pancakes

MicrostockGroup Sponsors


Author Topic: New guide for beginners - "Brutally Honest Guide to Microstock Photography"  (Read 11581 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Brasilnut

  • Author of the Brutally Honest Guide to Microstock
« on: June 04, 2017, 12:13 »
+2

Hey all,

As some of you may already be aware, since November last year, I've been painstakingly drafting a comprehensive guide to Microstock.

It's taken a hell of a lot of work and I've settled on close to a whopping 200 pages, with just as many example images, to reflect the complexity of the business.

Here's the table of contents:

Chapter 1 Microstock Photography 101 
Chapter 2 - What's in my Camera Bag?
Chapter 3 Achieving Technical Excellence 
Chapter 4 - The Legal Side of Stock Photography
Chapter 5 - Licensing Editorial & Commercial Images
Chapter 6 - Overview on Agencies to License Images
Chapter 7 - How Much Can You Expect to Earn (The Extra Mile Isnt Crowded)?
Chapter 8 - Creating Interesting Images
Chapter 9 - Finding your Niche
Chapter 10 - Keywording 
Chapter 11 Workflow Optimisation
Chapter 12 - Getting the H*ll Out of Microstock! 
Interview with Joas Souza, London-based Architectural photographer

 
But it's not about quantity, it's about quality.

I'm really sticking my neck out on this one and telling it how it is (the good, the bad and the ugly).

To get this ball going, once published soon, I'm going to GIVING AWAY THE GUIDE to 5 people. All you have to do is go to my word press blog (link is at my signature) and underneath its latest post (with the same title), put down your email address. Thereafter, all I ASK is that you give me your brutally honest opinion of the book, either here or on the blog! I won't feel offended if you hate it (which you won't).

Not to worry if you're too late, once published, it will be for sale for $5.00 for a limited time only, thereafter $10.00. 

Happy shooting!

Alex
https://brutallyhonestmicrostock.wordpress.com/2017/06/04/new-guide-for-beginners-brutally-honest-guide-to-microstock-photography/


« Reply #1 on: June 04, 2017, 12:24 »
+5
The last chapter of the guide does not inspire to pay 10 bucks for it.

« Reply #2 on: June 04, 2017, 15:26 »
+6
Hem... "Microstock"?!!?!... Aaaah yes, I remember now!!!  ;D

« Reply #3 on: June 04, 2017, 15:29 »
+11
Microstock is over. I've heard that knitting is the next big thing...

I am looking for a brutally honest guide to something that is sustainable in the long run...

« Reply #4 on: June 04, 2017, 17:18 »
+7
oh no, not another one.

angelawaye

  • Eat, Sleep, Keyword. Repeat

« Reply #5 on: June 04, 2017, 21:24 »
+1
May I ask what year you started doing micro?

Brasilnut

  • Author of the Brutally Honest Guide to Microstock
« Reply #6 on: June 05, 2017, 02:43 »
+1
Quote
The last chapter of the guide does not inspire to pay 10 bucks for it.

This is not a get-rich-quick guide and even the thought of making Microstock sound like an appealing business model (for the vast majority of contributors), makes me want to puke. So, this chapter is basically an exercise in 'thinking outside of the (Microstock) box' to brainstorm sustainable alternatives (perhaps knitting :) ) using the skills gained by participating in the Microstock market. 

Quote
May I ask what year you started doing micro?

I started in 2009 but quickly lost interest and only seriously since 2012. My early work was crap, though.



« Reply #7 on: June 05, 2017, 03:44 »
+15
I would only buy a guide form someone who has made a massive success of microstock, and anyone who has made a massive success off it isn't going to write a guide.

« Reply #8 on: June 05, 2017, 03:58 »
0
I've got a couple by people who were pretty succesful I think -- Rob Slyvan "taking stock" and Doug Freer  They were useful to me at the time but a lot of content probably quite dated now.

SpaceStockFootage

  • Space, Sci-Fi and Astronomy Related Stock Footage

« Reply #9 on: June 05, 2017, 05:36 »
+1
I should whip one up... "The Brutally Honest Guide to Space-Related Microstock Motion Graphics". I still need to write my other book though... "The Holy Grail: Perfect Crispy Crackling Every Time, and Other Adventures in Pork".

Or I could combine them, two great topics in one book. Could be a game changer.

Chapter 1 Intro to space stuff
Chapter 2 - Buying the right meat.
Chapter 3 Scientific accuracy in you animations
Chapter 4 - Preparing the rind
Interview with award winning butcher Kev Meatstation and vfx artist Wayne McBadger.

