Microstock Photography Series

Vasko Obscura: Hey people of the internet welcome to this vlog series exploring microstock in 2019. I’m going to be exploring the world of stock photography from a fresh perspective now that I’ve been out of the game for nine years. I am making a series of videos documenting my return to stock photography while at the same time using my experience in the industry to create tutorial videos for those of you looking to get into the industry. I’ll be posing all the videos in this series on this blog post.

My goal is to create videos that you people of the internet find value in so if you have any suggestions or feedback please feel free to leave comments on the YouTube videos and i’ll respond.

I was a full time microstock shooter with iSockPhoto from 2005 till 2010-ish. It was my ticket into the photography world. I learned so much through producing stock photos. Not only was shooting stock photography a great way to learn how to shoot photos but it also allowed me to build up a strong passive income stream. Even after I stopped shooting stock photos I was still generating $4000 a month from photo sales. However nothing lasts forever and that income stream has dwindled to $200 a month. I still find it amazing that I’m generating any revenue from work I did 9 years ago. This brings me to the reason I’m getting back into microstock photography. Passive income is a great way to supplement your income and I plan on building up a profitable portfolio again. So come join me on this six month adventure back into the world of microstock and hopefully I can inspire some of you out there to get into microstock too.

If you find value in the videos i’m producing please subscribe to my YouTube channel I would really appreciate it. You can also find me on Instagram @vaskoobscura and Twitter @vaskoobscura as well.

Click here to checkout my iStock portfolio: https://www.istockphoto.com/ca/portfolio/Vasko?sort=best

Episode 1: Can You Still Make Money With Microstock in 2019

Here is my 6 month plan. Not that I put it online I have to do it. Accountability on the interwebs.

It’s not written in stone but here are some potential upcoming videos. If there is anything you’d like me to touch base on message me and let me know.
- What equipment do you need to shoot stock photos
- How do you find models to shoot for stock photos
- What is the best thing to shoot for your portfolio
- How to upload images to iStock
- Behind the scenes at a stock photography shoot
- Chats with other stock photographers
- Conceptualizing stock photo shoots
- Stock photography production workflow
- Six month plan progress + thoughts.
- Upload rejection and photo editing workflow

Canon Shooter reviews Sony A7III

Vasko Obscura: Hello fellow Canon photographers, if you’ve been on the fence about switching from the Canon system to the Sony system and you’re still unsure about which direction to go in this is the review you’ve been waiting for. I’ve been a Canon shooter for 14 years and I bought a Sony A7III in May 2018 with the hopes of using my Canon glass on the Sony camera as a full time professional photographer. In this review I share my opinions and experiences as a Canon shooter using the A7III as my daily go to camera. I talk more about my personal real world experiences in part 2.

Hope you find the review helpful.

Thanks for watching if you enjoyed the content please subscribe to my YouTube channel i’m actively trying to grow the channel and every subscription is appreciated.

Studio V Photography Toronto Glamour Photographer. Hey guys so here are two vlogs from my YouTube channel where I give a few opinions my my experience shooting with the Sony A7 III plus the Metabones adapter with the Canon EF 16-35mm f2.8 L and the EF 24-70mm f2.8 L. 

I'm really enjoying the Sony A7III so far but the more I use it the more I find little things that bother me about the the camera. First and probably the biggest issue I have with the SOny camera is the colour science. The colours just seem to be off. The skin tones of models is just off. And the camera's ability to adjust the colour temperature accurately when in AWB mode and moving between sunlight and shade seems to be really strange. You can see in the first video when I shoot Jisel Lynn in the shade and then in full sun her skin tone changes. I also test video in the first video. I'm not a videographer but from what I've been able to figure out the auto focus does not work well at all with the adapted lenses. Auto focus also seems to have issues from time to time when shooting stills but that problem can quickly be fixed by switching the camera on and off. However, if you are planning on shooting live events with adapted lenses it might not be the best especially if you are shooting an event like a wedding when you CAN'T MISS shots like the first kiss. 

