When I was a photography student going through my 2 year full-time course, it was hard to find the time to work as well as study. Even more impossible it seemed was getting work that was actually anything to do with photography! So of course, flexible jobs like hospitality got me through those years, although I would have much preferred to be doing photography work instead.
Which got me thinking about my current means of income – microstock photography and graphic design. Microstock – selling your images and vectors online – might just be a great way for both graphic design students and budding photographers to earn some extra income while completing their courses at college or university.
Students earn & learn with microstock
Why is microstock good for photography and graphic design students? Glad you asked. Obviously, a graphic design student wants to work in graphic design. A photography student, in professional photography. So what is the logical work to do while you are studying those disciplines? Waitressing? Of course not!
Microstock allows new graphic designers and photographers the opportunity to work from home, while learning more about their profession. If you are knocking out a bunch of images or vectors for school, why not make some money from those images as well? (Perhaps just check that your uni or college doesn’t have some sort of nasty ownership clause of your images) Not only will you get feedback and criticism from your lecturer, but also from the microstock community and the agency’s that review your images. That’s kind of like a bonus lecturer for free!
Students seem to be the most creative ones around, so who knows – perhaps you will come up with something that really takes off in microstock and starts earning you some serious cash.
So in summary, why is microstock good for photography and graphic design students?
- You can work from home in your own time
- You will be doing what you love
- You are learning at the same time as earning
- Once you are qualified in your field, you will already have an established form of income which you can build on
How does microstock work?
You will find more information through the site here at Microstock Man, but in brief, it goes as follows…
Microstock is a name given to selling your images and vectors online through an agency who provides your images under a royalty free license. This does NOT mean free. Rather, you get paid a small amount depending on the agency. Take Shutterstock as an example. They can can earn you from $0.25 to $120 per image sold. The whole point of microstock is volume. Sell a lot of images for a little amount.
These images will be used in anything from web blogs to major advertising billboards, from t-shirts to mouse-pads. So even though you might be a student still, you can start getting a name for yourself and promoting your online presence while still studying.
It’s not that hard to get going either. If you have at least 10 good quality images or vectors then you are ready to apply to all the major agencies. You can find them on the Microstock Photography Sites page.
Are you already a graphic design student who earns some money from selling your images and vectors online? Tell us about it below!