This Week on Microstock: Canva iPad App, The Complete Photography Bundle, What Designers Think About Microstock, Flickr Photographic Wall Art, The Best Smartphones and In the Age of Instagram


Canva iPad App


Along with the addition of the Canva Design button this month, the Australian graphic design platform has recently launched its iPad app version, the most requested feature to date.


The app utilizes a drag-and-drop design interface with a library of millions of stock images, illustrations, backgrounds and fonts which makes designing graphics fast and easy. Photos taken from the iPad or the ones in their Facebook account can also be immediately integrated with the design. The app is available to download free in the app store.



“In the past year since our launch we have been overwhelmed by the many ways people are using Canva every day. Our new app brings everything people love about Canva to the iPad,” says Canva chief executive Melanie Perkins.



Canva is backed by investors including Lars Rasmussen of Google Maps, Yahoo Chief Financial officer Ken Goldman, Matrix Partners, InterWest Partners and 500 Startups.

The Complete Photography Bundle II



Attention to all photographers out there! You wouldn’t want to miss this deal of a lifetime. Whether you’re a newbie trying to get started, or a professional photographer looking to enhance your skills, this deal is for you. The Complete Photography Bundle II contains 42 products anyone can use to greatly improve their photography skills.

21 top photography professionals have collaborated to give you the tools to raise your photography to the next level. Learn to shoot like pro as well as post-production techniques to make your shots more stunning. For more than $2,000 worth of resources, you’ll get it for only $89! Can you believe it? Where else can you get a deal this huge? Don't miss it and grab it while it lasts.



Click here to buy the bundle.

Visit this website for the complete list of resources included in the bundle.

What Designers Think About Microstock?

The microstock industry already has an overwhelming amount of stock photos created by photographers and illustrators. PressFoto has interviewed web designer Andrew Chalence to answer the questions: What microstock images are we looking for? What is missing? And what is overwhelming?

© Pressfoto

© Pressfoto

Andrew started his been in the web design industry for almost 10 years. Now, he works with leading beauty and jewelry companies in Manhattan.

He was asked what 3 characteristics did he found missing in the mages that he’d used, he answered lack of originality, low quality and backwardness. “I mostly work with jewelry stores, hair salons and barbershops. So I often need images that will fit these topics. The problem is a lack of variety on microstock websites. For example, when I am looking for images using the keywords «hair salon», searches show me pictures of girls with some crazy colored hairstyles. It is very artistic, but too far from real life. We need simple images of people styling hair and the tools they use and such.”

© Pressfoto

© Pressfoto

He also noticed one big problem: most of the images are so alike that they look like templates. “If you search for IT, you see typical servers, data centers and some 3D letters. All of it is outdated! We are not in 2006 anymore! It is 2014! In the IT industry, professionals have a lot of tools, programs, switches, wires, stickers and such, and they don`t even use Windows 8!” According to him, the problem is that photographer’s don’t improvise so it’s very hard to find something particular.

His advice to photographers is to remain creative but stick with their theme. Photographers need to study the industry of their topic so they know what pictures professionals from this industry need. Also, they need to be careful with tags because broad keywords can put images into a theme category where it doesn’t fit and will not sell at all.


© Pressfoto


“High resolutions and professional makeup are not enough anymore; successful microstock images must have a unique idea. It is important to look at images from the potential buyer’s point of view. Sometimes I look through thousands of images and none of them catches my eye. But if the image is inspiring and unusual, I will buy it no matter what. Even if I don`t need it, I will keep it in my collection until the right moment. Moreover, one image can sometimes change the concept of the whole project and create a new idea.”

Visit this link to read the entire interview of Andrew Chalence.

Flickr to Offer Photographic Wall Art



Flickr is now offering a pair of output options for its users. First is the Premium Photo Mount which mounts a Fujicolor Crystal Archive Paper print with a lustre finish onto a 1-inch black mounting board with wood-textured edges.  The mounts have pre-drilled holes and will be available in sizes from 8 x 10 inches ($59) up to 20 x 30 inches ($179).



Secondly, Flickr is also offering Canvas Gallery Wraps with sizes from 8 x 10 inches to 20 x 30 inches. The canvas print is wrapped around 1.25 stretcher bars on a square wooden frame. Included is the hardware for hanging on a wall. Prices will range from $49 to $149.

For now, Flickr ships its new output products to U.S. customers only.

For Flickr customers who want to make wall art from their images, you can do so here.