This is just a basic review of my experience so far. I'll be making a video with a full review soon. 

If you want to see more of my photos please follow me on Instagram. @Studiov14   



Jisel Lynn & Kyla Belle Sample Images

Studio V Photography. Squarespace is limiting me on the size of the file I can upload.  So I've uploaded image below in the larges file size they'll let me upload them at. Just a note because someone thought that the lens had issues because of the chromatic aberration in the shots. That effect was added on purpose and these images are photoshoped. I wanted to give you guys some shots of edited images so you can see what is possible. As I Said in the vlog the Canon lens on the Sony A7III is awesome sharp. Much sharper than than the same lens on my 5DmkIII. If you have any questions feel free to shoot me a message back in the comments on YouTube and i'll get back to you as soon as I can.

Back to the YouTube Video. Keep in mind there is an age restriction on the video so I don't know if everybody can see it or if you need a YouTube account to see the video. 


Sony A7III with Canon Lenses Photo Review

Studio V Photography. Hey guys exciting news. I did my first photo shoot slash lens test with the Sony A7III with my Canon lenses. I'm using the Metabones 5th generation adapter with the Sony A7III. Just thought I'd put that out there as I'm sure a lot of you will be asking me about that. The YouTube videos where I explore Canon lenses on a Sony camera are linked below. 

My first impressions are very positive. The images out of the Sony A7III are very sharp and clean right out of camera. It doesn't hurt either that my model, Bella Ricchi, is stunning. I think she makes the photos look better. lol. On a more serious note the only problem I've noticed with the camera lens combination so far is an inability to focus at times. Every now an then the focus would stop working completely and I would have to switch the camera on and off. After that restart the camera lens combo would work normally again. Another thing to note is that the focus with Canon lenses on the Sony A7III is a touch slower than Canon lenses on a Canon camera and that is totally understandable.  

Vlog 94

Vlog 95

Thanks for reading, this is all for now. I'll make more videos and vlog posts as I learn more about the camera. 

In this video I do a quick test with the Canon EF 300mm f2.8 L on the Sony A7III with the Metabones adapter to see how sharp the images are. I'd say they came out really sharp.

A lot of reviews talk about how the Sony A7III does not have a time laps mode so I wanted to make a quick video that shows how to achieve the time laps look with the Sony using the S&Q settings. It's very simple. Just open your S&Q settings in the menu and then select 1 frame per second. Turn the dial at the top of your camera to "S&Q" than adjust your exposure and hit the record button. All done.

A few YouTubers messaged me after my last video with questions about how to setup the A7III for use with Canon lenses so that auto focus works. I'm no expert on the subject but here is a little video that hopefully helps you setup your cameras.

Packing Gear For Sand Banks Shoot

Studio V Photography. OK here is a vlog for all you gear heads. Come along with me as I pack my camera gear for a beach shoot. I'm about to head out to Sand Banks Provincial Park to shoot some models for potential magazine features. In this vlog I talk about what equipment I bring with me on this shoot and why I bring it. I cover everything from model releases and lenses to sunscreen and scrims. 


Editing Photos of Asha for Magazine Submission

Studio V Photography Toronto Glamour Photographer
Last summer I had the pleasure of working with the lovely Asha Urielle. If you guys were following my SnapChat at the time you'd remember the story for sure. It was a fun day of shooting and I think I got a little punch-drunk off the sun. We shot at a beach just outside of Toronto. The day started off nice and foggy which opened up some creative possibilities that had me pretty excited. But it wasn't long before the sun came out and I had to rethink my game plan. The angle of the sun plays such a huge role in determining how and where you're going to pose the model. Overall it was a great experience. Good times all around for everyone involved. The images will be featured in an upcoming issue of VX2 Magazine. So stay tuned for that. Watch the vlogs below and give them a thumbs up. It really helps to get those thumbs on those videos. Thanks.

