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Spark

My Portfolio is now untenable

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Good evening

I think my ranking has now sunk to the point, that no matter how hard I try to improve my images. They will never appear in customer searches. Yesterday I had 5 views, usually under 10 is not a suprise and over 20 is good. A zoom is a high point possibly 2 per month.

 

Can anyone advise where I went wrong?

 

On a more positive note, I would like to Thank Philippe Clement. I have followed the advice he has given to other people. As a result.

 

A: my images have improved

B: my enjoyment of photography has increased.

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Nice pics but you might revisit the keywording. I noticed a number of images which may benefit from a bit more relevant detail.

 

 

dov

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Nice pics but you might revisit the keywording. I noticed a number of images which may benefit from a bit more relevant detail.

 

 

dov

Thank you

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Sadly 1492 is not a large number of images by today's standards, perhaps when you double that number you may see some more success?

 

Otherwise you do have quite a few very similar images (e.g. GJ7F3X and GJ7F3Y), which will damage your ranking. By all means take more than one shot of an interesting subject, but vary the viewpoints and/or focal lengths more than you are doing. I also find some of your images rather cluttered (e.g. GJ7F3T), but I am drifting into the area of personal taste and that may not be a good thing.....

 

I try to find strong patterns, leading lines, balance etc, although with some prosaic subjects it's just point and shoot. No, thinking about it,  it's rarely just point and shoot, I always try to get the best out of a subject, even if it ends up just a square on shot.

Edited by Bryan
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Your images look pretty good, Spark. I'm sorry you're having a rough time. 

 

Almost everything you read here in the Alamy forum is someone's opinion. So this is my opinion:

 

As Bryan just posted, you must grow your collection and get smart about keywording. Your countryman Wim does well with a rather small collection, but he's a clever dude . . . and he's in Amsterdam, which might make a better stock subject. I don't know. 

 

Today I'm showing 4,147 views, 41 zooms, and 7 sales in August. I've been submitting here since 2008. Only in the last few years have my efforts begun to pay off. You must grow your collection without spamming. So this is a long term commitment.

 

Your images look flat to me. I would add some contrast and saturation, giving the overall look a bit more bounce and authority. 

 

Good luck

Edited by Ed Rooney
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Sadly 1492 is not a large number of images by today's standards, perhaps when you double that number you may see some more success?

 

Otherwise you do have quite a few very similar images, which will damage your ranking. By all means take more than one shot of an interesting subject, but vary the viewpoints or focal lengths more than you are doing. I also find some of your images rather cluttered (e.g. GJ7F3T), but I am drifting into the area of personal taste and that may not be a good thing.....

 

I try to find strong patterns, leading lines, balance etc, although with some prosaic subjects it's just point and shoot.

Thats very useful, Looking again at GJ7F3T I can see it has no real subject. I have to also conceed your point about similars, the Citreon DS station wagon is a good example.

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I would also check and see how popular your subject areas are by looking at customer searches in all of alamy.  For example you have a lot of images of boating ropes, that may be an image topic that isn't searched for that often.  I always try to think of how and why customers might use an image I'm considering submitting. 

 

Maria

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Hi spark, all of the above is good advice and I'm not sure how qualified I am to give advice to anyone. But for what it's worth, after looking at the first few pages of your work, three words come to mind: composition, perspective, and similars. Can you imagine how one of your photos could be used before clicking the shutter? If others are producing like work how do your photos compare to theirs?

 

Hope this helps

regards

Joe

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I don't feel that I'm qualified to give anyone portfolio advice. However, looking at the newer images that I've licensed recently, I've concluded that it's now crucial to seek out topical subjects in order to make sales. The market is super-saturated with the easy-to-find subjects that we all love to photograph. A former participant in this forum used to use the somewhat derogatory (or so I thought at the time) term "Alamy fodder." I've got plenty of that in my collection. At one time, it used to sell OK. Those days are gone for good, though.

 

As someone else mentioned, it only takes a few sales to improve ranking, so there's still hope.

Edited by John Mitchell
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Hi Spark,

 

I notice that  some of the verticals on your buildings are slanted. There is a simple solution if you have Photoshop Elements - Go to Image on the task bar on top, then go down to Transform, then skew. Use skew to straighten those verticals. Also, some of the photos look a bit cluttered - try to have fewer 'items' in the image with a clean background.

