The first question everyone asks when they hear about microstock is an obvious one.
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What will I earn from microstock? The answer unfortunately is an annoying one. What you get out of microstock depends on what you are willing to put into it.
Gone are the days of people making a killing in this industry off just a few happy snaps with their compact digital camera. But fear not — potential still remains. You may be surprised what those old photos on your hard drive could earn you.
In fact, you could even turn a much loved hobby into a steady stream of income. At the very least, that can help pay for more camera gear!
There are many, many people making part-time or even full-time incomes from microstock photography alone. Well that depends on your point of view.
While you may only earn dollars or even cents for your precious images, microstock works on volume. That soon adds up, and for most contributors they are the highest earner out of all the agencies despite paying less per download. Then you have agencies like Dreamstime usually in the top 5 earners with a pricing structure that earns you more per download when an image reaches different sales levels.
Contemplating starting out as a Microstock Photographer | Microstock insider stock photography guides
Plus more if the buyer wants an extended license an option that allows them to use it for more things. As you can see, despite small revenue per image, when you work on getting a few hundred sales a month, from a few different agencies, that soon begins to make sense.
Have a Paypal account? Some even will use direct bank transfers. Essentially, no matter where you live in the world, if you have access to the internet you will be able to receive your earnings each month provided you have reached the payout threshold. An earnings point determined by the agency that once reached allows you to be paid.
Once this threshold is reached most sites pay their contributors around the 15th of each month, although Shutterstock is the fastest to pay, sending out money around the 7th. I had several hundred quality images just sitting on my computer for years not earning me a cent.
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Now they are earning a growing portion of my overall income, with the best part being I can do other work while they earn money for me. But when your options are either earn nothing and have no-one see your beautiful images or earn a constant income and get international exposure for your work, I know which one I would choose all over again.
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