Brasilnut

  • Author of the Brutally Honest Guide to Microstock
« Reply #10 on: June 05, 2017, 05:58 »
0
Quote
I should whip one up... "The Brutally Honest Guide to Space-Related Microstock Motion Graphics".

Let's collaborate  :D ;)

« Reply #11 on: June 05, 2017, 06:50 »
+2
Quote
The last chapter of the guide does not inspire to pay 10 bucks for it.

This is not a get-rich-quick guide and even the thought of making Microstock sound like an appealing business model (for the vast majority of contributors), makes me want to puke. So, this chapter is basically an exercise in 'thinking outside of the (Microstock) box' to brainstorm sustainable alternatives (perhaps knitting :) ) using the skills gained by participating in the Microstock market. 


I understand, but why anyone would pay money for a recipe for inaction? I don't have to pay to learn to do nothing. I can do nothing all by myself, without a guru's advice. If I make an effort it is because I want something good out of it.

If you did not succeed in this particular venue, that's fine, it's life, but do you think trying to sell a book on "how to fail to be an actor, scientist, plumber, international spy etc" will work? Do you see many of those around? Perhaps people would like to read about a unique expertise rather than trying to start something they cannot finish because they only learn that they will fail?

« Reply #12 on: June 05, 2017, 07:24 »
0
I should whip one up... "The Brutally Honest Guide to Space-Related Microstock Motion Graphics". I still need to write my other book though... "The Holy Grail: Perfect Crispy Crackling Every Time, and Other Adventures in Pork".

Or I could combine them, two great topics in one book. Could be a game changer.

Chapter 1 Intro to space stuff
Chapter 2 - Buying the right meat.
Chapter 3 Scientific accuracy in you animations
Chapter 4 - Preparing the rind
Interview with award winning butcher Kev Meatstation and vfx artist Wayne McBadger.

I'd buy chapter 2 for 10 bucks  8)

Brasilnut

  • Author of the Brutally Honest Guide to Microstock
« Reply #13 on: June 05, 2017, 07:26 »
0
Quote
I understand, but why anyone would pay money for a recipe for inaction? I don't have to pay to learn to do nothing. I can do nothing all by myself, without a guru's advice. If I make an effort it is because I want something good out of it.

If you did not succeed in this particular venue, that's fine, it's life, but do you think trying to sell a book on "how to fail to be an actor, scientist, plumber, international spy etc" will work? Do you see many of those around? Perhaps people would like to read about a unique expertise rather than trying to start something they cannot finish because they only learn that they will fail?

You make some valid points. I've certainly approached drafting this guide in a rather unconventional way, but in a thought-provoking and accurate manner, nevertheless. So much so that we're having an interesting discussion on what it means to "fail" or "succeed". 

If the aim is to be "brutally honest", I cannot sugarcoat, how easy it would be to make money from Microstock to try to get more book-sales, because everybody here knows how tough this industry is - it would be a "brutally dishonest guide" and i'm sure there's many of those out there.

I don't know whether i'm "failing" or "succeeding" at this game but all I know is that I quite enjoy it and would like to pass on my knowledge to others. I'm by no means a guru, just a travel photojournalist. In any case, I don't believe in "failure", as in life we must learn from our mistakes and try to improve with every minute. It's more like feedback than anything. To receive these feedback to improve, we must try try try try and try - the opposite of inaction. Oh and try some more. 
 
I don't want to give too much away as I'm hoping enough people will want to read it but here's the opening paragraph from Chapter 12 "Getting . Out of Microstock":

It may seem strange in a comprehensive guide to how to be successful at Microstock to end with a chapter on how to get . out of it, but please hear me out! This chapter is aimed at both those more experienced contributors and those just starting out, since both will face similar dilemmas, as I will outline in this chapter.I started in Microstock because my perception at the time was that it was the most practical and low-cost way to monetise my images. During the past four years, I have painstakingly put in the time and effort to keep learning how to make my images stand out from the herd. My experience of submitting to various Agencies has given me an education in the technical and commercial/editorial aspects of photography simply by participating in those markets....


« Last Edit: June 05, 2017, 07:30 by Brasilnut »

« Reply #14 on: June 05, 2017, 07:49 »
0
I agree with you in that success/failure is just a silhouette. If it looks like a duck, it could still be a pair of hands and a table lamp :).

