Microstock Inspiration and Research

Part of becoming a successful stock photographer is providing images that people want.  When I first started out one of the tips I remember from reading Rob Sylvans book “Take Stock” was get a note book and write down your ideas.

I did that and started brain storming and creating images, uploading and waiting for sales. Unfortunately I forgot one important thing.  Research.  pretty quickly I started refining which images to shoot depending on how many were available on line.

Chocolate and Cream Neenish Tarts on a PlatterSome of those early images included:

Neenish Tarts a typical NZ and Australian cafe food.  When I searched on line there was only 1 image available.  Now if you do a search over at shutterstock you will find 5 images 4 of which are mine.  To be honest these are some of my first images of food and for stock photography and I wouldn’t say I am very proud of them.  Since then I have learnt a lot and would probably approach things differently, but one of these images in my top 5 for income  so I found a little corner in a very tiny market.
Licorice Allsorts close upLicorice Allsorts was another early series of images I made.  When I searched I found 2 pages of images.  This close up holds my record for number 2 in sales overall and the set of 9 images account for around 10% of my income.  Don’t be fooled not all the inspiration I’ve had has been so successful with another set I did around the same time I have sold one image for a grand total of 21 cents.

It is definitely a learning process and I hope some of the things I have stumbled on along the way will help you.  Don’t forget inspiration and skill is only part of the process.  Finding needs in the market is also an important part of the picture.

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