Frequently Asked Questions
What is Microstock Photography?
Microstock Photography is a relatively new phenomenon
that consist in selling royalty free stock photos and images at a very low price, typically around
$1. Although the commissions are very low, you can potentially earn
substantial income by selling hundreds of photos over and over again. A good
thing about Microstock photography is that you don't need to be a
professional photographer with expensive equipment to start selling. An
amateur with minimum photography skills can easily get started with any
digital camera of at least 2 Megapixels (although 4 Megapixels or higher is
How do I get started?
Getting started in Microstock photography is very simple.
Basically, all you have to do is subscribe online to Microstock agencies and
upload your photos. You will find the detailed steps to follow in our "Getting
Started in Microstock Photography" guide.
What are the best Microstock sites?
You will find the 5 best Microstock sites on our
Top 5 Microstock agencies listing.
After subscribing to the top 5 agencies, you should also
consider subscribing to other Microstock agencies. Although they might
individually return less than those in the top 5, they might
collectively represent a substantial source of additional return.
Click here to access our
Microstock directory listing.
How much can you earn by selling photos on Microstock
It obviously depends on several factors. The main factors
are the number of photos you uploaded and maybe more importantly the
commercial value of your photos. As a rule of thumb, if you upload your
photos on the
Top 5 Microstock sites as well on most of the
sites, you could typically earn a monthly income anywhere between 10 cents and one
dollar on each photo. This is obviously a very rough estimate; you could earn
significantly less than 10 cents per photo if your photos have very little
commercial value and way more than $1 per photo if most of your photos are
What is a model release?
If a photo you want to submit to a Microstock agency has
a recognizable human face, then you should ask the person appearing on the
photo to sign a legal document called a "model release". Standard model
releases can be downloaded on Microstock agencies' web sites.
I want to submit a photo with a model to 12 Microstock
sites; Do I have to ask the model to sign 12 different model releases?
A standard model release available on a Microstock site
usually has the Microstock agency logo and for this reason might be rejected
by other agencies. It might therefore be safer to ask the model to
sign a model release for each and every Microstock agency.
This said, many photographers have found a way around
this hassle by writing their own generic model release that will be accepted
by all Microstock agencies. You can do a search on Google on the term
"generic model release" and you should be able to find a generic model
release with no copyright attached. You might have to edit it a bit to make
it comply with the requirements of each and every Microstock agencies you
My application to a Microstock Photography agency was
declined. What should I do?
It also happened to me and I know how frustrating it can be...
Best thing to do it to try to understand why your application was declined
and apply again later on with other photos that are more likely to meet