Earnings from Stock Photography in June 2017

The days shoot by and here I am writing once again about earnings. It has been a busy month for me putting all my Hawaii images online and I’m still going through the videos and uploading those. I took quite a lot of Point of View GoPro images with the camera stuck on the front of the car as we drove around the narrow roads in Maui, so hopefully some of those will sell. Of course, Shutterstock, in its wisdom, rejected a number for “unstable video” when I was driving on a rough dirt road – I guess I thought that was the point of filming that bit of road! I’ve “appealed” to the submission team and will see if it is worth resubmitting.

Earnings this month have been pretty good with a total of $2859. As I blogged earlier, I had a real run of solid sales on Shutterstock mid month and a total of 10 sales on Alamy on my own account for $210. The final one came in on 30 June for a net of $18. If only I owned this many real bitcoins with the rate that they are currently selling for!

Of course, these are just gold colored metal coins! Shutterstock ended well with a total of $892 which is much better than the $696 I got in May (and the $597 in April!). I was helped with a $75 single sale again on the last day of the month of a simple golf course sand bunker:

and also 3 videos in the month as well for a total of $65. iStock continued its steady earnings track with $498 in May. Since the beginning of 2017, my earnings have been very solid – always above $400 and usually around $450 or so. Last year was around $275 on average, so whatever they have done, I hope they keep doing it. Adobe Stock was strong as well – not a record, but a solid $305. Then my total earnings from Alamy and Getty (via Corbis acquisition) came to $445 to round out the big agencies. For those following my discussions on whether it is better to submit “great” images just to these agencies as RM, I sold three more images in the month for more than $150 and they all were RF images that are available on the microstock sites. One of them sold on Getty for $315 (the gross price) and to me is pretty nondescript:

This all makes me think that there are definitely buyers who simply buy from the agency they have a contract with and don’t search around for a cheaper version.

123RF continues to do well in the mid range with $146 this month compared to $199 last. This site generated $65 in January this year and so has shown some great growth as well. Then we start to fall back to the smaller earning sites with Canva having dropped back to $100, Dreamstime much worse at $45 and beaten by CanStockPhoto (who would have guessed!) which earned a stellar $73 in June.

Overall I continue to add files and the site with the most images (as it got both RF and RM shots) is Zoonar with 10,235! Most of my sites are now over 8000 images although Adobe and iStock have just 5946 because I stopped uploading to those sites a couple of years back and it is too difficult to work out which images they don’t have! I will probably try to clean up the difference one of these days!

So, all in all, a good month all round!


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Impressive stuff, Steve! You can take the summer off and go back to Hawaii haha

Hi STeve, I am curious about Zoonar as I upload ti them too but sales are extremely poor. You do not mention them in your report so I assume that your sale there are also very poor or non existent.


Hi Kevin
I didn’t mention them this month, but when I look at my results, they actually did very well – $80.25 compared to $53 last month and just $18 the month before. These are usually sales from Alamy and Getty that they have submitted to as partners. For a time I found Alamy too complicated to submit to, but with their new system (and StockSubmitter) I now submit my own shots directly and have stopped Zoonar from submitting as well.

hi Steve,

Wanted to say thank you for your book and the information here. It’s been very informative. I’m curious, if you hadn’t been doing stock for so many years and were contemplating starting today, would you?

I started uploading some images recently to a few agencies, after reading your book, but I don’t have a lot of stock worthy material in my catalog. I’ve been using my free time to shoot some tabletop stuff and so far it’s been successful, in that I’ve been approved for most of those images.

To be clear, I understand what I might get out of this. I think of it right now as something to do in my spare time, where I’m not working on other things and hopefully one day it’ll pay off, maybe be a little extra play money in retirement.

Thanks again!

    Hi Rob
    I would start again – partly because I enjoy photography and this forces you to think outside the box and continually improve your skills. Some of the indoor table top stuff with focus stacking takes you into areas you might not have considered, and, if you can get to a level of earnings where you are at least covering your costs, you can start to set other expenses against that income for tax purposes (in the US at least). Good luck with your efforts!

Congrats on a great month of sales. That should be enough motivation to get out there and shoot more.

Wow, this is amazing stuff, I’ve been reading your articles and this is giving me inspiration to continue my passion in photography, although I’m still a newbie on this.

Hopefully I can get there. Great share.

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