Perhaps it's a matter of presentation. Instead of getting-out-of-stock pessimistic conclusion, put it as a first chapter. Entitle it something like "If it were easy, everyone would do it". Well, English is not my first language, I am not good with catchy slogans, I am sure you can come up with something better.

Or use another angle. Say, first steps in industry, learning it while getting stuff sold.
« Last Edit: June 05, 2017, 07:53 by niktol »

Brasilnut

  • Author of the Brutally Honest Guide to Microstock
« Reply #15 on: June 05, 2017, 08:19 »
0
Quote
I agree with you in that success/failure is just a silhouette. If it looks like a duck, it could still be a pair of hands and a table lamp :).

Perhaps it's a matter of presentation. Instead of getting-out-of-stock pessimistic conclusion, put it as a first chapter. Entitle it something like "If it were easy, everyone would do it". Well, English is not my first language, I am not good with catchy slogans, I am sure you can come up with something better.

Or use another angle. Say, first steps in industry, learning it while getting stuff sold.

Thanks for your suggestion. I wanted to be shocking, but you're right that it may also put people off.

English isn't my first language either, that's why I'm a Brasilnut :)

« Reply #16 on: June 06, 2017, 14:09 »
+7
Brutally honest? Ok...

Your shutterstock portfolio is 95% walk-around, point-and-shoot, editorial shots. No working with models. No studio table top. (strobes?) No concepts. Pretty much vacation snaps of cities. And some architectural interiors with verticals off. (?)

Kinda a narrow (and easy) niche.

This makes me question your knowledge and experience that would qualify you to write a guide to Microstock photography.

But  anyone who helps dissuade more competition in this industry is fine with me. ;)



Brasilnut

  • Author of the Brutally Honest Guide to Microstock
« Reply #17 on: June 06, 2017, 14:28 »
0
Quote
Brutally honest? Ok...

Your shutterstock portfolio is 95% walk-around, point-and-shoot, editorial shots. No working with models. No studio table top. (strobes?) No concepts. Pretty much vacation snaps of cities. And some architectural interiors with verticals off. (?)

Kinda a narrow (and easy) niche.

This makes me question your knowledge and experience that would qualify you to write a guide to Microstock photography.

But  anyone who helps dissuade more competition in this industry is fine with me. ;)

I appreciate your brutally honest feedback. 

I stick to travel & news editorial as my main niches - I can't possibly cover all niches within Microstock or claim to be proficient at still life, for example.

We were tired of living in a world that revolved around fixing our weaknesses. Societys relentless focus on peoples shortcomings had turned into a global obsession. Whats more, we had discovered that people have several times more potential for growth when they invest energy in developing their strengths instead of correcting their deficiencies. - Strengths Finder 2.0 by Tom Rath 

On a side note, I've stopped submitting my premium images to SS about a year ago, they now go to Midstock agencies as RM where they should be. So you're probably only seeing my leftover work there at SS earning me those 33cents here and there but I did get a $14 extended license download today. For a better idea of my premium work I recommend to check out my Robert Harding collection - https://www.robertharding.com/photographers/alexandrerotenberg/. 

Anyway, it's all explained in the book, hope you will check it out soon :)

« Last Edit: June 06, 2017, 14:31 by Brasilnut »

« Reply #18 on: June 06, 2017, 14:59 »
0
recommend to check out my Robert Harding collection - https://www.robertharding.com/photographers/alexandrerotenberg/. 

Do you sell anything there? Better than Shutterstock?

« Reply #19 on: June 06, 2017, 15:07 »
0
Quote
Brutally honest? Ok...

Your shutterstock portfolio is 95% walk-around, point-and-shoot, editorial shots. No working with models. No studio table top. (strobes?) No concepts. Pretty much vacation snaps of cities. And some architectural interiors with verticals off. (?)

Kinda a narrow (and easy) niche.

This makes me question your knowledge and experience that would qualify you to write a guide to Microstock photography.

But  anyone who helps dissuade more competition in this industry is fine with me. ;)

I appreciate your brutally honest feedback. 

I stick to travel & news editorial as my main niches - I can't possibly cover all niches within Microstock or claim to be proficient at still life, for example.

We were tired of living in a world that revolved around fixing our weaknesses. Societys relentless focus on peoples shortcomings had turned into a global obsession. Whats more, we had discovered that people have several times more potential for growth when they invest energy in developing their strengths instead of correcting their deficiencies. - Strengths Finder 2.0 by Tom Rath 

On a side note, I've stopped submitting my premium images to SS about a year ago, they now go to Midstock agencies as RM where they should be. So you're probably only seeing my leftover work there at SS earning me those 33cents here and there but I did get a $14 extended license download today. For a better idea of my premium work I recommend to check out my Robert Harding collection - https://www.robertharding.com/photographers/alexandrerotenberg/. 

