Is It Worth Participating in Assignments?

Let's be honest; is it really worthwhile to participate in Assignments? Sure, it's nice if your image is elected, but if you look through the archives, many of the images do not have many sales, if any at all. There are a few "real" winners, but only a handful. It seems perhaps in many cases an image is overpriced by starting out a Level 5. Better to have some lower Level sales than none at all?

I did have an image accepted in a recent assignment and it has yet to sell. However, it seemed I was getting more views than usual with my newer uploads; it usually takes a while for people to look at the new ones. Is it possible a few sales were made because that one image was displayed in a high-profile section? There is no way to prove that but it must happen on occasion.

For the Agriculture assignment, I had another image accepted. No sales to date but I did receive some nice compliments for it. A little exposure certainly can't hurt.

Regardless, because of the Agriculture assignment, I made arrangements to visit a dairy farm during milking time. It was a difficult shoot; the lighting was bad, there was little room to maneuver, and the dern cows would never hold still or pose for me (as if they would!). As a result, I didn't even try submitting any of the usable images for the Assignment. The session was virtually a bust.

However, it was an interesting experience. That was my first time ever where I got to see an operation like that for real. The Assignment caused me to do see and do something I had never done before.

In addition, I did have images from that day accepted and are now in my portfolio. When you're a small portfolio with little time for stock, every image counts. They're images I normally wouldn't have if not for the Assignment.

So I found it all to be very worthwhile. I got to see the milking operation, I gained more experience for shooting in difficult situations, and I had a fun day.

I will leave you with my images from that day. Who knows, maybe I'll get a Level 5 sale, too. :-)

Photo credits: Wisconsinart.

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July 27, 2010


Any updated thoughts now that you have 4 Level 5 sales under your assignment belt?

Boy, to answer that in 25 words or less... I think it's a matter of enjoying to do this, learning, gaining experience, and doing your homework.

July 27, 2010


Any updated thoughts now that you have 4 Level 5 sales under your assignment belt?

May 10, 2010


Adding to the portfolio is a great incentive to get out and shoot. I've never actually submitted anything to an assignment - still "thinking" about it. Like you, I have very little extra time to work on stock. Good for you, to get out and see something new.

May 09, 2010


I also try to participate; it's tough and I don't always understand why my pictures are refused and why others were taken (in this instance you can really compare...), but it is a good exercise and it forces me to think and plan rather than just shoot. As you say, sales may not happen but you get exposure and, more importantly even, practice by working on a particular subject.

May 08, 2010


You seem to have answered your own question. You got out and did something you wouldn't have otherwise. Anytime we get out and do something new and different, the experience of it is the pay off...anything extra is a plus.

May 08, 2010


I agree with the others about the exposure, and true that sales increase after the actual assignment, not necessarily of the actual assignment photo. Another thing, my 2nd prize winner's most sales are sub sales.

May 07, 2010


It's also a prestige & helps for portfolio exposure! Well done :)

May 07, 2010


There is no doubt you will get higher than normal exposure during the actual assignment, but that may not result in higher than normal sales. Most, if not all, downloads occurred after the assignment period (for me) - so don't give up hope. I have found with my entries that as a whole they do much better than my average. 8% of my revenue in dollars is a result of only 16 photos submitted for assignments (0.5% of my portfolio). They have continued to sell. No guarantess, though - I do have a couple with very low sales (2).

As well - for subscription buyers even a level 5 image is under $2, so for a portion of the buyers price isn't a huge factor.

May 07, 2010


Looks like you got some really good images and congrats for the one accepted for the assignment. Good luck. As for your question, I think it is worthwhile to participate in Assignments because of the extra exposure and the fact that your image must really be exceptional because the standards for acception are much higher. Keep up the good work.

May 07, 2010


Nice blog.... I guess you're right, only if your image is extraordinarily great is worth starting as a Level 5, because if it is a regular image it is very expensive. I also got one image accepted in this assignment and it has many more views that other submmited the same day.

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