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Kirk Hewlett

Request for portfolio review

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Please take a look at my portfolio.  I would appreciate any comments and suggestions for improvement.   I have learned a lot from all of you on this forum by reading your posts the past few months (I guess they call that lurking!) and look forward to seeing your comments for ways I can improve my photography and sales of my photos. Thanks in advance!

 

https://www.alamy.com/portfolio/kirkhewlett

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Posted (edited)

Wow.. your pictures are stunning. I suspect your biggest issue is that you maybe could do with more tags on some of your photos. I know it is difficult in some cases thinking of extra tags and there is a fine line between putting enough tags and putting irrelevant tags (which would harm your CTR) but if people cannot find your wonderful photos because they don't get returned by the Alamy search engine then they won't buy them!

 

I find this tool useful if I am lacking in ideas: https://microstockgroup.com/tools/keyword.php

It might not give you many extra tags but a few more are always useful. I also use words that convey emotion like 'calm, peaceful, quiet, tranquil, busy' which could be applied to images like PGC9AT which currently only has 6 tags but deserves to be seen.

Edited by Matt Ashmore

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After looking at your port, I'm going to sell all my camera gear - your pics are amazing!  I'm with Matt regarding tags, take K0PJ1C for example - an incredible image but it only has 8 tags, one of which is 'alaska inside passage'...  Spend time tagging with explicit and relevant tags and you'll have the perfect port.

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Yes, tagging as above (and who am I to say anyway), and a very good use of the Alamy Portfolio feature also, but then that is because of the range and quality of your images.

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1 hour ago, Matt Ashmore said:

Wow.. your pictures are stunning. I suspect your biggest issue is that you maybe could do with more tags on some of your photos. I know it is difficult in some cases thinking of extra tags and there is a fine line between putting enough tags and putting irrelevant tags (which would harm your CTR) but if people cannot find your wonderful photos because they don't get returned by the Alamy search engine then they won't buy them!

 

I find this tool useful if I am lacking in ideas: https://microstockgroup.com/tools/keyword.php

It might not give you many extra tags but a few more are always useful. I also use words that convey emotion like 'calm, peaceful, quiet, tranquil, busy' which could be applied to images like PGC9AT which currently only has 6 tags but deserves to be seen.

Thank you for the kind words and for the ideas about key wording.  I will try the tool out.  I know I have struggled with going beyond the obvious (to me) keywords, especially on the more emotional side like you suggest.  You have inspired me to go back and work on the tags.  Thank you so much!

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1 hour ago, Colblimp said:

After looking at your port, I'm going to sell all my camera gear - your pics are amazing!  I'm with Matt regarding tags, take K0PJ1C for example - an incredible image but it only has 8 tags, one of which is 'alaska inside passage'...  Spend time tagging with explicit and relevant tags and you'll have the perfect port.

Thank you for taking the time to critique my portfolio. It is impressive to me that people like yourself who are very successful in selling on Alamy are willing to take the time to help others out. It is appreciated!  I am going to focus on improving my tags.

 

I do wonder if something is wrong with the system, or (more likely) I am doing something wrong.  When I look at K0PJ1C in Image Manager it shows that it has 31/50 tags and 10/10 super tags, but you are only seeing 8 tags.  I haven’t made any additions to it since uploading it. Am I missing a step or something?

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1 hour ago, Harry Harrison said:

Yes, tagging as above (and who am I to say anyway), and a very good use of the Alamy Portfolio feature also, but then that is because of the range and quality of your images.

Thank you for your comments and for taking the time to do this critique.  Improving my tagging is now number one in my list of priorities!

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Think carefully about whether or not to put the location in the caption. The caption carries a lot of weight in searches. In your case,  customers looking for pictures of a particular location, eg Michegan) may return lots of your images, but will not zoom them because they are not what they require. In the long run, this pushes your images further down the search (harms your CTR, as Matt mentions) With wildlife pictures the location is useful where the animal concerned is strongly, or perhaps even uniquely, associated with that place. It you think the location info is useful, put it in the additional info box, or even as a normal tag. But where the species is widespread, location info is often more a hindrance than a help.

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17 minutes ago, Kirk Hewlett said:

When I look at K0PJ1C in Image Manager it shows that it has 31/50 tags and 10/10 super tags, but you are only seeing 8 tags

 

You (and any potential customer) needs to click on 'Show all'. You then see all your keyword/tags, some of these will be supertags of course but there is no way to deduce which from the public facing website as they are just presented alphabetically.

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19 minutes ago, Joseph Clemson said:

Think carefully about whether or not to put the location in the caption. The caption carries a lot of weight in searches. In your case,  customers looking for pictures of a particular location, eg Michegan) may return lots of your images, but will not zoom them because they are not what they require. In the long run, this pushes your images further down the search (harms your CTR, as Matt mentions) With wildlife pictures the location is useful where the animal concerned is strongly, or perhaps even uniquely, associated with that place. It you think the location info is useful, put it in the additional info box, or even as a normal tag. But where the species is widespread, location info is often more a hindrance than a help.

Ah,  that is very helpful.  I have done that a lot!  Mainly I think because it was an easy way to fill out a caption, and as you point out, most of the time the location doesn’t matter for wildlife and similar subjects.  Thank you!  I will work on that.

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33 minutes ago, Harry Harrison said:

 

You (and any potential customer) needs to click on 'Show all'. You then see all your keyword/tags, some of these will be supertags of course but there is no way to deduce which from the public facing website as they are just presented alphabetically.

Thank you.  I hadn't noticed that before.  Glad to see that all the tags that I do have seem to be showing up, just need to add more!

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2 hours ago, Kirk Hewlett said:

Thank you for taking the time to critique my portfolio. It is impressive to me that people like yourself who are very successful in selling on Alamy are willing to take the time to help others out. It is appreciated!  I am going to focus on improving my tags.

 

I do wonder if something is wrong with the system, or (more likely) I am doing something wrong.  When I look at K0PJ1C in Image Manager it shows that it has 31/50 tags and 10/10 super tags, but you are only seeing 8 tags.  I haven’t made any additions to it since uploading it. Am I missing a step or something?

OK, my bad - when I first looked at that image only the 8 tags showed up, prob my comp on a go slow.  Apologies.

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12 minutes ago, Colblimp said:

OK, my bad - when I first looked at that image only the 8 tags showed up, prob my comp on a go slow.  Apologies.

+ everything Andy (Colblimp) said plus proper scientific names are important as this is often the tag that is searched for. I know it can be a pain but well worth the search effort to get the correct names.

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47 minutes ago, Colblimp said:

OK, my bad - when I first looked at that image only the 8 tags showed up, prob my comp on a go slow.  Apologies.

Hey, no problem.  I'm just glad it is working as it should.   Thanks again for the input!

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I think I will pack up photography and go home. 😭

 

Wait a cotton pickin' minute I am home.

 

Allan

 

 

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22 hours ago, aphperspective said:

+ everything Andy (Colblimp) said plus proper scientific names are important as this is often the tag that is searched for. I know it can be a pain but well worth the search effort to get the correct names.

Thank you for the critique. I agree that scientific names are very important for wildlife, plants, etc.  Thanks for the reminder.  I need to go through and fix the ones I missed. 

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21 hours ago, Allan Bell said:

I think I will pack up photography and go home. 😭

 

Wait a cotton pickin' minute I am home.

 

Allan

 

 

 

I'm sure Milton has the same photogenic opportunities as Alaska or the Galapagos island? 

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