Earnings from Stock Photography in August 2017

Another month end comes round. Is it just me, or is time speeding up? Anyway, this month is following the usual trend – add more images, earn the same money! I still think it is a viable way to earn money, it is just different to what it was a few years ago when adding more images resulted in a growth in earnings. Now it seems like the time spent on adding more images results in a continuation of earnings – more like a normal job I suppose where you work each day and get the same amount of money each month.

For the month, I ended up with $2573 compared to $2267 last month. As August is generally a pretty poor month, this is not too shabby and the historic analysis tends to bear this out:

Earnings from stock photography via microstock agencies in August 2017

As you can see August is traditionally one of the lowest earning months in the year as many buyers are on vacation, but this month for me broke with that tradition. In fact, if I look at the trend of months, each month this year has been higher (or close to) than the previous ones.

A quick analysis of the earnings for the first 8 months of each year shows:

2013: $16,329

2014: $18,883

2015: $19,116

2016: $19,425

2017: $20,734

Perhaps if this continues through the next 4 months I will get to a new record in earnings? I could do with a big Image Brief win!

I’ve continued to add new files, both from a trip to the UK as well as some more studio shots:

Earnings from stock photography via microstock agencies in August 2017

As a result, the files in a typical set of agencies now looks like this:

Highlights this month were a performance on Shutterstock similar to July – $765 and iStock got back into its more regular swing with earnings of $405 compared to $372 last month. Adobe Stock continues to perform well for me, with a new monthly record on that site of $361.

If I plot the return or earnings per online image with Adobe Stock, I get a good looking graph that continues to go up – probably the only site that is showing this sort of performance.

123RF did OK as well, with $117, Canva improved a bit to reach $124 and I ended up with $108 on Zoonar although due to some reporting delays on their site this is a combination of earnings from July as well, I think. As I outlined in a previous post about Alamy zooms and searches, I sold a number of files on Alamy in my own account to result in a total from Alamy/Getty of $259 in net earnings.

The next four months are normally higher earnings ones in the stock photographers calendar, so lets keep our fingers crossed!

8 Comments

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Its hard without the more licenses. I also thought the old images that sold well and were on the first pages would continue to sell but that does not seem to be the case, at least not consistently. This was definitely my worst month in 2017.

I meant to say, without the more expensive licenses.

I’m sorry to hear that. It must get a bit annoying when I keep writing about good months! I still find that I can upload new images and get a bit of traction (although it takes longer than it did) and I still get sales of the older ones, although probably not as much as I used to. As I said, you need to keep working to keep the same income these days.
Steve

Hi Steve

Your sales figures are great but one thing that I find surprising is that you have nearly 8,000 images on Alamy but you do not seem to have many sales. Is this because most of your images are more microstock oriented than editorial?
regards

Kevin

Hi Steve

Your sales figures are great but one thing that I find surprising is that you have nearly 8,000 images on Alamy but you do not seem to have many sales. Is this because most of your images are more microstock oriented than editorial?

regards,

Kevin

Hi Kevin

Yes, they are more microstock than anything. I do have editorial stuff there (as RM because that was all you could do in the past), but most of my images are more general purpose. I also don’t do anything special about keywording on Alamy – there used to be a whole science about how best to do that. It is a good agency for me, but nothing special!
Steve

Great stuff, Steve. As always, your forthcoming nature on your earnings is welcome.

Oh no Steve its not annoying at all. I do sell a bit more in numbers of downloads every month, collectively, but the total revenue does not grow much. You are talking about 200-300 bucks on an agency a month. Well, I’m working hard to keep it 20-40. On SS for example I used to have lots of on demand sales which amount to almost two 2.00 each. Now those have almost disappeared. All I get are the .25c per download. Some single and other, .25 c. Then some old images I used to have and which would sell almost every day, stopped selling.

Sales on Alamy have decreased in value. My last one, 0.08c. It was a RM sale, second use I guess in the same magazine. I’ve had 8.00 US sales there. My first ones, in the 100s. And sales there are not consistent.

It is possible that those who started earlier and who have already a number of popular images on the first pages stand a better chance. To advance a picture of anything popular now, to first page, you need to be very lucky on tope of producing a very unique and useful photograph.

Anyway, keep up the good work. Part of my problem now is that I am no longer trying to shoot for stock. If I go somewhere and its nice, I shoot and keyword. But its not enough revenue to bother, really.

Cheer.

AlessandraRC

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