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Portfolio critique request from a disheartened novice


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Hello all,

 

I have been uploading images for almost a year now and I would appriciate some feedback on how to improve. I have just read about the changes to the commision fees and I am rather disheartened by the prospect of dropping to 20% commision, as I am nowhere near the $250 minimum, and this will likely stiffle my enthusiasm for it all.

 

I am realistic about my photographic skills as I am in a very early novice stage but I aspire to improve with time. I think I have a tendancy to photograph objects rather than concepts which might be limiting. After some very helpful (and appriciated) advice from this forum I have started using photo editing software which I think has helped. Due to lockdown I have been photographing historical items (old newspaper cuttings, military cap badges, old postcards, etc) which I find interesting but I understand it is rather a niche area so sales might be low for them. I have seen that a lot of feedback is around titles and tagging so I have always tried to have a full description for each picture, although I do often struggle with some of the tagging.

 

Stats-wise I think my CTR rate is good (1.05 from 29 zooms) but this might just be because so few of my images turn up in peoples searches. I have 3 sales to date (I was thrilled with each one!) but they were all for personal use only.

 

 

Thanks in advance for you time!

 

https://www.alamy.com/portfolio/774126.html

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Posted (edited)

Hey Dave,

Your username is seeming quite appropriate after the commission announcement! No one's happy about that...

 

No need to share your portfolio, we can click on the blue number under your name. Re. getting to gold level, I (rough) estimate that if you have over 2000 images that are saleable, you should reach it.

 

I think your captions are too short, you need to be more specific about what's in each picture. I think you could expand on the military medal and badge captions.

https://www.alamy.com/contributor/how-to-sell-images/captions-and-keywords-for-images/?section=8

 

"Before you start, think about the potential use of the image and what it’s likely to be sold for, the more accurately you describe your image, the more visibility it will have in customer searches, which will significantly increase your chance of making a sale."

 

A cap badge of the Rifle Brigade c. 1956-1958. - Image ID: 2FKRD58.

Which army, country? Maybe provide a brief description of the rifle brigade in the caption or in the Optional/Additional Information area.

 

Typo: A cap badge of the Victoria Rifles of Canada, as issued in the Second Worls War. - Image ID: 2FKRD7P

 

I'm not sure about the saleability of the memoribilia, but I don't see why they wouldn't sell, there's a lot of interest in military history. And it's an advantage to exploit a niche that not many people can.

 

Your editing generally seems fine. Not your sunsets though. Blown highlights and shadows need lifting (land should never be be so dark unless you've got a really interesting silhouette). Not going to write it all out, there's Google, photography magazines and YouTube... Either use a tripod, or try to have the sun partially obscured by clouds or a tree... Can also use a graduated filter on each half (land and sky) and a local edit with the adjustment brush on the sun in Lightroom.

A view of a lone crow looking across the English Channel at the sunrise from Beachy Head, Eastbourne, Sussex, England, UK. - Stock Image

 

Last point, I assume a lot of recent pictures are from lockdown as you say. They are very generic (and boring) shots of the English landscape. I can't see them selling, and if you have too many of these, it will drop your CTR.

A view of Saddlescombe Farm and the valley from the top of Devils Dyke in Sussex, England, UK - Stock Image

 

A view along the North Escarpment with Fulking below seen from Devils Dyke in Sussex, England, UK. - Stock Image

Good luck, hope this helps.
Stephen
 

 

 
Edited by Steve F
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Thanks for your feedback, I will have to go back over them all and add in more detail then! I was thinking with the military badges they might be used for historical themed articles or maybe books on the regiment (and it is a good excuse to go through my collection), I see your point about the sun pictures (I shall leave these untill my skills improve) and the countryside shots.

 

Thanks again for your time.

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On 29/05/2021 at 04:45, Dolorous Dave said:

Hello all,

 

I have been uploading images for almost a year now and I would appriciate some feedback on how to improve. I have just read about the changes to the commision fees and I am rather disheartened by the prospect of dropping to 20% commision, as I am nowhere near the $250 minimum, and this will likely stiffle my enthusiasm for it all.

 

I am realistic about my photographic skills as I am in a very early novice stage but I aspire to improve with time. I think I have a tendancy to photograph objects rather than concepts which might be limiting. After some very helpful (and appriciated) advice from this forum I have started using photo editing software which I think has helped. Due to lockdown I have been photographing historical items (old newspaper cuttings, military cap badges, old postcards, etc) which I find interesting but I understand it is rather a niche area so sales might be low for them. I have seen that a lot of feedback is around titles and tagging so I have always tried to have a full description for each picture, although I do often struggle with some of the tagging.

 

Stats-wise I think my CTR rate is good (1.05 from 29 zooms) but this might just be because so few of my images turn up in peoples searches. I have 3 sales to date (I was thrilled with each one!) but they were all for personal use only.

 

 

Thanks in advance for you time!

 

https://www.alamy.com/portfolio/774126.html

Dave,

 

What: 

The notable Edwardian English stage, and later film, actress Gladys Cooper (1988-1971) wearing a hat and holding a bunch of roses, taken from a photographic postcard from the era. 

- Image ID: 2F32B21

 

Date does not make sense, we all make mistakes.

 

Chuck

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59 minutes ago, Chuck Nacke said:

Dave,

 

What: 

The notable Edwardian English stage, and later film, actress Gladys Cooper (1988-1971) wearing a hat and holding a bunch of roses, taken from a photographic postcard from the era. 

- Image ID: 2F32B21

 

Date does not make sense, we all make mistakes.

 

Chuck

 1888 -- we all make typos.

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Posted (edited)

It would have made sense if it was 1988-1971 BC but I don't think that she was quite that old!

 

Thanks both - I did mean it to be 1888. Proof-reading was never my strength.

Edited by Dolorous Dave
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