Communicate with others via Private Messaging
One of the most requested features that was recently
added is Private Messaging. Released during the second half of July,
Private Messaging allows ShutterPoint members to communicate with each other in the way
similar to e-mail. Instantly access your Inbox from any page by simply clicking the
Messages icon (located at the top right hand side of any page), and send messages to
members who reviewed your photo, or to anyone else
by clicking the small blue envelope icon shown on various pages throughout the website.
Tip 1: When you get new messages, the Messages icon will flash twice when you
access any page at ShutterPoint website.
Tip 2: If you sent a message, but still have no response, look at your Sent Messages -
you will see a column indicating whether your message has been read by the
Tip 3: Want to send a message to someone, but don't know how to address
the recepient? There are several formats of the To: field the website will understand:
a) Last name and first name separated by a comma;
b) First name and last name separated by a space;
d) Any text followed by username in parenthesis.
We have received very enthusiastic feedback on another fairly recent addition made in
July: Search Spy. Search Spy
records all phrases that publishers use to locate photos
with our Search Engine - you can always review these search phrases at
Why bother looking at them? Search Spy gives you hints on which images are sought, and
new search phrases appear there all the time. Every one of these searches could
potentially result in a photo sale, and the sold photo could have been yours.
Keywords are the best way that lets you ensure your photo gets the attention it deserves.
Well used keywords are the next best thing you can do to improve your chance to sell the
photo (after shooting the photo that can sell). Why? Publishers rarely browse through
recent photos, or through albums. They look for a specific photo, and they use the search tool
to find it. Your photo may be exactly what they need, but if you don't assign proper
keywords, it may never be found. Let us remind you that ratings do not affect the order of
search results in any way, what does affect it is the relevance of the content.
Let's have a quick look at Search Spy list
again. Can you see how many searches had produced no results?
This sometimes happens because photos are not described by appropriate keywords,
or have no keywords at all.
If you want to be able to correctly position your photos so they are found next time, follow these 3
Commercial images vs. artistic photos?
- Review Selling Photos tips,
especially Keywords section.
- Learn how search works - unless specified otherwise, search terms are matched with the photo title,
keywords, and description. When submitting photos, use the right words to describe them, and try
to avoid being too general.
- Revisit the photos you have already submitted and review the keywords (along with
titles, descriptions and categories you assigned). Modify them if needed.
Many ShutterPoint members are asking us what types of photos sell better. While
better photos in general should sell better, it is also important to understand
the demand. Photography is the form of art, and any good photographer is an artist. We
can see the proof of this statement by simply browsing through the
highest rated photos.
We see stunning colors or beautiful sunsets, vivid images of exotic flowers,
landscapes that make us say "wish we were there", and many other fine photos.
However, what does the Search Spy
show? While we can locate some searches matching these artistic images, it’s easy
to see that the majority of the searches indicate the need for a totally different type of
photos. This type of photos is what we call commercial images, for the lack of any better
term. While artistic photos are also commercial, and can be sold just as well, publishers
often need something else - not necessarily artistic or beautiful, but simple, everyday
items as photo subjects. Who would think someone needs the photo of a
"broken windshield", "brick road", "hospital" or
"telephone"? Those are all recent search phrases.
What to make subjects of photos is the decision of every photographer. We’re only
trying to point out the possible difference between supply and demand.
More about watermarks
Watermark on top of the photo is the best protection from copyright theft, but it has its
trade-offs. Watermarked photos lose some of their aesthetic appeal, since watermark
distracts attention from the subject of the photo, and sometimes blocks important elements
of it. Keeping the balance between protection and best presentation of the photo
may not be easy with a standard watermark. Below are some tips to get best results with
- Create your own custom watermark, and use colors that would look best on light background, and then create another watermark with colors that would look best on dark background. Use one or another depending on the photo you are watermarking.
- One of the recent features we added is the ability to control positioning of the watermark over the image. Choose top, bottom, or centered location depending on each photo.
- If you are using custom watermark, try to reduce its opacity percentage. You do not want the watermark to be drawing attention away from your photo. Use the lowest percentage that still makes the watermark visible.