small PORTFOLIO, BIG returns

© Fox71
© Orest
I'm still very new at this whole stock photo industry so I'm trying to learn as much as possible. I've only been at Dreamstime since the end of October and have learned a lot from the message boards, blogs, and other photographer's portfolios. Anxiously waiting to get enough sales for my first pay cheque. Yeah!

The difficult part of stock photography is determining what will sell. At the beginning what I did was to look at the most popular photographers and get an idea what is selling for them. And I do encourage the newcomers to do so. However, generally these photographer's portfolios are HUGE so it's overwhelming to look through their portfolios. And since these photographers also have a large portfolios, the exposure percentage is also high. Exposure means sales. Newbies like me don't have that luxury. Which means even if you produce the same or even better photo in your own portfolio as one you have seen in the large selling portfolios, this does not guaranty it will sell as well; if any. So I figured for newbies to start selling now before the portfolio gets large enough is to produce the "right" type of stock.

As I read through message boards, I run into contributers that have a very small portfolios but actually have very good return on sales. I figure my next step is to learn from these photographers and determine how they have done so well with such a small portfolio exposure. What I have done is compiled a list of photographers that have done exactly this. Below is photographers that have a portfolio size hovering around 250's or less (most of who are less than 100) who have around 3 or more downloads per upload. Which is amazing. Remember since the downloads per uploads is high, it also means that many photos probably have higher levels which means more return per sale. I've listed each photographer by their top selling photo. I hope the newbies will find this post useful. Happy shooting and good luck on your sales! PS: Sorry about the formatting of the photos. Can't figure out how to lined them up properly. :S

© I-bag

Photo credits: Nicole Andersen, Alicia Dearmin, Cherylt, Cinnamon, Carolyn Seelen, Matthew Apps, Frances Fruit, Ben Renard-wiart, Has1sue, Heather Jones, I-bag, William Dean, Matt Egginton, Jane Mortimore, Mitchell Barutha, Narcisa, Orest, Greg Biggs, Alexandr Klochkov, Yevettem, Zbieg2001.

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May 28, 2008


Thanks for this interesting take on this aspect of organizing your portfolio to generate returns...

April 19, 2008


thanks for your suggestions

March 31, 2008


Great tips Sue. Thanks. Hopefully over time, I can achieve you kind of success. Fingers crossed :)

March 29, 2008


Hello there

Yes you dont have to be big to be beautiful ;) keep things as fun, original, and diverse as you can and the downloads will follow.... remember when I took that shot of my poor husband there, the last thing he needed after a hard day at the office was me screaming at him HOLD THAT POSE!! lol

All the very best for the future
Sue :D

March 29, 2008


Retina, I think you have a great portfolio and I could learn a lot from you! Thank you, again, for the compliment.

Keep up the good work, I wish you many sales. :)

March 28, 2008


Heather. You have a great portfolio. Definitely have to learn from you. Thank you.

March 28, 2008


hey! thanks so much for adding one of my pics to this group - much appreciated! and thanks for the original thoughts... :)

March 28, 2008


Hey Cinnamon and Yevette. I should be the one thanking you for your help in improving my skills. I'm learning a lot from you.

March 28, 2008


Good post, and thank you for using one of my photos! :)

March 28, 2008


I glad you find this post useful. "Iconic" is definitely a good word to summarize how these small portfolios have done so well. I've been slow to upload photos for this very reason. I want to have photos that sell well instead of a shot gun approach. I'm lazy to do all that keywording and find out I only achieve one or two downloads... ;)

March 27, 2008


great post and good idea. I think somewhere I read a word Yuri said that makes the most sense to me - create ICONIC images - ones that say one thing and say it very clearly and very well. Most of the images you posted are VERY iconic. Like inspireme's cork pop and the Niagara Falls shot - lots of people shoot Niagara. Not all of them do it on a crystal clear day from a perfect spot with a fantastic rainbow. that makes it soooooo perfect & iconic. That's the word I'm aiming for now. :)

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