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AlexG

Portfolio review after 10 months

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Hi dear Alamy community,

I joined in Apr 2019 and am slowly inching towards 200 photos. I realize I am going at a slow pace, but my time is occupied with family commitments. I have one sale so far in September, but zooms have dropped since then, although new views have been consistent.

 

Is the content I am posting relevant? Do I just need to increased the frequency of uploads? Or do I need to change both aspects?

 

Thanks very much!

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Hi Alex, I like your portfolio.  Mostly well composed and balanced.  A good mix of subjects.  You are lucky, from a photograph view point to live where you do, excellent light (unlike the UK). And a lot of variety.  The captions are OK, perhaps some more detail and the keywords look fine to me.

 

However, you are going to have to upload a great deal more to obtain good sales numbers.  It is not until you get in to the mid thousands that sales will appear regularly. You have done well with a sale with just 200 images.  

 

I understand your comment on family commitments - I have the same issue.  But, my view would be to submit a few regularly.  Get into the habit of taking your camera everywhere, malls, etc and just keep shooting.  

Well done.

Edited by IanDavidson
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solid image subjects i think.  Be careful on your food images, you seem to crop really tight and cut some of the plates.

 

one thing i noticed is on most of your images of "Young boy" you are missing the gender-less keywords such as Kid, Child

 

also image  2A7M328.  The subject is way more the VW van, so it should be in the title (more weight in search), you should pull it from shadows a bit more, and i think the horizon could be more straight ... also i don't see much "burnt" to be honest

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Hi Alex,

A nice selection of photos. I'd add to what you yourself and Ian have said - you need a lot more pictures. A rule of thumb apparently (not sure this is still valid when Alamy is adding so many millions of pictures to the collection and we're inching closer to 200 million images!) is that you can expect on average about 1 sale a month per 1000 images. Insert all the ya di ya here about image quality being important too! It is also possible to have a very small portfolio with excellent images and still sell well. But 200 images is really not many at all... If you're not so amazing at photography (like me), a bigger portfolio is definitely the way to go!

 

The ranch and historic landmark at Jack London State Historic Park in Glen Ellen California - Image ID: WB7J81: I know what you've done here, it is convenient to copy and paste captions from the same photo shoot. But the image is only showing a lizard and it could be anywhere, so the caption is not really relevant. Captions are also important for customer searches, not just keywords. Try to caption and keyword well, otherwise your CTR rank will suffer and your images will appear well down in the search pages. A second point on this image - there are a lot of nature and wildlife shots. The lizard appears so small in the picture that I can't imagine it selling. You need to get closer or use a longer zoom lens.

 

You've got a lot of 'ranch' pictures - does it not get tourists? Try and get some pictures with tourists at tourist sites too. Pictures with people in tend to sell well, and of people doing activities.

 

Water droplets from rain hanging from a bud of a lemon tree. - Image ID: TRM3NK: I know it's a pain in the proverbial, but try and add the latin name too. And try to always have the location, or at least country/continent in the title unless it's really not relevant.

 

Regarding what sells, you are on the right track. It's good to take photos of your local area, you will end up with a more comprehensive collection than anyone else. Also have a look at the images sold thread in the forum and in books and magazines and online articles - these often contain stock photos.

 

Good luck!

Steve

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9 hours ago, IanDavidson said:

Hi Alex, I like your portfolio.  Mostly well composed and balanced.  A good mix of subjects.  You are lucky, from a photograph view point to live where you do, excellent light (unlike the UK). And a lot of variety.  The captions are OK, perhaps some more detail and the keywords look fine to me.

The light is indeed good in California most of the time. Agreed. Thanks for your input on the captions.

 

 

8 hours ago, meanderingemu said:

solid image subjects i think.  Be careful on your food images, you seem to crop really tight and cut some of the plates.

 

one thing i noticed is on most of your images of "Young boy" you are missing the gender-less keywords such as Kid, Child

 

also image  2A7M328.  The subject is way more the VW van, so it should be in the title (more weight in search), you should pull it from shadows a bit more, and i think the horizon could be more straight ... also i don't see much "burnt" to be honest

Great user name by the way! I have to show it to my wife, she'll get a kick out of it. You make excellent points. On the VW van one, I have to agree at the end, while there is burn on one of the foreground hills, it doesn't shot significantly enough to be the main subject. And great eye catching the absence of kid/child as keywords in the boy photos. Thanks for thoroughly looking through!

