An accidental journey into Microstock Photography


posted on 15th of february, 2008

My husband has been a photographer for as long as he can remember. I, also, loved to hold a camera, and have taken some pretty impressive landscapes, haven't we all? :D But this is his story, his introduction into the crazy world we call Microstock.
Robert was getting bogged down at work, and his co-worker suggested he pick up a hobby, you know, to clear his mind. The coworker was learning photography, himself, so he would often times spend hours drilling my husband about this and that. Questions about lighting, and tabletop work, f-stops and pixel size, the excitement began to grow again. The coworker researched gallery showings and other avenues of exposing his work to the public, and ran across Microstock. He asked if Robert knew anything about it. Robert had been involved in Stock photography a number of years ago, and had nothing but headaches and lost negatives to report on. But further research shone a light down a dead end street. No negatives to send out? No lost photos, never recoverable again? Sounds great!!

He picked up his camera and began, tentative at first. Commercial work was where he had his start, and he started with the old faithful standby, apples...

He would take his images to work with him, and show them to his coworker. They would compare and critique eachother's work. It was a good time, the mood was light, Robert was doing what he loved, and we were happy. Then, Robert got hit by the MRSA virus, and was homebound for one month after a short hospital stay. Since he was quarantined, he spent the time really setting up his tabletop area, getting his lights set, experimenting with exposure, stops, and editing. He went back to work, and for a month things were good. But, tragically, his company was forced to lay off part of their staff, and he took the hit.

So, all of a sudden, with no warning, he's out of a job. No security, no insurance, nothing at all. But... we'd done all the research, seen all the numbers that people allowed us to see, ... could we? Should we?

So, with eyes closed and screaming the whole way, we submitted our first photos, and now we're on a speeding train, rushing toward an almost impossible goal, hoping to see a pattern that will allow us to continue shooting for a living.

What do I have to do with this whole thing? I'm his cheerleader, I'm his second set of eyes, and I'm the one that keeps everything uploaded and on time. I've released him to be the artist. He creates and shoots his art the way he sees it, he edits his images, and hands them over to me. And then he goes off to shoot again. And I couldn't be happier :D

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Photo credits: Robert Gebbie.

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