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SportsShooter.com: Member Message Board

Photoshelter Print Sales
Johnny Vy, Photographer, Photo Editor
Los Angeles | CA | | Posted: 6:38 PM on 01.30.14
->> A question for those of you who have uploaded your photo collections to Photoshelter as stock images with the goal of selling prints or licenses (i.e. Hawaii sunset, beach scenics, city skylines, etc etc).

A few questions:
1. What else do you put out there on photoshelter (either listed or unlisted)
2. How many sales have you made from others finding your images on Phothshelter?
3. If so, what was/were the images that sold?

I'm trying to get a feel for the types of things people are searching for out there. Thanks in advance!
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Ian L. Sitren, Photographer
Palm Springs | CA | USA | Posted: 9:06 PM on 01.31.14
->> Generally I do not think you will make any sales of any consequence, or at all for that matter, from people searching for general stock images. Just not going to happen.

The only way in my opinion to create some kind of successful inventory for stock image sales is for your inventory to be very specialized, unique and really good.

But even if you create an inventory that meets that criteria, you would still have to market availability of your inventory to likely clients for that inventory. In other words, the likelihood of sales by happenstance is slim and none.

By example, I am very well known for my bodybuilding photography. Most of my inventory is in unlisted galleries. But sales from just people happening across or searching for something is very seldom. Where I do generate sales is from clients and potential clients seeing a photograph I have shot that is in one of the galleries and then they ask if they can see more from a specific shoot. Or they request something else.

Again by example, a magazine in Sweden saw a photo on Facebook that I had posted of a guy (bodybuilding track runner) racing a freight train. They asked to see more from that series and I directed them to that unlisted gallery on PhotoShelter. They made a selection, selected their license, paid for them and downloaded the files. They became a feature on cardio with a double page spread and a few other photos on more pages.

My opinion is that it is not a matter of what people are "searching for out there". If you chase that, then it is like a commodity and becomes for them whatever is cheap. And that will be free. And free won't pay your bills.
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Ian L. Sitren, Photographer
Palm Springs | CA | USA | Posted: 9:09 PM on 01.31.14
->> I forgot… print sales… nobody is looking for prints. Unless you are doing something very specific for some groups or something, that is just not going to happen. And I guess those types of print sales are pretty much on life support.
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Phil Hawkins, Photographer
Fresno | ca | usa | Posted: 3:34 PM on 02.01.14
->> Ian, I'm not sure I understand what you're saying about print sales. I do fine art landscapes and get hammered all the time for prints even though I don't have a formal print ordering presence anywhere. (Working on that now...) Could you clarify?
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Ian L. Sitren, Photographer
Palm Springs | CA | USA | Posted: 5:03 PM on 02.01.14
->> Phil…

I was probably being overly broad. There is a market for prints but I do think it is one that has to be created specifically by someone and marketed. I have no doubt you have worked very hard to do exactly that.

As compared I do not think someone just putting photographs in a gallery and hoping people will drop by and buy prints would be successful.

Personally I have been somewhat successful in actual galleries with printed framed work. Looking to do that more.
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Johnny Vy, Photographer, Photo Editor
Los Angeles | CA | | Posted: 3:28 PM on 02.02.14
->> Thanks for your input everyone, on the board, and in private messages. I appreciate the insight.
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Peyton Williams, Photographer
Chapel Hill | NC | USA | Posted: 5:19 PM on 02.02.14
->> Definitely the "if you build it they will come" approach will not work when it comes to licensing images.

As others have mentioned having a stable of clients who know your work and know where to find it is going to be more successful than building a site and hoping images are found via Google.

I have had some random sells on my Photoshelter site to people who wanted to license images for editorial work; however, the vast majority of my sells are to established clients.
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Phil Hawkins, Photographer
Fresno | ca | usa | Posted: 2:41 PM on 02.07.14
->> I bought one of Peyton's shots once; of Michael Jordan kissing Dean Smith on top of the head! Classic!
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Thread Title: Photoshelter Print Sales
Thread Started By: Johnny Vy
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