Three Years Microstocking
This short blog will cover some thoughts about microstock market. It is also my first (test) post. By the way I'm writing this 2nd time from scratch, I just lost all the content previously written here, as I did not enter any tags. So learn from it, and make a copy-paste of your content before you click any button. (It's 3rd actually - do not forget to add the images).
I've been here at DT for more than three years now (almost three and a half) and I've recently reached one thousand pictures online - what could be a better milestone for some thoughts over these years. It has been time of hard work, intensive learning, shutter releasing :), lots of communication and surfing the net, and of course, lots' of fun :-) When I started uploading pictures, I really did not know if this will be vital enough even to be just a little support for the hobby, but now I can tell it is, and looking to the future, I believe it can be even more. MS is still a very young market/business.
For anyone asking me today if it is worth to try (micro)stock, I'd say yes. If you have a smallest tiny passion about taking photos, this might be something for you. I'm actually even a big propagandist for it (greets to all of my friend tolerating me with my "baby" - camera), but it's not fun ONLY, it's all about mixture of understanding basics, understanding business models of different stock agencies, being able to learn what's hot what's not, and of course, being able to adopt with rapidly changing market. Though as said, very young market.
For me it is also a time to think whether to continue as I currently am (somewhere between hobbyist to serious amateur) or to reach higher - getting full time photographer one fine day. I must say I like this idea a lot, meanwhile I have to say there's still so much to learn, especially about the quality, concepts, market demand, and "deeper" side of microstock, including work efficiency (starting from whether it is worth to spend the time to shoot a lot, or to spend this time to get the most out of what you have shot so far), importance of keywording and of course, being able to understand your unique selling point, your best niche to do this all with optimal amount of work and fun, meanwhile finding something new from every day.
I think one of the key elements here could also be being able to think "what kind of image I'd buy" rather that "what kind of image I could sell". Being in the new media design for some years, I could easily recommend being at both sides of the action for some time, to have better basis for start with the business.
To summarize, it has been really interesting time here and though it may look like a long time, I'm really looking forward with great expectations and I pretty much feel like it could be end of the start rather than start of the end. This year has also been first steps for me working with models and starting with studio work, so I really hope I can take off from here easily, and in a year or two, the so-long met question in message boards "is if worth to get full time?" will not be a question for me.
Technical wise, it is also a perfect time to start with stock photography. High quality 10+ megapixel DSLR-s have never been as affordable as they currently are. When I got my first digital camera four and a half years ago (4mpix small sensor Panasonic), this was some decent equipment to shoot stock! It was four megapixels while the minimum standard was around 2 megapixels. The quality requirements have skyrocketed over the megapixels rally, so if you are serious with starting stock today, get a 10+ mpix CMOS sensor camera and you are ready to go.
There will also not be better time to say thank you for everyone who has downloaded my photos and I'll be working hard to improve the quality of the photography in every possible matter - be it megapixel count, concept or diverse selection of areas covered. Looking back to average one upload per day so far, I'm also looking to be more productive in terms of intensity of image uploading - as well as finding new ways to work together with models.
And! - For the fellow photographers eventually reading this post, I'd like to wish many, many, MANY sales! ;)
Thanks for reading :-)
As with the images posted here - what could be more pleasing than to enrich this post with some best selling images :)
Photo credits: Bright.