Why Photographing An Animal Will Make You a Star

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Animals are the most genuine models a photographer could ever dream of. You know when you have problems relaxing and someone just comes out of the blue whispering: Just be. Nothing more. It’s that easy. Well it seems that animals are the absolute masters of presence or gurus of our perceived present. They can always do that, no matter the circumstances. However, trust me on this one: if you get to be in control of photographing an animal, you’ll become a true star! You’ll become widely appreciated, just like you’ve always dreamed of. No one will ever doubt your talents again. Because this is no piece of cake.

Let’s walk through the reasons why this is a praiseworthy deed. First of all, despite this obvious communication barrier, animals are better than humans. Why is that?

1.     Animals Are No Hypocrites

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They are always themselves. Despite the fact that this actually means that they are never in the mood for photos, once you get the chance to immortalize something, it cannot be anything but genuine. Animals express their feelings and their moods without restraints. They don’t strive to be cute, they just are. They don’t strive to be fearful, they just are. What you see is what you get – no games played, no half measures, no fake smiles.

2.     Animals Don’t Care About Appearance

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Not caring about how you look today means no useless obstacles, no secondary thoughts, no brakes, just sheer freedom and excitement. So go for it! Immortalize the instant, cease the moment and send emails to employers afterwards. That’s why everybody is so impressed by cute photos with furry creatures. They are authentic!

3.     Animals Don’t Care About What Others Think

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Caring about exterior opinions usually refers to humans, not their animal friends. Parasite thoughts kill both freedom and creativity. And non-human models seem to have guessed that somehow, because no second thoughts interfere once they decide to start posing like there’s no tomorrow. They are relaxed, they are focused on what matters when magic happens – their own state of consciousness, and they simply mind their own business after all. And how fascinating that is!

4.     Animals Are Giving And Sincere

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It goes without saying that there’s a special connection between humans and their animal models. Well at least with some of them. When it comes to the less friendly species, one should just hide in the bushes and hunt the moment. That’s the only way. Therefore I’d strongly advise you to start by immortalizing the species that live among humans, just to get used to the vibe. What I’m trying to convince you of is the fact that you should start your training in this way.

Unfortunately people are wearing masks all the time. In other words, whenever you photograph them they are likely to be wearing at least three. If you want to get an honest vibe, start with your pet. For instance, let’s take a photograph showing a man and a dog. The dog in the first place, and not the man, would always draw one’s attention. It’s a simple fact of life. Animals can just exist, can just relax, and can just enjoy a moment, a meal or a sip of water without any further complications. For us humans things are always so abstract, so multi-layered, so blurry, so bring, so old, so confusing. That’s why photos of the animal kingdom are so successful; because they are authentic, and powerful, and they can say so many things using a totally different language than ours. So take your camera, make a simple plan or just start chasing your dog. Photographing an animal will make you a star! Just get off the right foot and trust me on this one, will you?

9 Things You Should Be Doing To Improve As A Stock Photographer

From just starting out to making a full time income, stock photography is one field that many people talk about (and have an opinion about). Is there still a chance of making a full time income at it? How do you get started in this field? And more importantly, what do you need to know to make it BIG? Here are 9 resources you to help you along the way, no matter where you are in your current quest to find success as a stock photographer.

How To Get Your Test Photo Submission Accepted

When you first decide to start building a portfolio on a stock site, you’ll have to start out by creating an initial test submission. And unfortunately, that’s where most photographers go wrong. Here’s a basic guide that will help you understand exactly what they are looking for – and how to improve the appearance of your images as well.

How To Get Your Test Photo Submission Accepted

The Importance Of Keywording Your Images

As you are adding your images to online stock sites, its easy to get caught up in the tediousness of it all. If you’re uploading 50 images that are all about the same, why not do a copy/paste to keyword them all the same? Sounds great in theory, but you may overlook obvious mistakes, forget important key phrases that pertain to individual images, or worse, get your photos eliminated all together. Here’s a great walk through on the importance of keywording.

Start Out Small, Make Money and Grow

Most photographers don’t start out with the thought “I’m going to be a full time stock photographer”. Instead, they work it into their business as they shoot other things. A wedding photographer may have a chance to photograph other things during the week. And so it begins. However you get there, once you begin uploading images, its nice to make money at it too. Here’s a great tutorial on how to get started and what you can expect along the way.

Think Beyond The Photograph

It’s easy to head out into the world and start shooting with the concept of stock in mind. But in many cases its not that simple. What do you do if you capture a great image of a person? Can you use it as a stock image? Here’s a great tutorial on photographing people – and the legalities behind it.

9 Things You Should Be Doing To Improve As A Stock Photographer

Some Things Sell Better Than Others

No matter how you shoot it and what you choose to put online, some things will sell better than others. Becoming a microstock photographer doesn’t mean throwing a bunch of images online and seeing what sticks. It means reevaluating all the time. Here’s a great guide to help you through the evaluation process and determine what is selling – and what you should redo.

