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Trying to get into Stock Photography

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#1 Darryl Walker

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Posted 02 September 2013 - 11:10 AM

Hey Guys/Gals,

I'm giving it ago at stock photography, & would really appreciate all of you that are currently stock photographers help critique my shots please. I have submitted these to Shutterstock, & I'm  currently waiting on the reply from them. So before I submit anywhere else I would again like your feedback. I currently don't have any lighting, such as stands, umbrellas or studio lights. Working on That!

So I'm kinda limited I Think!

 

Please feel free to share how you broke into the business as well if you would like. Very interested on how things worked out for you.

 

Thanks in advance Stunners!

 

 

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#2 Emanuele Fallerini

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Posted 02 September 2013 - 11:35 AM

Me too , I have submitted to shutterstock,and waiting for answer

 

 first of all lot photo of the same subject they reject, so 1 4 8 9 10 are same subject the only want 1 or 2 of this.

 

Number 7 sky is burned not good

 

Number 9 from blue to white not real sky  

 

anyway good luck, let me know how many accepted.

 

also I see lot of rumor I don't know if is the jpeg compression or photo at the high iso


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#3 Alvenmod

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Posted 02 September 2013 - 12:10 PM

I'm afraid you need to prepare for some bad news when you get the result back. The shots are not bad technically, but most of these shots Shutterstock already have in abundance, to get more shots approved of such common subjects they will have to be very, very good. These are not bad at all, but they don't stand out.

As has already been said the shots of the wind power will be rejected as they are the same subject, too bad the sky was blown out on the one with the flowers in front, that could have passed otherwise. Cows again they have in the thousands and thousands (made a search and they have 85000 shots of cows...)

 

The bench shot is the best one and it does have a chance at Shutterstock, it would most likely be rejected at Fotolia as they hate short depth of fields for some reason. You might get this approved, but I am uncertain about the commercial value of the shot, when making stock photography you always need to keep in mind the end customer, who will use the shot and for what?

 

Now don't get dis-encouraged by this if it turns out my doomsday prediction comes true, the main reason for the hard approval threshold is for you to learn from the experience and Shutterstock are very good at explaining the reasons for the rejection. I would propose we start a thread here where people can submit their rejected stock photos to have the members here help figure out what the rejection reason was as this is in many case a bit puzzling. I have had absolutely fantastic shots which I thought would be approved no question just to get that very shot rejected on every single stock site i submitted it too. It is not always clear, so let's help each other here.

 

I started out just like you, I simply took my best shots suited for stock and went ahead and submitted them to various stock sites, after that I have learnt what works and what does not and you get a feel for what sells and will be appreciated by stock sites, my approval rate is much higher now than when i first started. I believe my first set of 10 I only had 2 or 3 approved...but I didn't give up, I just went out and tried to do better and better and finally I had all 10 approved and today i can proudly say I am a contributor with small but steady sales at Shutterstock, iStock, Fotolia, 123RF and a few others.

 

You have the technical down, you just need to find the stock photography feel...try and make searches on stock sites to see what the big sellers are, that's a good way to learn and understand better what works... 


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#4 Darryl Walker

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Posted 02 September 2013 - 12:22 PM

Thanks Guys, Alven thats exactly what I needed. I agree, we do need a thread for Stock photography Q&A, and critique.

 

Thanks again. what equipment are you using, lighting, etc:? B)


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#5 Tony Northrup

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Posted 02 September 2013 - 03:51 PM

I think the first and last shots have a good chance of selling. Be sure to use Photoshop to clone out ALL distractions, including the powerlines, and anything that isn't the subject.

 

The cattle is a good subject, but think about exactly how the picture would be used... probably in the context of farming, or maybe a news article about the dangers of beef, or some new variant of the mad cow disease. And I would GREATLY simplify the composition--maybe just a closeup of an eye and a bit of a horn, or the brand on the cattle... think of the simplest way you can possibly convey the subject.

 

Also, eliminate ALL noise. I don't have to zoom in to know there's noise in those blue skies, because here is always noise in blue skies, even if you're at ISO 100 with a pro camera. Check the Editing Wildlife video at the end of Stunning Digital Photography Chapter 8 for detailed information.

And definitely don't give up--learning to shoot and sell stock is an AMAZING way to learn, and even if (when) your shots get rejected, the stock photo company is basically providing you free feedback, which is very valuable.

 

You'll probably have the best luck if you shoot pictures specifically for stock. Look at the stock images in the world around you--billboards, stores, products, magazines, ads, blogs, etc., and think about which of those shots you could easily recreate. Also think of concepts that are popular, such as dieting, fast food, etc., and how you could convey those.

 

Typically, nice, soft light and white backgrounds work best for those starting out. You really don't need any fancy lights--bouncing a flash off the ceiling with a white paper background can be sufficient.

