on any popular search engine (Google, MSN, Yahoo, etc) on your real name (in quotation marks) as it is listed in your Dreamstime profile and the name Dreamstime. Mine looks like this:
"Ken Cole" Dreamstime
When a customer downloads a photo, Dreamstime provides crediting instructions with your real name, so it is best to search on your real name, not your screen name. Try as many different search engines as you can; there are subtle differences. Most will eventually find the same photos, but I have a couple photos that show up on MSN but don't on Google and Yahoo for some reason. There also are differences in how often they update so one search engine might find one of your photos more quickly than another.
It is a bit unfortunate but the truth is many downloaded photos are never credited and quite a few downloaded photos are not used. Photos used in print will not be found by a web search. I have been fortunate to have found one of my photos in use in print and will write another blog shortly about that as it is an interesting story. However, I do want to share with you two short stories about images I have found online.
This image on the left was taken in the Fall of 2007 at the wedding of my niece. It was a beach wedding at the New Jersey shore near Atlantic City. The table contains two glass viles, one with white sand and one with red sand. During the wedding ceremony, the bride and groom take the two vases and mix the sand in a larger vase in pretty layers, symbolizing the bringing together two lives in marriage. At any rate this image of the ceremonial table has been downloaded and I recently found it on a Google search being used on a German travel website with several other Dreamstime photos, promoting travel to the Island of Corsica. My niece asked me if all of the other images promoting Corsica were taken in New Jersey. I told her of course; didn't she know about Corsica, New Jersey?
Insel Touristik - Korsika
The second rather ironic find was a photo I took while visiting a distant family member who is a recently retired contract house painter. I took a photo of the geranium plants hanging from his front porch. The photo was downloaded and I eventually discovered it in use on a website of.... you guessed it.... a contract house painting company! There is no way the web designer could know that the photo that was downloaded was of the home of a former contract painter. Interesting coincidence... A Touch Above Painting Contractors
There is a forum on the message board Dreamstime in Action!
for sharing images that have been found so be sure to let everyone know when you have found one of yours or perhaps those of other Dreamstime contributors. By the way.... All of these photos are ones I have found in use on the web. If it hasn't happened for you, don't give up. Keep uploading and eventually you'll find one of yours and you will experience the biggest kick there is in stock photography!!! Good hunting!
Photo credits: Ken Cole.