Microstock News

Someone got good value with this one from dreamstime...

Dreamstime Microstock Photo Time Magazine cover using microstock photo from dreamstime

Snapvillage have launched after being off line for a short period. The site has had a (much needed) make over.

The site was previously in beta, I do not perform full reviews on beta sites, but in my previous partial review I noted a few significant  problems, mostly that the site seem to be aimed at amateurs, and had the feel of one of the 'bottom 100 microstock sites'. With microstock becoming an ever more competitive and less 'amateur' the old site was looking a little behind the times.

photokeywords is an experimental tool which allows you to gather keyword info from a microstock site. I have to say I'm not to sure I condone the harvesting of keywords like this, it's better than just cutting and pasting the keywords from another photo.. but not much!

The concept is simple, you enter a say three keywords and the site searches the database at shutterstock for some images. You select the images that are most like yours and then photokeywords displays all the keywords within those images as a list. It orders the listing by the most popularly searched keywords. You can then select and reject which of the keywords are relevant to your photo and finally a list of the keywords is displayed for you to cut and paste.

I decided it's time to write a review of, not because they are new, but I have recently noticed that their marketing as ramped up with press releases etc, any company spending marketing money to attract buyers and photographers is worth a closer look. In the case of mostphotos what they are doing is somewhat unconventional...

read my full site review here have launched their subscription service, you can visit their site for all the latest details. The big question is how will this affect sales and photographer incomes - hopefully, in some part, I've answered that here.

istockphoto subscription stock photo service

 (monthly costs)

Cutcaster have taken another step towards being credible with the launch of their affiliate program.

They provide 10% of buyers transactions and 5% of referred photographers earnings for a whole 2 years, a pretty good deal in our opinion.

It's still early days for cutcaster, but if they keep up development at the rate they are going (launch was back at the start of April this year) then they might soon start to grab a slice of the market. The do need to do some more improvements with that upload system though!

Full review of

Lucky Oliver has closed. it's a pitty to see it go. It was a professional looking site, and the first credible microstock site that I have seen fail. For referenece our review of the site was here.

Update: 6 FEB 2009, Scoopt have stopped accepting new uploads. As an alternative you could look at our list of microstock agencies that accept editorial images

Scoopt describe themselves as the worlds first commercial citizen journalism agency, specially created to connect members of the public with (the vicious world of the - ed) mainstream media.

How to Title your Photos, Writing Descriptions that Sell!

Microstock by its very 'public' nature a highly competitive place to be. While great images are most important, choosing the right site and keywording vital, having the right title and description should also be high on your list of priorities.

Images should be titled and described with catchy but not too cheesy descriptions and titles. Do keep in mind that the title tag is not a place for 'over zealous marketing speak' or clever puns. Titles in many cases should be literal. The description can be a little more conceptual, and is the place where you can be somewhat more 'artistic' about the image content and its potential uses.

It's an attractive idea to sell images direct to customers, but can you attract enough customers? and at microstock prices is it worthwhile?

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