Photography

Microstock? Why Not? My Journey & Advice

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Somebody rightly said, “If You Can’t Beat Them, Join Them”, this may sound surrender, but if you imply this to microstock industry, then it will be a smart choice. I'm convinced that microstock photographic libraries have divided opinion in the photographic community, I’m not here to debate on the division, but to celebrate my milestone with this industry. Before I go further into details, let me explain what microstock photography is in a nutshell.
 
The microstock photography is letting amateurs, semi-professional photographers and designers to sell their work to a wider audience from around the world. Previously the market was reserved to only limited professional photographer with a large portfolio of images, there was no way a small time photographer could break into this business.
 
I’m glad that I have been part of this industry for over 6 years, and today I have achieved a personal milestone and with this blog, I would like to encourage anyone with a pretty decent camera to join the bandwagon, you will not make much money, if you are serious you could, but surely it will open many new avenues for you.  And at the same time you will be making several friends (photographers) from around the world.  And it will be a great learning experience, and a joy to see your work being used somewhere.
 
It would be great if you join using my referral links, I’m active in 6 stock photo sites, which are: Dreamstime, Shutterstock, 123RF, CanStock, Deposit Photo, Big Stock Photo and Fotolia and there are many other, (I’m sure google will lend a helping hand to find the rest) and at the end of this blog I have added few links from Microstock Insider Website which will guide you and give you quick head start. If you get stuck somewhere, please drop an email and I will be glad to help.
 
There is a misconception that stock photo qualities are very poor quality and photographers don’t earn much. I strongly disagree with these statements, I have been in the design industry for over 10 years and if I had maintained an accountant, he could have given me the stats, but I can blindly say that I would have bought images worth 75K USD and I'm still buying.
 
Some big companies and clients from UAE and abroad with whom I have worked have used microstock images in almost all their marketing materials, and my fellow designer will agree with me that microstock market has changed beyond all recognition and this industry is going to stay for a long.
 
If you browse through my portfolio of stock images, with just 350 plus images I have managed to earn around 10K USD, and I know some friends of mine who have shot stock photos for years and now they earn more than 1000 to 3000 USD a month. According to Jim Pickerell the gross worldwide revenue that is generated from the licensing of stock imagery, both still photos and illustrations, is about $1.8 billion annually.
 
Give it a try to see if it changes your perception and who knows you might just become the next Yuri Arcurs

On a lighter but serious note, I’m looking for people for my stock photography (young, old, male, female, kids, teens, any ethnic, etc) to be featured in my photo story, if you want free professional pictures images, drop me a line and we take it further from there.
 
Before You Start, spend some time on the below articles, these articles are provided by Microstock Insider
What is Microstock photography?
How much can you earn from Microstock?
Introduction to Licensing Images
Image Usage Licenses Explained
Contemplating starting out as a Microstock Photographer
16 Things a Beginning Microstocker should know
 
Prior Planning Prevents
What kind of Images sell best?
What type of Camera do I need for microstock?
Photographer Application Process - Getting a Good Start
Editing and Preparing Photos for Upload
Copyright and Trademarked Subjects
Titles and Descriptions that Sell
 
Day to Day Uploads and Selling
Photo Keywording Tips
Keyword Editing Software
Uploading Microstock Images
5 Common Reasons for Microstock Rejection
Noise and Artifacts: Reason for Rejection
In Sharp Focus : Reason for Rejection
 
Analysis, Growing Successful
For how long will my Photos Continue to Sell?
Analysing what Sells in Microstock
Your Photo Portfolio / Bio Website
Exotic Photo Locations: Your Backyard
Most Popular Microstock Keywords
 
Building Your Income
Image Style: Microstock v Traditional Stock
Microstock Traveller - Working while on Holiday?
Making Affiliate/Referral Programs Work
Promoting your Stock Image Portfolio
Microstock Submission Calendar
 
Getting Serious
Why not just sell the images yourself ?
Should I set up my own photo blog?
Microstock Workflow Introduction by Example
Backups for Photographers - Protect your Portfolio
Exclusive or Non-Exclusive: A Microstock Dilemma
Some Thoughts about Going Professional
 
Microstock Reference Library
Glossary of Stock Photo Terms
Ask the Microstock Online Community
Blogs and Links
 
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