How Much Is Your Stock Photo Worth? Quality vs Quantity in Microstock Photography

If you thought you’d never have enough time to make it as a stock photographer, I hope Danny’s tips this week are helping you to see things in a new light. You don’t necessarily need a lot of images.  You just need THE RIGHT images.

Tomorrow, I’ll share some of your fellow readers’ photos with you -- all of which have been accepted on stock sites.

These members started out, just like you, without any formal background in photography. But they are Breakfast Stock Club Premium members and they followed the Challenges and Roadmaps they get every month as part of their membership and they used those photos to submit to stock sites.

Now they’re on their way!

And don’t forget to scroll down to see the $515 difference between two of Danny’s photos currently up for sale at istockphoto.com...

THE QUALITY FACTOR, PART 3: STAMPING OUT THE COMPETITION
By Danny Warren in Portland, Oregon

Highly marketable subjects have the potential for huge rewards, but they also have stiff competition.

So, our third -- and, really, the most important – tip I’m going to give you this week is how to gauge the quality of your images against your competition.

What you need to look at is the stock quality of your image. Take, for example, these two images I uploaded last June:

Both are hiking shots in Oregon, and both feature two people.

The first shot is on a gloomy day, the hikers aren’t prominently featured, and the location isn’t very captivating.

It’s a decent shot, and hiking is a marketable subject... but this one doesn’t stand out from the thousands of other images of people hiking on a trail. It doesn’t look anything like the top 20 hiking pictures.

The second shot shows a couple overlooking a beautiful vista on a nice sunny day. What else is different?

About $515.

That’s how much more the second image has made. Just like in baseball, the difference between a home run and pop out is sometimes only a couple feet.

Highly successful stock photos -- like the hiking couple here -- are among the best of their competitors and effectively capture marketable themes.

Before you shoot, take a look through the top 20 best-selling images of the theme you’re going for... then see if you can include the same elements that make them great into your own photos.

To recap for the week, you’ll likely make more stock photo sales when you shoot for QUALITY over quantity.

Your three factors to determine quality are:

** Marketability of your subject
** Determining the quantity and caliber of your competition
** Gauging how your photo matches up to the competition

In closing, when I shoot and process stock shots now, I always strive for the highest possible sales potential. My hard-drive is full of images that probably could get accepted, but likely won’t sell well. I draw on my experience and research to prioritize images I think have the best chance at being great sellers.

Getting accepted into a stock agency is like getting picked for the team. It takes hard work and determination, but that’s only part of the equation.

Learn from sales you make, and sales you don’t make. And keep swinging for the fences. Sooner or later, your shots will start clearing the wall.

[Editor’s Note: Learn more about how you can turn your pictures into cash in our free online newsletter The Right Way to Travel.  Sign up here today and we’ll send you a new report, Selling Photos for Cash: A Quick-Start Guide, completely FREE.]

4 responses to “How Much Is Your Stock Photo Worth? Quality vs Quantity in Microstock Photography”

  1. Jerry Hissong

    Thank you. Very helpful!

  2. Jerry Hissong

    Thank you. Very helpful information.
    Jery

  3. Jerry Hissong

    Thank you. Very helpful information.

  4. Jim Cassidy

    This is a priceless tip
    Before you shoot, take a look through the top 20 best-selling images of the theme you’re going for... then see if you can include the same elements that make them great into your own photos.

    Cheers

    Jim

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