Category Archives: “How-to” articles

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

I asked myself that question over 6 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 third 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 my site through a simple and secure shopping cart and get immediate access to the information you need to make money from your photographs!

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!

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.

backyardimage

 

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:

2016-11-01-morgantown-heap-0030

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

Using Microstockr Pro to find your images online

In my review of Microstockr Pro, I forgot to mention one neat feature that saves a bit of time. If you click on an image thumbnail, you get the screen where the historic sales of that image are displayed. Hovering over the thumbnail on that screen shows two icons – a chain symbol that takes you to the image page on the stock agency, and a magnifying glass. Clicking this opens up the image search page on Google with the thumbnail image already loaded into the search area so that you immediately see the various uses around the web for that particular photo. Much easier than saving a thumbnail and uploading it to Google each time you want to do a search.

Sony A7R II – my first disappointment

I was doing an attempt at an ImageBrief brief recently – one about perfectly shaped water drops on a piece of polished wood – and came across the first area where my Canon kit was much better than the Sony A7R! Macro focus stacking. The picture I was attempting needed high definition focus from front to rear:

Focus Stacked image from about 20 photos

Focus Stacked image from about 20 photos

It took me a bit of time to sort out the lighting (which needed to be low and behind the drops to get definition and shadows), but after trying this on my wooden floor, I decided to move to my studio and tie the Sony into my PC running Helicon Focus and using Helicon remote to automatically control the focus and step through all the necessary focus steps to get the full image sharp and detailed.  Continue Reading

The life of a non-exclusive stock photo contributor

I recently came across an interesting blog post by Craig Dingle entitled Why be exclusive on iStock? His blog is worth following as Craig is an Australian wedding photographer who also does stock photos as an extra income stream, and chose to join iStockPhoto as an exclusive back around the same time I was starting as a non-exclusive. His reasons are valid, but I’m not sure I can get over one of the biggest issues with exclusivity – you are tying yourself to the success (or failure) of one agency, and in a fast moving business like stock photography, that is dangerous in my view. In my email chats with Craig he asked how I managed the process of uploading to many different sites and whether that was a big drain on my time. This post explains how I approach this task. Continue Reading

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