In this article, I review the Microstock Academy video series created by the Italian microstock photographer Mirko. Find out if it’s worth your money.
I talked about Microstock photography quite a lot on my blog. One of my most popular articles is actually a guide on how to sell pictures and make money while traveling. The truth though is that stock photography it’s a very competitive market and it’s quite difficult to become successful. Why? Well, there are several reasons but I think that the main challenge is that it can take quite some time to see the first results. So most of the people give up after an initial period of excitement.
On the other hand, for those who are determined enough, microstock photography can become a game-changer. It’s a cool job that can give anyone the freedom to become a digital nomad and start traveling the world or, keep living a normal life with another source of income.
So what does it take to cross that line between failure and success? As in everything in life you’ll need determination and knowledge. That’s where a good video series can make a difference. It can help you to learn the skills you’ll need saving you a lot of time and mistakes.
I recently reviewed several video series and Photoshop plugins aimed at people who want to improve their techniques but this is actually the first time for me to review a video series about stock photography.
Microstock Academy a video course created by Mirko (AKA View Apart)
Mirko is a successful Italian photographer, specialized in Microstock Photography. He is quite famous among other Italian micro stockers because, starting from scratch 6 years ago, he now makes a lot of money: between 5000$ and 6000$ every single month.
The reason why he sells so many images it’s because he takes beautiful model-released pictures and he is always ready to adapt his style to the trends of the market. So he is more than qualified to teach new microstock photographers.
Even though he didn’t start his career as a photographer Mirko is a great example of how important it is to adapt to the changes in society. He realized that microstock could become a remunerative and enjoyable job and he learned the skills needed to become successful.
So it doesn’t really matter if you know already how to take your photos or if you are starting from scratch. As long as you are determined you can have similar results.
One thing I want to point out though is that selling pictures online it’s not a get-rich-quick scheme. Quite the opposite. It involves a lot of work so don’t expect to make the same kind of money Mirko is making in just 6 months. But if you’ll closely follow Mirko’s tips you’ll have a good chance to quickly progress and eventually make money by selling your pictures.
Microstock Academy video series: my review
Once you purchase the video series, you’ll get the login info for your account on the Microstock Academy website, with lifetime access. Right now there are about 70 lessons divided into 11 chapters arranged by topic in didactic order. If new lessons will be added in the future, all members will have free access to them.
Even though 70 seems to be a big number many lessons are quite short (the shortest one is about 3 minutes long) so you’ll have the feeling that you are progressing in the video series quite fast.
One thing I want to point out is that Mirko is not an English native speaker and, as he honestly admits at the beginning of the first chapter, there are a few grammar mistakes. I hope he will fix it in the future, but until then, don’t worry: technical information is extremely accurate, reliable, and understandable.
Almost all the videos are presented as a series of text slides, each of them including the most crucial key points. You’ll hear Mirko talking in the background but most of the time you won’t see him. So in this regard, the video course is quite different from other video series like Photographing the World by Fstoppers and Elia Locardi where you’ll basically watch Elia “doing stuff” (taking pictures first and then editing them). There are still some good exceptions, as for example screen-casts of database management, image editing, and 2 shooting backstage. I actually enjoyed watching Mirko talking so I hope in the future he will include more videos where you can actually see him. I think it’s more entertaining when you have the chance to see someone instead of simply hearing his voice.
This being said, these details don’t really detract from the high quality of the material you’ll find in the videos. An added bonus is that you can download the slides showcased in every lesson.
One of the many things you’ll learn (and in my opinion, it’s the most valuable lesson) is how to organize and shoot model and property-released photo sessions. Keep in mind that this is the “secret” for actually making money on the microstock market. Mirko is definitely an expert and you’ll appreciate his insight and his useful tips.
The difficulty of the lessons is gradual so don’t worry if you don’t know anything about stock photography. By the end of the videos, you’ll have learned, at least in theory, all you need to know to become successful even though it will obviously take some time to actually master all the information learned.
One thing you will not learn is how to become an Adobe Guru. This series is not a post-processing tutorial and, while there are a few lessons where Mirko briefly touches on this topic, Microstock Academy has clearly not been produced to teach you the most advanced post-processing techniques. If that’s what you need, I suggest you check my review of this video series. This is not a negative aspect but something I just want you to be aware of.
When you buy the video series you’ll also have access to a private Facebook group (only for the students) where you can meet fellow newbie microstockers and ask for suggestions directly to Mirko. This is an added value that can be quite useful.
These are just some of the main topics of the video series:
- Introduction to Microstock business
- Gear to use
- What to photograph
- How to deal with model/property releases
- Shootings: winnings concepts and storyboard
- Database Management
- Editing software and workflow
- Best microstock sites
- Uploading and keywording strategies
- How to create a bestseller portfolio
The price for the Microstock Academy series it’s not low. The truth though is that unlike spending your money on objects such as the latest smartphone, you can actually make money when you purchase a video series like this one. So I would consider it as an investment for your future rather than a loss of money.
Remember that the video series is aimed at those who want to start selling microstock pictures and not at those who are already successful.
These are some of the pros and cons of Microstock Academy
- the price is not low
- the English in the videos it’s not perfect
- you’ll learn all you need to know to become a successful microstocker
- Microstock Academy it’s one of the few video series on the internet that really teaches you how to take model and property released pictures, ideal for the microstock market
- you can access a private Facebook group and join a new community of fellow microstockers
- you’ll find some great tips about what to shoot and which concept sells the most
- you can watch a few behind the scenes videos of Mirko actually shooting with professional models (this alone was extremely useful for me)
Mirko has also prepared a free video and a page with more info. You can check it out at the link below.
If you use this coupon code you’ll get a huge discount (just copy and paste it to the purchase page): FABIONODARIBLOG-50
If you need a great Photoshop plugin to edit your pictures don’t miss my review of Raya Pro.