 

7 hours ago, Steve F said:

The ranch and historic landmark at Jack London State Historic Park in Glen Ellen California - Image ID: WB7J81: I know what you've done here, it is convenient to copy and paste captions from the same photo shoot. But the image is only showing a lizard and it could be anywhere, so the caption is not really relevant. Captions are also important for customer searches, not just keywords. Try to caption and keyword well, otherwise your CTR rank will suffer and your images will appear well down in the search pages. A second point on this image - there are a lot of nature and wildlife shots. The lizard appears so small in the picture that I can't imagine it selling. You need to get closer or use a longer zoom lens.

 

You've got a lot of 'ranch' pictures - does it not get tourists? Try and get some pictures with tourists at tourist sites too. Pictures with people in tend to sell well, and of people doing activities.

 

Water droplets from rain hanging from a bud of a lemon tree. - Image ID: TRM3NK: I know it's a pain in the proverbial, but try and add the latin name too. And try to always have the location, or at least country/continent in the title unless it's really not relevant.

 

Steve, thanks for being so insightful! I now see you perspective, especially on the ranch and lizard pictures. If I am advertising them as lizard photos, the lizard isn't large enough as a main subject. And advertising it as Jack London ranch, the context isn't there, so it could be anywhere really. Points well taken.

 

Thank you all 3 for these invaluable comments. Looks like I have some editing to do!

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I agree with what the others have said so far, Alex. Maybe you could be a bit more selective in what you decide to upload. And there's a lot of relevant subject matter to tap into out there on the West Coast. 

 

I could use a little California myself right now . . . except for the fires. 

 

Edo

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10 hours ago, Ed Rooney said:

I agree with what the others have said so far, Alex. Maybe you could be a bit more selective in what you decide to upload. And there's a lot of relevant subject matter to tap into out there on the West Coast. 

 

I could use a little California myself right now . . . except for the fires. 

 

Edo

Hey Ed,

Thanks for that! By selective you are referring to groups of similar images, that I should cut down on the number within that group? It's so difficult to decide sometimes which images to omit, as I wouldn't want to omit one that buyers may have found more interesting than ones I've offered them.

 

Well anyway, California is wet this weekend from a Pacific storm moving in, very heavy rain on this Friday night here.

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4 hours ago, AlexG said:

It's so difficult to decide sometimes which images to omit, as I wouldn't want to omit one that buyers may have found more interesting than ones I've offered them.

 

 

Understand this, Alex: we are both the photographers and photo editors with Alamy stock. Pick the 1 to 3 images that work best to submit and move on.

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On 06/12/2019 at 02:14, Steve F said:

 The lizard appears so small in the picture that I can't imagine it selling. You need to get closer or use a longer zoom lens.

 

Hey Steve,

I've listened to your advice, and upon thinking more and looking at the images more, I agree with your points about the lizard pictures. They are neither representative of the ranch in an obvious way, nor very captivating closeup of a particular lizard species. I've removed them from my gallery.

And as others have mentioned before, I will strive to be more selective when uploading a batch of a similar subject.

 

Thanks again for the invaluable input!

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1 hour ago, AlexG said:

 

Hey Steve,

I've listened to your advice, and upon thinking more and looking at the images more, I agree with your points about the lizard pictures. They are neither representative of the ranch in an obvious way, nor very captivating closeup of a particular lizard species. I've removed them from my gallery.

And as others have mentioned before, I will strive to be more selective when uploading a batch of a similar subject.

 

Thanks again for the invaluable input!

 

 

see i think deleting it is a bad decision.  I think this was a decent image of " Lizard on a old weathered wood fence" ..  the importance is to clearly take the time to state what is visible.  If you want to add the info about where it as taken, you can use the extra info field, as this will be available for reference, but not searchable. 

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1 hour ago, AlexG said:

 

Hey Steve,

I've listened to your advice, and upon thinking more and looking at the images more, I agree with your points about the lizard pictures. They are neither representative of the ranch in an obvious way, nor very captivating closeup of a particular lizard species. I've removed them from my gallery.

And as others have mentioned before, I will strive to be more selective when uploading a batch of a similar subject.

 

Thanks again for the invaluable input!

Hi Alex,

I'll reserve judgement on whether deleting the lizard image is a good idea or not (re. Meanderingemu above). I personally wouldn't use that shot probably, but on the other hand, you never know what sells... It would probably help if you had the species and latin name.

