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Microstock Money Shots: Turning Downloads into Dollars with Microstock Photography Paperback – August 24, 2010
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Boughn draws on 30 years of experience to create a long overdue handbook for shooting saleable stock imagery targeting "what the market demands year after year" --Rangefinder Magazine. August 2010. LightReading. Jim Cornfield. page 136-138
About the Author
Andres Rodriguez (foreword) is one of the world's top microstock contributors. A self-taught photographer, he receives 30,000 downloads each month. Visit him at www.andresr.com.
Top Customer Reviews
The blogs and the book have another thing in common too. They are both seeking to profit by convincing photographers to devalue their work. Ellen hopes to sell books by leading you to believe you can make a fortune licensing your work for 25 cents. That's right, a quarter... and one site licenses the work for a mere 14 cents. The blogs by convincing you of the same and then signing up to license your work for less that it costs you to park your car at a meter during a photoshoot and themselves making a referral commission off of any image you license.
One thing quite apparent in reading this is Ellen is VERY AWARE that the advice she is giving is misleading. For example, she mentions that most of the food photos shot for microstock look very unappetizing and that a food stylist with her full compliment of tricks is needed to make the food look good. Then she continues to say that you will not make enough from the image as microstock to cover the cost of the stylist!
This is true. And it is the way of microstock. Convince the photographer that if he only invested more into the shoot he would make a fortune... and knowing full well that he will not. There is a small handful of photographers who do well at microstock this way and they can be counted on the fingers of both hands. However based on some actual payout charts that were once available from iStock, the vast, vast, vast majority of contributors never license enough work in a year to reach the $100 payout threshold.Read more ›
The book is full of ideas on what to shoot, how to find models, how to make your photos look more professional, and what sells; but again, Ellen smartly conveys her ideas as inspiration as apposed to instructions.
This book could be recommended for both someone just starting out in microstock or someone with years of experience looking for additional sources of inspiration.
However, the book content didn't meet my expectations at all. Those so called "insider secrets" are no secrets, Ellen is not sharing anything special here. No real mention of markets and customers who buy stock photos, except for a very general, vague and available freely online information. Not helpful.
The author is not a photographer herself, just a business woman who makes money on microstock selling/promoting visual content for big bucks to those clients she carefully does not identify - this book probably is there to serve the likes of her first and foremost. It should be sold for 1$ per download in line with the pricing of stock photos. That would be acceptable and fair.
All the other information regarding composition, keywording, choice of subject, etc. is basically a repeat what every single stock site provides for free to the contributors (i.e., Bigstock, Shutterstock, iStock, Fotolia, Dreamstime, etc.) along other free as well and superb photo tutorials online (Harvard University Extension School, Cambridge in Colour, and many more).
I am glad I borrowed this book from the local library before wasting money on the purchase. If anything I would recommend "Taking Stock: Make money in microstock creating photos that sell" (Rob Sylvan) by a microstock photographer with some real experience to share.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I've read my copy of this book twice. it's insightful and has lots of food for thought. It's worth it.Published on April 16, 2014 by P. Zimmermann
In short: this is the book I turn to when I can't find ideas to shoot. Great resource and excellent advice that is timeless.Published on December 10, 2013 by GG
I Loved this book! Worth every penny! Ellen Boughn shares great tips and insights from experience in the industry. Awesome read!Published on December 6, 2013 by Brenda A. Smith
This is without doubts a very interesting and helpful book. The author explain very well what sells and what not. Read morePublished on March 3, 2011 by ivana
Turning Downloads into Dollars with Microstock Photography
She's done it again. Established stock photography industry consultant, colleague and friend Ellen Boughn... Read more
This book is the most comprehensive guide to this exciting industry. You'll learn what sells, what doesn't, how to get started, how to navigate the submission rules/standards of... Read morePublished on January 2, 2011 by Christine Quinn
Ellen has created a how-to guide that is a great starter for beginners and a fantastic reminder for the experienced. Read morePublished on December 12, 2010 by Shannon Fagan
For those in the stock photography business...and those thinking about getting in...this book provides great information. Read morePublished on December 9, 2010 by Adele D. Hutton