Macworld on Microstock
Macworld recently wrote an ‘innocent’ little article on microstock. The article was written as a simple introduction to the subject for people who haven’t heard about Microstock. It encouraged people to sign up as a contributor and gave them a few pointers to head them into the right direction.
Do your research
The microstock agencies are open books when it comes to telling photographers exactly what they need. Take the time to find out which images sell the most, what a company’s technical guidelines are, and what topics they’re interested in. Given the high volume of submissions, agencies can afford to be extremely picky about what images they sell. Read the small print carefully to avoid being rejected for something trivial, like dust or an errant logo.
FAQs are a good place to start, but stock photography demands are constantly changing and there are many important details the official requirements won’t spell out for you. The large microstock sites always list their most popular images. (Shutterstock also helpfully lists their most commonly searched for keywords.) Look at the styles, moods, and color palettes of current top images to figure out trends. Read the news and keep and eye on current events and topics that might blow up. Constantly updating your portfolio with fresh and relevant images is the best way to maintain a steady flow of microstock revenue.
To read the rest of the article, click here.
What started out as an innocent post has turned into a very heated debate on the microstock industry. Ever since it’s birth microstock has received hard critique from exisiting photographers. It has gained some serious acceptance in recent years but it is still very apparent by the comments on that blog post that it has a long ways to go before being accept by the majority of traditional photographers. The comments in the blog post are what is most interesting to read, and although a pro/anti microstock discussion ends up being like a religious or political debate (people yelling at each other as loud as they can without listening to what the other says) it is definitely worth a read. Just don’t expect that you can take everything that’s said at face value.