Making Money In Microstock

Posted on 5/26/2010 by Jim Pickerell | Printable Version | Comments (2)

A Russian photographer asks what subjects he should shoot for microstock in order to maximize his earnings. With hard work, he feels he can duplicate the results achieved by Yuri Arcurs, particularly because shooting in Russia can be much cheaper than Arcurs' Denmark location. Yet there are flaws to that logic.

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Copyright © 2010 Jim Pickerell. The above article may not be copied, reproduced, excerpted or distributed in any manner without written permission from the author. All requests should be submitted to Selling Stock at 10319 Westlake Drive, Suite 162, Bethesda, MD 20817, phone 301-251-0720, e-mail: wvz@fpcubgbf.pbz

Jim Pickerell is founder of, an online newsletter that publishes daily. He is also available for personal telephone consultations on pricing and other matters related to stock photography. He occasionally acts as an expert witness on matters related to stock photography. For his current curriculum vitae go to:  


  • Bill Bachmann Posted May 26, 2010
    My advice to the "Russian Photographer" is to not go for Microstock at all.... go for Rights Managed -- where I see great images still sell for thousands of US dollars for advertising! And even regular images sell for a lot more.

    Why "copy" Microstock when even Yuri says he is now going into RM to make more money. Bravo for him and anyone esle that goes RM because they want a FAIR price for his/her work, and not a dollar a pop.

  • Sylvie Fodor Posted May 27, 2010
    I agree with Bill :-) If you are good in microstock, why not go for higher prices ?

    Besides, this nice story is of no help to photographers who live in the US or Western Europe and need these higher prices to make a decent living !

    Does this matter ? We should be happy for those who can make a living anywhere in the world. Photographers in the US or in Western europe will simply do into other jobs or move to Russia. But from an economic and intellectual point of view, it is a tragedy. After outsourcing our agriculture and our industry, we are now outsourcing our intellectual property.

    If you want to hear both Yuri Arkur and this Russian photographer, it is still time to register to the New Media Conference in Dublin (see CEPIC website). The conference though is NOT about only microstock - but in general about trends in the industry including video, social media and microstock. And how or whether to make money out of it ...

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