laryn — Wed, 04/13/2011 - 09:19
Isaac Gube has some recommendations on how to improve your photography skills in DIY fashion:
laryn — Tue, 02/02/2010 - 11:08
There's an interesting thread over at MicrostockGroup regarding how to leave your royalties to your loved ones after you die. Not something you have probably thought about very often! The short form is that your beneficiaries will have to provide relevant legal paperwork to the agencies in order for the accounts to be transferred to them, so if you have a will, make sure to explicitly include the copyrights to your images in it.
laryn — Fri, 11/06/2009 - 08:14
Most people who are considering whether or not to upload to microstock sites are curious how much money can be made by doing so. (There are other reasons, too, but this is a biggie). The short answer is that it depends on how much time and energy you put into it, and it depends on the quality of your images. The top earners can make hundreds of dollars per day, but most people will not achieve that. For an overview of my experience, see below. I update the stats about once every month or two so you can get a sense of what I have earned -- without devoting a ton of time to it, to be honest.
laryn — Sun, 09/27/2009 - 21:26
I've written a short introductory article for eHow entitled "How to Make Money With Your Digital Camera (Selling Microstock)" -- take a look here. It is a short overview and I'm interested in any feedback you may have -- either to improve this article or for ideas for future articles you may be interested in.
laryn — Fri, 09/25/2009 - 15:01
MacWorld has seven tips for would-be microstockers (see below). It's always helpful to read other people's summaries of the things that they find important. This is a decent list of basics.
- Understand how it works: "...Selling stock photos is not easy money. It will take time to build up a decent sized portfolio (at least 100 pictures) before you see any sizable return..."
- Think like a designer: "...Designers want photographs with ample amounts of uncluttered negative space so make sure you leave room for a headline or other text..." [Click the title above for more]
laryn — Wed, 09/23/2009 - 22:48
Shutterstock and Dreamstime allow you to sell images on an editorial license, meaning that purchasers will only be able to use the images in editorial formats (e.g. magazines, newspapers, etc). This is useful for images that you have taken which are of specific interest (famous people, places, current events...) and may not have model or property releases.
This sample editorial image from my collection was taken on the day of George W. Bush's inauguration and depicts items that might not normally have passed as royalty-free for various reasons. It is usable as editorial imagery because of the public nature of the event and the public interest in the event.
laryn — Wed, 09/23/2009 - 22:32
Shutterstock and iStockphoto are now allowing video submissions to sell short video clips to local news stations, documentary producers, and the like. If you can produce video footage that would be useful to these types of projects, it could be well worth your while to upload them to Shutterstock or iStockphoto.
This is a short sample clip I took to submit to Shutterstock. I can imagine local newscasts using this clip in a story about recent Supreme Court proceedings, or documentary filmmakers using it in a commentary about a particular case, and so on.
laryn — Sun, 09/20/2009 - 15:32
Dreamstime offers an editorial license in addition to their other licenses:
laryn — Sun, 09/20/2009 - 15:29
Dreamstime offers four extended licenses which could increase your earnings significantly: Increase Max Copies, Web Usage, Print Usage, and Sell the Rights. Each of these extends the ways in which the image can be used and pays a much higher premium. If you sell the rights to the image, you no longer control it and cannot sell it elsewhere, so use it with caution--noting that you can make a large chunk of change using this option (you can set your own price). Further details are below.
laryn — Sun, 09/20/2009 - 15:13
Sell Your Digital Images: Dreamstime pays $0.50 to $1.00 per basic download to the photographer (50%) and has a pretty good upload system.
Buy Digital Images:
Dreamstime charges more for photos that have been download 100 times or
more, and again if they’ve been downloaded 500 times or more. They have also recently implemented a system where print and web images are separate purchases. You can currently download images for less than $1.
laryn — Wed, 09/02/2009 - 00:26
Shutterstock, Dreamstime, and iStock allow you to sell your vector illustrations on their site in the same manner as the digital photography. This means you can create imagery in Adobe Illustrator, Freehand, Xara Xtreme, or Inkscape (free download). You earn money for every download from their subscriber base, with additional incentives for referring buyers or sellers to the site.
This sample image is one of my most popular vector images on Shutterstock, from a series on road signs I made. I drew it in Illustrator and saved it as an EPS.
laryn — Sat, 08/22/2009 - 16:34
If you're an artist, create vectors--they sell well and if they are sufficiently detailed, some microstock sites will tag them as more expensive downloads--meaning more money to you. Selling vector images at Shutterstock means working within the (essentially) all-you-can-eat package--which can also mean many, many downloads.
laryn — Sat, 08/22/2009 - 16:32
A number of microstock sites offer free downloads as a way to give you a taste of the types of images and image quality they offer. It's not a bad idea for designers on a budget to peruse these offerings now and then. Most notably, Dreamstime has a rotating selection of seven images available for free download at any time. Log in to the main page and look for the "More Free Photos" link to see all seven.
laryn — Sat, 08/22/2009 - 16:30
Make sure to look into referral programs on the various sites. Many of them will offer rewards for users that you refer to the site either as photographers or stock image purchasers. You can send your referral link to interested people by email or include the link on your personal website. Shutterstock and Dreamstime are particularly good for rewarding successful referrals.
laryn — Sat, 08/22/2009 - 16:27
If you want a constant (and constantly growing) revenue stream from microstock--upload new images regularly. Many of the sites sort images in a number of views from newest to oldest by default, so that designers who are regulars can find the fresh photos and vector images quickly. This means that the more new images you keep in front of them, the more likely sales will be. As well, the more images that you have in your library, the more statistically likely they are to show up in keyword searches.
laryn — Sat, 08/22/2009 - 16:25
Microstock, like most things, disproves the old saying, "Build a better mousetrap and the world will beat a path to your door." (Ralph Waldo Emerson?). If you want to make a sale, you need to get the image in front of people's eyeballs, and to do that, you need to find as many relevant keywords as possible. The more searches that hit your keywords, the more that your image comes up in front of designers. (Note that it is important not to "spamdex" your image in an attempt to get your image viewed using keywords that don't match the picture.
laryn — Fri, 12/12/2008 - 04:00
Buy a subscription package at Shutterstock and you can download to your heart's content (currently 750 images per month for a basic package). This means you can download images you are not even sure you need yet and build a personal library of images for the future.
Listed below are some of my popular and recent images.
Click here to buy images at Shutterstock.