Category Archives: “How-to” articles

Announcement: How can I sell my photos and make some money???

I asked myself that question over 8 years ago, and decided the answer was to sell my images. Since then I have increased my income to more than $30,000 a year and I share the steps and lessons learned in the newly revised 2017 edition of my eBook – Getting Started in Stock.  You are facing a simple choice – do you want to learn as you go, following the forums and their inconsistent information from people who may or may not know what they are talking about, or do you want to save hours of frustration and learn it all on one easy to follow guidebook?

Buy this new eBook directly from Amazon and get immediate access to the information you need to make money from your photographs! Now recognized as the Best Seller in Professional Photography Books!

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I try hard to keep this blog informative, but not bombard you with ads that pop-up and spoil the experience. If you find the site useful and have a need for anything from Amazon (a new camera perhaps!), please use this link (or the product bar below) to check out Amazon Electronics, Camera and Photo Best Sellers It won’t cost you anything, but I will get a small affiliate payment if you decide to buy something! Thanks again!

Stock Submitter – iStock ESP and the new Alamy supertags

Since my earlier review of StockSubmitter back in December, I’ve really grown to like the system and it really does save time! As I explained last time, my basic process is to keyword in Lightroom (which is alphabetic order) and then to export the files as Jpegs to a new folder structure ready for uploading. Once I open StockSubmitter I first check to see that the categories have been guessed correctly – they generally are, but it is worth a quick check – and then I use the Advanced Editor to put the important keywords first:

Keywords

I then go into the iStock terms section and assign the appropriate meanings of my keywords against the Getty controlled vocabulary. If you don’t match a word, and its meaning is uncertain, that keyword won’t be submitted as part of the iStock submission.  Continue Reading

Microstock Analytics – Deep Dive into your sales

In previous posts I have reviewed the use of Microstockr Pro for monitoring your sales and how I used it to find images that were selling well but missing from one of the main agencies. There is an alternative application on the market that promises far more detail about your portfolio and so I decided to investigate Microstock Analytics in more detail. This is a far more complex system aimed at really understanding which shots are selling and why, whereas Microstockr Pro is more like a fun system to see the sales coming in. Microstock Analytics is available for Windows and is priced based on the number of images on any number of sites. At present, if you have no more than 500 images on your various sites, it is free. The next band to 1000 images is $29.99 a year, 2000 images is $59.99 a year, and then unlimited images are $119.99 a year or $299.99 as a one-time payment. The system currently covers seven agencies, Shutterstock, iStock, Dreamstime, Adobe Stock, 123RF, BigStock and DepositPhotos.

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The main screen gives you the overview of your earnings performance, with many different choices for each window. Continue Reading

StockSubmitter – an elegant replacement for StockUploader

As many readers know I have been using StockUploader for 3 or 4 years and it has always served me well. However, it has not been publicly available for at least 12 months and will be totally unavailable at the end of the year. So what should new stock photographers do? The answer has also become more complex for me because of the need to identify and prioritize the first seven keywords to fit in with Adobe Stock’s process and while there is a workaround if you have a copy of StockUploader, it isn’t great. And, of course, we still have the issue of iStock and having to go to another site (qHero) to sort the controlled vocabulary issues of that site. Is there a one size fits all solution?

I think I have found it in StockSubmitter.
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StockSubmitter, a free program to automate the upload of images (using FTP) to as many sites as you care to configure. Continue Reading

Adobe Stock keyword order

A couple of days ago, I started re-ordering my Adobe Stock keywords. As I explained here, most of my keywords are alphabetic, because that is how Lightroom sorts them. I did meet with Julieanne Kost of Adobe last weekend at Nature Visions, and she has put in a request to the Lightroom product team to come up with a solution for this as it doesn’t appear that Adobe Stock will change their approach. The first big question – is it worth sorting them? I think the answer so far is “YES”. This image:

had never sold on Fotolia before and I changed its keywords to include toddler, baby, girl, painting, playtime at the beginning of the list. Continue Reading

Adobe Stock – prioritize your keywords

There was a post from Mat Hayward (Adobe Stock rep) on the Microstock Group forum reminding people that the first seven keywords are the most important in the search results on Adobe Stock. I’ve always found this a pain with Fotolia and most of my images there have alphabetic keywords. When Fotolia used to be a low earner, it perhaps didn’t matter much, but things are changing.

Alphabetic is not always best!

Alphabetic is not always best!

Being a person that doesn’t like extra work, I decided to test if this was true. Continue Reading

Microstockr Pro – helping my sales

I wrote about the Microstockr Pro App (currently in free Beta) a few weeks back and have been playing with it since. One thing I noticed that could really help me is the ability to match the same image across all sites and then see the total sales for that image. Why that helped me in particular was that for several years, Fotolia was very harsh on non-people and non-object images. My landscapes and travel images were rejected by the hundreds (at least it seemed like that!), including this one:

For a time, I stopped uploading to the site altogether. Continue Reading

Updating my Fine Art portfolio website

Back in 2014 I decided to create my own “Fine Art” portfolio website. It was not particularly to sell images from the site (as I know how hard that is!), but to have somewhere where friends could look at some of my better photographic efforts. I decided to use the Photocrati Theme and explained the process back in this post. I decided that it was the best wordpress photography theme that I could find and at the time, I thought the theme was pretty easy to use and made an OK website without the annual costs of the online portfolio sites. I recently tried to add some more photos to the site and found that an error I had made in one of the server files meant that the home page was visible but all the galleries were inaccessible – a great example of checking more than the first page when you move a site to a new server! While working on it, I also noticed that Photocrati had totally rewritten the theme to incorporate the NextGen gallery and slide show technology and made the whole thing much more responsive to different screen resolutions and devices. Although the new Photocrati Pro theme was $79 (and they try to make you sign up to a recurring $79 for updates and support, which you can cancel later), I decided that my photographs were worth it and decided to give it a go.

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So here is my review of the new Photocrati Pro WordPress theme!

Continue Reading

Lightroom De-haze Filter on skies

I was just playing with some photos I had taken at Coopers Rock overlook near Morgantown in West Virginia and was pretty unimpressed with what I saw:

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Pretty bland colors and the sky is very dull – not blown out but uninteresting.

Continue Reading

Sensor cleaning problems with Sony A7r II

I noticed a relatively prominent sensor spot on some of my images after my last field trip – one of the potential issues with mirrorless cameras is that there is nothing between the lens opening and the sensor and so changing lenses is always going to have the risk of introducing dust. Anyway, I used my trusty Visible Dust Arctic Butterfly which works by using static in the fine brush strands to pick up the dust from the sensor, but this one appeared to be more of a mark on the sensor. I had used Visible Dust swabs in the past on a Canon APS-C camera, but these are too small for the full frame Sony, so I ordered a set of Visible Dust swabs for full frame, thinking I would use the sensor cleaning fluid I already had. So far so good – the swabs arrived, I cleaned the sensor, but my test shot looked like this when I used Lightroom’s Dust removal tool:

Dust Spots on Sony Sensor

Dust Spots on Sony Sensor

Horrendous!!

Continue Reading

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