Four ways to maximize your income in microstocks

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Microstocks is no longer a new topic in the recent ways of promoting stock photography and adding a few bucks to your pockets. But due to the competition the “stock photography” world poses, with millions if not billions of people posting on microstock websites, it takes an extraordinary, patient, and talented photographer to thrive in this competitive industry. A study shows a reasonable percentage of stock photographers have quitted after only about six months of joining the microstock market. There is a place for talent in this market, but it takes more than this to survive or be noticed, it takes a deep knowledge of photography and what the audiences want. Also, pictures that depict multiple meanings have sold more in recent times as they serve different purposes to buyers. Microstock offers a possible earning of $1 to $5 per picture you upload on top sites like Adobe Stock, Getty Images, Shutterstock, etc. Now, I’ll highlight some of the changes that maximize your income.

1. Fill up your portfolio with a lot of amazing and quality images

2. Know what sells; think like your buyers

3. Random shooting is good but won’t set you apart from the crowd. Choose a niche, become a master of this niche. Shoot photos predominantly in your niche.

4. Always seek ways to improve all the time, as moving to the top level is tough and keeping the standards is tougher.

The first improvement will be derived from the word “stock” which means a group. Unless a photographer can be a hundred percent certain of every picture captured being sold out, it is advisable to upload a lot of those amazing pictures which increases your chances of a picture at least getting bought, I term this “Killing a bird with a lot of stones”. Contrary to how the phrase is said, the aim is to increase the sales and your approach to that is by stock photos.


As a stock photographer, specialization is key as buyers tend to trust a consistent photographer who focuses on a particular niche be it nature, cars, wildlife, portrait, vintage and so on rather than one who poses of being competent in all this area. As the common saying goes Jack of all trades, master of none, this is the case in this scenario. This approach helps both the photographer and the buyers, as the sellers get better in his chosen niche and maximize income with time. Also, the quality of pictures is the most important factor in microstock and if you can’t deliver photos with the best quality, then this isn’t a job for you. A stock photographer should follow the latest photography trends to improve the quality and feel of the picture being uploaded, a recommended article for this is the latest trends. New technology like the portrait photography which blurs the background and focuses on a particular object or image is a great example commonly being displayed in a lot of image. Post-processing is necessary to get the best out of your photos.

Patience is the most important virtue in this industry as there is a high level of competition for every niche, there is neither a magic wand or a spell to improve your sales instantly, it takes time. The top-level sellers have also worked very hard to get to the point they are and they keep working hard to keep the spot, so, it won’t just be a work in the park getting to that level. While you wait for the perfect opportunity, growth and creativity are very essential to ensure you make the best use of the opportunity to make a lot of sales.

Keyword your images/videos appropriately to help buyers find using the search engine. Good writing skill is also needed to give a proper description of what your picture represents, this detailed description will help buyers find your images. Gone are the days when photography was just about taking pictures or recording videos, you should be able to sell your photos using words.

Rome wasn’t built in a day; wait for your opportunity.

Succeeding in stock photography, demands hard work, commitment, and dedication. Like any other business, you must have a business plan, set goals, work consistently, meet your goals.