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Which photo sells on Shutterstock? Comparing top-selling images with low performers

Jun 06, 2021
Hello everyone, this is not a cold glass and I'm back with another video on your favorite topic, Shutterstock, and in today's unscripted video I'm just going to pull a few different

photo

s from my Shutterstock portfolio and show you an example of what that is sold. next to something that doesn't sell and I'll give you a couple of my thoughts on why this might now be what

sells

and what doesn't sell this might be different for you it might be different for everyone obviously I'm just Speaking from my side From my own experience, I don't work for Shutterstock and I don't have any kind of secret insider knowledge.
which photo sells on shutterstock comparing top selling images with low performers
All I have are my own observations, but I thought it would be interesting to put two

photo

s side by side and talk a little. about why I think one of them discharges and why the other doesn't, so let's get right into it, so the first two photos are photos of the Washington Monument in Washington DC, they're both pretty nice,

which

one do you think?

sells

one of them has never been downloaded while the other is constantly downloaded so the one that has never been downloaded is the photo a

which

is the photo of the Washington Monument at sunset the one that is always downloaded is the photo of the Washington Monument with the frozen reflecting pond in front of it, although the sunset photo is quite beautiful, in my opinion the photo with the frozen reflecting pond is probably much more valuable to buyers because it is very, very rare for the reflecting pond to freeze like this way and that. people just walk on it, this usually only happens if there are record cold temperatures and it's all over the news when this happens and when we have these kind of really cold, record breaking days my photo of the frozen reflecting pond is downloaded. very often, so that's my opinion on why one sells and the other doesn't.
which photo sells on shutterstock comparing top selling images with low performers

More Interesting Facts About,

which photo sells on shutterstock comparing top selling images with low performers...

The next set of photos are both photos of the White House, but from totally different perspectives. One is a nice photo of the White House taken from inside the White House grounds. So it gives a very nice angle of the White House and I think it's quite nice, but that one doesn't really download. The one that is downloaded is the photo of the protesters in front of the White House and it is not difficult to see why. Obviously, there are already hundreds of thousands of beautiful photos of the White House on Shutterstock, so chances are that if someone refers to a photo of the White House, they'll pick something from the first page of search results, but If it's a news agency or a website or whatever, someone needs a photo of that specific protest that happened on that specific day, they can find my photo, so it has a lot of news value and I think that's why that photo is downloaded so frequently.
which photo sells on shutterstock comparing top selling images with low performers
The next two photos are photos of two animals. now which one do you think downloads better the cat has never been downloaded sorry kitty I know it's a cute cat but no, the one that gets downloaded most often is the photo of the great hornbill bird and that's because there are fewer photos of great hornbills on Shutterstock than cats when you type great hornbill bird there are 44 pages of search results when you type cat there are 19,000 647 pages of results and note that there are about a hundred

images

per page now there are great hornbill birds is still relatively saturated on Shutterstock, but much less than cats, so obviously this great hornbill bird has not been flushed many times, but only a few and definitely more than the cat, so if you are taking photographs of wildlife, the more unique the wildlife is.
which photo sells on shutterstock comparing top selling images with low performers
A wildlife photo is more likely to be downloaded, cats and dogs forget about it unless you have some kind of unique perspective for your cat photo, so the next set of photos is taken in Germany , not far from each other and one is a photo of the iconic Neuschwanstein Castle that every traveler wants to see when they go to Bavaria and the second photo is a photo of a parade that took place in a small town in Germany, a town called Provocation ganush where people wore traditional German costumes so which one downloads well the answer is simple you are probably already noticing the patterns here the photo of the castle does not download until it saturates the photo of the people in the parade does download because I was probably the only person who put photos of that parade on Shutterstock and you know it's probably more useful if people want photos of traditional German costumes in that city.
There are far fewer of those photos on Shutterstock than there are of Neuschwanstein Castle. Less competition, so the next two photos are The two drone photos I took, one is a drone shot taken over a beautiful lake in the fall and the second is a photo of downtown Annapolis in the fall, which is sold If you guessed the lake, you guessed wrong, the lake photo doesn't sell much. I often want to say that it has been downloaded several times, but not enough to make it a best-

selling

photo. It's just a lake, there's nothing special about it and, I mean, there are countless lakes in the world like I don't even know how many.
There would be millions I don't know about and can't compete with all the other drone photos of beautiful lakes in the world. It's simply impossible. The only way for that particular photo to be discovered and downloaded is if someone is searching. for the name of that particular lake, which probably won't happen very often now that the photo of downtown Annapolis in the fall is downloaded quite frequently, it's actually pretty interesting because there aren't that many drone shots of downtown Annapolis in Shutterstock like maybe a couple of pages but nothing like the drone shots you'd see, you know some of the other cities in the area for some reason so my drone photo of Annapolis ended up on the first page of the results of search for aerial photos of Annapolis, so that's one of my best-

selling

photos in my entire Shutterstock portfolio.
The following set of photos were taken in Washington DC. One is sold. If you guess the capital building, you are wrong. Well, the capital building at sunset is quite beautiful. It is also in a saturated niche there are so many photos of the capital sunrise at sunset in winter in summer with people without people like you, there are already so many photos for that photo not to be discovered however this very boring photo of the Department of Labor and the sign trans are constantly downloaded several times a week and that's because last time I checked, this was the only photo of the Department of Labor on Shutterstock that had the actual name of the Department of Labor, so I guess it adds that touch only. perspective like someone is writing an article about the Department of Labor or just talking about some things and legislation or whatever and they just need a simple photo documenting what they're talking about, like they'll often download it next time. two photos I really love this example are both photos of soda bottles, they display photos of coke bottles.
Exhibit B is photos of Mountain Dew bottles that sell better if you look closely. The exhibit displays Coca Cola bottles as they are seen today. Exhibit B is vintage Mountain Dew. bottles from I don't know what year, maybe from the 50s or 60s, and I actually found these bottles in a little antique museum in town in the middle of nowhere and I took a couple of photos of them so that the bottles of modern looking coke The photo never really sells, but vintage Mountain Dew bottles sell all the time and you can probably guess why the vintage bottles are so unique.
There really isn't much competition for that and if anyone is looking for specific photos of the bottles. As they looked many decades ago, you will find my photo, while the Coca-Cola bottles as they look today, there are already tons of that on Shutterstock and the last two photos were taken at Starbucks, one of which is selling well and another shows the Starbucks name. I know it was on the outside of the store and the other photo has the Starbucks straws and a couple of other things that were inside this door and the one that is sold quite often are the straws, in fact, the straws are one of the best-selling photos. mine, you may have seen them in another video of mine before.
In many videos I say that storefront photos generally work well, but that's only if those photos aren't super saturated on Shutterstock. Starbucks is already very popular and there are tons of photos of Starbucks already signed on Shutterstock, so that type of photography probably won't work as well, but if you're photographing a small detail at Starbucks or something that isn't too saturated on the platform, You'll probably already have a little bit more luck with that, so these are just some examples of photos that sell for me versus photos that don't sell for me and my thoughts on why this might be again, these are just my thoughts, this isn't scientific evidence or anything, but I hope this gives you a little perspective on how you can get a unique perspective on something and make your photos a little more valuable to the buyer.
Thank you very much for watching this video. Subscribe to my channel if you haven't given this video a thumbs up yet and let me know in the comments below which of these photos surprised you the most. Were you surprised that they sold or were you surprised that they didn't sell? I'm curious to know yours. Thoughts on this until next time, enjoy the rest of the day.

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