If you want to find me on SnapChat look up @studiov14

What kind of photographer are you?

I know it's a bit of a silly question and I ask it form the perspective of my own genre of photography. What kind of photographer are you? I think the answer to that question lies within the realm of "what motivates you to be a photographer" We all do it for many different reasons but there is alway one underlaying reason that is more prominent than all the rest. There are some who do it because they want to meet hot women. There are some true artists who do it for the love of art. Some people are drawn to the technical side of photography. Some have the intrinsic desire to create. Others do it for the money. So what kind of photographer are you?

After 10 years in the industry watching and observing other photographers one quote holds true. I can't remember which photographer first told me this but he said: "Shit always rolls down hill" What he meant was successful photographers rise to the top and unsuccessful photographers naturally roll to the bottom. I've seen this play out so many times over the years. Now you're forced to ask yourself what is a successful photographer? I know, I know this post is going on tangents but follow me there is a point to all this. 

What is a successful photographer? This is an interesting question because the answer may not be what you expected. Does a successful photographer shoot great photos? nope. In fact I've seen a lot of so called successful photographers with boring photography skills. On the flip side I've seen a lot of fantastic photographers with great skills never achieve much success. Why? What's the deal there? This industry is strange in the way that talent with a camera doesn't necessarily lead to success. Lots of great artists start rolling down hill while mediocre talent finds success. Why is that? 

In order to achieve success in this industry you have to have longevity. Camera equipment is expensive. Programs and computers need to be updated constantly. There is a sizeable expense behind photography. A lot of the glam photographers who do it for the girls shoot for free, don't make much money, can't keep up with the expense of it all, and start rolling down hill. The photographers who are great artists and do it for the love soon learn that the love doesn't pay the bills and they too start rolling down hill, unless they get discovered by an agency and then they are given success. The photographers who love the technical side usually end up becoming hobbyists and weekend worriers. The ones that do it for the money, those are the ones that find success and stick around the longest. I know crazy right? But it's true.

If you want to have success in this industry you HAVE TO approach your photography form a business minded perspective. Most people don't realize how important that is until it's too late. No bucks, no Buck Rogers. Forget the quality of your work that takes second seat to your business plan. How do you make money? How do you market your business? How do you create brand loyalty? How to you cultivate your clients? What are you doing to grow your brand? How strong is your business model? 

Now I ask you again. What kind of photographer are you? 

Successful Mindsets

Happy Friday everyone. Here is a little something for you to ponder over the weekend. I really enjoy this image. It's been sitting on my desktop for years. Every now and then I come across it and fall into an introspective mode and start doing some self analyses. I don't know who made it or where it came from so I don't have a photo credit to go along with the image so thank you to anonymous. 

The image is pretty self expository. I'm sure you'll be able to figure how to apply it to your life and I encourage you to do so. Since this is a photographer's blog, what I wanted to do is take a look at this image from a photographer's perspective. More specifically give you my photographic perspective on this successful mindset philosophy. 

Challenges: I feel as a photographer I love challenges. The more challenging the shoot the better. I always tell other photographers you have to fall in love with the process of taking photos. If all you love are the final results you're going to have a tough time shooting. There are times when i've bitten off more than I can chew and I get so frustrated I want to smash my camera against a wall but I can't because the client is in the room. And it's at those times when the going gets tough and I'm ready to explode when I have to calm myself down and embrace the challenge. I take a deep breath, pull myself out of the situation mentally and start problem solving in my head. In the end photography is all about making adjustments and correcting your exposure, composition, lighting etc. There are always going to be challenges in photography and that's why it's such a beautiful craft. Each challenge you overcome make you better at what you do. 

