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Hi all! Newbie photographer looking for feedback from pros:)

Dana D

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Hi Dana,

Welcome. Looks like you've been having fun with a macro lens!


First priority I would suggest is to have a look at the Portfolio critiques for other users. Lots of the same issues come up over and over.


Just quickly:

1. Captions are searchable by clients. Your captions are too short. Include the Latin as well as the common name of plants, insects and the location (including the country). Some helpful links:





2. Try to be more commercial about what you shoot - it looks like you're inspired by various things, which is great, but I don't think a lot of these generic images will sell (e.g. 'dreaming' 2NRH2Y8). Try to imagine what a client would/could use your image for. Keep a look out for published stock photos (you can see in the photo credits) - these are the 'winners'. How do yours compare in terms of subject, composition, lighting...? You look to be trying to possibly specialise in flowers - how do your images compare to published flower images? I suggest you get hold of some gardening magazines/books if you go down this route. Not saying you need to be completely formulaic, but you also need to produce saleable images.

3) You are keyword spamming, which will hurt your CTR rank:

Your pictures will appear at a certain level (e.g. first page, 10th page... etc.) in searches by clients, depending on various factors. CTR and Sales are the only factors we know about for sure in the secret formula Alamy uses to set our search ranking. Your CTR rank (on your Dashboard) is a function of the number of times a client zooms (clicks on) one of your images versus the number of times your images appear in a client search, but are not zoomed.

CTR=Zooms/Views * 100

This is basically a long way of me saying, don't spam keywords. E.g. don't put sky, blue, clouds for every single outdoors picture you shoot. There is a tendency to try to put lots of keywords for your images to try to get them seen by clients. So they may well appear in searches, but if they're not zoomed by a client, your CTR rank will drop. Which means your images won't show as high up in client searches. You don't want your images to get buried in the 300 million images on Alamy. By all means, put a lot of keywords in for certain pictures if they're relevant. Captions and keywords are almost more important than the image itself because you can have the most amazing images ever, but if they're keyworded wrong, no one will ever see them.


Also include singular and plurals  of words if appropriate. Don't worry about moving the line to optimised (green) - we have collectively decided that this is not a good idea unless you really need that many keywords.


Good luck,


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Hi Steve F! Thank you very much for your feedback! I really appreciate it.

But you haven't said anything about the actual photos. Are they any good? are they the worst of the worst? I would like some feedback on that as well. 


Thank you!

Edited by Dana D
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Hi Dana,

You're welcome. Ha ha, ok, didn't want to scare you off by being too critical.


Bear in mind first of all, I'm not at all a flower seller, only sold a handful although I don't photograph a huge amount. And bear in mind this is subjective.


These sort of closeup images look arty, but I'm struggling to work out where the focus point is - I'm not sure which bit I should be looking at. And I think that the amount of zoom depends on the flower size and shape. I think this particular image is too zoomed in to be of use for an illustration of the flowers. I like the bokeh though, must be a nice lens.



I think this one is too dark (exposure too low) and the depth of field is too shallow, hardly anything is in focus. I'm not looking on my normal screen, but it looks slightly soft maybe, not in focus?



This looks more like it. But you might want a greater depth of focus if e.g. a flower magazine is using this. Don't forget Latin names.



I haven't looked, but I bet there's loads of stock images like this. And I can't imagine they ever sell. Would only ever get used as a background by a client and this is too dull (boring). Also not helped by being underexposed. If you're not selling a picture of a landmark or pretty countryside, then generally, you're trying to illustrate a concept. What concept can you imagine a client using this image for?



Again, too generic and boring. You're trying to illustrate a sunny/summer sky concept? So show e.g. some flower associated with summer, e.g. sunflowers. Cloud looks overexposed where the sun is.



I can't imagine that moon shots ever sell unless:

1. They are zoomed in with a telescope or high magnification lens and you've used stitching software.

2. You cheat and take a photo of a moon and stick it in an image with a well known landmark in the background - these do sell a lot.



I hope this helps.





Edited by Steve F
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Hi Dana and welcome 🙂


I hesitate to comment here because I am fairly new to stock photography as well but what I have sold is mostly flower/plant photos. I agree with everything Steve said (he is always helpful and has good advice!). I would just add that I think you need to step back a bit on the florals and watch the focus. The sorts of publications that I notice using Alamy photos are often looking to show more of the whole plant to give readers an idea of what it would look like in their own garden. Your photo of the red berries is more along those lines. Now you just need to identify the type of plant and include the Latin name (which potential buyers will often use as a search term) and common names as well.


Best of luck!!

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  • 3 weeks later...

I'm not a pro, but I have sold a few flower images.


Totally agree with what Steve says – and Kelly's comment that he's always helpful!


I suggest being a bit more picky about your subjects and try to think of what buyers might want. I doubt many will just want a plant - they'll want something in particular, and for it to be a good example of whatever it is – not just a few leaves. All my sales have been for specific varieties, not just the broad type. 

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