Microstock Tools & Resources Guide

Microstock Tools & Resources Guide

Updated: 2021

Our Microstock Tools & Resources Guide is all about putting useful links in one place.

Here you will find all sorts of microstock tools. Keywording tools, ebooks, microstock analytics apps – we got it.

There are a lot of creative people out there making useful things for microstock contributors. When we find one we like, we will add it here.

In addition to microstock specific tools and resources, this is the place to recommend some more general interest items. For instance, tutorials on improving your photography skills or branching out into video. Or perhaps you want to run your own website to sell your images – we can recommend some great products to get that happening.

In short, if it’s useful in any way and we like it, you’ll fine it here in our Microstock Tools & Resources Guide.

Microstock Agency List

Here are some quick links to some of the most popular microstock agencies. You'll find a more comprehensive list over on our Best Microstock Sites page, including links to full reviews for most agencies.

Shutterstock logo
Depositphotos logo
Dreamstime logo
Pond5 logo
Adobe Stock logo
Envato Market logo
Alamy logo
CanStockPhoto logo

Microstock Guide Books

While of course we think our Ultimate Beginner's Guide to microstock is awesome, there are also some really in-depth microstock specific books out there. The great thing is you can get them as ebooks, meaning instant digital downloads for only a few bucks.

Brutally Honest Guide to Microstock Photography

Brutally Honest Guide to Microstock Photography

225 jam-packed pages of microstock photography advice, tips, history and trends. The Brutally Honest Guide to Microstock Photography aims to do just as the title says – tell you how stock photography really is. This is a solid read for a very reasonable price. A great place to start for any microstock photographer.

Get Started In Stock eBook

Getting Started In Stock

Steve Heap's highly popular book is always getting new revisions and covers some different topics to the Brutal Guide. However, for a few bucks extra both books can be purchased together at a discounted price, and they complement each other very well.

Incredibly Important Composition Skills eBook

Incredibly Important Composition Skills

The secret to better photos is composition. This 225 page eBook is packed with photos, tips, tricks, and will help you up your game with these incredibly important skills. Also comes with 7 videos and a field guide for quick reference.

Fundamental Light Skills eBook

Fundamental Light Skills

Develop a deep understanding of light, in this 125 page eBook. Learn how light behaves, the 4 characteristics of light, how to find the best light, and more! Plus get a printable field guide for handy reference.

Microstock Tools For Keywording Images

When it comes to microstock tools, the most common by far over the years have been regarding keywords. Often the most daunting thing for new microstock contributors is having to keyword and caption all their images. Many have tried to make that process easier – and some have succeeded! Below are some websites and tools that many have found useful in speeding up the process.

Best Choice

Stock Photo Ideas

Stock Photo Ideas

Are you selling photos, vectors or videos? Learn what customers will be looking for in 2 months, create relevant content and earn more money. Imagine you would see into the future! Check out Stock Photo Ideas!


Shutterstock Keyword Suggestions

In our opinion, the Shutterstock Keyword Suggestion tool is the best around. All you need is to sign up (free) as a contributor and you will find it under the “Portfolio” menu in your account page. It's easy to use, is very fast and has a great interface. This should be your go-to microstock keyword tool.

Keyword.io – Tool to gather keywords, with additional info on effectiveness of each keyword

MicrostockGroup Keyword Tool – Fast and useful tool for gathering keywords

MicrostockGroup Keyword Comparison Tool – Tool to combine sets of keywords into one without duplicates

Video Tutorials

Many photographers who want to sell their images stock quickly realise they need to brush up on their skills to do so. Competition is growing, and agencies will reject images that are not up to standard. Here are our recommended video tutorials to get you skilled up quickly and diversify your portfolio.

Super Photo Editing Skills

Super Photo Editing Skills

Become a Lightroom expert in one day! Be on your way to better looking photos super fast. Discover the secrets of bringing out the best in your images, black and whites, and more!

Over 7 hours of video tutorials, 2 PDF guides, shortcut cheatsheet and sample images to practise on all included.

How To Shoot Awesome Video

How To Shoot Awesome Video

Video is the next big thing in microstock. If you're a photographer with a decent camera, then there is no reason not to expand your skill set and start shooting video for microstock.

But where to start? This course provides a downloadable 149 page eBook and 9 HD videos to get you up and running fast.

Essential Camera Skills

Extremely Essential Camera Skills

There's no shame in admitting you could know more about your camera. Learn everything you need to know to shoot in manual mode!

This easy to follow tutorial combines video, illustrations and tons of example photos to teach you how to take creative control over your images.

Lightroom Before & After

Lightroom Before & After

Gain powerful editing skills super fast as you watch 11 unique photos in Lightroom get individually edited.

