Announcement: How can I sell my photos and make some money???

Selling your digital photos for cash eBook

Getting Started in Stock

I asked myself that question over 6 years ago, and decided the answer was to sell my images. Since then I have increased my income to more than $30,000 a year and I share the steps and lessons learned in the newly revised third edition of my eBook – Getting Started in Stock.  You are facing a simple choice – do you want to learn as you go, following the forums and their inconsistent information from people who may or may not know what they are talking about, or do you want to save hours of frustration and learn it all on one easy to follow guidebook?

Buy this new eBook directly from my site through a simple and secure shopping cart and get immediate access to the information you need to make money from your photographs!

Just want to start? Please use the links on the right to register with the stock agencies. Thanks!

January 2016 earnings from stock photography

As I jokingly suggested in this post about a stock photographer’s year, January is never a great month for earnings and it didn’t let me down. It wasn’t too bad, to be honest, with the earnings ending at $2213, but compared to last January which had $2314, I am hardly making progress. And I uploaded about 1200 images in the past year as well. So it looks like the general rule is becoming that you need to continue working hard to keep your earnings the same! It is a good job that I enjoy photography and I enjoy traveling to interesting places, so it is hard to really call it work although I must admit that keywording and describing images is a chore.

stock photo online image earnings

Earnings through January 2016

Highlights for the month? Continue Reading

Nice to spot an image in use

I was flying on United yesterday and idly watching the screen. They had a quiz about where different airport codes refer to and IAD came up. I knew that one (Washington Dulles!), but when the answer came up, it was superimposed on one of my images of the Washington Monument at sunrise taken from the Jefferson Memorial:

Seen on United In Flight Entertainment

Seen on United In Flight Entertainment

Of course I have no idea where they licensed it – hopefully for more than 38c! Still, it’s nice to see an image in use!

Two Shutterstock records broken in one day

Yesterday turned out to be a great day on Shutterstock. On of the records was much anticipated – I finally passed the $50,000 earnings level after first joining the site in early 2008 – I was $4 short on Monday, but ended Tuesday with $50,159! I’m averaging around $11,000 a year on that site now, and so less than 5 years to my next big threshold of $100,000!

So the second record? I got a single sale for $120. That is well above my previous best which I think was around $95 or so, and the winning image was one of my cherry blossom shots from Washington DC. Not one of my best shots (in my view) but it obviously hit the right buttons for the buyer. Here is that image from my new portfolio on Symzio:

Sold on Shutterstock for $120

Sold on Shutterstock for $120



The advantages of your own stock photo site

We have been battered by the snow blizzard that hit the north eastern USA this weekend, and that gave me a chance to take photos both during and after the storm. As I quickly uploaded these to the various stock agencies, and got rejections, it made me think about the advantages of running my own site and being able to choose which images went into the Symzio agency with no reviewer acting as gatekeeper.

For instance, this image was taken in the middle of the snowstorm:

Tractor clearing snow in a blizzard

It was taken as the snow was falling, Continue Reading

Symzio gaining status on Google Image Search

Although we have only been live for a few weeks, the new Symzio stock agency is gaining traction among contributors (over 20,000 images now) and is making headway in that key constituency – Google Image Search. I did a search for my favorite combination of words – “lonesome bengal cat” on Google images and comes up with 8 hits out of the first 40 images. For some reason 123RF always seems to come up well in these sort of searches, but for a new agency like Symzio to come up with 20% of the hits at the top of page 1 is pretty remarkable. All the inter-linking between our sites must be doing something good!

If you are interested in learning more about Symbiostock plugin for your wordpress based personal stock agency and Symzio, you can read some of my earlier posts starting here with this first post where I write about converting my stock photo site to the new format.

Strange rejection from Shutterstock for Trademark

I had three of my images rejected by Shutterstock today for:

Trademark–Image / Metadata potentially infringes on intellectual property rights.

Here is one of them:

Rejected image

Rejected image

You can see the keywords in the link behind the image as well. I can’t see any trademark issues here – I even removed the small “windows” key from the laptop and the phones are tablets are very generic. Perhaps I need to remove the power buttons next! If anyone can see an issue, please let me know!

Update: As there were three images I tried different things on each of them. On one I removed the power buttons from the phone. On each of them, I removed some tiny markings on the white tablet that were the “go back” and “menu” items. Perhaps the design of those was problematic. I then resubmitted. This time all of them were accepted – which now gives me a further question – would they have been accepted because someone else looked at them, or did my removal of those tiny icons make the difference. I guess we will never know!

New Blog for stock photographers

I’ve written about the new independent stock agency Symzio before – it is linked to the Symbiostock personal agencies and basically you choose which images to send to the new agency and how much to charge for the full size image. The developers have started a new blog aimed at stock illustrators and photographers and a recent post caught my eye: 5 Tips on becoming a stock photographer! I’m sure many of the readers of my blog will know most of these, but a refresher is always welcome!


A stock photographer’s year

For some reason, I was dreaming last night about December sales (sad, I know…) and I thought to those posts on Microstock group that we have all seen. Someone says – my sales are poor this month – any reason? Most often they really mean that they normally sell 8 images a month and this month it is only 6! Then someone else always says – my sales are up this month – BME with 20% more than last month. They have sold 12! Finally, you get the experienced member who says, yes, January is always bad because the first week is dead and then it takes people time to get up to speed after the long holidays. I’m sure I’ve seen a reason why every month in the year is not a good month for stock photography sales and so I created my own little table so that you don’t need to ask the question – just check the table to see why your sales are down this month!

The Stock Photographer's Calendar

The Stock Photographer’s Calendar

I have uploaded it to my Backyard Stock Photos site – perhaps it will turn into an Internet Meme and make my fortune. I’m sure sales people in all sorts of industries must be looking for an excuse as to why they missed their targets this past month!

You will notice that October is a “good month” – I’m sure that can’t be true, so if you can think of why October has its problems, please let me know in the comments!

Trying to boost my stock site using Social Media

I am trying hard this year to get my own stock agency, Backyard Stock Photos off the ground. This is based on wordpress with the free Symbiostock plugin – I wrote about the way I migrated from my old site in this earlier post. The developer of the plugin has created agency where all the users of the plugin can choose to include their images (on a one by one basis if you want) and choose the price for the full sized RF license and I have all my RF images now in that Symzio Agency.  But – and this is a big but – how do we get traction, which basically means that when someone searches on Google Images, for instance, how close to the top of the page do they see my image in either Symzio or Backyard Stock Photos? Continue Reading

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