Books on Microstock - Part 2

This second book i would like to bring to your attention is "Digital Stock Photography - How to sell and shoot" - by Michal Heron.

Within the 270+ pages of this book is packed a massive amount of useful information to get the beginner started as well as making for a good read for the established professional alike.

It delves into more detail than the previous title (above) but i feel it is well worth adding both to your book shelf as they compliment each other in a balanced way.

Not many photos fill the pages and what ones are present are not very awe inspiring for the only reason that they are black and white versions.... but that's OK. I didn't get this to just stare at pretty photos but for the wealth of practical information that would improve my understanding of the stock photo business and market place.

The first chapter explains how stock started and gives a realistic non-sugar coated view of a very competitive market. This leaves you with the impression that it's going to be 'tough out there' and to succeed in this business you have to produce work that is a cut above the rest, or at the very least, of such high quality that it stands a chance of making a long term and consistent profit.
This view did not discourage me though but helped in my understanding of what it takes to be successful and galvanised me to improve, look at stock in a less 'dreamy' way and in a more professional and realistic manner.

This book really is based more on the likelihood that you will attempt at selling your work yourself and doesn't look at the microstock sites such as Shutterstock etc in detail as the previous book. That doesn't mean it's not of use if you are not going to be your own agent though which is why i suggest getting both books. On the other hand, you'll never know where your chosen career path will lead and learning about copyrights, dealing with clients and negotiating prices isn't going to be time wasted if it helps your understanding of how the stock business (as a whole) operates.

Chapter 5 is entitled: "25 stock assignments you can shoot."
This useful tool gets you thinking like a pro and building a stock portfolio. The practical applications and learning process involved in following the assignments is extremely helpful in appreciating what forward planning is required to create photos that would make saleable images and the practice of trying your best to match the assignment categories and fulfil that assignment can surely only make for a better and more accomplished photographer.

Further areas of the book delve into such varied subjects as organising your work flow, editing and backing up images, keywording and metadata as well as researching locations.

I would certainly add this title to your wish list and take the time to read (and re-read) all it has to offer.

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