In March 2019, I had the honour to ask Mirko (aka View Apart) Lifestyle Microstock Photographer, a few brutally honest questions about his success as a Lifestyle Microstocker.
We’ve been chatting regularly since and he’s happy to share some tips / motivational advice on here, in addition to providing an awesome update to his course…!
First some tips on becoming a “Microstock Warrior”:
How to become a “Microstock Warrior” by Mirko
If you are a BEGINNER, this post is for YOU!
If you are NOT a beginner, but your images don’t get downloaded, this post is (also) for you
Lately, I’m seeing a lot of new “wannabe” MICROSTOCKERS joining mine and some others groups.
Posting photos of flowers&sunsets… and asking why they don’t sell.
This is what this POST is about: DOS and DON’Ts plus some NUMBERS about being successful with MICROSTOCK.
I’ll start with DON’Ts, as these crucial MISTAKES let most of new contributors only WASTING their TIME and mental energy.
In spite of keeping the focus onto the real winning DOS.
– Don’t buy expensive GEARS to start out
– Don’t upload random images from your existing archive
– Don’t photograph/upload random images of things around you
– Don’t use irrelevant/spamming keywords
– Don’t upload similar images on the same batch, nor in the same week
– DON’T copy other people’s work
– Don’t EVER make a fake release: they will save your ass on day
– Don’t waste your time “promoting” your portfolio on facebook groups or wherever you think you can find buyers: BUYERS are ONLY on agencies, and agencies do the promoting job
– Don’t waste your energy complaining about things that you can not control
– Don’t look for more-and-more microstock agencies if you don’t sell FIRSTLY on the most important ones
– Don’t go extremely seasonal (Christmas, Easter, etc…) until you have a portfolio that sells EVERY MONTH of the year
– Don’t think that microstock is an easy game: the market could be very profitable but the COMPETITION is HIGH
– Understand the market and get out of your comfort zone: you must shoot what’s on DEMAND and not what you simply feel comfortable with
– Study TRENDS: concepts, props, colors
– Photograph PEOPLE LIFESTYLE
– Shoot COMMON things in a UNIQUE way
– Be inspired by bestsellers (but DON’T copy!)
– Make your image “iconic” following composition rules
– Improve your editing skills: buyers are lazy, they want cool images READY to GO!
– Concentrate your efforts firstly on SHUTTERSTOCK and ADOBE, then ISTOCKPHOTO (as they have a completely different keyword system) and ONLY then (let’s say after 1 year) eventually on all others
– Watch what your COMPETITORS do, for a given concept: you must be BETTER than them
– Save METADATA on LIGHTROOM and keep your image DATABASE neat and tidy
– Upload LESS images but MORE unique and curated (concepts, composition, editing, keywords)
– Start producing images that can sell ALL YEAR and not only in specific periods/holidays
– Start organize your next PEOPLE LIFESTYLE photoshooting NOW: pick a couple of friends, explain them what you do, have a release signed, take them for a walk in your town center, buy them a drink, let them interact, PHOTOGRAPH them.
(intended for a same single image, and only on Shutterstock)
– 1 or 2 downloads per YEAR doesn’t mean that an image sells
– 1 or 2 downloads per MONTHS means that an image sells
– 1 or 2 downloads per DAY means that the image is a great seller
– 5+ downloads per day means that the image is a BESTSELLER
– 10+ downloads per day means MEGA WOW YEAH CHAMPAGNE
This post alone should be already enough to “make it good”, start selling well, being an happy microstocker
If you want more, you have the possibility to sign up for Microstock Academy’s ONLINE TRAINING, which is a STEP-by-STEP method, starting from ZERO LEVEL, on how to be SUCCESSFUL in the microstock world:
Remember to use the following Brutally Honest promo-code (50$ DISCOUNT) if you decide to purchase the video course Microstock Academy
– I’ll show you the way, but YOU must do the job!
– You’ll start to see little results very soon, but you need almost an YEAR to create a good established portfolio with interesting incomes
– It’s a PRACTICAL video course, so be ready to ACTIVELY do things (researches, photoshootings, editing, keywording, uploading)”
Now back to Alex…Grazie mille, Mirko!
I’ve also benefited from his advice
Many contributors took advantage of the course via the special Brutally Honest code and are benefiting from the advice given, including myself since I’ve started working with models for lifestyle shots as well as videos.
I’m happy to share that my lifestyle shots are selling over and above the more traditional editorial travel shots, so def something to keep investing my efforts on (plus I enjoy shooting beautiful people 😉 )
Backstage Videos Release
Mirko has added to his existing course at the Microstock Academy two new long BACKSTAGE VIDEOS from his most recent private shootings.
Sneak Trailer Preview – Rooftop Backstage
More backstage videos and content
The course consists of more than 50 step-by-step lessons combined with 4 backstage videos, and some more BONUS material, you will learn:
– How to plan a shooting
– How to set the location
– How to deal with the models creating a “real life” mood
– How to shoot from different trendy angles
– How to create bestsellers…and much more!
Special offer only available via the Brutally Honest Blog
After watching the free videos, if you decide to purchase the online training, don’t forget to use my special promo code to get $50 off from the total price with the code:
Hope you take advantage.
Speak soon, Alex