It seems I know... (what helps our sales the most)

Being registered here since December 2007, I really started to upload in 2008, August. Before This I had read a lot of articles written by happy photographers who made good money on stock. What they said sounded very optymistic - a sort of "shoot what you want and sell each photo 500 times". Yuri Arcurs was the example, and things seemed easy and fun.

But reality showed that not all was so simple.

I got my first sale very late, in three months after first upload. Here is this image

. Second sale came only in another month, next - in 5 months. What was wrong? Were my pictures really that bad that noone wanted to buy them? I believe, this question is familiar to many newbies.

I began to read message-board, look who sells how much, compare the difference between best-selling portfolios and portfolios with poor sales. What is the difference between "to sell" and just "to shoot and upload"? To tell you the truth at that stage I didn't see any logic. Some portfolios looked fabulous, but didn't sell well compare to others. The only thing which I noticed at that moment was the fact that illustrations were sold better than photos.

My sales continued to be miserable. And I couldn't blame keywording, because the pictures were visible in search. May be their colors were too pale?

The ones who sold a lot said that the most important was the diversity of portfolio, the creativity, some guys mentioned the importance of good acceptance ratio. One photographer wrote that he began to have a sale per day since his portfolio became 400 images. So, I assumed, the amount was also important. I was encouraged by "upload and wait". Wait for what?

I continued to upload and didn't plan to leave stock. Because despite the fact of poor sales I enjoyed tutorials, experience exchange, chatting with artists and felt my own improvement in photography. I can say that here during these months I probably learned not less than before in photoshool. But still something was wrong with my sales...

I began to explore searches. What made best-sold images special? Why from two equally good pictures (bright, with good idea and composition, technically well-done) one could have 50 sales and the other zero? I began to look more carefully at best-sold photographer's portfolios and you know what I found? They have all been here for quite a long time!!! Biggest sales have the ones who came earlier than 2006, which is very logical, because their pictures were longer "in the window", portfolios, of course, large and diverse, and probably they already got some permanent buyers!

Meanwhile, my time also counted, and sales began to come faster. I'm still far from being a sale champion, BUT last week I had a sale, yesterday I had a sale, today even two! My portfolio is 153 pictures, more diverse than at the very beginning and people get to know it. And it's funny that I even thought about disabling some pictures for being "too grey", when suddenly somebody needed them and desided to buy.

So, what I can say now to all guys and girls who like me worry about slow sales:

- Don't hurry to think that your portfolio is bad. It's probably just small and recent.

- Don't ever delete a single image from your portfolio. It may be needed by someone unexpectedly.

- What effects stock SALES the best is TIME ;)

Photo credits: Julia161.

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i too am in the same boat as you....i also tried finding the same questions as yours......i agree that time is a major factor BUT also what Ive also noticed is that one of the best selling images is having images of (people interacting). that's a difficult type of image to get since alot dont have the studio capabilities


This month I was more or less lucky with sales. I don't know if collections really helped. Some images included in collections were sold, but they were uploaded from search by key-words. I think time is the most important factor. Not quality, creativity or other sort of "...ities" ;)


Yes, this is all true , keep walking like one brand say's.
But what about the colections? Are thay rise the sales or not ???


great detective work dreamstime is a good learning site I feel everyone is very sincere it is like being part of a photographic family it is nice to have this artistic skill in common. Peter


Great Blog,.... thanks


super blog !!!


As a newbie with only 7 images online this is a great article that helps enormously with positive thinking which I need in abundance to survive at the moment, thanks so much.


Great blog. I enjoyed that.


Haha.. really an encouraging conclusion :)
Hope we all do enjoy the time spent in this journey and not forgetting to have fun with it.
Cheers Yulia!!


Thanks for sharing :0) I needed a pick-me-up.


Great article nice to hear some positive thinking, good luck.


Great blog! And I hope all true! :p


Nice blog! And I still wonder how I haven't found stock in 2005-2006 :))


Great blog, thanks for sharing.


Good blog, hang in there and keep uploading.

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