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Advice, tips, comments on my portfolio, thank you! :)


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Hello!

I am an italian amateur photographer who is uploading most of his photos on Alamy. 

I try to vary my subjects, but most of the photos I upload are taken during my short or long trips. I have not uploaded a big number of photos yet, but I am quite regular in doing it, every month I upload some more.

I am not very satisfied of my sales and this year I had no sales up to now! :(

That is why I kindly ask you to give me your advice, tips or any comment to allow my photos to be more used by Alamy's customers.

Thank you very much in advance,

Ciao! :)

Lorenzo

 

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Ciao Lorenzo!

Sorry you haven't had any sales this year.

 

You have correctly identified that you haven't uploaded a lot of pictures. This will be a principal reason for not getting a lot of sales.

 

Also, you have a portfolio mainly of travel shots. Because of the pandemic, not a lot of people have been travelling abroad, so sales of travel shots have been down a bit.

 

This is subjective, but I find that the lighting and composition in a number of your photos is a bit off - it could be better. I know that if you're travelling, you can't choose your light, but if the lighting is not good enough, I don't bother taking the shot. You do have some good pictures by the way, I'm just picking particular ones here.

 

1) Are you using editing software? Sometimes you have converging verticals in your pictures (where the lines of vertical objects get closer together at the top of the picture). This is an easy fix with editing software:

The medieval towers of the city-center of Bologna: Torre degli Asinelli (left, 97 meters high) and Torre Garisenda (right, 47 meters high) - Stock Image

 

Another example of converging verticals:

Ferrara, Italy (6th August 2021) - The Estense Castle (XIV century) right in the middle of italian Ferrara's center - Stock Image

 

2) Composition. A lot of picture look like snapshots, with little thought given to the composition.

 

Too boring and being symmetrical doesn't help here:

Palmanova, Italy (1oth July 2021) - The street of via Cividale as seen from the main central square of Palmanova - Stock Image

 

Main subject is too small in the frame:

The rural small church of San Donato (XVI century) in the countryside of the town of Moimacco (Udine, Italy) - Stock Image

Main subject too small and is also backlit so the lighting is poor. Can you see this photo being used in a travel guide?

Udine, Italy (23rd April 2021) - View of the hill with the castle and the church of Saint Mary from Piazza I maggio square - Stock Image

Foreground quite large compared to main subject and is also boring.

Udine, Italy 24th March 2021 - The monumental renaissance Piazza della Libertà Freedom Square, landmark of the town of Udine - Stock Image

 

Main subject too small, sky is boring, you've got vignetting in the picture corners:

The ancient church of San Floriano (St. Florian) of the 10th century  as seen from the alpine village of Illegio, in northern Italy - Stock Image

 

There's no main subject here. My eye just keeps roving over the picture and doesn't settle on anything:

Palmanova, Italy (10th July 2021) - The central hexagonal square of Piazza Grande with the cathedral - Stock Image

 

What is the main subject here?? The wooden piles? The boats on the right? The buildings on the left? Looks like a snapshot, need to work on the composition more:

Chioggia, Italy (30th October 2020) - The San Domenico water channel with some big fishing boats and typical houses on the shore - Stock Image

 

I think being symmetrical would have helped here. I would have lined up the square in the middle so it was parallel to me rather than skewed at an angle:

Aquileia, Italy - A well preserved mosaic decoration with hunting scenes on the floor of the ancient roman Domus of Tito Macro (1st century b.C.) - Stock Image

 
What's your main subject here? There isn't a good view of either the boat or the buildings. It's hard to even see the boat, it's in shadow and there's a reflection in the glass.
Venice, Italy (20th June 2020) - A 'vaporetto', venetian public transport, leading passengers through the Grand Canal - Stock Image
 
 

 

3) Have you compared your photos with other photos available online?

 
 
4) Lighting is key for pictures, it can really make or break a landscape or cityscape.
 
Main subject is in shadow, background is brighter. Not a good look:

Moggio Udinese (Italy) - View of the abbey (XI a.C.) of the small town of Moggio Udinese with the background of the Alps of Friuli - Stock Image

 

Terrible lighting overall:

Rizzolo, Udine (Italy) - The church of Rizzolo in the middle of the countryside and with the Alps in the background - Stock Image

 

Main subject is in shadow:

Gressoney-Saint-Jean, Italy (31st July 2020) - The Castle Savoia, built between 1899 and 1904 for the italian queen Margherita - Stock Image

 

Try and do night time shots when there is still some blue in the sky so it's not just pure black:

Evening view of the Savorgnan Castle of Artegna (XIV Century), in the italian region of Friuli Venezia Giulia - Stock Image

 

5) Keep a look out for published travel shots. Compare them with the pictures that you are producing. YOU need to be the person most critical of your own work. If it's not good enough don't upload it, keep shooting, keep learning, read photography magazines and look at photography videos online.

