It has been a while since I wrote about earnings from selling my stock photographs. Here is a graph I have used before, which tells the story over a number of years:
Growth in Earnings
What this is telling me is that things are getting harder!
Files per agency
I have continued to add images – both RM ones to Alamy, Corbis and Zoonar, and RF ones to the same sites plus all the various microstock sites I talked about in this blog post, but the earnings are tending to level off. Although there are ups and downs, it is hard to say that I am doing significantly better today than twelve months ago, which is a little depressing. Don’t get me wrong – it is very nice to have $2500 or so coming in every month, but the incremental effort of taking, keywording and uploading new images doesn’t seem to be as rewarding. The graph above shows the total number of images I have for sale at over 7000 (Zoonar is the best indication of the total as I upload both RM and RF files there). Although this is showing a steady rise, the earnings aren’t following.
What to do? Well, I am taking more editorial and RM shots – I think there is always a need for up to date shots of shops, stores, cafe’s, just people doing things. So that is one direction. I enjoy the Image Brief shots – sometimes I take new shots for a brief and although nothing happens to them, I end up with a nice set of new images for the rest of the agencies. I did this with a brief for stage microphones recently:
Classic Stage Microphone
Nothing earth shattering, but I enjoyed the task and created some nice images.
Overall, things are still growing if I take the longer picture. From $10,500 in 2011, to $19250 in 2012, $25,800 in 2013 and now $30,000 in 2014, there is a steady but slowing growth. This month (February) was actually pretty good, bearing in mind the 28 days of the month. I ended up with $2852 for the month, helped by almost 100 $2 downloads from Dreamstime that were the result of a deal they did with Google. I must admit I didn’t know much about the deal, and didn’t opt-out like a number of photographers did, but it was a great deal for me. Dreamstime ended up earning $275 for the month.
I’ve just finished a big batch of images from Hawaii and will upload those in the next week. Lets hope I have something that the buyers want to see!