Sell Stock Photos

What is Microstock Photography?

If you’re a photographer, chances are you’re always looking for new ways to monetize your work. Microstock photography might be a good option for you. But what exactly is it?

Microstock photography is a type of stock photography that involves the sale of royalty-free photos, videos, and vectors through a subscription-based pricing model at a lower cost than traditional stock photo agencies. It is ideal for web designers, marketers, bloggers, and other creatives who need high-quality, high-resolution stock photos for commercial projects.

For photographers, microstock photography offers a great way to make money from your work. Photographers can upload their photos to a microstock agency and receive royalties from those downloads. The photographer retains the copyright to the images, allowing them to continue earning royalties from their work after the initial sale.

In this blog post, I’ll explain everything you need to know about microstock photography.

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What Is Microstock Photography and How Does It Work?

Microstock photography is a form of stock photography allowing people to buy and sell use-specific media files, such as photographs, videos, vector graphics, and illustrations. Generally, the seller will upload digital files to an image library or marketplace, and customers can then purchase them for their own personal or commercial purposes with a royalty-free license.

Microstock photography is typically much cheaper than conventional stock photography due to being sold as subscription packs and the fact that it is delivered online. This makes it an ideal form of stock media for small businesses on restricted budgets or who need images quickly.

Microstock photographers also benefit from the system because they can make money from the content they already have, such as old photos that would otherwise be collecting dust in a drawer somewhere.

Customers can also access high-quality stock imagery for a fraction of the price compared to traditional photographic methods.

Overall, microstock photography provides more affordable access to high-quality images while offering photographers an avenue for generating passive income from their work without spending large investments in time and marketing.

Development of my total microstock earnings over five years of time.

The Benefits of Microstock Photography for Both Photographers And Businesses?

In the world of digital photography, microstock photography has become increasingly popular for both photographers and businesses alike.

For photographers, microstock photography offers an easy way to get into selling photos, gain exposure, and learn what kind of images are in demand.

For businesses, microstock photography is an affordable solution that provides high-quality visuals with fewer restrictions than traditional stock photos. By downloading images from a one-time payment rather than purchasing them outright, businesses can save time and money.

Furthermore, because many microstock sites are subscription-based, they allow businesses to access an extensive selection of images without breaking the bank.

In addition, due to the sheer volume of available photographs, customers can find just the right image for their project — whether it’s in corporate branding or advertising campaigns — without any hassle or additional worries.

With its numerous advantages over traditional stock photos, it’s no wonder microstock photography has become such a go-to source for both photographers and businesses alike!

How to Get Started in Microstock Photography?

Microstock photography is a great way for aspiring photographers to break into the business and earn money for their work. But getting started can be intimidating, especially if you don’t know where to begin.

The key is to research the microstock industry and understand the market before signing in to the first microstock site you pump into. That means learning about different sites, understanding legal issues such as copyright, license types, and release forms, and familiarizing yourself with the types of photos in demand.

Once you have all this foundational knowledge in place, it’s time to get creative. The most successful microstock photographers are those who understand the market, think outside the box, and come up with unique, eye-catching images.

To make the most of microstock photography, it’s essential to set yourself apart from the crowd. That means finding ways to stand out from other photographers and produce images that are not just of good quality, but also creative and unique.

With a solid understanding of the microstock photography industry and some creative flair, you’ll have a good chance of becoming a successful microstock photographer.

Screenshot of my Shutterstock Dashboard
Screenshot of my Shutterstock Dashboard. Shutterstock is a good microstock site to sell stock media.

Tips for Success in Microstock Photography

Microstock photography is an excellent way for photographers to make money from their passion. It involves taking photographs that can be licensed and used by anyone, from magazines to websites and beyond.

However, the market for microstock photos is highly competitive, so it’s important to know the best practices to become successful in this field.

  • Start out by researching what kind of images are selling well. Traditionally best-selling stock images are of people doing everyday things.
  • You should also practice your craft to ensure that your photos have a professional look and feel. Check the best-selling images on microstock sites to get an idea of the composition and lighting that works.
  • Take some time researching keywords and tagging your images correctly; good tags and descriptions help potential customers find your work more effectively.
  • Make sure you keep up with industry trends; markets change quickly, and keeping track of emerging trends helps you stay ahead of the competition.
  • Be consistent and focus on creating a cohesive portfolio of images. Keep in mind that the key to success is quantity and quality; the more you produce, the more likely it is that some of your images will become best-sellers.

By following these tips, photographers can put themselves on the road to success in microstock photography.

Here you’ll find more useful tips: Tips To Selling Stock Images And Maximize Your Income

FAQs About Microstock Photography

Here are some answers to commonly asked questions about microstock photography:

Are there any restrictions on the types of content I can upload?

No, there are no restrictions as long as it is legal and without copyright or trademark infringement violations.

What is the difference between commercial and editorial use?

Commercial use is when a person or company buys the photo to use in an advertisement, marketing campaign, product packaging, etc.

Editorial use means that the photo is used for journalistic purposes – for example, to illustrate articles in newspapers or magazines.

Read here more: Commercial or Editorial Stock Photos? What’s the Difference?

What kind of royalties will I receive?

Typically 15% – 40% of the cost for each sale made through the microstock site’s marketplace.

Read here about royalties in different microstock sites: Side-by-Side Comparison of The Most Popular Sites To Sell Stock Photos

How much will I earn?

It depends on the type of license and subscription plan elected by each customer but typically ranges from $0.10-$100 per image download.

Read here more about how much you can earn: Realistic Income from Stock Photography

Find a complete microstock FAQ here: Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) of Selling Stock Photos


Microstock photography is a form of stock photography that has become increasingly popular over the past decade. It features images that are typically sold at lower prices and come from professional photographers or hobbyists who license their work via various stock companies.

Microstock photographs can be used for commercial purposes, such as in websites, magazines, brochures, and other printed materials. The images may also be used in advertisements and other promotional materials.

Microstock photography is also a great way for photographers to make money from their work.

It requires a good understanding of the industry and a strong creative eye to produce eye-catching, unique images.

By researching the market, understanding best practices, and keeping up with industry trends, photographers have a good chance of success in the microstock photography market.