Anyway, it's all explained in the book, hope you will check it out soon :)

Brutally. I dont see a big diff between your premium or your stock...in my opinion premium should be something uncommon, superb, you cant find in rf,unique lighting or subject. Really what shot in premium agency you have can have any of this quality?

Brasilnut

  • Author of the Brutally Honest Guide to Microstock
« Reply #20 on: June 06, 2017, 15:33 »
0
Quote
Do you sell anything there? Better than Shutterstock?

I'm still building my portfolio there with just over 100 images so it's early days. They are extremely picky on what they choose. Commission is 35% and commercial licenses go for a minimum of EUR290. Editorials minimum EUR70.

Quote
Brutally. I dont see a big diff between your premium or your stock...in my opinion premium should be something uncommon, superb, you cant find in rf,unique lighting or subject. Really what shot in premium agency you have can have any of this quality?

It's good you guys have such high standards as it helps me to push for better and better.
I agree on your definition of "premium". I used the term loosely earlier and admit that I have only a few that I consider to fall under this stringent standard, although always striving to create more. I'll paste them here (are they premium, yes or no?).



 


« Last Edit: June 06, 2017, 15:41 by Brasilnut »

« Reply #21 on: June 06, 2017, 15:43 »
+1
Quote
Do you sell anything there? Better than Shutterstock?

I'm still building my portfolio there with just over 100 images so it's early days. They are extremely picky on what they choose. Commission is 35% and commercial licenses go for a minimum of EUR290. Editorials minimum EUR70.

Quote
Brutally. I dont see a big diff between your premium or your stock...in my opinion premium should be something uncommon, superb, you cant find in rf,unique lighting or subject. Really what shot in premium agency you have can have any of this quality?

It's good you guys have such high standards as it helps me to push for better and better.
I agree on your definition of "premium". I used the term loosely earlier and admit that I have only a few that I consider to fall under this stringent standard, although always striving to create more. I'll paste them here (are they premium, yes or no?).

they good but premium?
i don't know they are very good images, but the 3 have something different, the last is not bad, the rest for me not .

« Reply #22 on: June 06, 2017, 15:52 »
0
Quote
Do you sell anything there? Better than Shutterstock?

I'm still building my portfolio there with just over 100 images so it's early days. They are extremely picky on what they choose. Commission is 35% and commercial licenses go for a minimum of EUR290. Editorials minimum EUR70.

Quote
Brutally. I dont see a big diff between your premium or your stock...in my opinion premium should be something uncommon, superb, you cant find in rf,unique lighting or subject. Really what shot in premium agency you have can have any of this quality?

It's good you guys have such high standards as it helps me to push for better and better.
I agree on your definition of "premium". I used the term loosely earlier and admit that I have only a few that I consider to fall under this stringent standard, although always striving to create more. I'll paste them here (are they premium, yes or no?).

2 3 5 are good the rest  in my opinion is too editorial oriented...robert harding is more oriented towards pure travel, was once a reference for travel guide cover for example, another interesting agency is simephoto with solo mango as little sister, they have base mostly of travel photography. personally i think harding is another agency with not a bright future, once i wanted to upload there but i prefer collaborate with more documentary agency. all this photo for me are good enough for rm in alamy, and am pretty sure you would sell more there that with rh, considering that rh also sell a lot in alamy, and if they sell there you got 25 %

« Reply #23 on: June 06, 2017, 15:54 »
+4
You probably have the most critical audience you will find here not many of whom are likely to be your target market. The answer to whether they are premium or not is answered if they sell or not.

« Reply #24 on: June 06, 2017, 17:38 »
+2
Sounds like a good concept, good title, I think many people would buy and read it if you can get the word out.


 

Related Topics

  Subject / Started by Replies Last post
22 Replies
7250 Views
Last post January 15, 2008, 19:38
by madelaide
19 Replies
9121 Views
Last post June 16, 2008, 10:40
by RacePhoto
58 Replies
32414 Views
Last post July 09, 2017, 16:54
by Bad Company
4 Replies
2187 Views
Last post September 08, 2011, 13:31
by Morphart
18 Replies
2582 Views
Last post July 13, 2014, 17:13
by ShadySue

Sponsors

Microstock Poll Results

Sponsors