We love speaking to Fotolia’s Instant Collection contributors: they come from all over the world, are all ages, and started taking pictures for many different reasons. The only thing they really have in common is that they make money selling their pictures on Fotolia!

Robin Michel

Relaxing with Robin

Recently, we spoke to Robin Michel, a student from France, about his love of photography and discovering how to profit from his hobby…

Fotolia: Tell us a little about yourself, Robin – where are you based, what do you do, and how long have you been a photographer?

Robin Michel: I’m Robin and I’m a 23 year old student from France. I’m currently in my fifth year of a Master’s degree in Engineering in Marseille in the South of France.Photography is my hobby. My mother bought me my first camera at age 14, just before a trip with my parents to Russia, and I’ve been recording my life with a camera ever since.

Fo: What inspires you to take photographs? Do you have a particular subject you like to shoot the most?

walking on the sea

Walking on the sea

RM: I love to catch chance moments, like this picture of my nephew jumping on the beach, or my brother caught diving halfway into the water.

My bestselling image on the Instant collection is one of a double rainbow in the French sky.

And being able to shoot with a smartphone now means that I never miss these kind of shots!

Fo: How did you hear about the Instant Collection and what is your experience of using it?

RM: I first read about the Instant Collection on Techcrunch and I just fell in love with it. You get emails notifying you when someone has bought one of your images, which is even more addictive than getting Likes on Facebook!

Fo: What is your favorite image from your Fotolio portfolio? Is there a story behind it?

pool jumping

Pool jumping

RM: It’s hard to choose my favorite image, but, I really love this one of my brother caught diving halfway into the water. It was taken this summer at my parent’s home. We’re used to seeing a lot of friends there, and we often spend afternoons around the swimming pool. I have a DSLR but didn’t have it with me – just my trusty iPhone 5. It was a perfect opportunity and a real special ‘instant’ moment of my life: with my brother, enjoying the summer.

So, I used my smartphone to capture this instant.

Fo: What place or subject is top of your ‘wish list’ to get a picture of?

RM: There’s no one perfect picture I want to capture. I’d like to shoot more Instant Collection subjects and sell more pictures, but mostly I want to enjoy life with friends and capture more fun moments.

I never expected to make money with my pictures – I’m a student and there are very few opportunities to earn money doing something you enjoy. Getting paid for it came as a real surprise to me!

Double rainbow in the French sky

Double rainbow in the French sky

The new year is full of new opportunities and I hope these new shots will get me more attention and sales on the Instant Collection.

Fo: What tips do you have for someone looking to sell images on Fotolia’s Instant Collection?

RM: Shoot more pictures. Shoot a lot – you never know which image will become your best seller!

Fo: Robin, thank you so much for your time, and good luck with your images in 2014!

If you like any of Robin’s pictures remember they’re all available to buy from his Instant Collection portfolio., and you can follow his adventures on Facebook and LinkedIn.