Digital Photography Articles

Thursday, 18 November 2010

How to Start a Photography Business Using Microstock Sites

How to Start a Photography Business Using Microstock Sites

While photography can be a rewarding and fun hobby, it can also be a full time profession for many talented and skilled photographers. Not everyone can be a photographer for Sports Illustrated or Glamour but that doesn't mean that you can't make a good living from photography. Microstock photography, for instance, is a relatively new concept and a great way to make a little extra cash.

Understanding the Basics About Microstock Photography?

You may be familiar with the term "stock" photography - it refers to photographs that are licensed for a wide variety of uses. For instance, a photo of the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco could be a stock photo, which could be used in magazines, ads, calendars, or whatever else the person who buys it wants to do.

The big difference with microstock photography is that the images can be uploaded by anyone with good quality images and the images sell for less than stock photos. Essentially, you make as much money as possible by selling many images at a lower cost. Some examples of microstock sites are Fotalia, Shutterstock and IStockphoto.

How You Can Get Started

You may be surprised to learn that using a microstock site is probably easier than you think. The two things you'll need is a basic editing and shooting setup but you can find these very inexpensively. A digital SLR will be suitable for most of the photos, and you can use a free editing program like until you feel ready to invest in one of the paid ones.

Once you have the gear in order, all you need to do is shoot a bunch of photographs to prepare for the initial application process. If you want your images to sell, focus on subjects that are easy to sell in markets like business, home decor or other lifestyle themes.

You should focus on creating and uploading images that someone buying photographs wants, but won't find anywhere else. It is important to remember that your images cannot contain copyrighted or trademarked subjects, and if they feature a person's face you'll need a signed release from the model.

Before you upload any images, check out the site and see what types of photographs they offer as this will give you a good idea of the types of images that will likely sell. Once you have a solid portfolio, choose a site (or sites) you like and start submitting your photos for review.

Pay close attention to the training materials and description the sites provide and make sure your portfolio completely fits within their guidelines, otherwise you may be denied.

How Do I Profit?

Unlike traditional stock photography, with microstock images, it's all about quantity. Just remember that the more pictures you upload, the better your chance at making money. There are people who make thousands of dollars a month doing microstock photos, however, they do it full time and upload hundreds of photos a month. if you can invest the time needed to do the job, the income potential is truly endless.

The best thing to do is to start small and see if you can get a grasp on what works best for you. If it looks like microstock photography will work for you and you have the time and effort to upload a lot of images, then gradually increase the amount of time you spend on it.

If microstock photography doesn't seem like a good fit, keep looking for other photo opportunities that are better suited for you. Remember that photography is supposed to be fun first, so always do what works best for you!

Autumn Lockwood is a writer for Your Picture Frames. Your Picture Frames offers an enormous selection of picture frames in every size imaginable so visit their website or call 1-800-780-0699. And, if you're looking for additional ways to make money from photography you can also help sell picture frames. For more information visit our website at

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