Saturday, March 16, 2013

Microstock Agencies


Microstock also known as micropayment photography is one of the many ways photographers can make a living on the net.
The concept is simple, many people need photos to put on their web pages, illustrate their magazines, use on an article or whatever; microstock agencies are there for them.
Many photographers like to eat (some of them more than once a day) to satisfy their vices they need food or money to buy it; microstock agencies are there for them.
Some microstock agencies are also there for those who make illustrations, vectors or videos and like or need money.

How does it work?

  • You, as a photographer upload, tag and describe your photos. 
  • The microstock agencies will check them and decide if your photos meet their standards 
  • If they like your work, the photos will be online.
  • Merciful people in need of images will look for photos in this agencies.
  • Merciful people will find and buy your photo.
  • You make money.

The money you make with each sale depends on different factors, the size of the photo they need, the use they are going to give to your image, your progress in the page that increases the percentage you will earn with each sale, if you only upload those images to this particular agency... But each sale is generally few cents or few bucks, so you need a big portfolio to start viewing the real money.
The best thing is that, once you upload one picture, this picture can be sold unlimited times.
Most of this agencies also have an affiliate program that can help you make money by referring photographers or buyers. 


The low value of the images has created a controversy. There are many photographers that find microstock agencies as some evil doers that devaluate their works and steal potential customers than, in other case, would have hire a photograph to satisfy their needs.
Other photographers find the microstock agencies as a new business oportunity and live just by their portfolios on this sites (some making a quite impresive amount of money), they find an useful tool to sell their images exposing them to thousands of needy customers.

The top Microstock agencies are:

The agencies that will probably make you more money are the ones that follow, but there are hundreds of different agencies that you can try.


Before uploading the pictures, use a program such as Adobe Bridge to edit the metadata, puting the tags and description there, will save you a lot of time when uploading the same images to different sites as many of them will use this information to fill automaticaly the information of the picture. Better to do it once than five times!

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