My Story, 1 year, 400 on line, 150 sales
My microstock story started a year ago, I suppose one could argue that it started when I first picked up a camera, but for this story a year ago was when I opened an account with Dreamstime. I started my journey, just as this baby goat is starting life, not knowing what was in store or where it would lead me. I still do not know ultimately where it will lead, but I have learned over the past year, that I do have the ability to create images that are not only useful as stock, but as art too.
As my journey started, I had to overcome fear. Can I really do this? Is my eye good enough? Will people like my work enough to buy it? Can I get my images accepted? There are so many questions that I faced as I started my microstock journey. Forty-five out of my first forty-seven images were rejected. . The two that were accepted however, gave me enough hope that I continued on.
I looked danger in the face. I read blogs and I read the forums. I tried to understand why images were rejected. I emailed reviewers for advice. I read more about composition and lighting. I payed attention to techniques that others may be using and most importantly, I kept uploading ... and uploading ... and uploading. Steadily, my acceptance percentage started to increase and then a sale or two trickled in. Who remembers how exciting that first sale was? I did not care it was for a few mere cents, I was excited because it was validation of my work! I called my wife, I called my daughter, I told anyone that would listen about my sale. To this day I still get excited about a sale (although my reaction is toned down somewhat).
So a year later here I sit, over 400 images on line, 150 sales, and a couple hundred MB of photos on my hard drive that need processing. I now know how to create a stock photo. Dreamstime has really had me in a training program for the last year and I have tried to be a good student. I do not expect to become rich from selling microstock. I expect to continue doing something I love and make enough cash for that next lens, for that next camera body, or maybe even a vacation one day. Obviously I do not do this for the money because on an hourly rate I would be making only cents per hour. I do this because I am a photographer. I look to the future hoping to capture more concepts, more ideas, more moments that bring me some satisfaction and hopefully helps some buyers communicate their message. I look to the horizon and there is guiding light I am at peace.
Photo credits: Val Armstrong.