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Paulstw

Ever feel you're losing direction?

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Within the last year, according to 'All of Alamy' stats:

 

"Landscape" as an individual search term was searched for 45 times.

"Car" as an individual search term was searched for 467 times.

 

That's a ten-fold demand for something you can find outside your front door.

 

Stock is not art, it's not even regular "photography". It's about the production of images that are useful to sell things, or in the case of editorial, to illustrate a point of view or concept. By all means shoot misty landscapes and arty scenes, but don't expect to make many sales.

 

J

 

1+ I've made more from an image of a pair of muddy walking boots on a white background than I have from sunset landscape shots! But that's what I enjoy, it's about making the ordinary look good and useable. I just ask myself now, how would/could I use the image if I was a publisher. If I struggle to think of a way then it's probably not worth it. 

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The trick (for stock) is to shoot those little everyday things of life BUT .... with that little extra. Look for the "plus factor" (or call it simply an eyecatcher).

 

Lately, I visited a local flea market. Wanted to make some shots but I soon realised it was a whole lot more difficult than expected. Sure, at those occasions you can snap away and easily get 100 pictures within an hour's time. But that's not my style. I'm happier with only 5 pictures of which I strongly believe they could sell. When my eye caught the Union Jack chairs, I knew I had found my picture of the day :)

 

D8T78K.jpg

 

And honestly, I can get as much satisfaction by finding an everyday subject with that little extra as by shooting a nice sunset over the Grand Canyon.

 

Cheers,

Philippe

 

Good points. I feel much the same way these days. With "exotic" travel being so expensive and the financial returns so low, I'm realizing that it makes more sense to look close to home for subject matter (and of course the "plus-factor"). So I don't feel that I'm losing direction but rather that I'm exploring new ones out of necessity.  A sign of the times, no doubt.

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OK.  This is coming from someone who does not shoot "stock"!  I generally shoot what I like and if buyers like it, then that's good. We both win.  With respect to all those who do shoot stock (and after all, this is what Alamy is all about) then do what you like doing and continue to do it well - no worries.  Personally, I would find shooting "stock images" mind numbingly boring!  But that's just me! I did a quick breakdown of my sales and 40% are landscapes (including buildings), 40% are animals and 20% are people.  

 

I have particular images which sell more than once - beach huts at Southend (yes, the old favourite) but, hey it sells - 3 times! I am rarely in the UK but snapped this while visiting friends on a hot (for England) day with a great sky in 2007.

 

B4YAEE.jpg

 

and another, taken on the same day of deckchairs - again Southend - sold 4 times

 

B4YAFK.jpg

 

and strangely, this one - which has sold 3 times - no property release.

 

B55WFM.jpg

 

The "melting clock" a sculpture based on Dali's work taken outside Customs House in Sydney with a little help from PS on the Customs House clock.

 

I do get periods where I think that its all been done before and there is no much left to snap but suddenly on a trip to the city, I see something which stands out such as this aboriginal man at Circular Quay

149575763.qhjvwBH2.AboriginalmandraganCE

 

and I am back on track again.

 

Sheila

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I agree with most of what has been said.  Truly outstanding images do not sell as stock.  Keep those for your Fine Art submissions.  Truly ordinary images of released people and property showing every day life sell as stock.  I've sold many more images of things you see every day and never think of photographing than I have of exotic locations and dramatic landscapes.  Just look at what is used in newspapers, magazines, textbooks and the web.  All of the new contributors with digital cameras that do everything never think of taking photos of ordinary things.  They want to have the next National Geographic cover.  Not going to happen.  Much more likely that a market scene showing local produce or an industrial scene showing pollution will sell as stock.

 

Tina

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Like Duncan, I am a landscape photographer. However, over the last 6 months or so the realisation that this type of photography is not where the bread and butter is has become reality.

 

This year, I have concentrated more on cities than landscape work. Percentage wise, it is probably 75% city to 25% landscape.

 

I feel I still have a ways to go before really cracking this game but I know for sure that I am never going to work back in a regular job again...ever!!!

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not shootoing anyone down, just making some points.....

 

km

 

KM sorry about my stupid outburst yesterday. It was totally out of order.

 

Not making excuses but for some reason I was taking criticism from all angles yesterday and I guess the presure cooker got the better of me.

 

I appreciate the advice.

 

Jeff is right, that image is about the only really decent image I have that tells a story. I've only this week keyworded it properly.

 

The crux of my point yesterday that I so negatively tried to put across was that for one reason or another did we ever feel we started out somewhere then ended up somewhere totally different then woke up wondering what happened?

 

I got into photography for landscape work, then ended up on Alamy trying to provide work that wasn't really needed. A quick change of direction meant that I found myself in sitatuations where events just happened around me, so having a camera was handy. I guess all my images are a direct result of mostly news uploads. Some stand out as stock, it's plain to see, but for the most part they are all editorial use.

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did we ever feel we started out somewhere then ended up somewhere totally different then woke up wondering what happened?

 

Happens to me all the time. Last week I drank some cleaning fluid and woke up on a cargo boat bound for Buenos Aires...

Edited by John Morrison

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did we ever feel we started out somewhere then ended up somewhere totally different then woke up wondering what happened?

 

Happens to me all the time. Last week I drank some cleaning fluid and woke up on a cargo boat bound for Buenos Aires...

 

I think an evi ltwin logged into my alamy account yesterday and poorly keyworded all my images and wrote some horrible and negative things. No? hmmmm bums.