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I don't think it's a problem with the images themselves but that too many are likely to have limited appeal and that to specialists who would be searching on specific keywords you may not even know (the exact terminology for the ropes and rigging for example).  It is definitely worth researching the correct keywords for your images.  Yes, you've got some similars - it's so tempting to really work the scene and then upload a good number of shots - but it's a good way to drive your CTR down until you have the volume of views to absorb major hits from non specific keyword searches (don't talk to me about Camellias!).  

 

As others have said the other problem is you don't really have enough images for the length of time you've been on Alamy.  I'd add to that that you don't have enough subjects.  I had to do a little exercise the other day to produce a list of different subjects in my own portfolio.  Because I have a standardised file naming convention it was easy enough to work out - and it surprised me a little when I realised that I had nearly 1900 different subjects from a portfolio of only 3300 images.  They're mostly within a specialist area - botanical and gardens - but, because of the breadth of coverage and reasonable number of unique to Alamy images I'm enjoying regular sales.  72 so far this year.  And that's really boosted my ranking, so much so that my non specialist shots are being seen by buyers, being zoomed and are now being sold.

 

Hope this helps

 

John

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I don't feel that I'm qualified to give anyone portfolio advice. However, looking at the newer images that I've licensed recently, I've concluded that it's now crucial to seek out topical subjects in order to make sales. The market is super-saturated with the easy-to-find subjects that we all love to photograph. A former participant in this forum used to use the somewhat derogatory (or so I thought at the time) term "Alamy fodder." I've got plenty of that in my collection. At one time, it used to sell OK. Those days are gone for good, though.

 

As someone else mentioned, it only takes a few sales to improve ranking, so there's still hope.

 

Topical yes, but ideally for an ongoing story. There is a picture of Mike Ashley outside his Shirebrook warehouse which features in one or more newspaper, tv or news site every time Sports Direct is in the news. That seems to be every other week! Credited to Joe Giddens/PA and I hope he is making decent money for each use, a quick search found over 3,000 uses.

 

Topical, e.g. news,  can mean a very narrow window (hours) to make sales and then it is just taking up space on the servers. I have too many of them :(

 

Succesful stock was always about making repeat sales from the same effort (same shoot, not necessary exactly the same image). That seems to be increasingly difficult for the reasons John suggests.

Edited by Martin P Wilson

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Seems to me you've got some very well-seen, thoughtfully-taken and (most importantly) saleable work.

 

From a random page of your portfolio, I would have said that all of these have potential markets (especially the first two - I love the first one :) ).

 

police-van-parked-at-crime-scene-dxtwnx.

DXTWNX

 

 

senior-man-crosses-a-town-centre-street-

DXTWP7

 

traditional-recycling-of-unwanted-thrown

DWK36N

 

discarded-old-furniture-dxtwtc.jpg

DXTWTC

 

But your issue seems to getting actual views, no?  And of course, without views you won't get any zooms.  Which would seem to be a keyword/ranking issue, rather than anything to do with either the standard or content of your imagery.

 

Your keywording seems to be sparse - which I actually think is not necessarily a bad thing - some people here thrive on that.  I've been guilty of doing exactly the opposite: not deliberately spamming, but just pumping all the words I could think of into an image, because (initially) that's what I thought you had to do!  I now know better, (I know that this has hurt me - 2015 was a wasted year here for me) but I'm still useless at it - and unfortunately, also incredibly lazy at actually getting round to revisiting all the files/keywords I have dragging me down. :rolleyes:

 

I would think that you might try moving some files into a new psuedo (which will give you a median rank) without any changes and waiting a month or two just to see how they perform against your other images/psuedo(s).  If it's a success (i.e. they get more views/zooms/sales), then perhaps move other images (your most likely sellers?) into the new psuedo.  If previous lack of action has dragged you down so that you're hardly seen at all, then you have nothing to lose, and this might help.  If it fails, you've lost nothing.  You'll have to experiment.

 

Good luck - and remember: I'm the tiniest of fishes here, so I may well be talking absolute nonsense! :lol::D:lol:

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I don't feel that I'm qualified to give anyone portfolio advice. However, looking at the newer images that I've licensed recently, I've concluded that it's now crucial to seek out topical subjects in order to make sales. The market is super-saturated with the easy-to-find subjects that we all love to photograph. A former participant in this forum used to use the somewhat derogatory (or so I thought at the time) term "Alamy fodder." I've got plenty of that in my collection. At one time, it used to sell OK. Those days are gone for good, though.

 

As someone else mentioned, it only takes a few sales to improve ranking, so there's still hope.

