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 EOS R

Studio V Photography: Got some new toys to play with. It's finally here. Canon's first step into the full frame mirrorless game. The EOS R. In this video I get my hands on the EOS R for the first time and you get to see my first unfiltered reactions as I unbox the camera and turn it on for the first time.

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.

Jenna Medina Photo Shoot + Interview

Studio V Photography. So recently I had the pleasure of working with model, makeup artist, personal trainer and totally awesome person Jenna Medina. Oh and I also have to put fastest makeup artist ever in that list too. She can do a do a face with a smoky eye in 15 minutes. She's blazing fast! She booked me for a shoot a few days before her bikini competition to capture some shots of her body. It's not easy to stay that lean and I can't imagine anybody wanting to stay that lean with all that delicious food around lol. Jenna had a "Lemonade" idea she wanted too shoot (The picture if featured below) along with a few other outfits. As you can see in the vlog we had a lot of shooting. After the shoot I asked Jenna if I could do a quick off-the-cuff interview with her for the vlog. It was a fun test run to feel out the interview-vlog idea I had in my head. I think i'll make it a thing going forward. I'll interview ppl in the industry to share what they have to say with all of you guys. 

Enjoy the videos. 

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? 

Behind The Scenes With Nine5Four Canada Magazine

A little behind the scenes action. On set with Studio V Photography as we shoot Marianne D'Vaz, Megan Powell and Anna for an editorial feature for Nine5Four Canada Magazine. These three beauties were a fun buzz all day. 

This is the shoot that almost didn't happen. The magazine editor lined up a beautiful vintage yacht for the shoot. I saw pictures of it before hand and it looked amazing. However when we got to the marina it was gone. Apparently the owner of the yacht decided to takeoff for the day and leave us stranded. Lucky for us the models were attracting all kinds of attention at the marina and it wasn't long before we found another yacht to shoot on. So in the end everything worked out perfectly and we made a great contact at the marina. Always keep a positive mindset and good things happen. That's the trick.  Swimsuits by Venao Swimwear. Makeup by Sarah Ve. I'll post more pictures from this shoot when they get published. 

My Social Media Identity Struggle

I was sitting around thinking to myself yesterday and I've come to the conclusion that I've struggled a lot with my online identity over the past few years. Some aspects of my work required that I maintain the utmost professionalism and I totally understood the need for that. Even the fact that I shot woman in lingerie was pushing the envelope for some of my clients and I had to try and get them to look past the glamour to see the talent. Is this just me or do you glam photogs out there feel the same? Can this one go under the hashtag of #photographerproblems or is it just me?

I'm glad to say that's all in the past now. Over the past several months I've restructured my business and divested Studio V of said client base. Quite unexpectedly I must say, I didn't anticipate I would enjoy this transition as much as I am. I feel like a great pressure has been lifted off my social media shoulders. I'm no longer confined to balancing the perceptions of one client base with the desires of another client base. It's a liberating feeling to know that I can create my online personality free from the the pressures of appeasing those who have preconceived negative notions of the glamour industry. I'm free to be me again. That's a great feeling. So cheers to Studio V. 

Melissa

This was a fun shoot. Melissa had just come back form living down on LA and wanted to book a shoot with Studio V Photography. We've been working together regularly since 2008. It's funny she wanted to find a photographer she could work with on a regular basis and the first guy she worked with (no names mentioned) is known as a real creeper. I hate those guys but in this case it worked out to my advantage. Got a great repeat client that I otherwise would not have had. Melissa is awesome. I call her the Canadian Megan Fox. She's got a great look. Can't wait to shoot her again.