Photographers can make money online by shooting digital photographs for microstock agencies such as iStock or ShutterStock. The images are used in much the same way as traditional stock photographs, but they are geared towards the consumer on a limited budget. Although the initial payment per download is low, it is a numbers game. Once uploaded on a microstock site, a good stock image can sell over and over again, bringing in hundreds of dollars over a course of time.
Things You'll Need
- Digital camera
Shop for a medium to high end quality digital camera. In traditional film photography, a skilled photographer can take a quality image with a box camera. Microstock uses digital images, and even an expert photographer can not compensate for pixilated or undersized images. Before you purchase your camera, read reviews and forum comments on the quality of the camera’s output. You want a camera that produces images that are crystal clear when enlarged.
Compare online microstock agencies. Photographer information links are located on each homepage. Read each program’s terms and requirements. Begin by choosing just one. Each will have its own acceptance requirements. Some offer higher payments to photographers who work exclusively through their site.
Read photo requirements, such as pixel size. Some microstock agencies require images of a greater size, and other sites accept smaller pixel sized images. Yet, the photographer who submits the image with the maximum size, will have greater chances of maximizing their profits. When you purchase your camera, you want it to be capable of producing large images.
Improve your web navigational skills. Uploading images on microstock websites requires basic web savvy. If you are a skilled digital photographer, yet uncomfortable maneuvering and uploading files onto websites, enlist the help of an internet literate friend who can teach you the process.
Take the digital photographs you will be using to apply for the program. Before choosing your subject, consider who buys microstock images; ad agencies, websites, marketing firms, graphic artists , public relation firms and other entities who need quality images at a discount price. Choose your subject matter according to buyer’s needs. Many microstock sites will list the subject matter that is most in demand.
Sign up for your chosen microstock site, and upload your images for the initial approval process. Keep in mind that the sites often require you wait a specific length of time after each rejection, before re-submitting.
After you are approved as a photographer on the site, you can begin submitting digital images to your online portfolio. Each image will require approval. When uploading your images, choose the keywords carefully. Keywords will help buyers find your images, and optimizing keywords will optimize your profits.
Continue to add new images to your portfolio. Microstock photography can be a passive income, meaning it will continue to make money even when you are on vacation. Yet, many photographers notice a slip in sales when they stop submitting new images. Newly added images attract buyers, and can lead them to your portfolio.
Take images using people, which are in demand and can increase your profit. You will need to obtain model releases from your models, even if it is a family member. Each microstock website will state their model release policy.