If you’re trying to make some side money by selling photographs as microstock — or are trying to do it full-time — it’d be wise to heed the advice of one of the most successful players in the industry: Yuri Arcurs. He has published an interesting “state of the industry” report with his thoughts on the types of photographs that are currently in demand with stock photo buyers.
As all active microstock photographers must have noticed, we have seen a constant decrease in sales in terms of our return per image over the last few years. It’s becoming increasingly difficult to shoot great images and profit from it in the same way as it was 5 or 6 years ago. Many critics have claimed that the microstock industry is almost entirely devoid of artistic sensitivity, and is instead only concerned with making an easy profit. But surprisingly, this harsh criticism seems to have had a positive effect on the industry as a whole, because although the return per image has decreased a lot, I have also witnessed an interesting tendency: To make sales now, it’s about getting back to the roots of photography. More artistic, less processed images, and a more naturalistic style, which I, personally, fully endorse. It’s great to see some more artistic and natural images making their way up on the “most downloaded” lists as opposed to the more conventional microstock images that are always overly retouched, overly bright and overly clean.
He also writes that many of the concepts and images that were once popular are now stagnating due to the fact that photographers flooded the industry with them, highlighting shifts in four huge categories: lifestyle, business, medical/health, and spa/wellness.
This is probably the strangest and most awkward thing you’ll see today. It’s a short 5-minute video titled “The World’s Most Downloaded Man” that chronicles photographer Fernado Martins’ journey to meet Jesper Bruun, the world’s best-selling stock photography model. It’s actually part of a marketing effort for Martins’ photo studio, Câmera Clara Photography Studio in Brazil. For some strange reason the video is going viral online, despite the fact that Yuri Arcurs (the world’s top selling microstock photographer who works with Bruun) has come forward to say that Bruun isn’t actually the world’s top selling model. The whole thing doesn’t make much sense to us — kinda like this performance art piece.
German broadcaster Deutsche Welle produced this interesting segment on photographer Yuri Arcurs and how he turned his microstock photography into a million-dollar photography empire. Here’s a mind-boggling statistic: on average, Arcurs sells one of his images every 8 seconds.
Yuri Arcurs — AKA the “King of Microstock” — is the best selling microstock photographer in the world, selling over 2,000 images a day and 2 million a year. Visit his website here.
PetaPixel: Could you tell us a little about yourself and your background?
Yuri Arcurs: I was born in 1976 in Aarhus, Denmark, where I still live with my fiance, Cecilie, and our dog, Maff. As a child I spent some years in the U.S. but I returned to Denmark and joined the army, and later on I continued with my studies in Psychology at Aarhus Univerity. These days I feel like I’m not doing much else besides stock photography, but when I do have time for other things I really enjoy a good work-out. I have always been a very active person, which was probably one of the reasons I joined the army when I was younger, but right now I try to focus all of my energy on stock. So, unfortunately, marathons and the likes will have to wait! Read more…
This video by FotoTV features “microstock king” Yuri Arcurs leading a workshop and imparting all sorts of useful tips that you’ll find useful even if you have no interest in doing microstock — things like working with models and capturing emotion. Get out your pen and paper and start taking notes!
If there was an MTV Cribs for photographers, it would probably look something like this. In this video Yuri Arcurs gives us a tour of his new photo studio, and the €300,000 (~$400,000) of lighting equipment that he has lying around in it. It’s a studio fit for the king of microstock — one who sells over 2,000 photos a day and over 2 million a year.
Here are a couple informative videos in which Yuri Arcurs — the best selling microstock photographer in the world — shares some advice on working with models, with everything ranging from choosing the right model to how to get the right smiles. Many of the tips (e.g. tricks for posing the head) can be helpful even if you don’t do commercial or stock photography. Read more…