I've been reading about microstock photography, trying to see if I could make a little money off my photography hobby. Looks like it's something that will take me a lot of time and effort for little return, but trying it out should help me improve my skill at taking pictures, so there's that at least.
I read the book Microstock Photography: How to Make Money from Your Digital Images by Douglas Freer and took a few notes from it and the various online posts I also read:
- Look for shots that sell a simple concept or thing, simple sells
- Take images in raw format
- Shoot at low iso in sufficient light to avoid noise
- Use a tripod and cable release or timer to avoid shake
- Use a white card to get white balance correct
- Expose to the right, but don't over expose.
- Shoot multiple exposures to ensure a good shot
- View images at 100% zoom to search for visual, technical flaws
- Remove noise from images
- Remove chromatic aberrations (rainbow effects) and moire
- Remove all logos, copyrighted signs,
- Sharpen image slightly before final export to jpeg
- Get critiques from forums before submitting to the microstock sites
- Add keywords directly into EXIF/IPTC data
- Use thesaurus to get more relevant keywords
- Have 30 to 50 keywords per image
- Before submission review the requirements of each site you submit to
- Submit same initial batch of images to multiple sites to see what sites accept, fit your style best
- Submit new material in regular small amounts instead of rare large batches
And the most important thing, in my opinion:
- Do not expect success quickly, expect to get rejected at first, use this to learn what to fix and how to improve.