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Free images - Good or bad?

I have thought about the free section of the site and cant make my mind up.
Should you submit your refused images for the free section? is the any point?.
I thought it might bring some more traffic to your portfolio, but i might be wrong?

What do you guys think? =)
F/1.8 | Tamron 70-300 mm F/4.0-5.6 | Sigma 85 mm F/1.4 | Sigma 105 ...
Posted: 02/19/2013, 08:35:05 AM
It can be both good AND bad. It's supposed to be good because it helps with sales but there are no stats to show how much benefit. It can be very bad if too many Contributors give away too many GOOD images.

Some Contributors refuse to give any images away, some are prolific in what they provide as free.

This is my personal opinion:

You should NEVER click the check box to make an image free if it's rejected. Rejections such as "Well Covered in the Database" means a very good image could go into the free area and take sales away from the community.

What I think is best practice is this: Wait a year or two and re-examine your images with zero sales. At that time you can decide to leave them as is, disable, or move into the free section.
Nikon D800, D100, Canon G15
Posted: 02/19/2013, 12:26:40 PM
Thanks for the answer:). Thought so too. And I think it feels abit wrong to give a way your pictures that you have put alot of time and effort in. Have never accepted that my pictures are used with out any benefits for me, payments
F/1.8 | Tamron 70-300 mm F/4.0-5.6 | Sigma 85 mm F/1.4 | Sigma 105 ...
Posted: 02/19/2013, 12:46:07 PM
I too struggled with this - as per Wisconsinart's post, I chose three or four of my older unsold files which didn't look as good as my more recent uploads & moved them to the free section, where they all got several downloads. After a six months or so I deleted them from the free section.

I also DON'T click the check box to make an image free if it's rejected - just a matter of personal choice really.
Posted: 02/20/2013, 06:10:37 AM
Yeah, Wisconsinart said it all. NEVER mark it free in the first go. No use giving away good images just because this site wouldn't need it at the moment.
I was planning to upload some free images...and I think nature images should go there to the free section. Or that is what I thought!
This photo was shot just when I had started shooting for Dreamstime. This is one of the files I don't really like. The grass is irregular, the intentional underexposure and lack of activity...all that makes this pretty unattractive. I was thinking of donating this away. And what happened? I got a sale on THIS last night! I was certain this image would never sell. But it did so early. Don't give away images at the moment. I'd see what is suitable and wait till I have a port of 500 and good experience. Who wants regrets? :)
   Black winged stilt pair in lake Chilika, India   
55-250mm standard lenses. Dual tube macro flash and external speedlit...
Edited: 02/20/2013, 06:30:48 AM
@Matthiase Free images may help the site, it's likely also to bring lots of traffic which doesn't convert. I wouldn't think too much on promoting free images on a site where you want people to pay. Concentrate on standing out from the crowd, as in general it's not people looking for freebies which are likely to bring you more sales.
Posted: 02/20/2013, 08:21:44 AM
Never. Any image of mine that's refused here is for sale somewhere else. Why would I take sales away from myself?
Posted: 02/20/2013, 11:45:37 AM
Thanks for your reply Wisconsinart, what you say does make perfect sense. I have often toyed with the idea of donating images that were rejected. But really you must see if they sell first. The image here was rejected when I first uploaded, but I thought it would sell, so I appealed the decision to DT, and they approved it. It has had 3 sales to date.   Heritage, Albert dock, Liverpool   
Metz flash, 170-500 Sigma zoom. I still use a variety of 35mm Nikon f...
Posted: 02/20/2013, 12:13:01 PM
There are probably starving children somewhere that are sons or daughters of a stock photographer who can't sell his photos because there are so many free ones available. I don't want to hurt those children any more.
Canon 5D Mark III
Posted: 02/20/2013, 15:20:04 PM

Originally posted by Naretev:
Quoted Message: There are probably starving children somewhere that are sons or daughters of a stock photographer who can`t sell his photos because there are so many free ones available. I don`t want to hurt those children any more.

:-) He could always get a job as a waiter or something else instead of letting his children starve. But ur right, look after those children, just remember they are children today but each one of them are potential buyers in the future. :) :)
Edited: 02/20/2013, 16:14:11 PM
NEVER give free images! There shouldn't even BE a free section, it's absurd. Put it out of your mind right now.
Nikon, Wacom tablets
Posted: 02/20/2013, 16:29:21 PM
I prefer put them to use somewhere else, I am uploading them in social media linking to my portfolio and collections with a watermark.

If they get stolen, its better than being an image that´s actually here selling and I can still ask for my rights, since I didn´t give it away for free.

If I live them in the free section they will end up showing in the social media, nobody will know its yours and so what is the use of it for your sales? Its not helping anybody to know your work.

Some of the oldies that didn´t sell, I reprocess after a while and upload again, many of them start selling, I learned a lot during the last years in postprocessing, the softwares are much more powerful than they were a few years ago and I can make them look much better now, BTW, I only shoot RAW.
f/4L Canon EF 70-300mm IS/USM f/4-5.6 Canon 100mm f/2.8 USM/Macro ...
Posted: 02/20/2013, 20:05:44 PM
At another agency, I did the make it free if rejected thing back when I first started. A few images got put there and got hundreds of downloads. Not good enough to sell for .30, but hundreds want it if it's free? Don't think so. Never again.

If the idea that several agencies propose that free images help sales, they would have some stats to prove it.
Canon 5D MKIII
Posted: 02/20/2013, 20:12:23 PM
Since the beginning, if I saw images in the free section, it told me they were rejected. Why on earth would anyone want their name on a free image that everyone knows is free because it was rejected?
Nikon, Wacom tablets
Posted: 02/20/2013, 20:19:00 PM
I personally am not in favor of offering my work for free
Canon 80D; 17-85 USM; 70-300 USM;100 mm 2.8 macro; tokina 12-24;
Posted: 02/21/2013, 05:26:55 AM
I would never give images away for free, why should we give up our earnings on the spurious promise of more sales which no one can quantify, or to help convert people to buyers, its the sites job to get the buyers in thats why they get their share, if they want to give images to buyers for free then fine just pay me the standard royalty rates for them and write the cost off as advertising.
Posted: 02/21/2013, 06:02:55 AM
What about rejections solely for the reasons of "not what we are looking for" or "already highly covered in the database"? Could the free section prove that your image might be in demand after all?
Powershot SX50 HS Photoshop Elements 11...
Posted: 04/07/2013, 06:50:27 AM