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AlexG

Do artistic shots sell well?

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Hi all and happy holidays!

I am curious how well artistic and creative shots sell here. From what I see, urban, lifestyle, architecture, and documentary and news images sell best.

But do artistic/creative shots sell too? For example something like this:

T70933.jpg

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If I did artistic shots I'd be able to tell you ūü§£

 

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No, seriously, ermmm.... Really hard to say, artistic shots are probably such a small proportion of most contributor's catalogues that they're not likely to sell much due to quantity. However, you do see shots like the bicycle one above in articles. But that is because it's illustrating a concept or story. I wouldn't have thought, for example, that artistic flower shots sell well, because what is the photo saying?

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2 minutes ago, Steve F said:

No, seriously, ermmm.... Really hard to say, artistic shots are probably such a small proportion of most contributor's catalogues that they're not likely to sell much due to quantity. However, you do see shots like the bicycle one above in articles. But that is because it's illustrating a concept or story. I wouldn't have thought, for example, that artistic flower shots sell well, because what is the photo saying?

And the flower segment seems so saturated as it is, artistic or not.

You've got some mix there with creative angles for commercial product shots, as well as artistic vineyard shots. Do these sell?

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5 minutes ago, AlexG said:

And the flower segment seems so saturated as it is, artistic or not.

You've got some mix there with creative angles for commercial product shots, as well as artistic vineyard shots. Do these sell?

Hey Alex,

The vineyard shots are all Austria, and the demand for Austrian photos on Alamy is quite low, I only get occasional sales (or I'm photographing the wrong things lol). The 'studio' shots outsell everything else by a long way.

Steve

 

p.s. photos of the UK sell really well on Alamy, but you have to be there!

Edited by Steve F

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I really like the image that you've posted and would like to think that it was saleable but I would think that the challenge is to keyword it appropriately. Maybe someone with more experience could suggest some choice keywords to add (and to incorporate into the currently quite short caption) that would direct buyers to this more abstract type of image.

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A good question, Alex. It's something we all consider. 

 

Unfortunately, subjective terms like 'artistic' and 'creative' are not very useful when a buyer is looking for something specific. 

 

"Subjective refers to personal perspectives, feelings, or opinions entering the decision making process. Objective refers to the elimination of subjective perspectives and a process that is purely based on hard facts."

 

A search on Alamy produced 68,849 for artistic and 108,734 for creative. But how would those terms produce what a busy image buyer is looking for? Savvy stock contributors use objective words when tagging. Me? I try to find good lighting, good composition, attractive colors when walking around looking for images. If the subject suggests a caption to me, I consider it stock. 

 

Edo

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Nothing wrong with artistry or creativity (though, in the realm of stock photography, they might be red herrings). Does the pic make a point, or tell a story, or illustrate an idea? If I can't find obvious keywords for a pic, then a buyer might have a similar difficulty with search-terms...

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In my (limited) experience, it's not really important if a photo is "artistic" or "realistic" in order to sell it.
What's really matter is that the photo has a clearly identifiable subject. Customers usually come to Alamy when they already have a very specific subject in mind (for an article, book cover, advertisement, and so on) and are looking for a picture to depict it.
If that picture is artistic or not is much less important than how well it expresses that subject and how well it visually fits their needs.
 

Edited by riccarbi
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You would be surprised.

However - ah John beat me to it - the subject is far more important plus of course the keywording.

Learn how to use All of Alamy, or AoA for short, to your advantage. It is the most valuable tool you have here.

Close to 500 searches for something creative for the rolling year.

Artistic is mostly used for something else, like artistic nudes (a lot) or artistic gymnastics or swimming. Not like swimming shot artistically.

No searches for cycling creative but quite a few for cycling in the rain and variations on that.

No use having great images without the right keywords. But the right keywords with great images will win here in the long run.

 

I think this is a good shot. The red gives it something extra and the droplets are evocative. Maybe shoot a vertical one for a cover. And maybe have one with a shoe being splashed as well. The reflection in the puddle looks important to me. On black the image looks good, but on white (like here) it's a bit dull. Appropriate for the weather probably, but I would give it a bit lot more splash and pop in pp.

 

wim

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4 hours ago, wiskerke said:

No searches for cycling creative but quite a few for cycling in the rain and variations on that.

No use having great images without the right keywords. But the right keywords with great images will win here in the long run.

