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Taking Stock: Make Money in Microstock Creating Photos That Sell
Synopses & Reviews
The ultimate insider guide to creating stock shots that sell from a veteran iStockphoto inspector
An iStockphoto inspector since 2002, author Rob Sylvan has spent nearly a decade as part of the team that decides which photos get sold on one of the largest, most popular microstock sites in existence. He’s also made tens of thousands of dollars off of his own microstock photography. As a result, no one knows better than he does what it takes to get your photos accepted to stock sites—and what to do to make those photos sell. In Taking Stock, Rob shares his hard-earned insider knowledge on how to shoot, edit, and tag photos so you can earn while you learn, regardless of which microstock agency you’re using.
In this book, you’ll learn how to look at the world through the eyes of designers, photo editors, and stock photographers. You’ll also learn the importance of focusing your energy on creating stock content that resonates with your passion for photography. But we all know time is money, which is why Rob explains how to set up an effective digital workflow—the real key to making money in the high-volume, low-cost microstock market. By the end of this book, you’ll look at your work with new eyes, enabling you to make more money doing exactly what you love: shooting photos that sell.
You will learn:
As low-cost, royalty-free microstock agencies like iStockphoto, Shutterstock, Dreamstime, and Fotolia continue to attract attention, more photographers of all stripes are looking at how to make money online selling more for less.
Enter Rob Sylvan, who has worked as an iStockphoto photo inspector for the last seven years. In his new book, Sylvan shares insider tips on how to shoot, edit, and tag photos so that they sell well, regardless of which microstock agency you're using. Sylvan discusses using Photoshop, Photoshop Elements, Adobe Camera Raw, and Lightroom to process and prepare photos for submission to stock agencies (readers need some form of software for editing). Sylvan starts by explaining what subjects are in demand and then shows readers how to get those shots with specific tips for shooting and editing food, people, nature, objects, animals, and more. He also outlines how to set up an effective digital workflow, which is key to making money in the high-volume, low-cost microstock market.
As further proof that making money in microstock can be done, Sylvan features interviews with the most successful microstock photographers in the industry, who share their best inspirational and practical tips. By the end of this book, readers will look at their photos with new eyes, seeing shots from the viewpoint of prospective buyers, and shooting photos that sell.
About the Author
Rob Sylvan started contributing photos to iStockphoto in 2002. In December 2002, he became the sixth photo inspector (the people who review all new submissions to the site) to be hired. Over the last seven years he has inspected thousands upon thousands of photos and is in the process of re-writing iStock's photo contributor manual. Beyond his experience with iStockphoto, Rob has been one of three people serving on the National Association of Photoshop Professionals (NAPP) Help Desk answering Photoshop and Lightroom questions for all NAPP members. He is also the author of Lightroom 2 for Dummies.
Table of Contents
Part 1: Shooting what you love
Is this book for you?
The story of the $11,000 tree
How I got started
History of "microstock"
Quality vs quantity
Establishing a name for yourself
Part 2: What is stock photography?
Understanding the royalty free license
Understanding how images are sold
When are model releases required?
When are property releases required?
The importance of titles, descriptions and keywords
Using a controlled vocabulary
Finding what subjects are in demand
Being inspired by others (but not too much)
Part 3: Getting it right in-camera
Point and shoot vs DSLR
Raw vs JPG
Choosing the settings on your camera
Gear you want to add to your list
Signs of a snapshot
Let there be light
Shooting panoramas and HDR
Part 4: Getting it right on your computer
Setting up your digital darkroom
Calibrating your monitor
Choosing your image editing software
Choosing a color space
Adjusting white balance
Make your photos pop
Dealing with noise
How to sharpen for stock
Removing distracting elements
Cropping for stronger composition
Resizing to fix minor problems
Reducing chromatic aberration
Brightening eyes and teeth
Combining multiple photos into one
Part 5: Putting it all together
Organizing your photos
Going through the application process
Uploading your photos
Dealing with rejection
Finding out how your work is used
Getting involved in the community
Using social media
Registering your copyright
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