Micro Stock – Can it increase your revenue?

Report from Dave Crowther of Legacy Images (OMP #78597) http://www.photoincome.com

As a photographer on One Model Place, I am always looking for opportunities to increase my revenue.

One of the ways that I have found that works for me is submitting images to an online micro stock agency. My portfolio is featured at http://istockphoto.com/legacyimagesphotography.


The popularity of the internet has changed the world of stock photography. Twenty years ago, the typical way you became a stock photographer was to have a portfolio of thousands of slides (with releases) which enabled you to be signed at an agency like Getty Images. Today, you could have a handful of images available and be an active stock photographer at a micro stock agency.

For me, the opportunity of joining iStock was to get some of the images that I took for fun that I thought were pretty good off my hard drive and make them available to be purchased. The beautiful thing is that there is a market (however small) for almost every type of image. It could be nature, food, landscape, flowers, even brick walls or wood floors. Some markets are much more lucrative than others.

Most magazines you look at will contain images that were probably purchased from a stock agency. That is also true for book covers, corporate brochures and reports, websites, even billboards.

Stock photography has changed the way that I approach photography. The type of images that I am shooting today is different than the images that I used to shoot. I am constantly trying to maximize the potential revenue that I can make off of each shoot. I think to myself, is there a market for this (besides to my portfolio or the model’s portfolio)? What are the most profitable types of images and markets for stock photography?

I am more conscious of image quality (lighting, focus, eliminating distracting elements, using depth of field and other techniques to center focus on the subject of the image, eliminating artifacting in my post processing, etc.) I am also much more conscious of copyright issues and obtaining model releases and property releases (i.e. You can shoot a model sitting on a statue in a park and publish it for sale if you get a release from the model and a property release from the statue artist).

Micro stock photography is not for everyone. You maintain ownership of your copyright to each picture, but you don’t make a lot for each image that is licensed (the revenue is definitely volume based). You also don’t have control over where or how your images are used (only that the images cannot be used in a way that is pornographic or defamatory).

But, for me, stock photography is working as an additional photography revenue source. I have had pictures used on Forbes.com and the Antiques Roadshow homepage from PBS among many other places. I have been submitting for about a year and a half and it is addicting. Every day, I come home from work and go check out my portfolio to see how many images were downloaded that day. I maintain a journal of ideas and thoughts that I have of potential stock shoots that I think will be lucrative and fun.

Stock photography definitely has helped me to make more revenue and has helped me to become a better photographer.

See more images by Dave Crowther on his One Model Place Portfolio OMP Member #78597

This entry was posted in Legacy Images, Micro Stock, images, photography, stock, stock photography. Bookmark the permalink.

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