 

Topical yes, but ideally for an ongoing story. There is a picture of Mike Ashley outside his Shirebrook warehouse which features in one or more newspaper, tv or news site every time Sports Direct is in the news. That seems to be every other week! Credited to Joe Giddens/PA and I hope he is making decent money for each use, a quick search found over 3,000 uses.

 

Topical, e.g. news,  can mean a very narrow window (hours) to make sales and then it is just taking up space on the servers. I have too many of them :(

 

Succesful stock was always about making repeat sales from the same effort (same shoot, not necessary exactly the same image). That seems to be increasingly difficult for the reasons John suggests.

 

 

Agreed. Repeat sellers of the 'ongoing story' variety are the real treasures, without them you can't make a consistent income (as humble as it might be) at stock photography.

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Lots of posts from people asking what they are doing wrong. The underlining assumption being, that if you don't have many sales and zooms, you are doing something wrong.  This may not be the case. The best thing to do is to have pictures customers want and then ensure that these customers can find them. Use Alamy measures more. Look into what keywords bring to your pictures. Are these keywords important keywords to your pictures, or are they just accidental? If the latter is true, work on key wording. Every month there is a list of requests from customers. Can you try to make one of them into a picture? 

 

I know all this is better said than done, I am neither the queen of zooms or sales, but when too many people are asking what their sins in stock are, one needs to start wondering. May be it is just the market that is not conducive to the kinds of pictures we are offering. 

Edited by AlessandraRC
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Your images look reasonable. Although, to my eyes, some look too jumbled, and others could do with a bit more punch (increase vibrance). In some cases the "jumbled" problem is down to composition, in others (e.g. GGRF5J) using a longer focal length and or wider aperture to reduce the depth of field and help to isolate the subject from it's background.

 

I didn't look at your key-wording. The low number of views suggests either

 

1) Low Alamy ranking and/or

2) Poor keywording and/or

3) Your subjects just aren't being searched for.

 

These are all somewhat inter-related. Might be worth trying the "BHZ" game to get an insight into your ranking (search the forum for BHZ).

Edited by M.Chapman

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Hi Spark,

 

I notice that  some of the verticals on your buildings are slanted. There is a simple solution if you have Photoshop Elements - Go to Image on the task bar on top, then go down to Transform, then skew. Use skew to straighten those verticals. Also, some of the photos look a bit cluttered - try to have fewer 'items' in the image with a clean background.

 

It's even easier to correct verticals in recent versions of Lightroom - you just use guides that you drag onto the image and verticals are instantly straightened.

 

I don't know how much correcting verticals will affect sales but the process is so easy in software (has been for years) that I am always amazed at how many people don't correct verticals as it vastly improves the aesthetics of an image in my opinion. It's not always possible to correct and it is often necessary to keep it in mind when shooting: leave a bit of space around a building when shooting with a tilted camera and/or do a vertical panoramic merge

Edited by MDM

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 To those who have replied, apologies for the late reply. Thank you for your input, it has been very helpful to get an insight of what other people see.  

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I would also check and see how popular your subject areas are by looking at customer searches in all of alamy.  For example you have a lot of images of boating ropes, that may be an image topic that isn't searched for that often.  I always try to think of how and why customers might use an image I'm considering submitting. 

 

Maria

Maria

 

Thats a useful observation, I fought the temptation of taking too many images of my favourite toy and indulged in other things.

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Hi spark, all of the above is good advice and I'm not sure how qualified I am to give advice to anyone. But for what it's worth, after looking at the first few pages of your work, three words come to mind: composition, perspective, and similars. Can you imagine how one of your photos could be used before clicking the shutter? If others are producing like work how do your photos compare to theirs?

 

Hope this helps

regards

Joe

Joe 

Good Morning

 

Thats useful, I've tried to improve composition.  So I need to work on that more.

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Hi Spark. I had a quick look at your images and they do look pretty decent. I think maybe you're using jpg's rather than processing your own RAW files, as I see quite a typical look in some of your images that you get with in-camera processed jpgs (dark lows and bright highs). I may be wrong that you aren't shooting RAW files but if I'm right, it's something to think about in future. Straight away though I can see that you have a good eye for photography, which is a lot more than many people using Alamy have, so it's a great start to things. As others have said, you do have some similars but it doesn't look too terrible to me. I have similars of some subjects and 2 or 3 isn't a bad thing, but I try to keyword them differently. Use the same words if they're relevant, but put them in a different order in the Essentials field, so at least one of them has a better chance of appearing higher in the search results no matter what's searched for.

