For those about to stock - we salute you!
I direct todays ranting to newbies. Not long time, experienced professional photographers new to Dreamstime itself or seeking additional income in microstock. Or microstockers already successful at other sites and new to Dreamstime. Or super-talented, successful current Dreamstime microstockers...
Those who have a camera, or recently bought one and who have recently announced their presence in the community with a resounding capitalized "HELLO" and an excited message of their presense and entry into this world. Those who, as I, typed some fateful words into Google not so long ago.The same words that even successful microstockers with thousands of photos and sales likely themselves once typed. Words keyed and with search results, that when seen, fired every synapse in the deepest, darkest recesses of the brain and forced you jump head first, and arrive
Oh sure, with modern cameras, anyone can snap a pretty good photo but allow me to bestow my short learning upon you...
Easy money...ka-ka-poo-poo (aka 'load of crap').
I'm not complaining, or whining, not at all. I love to take photos.
I'd just like to awaken you to some reality. A small view of what i've learned or experienced. You're going to have to involve yourself more than just pressing the shutter. There are things you need to do which you might not find the fun part. They are dirty deeds. Necessary evils. And they just go along with it. Whatever level of success you are seeking here...you're going to have to truly work at it.
And you, just as I still must do, will have to learn. About your equipment. From the abilities of the camera itself, to the limits of you lenses. About light, exposure, composition, angles and views. About diffraction all the evils that can make or break your shot.
About image editing software and layers, composites, colour adjustment, levels, blending and so on. About what photos to shoot and what not. Stockworthy photos of concepts and people and objects and to avoid subjects overdone in the database. About putting your own imagination, perspective and vision to your shots. About how to keyword your photos to have any chance in hell of being seen in a pool of almost 17 million photos.
And so, so much more.
You'll also have to 'do'. You'll have to actually take time and take photos. Go out and take them. Stay in and take them. Make the photos. Create the photos. And take the time to experiment. Isn't that one of the beauties of digital. Extra shots only cost in wear and tear on the camera and cameras can take tons of shots. So should you, learning from the mistakes made and building through experience. Just do it.
You'll have to be patient. With the huge volume of photos uploaded daily. It can take a week or more for photos to be reviewed. In the beginning, this can feel unbearable followed by the pain of waiting for those first fifty photos accepted, then a hundred, and two. But wait, a sale! We're setting fireworks off in the street, smoking celebratory cigars and toasting each other! And then, another painful wait for the second, the tenth, the fiftieth. Patience my young one. This is not a fast way to earn, there are no immediate results here. It takes time.
You'll also have to get used to rejection. Yes, rejection. The evil that lives here.... at least until you've learned. It happens. It's your fault. In my case, it makes me
It's a tough one, the destruction of many I'm sure. Sometimes in my wanderings on Dreamstime, I come across folks who have small photo counts. Their 'latest' uploaded images are from quite some time ago. They seem to have disappeared. I expect they did. They probably gave up. Perhaps rejection killed them.
If you're reading this sentence then I expect you haven't been frightened by my words. You're still here. I haven't burst your bubble, deflated your balloon, crushed your hopes or disuaded you.
You're heart hasn't suddenly shrunk three sizes smaller and tears aren't rolling down your cheeks and dripping in your lap.
You're hell-bent on achieving your dreams of success in microstock.
Good. Because the one single most important thing that I, a single dull knife in drawer of razor sharp steak knives can tell you is this;
Keep at it. Take photos. Learn through books and online videos. Keep improving. Get better. Don't throw you're camera against the wall. Don't let rejection kill you. Don't dissapear like those 'few images and old latest shots' folks have into the great wilderness of microstock nothingness.
Don't give up.
Oh yeah. One final tip. Stop reading my crap.
Read blogs and stuff from folks with much more experience than I.
I'm not particularly interesting and just go on, and on, and on... You've already wasted too much time reading this. Valuable time you could be spending doing the other stuff above.
For those about to stock - we salute you!
Go get 'em!
Not so legal disclaimer...
Newbies, please note...I am not a photographer. I'd be the last person on the planet to label myself as a photographer.
If you saw me in the street with my camera and walked up to me and asked if I was a photographer, I'd say no,
"I'm a photography enthusiast". I am a newbie. Only 3.247 footsteps further down the road than yourself.
I don't have any formal photographic training, long years in the industry, or a high end camera.
I don't possess the wisdom of the photographic ages, serious experience or any vast and extensive knowledge to bestow upon the photographic masses.
My portfolio, after some 15 months, is only now approaching about 700 shots. My sales only on the low side of two-hundred.
I know i need a better mix, more concept stuff. I am flawed.
I am humbled by those who have achieved much more in the same period. There are countless thousands of hugely successful and talented microstockers better than I and three dozen less.
I'm not the sharpest, pointiest knife in the drawer.
I can't walk on an ocean of film developer, or part a sea of, well, anything.
"I am enthusiast, hear me roar"
Take my rantings for what you will ;)
End of disclaimer.
Photo credits: , George Kroll.