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Book Review: Microstock Photography – How To Make Money From Your Digital Images by Douglas Freer

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Microstock photography provides both the professional, as well as the amateur photographer a way to diversify their income and expand their artistic visibility by turning day trip photos or photography portfolios into a viable business investment. Microstock has been a mini revolution within the larger revolution of digital imaging.

Do you own a camera or have some talent with vector imaging, or even video? If you do and have a computer and an internet connection, you can make money from it. Microstock Photography will give you all of the insight on what you need to know to start making money from your camera or computer. Microstock Photography is 224 pages in length and divided into 12 chapters.

Chapter 1, “Understanding the Microstock Revolution” and how you can profit from it is really what this book is about. This chapter introduces you to what stock photography is all about, where it came from, where it is going, and how you can profit from it.

Chapter 2, “How to Make Dollars from Cents” looks at how the Microstocks make money by selling at a very low price. Yes, this means low commissions, but many more sales still means that one can generate significant income. Here you look at several sites and the different models that they employ.

Chapter 3, “What Sells and What Does Not” explains that there is no reason to waste time shooting images that won’t sell. After all, this book is about making money. In this chapter, the author breaks down different areas of photography, and important points to being able to selling in each one. Chapter 4, “How to Make Sure Your Pictures Win” is all about putting together a good composition. Here you will learn about techniques that create images that sell. You will learn about cropping correctly, the rule of thirds, color combinations and more.

Chapter 5, “Technical Issues: Killing the Gremlins before They Kill Your Pictures” examines what can lead to the rejection of an image. This chapter will help you spot the faults in you images and eliminate rejections of a technical nature. Chapter 6, “Equipment” examines to use film or digital, what is the best camera, and what other equipment that can be used to create the best images around.

Chapter 7, “Setting up a Home Studio” does not mean spending a lot of money. Quite often you can set one up on a shoestring budget. Your set up can be as simple as using a table and available light all the way to studio lights and more professional equipment. Chapter 8, “Twenty Tips and Trick to Winning on Microstocks” looks at formulating a plan to that maximizes your prospects for success. Here you will look at twenty suggestions to help you win in this business.

Chapter 9, “Mixing It with Rights-Managed Stock” looks at other ways of making money from stock photography. Here you will see what you have to do to make sure that you can make money, and stay out of trouble with the Microstock stream. Chapter 10, “Case Studies” examines a number of different contributing photographers and how they make money shooting stock photos and what kind of experiences that they have had.

Chapter 11, “Copyright, Trademarks, and Model Releases” looks at how you can meet the legal requirements of the microstocks. Many times they are different, but this chapter shows you what you need to be aware of. Chapter 12, “The Future of Microstock Photography” finishes by looking at the road ahead and what opportunities will avail themselves in the future of microstocks.

Microstock Photography provides a really great overview of how to sell to the Microstocks. It is written in an easy to read style and provides informative information and well illustrated with many high quality microstock examples to learn from.

I like the progression of the book from what is required to make sales on through what it takes to create saleable images. I also like the case studies and how others have managed in this world. If you want a good introduction to the world of microstocks then I can easily recommend Microstock Photography.

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About T. Michael Testi

Photographer, writer, software engineer, educator, and maker of fine images.
  • http://www.forestwander.com ForestWander Nature Photography

    Sounds like the kind of book I need to buy.

    I am hooked on nature photograhy but it just does not sell well.

  • http://www.imagix.dk Anders

    I have mad quite a bit of money on Shutterstock. You dont have to be a professional photograper. It’s a great way to pay for your camera equipment. Try it out – there is nothing to lose…