What Is The Last Step In The Month-End Review Workflow Learn Digital Photography Now – How to Make Money From Photography

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Learn Digital Photography Now – How to Make Money From Photography

I am a web developer by profession, and my wife is a graphic designer. We started selling our photos online together over two years ago as a way to make a little extra money doing something we enjoyed doing. At the time, we only had a small 4 megapixel point-n-shoot camera, but my wife knew how to edit photos from her design studies in college. Back then we thought we also knew about photography, but now we know what we didn’t know then.

When we started selling our photos online, we only made $16 in the first month. Since it was something we were passionate about, we persevered and with a lot of research, raised the amount to $270 in six months. Since it was only a part-time hobby, we honestly didn’t expect it to make that much money as soon as it happened, but our early success convinced us of the potential and we immediately bought a digital SLR. It’s been over two years and we’re now making about $600 every month with a modest portfolio of about 700 photos listed by eight agencies. We still consider ourselves hobbyist photographers who create photos in our spare time.

Who sells photos on the microstock market? I reached out to hundreds of other microstock photo sellers online and was amazed at the variety of individuals contributing to this market, each with a similarly impressive variety of reasons. There are retired couples who just want to see their photos published, and I’ve met people who make tens of thousands of dollars every month. For some, microstock is a business, and for others, like me, it’s simply part of my overall income. Incredibly, one of the largest groups of contributors are photography students – both those who have chosen photography as a career and hobbyists who study for fun.

Why is microstock so good for students? There are three main reasons: freedom; money; and education.

Participation in Microstock is free and there are no fixed working hours, no bosses and most importantly, no deadlines. Microstock pays money which is great considering that photography is not a cheap endeavor. If you are interested in learning about the commercial side of photography, Microstock is also a great way to educate yourself. What better teacher than the global market of photo buyers?

Isn’t microstock ‘bad’ for the industry? If you’ve been interested in selling stock photos for a while, you may have already discovered that microstock is controversial. Since the concept only works with the Internet and high-quality digital cameras, it’s still relatively new. Because of this, there are still many professional stock photographers with strong feelings about the impact microstock is having on the industry.

Many of the world’s most successful stock photographers I’ve talked to said they don’t see any impact of microstock on their work. These professionals know that their photos compete on quality, not price (microstock photos sell for less, but in higher volume), and they also know that there will always be buyers interested in the top end of the market, regardless of price.

It also makes sense to assume that the hundreds of photographers who now make a living with microstock have displaced some ‘traditional’ stock photographers. This is a natural phenomenon and happens with every technological change as big as the Internet and digital photography, and it’s completely understandable that those on the receiving end are not happy about it.

To be sure, Microstock brought new customers to the market. Before Microstock, small businesses, charities, and bloggers weren’t big buyers of stock photos when each image cost $350 or more. Now that blog size images are $1 and print size images are $10, you can imagine how sales have increased.

So how much can I earn on microstock? The amount depends on the quality and quantity of photos you can produce. Those who work full time with microstock and have a portfolio of 7,000 high quality images or more can easily earn over $20,000 PER MONTH! On the other hand, those contributors who only have a few images only earn a few dollars. Like me, you most likely find yourself somewhere between these two extremes.

I usually make just under $1 per photo per month. You can find monthly earnings and portfolio links online. With some research, you can easily compare your portfolio or photography skills to others to more or less determine how much you can expect to earn with your photos on the microstock market.

Is microstock easy? Not at the beginning, it wasn’t. Many online agencies require you to submit a test that is generally more stringent than their normal review process. Microstock agencies also review submissions based on what sells, which are images that are super sharp, noiseless and commercially appealing. Because of this initial screening, many established and highly qualified photographers experience early rejections and quickly dismiss the microstock opportunity. You can start with some of the mid-level agencies that don’t require you to pass a test. That way, you can easily get an idea of ​​what types of photos are accepted and sell well. After that, it is relatively easy to start earning.

By doing some research you can find examples of best selling photos. Usually, most of the simple shots are taken with the intention of selling for stock, but with no more preparation than setting the camera in the right place. Many photos can earn upwards of $30 per month, although potential success will vary from agency to agency.

It is also not easy to create above average success. The average earnings per photo of many top microstock contributors can be up to ten times my current earnings, so you can imagine the difference in the quality and appeal of the photos they produce. They also need to repeat this success many times to create a large enough portfolio to increase their earnings above average.

How can I improve my chances of success? Here are my top tips for people starting to sell their photos on the microstock market:

Managing your expectations can often sound easier than it actually is. A typical sales pitch might read: “click here to start making money from the photos sitting idle on your computer”. That’s not very realistic and you’ll soon give up if you start with those expectations in mind. Do your own research to find out what’s selling, craft these photos well and be smart about how you contribute. Focus on the workflow.

If you want to attach a lot of photos, it makes sense to have an efficient workflow so you don’t waste time doing unnecessary and repetitive tasks. Do your research and improve your process so you can bring a quality product to market as efficiently as possible. Microstock is a business. If you’re more of an artist than a true commercial photographer, you might want to seriously consider whether you and microstock are a good match. Don’t get me wrong, fine art photos will sell on the microstock market, but not nearly as well as commercial photos.

Research. Don’t stop with the few ideas I’ve already given you. It’s important to get all your questions answered before you start to save time and avoid accidentally doing something that doesn’t work for you. There are blogs written for people selling photos on the microstock market, read these as well as other sites.

6 Microstock sites where you can earn money from your photos Here are some Microstock programs that offer photographers money for their images: Shutterastock, Dreamstime, Crestock, fotolia, 123rf, Stockxpert.

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