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I got the same feeling what the piont going out to shoot soem images for peenuts! The hours send on it and getting very little back from it as the mark over foolded with same images! The piont is this if you look after the worker (us) there look after you! You now the saying can't lead a hourse to water!

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did we ever feel we started out somewhere then ended up somewhere totally different then woke up wondering what happened?

 

Happens to me all the time. Last week I drank some cleaning fluid and woke up on a cargo boat bound for Buenos Aires...

 

Ah, so that was you on that boat . . . I thought I recognised that tattoo . . .

 

dd

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I got the same feeling what the piont going out to shoot soem images for peenuts! The hours send on it and getting very little back from it as the mark over foolded with same images! The piont is this if you look after the worker (us) there look after you! You now the saying can't lead a hourse to water!

 

You'll carry on getting "peenuts" for your pix if you spell so many of your keywords incorrectly. If you have a problem with spelling, maybe you can get some help. Pix won't sell if they don't turn up in searches...

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I was not one of those who pilled on yesterday, although I was tempted to do so. Anyway, an apology is always appreciated. This has become a very tough business no matter what direction you take.

 

Good luck. 

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I was not one of those who pilled on yesterday, although I was tempted to do so. Anyway, an apology is always appreciated. This has become a very tough business no matter what direction you take.

 

Good luck. 

 

Feel like a clown today I must admit. I asked about lighting on one forum, I posted a cracking pic on another of a Chaffinch perched on a branch, and was on here. The other places just leathered into me for some reason I don't know why. I guess my perception of help was totally clouded over by frustration. 

 

Won't happen again I can be sure of that. 

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;)

Edited by Edward

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I got the same feeling what the piont going out to shoot soem images for peenuts! The hours send on it and getting very little back from it as the mark over foolded with same images! The piont is this if you look after the worker (us) there look after you! You now the saying can't lead a hourse to water!

 

You'll carry on getting "peenuts" for your pix if you spell so many of your keywords incorrectly. If you have a problem with spelling, maybe you can get some help. Pix won't sell if they don't turn up in searches...

any advice would be helpfull!

If the link to your images is correct (2978 images) then you have a lot of restrictions on your later images

  • Restrictions (cannot be used in/for)
  • Worldwide, All Usages, All Medias, All Industries, All Sub-Industries

including one of a flower? Is this intentional?

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:ph34r: I have delted them!

Edited by Edward

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:ph34r: I have delted them!

And you have probably deleted them as well! BTW, Brian, it's fuel tank not full tank - unless you knew the fuel tank was full in the Honda pics! Unless you get a spell checker, your images will not see the light of day.

 

Sheila

Edited by Sheila Smart
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We are not all brilliant on the spelling front - and it is important if your images are to see the  light of day as Sheila says. A spell checker is a great help - a friend on the old forum had trouble with a degree of dyslexia and partially solved this by cutting and pasting his keywords through a Word programme/program.

 

For a while I had a 'sticky' key on my keyboard which added unwanted letters. Solved now I hooope......

 

Oh dear am I off topic again

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:ph34r: I have delted them!

And you have probably deleted them as well! BTW, Brian, it's fuel tank not full tank - unless you knew the fuel tank was full in the Honda pics! Unless you get a spell checker, your images will not see the light of day.

Sheila

Except a spell checker wouldn't have picked up "full tank" as an error. Perhaps asking someone else to look over your spelling is an option if it's a problem? (Unless that is what you meant by "spell checker" Sheila...)

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KM sorry about my stupid outburst yesterday. It was totally out of order.

Not a problem...after 30+ years as a news photographer i have been on the receiving end of  lot, lot, worse than that, so don't worry about it....(when you're alone, at night, doing a story about a dodgy meat packing plant and you're surrounded by chaps with cleavers, then you can get worried....)

 

In one of your postings you showed a pic of footprints in the snow, and commented that, at the time, you thought "there's a story there"....Just keep that thought in mind whenever you're making images - there's a story in every photo we make. The skill is in making that story clear, both in the image itself and in the way we caption and keyword it, so that the clients, when they are looking for illustrations for their stories, will find it and want to use it....

 

km

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KM sorry about my stupid outburst yesterday. It was totally out of order.

Not a problem...after 30+ years as a news photographer i have been on the receiving end of  lot, lot, worse than that, so don't worry about it....(when you're alone, at night, doing a story about a dodgy meat packing plant and you're surrounded by chaps with cleavers, then you can get worried....)

 

In one of your postings you showed a pic of footprints in the snow, and commented that, at the time, you thought "there's a story there"....Just keep that thought in mind whenever you're making images - there's a story in every photo we make. The skill is in making that story clear, both in the image itself and in the way we caption and keyword it, so that the clients, when they are looking for illustrations for their stories, will find it and want to use it....

 

km

 

+100

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KM sorry about my stupid outburst yesterday. It was totally out of order.

Not a problem...after 30+ years as a news photographer i have been on the receiving end of  lot, lot, worse than that, so don't worry about it....(when you're alone, at night, doing a story about a dodgy meat packing plant and you're surrounded by chaps with cleavers, then you can get worried....)

 

In one of your postings you showed a pic of footprints in the snow, and commented that, at the time, you thought "there's a story there"....Just keep that thought in mind whenever you're making images - there's a story in every photo we make. The skill is in making that story clear, both in the image itself and in the way we caption and keyword it, so that the clients, when they are looking for illustrations for their stories, will find it and want to use it....

 

km

 

+1000 and a boy sent away with his tail between his legs :) 

 

Cheers. 

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