Trying to increase Fine Art America Sales

I’ve been spending time adding more “fine art” images to Fine Art America recently, adding perhaps 40 or so in the past month. My latest images can be seen here. But how to “goose” those sales? I decided to try Facebook advertizing for an image that I created in black and white of San Francisco:

The image itself needed a bit of work as it was taken using a 200mm lens (on a tripod) from the Marin Headlands near the Golden Gate bridge  Continue Reading

Travel Photography – Seek out the unusual

Last weekend I went to Washington DC with my local camera club and, as some of the attendees were new to DC, we mainly covered the popular sites that I have visited many times before. So how to take something new that I could upload to my stock portfolio? The answer for me was to seek out the unusual view of those places that have been covered in thousands of images already. While not many of my readers will visit Washington, you can apply the same thinking when next you visit a tourist destination – by all means get the standard pictures, especially if the lighting is great, but look for something that provides a buyer with a different slant. Remember that buyers are looking for something a bit different to those postcard images as well.

My first was the White House – security is all the rage these days with fence climbers scaling the metal fencing and so a focus on the new enlarged security cordon and the sign could be used next time there is an incident there:

The background is out of focus to increase the prominence of the sign. Next we walked along the Mall to  Continue Reading

Earnings from Stock Photography in June 2017

The days shoot by and here I am writing once again about earnings. It has been a busy month for me putting all my Hawaii images online and I’m still going through the videos and uploading those. I took quite a lot of Point of View GoPro images with the camera stuck on the front of the car as we drove around the narrow roads in Maui, so hopefully some of those will sell. Of course, Shutterstock, in its wisdom, rejected a number for “unstable video” when I was driving on a rough dirt road – I guess I thought that was the point of filming that bit of road! I’ve “appealed” to the submission team and will see if it is worth resubmitting.

Earnings this month have been pretty good with a total of $2859. As I blogged earlier, I had a real run of solid sales on Shutterstock mid month and a total of 10 sales on Alamy on my own account for $210. The final one came in on 30 June for a net of $18. If only I owned this many real bitcoins with the rate that they are currently selling for!

Of course, these are just gold colored metal coins! Shutterstock ended well with Continue Reading

Get the best out of your shots

I seem to be on a roll this month with posts. I think it is because I have finished processing all my Hawaii shots and have got those online and I’m waiting for the next project! That is also giving me some time to look at some of the shots I have taken and trying to improve ones that are worthwhile. The first one could have been a great shot of a proud (and wild) cockerel overlooking his territory on Kauai:

Nice shot, but the cockerel only stood there for a few seconds, I had a wide angle lens on the camera and it was set to F11. So everything was in focus and that tree is so distracting!  Continue Reading

Fame at Last….

I had a 50 minute online chat with the host of, Jim Harmer, earlier in the week about stock photography. While I think I probably waffled on a bit, it was a good discussion and Jim has now posted the podcast on his site. He also wrote a nice blog post about the subject and the interview, which has done wonders for sales of my book on Amazon! If you have an empty hour to fill, and you always wondered if I spoke just like your favorite english actor, you could give a listen to the podcast!

Brutally Honest Guide to Microstock Photography

This may seem strange – I have my own book on stock photography and here I am talking about a competing one! However, the new release by Alex Rotenberg called The Brutally Honest Guide to Microstock Photography is actually a very nice complement to my own book! Alex takes a broader view of the subject of stock photography, first looking at the market and what buyers are seeking, then going through some very useful tutorials (or reminders) of the various photographic approaches and techniques that can make (or break) a stock photograph. He reviews the various agencies and their approaches, and he is also very honest (as I am) on the effort involved to really make it in stock photography. Indeed, he makes the very useful point that the skills we are learning will translate very well into other photographic opportunities and has an interview with an architectural photographer who made exactly that move. My book dovetails nicely with this because I focus less on the market and the photographic skills needed and put much more detail around the “OK, so how do I do it?” question, with chapters about how to work with each agency, a workflow for handling all the images, sections on keywords and keywording tips and so on. You can read more and buy Alex’s book for $7.50 via this link, but we both have agreed to bundle our books together for a grand total of only $10.99. This includes both the PDF and eBook formats and is a whopping $4.50 less than buying them from Amazon or individually. You can buy the bundle from my site here.