 

I haven't looked through your keywording so can't make much comment, but don't be afraid to duplicate words in order to get phrases of more than one word together. For example, if you have an image of a green car, put (without quotes) "green car" as well as "car green". What I usually do is something like, "car green car", so that will cover you for a search of both "car green" as well as "green car". The image will appear in the results anyway, but if you have the 2 words in the same order the searcher uses, you will appear higher in results. You might want to experiment a bit with that to see what works best and puts your images higher up in result, and you'll soon get used to it. Keywording is the biggest pain with stock photography but it's really worth doing well.

 

Getting your rank up is a long process, but my advice is to keep doing what you're doing. I used to submit such rubbish that I'm embarrassed about it now. I just wanted SOMEthing in my portfolio. I've now got less images than I had about a year or more ago, as I've removed more than I've added. I've got rid of the rubbish and have updated my keywording. I still only have about 2200 images but usually get between 50 and 120 views each day and a hell of a lot more sales each month. I found that it only took a few sales for my rank to improve, and removing all the rubbish that would never have sold helped my CTR (click through rate) a lot, which would also have helped my rank.

 

Good luck,

Geoff.

Geoff

 

Goods Morning

 

I'm shooting RAW (Pentax DNG) and processing in Elements.  That look may come from the fact I do very little correction.   Your advice regarding key words was very useful.

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I don't feel that I'm qualified to give anyone portfolio advice. However, looking at the newer images that I've licensed recently, I've concluded that it's now crucial to seek out topical subjects in order to make sales. The market is super-saturated with the easy-to-find subjects that we all love to photograph. A former participant in this forum used to use the somewhat derogatory (or so I thought at the time) term "Alamy fodder." I've got plenty of that in my collection. At one time, it used to sell OK. Those days are gone for good, though.

 

As someone else mentioned, it only takes a few sales to improve ranking, so there's still hope.

John 

 

Good morning

 

Thank you for your encouragement

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Lots of posts from people asking what they are doing wrong. The underlining assumption being, that if you don't have many sales and zooms, you are doing something wrong.  This may not be the case. The best thing to do is to have pictures customers want and then ensure that these customers can find them. Use Alamy measures more. Look into what keywords bring to your pictures. Are these keywords important keywords to your pictures, or are they just accidental? If the latter is true, work on key wording. Every month there is a list of requests from customers. Can you try to make one of them into a picture? 

 

I know all this is better said than done, I am neither the queen of zooms or sales, but when too many people are asking what their sins in stock are, one needs to start wondering. May be it is just the market that is not conducive to the kinds of pictures we are offering. 

Alessandra

 

I'm not unhappy with the market, and I'm certainly not unhappy with Alamy or it's Clients.  The problem lies with how I've managed my portfolio.  I am doing significantly worse than others.

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Your images look reasonable. Although, to my eyes, some look too jumbled, and others could do with a bit more punch (increase vibrance). In some cases the "jumbled" problem is down to composition, in others (e.g. CBDWC2) using a longer focal length and or wider aperture to reduce the depth of field might help to isolate the subject from it's background.

 

I didn't look at your key-wording. The low number of views suggests either

 

1) Low Alamy ranking and/or

2) Poor keywording and/or

3) Your subjects just aren't being searched for.

 

These are all somewhat inter-related. Might be worth trying the "BHZ" game to get an insight into your ranking (search the forum for BHZ).

Mr Chapman

 

Thank you for taking the time.  However the example you used is not my image  CBDWC2

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Hi Spark,

 

I notice that  some of the verticals on your buildings are slanted. There is a simple solution if you have Photoshop Elements - Go to Image on the task bar on top, then go down to Transform, then skew. Use skew to straighten those verticals. Also, some of the photos look a bit cluttered - try to have fewer 'items' in the image with a clean background.

 

It's even easier to correct verticals in recent versions of Lightroom - you just use guides that you drag onto the image and verticals are instantly straightened.

 

I don't know how much correcting verticals will affect sales but the process is so easy in software (has been for years) that I am always amazed at how many people don't correct verticals as it vastly improves the aesthetics of an image in my opinion. It's not always possible to correct and it is often necessary to keep it in mind when shooting: leave a bit of space around a building when shooting with a tilted camera and/or do a vertical panoramic merge

 

Gents

 

Good Morning

 

How would you correct this image.

newcastle-city-centre-FX2N84.jpg

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