 

wim

Thanks for the great tips. This particular image was just an example of what I meant. I will look into it closer and add more appropriate and effective keywords.

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6 hours ago, Harry Harrison said:

I really like the image that you've posted and would like to think that it was saleable but I would think that the challenge is to keyword it appropriately. Maybe someone with more experience could suggest some choice keywords to add (and to incorporate into the currently quite short caption) that would direct buyers to this more abstract type of image.

Makes sense. I will improve the keywords and caption. Thanks!

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4 hours ago, riccarbi said:

In my (limited) experience, it's not really important if a photo is "artistic" or "realistic" in order to sell it.
What's really matter is that the photo has a clearly identifiable subject. Customers usually come to Alamy when they already have a very specific subject in mind (for an article, book cover, advertisement, and so on) and are looking for a picture to depict it.
If that picture is artistic or not is much less important than how well it expresses that subject and how well it visually fits their needs.
 

Now that's hard for me to know, or for anyone to know what the many customers out there need specifically. But I could help its chances with better captioning and keywording.

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5 hours ago, Ed Rooney said:

Unfortunately, subjective terms like 'artistic' and 'creative' are not very useful when a buyer is looking for something specific. 

 

Edo

Hmm, I guess I really hadn't thought about it that way. I wouldn't search for an image using those terms either. I just mean in general though assuming keywords and captions are sufficient, do these kind of images get any attention from the sea of more generic images in the same category (say cycling)?

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The client's purpose in buying an image may not be descriptive, but rather an artistic image with emotion and mood involving the subject matter.

 

So produce artistic images. Keyword them as to subject matter, even if the subject matter is not obvious. The client using the "bike" keyword will get a selection of images, some artistic some descriptive. Then allow the client to choose either a descriptive image, or an artistic image depending on their needs.

 

For instance your image T70933 could be used for a magazine article. "Riding in the Rain""How I overcame depression by riding my bike every day, rain or shine".
In this case the client wants a generic image with some feeling. The client does not want to describe a particular make of bike, or describe a particular rider, in a particular place.

 

Stock lacks artistic images because of the tyranny of keywording. A descriptive image is easy to keyword, an artistic image is harder.

 

Search on Alamy using the keyword "bike". Lots of descriptive images, not so many artistic. Photographers should be filling the artistic side of that search.

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8 minutes ago, Bill Brooks said:

Search on Alamy using the keyword "bike". Lots of descriptive images, not so many artistic. Photographers should be filling the artistic side of that search.

Thanks for the insight, Bill.

I suppose people shoot and upload what sells, perhaps descriptive shots sell better. But I will describe the subject matter more closely so it will show up in results more easily, whether artistic or not.

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Good luck with that. I removed all of my creative/artistic images and am selling them elsewhere. Didn’t fancy getting low-ball prices for something I spent a lot of my time doing. It’s bad enough to go on a shoot and do the PP for possibly very little.  But when I may spend another hour or more on one, nuh-huh. But mine weren’t creative in the way yours is. Yours, I think, fits here. It’s a matter of getting them noticed.

Betty

Edited by Betty LaRue
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I sometimes get to read various picture requests from different picture researchers, and often they don't know exactly what they want a picture of, they just have some words to describe the concept they're working on, and all sorts of creative images could fit the bill.

 

Here's some 'arty' ones that Alamy have licenced for me. They could be used editorially too.

 

truck windscreen/dashboard and motion/driving concept - Stock ImageMan walking through an underpass, Birmingham, UK. - Stock Image

 

St.Martin's Square - silhouettes & shadows of shoppers, near the Bullring in Birmingham city centre, West Midlands, UK. - Stock ImageTwo people meeting in the street in London, UK. - Stock Image

 

In your bike in rain picture, have you put keywords such as ....motion, blur, blurred, speed, blurry, splash, outdoors, raining, anonymous, person, wheels, copy space.... ?

 

 

 
 

 

 
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The problem I have found in the past is anything outside the rather straight laced QC controls. The good folks in the QC department kept saying not sharp for deliberately motion blurred shots. In the end I gave up and placed them elsewhere and they sold well. I don't think alamy does "creative " just very standard straight. 

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2 hours ago, Dave R said:

The problem I have found in the past is anything outside the rather straight laced QC controls. The good folks in the QC department kept saying not sharp for deliberately motion blurred shots. In the end I gave up and placed them elsewhere and they sold well. I don't think alamy does "creative " just very standard straight. 

