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Constructive advice welcome

I joined DT just over a month ago. I now have 68 images accepted, and I did get a sale my very first day - but none since. I'd be grateful for any suggestions about my existing portfolio and how to improve it. Thanks!
Canon lenses. My latest is the Canon 24 mm TS-E tilt-shift lens....
Posted: 08/06/2013, 11:29:14 AM
You're doing what I did when I first joined, and that was to go through the archives and upload landscapes from previous vacations. It's the right thing to do, if you got 'em, upload 'em.

However, generic landscapes don't sell that well. They need to be way above average in order to get sales. It's OK in stock to cheat and edit images if that's what it takes to beat out everyone else for a sale. Being as good as everyone else doesn't cut it. You have to be BETTER.

Getting a sale on your first day may have tainted your expectations. You images are too new to have been in the database for very long.

You need to improve your keyword. For example: WOMEN HIKERS SUMMIT VIEW SAN DIEGO. Look at that image. I see WOMEN. I see hikers. I don't see a summit. I don't see San Diego. I don't see much of a view. Sure, the metropolitan area in the background may be San Diego. It could also be Chicago. I see NOTHING that SPEAKS "San Diego."

I would have titled it WOMEN HIKING, SUMMER FUN. What kind of an image do you think a Buyer will select if he searches on SAN DIEGO? Are we connecting the dots here?

OK, in a few months you will be done uploading your vacation pictures? Then what? Are you going to spend hours in the park trying to photograph squirrels? Sit in the garden all day to capture the different stages of a flower opening up? Those are actually worthy projects for people who are passionate for photography. However this is STOCK. Use your personal time to engage in the type of photography that makes you happy. But when ut's time to shoot STOCK, then SHOOT STOCK.

Your latest images of food is an example of this. You are starting to THINK stock. You'd be amazed how many people cannot change gears and are always chasing the squirrels in the park. There are Contributors who have been known to make the Reviewers gouge out their eyes because they've seen one squirrel picture too many. (Ironically, they become better Reviewers after going blind but that's another subject :-).

You have a female model who is bald. Find the appropriate clothing and you can create CANCER PATIENT images. If she's willing to do that, of course. That's a suggestion for thinking outside the box with limited resources.

If you're passionate for photography, I would also consider taking evening or weekend classes at local institutions. There are online classes too. Classes for photo editing. I was taking classes long before I discovered stock and the experience and knowledge has helped greatly... when I'm not chasing squirrels...

Nikon D800, D100, Canon G15
Posted: 08/06/2013, 21:05:42 PM

Thanks for your thoughtful critique. I understand what you're saying about the title. Am I allowed to edit and change the title once an image has been accepted? If so, I'll go through them all to see if I should make some more generic.

Any suggestions about the keywording I've done aside from Titles?

Any other suggestions are heartily welcome. I have pretty thick skin.
Canon lenses. My latest is the Canon 24 mm TS-E tilt-shift lens....
Posted: 08/06/2013, 22:18:08 PM
Stevegould, what I learned (but forget sometimes...) is that each image has to has a clear purpose,

In stock photography usually less is more, too much information in an image is distracting and wont sell.

You have examples on the good side, like the church in highlands of iceland (but the title should say which church is that) and distracting like the old water pump in lush garden.

So, go back to your library of images and select those who have a simple and direct message, you can also work in post processing enhancing the focus on the subject, using dodge/burn techniques, defocusing, etc.

That´s my 2 cents.
f/4L Canon EF 70-300mm IS/USM f/4-5.6 Canon 100mm f/2.8 USM/Macro ...
Posted: 08/06/2013, 22:18:43 PM

Thanks for sharing your thoughts. You and Wisconsinart have both certainly been very successful, and I had read posts from each of you before. It's great that you both contribute. I appreciate and agree with what you write about less is more. Ironically, though, the red church hasn't gotten any views and the old water pump has gotten over 60 (more views than most of my images, but no sales). I have been taking to heart the idea that the image has to tell a good, recognizable story, and hopefully the newly-shot images in my pipeline will fit that bill.

Do you do a lot of post processing on stock images? I do on my fine art images (see my website, including a different version of the red church that has sold very well), but my impression has been from looking at stock images that a good subject kept simple (great composition) and well-lit was the typical goal.
Canon lenses. My latest is the Canon 24 mm TS-E tilt-shift lens....
Posted: 08/07/2013, 09:07:37 AM