 

Good luck, and keep us posted! I love seeing readers do stock... for that matter, I really love commercial work. It's the ultimate photographer's challenge, because people vote with their dollars, which means they never BS you, and the winners get cash and get published. When you sell a shot, you really know it's good, because nobody buys a picture just to be nice :D.


Oh, and you're competing against thousands of other professional photographers, who all want the same buyer's dollars. You can't find a more intense competition than that in photography.


This site is expensive to run! Please support us by using the Shop & Support Us link on the menu when you shop at Amazon, or by using the links in the buyer's guide. Here are some direct links: Amazon US, Amazon UK.


#6 Darryl Walker

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Posted 02 September 2013 - 04:43 PM

Thank you Tony,

Well that makes me feel alot better.

Thanks again!


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#7 Anthony

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Posted 02 September 2013 - 07:44 PM

This thread has me curious to know more!
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#8 Fotogenisk

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Posted 03 September 2013 - 03:15 PM

Hello I'm trying to get into stock aswell, are these pics any good for a stock site? 
I really could use some guidelines on how to do stock photography right. 

I think I need more photos of people, all I got now is nature type stuff.


By the way the quality might be crap since I had to lower the quality of the photos to make sure I was under the 5 mb limit.  :ph34r: 



 

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#9 Darryl Walker

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Posted 08 September 2013 - 09:30 AM

Here's my update....!
3 were accepted 7 were denied. I can resubmit on the 22nd. So my question is can I resubmit the 3 that were already accepted & work on 7 more, or should I come up with 10 new ones?

As always, thanks in advance!

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#10 Rick Hackley

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Posted 09 September 2013 - 06:06 AM

Hey Darryl congratulations! That's great. I've been reading this thread and its got me thinking on giving it a try. Will keep you post on my results. Thanks for sharing!
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#11 Darryl Walker

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Posted 09 September 2013 - 02:38 PM

Thanks Rick,
Yeah go for it man!

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#12 Joe Baker

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Posted 09 September 2013 - 03:01 PM

You should let us know which ones were accepted, so we can compare to see what they were looking for.  Thanks!



#13 Darryl Walker

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Posted 09 September 2013 - 09:16 PM

The Accepted Ones:

 

1st Stock Sub  078
1st Stock Sub  020
1st Stock Sub  081

 


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#14 Joe Baker

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Posted 10 September 2013 - 12:10 PM

Darryl, very cool!  Hopefully, you start making some cash quick!  Great Job!


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#15 Darryl Walker

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Posted 10 September 2013 - 12:34 PM

That would be cool, but I haven't  been accepted yet. They require you too have at least 7 of 10 from a single submission approved. I will resubmit on 9.22, but before hand I will post them so everyone can critique them before hand.


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#16 Anthony

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Posted 12 September 2013 - 06:44 PM

I would definitely resubmit the 3 that were already accepted...then you need to come up with some other ones.

Good work and good luck!

#17 Shane Jay Hayes

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Posted 16 September 2013 - 10:25 AM

Has anyone had much luck with Fotolia?  I have submitted stuff off and on but I always get the "similar images in our library" response.  Not sure I care too much because the stuff they are looking for is pretty soulless stock photography stuff that I have no desire to shoot.  

 

Just curious if anyone has had luck with them and if so if you could provide a sample image.


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#18 rwjones

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Posted 03 March 2015 - 08:25 PM

That would be cool, but I haven't  been accepted yet. They require you too have at least 7 of 10 from a single submission approved. I will resubmit on 9.22, but before hand I will post them so everyone can critique them before hand.

Hey  Darryl,

 

I just joined the stunners and am exploring all these topics.  I am hoping you can give us an update on your adventures into stock photography.  How did things go?  Any surprises?  Are you still shooting stock?

 

Thanks,



#19 JestePhotography

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Posted 03 March 2015 - 08:30 PM

I personally am not a big fan of stock photography sites. My own view is, they demand the very very best, because they have millions of images. They pay you pennies and do more harm to the industry than good. As I said though this is just my own opinion.

#20 rwjones

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Posted 03 March 2015 - 09:31 PM

I personally am not a big fan of stock photography sites. My own view is, they demand the very very best, because they have millions of images. They pay you pennies and do more harm to the industry than good. As I said though this is just my own opinion.

I've had my own experiences with stock agencies.  I don't want to poison the conversation here with a lot of negativity, but I agree with you somewhat.  In my working life, I was a construction cost estimator and later an analyst for real estate development.  I know how to account for everything in order to arrive at an accurate rate of return.  With stock photos you have to be very conscience of your time.  You absolutely can not try to send them artistic expression.  It just does not pay.

 

So the trick is to learn to take lots of clear, sharp, simple, themed photos.  This is where I am now.  I would really like to here more, from more experienced stock photographers, though.

 

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