If you’ve made it to this point with all of your images, then a big congratulations is due! The hard work will soon pay off. This section of the guide may seem like a no-brainer, but hopefully a couple of these tips will save you some precious time.
If this is your first submission, consider splitting the submission up into smaller lots – say 50 images per submission, or even less. That way, if you make any mistakes in the submission process, you wont get ALL your images rejected right away.
Now that you have a few smaller submissions ready in separate folders, get yourself a good FTP program. Most people use FileZilla or Cyberduck (my choice) but it’s entirely up to you. FTP is the best way to upload many photos at once, although all the sites do offer alternative methods such as Flash up-loaders or web up-loaders. These tend to be slower, buggier and always more cumbersome when dealing with more than just a couple of images.
Once you have signed up with a microstock agency, they will provide you with the relevant login details needed for FTP upload. Usually these are provided immediately. Bookmark these in your FTP program so that for each future submission you make it’s simply a matter of drag and drop onto your FTP bookmark to upload hundreds of photos at once.
Each site is different from this point on. Some microstock agencies handle everything from this point on (GL Stock Images for instance), some require only a few clicks to simply select your files from your agency’s upload section and then submit them for review (CanStockPhoto, 123RF for instance), while most will need your input before they review them.
If you login to your user account on each site after uploading your files (give it some time, your images sometimes show up immediately, but can occasionally take a few hours) on certain sites you will find you need to select categories for each image. These are simply content sections that your image best fits into. You may also need to assign Model Releases (a signed legal document completed by both you and your models – you can download them from each microstock agency) and fix keywords.
Generally speaking, after you have uploaded your images the process of submitting your files to each agency should take no more than 10-15 minutes per agency for around 20-30 images – sometimes less.
Yes (except for Mostphotos which has no approval process). Once you have hit the ‘submit’ button for your precious photos, they enter a queue to be reviewed by the microstock agency. Some agencies take minutes or hours, while usually you will be waiting days for your results. Don’t sit there hitting refresh – go take more pictures!
Learn from this process, as you will get images rejected. We all do. Sometimes the reasons are ridiculous, but mostly they are valid and will help you to improve your skills.
Most sites will not be too happy if you resubmit rejected images without a valid reason to do so. Sometimes you can correct the problem that the reviewer saw in the file, and then you can resubmit along with a note (depending on the agency) as to why you are resubmitting.
Celebrate! It’s a great feeling getting your work accepted by internationally renowned microstock agencies!
Once the back-slapping has subsided, you can check your files on nearly all the agencies’ sites to see how many views they are getting, as well as sales of course. Don’t expect sales too quickly – it will take time. But just think – with each image you get approved, the greater your chances are of selling your work. On the best selling sites (Shutterstock, Dreamstime) it’s not uncommon to get sales in the first week of having your files online.
Once you see your work starting to get some sales, that’s when the motivation needed to start producing more work will kick in. And with each new batch of images you submit, no doubt your skills will improve, as will your sales.
4 - Upload & Earn Money,