A few years ago, moved by the idea of not sleeping on my photos on the hard disk and improving myself as a photographer, but especially to see if I could repay my camera I started to work with microstock agencies.
Microstock is a fairly simple business model. The photographer sends their photographs to the agencies and sells them to the final customer holding a percentage for marketing and sales. Alberto wrote a good article about it, which you can find here: what is Microstock.
Over the next five years I have come to work with all the major agencies in the industry, and I’m selling about 1,200 pictures a month. Economic satisfactions are followed. Of course, throughout the period I continued to work as an employee in my company by dedicating (seriously) the evenings and weekends to part-time photographer activities.
The working method
I do not think I’m a talented photographer. Most photographers I know are better than me. But I have a good working method and I would like to share my approach to microstock here in the hope of being useful to those who would like to start this path.
One precaution: in the microstock it is easy to sell the first photograph, but living it is another thing. Microstock is not a method to become rich by working on the Internet 5 minutes a day and you want it.
It is also true that it allows you to create a passive income, perhaps by integrating into a main job that can be really convenient, especially at a historical moment where the labor market is definitely turbulent. The flexibility of microstock photography is in terms of time (work at times you prefer), and space (jobs everywhere as long as there is an Internet connection) allows this activity to integrate perfectly with other uses.
The photographic method I propose (and use) is based on three pillars: