My name is Daniele Carrer, I'm Italian, and I was born in 1977. In 1995 during my school vacations, I worked in a factory to buy my first VHS camera, and I started producing short films. In that period the filming technology was shifting from analogue to digital, so the video world changed completely, and I was part of that revolution.
Over the next ten years I won several festivals in my country and abroad with my self-produced works, but when I realized that it would have been impossible for me to be a professional film director I gave up my dream, and I moved to something more concrete.
In 2006 I discovered the microstock, that is the online sale of photos (stock images) and videos (stock footage). From that moment on, so many times:
- I took a low-cost plane to a European Capital
- I created dozens of time-lapse
- I uploaded the footage to microstock agencies
- I earned thousands of euros.
Those were the golden years for producers like me: I got up in the morning, I went to Istockphoto website, and I watched how much I made that night while sleeping. It was:
The most beautiful job in the world.
But I made one big mistake: not having the strength to resign. I was a clerk in a department store, selling cameras and computers, and that was a safe place for me.
In August 2009, I got a text message from a number I didn't know. It was the owner of an agency that produced television programs and with whom I had occasionally collaborated: in the following four years I made the story editor for an MTV Italy show.
At the end of the contract, in 2013, I was sure I could have my TV show. I produced a program about low cost travels in the European Capitals (does it remind you of something?). I worked day and night, I spent a lot of money, but I finally did not sell it. In the many meetings I had with the managers of the main Italian television channels I realized one thing:
the success of my life could not depend on the mood of the person in front of me, especially if that person takes his decisions for reasons that have nothing to do with business (yes: Italy it's still a very strange country).
From that point on I decided to work only for the media that is wiping out all the others: the internet.
By the way ... and what happened to microstock?
During the period that I worked for television, I did not have much time to produce, but I continued to get a good second income thanks to the contents created in the previous years.
In 2011 the first Full HD cheap DSLRs were released, and a lot of photographers and video makers realized that they could shoot Paris for a couple of days and earn thousands of euros, so the microstock market became more difficult because of strong competition.
Selling photos and videos online, in that period was the only way I had to make money, so I started studying hard and committing myself to increase my earnings up to a level that would give to my family and me a good life.
From that moment on, I spent 10/12 hours a day to learn what other producers did not consider important:
- the market
- the most innovative shooting techniques, such as hyper-lapse
- how to plan shootings
- how to save time while keywording
So in less than a year, I became a professional producer, and my earnings went from 600 to 3000 euros per month.
My next step was to create a film archive made of unreleased 8 mm home movies (I've always loved contemporary history) with whom I supplied footage to dozens of documentary productions around the world.
I was having such huge results because I knew how the microstock business worked, so I founded a website and a podcast, and I created a bestseller video-course about selling photos and videos online, first in Italian and then, starting from 2018, in English.
The market for online sales of photos and videos is very difficult for a photographer today. There are forums and Facebook groups full of fake experts who complain from morning to night that the times are no longer those of the past, or that advise others even if they don't even earn what they need to go out one night a month to eat at the fast food.
The solution to problems is not crying and hoping for the luck to come. The solution is to learn and commit yourself to achieve your goal.
With my course in Italian, I helped more than 300 photographers and videographers, amateurs, and professionals, to sell their images and footage online. Many of them after watching my lessons wrote a story for my Italian blog. Their names are Simone Scalise that in a couple of months earned more than what he had earned in the two years before he met me. Roberto Mariani, who earned his first 100 dollars filming his sister's dogs back to the first trip out of town that he happened to do after watching my course. Alex Di Martino that earned more than $200 in his first month as a producer.
For many of them, microstock will never be a full-time job, but I'm sure it will be the best way to enter the digital business and change their lives in a world that changes day by day.