What sells on Fine Art America?

I currently have 620 images on Fine Art America, although I would be the first to admit that some of the early images I uploaded were probably not very suitable for display purposes. It is too easy to think of what might sell for stock, and just upload that, but in reality, people are looking for something to put on their walls and so you really need to think about what you yourself would be willing to print and frame. Of course, everyone’s view of art is different, but a combination of your view plus any social media input you might have (how many likes when you posted it on Instagram, say) is probably the best you can do. I’ve started to add more images recently and to help me decide what works, I wanted to see which images had sold in the past. As a result, this post has become – what has sold on FineArtAmerica?

April 2017 – $108 profit

I’ll work backwards from today so that you can see if there are any trends.  Continue Reading

How to decide whether to submit only to the “macro” sites

I mentioned Alexandre Rotenberg before but he has posted an interesting article on his blog about the decision whether to submit images as RF to all the microstock agencies or RM to the more expensive midstock or macro agencies.

That got me thinking about what this decision is really all about and whether he has asked the right question! So I’ll try and work through the question with some examples. Firstly, this is not really about RF or RM – if you recall one of my previous attempts to clarify RF, RM, Editorial and Commercial stock, RF and RM are just two different licensing types – RF gives the widest license as it allows the use any number of times for ever whereas RM defines the specific use case that the image is being licensed for. Logically, RF should be more expensive than RM (as it gives more rights), but that isn’t the way the industry has developed! Finally, editorial usage is a suggested restriction on the usage of an image because it is believed to contain either people or property which could cause legal issues if it was used to promote a product or a point of view. People often think that if you don’t have a model or property release, then it must be licensed as RM, but that is not the case. As I explained last week, I decided to place one of my images on Alamy as RM and I will try to delve deeper into the logic of that below.

Sunset near Princeville, Kauai

All the microstock agencies sell images as RF – because it is easy to understand and supports an automated “buy it now” or subscription plan. Continue Reading

How to use Stock Submitter for video

One of the many issues with uploading videos to stock agencies (apart from the sheer size of the files) is the lack of an ability to automatically keyword and describe the files before uploading them. That generally means you need to visit each agency and either upload a csv file with that required information or do a lot of copy and pasting to get each video file ready for submission. On my recent trip to Hawaii I took 31 videos – keeping my promise to myself to start to focus more on this side of stock. Some are straight 4K shots, some timelapses and quite a number are Point of View (POV) GoPro shots taken from the front of the rental car as we were driving the narrow roads on Maui.

The road to Hana on Maui

The roads (especially once you pass Hana in the deep south of the island and continue around the base of the volcano) are quite narrow with some great shots of the sea as you hope Continue Reading

Some real variability in sales this month

I’d become accustomed to two things recently in my earnings – one was the lack of large priced sales on Shutterstock and the other was the non-existence of sales on Alamy! This month (in fact the past week) has shattered my expectations (and in a good way!)

Normally, I get almost zero sales on Alamy. I don’t know why – I have 5500 images on the site under my own account. I think there are elements in the Alamy search that I either can’t be bothered to get to the bottom of (including that well selling pseudonyms tend to always come up higher in the search results) and that the positioning of keywords in the descriptions and in the list of keywords themselves make a difference to the search as well. As a result, I have outsourced some of my best images to another agency that manages them on Alamy on my behalf and I usually get a couple of hundred dollars a month via that route. Anyway, this month I have had nine sales in my own account with this one selling for $159 gross:

The new Capitol Building in Equatorial Guinea

All told, I will have earned $195 from Alamy sales this month alone. Continue Reading

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