Friday, October 30, 2009

Happy Halloween!

Hope everybody has a safe and happy Halloween this weekend. Check back with me Monday to see my October microstock statistics!

If you haven't already seen it, here's my pumpkin/scalpel photograph from 123RF: Enjoy!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

$5.00 Sale!!!

Today I received my first big sale. A whopping $5.00! I'm beyond excited!

The sale came from Stockxpert. This was my second sale with them.

Pixmac Now Reselling Dreamstime Images

Taken from

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

iStock: Back to the Drawing Board

Today my iStock application was rejected again. Actually, 2 out of 3 images are approved, so it's not like I have to start from scratch each time. Honestly, I had a feeling that my 3rd image would be denied, but since that same image was approved on ALL of my other stock sites (including Fotolia, which is my toughest critic so far), I thought I would give it a shot.

On the plus side, I'm starting to get a feel for what it takes to get images approved through the stricter websites. And I love a challenge, so it's all good.

Better luck next month!

Monday, October 26, 2009

4th Sale on Dreamstime!

Dreamstime is totally exceeding my expectations. With a portfolio of only 17 images, I've managed to sell 4 this month. Since this is my first full month in microstock, my only goal was to just get a few views. So I've been really lucky! I'm trying to beef up my portfolio a little bit, but I only have about a 50% approval ratio and my newest batch still has 116 hours to go before approval/rejection. But it's worth it!

The image is HERE

The rest of my portfolio can be found HERE

Sunday, October 25, 2009

New Sale on Dreamstime!

Today I sold a 4 credit image on Dreamstime!

You can see the rest of my Dreamstime portfolio HERE

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Editing Tips for Microstock Photographers

Here's a helpful link that I found through Twitter that gives a few helpful tips for editing microstock photos:

Friday, October 23, 2009 - Firefox Add-On for Microstock Buyers and Contributors

After posting on about the length of time it takes me to upload images, one of the contributors suggested that I look into the picNiche Firefox add-on. I went ahead an added this program and already I'm pleased with what I see. Taken from the website, (and clicking on the toolbar link at the top), the picNiche add-on offers the following:


The Microstock Image Search toolbar is built for image buyers. It'll help you find images. It also has features to:

  • Send image-requests direct to contributors
  • Search across many agencies
  • Notifications when contributors add new images you may interested in
  • Simple image-log for tracking projects
  • Built-in global Upcoming Events calendar
  • Keep informed about news, events, and promotions from microstock agencies

The Microstock Contributors toolbar is built for image creators. It'll help you find images for research, but it also has a lot of other features too:

  • Get notified when you make a sale on each agency
  • Get notified when images you've submitted are approved
  • Announce approved images direct to buyers
  • See your current earnings for each agency at-a-glance
  • Quick associative keywording tool
  • Workflow improvements through the image submission process
  • FTP-Upload drop-box for six agencies
  • Built-in global Upcoming Events calendar
  • Keep informed about news, events, and promotions from microstock agencies and community websites

As I type this blog, all I have to do is look up and all of my earnings are there in real-time. If I get a new sale, I should receive a pop up notification telling me about it. I'm not too sure about the other capabilities (FTP, notifications when images are approved/rejected, keywording, etc) since I have not had a chance to try them out, but this may really save me some time.

New Sale!

I had a new sale today on Stockxpert!

I actually sold the same image a few days ago on Dreamstime, but this was the first sale for me on Stockxpert.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

45 minutes later....

....and I am finished uploading 4 images.

OK, I shouldn't say that. I had to catch up and upload 16 images to CSP, but on all of my other sites it was 4. It takes me forever to pick the correct categories. To save time, I have a spreadsheet and I type my keywords on that so that all I have to do is copy/paste into the web applications. But for some reason this entire process is taking forever. Then, I noticed that some photographers don't even bother with the categories and they are all getting sales. So maybe I'm spending too much time on it. I should also mention that I upload to 6 sites at the same time.

In other news, I re-submitted my application to IS today. Crossing my fingers!

Monday, October 19, 2009


While reading, I noticed that a number of photographers were also submitting their images to websites such as Zazzle, CafePress, etc. and have had some success with selling their products. So, I decided to head over to Zazzle and check it out.

Essentially, Zazzle sells t-shirts, coffee mugs, aprons, photo prints, etc. As a contributor, I can go in and customize different products for Zazzle to sell. If my products sell, I will receive a commission (just like microstock). However, the commission potential is a lot higher on Zazzle. For example, if I sell an image through a microstock company, I may only make $.20 - $.30 for each sale. On Zazzle, if I sell one of my products, I can make $2.00.

I have a feeling that it will be a lot easier to sell images through microstock than Zazzle, but I decided to try it out (after all, isn't this all just a big experiment?).

I took one of my pictures of boiling eggs and created an apron to sell. Supposedly it takes a few hours for it to appear on my store website, but here is the link:*

I understand that I will have to create a lot of products in order to see any sale activity, so I'll periodically add more. Then, I will just sit back and watch what happens. Stay tuned!

Saturday, October 17, 2009


Much to my surprise, I had a few sales this month. Honestly, I wasn't expecting to get a sale until my portfolio was a bit bigger. But I must say - getting a sale is a HUGE motivator. It means that there are people out there looking at my photos and at least 1 of them spent money to download one!

My first sale was through Fotolia. It's a photo of a prickly pear cactus that was taken while on vacation in Arizona:
The second and third sales came unexpectedly from Dreamstime. These photos were uploaded less than 24 hours before the sales.


My goal for each month is to add 40 approved images to each portfolio. Different websites have different criteria, so for some companies, this will be a pretty easy goal to attain. For others, it may be a bit harder. As of October 17th, my photo status is as follows:


As you can see, each website has approved/declined a different numbers of photos. I try not to get discouraged. In fact, it has become a challenge of mine to improve my approval ratio with each upload. I'm starting to get a handle on my lighting and camera settings and (in my opinion), I'm starting to take better pictures. For example:

This is a before/after of one of my earliest photo submissions:

Making a few white balance changes and altering the depth of field can really make a difference. Although, you never know what the potential buyer is looking for.

Microstock websites

Currently, I submit images to 6 microstock companies. Links to my portfolios can be seen below:
  1. 123RF
  2. BigStockPhoto
  3. CanStockPhoto
  4. Dreamstime
  5. Fotolia
  6. Stockxpert
I am also trying to gain acceptance into iStockPhoto and Shutterstock; however, my applications have been denied and I am working to better my portfolio before applying again.

Here we go!

Hello and welcome to my journey! Photography has always been a hobby of mine, and recently I was approached with the idea of submitting images to microstock websites. I was enticed by the challenge of constantly improving my work, and also motivated by the potential income. I plan to utilize this blog to document my journey from a beginner to a (hopefully) successful stock photographer.