MicrostockGroup Sponsors

Author Topic: Has your stock work helped you win over private clients?  (Read 2714 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.


  • Author Brutally Honest Guide to Microstock & Blog

« on: August 04, 2019, 18:50 »
Hey all,

I keep thinking how this stock game is no longer viable as a source of full-time income in most developed countries.

Therefore, I've been thinking about the best way to transition to more lucrative private client work. How have many of you gone about this...sure you can create a portfolio page at SquareSpace or Photoshelter but do you also ever link to you existing stock portfolio?

In addition, would you say that the skills learned creating stock concepts helped out in a wider context? I feel that when I started back in 2012, that the agencies were much more strict with technical reviews that it forced me to improve drastically. These days, that's more difficult as we've seen them let in all sorts of junk.

The above concerns me personally since I'm finally picking up some regular client work in real estate, conferences, events, etc but my true interests lie more in travel and breaking news type work of which I receive no commissioned work, so looking for better ways to pitch myself in those areas. 

Looking forward to a fruitful discussion.
« Last Edit: August 04, 2019, 18:53 by Brasilnut »

« Reply #1 on: August 04, 2019, 20:15 »

« Reply #2 on: August 04, 2019, 22:33 »

Give it time, you will get better. We were all bad at the beginning.  ;D

« Reply #3 on: August 05, 2019, 00:45 »
I used my Photoshelter site to get client work - including magazine and newspaper clients as well as business clients. For me, shooting stock came later. But even if that wasn't the case, I wouldn't use a stock site to get clients, especially a microstock site, since that might make them expect to pay those types of prices, or encourage them to find stock photos instead of hiring you to shoot for them.

Client work pays much better than stock, particularly commercial clients - magazines and newspapers sometimes don't pay much more than full-priced stock sites charge. But I find that shooting for local magazines helps me get local business clients.

You could show potential clients your digital tearsheets - i.e. links to some of your stock photos in use online. But IMHO you should set up a website for potential clients to see what type of work you do.
« Last Edit: August 05, 2019, 00:48 by wordplanet »

« Reply #4 on: August 05, 2019, 01:05 »
No, it's even just the opposite.  From 2006 to 2011 I only did stock photography.  Stock shoots with people meant free photo sessions, so my models were paid with images and a photo book.  In 2012 I quit my day job and started a portraiture studio, as I expected stock income to go down eventually.  NONE of my former models EVER came to my studio for a PAID photo session.  The only benefit I had was that I was able to show stock children/baby images on my personal website, to attract parents, but the bulk of my new clients came from offering cheap sessions in the beginning, and moving my pricing up every year.  Today, the studio generates 60% of my income, and 40% stock.  My advice is :  do NOT send potential client a link to your stock sites (they will see the low pricing), but do use your stock images on a personal website, and add a LOT of text to the website AND to every single image, so Google can find you.

gillian vann

  • *Gillian*
« Reply #5 on: August 05, 2019, 05:57 »

Give it time, you will get better. We were all bad at the beginning.  ;D
(that needed more than a like)
Sean if you need any tips, just reach out....

but srsly, clients don't understand how amazing stock is as a training program for all types of work.  I don't mind sending clients to Stocksy to view my work, they will see some good price points there.


  • Eat, Sleep, Keyword. Repeat

« Reply #6 on: August 05, 2019, 08:44 »

Give it time, you will get better. We were all bad at the beginning.  ;D

Thanks for making me smile this morning :)

« Reply #7 on: August 05, 2019, 09:23 »
I got the humor :)


« Reply #8 on: August 05, 2019, 15:45 »
I was a commercial photographer in the 'good ole daze' from mid-80's through to end-90's. Had a bit of a barren 6 years until an old advertising client asked me to do their Easter and Christmas product brochures and got some work from other clients in the food industry as a result of the work for that client but never had any client work as a result of stock (at Adobe/FT since 2008 and SS since 2012.

I have been asked by the client to ferret out stock photos of backgrounds or subjects that would be too expensive to shoot but haven't had any new clients enquiring about commissions because of my stock work. I must say though that I have absolutely no social media presence and don't even have an Instagram account. I think I would hate being a 'starting' commercial/freelance photographer today. You probably have to find a really small niche for yourself and do it extremely well before clients will consider paying you proper photographer rates. 


« Reply #9 on: August 07, 2019, 13:59 »
Ive gotten messages from people who wanted my work for free, wanted to pay a dollar, and wanted a five dollar custom logo. Im back to freelancing in advertising again. :(


Related Topics

  Subject / Started by Replies Last post
4 Replies
Last post January 25, 2008, 17:43
by rinderart
9 Replies
Last post February 19, 2008, 20:03
by sensovision
3 Replies
Last post February 03, 2013, 10:54
by ShadySue
10 Replies
Last post June 27, 2014, 16:02
by Valo
11 Replies
Last post May 01, 2017, 09:27
by suz7


Mega Bundle of 5,900+ Professional Lightroom Presets

Microstock Poll Results


3100 Posing Cards Bundle