Earnings from Stock Photography in May 2017

A steady performance during May – ending up with $2448 compared with $2469 in April. I am continuing to maintain my monthly earnings chart to see how my performance has varied by month over the years and it is showing some interesting results:

What I hadn’t really noticed before is that the early months of the year have been showing a steady increase year by year. So the 2017 results are generally higher than 2016, 2015 etc. May is slightly below 2016, but not by much. What seems to go wrong is that the second half of the year reverses that performance such that my 2016 monthly results are lower than previous years – by quite a lot in some cases. That possibly shows that my images for winter use are not as good as the current offerings on the agencies – perhaps I need to refresh my Christmas and winter shots! Overall, my earnings are continuing on their plateau as shown in this next graph

As you can see, the earnings are now falling into a trend that has been pretty flat for the past 2-3 years. I’m not sure I can do much about it although uploading new images keeps me in that sweet spot. I continue to add images – and am just back from Hawaii with 1600 images and 30 or so videos to process – so I will continue to add more. I enjoy photography and I think that is what makes me content with my lot!

This month, Shutterstock almost went the complete month with no enhanced sales and then one arrived on the last day. I did have 3 good single sales (one at $72) which made it a reasonable month with total earnings of $696. iStock was its usual steady self with earnings of $420 in April. This makes four months in a row where I was in the low $400’s on that site. Adobe Stock continues to work well for me with $305, and 123RF seems to have really done something special as I ended the month with $199. January and February were less than $75 each and now we are almost three times as much. I hope they continue with their success!

Pond5 and Videoblocks had one video sale each which always helps. I have not yet sold a 4K video, but perhaps one day! The rest were about the same as normal with no particular highlights.

Someone asked me if I get sales from my self hosted Symbiostock website, BackyardStockPhotos.com. Unfortunately not! I have a theory that many buyers of stock images have an account with one or more of the main agencies, then there are people searching for a picture for a website or presentation and then find one of my images on BackyardStockPhotos. It doesn’t take much to see other versions of the same image on the web as buyers obviously post the image without watermarks on their own sites (sometimes at a higher resolution than they should) and so that casual “buyer” decides to use one of those instead. There is actually no way I can find out whether any use is valid or not and so, to be honest, there is zero chance of them getting into any hot water with this use. So sales of photos on self hosted sites are few and far between. At least that is my theory! Illustrators seem to do better – perhaps because the users of illustrations want to be able to scale it without distortion, or perhaps they are more honest!

Now I need to get back to processing my images!

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