 

Another tip:

Colorful condominium buildings with street shops in Windsor's Town Green in Sonoma County, California. Overcast day, December, autumn tree colors. - Image ID: 2ADYR0J

There are very clear converging verticals in this picture (the buildings do not have vertical lines, they are tilted to look like they are disappearing to a vanishing point). I don't know what software you're using, but this is an easy fix in Lightroom. On the Develop module, go to Transform and click on Auto. This is normally enough, if not, you can play with the vertical slider.

 

Steve

 

p.s. I like your beach shots

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Personally, I would redo the lizard. Crop to 3000 on the long side and add a more accurate caption with the scientific name included. Give the general location as that could be important to someone writing about that area. Also add "copy space" to the keywords.

 

Paulette

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6 hours ago, Steve F said:

Hi Alex,

I'll reserve judgement on whether deleting the lizard image is a good idea or not (re. Meanderingemu above). I personally wouldn't use that shot probably, but on the other hand, you never know what sells... It would probably help if you had the species and latin name.

 

Another tip:

Colorful condominium buildings with street shops in Windsor's Town Green in Sonoma County, California. Overcast day, December, autumn tree colors. - Image ID: 2ADYR0J

There are very clear converging verticals in this picture (the buildings do not have vertical lines, they are tilted to look like they are disappearing to a vanishing point). I don't know what software you're using, but this is an easy fix in Lightroom. On the Develop module, go to Transform and click on Auto. This is normally enough, if not, you can play with the vertical slider.

 

Steve

 

p.s. I like your beach shots

Hi Steve,

I use Capture One. I have lens corrections ticked on, but haven't looked into what it entails. Could just be for barrel, pincushion and purple fringing. I have to learn how to fix this wide angle distortion.

 

Is it very off-putting to potential buyers you think?

Thanks for the tips.

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9 minutes ago, AlexG said:

Hi Steve,

I use Capture One. I have lens corrections ticked on, but haven't looked into what it entails. Could just be for barrel, pincushion and purple fringing. I have to learn how to fix this wide angle distortion.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Under Lens Correction, there is a slider for the distortion.  It defaults to 100, but you can play with range from 0-120 to get desired 

 

For the transformation equivalent of LR, you have 4 sliders in Keystone. as well as point options to do adjustments.  There is no nice Auto click (at least not on v.12).    

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23 minutes ago, meanderingemu said:

 

 

Under Lens Correction, there is a slider for the distortion.  It defaults to 100, but you can play with range from 0-120 to get desired 

 

For the transformation equivalent of LR, you have 4 sliders in Keystone. as well as point options to do adjustments.  There is no nice Auto click (at least not on v.12).    

Ah thanks, also just saw a help video on youtube. Yup, Keystone. Not a single click, but the vertical points adjustment is easy enough. Already corrected the few obvious ones on the Town Green buildings that were pointed out above. I just uploaded the corrected ones for QC. The distorted ones will stay until they accept the new ones.

 

Happy Holidays  😃  

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7 hours ago, Steve F said:

Hi Alex,

I'll reserve judgement on whether deleting the lizard image is a good idea or not (re. Meanderingemu above). I personally wouldn't use that shot probably, but on the other hand, you never know what sells... It would probably help if you had the species and latin name.

 

 

 

it was more the fact the image was already up, so OP felt good enough about picture to have it uploaded, then proper caption made sense to me.   adding fact there is actually only 105 results to "lizard wood fence"

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2 hours ago, AlexG said:

Hi Steve,

I use Capture One. I have lens corrections ticked on, but haven't looked into what it entails. Could just be for barrel, pincushion and purple fringing. I have to learn how to fix this wide angle distortion.

 

Is it very off-putting to potential buyers you think?

Thanks for the tips.

Hi Alex,

Sorry, I don't have experience with this software. Lens distortion is different from the problem of converging/diverging verticals. So I would assume they need separate corrections. You will get this problem photographing buildings with almost all lenses unless you use a specialised tilt and shift lens which are horrendously expensive. The problem is also exaggerated the more that you point your lens up from horizontal. I don't have any experience with clients not liking this or not. I would just say, once you know that this problem exists, you notice it very easily, and I'm sure a lot of clients do. And it is (normally) quite easily correctible with software.

Steve

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1 hour ago, meanderingemu said:

 

 

it was more the fact the image was already up, so OP felt good enough about picture to have it uploaded, then proper caption made sense to me.   adding fact there is actually only 105 results to "lizard wood fence"

 

You're right, it's probably not worth deleting as it's already up; it's not a bad shot per se, just needs a better caption. But we all put up photos at the start of our stock careers that we probably wouldn't later when we have more experience...

