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Make Money Selling Stock Photos

easy tips on selling micro stock photography

Stock Photography Community

Tip #19: Mix It Up with Graphics

Monday, November 26, 2007


Do you have other talents besides photography? Did you know that microstock agencies also accept graphics? If you enjoy drawing, painting or computer illustration in addition to photography, you might have another stream of income you can take advantage of.

I dabble with children's graphics and sometimes product illustration when I have some spare time. What about you? Do you doodle, create computer icons or draw maps? Think about what interesting artistic endeavors might be a part of your repertoire. Upload a few and see what happens.

Here's one of my illustrations from a children's book I've worked on for several years. Check out my portfolio on Dreamstime to see a few more.

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posted by La Roach, 8:17 PM AddThis Social Bookmark Button AddThis Feed Button

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Tip #18: Finding Your Specialty

Sunday, November 18, 2007

One of the best ways to advance your microstock offerings is to find a specialty - such as a theme or object that you enjoy photographing. Once you discover this interest, it's time to build a portfolio or collection of images using your speciality as the central focal point.

Six Reasons Why You Should Have a Specialty
1. By uploading 15 or more images in one particular category, you appear to be an expert on that subject matter.
2. By consistently having your name appear when a search for your speciality is performed, "brands" you with that type of image.
3. If a buyer purchases one of your speciality images, there is a higher likelihood that they will come back and purchase more images from you in order to stay with the same theme and/or style.
4. Having more images than other photographers in a particular niche raises your odds of being purchased over others who only have one or two photos in that category.
5. Creating a portfolio of images based on a single theme, allows you to explore and build upon variations of this theme. This deepens your perspective and awareness of your speciality, creating a depth to the theme.
6. At some microstock agencies, such as Dreamstime, you can build a "collection" of images for designers to browse. Although Dreamstime collections must include work by several photographers, you can certainly put together a collection based on your speciality portfolio and drop in just a few photos by others to round out the collection. This is another interesting way for web designers and graphic artists to discover your photography.

As you can probably guess from the image above, my specialty happens to be semi-trucks. There's a very good reason for this. I work for a manufacturer who ships products throughout the country via long-haul trucks . Many times I am asked to photograph shipments for insurance reasons. It occurred to me one day this was a great opportunity to create a speciality.

While I was waiting around for the shipments to be loaded, I took a few photos of the trucks themselves. Many were actually beautiful in a big, brawny kind of way! With their bright paint jobs and flashy chrome, the semi's had a real presence about them. Each truck had its own personality, something I found to be an exciting challenge to photograph. Plus my job presented a unique opportunity to photograph a variety of trucks while they were stationary, allowing for optimal vantage points that would be impossible with a moving vehicle. And thus - my lucrative speciality was born!

To see the collection I built at Dreamstime called "Big Rigs" stop by: http://www.dreamstime.com/big-rigs-rcollection5392-resi265856

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posted by La Roach, 5:12 PM AddThis Social Bookmark Button AddThis Feed Button

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Tip #17: Object Isolation

Sunday, November 11, 2007


Here's another cool thing to do with your photos. Photograph entire objects than drop out the background to "isolate" the subject on white. As many websites use white as their background color, isolated objects are very much in demand as they appear to float on the page, offering a clean, airy look. When an image is rectangular in format with a black border, it tends to lend a "boxy" feel to the web page. Float objects open up a web page and allow for more creativity with the design.

If you are skilled in Photoshop, isolated an object is fairly easy. I use my Wacom tablet with stylus to very closely outline the object in Photoshop. Making sure I have changed the photo "background" to a "layer", I then select the path, reverse the selection and delete the background. Presto! You have an isolated object on white.

If you don't have a Wacom, you can use your mouse to select around the object, but it's a much more difficult task. It's well worth the small amount you'll pay for this nifty little techie tool to be able to offer various versions of your images - with background and without background. My fluorescent bulb is a good example of what can be done by isolating an object.

See more of my isolated objects by visiting my Dreamstime portfolio.

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posted by La Roach, 6:00 PM AddThis Social Bookmark Button AddThis Feed Button

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Tip #16: There's No Place Like Home

Thursday, November 1, 2007


Someone once said, "Write about what you know." Well I say, "Photograph what you know." Look around you. What great things are a part of your world?

Maybe you have an interesting hobby that you can use for inspiration. Or you have a couple of cute kids who enjoy posing for you. Or you might live in a tourist destination. I happen to live in the third most popular tourist destination in the USA (depending on which magazine you read) and the oldest state capital - Santa Fe, New Mexico. I can walk down the street and have 400-year old adobes to photograph, like this turquoise window photo that I just added to my Dreamstime portfolio. Yes, I am quite fortunate, but I'll bet you are too.

What's special about your everyday life? Or what's absolutely ordinary? Inspiration and photographs can spring from the most common sources. And popular, saleable photographs are probably right in your own home. Here are a few suggestions:
- shoes

- your favorite recipes

- still lives composed of fruit

- your shell collection

- game pieces

- close-up details of your computer

See? It's easy. Sit down and brainstorm a list and before you know it - you'll have ideas and photographs poring forth in abundance.

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posted by La Roach, 8:49 PM AddThis Social Bookmark Button AddThis Feed Button

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