Category Archives: “How-to” articles

Announcement: How can I sell my photos and make some money???

I asked myself that question over 6 years ago, and decided the answer was to sell my images. Since then I have increased my income to more than $30,000 a year and I share the steps and lessons learned in the newly revised third edition of my eBook – Getting Started in Stock.  You are facing a simple choice – do you want to learn as you go, following the forums and their inconsistent information from people who may or may not know what they are talking about, or do you want to save hours of frustration and learn it all on one easy to follow guidebook?

Buy this new eBook directly from my site through a simple and secure shopping cart and get immediate access to the information you need to make money from your photographs!

You can preview the book (courtesy of Amazon) by clicking “Preview” under the image below:

Already got your images and ready to start earning? Please use the links on the right to register with the stock agencies. Thanks!

Using Microstockr Pro to find your images online

In my review of Microstockr Pro, I forgot to mention one neat feature that saves a bit of time. If you click on an image thumbnail, you get the screen where the historic sales of that image are displayed. Hovering over the thumbnail on that screen shows two icons – a chain symbol that takes you to the image page on the stock agency, and a magnifying glass. Clicking this opens up the image search page on Google with the thumbnail image already loaded into the search area so that you immediately see the various uses around the web for that particular photo. Much easier than saving a thumbnail and uploading it to Google each time you want to do a search.

Sony A7R II – my first disappointment

I was doing an attempt at an ImageBrief brief recently – one about perfectly shaped water drops on a piece of polished wood – and came across the first area where my Canon kit was much better than the Sony A7R! Macro focus stacking. The picture I was attempting needed high definition focus from front to rear:

Focus Stacked image from about 20 photos

Focus Stacked image from about 20 photos

It took me a bit of time to sort out the lighting (which needed to be low and behind the drops to get definition and shadows), but after trying this on my wooden floor, I decided to move to my studio and tie the Sony into my PC running Helicon Focus and using Helicon remote to automatically control the focus and step through all the necessary focus steps to get the full image sharp and detailed.  Continue Reading

The life of a non-exclusive stock photo contributor

I recently came across an interesting blog post by Craig Dingle entitled Why be exclusive on iStock? His blog is worth following as Craig is an Australian wedding photographer who also does stock photos as an extra income stream, and chose to join iStockPhoto as an exclusive back around the same time I was starting as a non-exclusive. His reasons are valid, but I’m not sure I can get over one of the biggest issues with exclusivity – you are tying yourself to the success (or failure) of one agency, and in a fast moving business like stock photography, that is dangerous in my view. In my email chats with Craig he asked how I managed the process of uploading to many different sites and whether that was a big drain on my time. This post explains how I approach this task. Continue Reading

Replacement for StockUploader FTP program

Update: See the final paragraph as I discovered a flaw in this approach!  As readers of my book know, I have been recommending StockUploader for some time as an easy way to upload your files to many different stock agencies in parallel. Unfortunately the developer stopped supporting the software due to other priorities but he continued to provide a working copy for anyone who had bought my eBook. However, even that arrangement has come to an end and so I have been searching for alternative approaches. One that seems to fit the bill (although not as user friendly as StockUploader) is a clever FTP software I found called Fling from NCH Software (this is an affiliate link) Continue Reading

Submitting to iStock – qHero

In my book, I talk at length about using DeepMeta as a way to ease the pains of submission to iStockphoto. iStock has two annoying steps in submission – one is to select a category (which isn’t that hard, although there are a lot of them), but the key annoyance is the matching of your keywords to their controlled vocabulary. They have a unique system of doing their image searches on a standardized set of keywords and so you need to make sure your own keywords fit nicely into that. It makes some sense, although it is annoying in practice. I understand that any keyword that doesn’t map to one of their controlled words has a pretty low chance of being found in a search so it is important to get it right. DeepMeta lets you see all your keywords in an offline screen and you can match them to the iStock ones before submission. It is OK, but a bit slow.

I came across a new online approach that uses that computing industry buzzword- Artificial Intelligence – to try to correctly assign the categories and most of the keywords before you even have to start looking at the list. It is qHero, a venture from the highly successful stock photographer Yuri Arcurs. Continue Reading

Using Canon speedlite flash on Sony A7R

I have four Canon flashes (three 550EX and one 580EX) as well as the Canon ST-E2 infra-red controller. With my change of camera outfit from Canon to Sony, the next question is whether I can effectively use these flash guns with the Sony? There is a great article by Tim Ford, where he concludes that an optical flash adapter is the best way of getting the highest sync speeds, but he is using the 580EX II – mine are the earlier versions and don’t have a PC sync socket – so no way to control them apart from the infra-red or hot shoe. He did conclude that putting one flash in the hot shoe worked fine (in manual mode) up to 1/250th second, and with some clever use of the Custom modes on the flash, you can get a pseudo automatic mode where the aperture is fixed and the flash measures light bounced back to its sensor you can use 1/200th of a second. I could use that from time to time with a single flash, but my main use is with multiple flashes in umbrellas etc. Continue Reading

Marketing Fine Art Photographs

I don’t often recommend books, but one I have really enjoyed reading and also found very informative is Alain Briot’s Marketing Fine Art Photography. He gives lots of good advice about what sort of photographs sell, where to sell them and how to go about marketing prints of your work.

Making money from selling prints yourself isn’t easy, but it is very rewarding to get the personal satisfaction from someone deciding that your image would look good on their wall. I have a couple of images in an exhibition in Morgantown this month and have my fingers crossed that someone will buy one of them, so I guess I have the “bug.”

Sony A7RII – what do I think of the quality?

I’ve not done much outdoor shooting yet, but I wanted to try the new Sony in a more difficult setting – a backlit indoor shot using natural light. I have the Sony set to ISO 100 unless the shutter speed is going to be less than 1/60th second, in which case, it moves to Auto ISO (nice feature!). This tricky lighting condition with a sunlit window in the background and exposure compensation set to +1, meant that the final exposure was 1/60th at F6.3 with ISO 2000. Continue Reading

Sony A7Rii – my settings

Right – now we have the camera and the Really Right Stuff L bracket installed, it is time to set the camera to my liking! You would think I would be out taking some pictures as it is a balmy 83 degrees and sunny here in West Virginia, but we are looking after our grand-daughter this week (and the two dogs) and so free time is not really available!

So what do I like in a stock photography camera? Continue Reading

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