Work With Your Models

In many cases you’ll have a great idea for an image … and need people to put your idea into action. Rather than relying on family and friends, hire a pro. Working with models can get you exactly what you are looking for. Here’s a quick tutorial on what it takes to work effectively with a model.

Get Back To Nature, And Sell It Too

Ahhh, the photographer’s dream life. Traveling anywhere in the world, shooting it amazing places, and getting paid for it to. That’s how many people view the enviable career of nature photography. Yet there’s more to it than meets the eye. Here are some great tips on building up your stock business using nature images.

Get To Know The Business

Selling stock is a business first and foremost. If you think of it like a business, you can turn it into a business … a very successful one. Yet there is so many misconceptions about microstock and how it works. One site you should get to know is Microstock Diaries – and here is a great article that talks about microstock in the mainstream.

Learn From The Best … Microstock Millionaire Yuri Arcurs

What does it take to be a full time successful microstock photographer? No one knows better than Yuri Arcurs. This video will give you a quick glimpse into what it takes to be successful at this amazing business.

The Future Of Microstock Photography

Just like most other niches within the photography industry, microstock has completely changed the landscape. Instead of commanding big bucks for shoots for companies, microstock gives companies a way to buy stock images inexpensively. Yes, they aren’t original. But the low price is what brings them in and makes them stay.

Can you make money with microstock? According to a recent survey, the answer is still overwhelmingly yes. 24 percent of the people surveyed stated that microstock was the primary way they brought in income. And what may be even more exciting, the highest reported income was $900,000. Yep, close to $1 million just by selling microstock.

Many people would argue that this is just the lucky one – the one person that actually had success with it – most people will never make money at it. And I agree. But I would also argue that most people will never make money with photography either. The people that do succeed treat it like a business and work at their business every single day. [Read more…]

A Guide To Getting Started In Selling Microstock

There are two ways to make a full time income. Price your services high and select a few customers to cater your services to. Or price your services low and work for volume.

Increasingly people are looking at the low price high volume model, and seeing how lucrative it can really be. You can build apps (I would love to be a part of Angry Birds model), ebooks (think Kindle and Nook), or in the photography world, microstock.

How Does It Work?

If you want to sell microstock, the best place to start is with microstock agencies. There are a number of great agencies, and more are being created every day.

Dig Deeper: 65 Stock Photography Sties To Find And Sell Photography and a couple of new ones



As you visit an agency, head to their photographers section, and find out what it takes to build an account. Each agency has their own set of guidelines. They want serious photographers only, so you will have to meet their requirements. They usually do that in two ways: [Read more…]

How To Compete With Stock Images

This post is Day 18 of 30 Ways In 30 Days To Redesign Your Life With Photography. This series seeks to provide you with practical steps to get you from wherever you are today, to exactly where you want to be – this year! If your goal has always been to take your photography to a whole new level, hang on and start enjoying a new lifestyle you’ve always dreamed of.

“I love to photograph food, products – things for commercial use. I would love to sell my work to companies for hanging on their walls of for them to include in company magazines, brochures, etc. But I’m finding more companies are turning to micro stock, and I’m having trouble getting my foot in the door. Is commercial photography still a viable business? Or should I shoot micro stock myself?” John

Great question.

I’m currently reading a book I Live In The Future & Here’s How It Works by Nick Bilton. I’m only about half way through it, but something Nick wrote in the first chapter has stuck with me, and I’ve been thinking a lot about it the past few days.

In it he speaks of the unraveling of Playboy Enterprises Inc. (I know, Playboy? You have to read the book to see how it fits in to a technology book.) Anyway, between 2004 and 2007, Playboy’s revenue was between $330 million and $340 million, and the company was turning a small profit or just breaking even. But in 2009, revenue slid to $240 million – a 30 percent plunge. The company’s stock slid from $25 to $5 a share. And its outlook isn’t encouraging. [Read more…]

iSyndica Review – How Well Does It Work For Stock Photography?

I recently had a question from a reader. She asked, “I was introduced to iSyndica through a friend, and was wondering if that would be a tool to use to help me grow my stock photography business”. So I had to go over and surf around for awhile to find out what iSyndica is all about.

I love sites like iSyndica because as a photographer, they make your job easier. They take away the difficulties of having to go and do the same functions again and again on multiple sites. But of course there is a price to pay – you have to pay for the ability to accomplish more in less time.

iSyndica Review How Well Does It Work For Stock Photography

The best way to start testing is to start with their 14 day free trial. That gets you into the backend system so you can start uploading your images, and seeing how the backend works. Sign up when you can really use the 14 day free trial to its fullest potential.

From there, the program itself is reasonably priced. Their top package is just $150 a year, and if you’re planning on making a living as a full time stock photographer, that’s a small price to pay for effective time management. Start small, and upgrade as you find the system more useful, and you start reaching your limits. Upgrades take place almost immediately, so you can change based on your needs.

