Earnings from Stock Photography in September 2017

It is a long time since I posted, but I do have an excuse. I was on a cruise around the Baltic sea (and to save you reaching for Google Maps, the ship went from Sweden to Finland, Russia, Estonia, Poland, Germany, Denmark and finally Norway). I’ve come back with 2270 images and am slowly working my way through them to try to get the best stock photos out of the voyage.

However, I came back to some nice earnings this month, with the total just short of $3000 – I ended up with $2977. Here is my graph showing earnings per month over the past four years:

Earnings from stock photography and microstock agencies over the past four years

As you can see, this was a very nice increase over last month and seems to be following a trend in most months this year where the 2017 total is more than the same months in previous years. I didn’t really add any new images in September with my various travels, and each agency did pretty well in the month. Firstly iStock jumped back to its, hopefully, normal levels, with sales of $476. I report the payment I get from Getty as my earnings each month so strictly speaking these are sales in the month of August. Shutterstock was aligned with previous months at $733. I don’t see many big sales these days on Shutterstock and so the earnings are tending to fall into a more narrow range each month and it is hard to make them grow. Alamy was a bit of a star for me, with total sales from Alamy and Getty of $497. On my own account on Alamy (I also have some older shots on Alamy via a distributor), I sold seven images for a total gross of $653, of which I received almost 50%. The highest priced sale was this one at the top of Seneca Rocks in West Virginia:

This sold as RF for $250. I also had a couple of other RF shots for $125 each including this one of my dog:

This was a pretty recent upload, which is good to know that new images still get traction on some sites.

Adobe Stock continued to perform well with $318. A bit lower than the past couple of months, but still very reliable. Here is a graph of how Adobe has performed over the past few years since the earlier days of Fotolia:

It shows the big impact that Adobe had (at least for me) compared with the trend with Fotolia. For a time I almost gave up with Fotolia, which shows that sometimes you have to play the long game.

Those are the highlights for me in September. Now back to processing those images!


Comments are closed.

A very good month for you. Congratulations.

Nice! Your photo of Seneca Rocks shows that a nicely composed, technically good photo can do well even if it isn’t a traditional “office stock” photo.

Adobe was very good to me last month compared to other months… not sure why!

Another solid month.

I have to say that you’re my hero Steve!


It’s heartening to read that it’s still possible to grow earnings in this game. It’s not easy of course, and you need to have quality images to sell, but at least it’s still possible.

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