Yeah, what you said. I shot a cup of tea in an old dainty floral¬†cup. Made it into a faded sepia (just some of the color showing) and added some tasteful grain for a very old-fashioned nostalgic look. It failed for noise! ūüėāūüėāūüėā Whoever QCd it totally missed the message and goal. I would imagine there are some in QC who might have an artistic bone, but good luck getting an image in front of him/her...it‚Äôs potluck.
And fercryingoutloud, don’t add grain.

Betty

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I have an artsy shot of a boat with lots of texture that has sold hundreds of times for me elsewhere and made me high $$$, I'd love to upload it to Alamy but as @Betty LaRue has experienced, I know it would fail Alamy QC. It is also a good seller for me as a fine art print, so just as well it isn't here. Alamy has licensed artsy shots via S like this one taken with my iPhone at night - maybe more moody than artsy - it ran in several newspapers earlier this year. If you would consider the purple toning artsy, Alamy first licensed this one in 2011, and I licensed it from my website as well.  

 

 

Boats in harbor during the blue hour Waterford, Connecticut USA in summer at night. Stock PhotoSteel globe from the 1964 World's Fair Corona Park, Flushing Meadows Queens WB enhanced also Earth Day concept Stock Photo

 

 

Alamy has licensed other shots taken at sunrise or sundown where everything is in silhouette and it's just black and whatever color the sunrise is (orange) or sunset (pink, purple). They've licensed a fair number of sunrise and sunset images for me where much of the image is in silhouette. More pretty than what I think of as stock.

 

I have some blurs like yours I'd like to try getting past QC - seemingly okay when it's an obvious blur. I think that abstract blurs make great stock photos because they are so flexible. I have a lot on other sites where I don't have to worry a fail will doom everything else, and they sell. I may transfer them to my iPhone and go the "creative" route. It just seems safer than a big QC fail. That banding in the sky would have never passed Alamy QC but S loved it and they review an d rate every photo. 
 

 

 

Edited by Marianne
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For browsing loosely for artistic images, the old big agency catalogues worked better. You could just flick through them vaguely rather than describing what you might want. Like so many photographers, I used to do purely artistic images from time to time but I soon learned to keep them to myself in the  days I was seeking commissions. I could perhaps slip one into the presentation just to demonstrate my artistic leanings but any more and I would endure the "art-farty-photography" (word-for-word) comment and rapid dismissal. I was never going to get any work that way.

 

It's quite nice to see the Alamy search pages sprinkled with purely artistic images, but don't hold your breath in hope of sales. Clients who find a use for that kind of image have no idea they wanted  them, they just stumble upon them, so I wouldn't sit up nights trying to reel them in with keywords.

Edited by Robert M Estall

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Is this an artistic shot?   I only uploaded it because it had something about it.  Since then, It has licensed once.  street-gutter-with-rain-water-J6GAED.jpg

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7 hours ago, Robert M Estall said:

For browsing loosely for artistic images, the old big agency catalogues worked better. You could just flick through them vaguely rather than describing what you might want. Like so many photographers, I used to do purely artistic images from time to time but I soon learned to keep them to myself in the  days I was seeking commissions. I could perhaps slip one into the presentation just to demonstrate my artistic leanings but any more and I would endure the "art-farty-photography" (word-for-word) comment and rapid dismissal. I was never going to get any work that way.

 

It's quite nice to see the Alamy search pages sprinkled with purely artistic images, but don't hold your breath in hope of sales. Clients who find a use for that kind of image have no idea they wanted  them, they just stumble upon them, so I wouldn't sit up nights trying to reel them in with keywords.

 

Without getting into what is "artistic" and what isn't (it's usually in the eye of the beholder or creator), I think you make a good point. Serendipity probably plays a big part in how clients find images that might be considered "artistic" or at least out of the ordinary. Keywords and captions can go only so far when it come to describing some types visual imagery.

 

Also, there can be all manner of "artistic" photos, not just ones that have been made to look like paintings or in which the photographer has demonstrated a lot of technical know-how. I often find very simple and straightforward images to be artistic. 

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Yeah... the "is it art?" debate has no place here (or any other place, IMO, where people value their time). Impressionistic pix, or significant details of larger subjects, etc, can sell on a stock site... as long as they can be tagged/keyworded/annotated in such a way that potential buyers can find them. If a dozen keywords don't immediately come to mind, I may decide not the upload the pic at all...

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