 

I agree with what Edo says about being a bit more selective.

 

sits-on-fence Steve 🤣

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1 hour ago, Steve F said:

Hi Alex,

Sorry, I don't have experience with this software. Lens distortion is different from the problem of converging/diverging verticals. So I would assume they need separate corrections. You will get this problem photographing buildings with almost all lenses unless you use a specialised tilt and shift lens which are horrendously expensive. The problem is also exaggerated the more that you point your lens up from horizontal. I don't have any experience with clients not liking this or not. I would just say, once you know that this problem exists, you notice it very easily, and I'm sure a lot of clients do. And it is (normally) quite easily correctible with software.

Steve

 

Yes, sometimes I have to tilt up to get the desired view in place and not chop off the tops of buildings, or perhaps I am shooting low to capture some interesting nearby ground objects and have to tilt up to include the buildings. Agreed. Now I have found the corrections in Capture One which meanderingeumu suggested.

 

Thanks again!

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On 12/4/2019 at 17:11, AlexG said:

Is the content I am posting relevant? Do I just need to increased the frequency of uploads? Or do I need to change both aspects?

 

Thanks very much!

 

Hi Alex, 

Just my two cents; content is relevant and as is so often said here anything/everything sells.  Just thought I'd post as I had a quick look at your port again and found I really liked, or at least per my taste, 2AAGE3W, 2AAGE53 and WK3KC1.  I don't really know exactly why, but they caught my eye and I like them.  When I upload I always put my bet on a specific image just by gut feeling that it will be a seller and quite often I end up being right.  Surely you must have some 'gut feeling' about which images you think you like best and why you think they should sell.  Do you ever say to yourself this is going to sell because this is in the news a lot these days, or this is a fad right now, you can look at it like that and upload more of that, and not only putting up images that will not stale date.  Just as an example, I once found out from a colleague that Kale was 'in',  I bought a bunch of Kale and shot some Kale, I can't tell you how many times it sold, I lost track.  Get a feel for buyer needs.  Trust your own instincts too, is all I'm saying.  There is nothing wrong with the content, you just need more images in your port, I'm not sure that upload frequency is what matters so much, I think its the overall size and variety of the port is more important.  It is becoming a lot harder I find, to not get lost in all the images Alamy now has, compared to the 6 or something million when I joined.

Helen

Edited by hsessions
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4 hours ago, hsessions said:

 

Hi Alex, 

Just my two cents; content is relevant and as is so often said here anything/everything sells.  Just thought I'd post as I had a quick look at your port again and found I really liked, or at least per my taste, 2AAGE3W, 2AAGE53 and WK3KC1.

Helen

Hiya Helen, and thanks for your honest response. I do really like these too, especially my son with all the Christmas lights.

So far 1 sale when I was at around 160 photos, this one of muddy feet T97HXT .

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17 hours ago, AlexG said:

Hiya Helen, and thanks for your honest response. I do really like these too, especially my son with all the Christmas lights.

So far 1 sale when I was at around 160 photos, this one of muddy feet T97HXT .

That is a nice shot, I missed that one.  Congrats on the sale!

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On 06/12/2019 at 03:24, IanDavidson said:

It is not until you get in to the mid thousands that sales will appear regularly.

Hi IanDavidson, 

With regards the attached quote in responds to Alex, what do you mean by "mid thousands"? You may please sight an example range in your answer so that I can understand?

Regards

Jacquelin

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Well in my way of thinking mid thousands would be around 5,000.  I agree my post is a bit misleading as I guess it could refer to 50,000.....

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3 hours ago, IanDavidson said:

Well in my way of thinking mid thousands would be around 5,000.  

Hi Ian,

You have just clipped my wings. In my opinion, regular sales at 5,000 is suggesting significant sales will be at about 10,000, and suggest that Alamy marketing strategy is poor. Of course my definition of regular sales is at least 1 sale/month on an average. On another platforms I have been getting regular sales way below that figure. As a matter of fact, on an average, on the other platforms I submit to, sales start at lest than 500 and gradually increases based on my frequency, and possibly volume per upload. The platform that now has most submission, has just last week reached the 2,000 mark and I've been getting regular weekly sales for many weeks now. On another platform that is yielding regular monthly sales, I got my first sale one month after I started uploading. I could be wrong, but in my opinion one should start getting significant sales at 5,000, coupled with regular uploads. 

 

I am also new at Alamy and is a bit concerned that even though I've exceeded 500 uploads including many of my popular images I have zero sale.

 

Regards

Jacquelin

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