- Paperback: 240 pages
- Publisher: Peachpit Press; 1 edition (August 23, 2010)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0321713079
- ISBN-13: 978-0321713070
- Product Dimensions: 7.5 x 0.4 x 9.1 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 32 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,216,792 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Taking Stock: Make money in microstock creating photos that sell 1st Edition
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From the Back Cover
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. InTaking 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:
- How to license photos as stock
- What photos are in demand
- The components of a successful digital workflow
- How to use titles, descriptions, and keywords to give yourself an edge
- Specific tips for shooting food, people, places, nature, objects, animals, and more
- Editing techniques that will make your shots 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.
Top customer reviews
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If he is receiving compensation from Adobe it should be stated up front. The book seems more like an ad for Adobe than a overview of the "how to" photo stock market. Checkout Microstock Photography: How to Make Money from Your Digital Images
Douglas Freer, for another overview.
Rob comes at the subject of stock photography from both sides of the fence, he is a stock photographer AND an image inspector for iStock Photo.
This book is well written, it has a ton of images that help demonstrate and reinforce what he has to say, and is very easy to follow and understand.
One of the things I really like about the book as the inclusion of the images from other stock photographers, including their thoughts and ideas behind that image, and their advice to those considering entering the field of stock photography.
Some of the chapters are:
* Tools of the Trade
* Shooting Tips From the Pros
* Digital Darkroom
* Digital Editing
And these incredibly important topics:
* Avoiding Rejection
* Seeing Like an Inspector
These two chapters alone are worth the price of admission and who would know better than an image inspector?
Rob asks a simple (but powerful) question, "are you working inside the sweet spot of your equipment?". Great question. Why ask your gear to do something it was not designed for, know your limitations and work within them.
He also provides a download link to a group of his own images that he rejected and includes text explaining the reason for their rejection, a great learning tool.
And he wraps up the book discussing the importance and the "how to" of meta data, titles, descriptions, and keywording. It doesn't matter how good your images are if a potential client can't find them while searching.
This is just some of the great information you will find in "Taking Stock", but if you want to find out how well the chapters are put together and how much information is included you don't have to take my word for it, you can (download and) read the entire third chapter of the book right here.
Oh, one last thing... MONEY.
How much money can be made in stock? Take a look at the Christmas tree on cover of his book, it is a tree in Rob's yard that as of the books printing has made him over $13,000.
And this is not as rare as you think, take a listen to the interview with Rich Legg at StudioLighting.net, in it Rich talks about many things (regarding stock) including the importance of having your camera with you all the time, which allowed him to take a picture of a flower while waiting at a fast food drive drive through, an image that has made him thousands and thousands of dollars.
I am not suggesting you stop shooting portraits, weddings, or whatever your photographic specialty is, or that you will retire from one stock image, what I am suggesting is that what you will learn from "Taking Stock" will help you refine your eye to make the images you are already shooting attractive to those who purchase stock and might just add some jingly in your pocket.
But wait, there's more, Rob will be the guest speaker for the May meeting of the Maine Photographers Coalition, MainePhotographerCoalition.com, so go get the book, come to the meeting, and learn from Rob directly (and ask a question or two).
Well worth the money and the read.
Contrary to the implications of the product description and of many of the reviews, this is not a book about selling photos. It is a book about the techniques and workflow needed to get your photos accepted by a stock site. The author shows that the secret to getting your photos accepted as microstock is knowing that the decision is made by quality control inspectors who reject photos for obvious technical errors or for overprocessing. As far as I could tell from the book, and the author never discusses it, the inspectors have zero interest in content, composition, sales potential, or anything else other than technical quality. The author spends a great deal of time detailing the workflow in Lightroom. Not having Lightroom, I quickly read through that material and saw nothing that would not be contained in any good book on workflow or in any good manual for your particular software.
This book is a great introduction to creating stock images. Sylvan takes the reader step by step through all the necessary ideas and information needed to get started in stock photography. He talks about the pros and cons in a realistic way without at all discouraging the newcomer.
Throughout each chapter there are activities to help the reader develop skills needed to gain perspective and insight to creating images suitable. He starts with using an organized way to look at existing stock images, evaluate them and then begin to look at the world with the notion of seeing potential stock images.
References are made to Sylvan's preferred online stock image providers. There is discussion about their methods and requirements for selecting stock images to post from those submitted. Sylvan is realistic without being discouraging. The book is replete with samples of successful images along with comments by the creator.
Sylvan is a capable instructor and provides the reader with all the tools necessary to submit their own stock images. This book is not only a great introduction to get the interested reader started but a reference guide to keep handy along the journey through stock image creation.
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