Selling Photos on-line, is it hype or true? – PD-Images archive

So we see the ads in magazines and on line about making $1000’s from taking simple picture with your digital camera.  The question to ask if it is really so easy wouldn’t everyone do it?  If everyone does it how would anyone make money?

Welcome to the world of MicroStock photography.  Let’s start by setting the record straight.  First not everyone can do this.  You can’t use any point and click camera and take pictures.  To be successful you will need at minimum a mid-range DSLR outfit.  You will need to calibrate your computer monitor so it accurately displays colors and of course proper “WHITE” settings.  Once you have this covered your images must be technically correct when it comes to exposure, white balance and of course focus.  Don’t try to “sharpen” your images or they will NOT make it through the review process.  Speaking of the review process in addition to technically correct your images need to have some commercial value.  The reviews don’t let just anything through like those ads lead you to believe.  You will need to have some skills, take a class, read books and learn before you leap…

Now if you think you have the technical skill needed to make it in Stock photography and get past those pesky reviewers lets talk about those $1000’s the ads claim you’ll make!!  I hate to burst your bubble but this won’t happen quickly and maybe not at all.  You are going to compete with millions (yes MILLIONS) of other images.  You will have to learn not just the tech stuff but now the marketing side.  What images sell and can you do better than the other guy.  Your images need to be high quality and what people want.  If you upload a guy dressed as a businessman how many similar images are there?  You may also want to do a search because if you look at most popular you will be behind all those photographers who’s photos have been there for years.  Do a search, learn what is there, try to be different.  Sometimes it just isn’t easy and you’ll give in just to get images out there.

That brings up the next point.  If you have 100 images I have 1000 images and there is another photographer lets call him ‘Yurie” [name has been change to protect the…] who has 24000 images, who is going to get the most views and more likely to get sales?  How long do you think it will take to make $1000’s with 100 images?  MicroStock pays 25 cents per subscription sale up to $30 for an extended sale.  I’m sure you can do the math but when I first started I made a whopping $34 total my first month.  That $34 was the combined total of 10 different agencies.  I still don’t have what I would call steady income from my 1000 images but I do OK. 

 So, it sounds bad at this point but I can assure you of a few things that make it sound good and that has kept me going.  I have learned a lot and gotten much better at photography and photo finishing.  The people in the forums are great and always willing to help with questions.  I’ve seen a consistant increase in my sales as long as I continue to upload new images.  I would not have been able to upgrade my equipment if I did not have the additional income MicroStock has provided.  If I continue to grow my portfolio and sales within the next year I should have enough income from MicroStock to cover renting a studio space…  I currently have an in home small studio.  So, if you don’t plan to get rich soon and want to make a little extra money this venture could be for you.  Want to sign up?!  Please support this blog by using the links on my main page.  These links allow me to get referral credit if you decide this is for you.  Thanks for reading!!

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