11 Apr 2008 Shoot Daily and Contribute Nightly Challenge

After writing about microstock market share yesterday and appreciating the super-sized portfolios of the super microstockers, I’ve been inspired by some creative goal setting. Andres Rodriguez has challenged Sean Nell over on the Shutterstock forums to post-process, keyword and upload 900 already-shot photos in the month of April. Additionally, Matt Antonio over at NiltoMil has set himself the target of both creating and contributing 15 new photos every day for the month.

These goals have inspired me to develop my own series of challenges. I’ve already created a list of challenges that will create a helpful habit, develop a skill, or stretch boundaries. I’ll introduce each challenge at the start of the week and share what I created and learned on the weekend. I invite you to participate in any of the challenges that inspire you and to share your experiences in the comments of my results posts.

The First Challenge

The first challenge is an obvious choice given the cited examples. Starting Monday, the challenge is to shoot daily and contribute nightly. The quantity of shots you create and contribute is up to you – the point is to get yourself into a flow where creating microstock photos becomes a natural daily routine. Shooting during the day and then post-processing and uploading at night suits me, but choose a routine that works for you.

Also choose a target quantity that’s suitable for your lifestyle. If you’re a full time microstocker your number will be high. If you have a full time job and are the parent of young kids, your number will likely be lower. It’s important to pick a number that, as Matt suggested, is both challenging and achievable. Stretching helps you grow, but if you can’t make it work you’ll get discouraged. It’s better to start low and increase if you find you can.

I’m starting off with the same number as Matt – 15. I have enough time in my day to shoot enough shots to get 15 worthy of contributing. My wife does all our post processing, so 15 per day is achievable with us working together.

It’s important not to beat yourself up if you miss a day or don’t meet your target quantity. I used to do this a lot until I realized that it didn’t help. If you miss a day, remember it’s just a challenge designed to help you achieve what you’re committed to achieving. Authentically look at what happened and deal with whatever comes up. The important thing is to recommit for the next day. It’s just a week, so it’s worth persisting to see what happens.

Remember, this challenge is designed to form a habit, so don’t stop at the end of the week!

Sharing the Results

At the end of the week I’ll show the best photo from each day and share what I learned from the challenge. I expect that, more than the extra photos, it will be what I learn from the accelerated experience of shooting daily and contributing night that increases my microstock earnings.

  • EWRobinson
    Posted at 12:14h, 11 April Reply

    I’m in, though as a full time grad student I can likely only attempt at a few per day…

  • James
    Posted at 12:30h, 11 April Reply

    Awesome!! As I’m in the ‘have a full time job and are the parent of young kids’ category, I’ll aim for 15 each week 😉 Very neat that your wife does all your post processing!

  • Matt Antonino
    Posted at 20:07h, 11 April Reply

    Thanks for the link to my post Lee. I’m definitely “in” this challenge, obviously.

    Through 11 days of this challenge, I’ve uploaded 119 photos and have 22 to upload right now. That’s 141 so by the end of the 11th, I’ll have submitted 141 pictures or 12.8 per day. It’s not quite my goal.

    Here were the problems so far:
    Didn’t upload on day 1 because I started the project the 1st.
    Didn’t upload on day 4 because we went out shooting all day – but the next day I did submit 26.
    Didn’t upload on day 7 because I was sick – so I just didn’t shoot or process.

    My goal is unchanged – 450 new images taken/edited/keyworded/submitted in April. With 141 out of the way, I need to upload 309 between the 12th and 30th (19 full days) or 16.26 per day.

    Another thing is – don’t stop at your goal! Once you hit 15 images for the day, just keep going. I’ve missed 3 days and still almost hit the target thus far because of my larger upload days. Days of 21 and 26 keep days of 11 and 0 on track.


  • prophotolife
    Posted at 21:35h, 11 April Reply

    Right on…goals! I look forward to hearing the results.

  • Pixels Away
    Posted at 21:11h, 12 April Reply

    Daily Microstock Shooting – Are You Up to the Cha…

    He is starting off with 15 pictures per day and has a number of followers with similar goals. Are you up to the challenge?

    Well, I am not …

    I am actually thinking about slowing down with microstock photography. After 5 months of intense work …..

  • one8edegree
    Posted at 02:29h, 13 April Reply

    Being an illustrations artist i am also giving myself a challenge . you can check out the details here

  • pdtnc
    Posted at 18:25h, 17 April Reply

    I’ve got some good motivation to keyword… (my fiancé beats me with a stick if I don’t).
    Doing big batches is a nightmare, I have such a backlog of shots to go through its a bit disheartening. I go in spurts, I massacre a load of files occasionally…
    Once the backlog is gone I will feel more productive that the files I have just shot will be the files I then upload soon after, though at present time I am still working on files from mid 2007.

  • Willis Shackleford
    Posted at 11:17h, 20 April Reply

    I work a full-time job from 5:30am to 9:30am then again from 2:20pm to 6:30pm so I have the middle of the day free Monday – Friday to shoot. 15 a day is difficult for me only because of the editing and key wording aspects. I however do try to shoot, keyword and edit 3-5 per day. It’s not 15 but my portfolio at present is just over 100 accepted images. I’ve been a photographer for over 30 years. I just entered into microstock about 2 months ago. I’ve had great success at all the big (6) except for iStock. I stopped uploading to iStock a few weeks back because they are just to ridiculous with the 80% rejections for me. Granted they want what they want but I just can’t seem to find what that is. At present after only (2) months in the business I’m earning just over $100 per month with a very small portfolio so I will keep at it and maybe someday in the next few years I can go full-time and increase my daily uploads by 300-400%.

    P.S. Thanks for a great site. I enjoy reading the articles and seeing what others have to say. I have also signed up at Yaymicro as a referred photographer from this site. I hope it helps!

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