Royalty Free Microstock Photography

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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 better).



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 sites?


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 other Microstock 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 outstanding.



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 work with.



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 their requirements.








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