Five Tips to Increase your Microstock Sales

1. Improve your shooting: Quality over Quantity

Every time you choose a subject to shoot, you have to think that there are already lots of photos of the same subject who are in direct competition with yours. Try to make your photo as good as possible, in order to make it a great photo.

As in many other industries, in Microstock also the 80/20 Pareto rule applies. This means that 20% of the photos get 80% of the sales. In order for you to understand this better you can apply this rule to your portfolio and you will see that is correct.

There are some things you can do to improve your shooting:

- try to improve your technique by reading blogs, tutorials, books, etc.

- take a look at other photographers portfolio, to get inspired

- before uploading your photos try to get an honest opinion from your friends

- master all the functions of your camera gear

- learn about post processing and what you can improve to your photo

- go to photo sessions as an assistant, watcher, etc., if you have that chance.

In time your skills will improve, and that will be showed in your portfolio. In this context it is obvious that quality is more important than quantity.

2. Shoot all the time

Use your free time to produce more photos. If you shoot more, you have where to choose from, you can increase your portfolio and make more sales. Be creative, be inspired by others portfolio.

3. Create a good and efficient workflow.

All the time you use with taking the photos out of the camera prepare them and upload them to microstock websites it takes all your learning and shooting time. So try to automatize your workflow as good as you can. You can do that with good software like Adobe Lightroom, Adobe Bridge or Apple Aperture.

It is mandatory to USE IPCT Data, it will save a lot of time by not repeating the entire process for all the microstock websites.

Keywords are very, very important. Try to put yourself in the “buyer” place and try to figure out what he will search. Go to microstock websites and try different searches for your keyword and see what are the results.

4. Learn from your rejections

All of the microstock contributors have rejected photos by the Microstock agencies, so you will have it too. Look at the motives of rejection and learn from them. Improve yourself by not making the same mistakes again and in this way your time will be used properly. As long as your acceptance rate is ok you have nothing to worry about.

5. Apply to More Agencies

From my experience, at least for a beginner it is not good to become exclusive with one of the agencies. Do a little research, find what are the best agencies on the market and apply to them. It is correct that top three of the agencies will give you the best earnings, but you can gain nice money on the others too with relatively small time consuming.

This article and many other related to stock photography can be found on - Five Tips to Improve Your Microstock Sales

Photo credits: Bagiuiani Constantin.

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June 22, 2011


Very nice post!

June 22, 2011


@MARIAMM and @Karenfoleyphotography - You are right, but to be exclusive you need a very good portfolio rigt? We were all beginners at one point and we have learned to improve ourselves and build a good portfolio in time. As a beginner you cannot be an exclusive right away, at least not at the majority of the stock agencies. Anyway when i will have the time i will rewrite the article and point to those benefits to.

June 22, 2011


Great tips, although I agree with Mariaam that being exclusive has it's benefits

June 22, 2011


Very nice tips! I hope you do not mind - I don´t agree with point 5, because I´m exclusive and it´s great!!! ;)))

Have a nice day!

June 21, 2011


Thank you.Ciao

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