 

Good luck, hope this helps.

Stephen

 

p.s. pictures with people in sell well generally. A lot of your cityscapes are uite empty of people. People can be used to make an otherwise dull foreground more interesting.

 
 

 

 

 
 
 
 
Edited by Steve F
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6 hours ago, LorenzoPUD said:

Hello!

I am an italian amateur photographer who is uploading most of his photos on Alamy. 

I try to vary my subjects, but most of the photos I upload are taken during my short or long trips. I have not uploaded a big number of photos yet, but I am quite regular in doing it, every month I upload some more.

I am not very satisfied of my sales and this year I had no sales up to now! :(

That is why I kindly ask you to give me your advice, tips or any comment to allow my photos to be more used by Alamy's customers.

Thank you very much in advance,

Ciao! :)

Lorenzo

 

Lorenzo,

 

Just from looking at the first page of your images, I think you are doing just fine.  I will say that your caption information is a bit light.  Who, What , Where, Why and How, I.E. think about an editor in Brazil or New  York who does not know about the location and image that they are viewing.  All of your IPTC information needs to help the buyer want to license "Your Image."

 

It is NOT ABOUT NUMBERS, but it is.  I've been an Alamy contributor for more than 17 years and I still have less than 2,000 images online at Alamy and I consistently have almost 100 licenses a year.

 

I also disagree with the idea that all horizons need to be perfect and corrected, sometimes keystoning or a bit of optical distortion adds to the image.

 

Chuck

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24 minutes ago, Mr Standfast said:
I agree with Chuck a dodgy horizon sometimes adds to the picture.
 
 

 

Indeed! Don't think I mentioned horizons though....

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I also wouldn't worry about converging lines unless it is severe.  some convergence adds to an editorial feeling of a photo.  Not all photos have to be architecturally perfect.  

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14 minutes ago, Michael Ventura said:

I also wouldn't worry about converging lines unless it is severe.  some convergence adds to an editorial feeling of a photo.  Not all photos have to be architecturally perfect.  

 

I thought the first example I chose was severe! The question is, how often do you see non-deliberate use of converging lines published? I do totally agree that it is an effective compositional technique sometimes.  I personally don't think it's a good look for a short subject that doesn't extend to the top of the picture.

 

And I'm not sure how useful telling someone with no sales to just carry on is! Right, rant over, time for breakfast 😅

Edited by Steve F
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I think your images are on track, maybe a couple that are not great but who hasn't got that. Your not selling art here, chose images that a publication would use to illustrate a place or subject. Main titles could be a little better and more descriptive. Alamy doesn't do great with travel pictures which a lot or yours would be for a mainly British customer base.

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1 hour ago, Steve F said:

 

I thought the first example I chose was severe! The question is, how often do you see non-deliberate use of converging lines published? I do totally agree that it is an effective compositional technique sometimes.  I personally don't think it's a good look for a short subject that doesn't extend to the top of the picture.

 

And I'm not sure how useful telling someone with no sales to just carry on is! Right, rant over, time for breakfast 😅

I always try to shoot "straight" photos, but I know (or maybe we all know) a very active and successful forum member here who has a vast collection of buildings which look like they are "rocketing" into the sky and these photos are really the selling ones, according to a specific thread here... So it's clearly not an issue. I'm sorry for being too observant!

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1 hour ago, Steve F said:

 

I thought the first example I chose was severe! The question is, how often do you see non-deliberate use of converging lines published? I do totally agree that it is an effective compositional technique sometimes.  I personally don't think it's a good look for a short subject that doesn't extend to the top of the picture.

 

And I'm not sure how useful telling someone with no sales to just carry on is! Right, rant over, time for breakfast 😅

 

Steve, you provide an amazing free service and I think most of your comments are spot on but I just disagree with this one issue about convergence, unless severe.

 

I thought this one example is really nice as it is.  The slight convergence adds to its grandeur (in my opinion).   

 

Ferrara, Italy (6th August 2021) - The Estense Castle (XIV century) right in the middle of italian Ferrara's center - Stock Image

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24 minutes ago, Michael Ventura said:

 

Steve, you provide an amazing free service and I think most of your comments are spot on but I just disagree with this one issue about convergence, unless severe.