Once you have your account, you can upload and manage all of your photos. You can upload and manage in large batches, and begin grouping items to help you better organize your content. Keyword, adding descriptions, and even spell checking are all there to make sure you have your content organized to quickly feed it into the appropriate stock house.

ISyndica has over 50 distribution channels to select from, so you can easily find your favorite and most profitable stock houses online, and quickly feed your best images to them. You can also manage your accounts and add things like model releases as necessary.

Every account comes with a certain amount of credits. These credits are used as you submit your information to a stock house. ISyndica does it right here by allowing you to buy more if you need them during the month, and allows you to bank them if you don’t. Use only what you need without worrying about losing what you’ve already purchased. This is great if you are off shooting or doing other production work for a month, and simply don’t have the time to upload.

The reporting feature is also well thought out. The more you use the system and the higher plan you choose, the more frequent you’ll receive access to your reports. Track what stock houses are working the best, and quickly assess where you should be spending your time. And if you use Firefox as your browser, the statistics bar is a great feature to keep you up to date all through your day.

Thinking of using iSyndica? I give it a thumbs up. The more efficient you can be with the business and selling side of things, the more time you’ll have to devote to what you truly love – your photography.

Microstock Bidding Wars? Now You Really Need To Think Before Selling Microstock

I wandered across a new beta site today, SpiderPic. SpiderPic may be a consumer’s best friend – and a photographer’s worst nightmare if you’re not careful.

determining how to price microstock images for online sales

I know that feelings on microstock vary across the board with the photography community. I’ve always been a fan of selling microstock on the side, and letting it help you build up a residual, or second stream of income while you do whatever else you love.

When you sell to a microstock house like iStockPhoto or Fotolia, you make anywhere from a few cents to a few dollars, depending on your level of authority within the community.

And if you play the microstock game correctly, you’ve sold images to multiple sites. Some sites reward you if you sell exclusively to their company; and others allow you to sell the same image currently listed on other sites.

Where the danger lies is selling for different prices to different microstock sites. And that’s where SpiderPic comes in. With SpiderPic, search for images based on keyword or URL, and it will find everywhere an image is listed, and give you pricing in every location. Consumers can instantly find the lowest price for their image, instead of purchasing from a preferred microstock location. And in today’s difficult economic times, who isn’t looking for a way to cut costs any way you can?

Moral of this story: If you do sell microstock, make sure you are pricing your images the same in every location. It may also be better to build up your reputation with fewer stock houses, and use more exclusive content per site, especially as you gain a larger portfolio, and have a larger following.

Getty Images Announces A Call For Photographers

Getty Images has been scouring Flickr for over a year now looking for photographers that can add to their portfolio. Now they’re taking it to the next level, and are putting out a formal call for artists.

If you are interested in becoming a stock photographer, start by uploading 10 of your best images to the Flickr collection on Getty Images. Getty’s editors will be monitoring the uploads, looking for the right photographers to add to their contributor list. If you make the cut, your images will be a part of their collection.

getty images

Stock photography is a step up from microstock. With places like iStockPhoto, you make a few cents to a few dollars per image, depending on your portfolio status. With Getty Images, you stand to make substantially more. But keep in mind if they do accept your photos, you enter a contract with them as the exclusive seller of that image.

As with any type of photography, your best course of action is having several different ways of making money. If you’re photographing regularly for both micro stock and stock photography, the results could be rewarding.

Earning An Income With Your Photography – Passive versus Active

If any of you are fans of the Robert Kiyosaki series Rich Dad Poor Dad, or one of many other trainers out there who teach about earning income, you’ve probably heard the terms active income and 51passive income.

Active income is the revenue you  earn by physically doing something. Your income depends on you being there.

  • You show up for your job and you get paid by the hour.
  • You bring in a client and charge them for a photo shoot.
  • You shoot a wedding and have people order images from you.

Passive income is the revenue that comes from something you have in place that earns revenue whether you are there or not.

  • You own a rental house and the renters pay you month after month.
  • You have investments, stocks, dividends, or retirement funds paying you every month.
  • You write a book and receive royalty checks year after year.
  • You own a stock image that makes money month after month.

Chances are up until now you’ve received the majority of your revenue from active sources. Most people do.

But think for a moment how much easier life would be if you could have both working for you all the time.

Active Income
You are a wedding photographer. You photograph 35 weddings per year. You spend over 40 hours catering to each individual client’s needs (including initial consultations, marketing, booking, shooting the event, production, and delivery).

[Read more…]

65 Stock Photography Sites To Find And Sell Photography

Looking for stock photos, stock video, or stock graphics to go into your marketing and advertising? Or looking for a great resource to begin selling your photography to stock houses? Check out this list for a variety of resources, both general and specific.

Stock Photography – Commercial/Fee Based

123 Royalty Free


[Read more…]