Top 10 Questions

By Andrew Hudson Published: June 17, 2011 Updated: March 20, 2014

Here are the most popular questions I get asked about microstock.

1. How much can I make with microstock?

The average photo earns about $9.22 per year. So with 1,000 photos online, that’s about $9,220 per year, which is the average income of microstock photographers.

Learn more.

2. How many images do I need online?

The average number is 1,000 images. But you can start with one image and work up.

Learn more.

3. How much does it cost to get started?

Nothing. Most microstock sites are free to join.

4. Can I make a living with microstock?

Some people do. For most, it’s more of a hobby. To earn $52,029 (the median U.S. household income in 2008), at $9.22 per image you’d need 5,644 images online. That’s five quality photos per business day for four years, which is a challenge but possible.

5. What is the best microstock site to use?

Shutterstock is recommended by most microstock photographers.

Learn more.

6. How many sites should I upload to?

Six seems to be the most popular number.

Learn more.

7. What are the top 10 sites to upload to?

8. How much does the best microstock photographer earn?

$6 million a year. That’s how much Yuri Arcurs’ business brings in. Yuri is often referred to as the most prolific microstock photographer.

9. What are questions 9 & 10?

I haven’t written those yet. What people mostly want to know is: “How much can I earn with microstock?


Reply by Bw

August 20, 2012

I have a collection of slides , negatives and phtotos (from negatives). Is it okay to submit scans of these images? And if so, what’s an acceptable resolution (300 dpi)?



Reply by Andrew Hudson, PhotoSecrets

August 23, 2012

Hi BW:

Yes you can submit scans. They need to be good, clean scans. Use the highest resolution you can, which will be the highest file size (MB). DPI is a printing term, see DPI.

Reply by Tayt Eiden

October 2, 2011

Here is another question, what is required in order for me to get my images accepted on a microstock site?

Reply by Jim

July 8, 2012

Thank you for helping amateurs like me get started in the right direction.

Add Your Comment



Email (optional):

Submit your comment: