The latest set of earnings from selling digital images shows a return to form! December was a little bit of a disappointment (although it is a month with a lot of holidays) and I ended that month with earnings of $1735. January started slow, but it picked up as the month progressed to give me a total of $2180 – not a best ever, but pretty close.
As usual, Shutterstock was in the lead, followed by iStock, and then 123RF maintained its recent growth to come in third place with $218. Although my earnings per image are down because of a change in the commission structure, my overall earnings are showing some nice growth. The overall month was helped by solid earnings in quite a number of sites – nothing spectacular, or unusual – just steady sales.
I put a fair amount of effort this month to get more images online – adding almost 200 photos to most sites. I pulled back from iStock because of the “dirty dealing” in putting high resolution stock images on Google Drive with a payment of just $6 or $12 to the photographer. There is tremendous unease in the stock photography about this deal between Getty and Google, and so I am seriously considering my relationship with iStock. I’ll pull some images off that site tomorrow to show solidarity with the photographers whose images have been made worthless in this deal. Here are the current image totals on the main sites:
Finally, this month, I worked up a different graph – I was keen to see how the percentage of total earnings has varied through the year, and so here is a chart that show which agencies provided the biggest percentage of earnings in each month during 2012. As you would expect, Shutterstock is the clear consistent winner, but it is interesting to see how much of my total earnings comes from the second and third tier sites:
I’ve got more images to add now after a couple of trips in January – Hawaii and Rome! So I need to get busy to feed this voracious monster!