26 Mar 2008 Microstock CrÃ©me de la CrÃ©me
Microstock contributor Didier Kobi of Switzerland has created an interesting resource for other contributors to quickly see the top photos from many of the top contributors – la crÃ©me de la crÃ©me of microstock. Check it out at his Studio Araminta page.
His page lists the top selling photos from various top contributors at Dreamstime. Each photo is represented by a thumbnail with a color coded border to illustrate its quantity of sales. It also provides statistics on the average number of downloads per photo for each contributor along with their time registered on the site, total portfolio size and total sales quantity.
This information represents an opportunity for contributors to learn from the top contributors’ photos. In one page it demonstrates what subjects sell well, the professionalism of top shots, and the various styles of successful microstock photographers.
However, at the same time it represents a threat to creativity and originality. It’s all too tempting to just make a list of the top selling photos and replicate them. Of course this already happens via the top seller lists found at various agencies.
Microstock has made it easy for people to make money copying the work of others, but at the same time it has brought amazing variety to the stock photo market. Each contributor chooses their own balance between copying and drawing inspiration from others. Didier’s statistics tool helps contributors do both.
Successful stock photographers already use this combination. They look carefully at each image for what makes them successful. Often the best results come from finding the concepts or messages in the top selling images and creating an original shot that portrays the same concept.
Didier has also created a comparison tool which allows contributors to compare the performance of their portfolios at Dreamstime, iStockphoto and StockXpert to those of another contributor. It shows the portfolio size and time registered on the site for both portfolios, making it a useful gap analysis tool. Simply compare yourself to Ron, Andres or Yuri and you’ll get an insight into what lies between you and the market leaders. But only attempt this when you’re feeling ambitious, as seeing your sales figures side-by-side with these gurus can be quite depressing.