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The Impossible Dream?

Today was a milestone for me—10,000 sales. So, I feel like celebrating and sharing my news. In the early years, I never thought it possible to reach such a milestone. It was my impossible dream.

Living a dream is not easy. It takes hard work and perseverance And the nature of the business has changed. But I am still thrilled that every day someone wants to purchase one of my photos. It is exciting to see my images on book covers, in popular travel books, and on important websites.

Iceberg with an Arch, Antarctica

If you are looking for words of wisdom, I have no magical insights to pass on. Just my personal list of do’s and don’ts that I have developed through my years at Dreamstime. Hopefully it will help.

1. Be patient, it takes time to build a marketable portfolio, and experience significant sales. I saw a shift in sales once I hit 1000 images in my portfolio.

2. Understand what makes a good photograph, and why a photograph has sales potential. A beautiful fine art image will not necessarily sell well. Think in terms of the story you are portraying—the concept you are describing—and what type of buyer you are appealing to.

Fishing at Sunrise, Colorado Rocky Mountains

3. Constantly work to improve how you take and process your images. Learn to be consistent and efficient. This is very important when you are working with a great number of files to upload for sale.

4. Distinguish your images and your brand—develop an identifying style or niche. Do not dilute your brand. It is better to upload fewer high quality images with sales potential then lots of bad images with no potential. Delete the images that are not selling. Keep the clutter down and quality up. Photography may be your passion, but selling images is your business. Treat it like a business.

5. Step outside your comfort zone and diversify. Learn to photograph subjects you have not photographed before. Diversification is important and should bring more buyers. I had never used a large soft box on an off-camera flash or photographed models before coming to Dreamstime. Looking back, I have done very well with sales of images using models, as well as my travel images.

Party Girls

6. Understand how metadata works, and take the time to input it to your strategic advantage on each of your uploaded images. By strategic advantage I mean be careful on your choice and number of key words, understand how “Title” and “Description” work vis-à-vis the search engine. Don’t make your titles too long. Provide a very specific description. You can have the best images in the world but if the images can’t be found, what’s the point of trying to sell them.

Sunrise, Panama City, Panama

7. Our fellow Contributors are a wealth of information. Their eagerness to share is what distinguishes the Dreamstime community. Read their blogs and message boards, even the archives. I read everything when I first got started. That is how I eventually found my way.

8. Have fun. Otherwise, what is the point? You certainly won’t get rich at Dreamstime, although you may make enough to pay for your equipment.

Good luck to all of you! I wish you many milestones☺

Photo credits: Adeliepenguin.

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December 25, 2017


Thank you Dgmate and Oakdalecat!

December 24, 2017


Congrats, what a feat!!

December 24, 2017


congratulations and thanks for the tips...I think I'll redo some of my titles (long!)! On to your next 10,000!

November 23, 2017


Good Luck to you Andreasimon. I wish you many sales!!

November 23, 2017


Great advice. Thank you very much for your insight. I will try to put in practice some of your advice. At the moment I am at the beginning of building my portfolio and hope to start being visible to buyers and that they like and buy what they see.Wish you many more such great milestones!

October 03, 2017


Good article

October 02, 2017


Again, thank you all so very much.

October 01, 2017


Congratulations your image are stunning!

September 20, 2017


congrats :)

September 11, 2017


Good article with good advice! Congratulations on this big milestone! Your portfolio is awesome!

August 29, 2017


Awesome article and congrats!

August 27, 2017


Maen, you have always been my big supporter. Thank you again:) And again:)

August 27, 2017


I am overwhelmed with the response. Thank you all.

August 26, 2017


Congratulations to you for such a awesome milestone...

August 25, 2017


Congratulations! 10k sales is uimaginable number of sales for me, for some reason Dreamstime is quite poor for me in this aspect :)

August 24, 2017


thank you for this and gratulation! my milestone is 100 pictures :) but i just started, will see what happens :)

August 24, 2017


You're doing a great job! More milestones to come :)

August 24, 2017


There is not much talk.
Titles,descriptons,and keywords,even if appropriate,can't be found,or in hundreds of pages.What to do?Listen and teach. Zhaofuxin

August 23, 2017


Looking at your portfolio, I can definitely see why you hit this milestone. Congratulations, it's a huge one.

August 23, 2017


Congratulations and thank you very much for the advice, I just started I'm lost, thank you from the heart.

August 21, 2017


Hugoht--it has been forever!! I hope you are well. It looks like you and I are still here, and still selling. I can't believe how quickly the years fly. Thank you for your nice comment. I could say the same about your photos.

August 21, 2017


Westwoodkuba and Bluwarrior, I hope my tips help you with sales! Thank you.

August 21, 2017


really useful tips thanks

August 21, 2017


Amazing job my friend!
Your images are stunning as usual.

August 21, 2017


Congratulations Adelie,for your milsetone and achivement ( and your tips :)
All the best!

August 20, 2017


Enjoyed your photos, they are so beautiful! Congrats on your milestone and thanks for your advise.

August 20, 2017


Again, thank you all. Yes, Hel080808 it takes time to maintain a portfolio.

August 20, 2017


Again, thank you all. Yes, Hel080808 it takes time to maintain a portfolio.

August 20, 2017


Wow, that's fantastic! Only 1551 photos in your portfolio and 10.000 sales! Congratulations to your great work and outstanding photos! I think I have to delete some photos, but it's not possible to delete a lot in one month.
All the best to you for your future work!

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