In May 2019, I finally broke through the $1k/month mark, assisted with the help of some footage sales over at Shutterstock. Even though I still have a long ways to go until stock can offer me a “living wage”, I’m quite happy at this stage since at least I can put this revenue into upgrading my equipment and paying for some trips.
To have gotten this far, I’m obliged to mention the support I receive from an awesome support group that I’m part. There are also some interesting forums around to share ideas.
In this blog post, I’ll discuss how keeping social is a great way to stay motivated and keep improving.
This work can be fucking frustrating. Every minute that I put into it, there is no guarantee that I’ll even make a return. Even if there is a return, it may be in the form of a 38cent sub or even worse, a $2 footage sale or even a misused license bought cheaply!
How can you vent your frustration? Join a group!
Join a forum
Your starting point is joining an online discussion forum. I recommend registering to one or all of the following, which I frequent frequently:
- Alamy Contributor Forum
- Microstock Group Forum
- Shutterstock Contributor Forum
- Taking Stock Forum (private)
I’m part of a growing whatsapp group with fellow Brazilian photographers/videographers in different niches that I’m keen to learn more such as aerial (Uiler Costa), architecture (Joas Souza) and video lifestyle (Thiago Limongi).
Small Email Group
A while back myself and some other stock contributors formed a fun/useful email group. We work together to share ideas on different stock concepts, topical subjects, travel tips, equipment, links to interesting discussions, etc. Since it’s a small group, discussions are brutally honest as they should be!
The group consist of keen fellow microstockers: Elijah, Steve Heap, Theo and Pedestrian Tom. Thanks guys!
There, we share everything and anything. These days, they’re mocking my newfound destructive streak.
The benefits of such a small intimate group, rather than a public forum, is that there’s no embarrassment…simply share an image/clip or concept, no matter how wacky, and ask for advice.
Other times, someone may be proactive and suggest something or other even without asking, such as the following:
“That Paris one would make a good water color I think – if you want to send me the original jpg, I’ll have a go” – Master Steve
Sometimes it’s fun to brag!
Also, sometimes you just had a big sale and want to tell someone…in a public forum, I believe that it’s not appropriate as it would make for easy pickings by those copycats lurking in the backgrounds.
As for bragging…
Do you have a support group?
If so, how has it helped you? Please comment below!
Until next time – Alex
I’m an eccentric guy on a quest to visit all corners of the world and capture stock images & footage. I’m determined not to waste my life away as a corporate drone and have devoted over six years to making it as a travel photographer and freelance writer. I hope to inspire others before it’s too late.
I’m proud to have written a book about my adventures which includes tips on making it as a stock travel photographer – Brutally Honest Guide to Microstock Photography