Tips for Newbies II

I wrote a blog over a month ago and it seemed to be well received. Here is a follow up with some more tips:

1. Acceptance ratio. Keeping your acceptance ratio high has many advantages including the ability to upload a lot and higher ranking in searches. As well, it just saves time - there is no point in submitting images that aren't accepted. There is a balance between trying to make your portfolio bigger and risking rejections. If you are at the point where you are struggling to figure out how to get your ratio higher I have the following suggestions:

a) Take a set of submissions and rank them in terms of whether you think they will be accepted or not. Label the ones you feel the best about with '1', and the ones you are unsure of with '2'. See how close you come to matching the reviewers. I find I often have a 'feeling' that something won't be accepted - and then it isn't. You need to learn to trust this feeling and keep your acceptance high.

b) You'll never get it perfect. Maybe there are people with 100% ratios, but I would guess that most newcomers aren't even close. Keeping in mind that there will always be rejections you need a strategy to improve your ratio. I watch my ratio and if I have a month where I am doing really well (relative to other months) I submit some of the 'risky' ones. If I'm having a bad month I try to stick to the obvious winners.

c) A classic rule is to only submit one image from a series to ensure you don't get a large number rejected at once for the same reason. Especially when it is fixable (bad contrast, noise, etc.).

2. Think about your portfolio. If someone does manage to find one of your images they probably click through to see others you have shot. This is your chance to impress and highlight your best work. You have some control over the things they see. For example, the first row is your recent uploads. The last batch accepted will appear together and cycle around as the first nine visible. If you submit a single image that day it will always be the first one. If I have a really great photo I try to upload it after a day from others, and then leave some time after it so it 'sticks' in the first spot for at least a few days.

The most "popular" section you can't do much about. The editor's choice section appears if you get some editor's choice images. This is a worthy goal of anyone as it means you've submitted something that catches the editor's eye. The exclusive row has a selection of 9 of your exclusive images. If you are exclusive with DT you can't do much about this either, but if you are not you can chose up to 9 select images and make them exclusive - they will then always be visible on your profile page. Finally, when you use models the first image uploaded tends to be the one displayed. This is your chance to get another great image on your profile. Choose wisely for the first image of a model!

3. Growing your portfolio. In my last blog I suggested setting a goal of uploading a fixed number of images a month. This works well in the beginning, but as your portfolio grows it becomes less and less a factor in the overall size of your portfolio. I suggest the following modification:

Start by uploading a fixed amount each month for 10 months - say 10-20 photos a month. Then, once you get to 10 months aim to upload 10% of your portfolio each month to ensure your sales continue to grow, not slowly decline. So after you get 100 shots you do 10 the next month, then 11, etc. Doesn't seem so bad at first, but after a while you're uploading twice as many photos a month! I'm at 610 uploads now and my goal is to add 61 pictures this month...

4. Finally, a few more common questions gleaned from the message boards:

In the account stats 'Downloads' refers to the number of photos you've bought. You can only view your total sales on the profile page or in the Management Area. The profile page updates the next day for sales, but updates right away for new uploads.

Credits can be obtained for writing a blog, such as this one. Don't be surprised if you write a blog and discover you've earned a credit!

Once you get a payout and request it, your total revenue will drop by the amount requested until you actually get the payout. Then it will jump back up to show your total earnings over time.

New uploads don't appear in the search results right away. As well, if you edit keywords or titles it takes another day or so to see them in search results again.

When uploading and you get rejections, don't take it to the message boards. You can e-mail support directly using the contact us link at the bottom of the webpage. Don't abuse this privilege as the reviewers go through tens of thousands of images a month - but don't hesitate to ask if you don't understand the rejection reason. If you do contact support note that when you submit certain types of questions they give you some frequently asked questions and responses - you have to still click Submit one more time to actually send the message.

Good luck everyone, and Merry Christmas!

Photo credits: Brad Calkins, Pressmaster.

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April 18, 2010


You're welcome :)

April 18, 2010


Thanks for the info!

January 17, 2009


Thanks for reading everyone - I'm glad if it helps!

January 16, 2009


Great blog, thanks for sharing your tips with us.

January 14, 2009


I think an image being accepted or rejected on Dreamstime is purely on the reviewer's subjective feelings .. If you're lucky it gets selected if not it's rejected.

January 08, 2009


Excellent Advice.

January 06, 2009


Great motivation!! Really Nice Post!! Thanks friend! I am happy to see this. Any way, I know a fantastic site where you may earn money by uploading your own photos, music and videos. Its really nice and I wish it would be helpful for you.

January 06, 2009


thanx a lot! ;)

January 05, 2009


Great post, very handy indeed

Sizzle Creative Agency

January 05, 2009


Thanks Brad. I've been here for just over two months and agree with most of your advise. Especially, setting targets for uploads.

Though with what to upload, it's difficult at first to know what's good microstock and what's not. I think you have to take risks and learn from them. The good thing about the rejections I've got is that I've much more clued up on 'noise' now and I find myself researching 'advance' techniques for sharpening, something, which I wouldn't have done before.

December 30, 2008


I don't think there is a whole lot of room for protest, Leifr, unless you have a long history of initial rejections being accepted without changes via support. The bottom line is that even if you do get them approved on the second time it is still taking the editors two passes to get your shots approved. I wouldn't worry unless it happens again and again. In the stock photo industry you have to learn to live with a little rejection...

December 26, 2008


What is the best approach, if you feel the rejection is not fair? Is there a way to have the acceptance ratio changed? Thank you for a great blog.

Happy New Year to all

December 26, 2008


Nicely explained, and great motivation !


December 24, 2008


Great article. Lots of good tips to follow.


December 23, 2008


Great article!!!
I'll try to apply it.
Thank you very much and happy new year.

December 23, 2008


Hi Brad, and thank you! Those were some great tips you included there! I will definitely be a bit more careful with how many files I upload in each series to avoid rejection.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you!

December 22, 2008


Thank you , thank you thank you .. It all so clear to me now , being a newbie .. Merry Christmas ...

December 22, 2008


Thanks Brad, much appreciated.

December 22, 2008


I think I can help on that one, Fultonsphoto - if you get it accepted the 2nd time around you get the credit for the upload, but the original rejection still counts against you. If it was your first photo, you would end up at 50% for the attempt...

December 22, 2008


Hi Brad, thanks for the tips and advice, really interesting. Wonder if you will be able to assist with this one, if a photo is rejected, and the reason for rejection can be rectified and resubmitted and then accepted, does the acceptance ratio reflect this as an accepted image thereby increasing the % acceptance, or does the ratio remain unchanged?

December 20, 2008


Very good article. Indeed ideal and very useful for starters to get some idea on the best approach. Thanks!

December 19, 2008


woow it's really amazing to read this as a newbie here ^_^
Thanks a lot for ur tips~

December 19, 2008


Update: Another way to bring photos to the front of your profile page is via collections. A collection will always stay put on the right hand side of the page, and if added to your bio as HTML can directly link into your collections, even if they aren't public collections (i.e. just your photos).

December 18, 2008


Very good ideas. Thanks

December 18, 2008


Thanks for all the kind words!

December 18, 2008


thanks for the tips, great blog!

December 18, 2008


Thanks it is very helpful for guys like me to read your blog.
Best regards and a merry christmas and happy new year

December 17, 2008


Very helpful information for all, thanks!

December 17, 2008


As usual, great tips.

thank you.

December 17, 2008


Great article... Very useful, first of all for newbies, but not only for them... Merry Christmas to you! Bye, Rob.

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