Have you ever thought that as a content creator you can earn additional income from your main activity? Well, I have good news for you. It is possible through the stock photography industry.
Over the past decades, the business of microstock agencies has emerged on the Internet. Most from the Western world. These online platforms have permitted to thousands of professional and amateur users to have access to high-quality audio-visual contents at a lower cost. Their creation has spawned a new type of activity to which more and more artists are putting themselves; the production of stock resources. While some content creators have totally indulged themselves into that new business to the point of making it their main activity, others are doing it as part time. Accrued competitions in the industry and technological advances have pushed stock agencies to raise their standard of quality and their expectations with regards to the resources they receive.
So, why should you indulge in that activity you may ask. Well, these are five reasons why you should consider producing stock resources.
1. Creating stock resources allows you to improve your art
If you are not yet a professional, the quality requirements of stock agencies urge you to improve your skills in order for your artwork to be accepted. For a photographer, key notions such as framing, composition, lighting or noise will have to be reconsidered. Some agencies offer learning tools and guides that may be of great use. One thing is sure; the skills you will acquire producing stock will end up very useful in commissioned works.
2. You are passionate about your art, stock may definitely be for you
As a passionate, you probably have a large volume of resources hanging on your computer or external drives. Have a look, you will probably find some pieces of artwork that will be of great use to a professional somewhere. No matter the type of audio-visual content you create, you will find a countless number of categories on microstock where your work can fit in. However, keep in mind that thousands of similar resources may be available online. Always look for originality and purpose. If you do not have sellable content, do not worry, today is never too late to start.
3. Microstock makes it possible to enhance your skills and your work
As an artist, having your resources accepted by a stock agency is an indicator of your level. Becareful, the opposite does not necessarily mean that you are bad. Many reasons may lead to the rejection of your work. Don’t take it personally. Instead, try to work harder, document yourself, stay on top of trends, this will help you improve. As microstock is not just the place where you sell your work; approved contents and your portfolio showcase your expertise and are likely to attract potential clients and commissioners.
4. Microstock generates passive incomes
In which way are the hundreds of images stored on you hard drives useful? As long as they are not seen, used, they do not earn you recognition nor bring in incomes. Microstock is a place where this content can be valorised. Once they are uploaded and accepted, you can at any time start to earn money and recognition. Beware, do not be mistaken, it will not necessarily happen overnight. It may take some time between uploading your first content and making your first sale. Density and quality of your portfolio are essential to your success in this industry.
5. An array of opportunities in the African market
Microstock, producing and selling for stock is more recent in Africa than it is else where such as North America and Europe. In fact, market leaders are all from these parts of the world. Africa, Australia, Latin American represent barely 1% of the industry. The consequence is that few contents portraying the black continent are available online and are difficult to sort and retrieve. It is usual to find the same images used on various media outlet around the continent. In health, education, banking, finance, construction, food processing, tourism, in virtually every area of social life in Africa, there is a need for local images. No one will address this issue if not African content creators.
At last, for those willing to devote time, the opportunities are there. Focus, method and patience are the key words. No need to drop one's current occupation to indulge in stock production (although others have been successful doing it) but rather, finding the right equilibrium between both.