This article is guest posted by Chris Ruminski.
In the world of microstock photography success stories are plentiful. If you have done any reading about microstock photography prior to this, you have probably heard of Yuri Arcurs. Let’s just say he has 40 people working for him. He is well known as the most successful microstock photographer in the world. It is stories like this that give us inspiration and the will power to attempt microstock photography. But it will be all for naught if we don’t create something that someone will want to buy.
It may be bad news for some, but not just any camera will do. There are certain expectations that the microstock photography agencies have when they review your photo application. This review process will be done when you first join (where you must get a certain number of photos approved to qualify) and when you submit photos after. This is how they weed out the poor photographers. You should check out the minimum megapixel and size requirements before you submit your photos. This will give you an inside track to what the agency’s expectations are and you will save yourself a lot of time and energy.
Anyone can take a picture of an orange. So why do other people’s orange photos sell better than yours? Aside from picture quality and lighting, there is a creative aspect to every shot. Think artistically when you are shooting the orange. What could you add to the picture to make it jump out at you? Should the shot be isolated? Should you slice it in half? You can do multiple things with one object to appeal to different people. The name of the game here is diversity. The more ways you can depict one object, the more opportunities you will have of selling an image.
What to Shoot
There is a market for everything. You can shoot a photo of the ground and someone may eventually buy it and use it as a background. Some markets are becoming saturated. What comes to your mind first? Don’t think that you are the only one who thought about it. Do some research and see if there is a lot of competition in that field. As with anything else on the internet, if you can find a niche to break into with microstock photography you will be more successful. It’s definitely okay to shoot outside your niche, but those photos may not sell as well.
Keyword your Photos
Marketing your Microstock photos is similar to marketing a website in that you have to use the right keywords in order to attract the right customers. You should use as many relevant keywords as possible to describe your photos. You should think in specific, broad, and related terms. You can even target some misspellings if you have enough keyword space. This can be a good way to tap into unclaimed markets on the major microstock sites. Choosing proper keywords is almost as important as taking quality photos.
There are many other factors that will affect how well your microstock photography sells. Using different lighting on the same object may appeal to different people. Editing the imperfections out of your photos is also a major factor. Microstock photography is for professionals and semi-professionals. If you have a creative mindset and a fair amount of patience, you can create a good supplemental income through microstock photography. You might even be able to make a living.
Microstock Photography isn’t the only way to make money online. By diversifying your efforts and trying new things, you may be able to make money online sooner than you thought.