Ask Steve a question!

A colleague of mine suggested that it might be helpful for people to be able to ask me questions and then I gather them together into similar subjects and provide my view on the answer. Sounds like a great idea so I will use this blog post to gather your questions.

As it happens, I am also part way through rewriting my book on Stock Photography, and getting a good idea of what sort of questions you have will also allow me to give longer and hopefully useful answers in the book as I go through the various chapters. Anyone who bought the book from my site since October 1, 2019 will get a free update, so you have no need to worry that you have just bought it and it is out of date!

So please put your questions in the comments area below. If you prefer, you can also use the Contact me page as an alternative. Or write your question on a $20 note and mail it to me perhaps!

One quick reminder – I moderate posts from first time posters, so it may take a few hours before your comment appears online. I only blog spam comments though – never ones from real people!

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16 Responses

  1. kevinjjjack says:

    I just read Robb Crocker’s book. In relation to keywording he says don’t use synonyms – that the search engines are smart enough to know them. He recommends using 15-20 keywords. I’m reading your book where you say 40 or so. I don’t know when his book was written; I know yours was 2017 and dealing with photos. I guess I’m asking for a keywording update and do you differentiate your video / photo keywording stragedy?

  2. Michele Jackson says:

    I would like a truthful and private review of my portfolio to gain your opinion on where my strengths and weaknesses lie, and how to improve. Please reply by email if you do that sort of thing, thanks

  3. Osa Eweka says:

    Hi Steve , Firstly i’d like to thank you for your Blog. It has been extremly useful since I got into Stock photography 2 years ago. What would suggest as the best file size for a picture ?

  4. Sue Gresham says:

    What would we do without you. I am in the process of ordering from Edelkrone just now. They had been busy with “black whatever” reductions…. I think that I need a Dolly One, a stand, where you can move the legs when out of doors on uneven ground and a Flextilt Head 2 pan/Tilt. I am still watching videos of it all to better understand. They know that I am buying because of you. Trouble with Andorra, that NO carriers come here, ‘cos of customs and other problems. So I am contacting a friend in Arizona, who can post on to me, normal mail. (We are “all” setting up a delivery place in nearby Spain so that we can order from Amazon and so on….Best wishes for Christmas and the New Year. Hope to have my long awaited website up and running soon.

  5. Jonas Rönnbro says:

    1. What happens when i die. Stockphoto earings goes to who?
    2. Taxes when i sell stockphotos on a site in an other country then my own. Do i pay in my own country or what?
    3. I sell stockphotos at 10 sites and one of my best sites is Mostphotos and i can see that you sell just a little on that site. It´s a site based in my home country Sweden and the sell most photos to Sweden and other countrys in Scandinavia. It´s not a question but maby interesting to write about in your exellent book. I mean that a good tip is to sell at local sites even if they are small.

  6. erdinc says:

    hi, whats best option for stock photo&video starters ? buying a cheap dslr or (same price) good smartphone ?

  7. melissa says:

    My question is – are we shooting ourselves in the foot by uploading the same photos to multiple agencies? I started out only on SS, but after reading your blog throughout 2018, I bit the bullet and uploaded to a bunch of agencies – other than SS, I upload to Adobe, iStock, Dreamstime, 123RF, Bigstock, Alamy and Deposit. I have pretty good success with this and I’ve increased my stock monthly income immensely by doing this – thank you!

    Though, I can’t help but question myself when the following happens:
    I’ll get a sale or two on, say, SS of a random travel location. Let’s call it a specific waterfall that isn’t exactly well-known. I’ll then look into my, say, Dreamstime account and low and behold, that same RANDOM waterfall picture was downloaded there, too, on or near the same day (usually it’s the same day). And then sometimes, I’ll look at a third agency (let’s say Adobe) and that same waterfall was downloaded there, too, the same day. Usually all for standard subscription price (but not always – sometimes it’s an on-demand price).

    I’ll google this waterfall to see if it made the news. Because, hey, that makes sense. But nope. Didn’t make the news.

    Any insight on what’s going on here? This can’t be a coincidence. Sometimes this happens a few times a month. I do seem to believe that some buyers do subscribe to several agencies, but it’s weird that they would download the same damn picture from two different agencies.

  8. Jeff Ross says:

    Hello Steve:

    On your website, you refer to iStock as having a “controlled vocabulary” and I find this a nuisance when I am trying to tag my files for multiple agencies. Do you start with iStock an use their “controlled vocabulary” when uploading to other sites or do you create a second set of tags for everything except iStock? I haven’t used stock submitter yet, but does that program take care of this issue?

    I don’t keyword all my tags for stock photos in Lightroom. When you are keyword/tag in Lightroom, is there a way to separate stock tags from others that are unrelated to stock uploads so they don’t get out-of-order/mixed in or do you just deal with it?

  9. Good solid questions, all of the above. My question has to do with model releases. I haven’t tried with stock uploader yet but from my experience with Adobe and SS, both require their own MRs and reject the generic ones I produce on my phone app Easy Release which work for iStock and others. Any workflow tips on this are appreciated as I find myself quickly getting very confused and bogged down. But kudos to Steve for having navigated this highly complex world so well and sharing what he does and how he does it all so systematically.

I'm always interested in what you think - please let me know!