Back in the Seventies and Eighties I founded and ran several Fleet Street photo agencies specialising in stock images of celebrities from pop stars to politicians. These were syndicated to the National and International press and Television. These days I am active in the Microstock world and this blog charts my journey as well as, hopefully, providing inspiration and ideas to others. Image buyers should also find this blog useful with links to my portfolios and regular updates on new uploads. Unless otherwise stated all images are my copyright and may not be reproduced or copied. Comments are very welcome but will be reviewed before publication. Enjoy your visit. Regards, David.

Thursday, 19 November 2015

Shutterstock Galleries - The Joy Of Sets:

From Set: Margaret Thatcher and Beyond
For any contributors not familiar with Shutterstocks excellent Gallery (or Sets) feature or those that have seen them but are unsure how to set them up and make use of them this post will attempt to give you a basic overview and guide. Obviously, if you only have a handful of images accepted there or your portfolio is of totally diverse subjects these are something you will not need at this point.

Setting up your Sets:
Starting from the Contributor Home page of Shutterstock hover over the "Portfolio" tab (upper left of the page) to reveal the drop down menu. Click on "Catalog Manager". This will take you to thumbnails of all your images which you can sort by Most Popular/Newest First/Oldest First. Now click on one or more images which you wish to make a set from (for example, images of New York). Now click on "Add To Set" (top right of your screen). This will bring up a box with a drop down menu of your existing sets (once you have them) and a "Create New Set" button. Using this gives you the prompt to type in the name of your new set New York and then add your selected images.
From set: Halki and Nisyros islands
Congratulations! You now have your first Set up and running -well almost. Your set/s will now be listed on the left of the screen -click on the word "Sets" to reveal the list. After the name of your set you will see the number of images it contains in brackets. Now click on the name of your set to view it. The full catalogue of images on screen will be replaced by just images from your chosen set. Next click on the "Actions" link (top right of screen). This gives you three options: Show Stats (gives you total downloads and total income for each image in the set. Edit Set Name (you may wish to change or refine the name of your set). Publish/Unpublish This Set (this is the important one -your new set must be Published before it is visible to buyers so click on that. Once a set is published the button will change to Unpublish -should you later wish to have it hidden. Obviously, if you just wish to use the Sets for your own personal organisation of images, you can leave it Unpublished.
From Set: Aviation and Airshows

Choosing a cover image for your set:
By default one of your Set images will become the cover image. To change this first click on the existing cover image and you will receive a prompt to click on another image of your choice. Just do that and it will automatically become your cover image. You can change and update this whenever you want.

Adding new images to your sets:
Now you have some Sets established you'll want to add further images to them. There are several ways of doing this. You can, if you want, just go through each page of your portfolio (in the Catalog Manager) clicking on each image you wish to add to a Set then use the Add To Set link (top right) as before. You can add as many as you want in one go. Don't worry about accidentally adding the same image more than once to a set (it will not let you!).
If you have a big portfolio there is a much quicker way, however. In the Catalog Manager use the "Filter By Keyword" boxes (top left of the screen). Type in the relevant keyword for your set e.g. New York and hit Filter. Now only images with the keywords New York will be visible. Just click on all of them and then Add To Set. For new images recently accepted change the sort order in the Catalogue Manager to Newest First then just click and add as before. Should you wish to remove an image from a set just click on it and an X will appear in the top right. Just click that to remove. This will not delete your image from Shutterstock -only remove from that set!
From Set: Seventies Bands

Now I have sets, what do I do with them?
This is the fun part. The part where you get to encourage potential buyers to view your sets and, hopefully, give you a sale. Even if not purchasing right away they may well remember your images for future reference. To do this you need to select a set from your list in the Catalog Manager. In the top right of the screen (next to Actions) is another link for "Share". Clicking this gives you several options. Click the Twitter logo to automatically post a Tweet linking to your set. You can also "recommend" your set on Facebook (this one is a bit disappointing as it doesn't put it slap on your timeline for all to see but tucks it away over on the left of your Timeline along with the Friends/Likes etc lists. The third option is to copy and paste the displayed link to the set. Use this for posting on Google+, your own blog, anywhere you like really -without spamming, obviously.

Anything else useful about my sets?
Now that you have Sets you'll now notice that you can add five of them to your Contributor Home page under Track Your Sets. This will give you an, at a glance, view of the stats for each set (number of images, total downloads, total sales in $). Change these five at any time by clicking on Select Sets.

Finally, a couple of things in conclusion. Firstly do NOT overdo the sharing thing. A link to a great set of images that people may enjoy looking at soon becomes spam if you constantly bombard them with the same links. Be considerate. Secondly, what to put in each set? Every image you have of a particular subject? Or just a selection of your best images to serve as an appetiser to search your entire portfolio? I think everyone will have different views on that and that's the great thing -it's entirely up to you. Personally, I now include everything I have. Good luck with setting up a promoting your own Sets. Regards, David.

No comments: