Too many shots!

I think that if we want to get more attention from the buyers we have to take a little less pictures! Yes indeed less pictures! I see you scratching your head! You look surprised!

No this is not a joke!

I'm talking from my experience with film. I'm studying analog photography and shoot 35mm as well as medium and large format. When I'm going to take pictures with my 35mm camera I take quite a lot of pictures because there's quite some frames (36) on a film. With a medium (12) and even more with a large format (1) it is totally different.

© Elwynn

In the same amount of time I shoot 36 frames with my 35mm only 12 with my medium and only one or two with my large format.

More than half of the pictures taken with the large format are good and one on four is really good.

With my medium format I get 5 to 8 good shots with one or two really good ones.

With my 35mm I usually get 4 to 6 good ones sometimes it includes a really good one, but not always.

This difference in quality is partly caused by the equipment. It is obvious that you get a lot more detail with a large or medium format, but the light and composition is also better when I shoot medium or large. It just takes time to take a good picture. Walk around look at the different angles how is the light, what can help to make the picture more interesting. If you just start shooting you will miss a lot and you will almost certainly miss the best shot you could have taken.

So at the end it means the more time you spent to take a picture the more chance you have to take good ones. Yes you end up with less pictures but the ones you shoot will be better!

Success in micro stock is mostly thought to be dependent on picture quantity. It is not so difficult to get your pictures accepted, it is difficult to sell them!

The lesson is that, one extremely good selling picture in your port will attract buyers and will help to sell other pictures.

Of course you need quantity to earn a little over here, but it is the quality pictures which will attract the buyers. A port with 100 pictures which includes one top seller is better than a port with 1,000 pictures of medium quality.

You need both quantity and quality!

So my goal is to shoot at least one sub topper every month and one top seller a year. I'm going to put more effort in my single pictures. Starting from tomorrow!

I will let you know how it works out.

have fun and shoot quality!

Photo credits: Brad Calkins, Quentin Bargate, Elwynn, Wildmac.

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November 20, 2010


Very good advise.I love your frogs!

May 03, 2010



September 17, 2009


I agree with you in many points. Sure, fighting for quality and thinking before pressing the button is important. But I think it's important just for an artist himself, to develop and feel satisfied with what he is doing. The longer I am on stock the more I get convinced that quality has nothing to do with sales. At least not in my portfolio. My "bestsellers" are very unexpected for me, and they are definetely not the ones for whose quality I was fighting and on which I spent much time. It really surprises. And also on different stocks pictures sell differently. What sells good somewhere else here sometimes is not even approved, and the opposite.

September 15, 2009


The factor of time is important indeed. Sometimes you can have a best seller with a 'simple shot'. But what is a simple shot? There are hundreds of images picturing an apple on a white background, but only few of them sell a lot. Is this just luck. I don't think so! It only takes a few minutes to take a picture like that. It's easy! But it becomes different when you want to make a best seller out of it. If you take some extra time, you can adjust the light, the composition,... Is it the wright apple for the job? And Brad, I think that you take all these issues in consideration. Your pictures have a high level of quality.
If you look at all the pictures of business people, you can see that it takes quite some time to take these pictures! You have to arrange the models, get them to wear the right clothes, search for the perfect attributes set up the light correctly. Those pictures are not taken in an hour, it just takes time. If you want to take a picture its more than just pushing the button.
Another issue is experience. The more you practice the better you get. Just taking pictures is not practicing! You have to take your time and study the subject you want to shoot. Look for the perfect light, look for the best composition and angle, which lens you should use,... If you don't study during your picture taking, you won't learn a lot. You have to spent some extra time! Afterwards you will be able to read your subject more rapidly, and you will be able to shoot good pictures in a shorter amount of time.

September 14, 2009


One thing that is often not mentioned in the quantity/quality debate is the factor of time. To get quality takes more time (usually). The photo of mine that you used (thanks!) took time to get - setup lights, etc. I've only sold it once. Yet I have other shots that I spent 1 minute on that have become best sellers (in my terms). You do need the quality in the first place to have a winner, but you have to keep an eye on time as well. If you spend four hours perfecting a shot, you need a lot of sales to pay back the time invested. It is always a balance.

September 13, 2009


An unique picture! I hope I made at least a few until now! ...still, it remains a challenge for every photographer or artist!

September 11, 2009


sometimes you have to take pictures quickly. Shooting fast changing subjects like changes in sunlight, sports, movements of people, animals or objects. Then you have to focus on getting the decisive moment. But when you shoot a portrait, a landscape or an object, you should take your time to take the best shot. Even when your shot is dependent on a decisive moment you often have the time to study your shooting site in advance and position yourself at the best spot. If you have the time study the light and composition in advance and even your 'fast' pictures will be better. Explore before you shoot!

September 11, 2009


I am also a convert from the film era and probably guilty of not taking over the lessons I learnt from this format i.e. abusing the ease of digital deletions of an image wheras I used to take more time and effort in an image, good advice I just need to get back in these habits.

September 10, 2009


Thanks for using one of my images! I've been used to a tight budget and having to use my film sparingly in the past so I'm probably more guilty of not taking enough and missing the decisive moment.

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