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Make Money Selling Stock Photos

easy tips on selling micro stock photography

Stock Photography Community

Tip #9: Talking Equipment - Your Camera

Thursday, October 4, 2007

A long time ago someone gave me this advice: it's not the camera that makes a good photograph, it's the photographer.

This little bit of philosophy boils down to this - a good photographer can create a great photograph with just about any kind of camera. Whereas, giving an expensive camera to a mediocre photographer, won't improve a photographer's skill level. Even in this age of digital magic, you still need a good eye and the ability to craft a well-composed image.

But a great photographer won't be able to produce an acceptable image for microstock that has a large enough digital file size, unless he/she has the "right" camera. (Did you follow all of that?)

So when it comes down to choosing a camera to shoot microstock, should you go digital or rely on a tried and true SLR with film?

If you're an old-fashioned photographer like me, you're probably thinking of the thousands of slides or negatives you have amassed over the years. The thought may have come to you that scanning some of these film relics could be an option. Forget about it! Take it from me, it's not worth the time and trouble to do high-res scans of old slides and negs. Scanning can produce a lot of "noise" (that contrasty, pixilated look) that agencies absolutely hate! Plus no matter how careful you are, you'll need to do a lot of Photoshopping to get rid of dust, scratches and hair. Yuck - way too much work!

If you want to sell microstock, it's easier, faster and much more fun to do it with a digital camera. You'll need a camera that produces a photo file size of at least 3 MP or larger (the bigger the better!). It doesn't have to be expensive. I use a Nikon D50 that has just over 6 Mega Pixels. It sells for under $700 with one lense. If you want to spend a little more, the Nikon D80 offers more oomph and and cost around $1,000.

I'm not a "techie", so for me the easier the better. My poor old brain still reverts back to shutter speeds, F-stops and film speed! (Anyone out there remember these basics?)

Once you have your digital camera you're ready to get started. You really don't need much more than that, but there are several other goodies I'll recommend in upcoming posts to make it a whole lot more fun.

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posted by La Roach, 8:39 PM AddThis Social Bookmark Button AddThis Feed Button

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