Learn how the essential tools work and when to use them.

Microstock Tools For Uploading

There are many ways to get your stock photos, vectors, footage and more to the agencies. FTP uploading is the most common, but there are some microstock tools that will try and help you with it. Some are able to do multiple submissions at once.

Best Choice

Cyberduck (Mac & PC)

Call us old-school, but we still prefer the absolute control of FTP programs and sending each batch uniquely to every agency. Our app of choice is Cyberduck. A long time Mac app, it also has a version for Winows 7 and above. Both are great options that are actively maintained and updated.

Filezilla – Open source free FTP program for Mac and PC

StockSubmitter – Free and paid versions to upload to multiple agencies at once

Deepmeta – You need this free app if you are going to deal with iStock/Getty. It takes a lot of the pain out of submitting

NordVPN – You may want the added security of a VPN since FTP traffic isn't the most secure

Self Hosted Stock Sales

Many microstock contributors want to set up their own artist direct or self hosted stock site. That is, a website where you are the boss and sell your images for what you want. Years ago this would have been near impossible, but now it is a reality. In fact, Microstock Man is one such example, with our own artist direct image sales section! We think a valuable addition to our Microstock Tools section are the following essential products to get your own self hosted stock site up and running.

Bluehost Unlimited Hosting

Bluehost Unlimited Storage Web Hosting

Self hosting your own stock site comes with some inherent complications. You need lots of storage at a reasonable cost. And the ability to scale as needed.

That's why we recommend Bluehost for self hosting your stock site. They have unlimited storage on their plans, and wide range of options to choose from for processing power. You can get your own site setup for as little as a few bucks per month – with unlimited storage included!

Symbiostock Wordpress Plugin

Symbiostock WordPress Plugin

Wordpress runs around 30% of the entire internet, so its logical to use this amazing free content management system as a foundation. Along with WooCommerce it makes a great eCommerce store. But Symbiostock is the secret weapon for self hosted stock, as it provides all the extra things that you will really need.

Symbiostock allows you to create licenses, it handles pricing and watermarking, and the digital delivery of the purchased file. Everything you need for self hosting your own stock website!

ShortPixel Image Optimisation

ShortPixel Image Optimisation

If you do even a little bit of research, you will quickly realise that Google LOVES fast websites. And penalises slow ones. So for your self hosted stock site to succeed it needs to load quickly, even with all those beautiful stock images.

ShortPixel to the rescue. In fact it is what we choose to use on our own site, www.www.microstockman.com – and for good reason. ShortPixel has optimised every one of our images and saved us on average 25% on every single image. That means less storage space, and faster web pages. This plugin is a must have for a self hosted stock site.

Because we love it so much, we have negotiated a deal with ShortPixel – simply use our link to them and receive 50% more optimisation credits on any package you like!

Envato Market logo

EnvatoMarket WordPress Themes

You need a comprehensive and rock solid theme to run your self hosted stock site.

That's where Envato Market (formerly ThemeForest) is amazing, with the most established base of well-respected WordPress themes that you will find. Two of our favourites are Enfold and Avada, but there are plenty of others to choose from that will all work in nicely with you stock site.

Microstock Blogs

We aren't the only microstock related website out there – but we like to think we are the best! Our Microstock Tools & Resources guide wouldn't be complete without some links to other reputable sites. So here are some of the other great microstock related blogs and forums you can check out.

Best Choice

Microstock Man

Of course we think our site is the best! But for good reason, which we want to explain. Have you found all the valuable resources that are found on our site?

We have the Ultimate Microstock Beginner's Guide on getting started in stock, plus a series of helpful articles in the microstock contributors blog. And a favourite of customers is of course our microstock coupons, as well as our artist direct stock sales THPStock Direct.

MicrostockGroup Forum – A helpful place to keep up to date on microstock related matters

Backyard Silver – A steady stream of interesting and useful microstock related personal experiences

Stock Photography News – Find links to stock photography sites, magazines, and more

Stock Photos.com – Great Ressource for all Stock Photo Buyers

FootageSecrets.com – Everything about Stock Video Footage

Microstock Analytics Apps

One way or other, you will want to keep a track of your sales.

Everyone has a slightly different approach to this. It could be a simple spreadsheet for instance.

But for many, it makes sense to use a dedicated microstock analytics app. These gather your sales data and make it simple to see what's working. And what's not selling.

Best Choice

Microstockr Pro

Microstockr Pro is a really great program. It has both desktop and mobile versions available. Both Mac and PC are supported.

It has a really nice user interface and presents data in an easy to read way. You can create collections to track progress of different concepts or shoots. It also supports all the major agencies, including Shutterstock, Dreamstime, Depositphotos and more.

Stock Photo Search

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