Posted Fri Aug 8, 2008 2:27PM
I have been uploading since November (and more consistantly since February) and was wondering what direction I should take. I have just hit 200dls and have 162uls. So far I haven't had an image take off, but I have had a third of my portfolio with one download or more.
So my question is what should I do next. Should I keep isolating eveything on white, do more people shots, cover all the cliches (I appear not to have a lonely tree yet), or shot more specialist items?
Also, in general, is my portfolio a reasonable (if a little dull) stock portfolio?
Thanks in advance Jo
P.S. Feel free to tell that Macy's don't tell JC Penny's or that the Cononel's recipe is a secret for a reason.
P.P.S. Can't wait to go exclusive!
Posted Sat Aug 9, 2008 2:05AM
You have good images. Keep shooting and some may take off. I also am re evaluating what I should shoot but it really needs me to stop thinking about making photos I like and start thinking what designers want. I am changing slowly but nonetheless I enjoy the shooting and that is the main part. It is hard to shoot stuff you don't enjoy shooting unless the returns are good.
Posted Sat Aug 9, 2008 6:06PM
Hi Jo, how's things?
I'd keep chipping away and try to work out what sells (or not) and why. For example, I think your happy graduate photo will do well - it captures a concept well and probably doesn't have too much competition. Try to get some more shots with this appeal and uniqueness.
I think one secret is to decide "what ideas can I shoot relatively easily, and enjoy shooting, which will have good sales appeal but relatively little competition". Obviously I wish I was a bit more clued up on this myself, but I'm sure the thinking is sound..
(Edited on 2008-08-09 18:09:48 by esp_imaging)
Posted Sun Aug 10, 2008 9:57AM
Since I don't photograph models, I won't comment on those shots other than to say that they look good to me. As for the rest of your portfolio: competent technique, but a lot of images in your portfolio are very similar to other images already on iStock (isolated oranges, isolated knives, isolated tools, etc.). Subjects that no one else has done is always a good direction to go, but a unique take on common subjects is a good idea, too. Before shooting something, search the site to see what's already been done, and try to do it differently or better than anyone else has.
Posted Mon Aug 11, 2008 8:27AM
Hi Mark - Thanks for looking and the compliment. It is very tough to know what designers want. I do drop by the steel cage and the answer seems that a good designer can use just about anything! Luckily for me there isn't too much I mind shooting.
Hi Ed - I am well, and still wondering whether you'll hit silver before I hit bronze. I will keeping chipping away at this. What I seem to have learnt so far is that if I think an image will hit flames in a week it probably wont sell. My best seller almost didn't get uploaded, it was a queue filler.
I am going to be doing more model/people studio shots as it is quite good fun and I find it quite easy. I just have to hope I am getting the sales appeal and hitting areas that don't have the competition. I sometimes wonder if those area that don't have competition is because of the limited sales appeal.
Hi Bergmann - I have certainly tried some of the more unique subjects. Some of my medical ones are different but also not found in the search - propofol is an unknown term but significant to some of my shots - even more common terms aren't in the search. A lot of my fruit stuff was done early in my istock career when I was learning, however some did get sold so maybe going for the unique take on it would be worth while. I must admit I rarely search before shooting. I try to come up with my own ideas, however I have shot, uploaded, got accepted then searched only to find loads of similar images!
Thanks guys, every so often I wonder if I am doing this istock stuff correctly or not. I guess the main advice is just keep shooting. Secondary advice is to shoots things that are a bit different but not too far off the beaten track.
Posted Mon Aug 11, 2008 9:21AM
My only advice is to avoid the cliche stuff. Sure it has sold well, but there are definitely some saturated themes here... try to look for things that you think people can use that haven't been done to death already. Sure it will be challenging, but the last thing anyone wants to see is another photo of a bright red rose.
Posted Mon Aug 11, 2008 9:36AM
Jo, most of your stuff is well executed technically and composition very good.
My advice to you is to not look here for what to shoot.
Look to your immediate surroundings in images used in all forms of media. That means direct mail, brochures, catalogs, newspapers, magazines and TV. Go to the bookstore and leaf through racks of magazines. There is a wealth of visual communication out there in the mainstream that demonstrates practical use by designers. Keep a notebook if you will so you can recall what you'd like to do and expand on that. Stock is often the fabric that is interwoven into our everyday lives, but you will learn to recognize it if you take it all in. Your "spin" on it will eventually evolve into your own style.