Well said :) I was certainly a very naive newbie back in 2009 when I thought I was the dogs, why because friends and family ( who can't take pictures and no nothing about the technical side to producing high quality imagery ) told me I was a great photographer. Well DT slapped me hard in the face and for that I'm truly grateful as since putting in the time, reading blogs, contributing on the forum, reading external web articles, buying books, working on editing skills etc the rewards have been very evident for me. where would I be without DT, still participating in very average picture comps on Facebook, winning some and thinking I was a pro photographer. Now at least I know I'm not a pro but a keen amateur and with an award in a national photo competition, very recent winner of DT's last assignment, a record for me 21 sales yesterday etc things are moving in the wright direction for me. What additional advice would I give the newbies here, spend more time reading blogs and learning than writing pointless ones.
Canon L 28-300, Canon L 24-70, 50mm prime f/1.4, 2 x Canon 580EX II F...
Don't knock the isolated tomato - I've read so many blogs that use the poor isolated tomato as the poster child for bad stock photos ideas that I decided to upload an isolated tomato shot and guess what? - it is level 5 now :)
There's some excellent advice here, which all contributors would do well to heed. I try to, but often fail.
I think the one of the reasons people submit mediocre images is that they are often approved. The positive feedback a newbie gets when their isolated tomato, pretty flower or "crummy snapshot" is approved must give them the idea that their standard of photography is good enough for the microstock marketplace. When I look back at the standard of some of my first approvals, I can only conclude that DT editors were being kind to me, to encourage me to keep on submitting!
I'm confused. Do I need to add thousands of tomatos, or apples, or is it flowers and butterflies to my port to make millions?????
Well said! I'm am still struggling to achieve pro level skills. But at least I work at it and don't whine. There is a HUGE difference between a shot that is good enough to get accepted and given a chance and a shot that will actually bring in high sales. That's true on most sites, I think. Anyway, I am thankful for DT and the people that have helped me learn, even if it has been a huge bust to my poor lil ego.
IMO there is a huge difference between asking for help and complaining. You can tell right away by the response somebody makes to constructive criticism. Some will thank the other posters and try to apply what they learn-others will explain over and over why none of what is said could possibly apply to their photos.
My 2c on this: Don't even think about starting in this microstock "business" if you don't like photography for what it is. Just an art form. People like to express themselves and would do it without any payment.
One cool thing about microstock, is that some of the pictures have a (small) commercial value which enabled companies like DT to commercialize them and for their self interest give meaningful and constructive feedback for the artists.
Another cool thing is that there is a numerical value of success. The amount of downloads and money a photo makes gives an objective way of measuring your art.
So now I can judge my photo skills just as I can judge my physical abilities in the gym. How many calories am I able to burn in 30 minutes? Oh I improved from last month by 5%. Good.