Chapter One: Microstock Money Shots

August 9th, 2010 by

Over the next few months, I will give you a glimpse of a few of the chapters in my new book-Microstock Money Shots, including tips from that chapter.

Since photo credits tend to be in tiny type in all books, I’ll give credit where credit is due by listing the photographers whose work appears in that chapter.

(Of course, I’m trying to entice you to buy the book! As we were advised in class, “always end a book report with…to learn more, read the book!”)

In the book introduction, Andres Rodrigues writes about his evolution into a top microstock success story. Much to learn from Andres about the learning curve in microstock.

Chapter one is titled “A Snapshot of the Microstock Industry” but it includes the key points in the history of stock photography that might effect the future of stock–if you don’t pay attention to history, you may repeat it and not with the best results!

Other topics include understanding the types of stock licenses including a solid explanation of the various creative commons licenses and what they mean. A quote sums it up: “No matter what licensing model they use, all serious amateurs and professional photographers want to know what to shoot to maximize downloads of their photographs. This book shares my more than thirty years’ experience working with companies that specialize in stock and microstock business models to answer that very question. This book suggest(s) which types of images the marketplace demands year after year.”

A section in Chapter One called “Understanding Your Rights” lays out the different kinds of businesses in stock photography: rights managed, royalty free and microstock with details on how they differ so that you can better judge where some or all of your photos will perform best. Copyright is highlighted with an explanation of the creative commons copyright and what it means to you.

I suggest that the motivation for someone to seek a stock photo is often because they believe that it already exists. Thus, like it or not, stock photography is a business of cliches. Highly unusual or artistic images may get used for marketing purposes now and then but are rarely licensed repeatedly. Speaking generally, the best stock photo is a photo that already exists. It’s up to you to create something new; combining commerce with art to produce a marketable and desirable image.

Photocredits in Chapter one: Chapter Opener: Pete Saloutos.  Interior shots: James Steidl, Chippix, Teng Wie, Yuri Arcurs, Alexander Raths, Beata Becla, Andresis Pidjass

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