Cristian Negroni is a professional microstock photographer based out of Milan. His style is mostly travel, lifestyle, and street photography, but he likes to try different things as often as possible.

Cristian has been very successful selling his work through 500px Prime, and so we asked him if he could put together a list of tips for other 500px photographers who would like to sell their work commercially. This extremely useful list is what he sent back to us.


I’m basically a microstock photographer, so I think and act in that way. Here a list of tips from my personal experience about what to do and what you should not do:

1. Try to “contain your artist side.” Photography is an art, but if you mean to do stock photography, sometimes you should choose the commercial imprint.

I will try to explain better: A lot of photographers like to take photos of beautiful women lying in fashionable poses because it helps them feel like real artists. In stock photography this doesn’t really work. Better to opt for lifestyle and daily life concepts. A photo must have several commercial usages. A fashion photo doesn’t have many…

2. Be like a mirror. A mirror doesn’t attach to something in particular, but it doesn’t refuse anything either. Be flexible with your photography. Don’t choose only one type. Many types means different genres of customers, or followers, so it means more chances to sell your photos.


3. Be simple. In stock photography, simplicity is key. Don’t include distractions in your photos; go straight to the message. Choose simple backgrounds behind or around the subject.

4.Think like the final customer. Try to imagine why a possible customer should buy your photo.


5. Take good care of the technical side of the shot. Focus must be straight and precise at 100%, avoid sharp shadows, also in the backgrounds.

6. Try different angles and perspectives. If you copy the photos that are already on the market, you have less chances to sell. But if you give the same messages from different perspectives, you will refresh that concepts.


7. Learn to be very good at post-production. Being a good photographer is not enough; you must be even better with the computer if you want to have a good chance in the stock photography market.

8. Opt for bright tones instead dark tones. Commercial photos, most of the time, must give positive messages.


9. The idea is the most important think. Do not shoot everything you see around… that’s senseless. Try to display only the best concepts you have on the market.

And take good care of your shooting sessions. You must arrange them and plan every single detail to a T: Location, models, props, and a list of the concepts you want develop are musts.

10. Be humble. Do not convince yourself that your photo is good if it’s not. Try to be objective. It’s the only way to improve.


To see more from Cristian, be sure to check out his 500px Prime store by clicking here. And if these tips inspired you to join Cristian on Prime, find out how you can start contributing today!