 

I thought this one example is really nice as it is.  The slight convergence adds to its grandeur (in my opinion).   

 

Ferrara, Italy (6th August 2021) - The Estense Castle (XIV century) right in the middle of italian Ferrara's center - Stock Image

 

 

i agree with you on this one, i would however have  capture more of the foreground for perspective (or cropped it squarer) 

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1 hour ago, Ognyan Yosifov said:

I always try to shoot "straight" photos, but I know (or maybe we all know) a very active and successful forum member here who has a vast collection of buildings which look like they are "rocketing" into the sky and these photos are really the selling ones, according to a specific thread here... So it's clearly not an issue. I'm sorry for being too observant!

 

I'm trying to distinguish between using converging verticals deliberately vs. just having them accidentally. It often looks quite bad if not done right.

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54 minutes ago, Michael Ventura said:

 

Steve, you provide an amazing free service and I think most of your comments are spot on but I just disagree with this one issue about convergence, unless severe.

 

I thought this one example is really nice as it is.  The slight convergence adds to its grandeur (in my opinion).   

 

Ferrara, Italy (6th August 2021) - The Estense Castle (XIV century) right in the middle of italian Ferrara's center - Stock Image

 

Agreed. I would probably live with this one. But there's so much sky shown above and together with the leading lines from the diagonals of the building, they kind of combine to lead your eye up to the top of the picture.

 

The photos in the OP's collection are generally good, but some could be better. Which applies to most of us. I'm still trying to improve. If I see an amazing picture published, I'm not thinking 'I could never do that', but rather how would I photograph it, or how can I improve to get to that standard. A lot of this stuff is subjective, but generally these days, if I can't see a picture potentially being published, I just cull it.

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10 minutes ago, Steve F said:

 

I'm trying to distinguish between using converging verticals deliberately vs. just having them accidentally. It often looks quite bad if not done right.


I see so many images with converging verticals published that I have thought about uploading both a corrected image as I normally do and an arty converging one. Might boost sales but I doubt the license fee.

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9 minutes ago, sb photos said:


I see so many images with converging verticals published that I have thought about uploading both a corrected image as I normally do and an arty converging one. Might boost sales but I doubt the license fee.

 

Just going next level here. Maybe there's a number of subjects out there that just aren't photographed particularly well so there's no choice...

 

Probably just picture editors not caring or liking the dramatic look though 🙃

 

p.s. don't recall seeing much of that in actual travel books though. Presumably the fees are higher than for certain travel websites......

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It's great to have this Forum for comments, always learning, but I learned some basic rules: - photography is light, so always pay attention to the light - composition, always look for the best composition, don't rush - You must think like a buyer. - that the buyer has a problem and your photo will be the solution - In my case I'm in Brazil, if I want a photo of Europe, I look for the country and then I can even do a more detailed search, state, city. I'm just starting in this market but I like to photograph, I love this market, very popular.
 
 
 
 
 
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Lorenzo,

Honestly I wouldn't bother shooting landmarks, I can't recall last time I sold one.

I sell  shop interiors and exteriors, food markets, flea markets, museums, food I eat, etc...with or without people.

 

A quick check on your  photo of Castello Estense shows that it can't be found on the first page of search result,

which is where a buyer probably stops searching. You should really try to get better ranking.

Improve keywords? Supertags? More saleable subjects?

Hope that helps.

 

Ciao

Ca

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29 minutes ago, CarloBo said:

Lorenzo,

Honestly I wouldn't bother shooting landmarks, I can't recall last time I sold one.

 

Ditto. Only 6 of my last 78 licenses were for landmarks / cityscape pictures.

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16 hours ago, Steve F said:

Ciao Lorenzo!

Sorry you haven't had any sales this year.

 

You have correctly identified that you haven't uploaded a lot of pictures. This will be a principal reason for not getting a lot of sales.

 

Also, you have a portfolio mainly of travel shots. Because of the pandemic, not a lot of people have been travelling abroad, so sales of travel shots have been down a bit.

 

This is subjective, but I find that the lighting and composition in a number of your photos is a bit off - it could be better. I know that if you're travelling, you can't choose your light, but if the lighting is not good enough, I don't bother taking the shot. You do have some good pictures by the way, I'm just picking particular ones here.

