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All told, I have nearly 7,000 images for sale in several stock photography agencies. That’s 7,000 images since I started out less than two years ago. I’m especially excited because I just passed 2,000 images on one site alone — a goal I’d set for this year and I’ve hit it early! The future is looking great… If you’re thinking about dabbling in microstock photography, here are a few things that have helped me find fast success: 1. Don’t be overly anxious to find your niche When I started this journey, I decided to take pictures of EVERYTHING. I never thought I’d fall in love with old and new architecture. I never thought to take images of food before. Now it’s a joke when I go into a restaurant with friends and family. The waitress knows to tell the chef to make the dish look extra pretty, and no one touches their plate till I capture an image. We almost always get a seat by the window, to get the best lighting. Stock sites need shots of everything. I guarantee you that there is a buyer out there who wants what you can give them, so keep your photography options open. Make yourself shoot something that is out of your comfort zone. Thinking outside of the box really was (and continues to be) tantamount to my success. 2. Play the field with stock sites I strongly recommend having images up on several sites. Every stock site has different buyers looking for different images. Some of my images sell over and over again on every single stock site, while others sell well on a few, or have never sold on another. YET. Playing the field is also great for your confidence level. If you upload to one site and keep getting rejected, it’s discouraging and makes it so easy to give up. I have some images on stock sites that were rejected by others. And they are some of my best sellers. You never know what is going to appeal to a broad market, so just take great pictures and submit them! Again, try something out of your “wheel.” I decided early on to try my hand at editorial. Mainly because I love to attend functions or go to museums and I can’t always get a property or model release. With editorial submissions, you don’t need one most times. Read up on how to submit this type of image on each site and go for it! 3. Practice, practice, practice It’s true, the more you practice the better you get. I practice every day. Every day. Even if it is one image. It helps me think of new things, new ways to photograph them, and put my own spin on them. Trying my hand at food styling (for stock) got me a paid shoot at a local restaurant that wanted to print a new menu. Now, anytime they want pictures, they give me a call. These images sell like hot cakes on stock sites. Two birds, one stone, and all that… 4. Enjoy the money We all want it. In my case, recovering from (digging out from under) a divorce, I need it. So, this helped drive me to try my hand at stock photography. I was happy when I made enough to buy myself a cup of coffee and pastry. I was thrilled when I cashed in enough to have a pizza party with a bunch of girlfriends. In March, April, May, June, September, and October this year, I’ll be traveling. Right now, I have $500 sitting on stock sites that I will cash in when I go. Last April, I cashed in $600 to go visit my niece and her husband in Miami. Other times, I’ve cashed in to pay a bill. And I had a nice stash of spending money to take with me to Ireland last fall. My goal is to have my love of photography support me fully — and I believe that it will. Stock photography is a great platform to hone your craft and branch out however you want to. Remember, it’s a big, wonderful world out there and buyers all over the globe need the images we can give them. So, dare to get your feet wet. Have fun. Love what you do. And be hungry to make your dreams come true! Share on Facebook

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