stock photo: stop signThere is a long and growing list of start-up sites trying to get onto the microstock bandwagon, many of these will earn very little or no money in return for your time uploading images.

In general, sites lower down our list of all the agencies we have reviewed are the ones we suggest you consider ignoring (but please note that sites marked as 0/10 are at that position because we are still reviewing income, so please read each site review fully).

The following is a list of sites I no longer upload to. Reasons for this decision are listed with each site, this in addition to that fact that these sites have earned very little over the space of 2 or more years:

  • ImageVortex
    Difficult upload (no ftp) and lack of anything much happening in the past 7 years, just 1 sale. They rejected pretty much everything I uploaded over the space of several months suggesting they want out of the microstock market to present themselves as 'mid priced'. Image vortex might be worth it if they supported FTP, without, it's just not cost effective. Crestock are just as strict with their acceptance, but the difference is that images sell on Crestock to they still get a (somewhat indifferent) thumbs up


It's possible that some of the sites listed on this page could make a comeback. They have all built some sort of image collection to get started, and with correct advertising and perhaps re-branding then sales could start to develop. However, any site that has gained a bad press amongst microstock photographers will have an uphill struggle to gain their support once more. Without the support of the photographer community and full time microstockers a microstock site is doomed to suffer mediocre images from the few photographers who know no better, are happy just to throw their work at every site that comes along, or are just testing the water.


Sites we have Omitted

There are dozens of microstock sites that we have chosen not to conduct a long term microstock earnings review. The reasons we choose not to review a site are varied, but all stem from one basic fact: we feel what we can tell by just looking at the quality of the site and external traffic stats that it is not a place that will earn us any money. Since the launch of some low cost CMS software the internet is littered with dead microstock sites that never earn anything because they have no buyers, It would be folly to upload images and review all of them.

Here are a couple of sites and the reasons why they are have not been reviewed - remember that being listed here is better than being one of the myriad of sites that don't even deserve a mention.

  • scanstockphoto, they never quite seem to get going...
  • isignstock - I've little patience for sites where basic features like uploading files fail to work reliably.
  • 500px
    Spasmodic changes to photographers plans, pricing, and entire structure of their sales program shows a distinct lack of understanding of the stock photography market. This combined with photographer/photography portfolio/showcase style websites that also combine photo sales have historically produced poor results


nikon's picture


nikon (not verified) on Tue, 2009-07-28 17:13
I am just curious to know why this particualr agency is to be avoided like plague. You have not given any reasons or even a description. I have seen at least one agancy that like to hide under at least 3 different names - based in Montreal - and it is a real scam. They have a branch in USA and many people get basically ripped off by them. But this patern doesn't seem to apply to StockphotoSpot. I have not expolere this agency too much, certainly would not provide my personal details to them (non secure http protocol for uploading private info - not a good scenario), but would like to know what is there to avoid.
Steve Gibson's picture

My Bad

Steve Gibson on Wed, 2009-07-29 01:30
oops, yes to calrify it appears to be a scam, many contributors report not being paid for their sales. infact I have not heard from anyone who has been paid. I wrote a review of the site to warn others, and have now linked it above stockphotospot review

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