 

1) Are you using editing software? Sometimes you have converging verticals in your pictures (where the lines of vertical objects get closer together at the top of the picture). This is an easy fix with editing software:

The medieval towers of the city-center of Bologna: Torre degli Asinelli (left, 97 meters high) and Torre Garisenda (right, 47 meters high) - Stock Image

 

Another example of converging verticals:

Ferrara, Italy (6th August 2021) - The Estense Castle (XIV century) right in the middle of italian Ferrara's center - Stock Image

 

 

The rural small church of San Donato (XVI century) in the countryside of the town of Moimacco (Udine, Italy) - Stock Image

 

Udine, Italy 24th March 2021 - The monumental renaissance Piazza della Libertà Freedom Square, landmark of the town of Udine - Stock Image

 

 

Hi Steve! Thanj you very much for your comments, I really appreciate!

I agree with you with all the advice you are trying to give me for the photos of mine you showed. Most of my photos comply with good lightning and good compositions, but some don't. I should improve and it is good that a 3rd person like you ask me to pay attention.

Just some comments of 4 of my photos you showed.

For the first one, you should know that one of these medieval towers is really leaning,  it is not perfectly vertical. So it is not a pure defect of my photo :) https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/6/63/Bolognatowers1767.jpg/220px-Bolognatowers1767.jpg

For the second one, I tried to fix the converging lines of the castle (the castle is so huge and you need a wideangle) and I was satisfied with the result.

For the third one, I liked the composition with the fields at the side of the church as they had three different colours, but I understand your point of view.

For the fourth one, I have other different photos of this square (as it is in my hometown) and this is one I find it interesting for the parallelism between the loggia and the pedestrian crossing.

I guess that you are right when you say that "Covid time" is not very good to sell photos taken during holidays trip. I hope that it will change soon :)

Kind regards,

Lorenzo

 

 

 

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11 hours ago, Chuck Nacke said:

Lorenzo,

 

Just from looking at the first page of your images, I think you are doing just fine.  I will say that your caption information is a bit light.  Who, What , Where, Why and How, I.E. think about an editor in Brazil or New  York who does not know about the location and image that they are viewing.  All of your IPTC information needs to help the buyer want to license "Your Image."

 

It is NOT ABOUT NUMBERS, but it is.  I've been an Alamy contributor for more than 17 years and I still have less than 2,000 images online at Alamy and I consistently have almost 100 licenses a year.

 

I also disagree with the idea that all horizons need to be perfect and corrected, sometimes keystoning or a bit of optical distortion adds to the image.

 

Chuck

Thank you for your advice, Chuck.

Indeed some of my descritpion and tag works are light, I am not always inspired when I do that :)

Wow, 100 licneses a year it sonds great!

Regards,

Lorenzo

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3 hours ago, BobD said:

I think your images are on track, maybe a couple that are not great but who hasn't got that. Your not selling art here, chose images that a publication would use to illustrate a place or subject. Main titles could be a little better and more descriptive. Alamy doesn't do great with travel pictures which a lot or yours would be for a mainly British customer base.

Than you for you adive, Bob.

As for most of the people I take photos when I go travelling, but it is true that I should take also "situation" "activities" photos since they sell more.

Regards,

Lorenzo

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1 hour ago, Jose Decio Molaro said:
It's great to have this Forum for comments, always learning, but I learned some basic rules: - photography is light, so always pay attention to the light - composition, always look for the best composition, don't rush - You must think like a buyer. - that the buyer has a problem and your photo will be the solution - In my case I'm in Brazil, if I want a photo of Europe, I look for the country and then I can even do a more detailed search, state, city. I'm just starting in this market but I like to photograph, I love this market, very popular.
Thank you for you comments, Jose.
You are right in what you are saying. Sometimes I need to go alone to take photos in order to have the time to choose the best angle and the best light for my pictures. Other time, when I am not alone, this becomes rather difficult and I try to get the best in a really short time.
Regards,
Lorenzo
 
 
 
 

 

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1 hour ago, CarloBo said:

Lorenzo,

Honestly I wouldn't bother shooting landmarks, I can't recall last time I sold one.

I sell  shop interiors and exteriors, food markets, flea markets, museums, food I eat, etc...with or without people.

 

A quick check on your  photo of Castello Estense shows that it can't be found on the first page of search result,

which is where a buyer probably stops searching. You should really try to get better ranking.

Improve keywords? Supertags? More saleable subjects?

Hope that helps.

 

Ciao

Ca

Thank you and ciao Carlo!

I will come to watch your photos to understand what kind of subjects you were mentioning (shop interiors, food markets...) which are more reliable to be sold.

What do you mean by "supertags"?

Regards,

Lorenzo

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