#3: Senior farmer standing in field full length
About #5… it’s funny how often microstock photographers will ask whether or not they should style their food professionally prior to shooting… In my limited experience, single well styled photos do sell a lot, but profitability wise, unstyled photos make a lot more money when you look at the time and resources allotted to produce them versus a carefully styled shot. Sure, they won’t make your portfolio and they won’t impress anyone in the business, but they’re good bread and butter. That one is a good example: the mixer wasn’t even cleaned… a real live shot with minimal work on my end (placing the flash properly and fixing the colors in post mostly) that has done very, very well for me.
And now for today’s shot: one of two similar shots of this subject, this one is the full length version. Then there’s this other one, waist up. I put both up because I wanted to see if they would hurt each other’s chances at selling well. You see, sometimes I wonder if putting several similar shots just scatters the sales around, effectively stopping any of them from becoming search engine darlings. Well, all I can say is that in this case, they both did extremely well. Buyers tend to buy both versions once in a while. On Istock, where luck (timing, effects of bugs, search engine quirks) is such a huge factor as to whether or not your file will take off, one has done much better than the other. Had I sent only the one that did badly, I would have missed on the chance at some good revenue and thought the shoot was a dud. So, to me, close variations are good with a winning commercial subject / concept – you can even space them out in the submitting process by a few months and try different timings — so all good.
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NOTE: Most of the sales on this countdown came from a combination of agencies prior to my becoming exclusive with Istock. Sales over there will not reflect the rankings of this list.