Earnings from Stock Photography – October 2017

I’m very late this month – my apologies! I was off on yet another trip to take stock photos – this time to Southern California. Not as many images to process as my last trip (which I haven’t finished yet), but I now have another 823 to process and eventually keyword the selected images. One thing you need to understand about this business – it is actually quite a lot of hard work going through every image, choosing the ones that might be suitable for uploading, processing them and then keywording and describing each one. Think of it as a job – not a hobby. You must get those images properly keyworded if they are going to earn their keep!

But enough preaching! How did I do in October? Not too bad. My overall earnings came in at $2793 – a bit down on last month, but still pretty respectable. Here is my normal monthly chart showing earnings in each month compared to previous years:

Earnings from stock photography in October 2017

What were the highlights this month? Shutterstock keeps its position as my number one agency with $725. For the first time for a long time, I had no enhanced license sales, but got $201 from single sales in the month. However, there is a real up and coming agency pushing for the number two position with Adobe Stock coming in with $398. It is interesting to compare the results in 2017 with previous years to show just how much this agency has improved from the old Fotolia days. I have certainly added more images, but it is growing steadily, which is hard to say for any other agency:Earnings from stock photography in October 2017

Speaking of images on line, I have continued to add images each month. Here is my graph for three typical agencies – Zoonar has been getting all my images, which is why it now has reached 10,395! It is hard to remember taking so many images, never mind keywording them all!

Earnings from stock photography in October 2017

On the other agencies, Canva made a great advance in October, earning $192 after many months around $120 or so. I did sell one of their extended licenses in October which is worth $35. I don’t believe I have sold one of those before. Strangely, it isn’t one that I think is my best shot by a long way, but it obviously met the needs of the buyer:

Sunset over Pittsburgh, PA

Getty/iStock was a bit disappointing this month – dropping back to $369, but I had another good month on Alamy and Getty (via Corbis) which earned a total of $482.

Overall, here are my earnings by agency in October:

Earnings per microstock agency in October 2017

Now, back to processing those images again!

 

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“One thing you need to understand about this business – it is actually quite a lot of hard work going through every image, choosing the ones that might be suitable for uploading, processing them and then keywording and describing each one. Think of it as a job – not a hobby. You must get those images properly keyworded if they are going to earn their keep”

+++!!!

Excellent result, Steve. Thanks for sharing.

Hello, Steve!

This is a good result. I like your approach to work. You make a small amount of quality photos. Cooperate with many agencies. And get your money.

Some photographers believe that you need to send 1500-2000 new photos per month. And to cooperate only with Shutterstock. And they get their money.

In my opinion, these are two opposites, leading to the same result. Your approach to work is closer to me.

I wish you great success in working with photos.

Hi Vlad – yes, I don’t tend to do many similar images of the same subject and try to choose the best of a series to edit and submit. It takes time to do each one properly and I sometimes go to a lot of trouble to make it “perfect” in Photoshop. I like to think that the buyers won’t be disappointed if they license one of my shots!

We create media content that fills the lives of viewers. I believe that we should try to make it qualitative and original in order to make the world better and more interesting. This is our mission as a media photographer.

Hi Steve. I share with you the impression that Fotolia / Adobe Stock is certainly raising their sellings. In fact, I earned more from them last month than from Shutterstock, first time that Shutterstock is not in the first position…

Thank you for your helpful posts 🙂

Joaquín

Hi, thanks for this site it is helping me decide if and when I should get involved with stock photography. Can you shed some light as to when and at what level of personal photographic ability would be an adequate time to get started?

also would you share the program you use to keep all your sales, etc. in order and accurate?

Hi Kelly
I would say you need to be an advanced amateur and capable of easily producing properly exposed and sharp images with low noise. Your images need to be better than the average in a camera club, for instance as you will be competing with people who are pretty good at photography already in the stock agencies. Knowing your way around LR and/or Photoshop is important as well as you will have to clone out bits (people that are in the distance, perhaps). Good with lighting if you want to do studio shots. So the bottom line is that if you are new to photography, then you have a pretty big learning curve.
In terms of keeping track of sales, I do use Microstockr Pro to watch which images sell and watch the earnings over the month, but my only record is a spreadsheet where I record the earnings in the month for each agency and some details on total files per agency. I don’t try to track anything more detailed than that – for instance, I don’t track uploads versus acceptances per agency. I don’t watch that sort of thing at all.
Steve

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