Microstock diaries: My 8th month as a producer
I am producing slowly, because at the same time I also have to learn.
I stopped with the aliens, because I already have some stock image that sells.
By the way: my stock image of the alien and the human hand touching was purchased with an extended license, earning me $13.50.
I'm happy even if it's not much, but it's definitely more than the usual $0.25 that regular sales pay.
However, the UFO on the pyramids is at 19 sales, with 4.75 dollars earned. To my surprise, the image of the flying car goes better every day, with 31 sales and $12.34. I sell it almost every day and sometimes it happens several times in a day!
As I said in my previous diary, I am now creating space travel stock images. It took me a couple of weeks to learn how to create:
- space planes
- a photorealistic 3D Planet Earth.
I can use NASA photos, but I am a little afraid to use them because of copyright reasons. Many producers use NASA archive images as textures and in any case NASA should be mentioned in the title.
Now all the elements I need are ready. I just have to:
To understand how far I can go avoiding copyright issues, I created a test image, because I had a doubt: since the rocket I created is highly inspired by the original by Elon Musk, I tried to see if there was any copyright claim. I uploaded my image on Shutterstock with the commercial license.
I waited to see if reviewers accepted it, and... It was selected and it has already sold!
So I will now go on with the others! I have about ten space travel themed stock images in my mind. Then I will switch to retrowave, but I could also do something about the climate, because I think it will be talked about a lot in the next few years.
Sorting the stock images and stock footage by upload date
A small note. I notice that it often happens that:
- I upload an image
- I sell it the next day
- Then for a while nothing, as if buyers were only looking for the most recent images.
In my opinion, this thing must be understood deeply to sell more. (Editor's note: all agencies have the sorting by upload date among the options they give to buyers, but only very few potential clients force the default sorting, which is a list created according to the agency's algorithm. In other words: it is much better to try to scale the latter than to continually publish new content to generate new sales among those few buyers who sort images and videos by publication date).
Updates on Adobe Stock and Pond5
Adobe Stock has slowed down a lot. I'm starting to think that maybe I should upload something different on that agency.
I should think as a graphic designer looking for something useful for his work. So not a finished image, but the elements that can compose it: instead of uploading the UFO on the pyramids, I may upload only the cropped UFO.
Speaking of Pond5 and stock footage: zero sales. I don't think mine is popular content for that agency.
In searching the terms:
nothing comes out. Good situation.
Thanks to Google images I noticed that my illustrations are published in many places. I hope all those who publish them have bought them.
Often in Daniele's podcast people ask how to understand if the photos are stolen. My answer is:
Yes, people steal your stock image, and you can hardly do anything to avoid it.
On Pinterest, my illustrations are in various galleries. In 99% of the cases, I am quoted with links to my profile on:
where people steal my content from.
A retrowave image of mine was published in a blog that was full of comments and opinions on the image, all positive. This made me think that it is better to upload images to microstocks.
The retrowave theme
I uploaded 5 retrowave stock images. They went well one day because someone bought them all.
But the weird thing was that I had rendered a computer that looked like the old Commodore 64. I bought it from Daz (there are many contributors who buy from Daz and then sell the renderings).
This illustration had no trademarks: it is only similar. Adobe Stock didn't approve it for copyright infringement. However Shutterstock approved it, and it already has two sales!
The video clip I was hired for
Another curiosity about the retrowave genre. To practice with 3D graphic (I've reached a good level by now), I do:
I then put on Instagram to try to build myself a fan base.
An animated retrowave computer was watched by an American indie singer who started:
- sending me a lot of messages
- asking me to create a video with my animations for one of his songs
I know people ask for everything for free on Instagram, but I don't like it. So I asked him for an offer, as he liked it so much, and I told him it would take me at least 2 weeks to do it (actually it took just one day), and he made me an offer of $50.
As a start, I am satisfied!
Maybe it's just a coincidence, but this job boosts my self-esteem so much that I thought I'd edit that video again.
It is a racing car that runs on a classic road with palm trees and city on the sides, in a retrowave style, with:
- black background
- blue or purple polygon lines in the style of Tron, the 80s movie.
In the video that I created for the singer, I used 3D buildings bought from the Kitbash's site, which sells kits of various kinds for 3D artists. The price of each kit is $199, but if you enter the email they give you a free sample kit.
Then, if you win the contests, they give you 3 more kits as a gift, but there are plenty of professionals who participate. Actually I entered more than one email and got some free kits. One is that of the city. I also participated in a contest and they noticed me.
The question is:
Will I be able to use those kits for creating stock images?
I wrote an email to Kitbash customer support:
- I gave some compliments
- I told them I'm at the beginning of my career as a graphic designer
- I explained that I sell on microstocks
Their answer was that there was:
no problem to upload the render to the microstocks, but obviously I cannot sell the 3d model I buy from them.
They thanked me for supporting their kits and congratulated me for my career, giving me a whole kit with which I am already doing animations.
This morning I received an email from Depositphotos, telling me that they are impressed by the
of my portfolio. They invited me to open an account with their agency. Now, I am flattered by this offer, but I wonder:
I only have 387 stock images. Are they that bad to pick up anyone or are they really interested in selling my stock images?
What I think is that having an extra platform could increase my earnings, which are still low... but is it worth it?