Obstacles: This one kinda makes me laugh. Obstacles and photography go hand in hand. Everything in a photographer's world is an obstacle. Dealing with clients brings on obstacles. shooting indoors, shooting in day light, shooting in a dark environments, balancing noise and iso, depth of field and shutter speed. There is no easy way to be a photographer you are constantly making choices and the pressure is always on. Clients want results and your choices affect those results and ultimately your business lives or dies based on your ability to make the right choices. If you're a photographer and you're reading this i'm sure you're running through a list of obstacles in your head that come up at your shoots. We all have our obstacles whether it's understanding lighting, tackling a unique exposure, post processing styles or dealing with difficult clients. If we don't embrace our obstacles and move past them we don't move forward. 

Effort: Effort effort effort has always been my mindset when it comes to photography or anything I do in my life for that matter. I'm a strong believer in two sayings: 1) You only get out of life what you put in. & 2) You make your own luck by working hard. I live by those words of wisdom. The moment you stop working hard and putting effort into what you are doing is the moment you start failing. Trust me I've made that mistake. I built up my brand and business to the point where I was making good money and so I started coasting on my success and focusing my effort in other areas of my life. My business slumped big time. It took a lot of work to build it back up again. Moral of the story is effort yields it's own rewards, you've got to put your work in if you want achieve your goals. 

Criticism: Unless you're just straight up lazy, in which case you'll find challenges, obstacles and effort hard, for the rest of us criticism will probably be the toughest thing on this list to deal with. We all have an ego and we all feel hurt when people criticize our work. It's normal to feel protective of things you're passionate about. The thing is, as an intelligent human being you have to be able to recognize the parts of a criticism which are constructive and  ignore all the other stuff. You have to keep in mind that critiquing photography is entirely subjective. Each person is going to have their own disposition and opinion and that's cool. Everyone is different, not everybody is going to like your work and, if you ask me, you have to approach criticism from that perspective. 

Success of others: This one is huge in my books. I have distanced and even cut people out of my life who are threatened by the success of others. To me that is a huge red flag. I find that I can't trust people who are threatened by other people's success. Makes me wonder how my own success will affect them. Build a team of positive hardworking people around you and you will have your success. As photographers from an artistic perspective, there are always challenges and new things to be discovered. However, from a business perspective it's all pretty much been done before. Find those photographers who have achieved success and learn from them. Talk to them go have beer with them be humble and learn from them. Everyone is an open book if you're willing to read. 

Elizabeth Sabrina

Here is a set of unplanned photos. I was getting ready to shoot the beautiful Elizabeth Sabrina who had flown all the way to form Calgary to work with me. I had my camera setup and ready to go but I had the urge to experiment and pulled out my iPhone and started playing. These images were shot with an iPhone 4 and edited in photoshop. 

If there is one thing that can be said about Photography as a craft it's that there is a lifetime of knowledge to be learned. So don't hesitate to experiment because that's where the real learning happens. Courses and workshops are great but that's all second hand information. The deepest most effective way to grow comes from experiencing and leaning on your own. Whenever you have a moment, even if you're shooting something as simple as sunlight shining through a window onto a wall, or a fire hydrant on the street, take that opportunity to play with your camera. To be a good photographer you have to fall in love with photography. If you only pull out your camera when you have a photo shoot than you're limiting your growth. You should have your camera with you all the time and make time to play and learn by shooting whatever you feel. 

Thank You

I felt compelled recently to put a heartfelt shout out on social media to all you amazing people. After 10 years in the bizz I can truly look back and appreciate what I've accomplished and the people I've met, or more correctly stated, the relationships I've built. I'm grateful for all the opportunities that have come my way. Cheers to 10 years in the books and another 10 years down the line. 

Back In Action

It's been a while since I wrote a blog on my old webpage but now that I've got a shiny new webpage and new branding I'm excited to get the blog train rolling again. Woootttt wooooot. hahahah. I'm so punny. My objective with this new webpage is to let my personality shine through and the same goes for this blog. I'll try and keep it real and true to who I am and give you all a glimpse of what goes on inside STUDIO V.