The Best Smartphones for Taking Pictures and Videos

For those planning to replace their smartphones soon, take a look at this list of new smartphone models that capture high quality and stunning photos and videos.

© Fotolia

© Fotolia


The top of the list is the brand new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 plus. With the previous iPhone 5S being hailed as one of the best camera phones of the last few years, its successors the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 plus might be having the same recognition as well with its improved camera focus and faster face detection. Shooting videos at 240 frames per second also promise some stunning sequences. iPhone 6 plus is not just distinguished form iPhone 6 with its bigger screen but also by the presence of an optical image stabilizer that reduces tremors in low light conditions.

© Fotolia

© Fotolia


The new iPhone competes with well known Android mobiles including the Samsung Galaxy S5 and its 16-megapixel sensor. The Galaxy S5 offers artistic background blur, and an HDR function to enhance colors of photo and video when shooting against the light.



The Sony Experia Z2 is joining the list with its 20.7 megapixel sensor. Photos taken from this device has vivid details and like the Galazy S5, it is waterproof. It also already takes 4K video, which is to say 4 times higher than that of the full HD TV in your living room.

HTC One M8 on the other hand falls short of the race to the number of pixels with its sensor only 4 megapixels but it does have success in quality shooting with better focus. After all, the number of pixels is less important that the quality of the optics.


And we should not forget the Nokia Lumia 930 of the Windows Phone family. Boasting a 20 megapixel sensor and a valuable optical stabilizer, this mobile is sure to get the best shots in every situation. Windows 8.1 brings in many valuable manual settings to complement its automatic mode.



If you want high quality photo sensor on the front camera for your high quality selfies, then the new Samsung Galaxy Note 4 might be for you. This phablet (between smartphone and tablet) has a front camera of 3.7 megapixels along with its 5.7 inch screen and 18 megapixel back camera sensor.

Before buying your next smartphone, take a look first at its features. If the mobile does not have a card reader to expand the memory, the iPhone and Nokia Lumia 930 for example, make sure to choose a large enough storage capacity to store many photos, videos, music, games and etc.

In the Age of Instagram

About 30,000 photos are uploaded to Instagram every minute. According to Yahoo, 880 billion photos will be taken this year. We are now in the age where everyone can take beautiful pictures and upload them to social media apps where everyone can use them for free. So how does stock photography compete with something that’s free?

iStock spoke with four professional photographers, Francesco Salvaggio, Yuri Arcurs, Steve Cole and Lise Gagne to know how photographers cope with this overwhelming number of images and how to meet the clients’ needs.

Designers need images that look current. With the photography trends changing so often, stock photographers cannot afford to fall behind.

“There is a demand for a lot more processing and Instagram-looking imagery,” said Yuri Arcurs. Yet, while clients want “polished” images, they also want authenticity. “It’s not easy,” he added.

Gagne agreed with Arcurs. What matters today are the emotion and the story behind the images, not the staged imagery that was the trend five years ago. “The perfect photo today has real emotion, natural light and real people in real locations. Authenticity is what the buyers are looking for.”

With the advent of affordable cameras and tools with high megapixels and great camera features, almost everyone can now start shooting stock. Even smartphones produce quality images. But this doesn’t mean that designers dig low-fi and mobile-device aesthetics.

“Buyers are experts at Photoshop, too,” said Cole. “When a photographer over-processes the image with tools and filters, it actually makes the image look better — but it can be less marketable as a good stock image. We try and go for simple processing and let the end-user manipulate the image how they like.”

After all, it’s not the camera that makes good stock photos. It’s the photographer’s skill and passion that makes good photos.

Stock photography has always been a tough business, with more and more stock photographers competing in the market.

“The average price for one of my photo shoots is around $4,000,” Arcurs said. “But on a $4,000 shoot, we’re currently looking at about three years to see a return of investment.”

It is critical to know what designers want today and what they need tomorrow. Fortunately, there are real time tracking tools that photographers can keep an eye on so they know what sells or not.

Taking photos may be a hobby for millions of Instagram users, but commercial photography will remain in the creative industry. The photographer’s artistic impulse must remain part of the commercial process.

“Photography is a passion,” said Gagne, “so whether the image is commercial or not, for me it remains a kind of art. There is still a creativity behind each image created and a magic moment.”

Click this link for the full article.


About Author

I write about the stock photo and microstock industry since 2006 on my several online-magazines. My goal for MyStockPhoto is to teach photographers and stock photographers how to sell more photos and earn money with their photography hobby.

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