Photographer Marco Cirone with his camera while shooting in front of the seaMy name is Marco Cirone and I am a flight attendant for an airline that operates on long-haul routes.

I worked as a landscape photographer for some magazines but, mainly, I shoot images of natural and uncontaminated landscapes for my personal need, to get in touch with what Mother Nature has created for us, rather than what has been created by men.

You can find examples of some of my work:

Discovering the microstock business

A year ago, I started getting passionate about video making – an unknown world before then and a different way to express myself from photography. On the web, I was looking for clear tutorials produced by people with serious reputations. At that point I saw that the name of Daniele Carrer was recurrent.

I do not write this for adulation, but as a real personal opinion.

Thanks to him and his course (learn more about the course) I learned the techniques of:

  • production
  • post-production

that gave me not only the basics of something I didn't know, but also a chance of selling what I produced.

At the beginning it was difficult

Portrait of photographer Marco Cirone with his cameraAs Daniele Carrer had predicted, I sold absolutely nothing for the first six months. At that point, the frustration at the long wait began – disillusionment and demotivation.

After about seven months, however, the first sale finally arrived, on Storyblocks. Then, soon after, a second one on Shutterstock, and others in the following months on all the agencies I uploaded to, Pond5 included.

The results of the first year of stock footage production

Last March, my first year as a producer ended. I call it my wonderful adventure in the world of microstock.

From:

  • Shutterstock,
  • Pond5,
  • Storyblocks

I made 18 sales for a total profit of about $300.

Of course, it is not very much, but it is enough to understand that is a winning game. You just need to work properly, analyze data and work constantly.

Analysis of data is essential to understand your mistakes and improve. By doing this, I noticed that good video stabilization is very appreciated by both agencies and buyers.

How to stabilize videos in Adobe Premiere Pro

For example, videos must be steady to sell them as stock footage. To make my videos more stable, I use Adobe Premiere Pro and its warp stabilizer feature. But if you don't know how to use that tool, some kinds of movement can distort your videos.

After this happened to me, I found a solution that I want to share. By lowering the default value from 50% smoothness to 25%, the problem will be solved.

Never give up

Portrait of photographer Marco CironePerseverance is the key to achieve good results with microstock. Never be discouraged, even if after months you don't see results.

To sell the content in your collection, in addition to:

  • good keywording
  • producing quality content

you have to deal with Mr Algorithm, which on each agency has its mysterious rules created by mysterious, shady characters.

Despite this, NEVER get discouraged!

Microstock is not a business for everyone

I suppose Daniele would agree with me. You have to give up if you really don't want to face all the difficulties involved when you decide you want to make good money with microstock.

Obviously, if you haven't sold anything after three years, I suppose the algorithm has little to do with it.

Looking at my short and very personal experience, I can tell you that it takes one or two years before you reach at least one stock footage sale every month.

But while waiting for that moment to come, you can't spend your time sitting on your sofa and complaining. You must continue to upload, upload, upload.

In my case, I produce about 100 videos a month, especially since I bought my last camera:

The first money you get, invest it in what you need to improve the salability of your production. I bought a gimbal for stabilizing my videos while shooting and consequently save time in front of the PC using the software stabilizer.

Learn from your mistakes. Insist that the fruits will come and they will also be very sweet.

Marco Cirone

This story was originally published on the Italian microstock blog of Daniele Carrer.

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