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Photography DiscussionHow To Sell Art

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Re: How To Sell Art

Post by minniev » Mon Apr 16, 2018 12:39 pm

PietFrancke wrote:
Fri Apr 13, 2018 8:52 pm
so here is my baseline... I uploaded fifteen images, three are still pending review. Eight got accepted, four have been rejected. One of the rejects is actually my favorite (the nuthatch), the rejection comments may be interesting about how "artistic" to make a piece. (they prefer the more straight forward images I think).

I think the claw image was rejected due to subject matter (I am not sure). The boat image was upsized, so that might be while it failed, or it might be too artistic... The beach image is another of my favorites and I was surprised that it was rejected. (mist is not exactly sharp...)

If I make four or five dollars off of this effort, I will at last be able to say that I am a PRO - LOL.

I have read that good tagging (which sounds cumbersome) is a must. I also read that they don't tend to like artistic creations as those buying stock are gonna have their own editors work it anyway. They just want the raw material.
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Post by PietFrancke » Mon Apr 16, 2018 1:23 pm

yup, I am not at all hopeful. You never know who wants what, but I think it is as you and Duck say. Artistic skills are to sooth the soul. Well, I should not be too harsh on artistic skills, I am sure that people doing portraits find them useful.

edit - it will months before a bite (if ever), but my one week conclusion is that "how to sell art" and "stock" do not fit well within the same thread!!

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Post by mikec » Mon Apr 16, 2018 9:14 pm

I don't think I would want to do stock. Don't have enough photos to merit the time or effort but I wonder how those with web sites like I have seen on SmugMug work out. On other photo forums I have seen links to the contributors web site and have visited and wondered if they are generating any income.
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Post by Charles Haacker » Sat Apr 21, 2018 2:42 pm

Duck wrote:
Mon Apr 16, 2018 1:08 am
Like you, Charles, I find doing stock way too difficult to deal with. I made an attempt some years back but pulled my stuff down since I could really devote time to creating content.

The thing with stock photography is you can't just take photos like an art photographer. Stock art has to have some form of commercial value. It needs to sell a concept, idea or lifestyle. A 'pretty' picture won't cut it and will only sit in limbo without generating sales. Creating good stock imagery is like tackling a commercial photography job. You have to determine who your audience is, what the message you're conveying is and then execute it with technically professional quality results. A good stock image will also take into consideration things like left to right reading audiences, leading space for text and copy, a concise and easily understood concept or message, and so much more.

Yep, too much work for the average photographer and a low rate of return for many professionals too. Those that make it in stock do so because they are already shooting that kind of content in their business.
My take on it is, what do I have to lose, aside from time? I am retired, plus widowed, so I actually have too much time on my hands and an accursed lifetime tendency to broody depression. It costs me nothing (except the time) to have pictures up on Shutterstock and I've been mildly surprised that one of my top "sellers" is a wildflower shot that had the scientific name in the caption and keywords. I have a lot of wildflowers up because (1) I love them and (2) they don't need releases. :lol:

Accordingly I just put up about 100 more shots, and in the process learned quite a bit more from the rejects. Shutterstock (and maybe all stock agencies) will not accept anything, anything! that has any sort of brand identification on it, even if it's antique paving blocks stamped by companies out of business for nearly a century! They will not accept a picture with a century-old "ghost" sign on a building in the background (but if I clone it out it ruins the atmosphere). They say there is no such thing as "public domain." They rejected a picture of a static display 1901 steam locomotive because the logo of the long-defunct railroad is on the tender (they'll take it if I clone it out but then what's the point?). They will not accept any picture of any statuary made after 1900! They would take them as Editorial, but not Commercial, unless I have property release, which has to be signed by an actual officer of whoever owns the thing (not the security guard or the homeless guy), plus the signatures of the photographer AND the legally entitled officer must be witnessed by a THIRD party who must be physically present to witness the signatures. :S

Being a card-carrying shy person that, for me, rules out anything requiring a release of any kind, but there are all sorts of workarounds I can think of, the most obvious being to clone out identifications when practical. On that 1901 engine I also shot all kinds of details, of the drivers and connecting rods, the bell, the steam dome, the whistle, all shots that could conceivably sell provide the original ownership of the engine is not revealed in the title or keywords (that will also get a picture rejected, at least on Shutterstock).

So I'm learning the ropes, and do plan to upload more on the principle that it can't hurt, and I have the time. The frustration level is already simmering down owing to learning the ropes, so from my footloose perspective, why not? Nothin' t'lose. :| :doh: :wall:
Rejected for (I presume) the logo of the very long defunct railroad on the tender. I cloned out the other stuff on the Caboose and they rejected it again.
Rejected for the Milady ghost signage in the background
ACCEPTED because this view does not include the Milady signage. Milady Coffee and H. R. Lau went out of business many, many years ago.
Rejected, sculpture less than 100 years old, presumed copyrighted by the sculptor
Rejected because century-old paving blocks carry the manufacturers' imprints, but the picture is not a picture without them
Friends call me Chuck. :photo: This link takes you to my Flickr albums. Please click on any album to scroll through it.
(I prefer to present pictures in albums because I can put them in specific order.)

All the great photographers use cameras! No, really. :|

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