Category Archives: Earnings

Stock Photography Earnings March 2017

It is that time of the month again, but Spring is in the air! Last month was good for me in earnings, this month actually surpassed that, so I’m definitely walking with a spring in my step! I decided to change the way I report iStock earnings this year and instead of estimating and then correcting the results later in the month, I’m simply going to consider the amount I am paid in the month as the earnings for that month. So my iStock earnings for March are what was reported on 20 March and paid out. Much easier to understand I think. So that made February earnings $2871 and now March comes in with $3036. This is the first time my earnings have passed that $3000 threshold (apart from one month a couple of years back when I got $1050 from ImageBrief). Here is the comparison of months this year by agency:


As you can see,  Continue Reading

ESP and sales on iStockPhoto

Like many of you, I have struggled with the move to the Getty ESP, being unable to access the site at all for almost 2 or 3 weeks in February. I mentioned earlier that when I compared the tax forms I got from Getty with my own records of earnings taken each month from the site, it turned out I had earned perhaps $200 more in the year than I expected, and I’m glad to say that has continued into 2017 in the ESP earnings statements. Although I know you can download the stats and get a picture of which images have sold and for how much (which is driving some people wild as it shows sub 2c sales for some people) I tend to keep things high level and concentrate on the overall earnings. January was great with $452, but I thought that they had included some of December’s partner earnings in that total, so I tended to discount it a bit. However, when I checked yesterday, I see that February has come in with $450 – very nice indeed.

With my active use of StockSubmitter, I now find that I can easily adjust my keywords to fit with the controlled Getty vocabulary (and the system remembers my choices so each new image takes less time than the previous ones), and so all my shots are going to iStock as soon as I take them. In the past, I used to wait until I got round to using DeepMeta or qHero and often didn’t submit everything because it was just too hard. I’m not sure I’m going to go back and find the missing ones, but making sure all new ones get a chance to increase these earnings is my new priority.

New sale on Fine Art America

These don’t happen very often, but it is always nice to see a sale, especially of a large print, on Fine Art America. Yesterday it was a 36 inch x 21 inch glossy canvas of my images of the Canadian Falls at Niagara. I was walking on the Canadian side of the waterfall, and there is almost always a rainbow there and I waited until the tourist boat was just at the end of the rainbow. It was a single shot, but the high pixel count of the Sony makes it easy to make a large more panoramic shape out of the image. I did all the processing in Lightroom – no photoshop on this one, and tried to increase the focus on the boat by lightening and sharpening this area.

Canadian or Horseshoe Falls at Niagara

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Earnings in February 2017 from stock photography

Interesting how things change from month to month. February is normally a poor month because of the number of days (although aren’t all months poor months these days!), but this month I actually did better. Quite a lot of that is because I report sales from Getty when they are actually cleared, and so that adds some delay, but overall it was a good month for me with total earnings of $2719. Here is the comparison agency by agency with January numbers:


The red lines are January, blue is February. That is an estimate, of course, Continue Reading

Microstock Photo sales and revenue in January 2017

I wish I was feeling better about this business – but January was another disappointing month for me. Perhaps I need to reset my expectations and be happy with getting a regular stream of income – which is considerable, I understand, but the effort of putting new images online and not see any benefit is a bit disheartening. It is a bit hard to see what iStock earnings are going to be as they have delayed the reporting of the partner program results for December (which I use to estimate January) until some time later in February (if that makes sense…), but with a lowish estimate of what that is going to be, I ended the month with $2162. Jan2017Earnings

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Stock Photo Earnings Review for 2016

It is that time of year again for an analysis and report of Stock Photography economics for 2016. What a year….and I’m not talking about stock photography yet! Overall, I didn’t do as well as 2015, which itself was not as good as 2014 so it looks like the best is perhaps behind us! There are some real downers for the year in terms of performance (and yes, Shutterstock, I’m talking about you), but Adobe Stock has really turned Fotolia round as far as I’m concerned and I’m hoping for even better things next year. I continue to work on making my keywords on that site non-alphabetic and am maybe 70% of the way through my portfolio – I hope that will pay some dividends in 2017. Here are the top level numbers:


This was achieved with a continuing addition of new images, both travel and studio shots.  Continue Reading

Earnings from stock photography in November 2016

Another month goes by – amazingly quickly it seems. I must be getting used to the new normal of Shutterstock – fewer downloads in total and far fewer enhanced and single sales – which really hits my earnings from that site, but on the upside, Adobe Stock continues to perform nicely. Overall, I increased by a $120 over October to reach a total of $2163 for November. With Thanksgiving being a big US holiday, that isn’t too bad. Pity December has some big holidays as well! earnings microstock november 2016

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The life of a non-exclusive stock photo contributor

I recently came across an interesting blog post by Craig Dingle entitled Why be exclusive on iStock? His blog is worth following as Craig is an Australian wedding photographer who also does stock photos as an extra income stream, and chose to join iStockPhoto as an exclusive back around the same time I was starting as a non-exclusive. His reasons are valid, but I’m not sure I can get over one of the biggest issues with exclusivity – you are tying yourself to the success (or failure) of one agency, and in a fast moving business like stock photography, that is dangerous in my view. In my email chats with Craig he asked how I managed the process of uploading to many different sites and whether that was a big drain on my time. This post explains how I approach this task. Continue Reading

Earnings from Stock Photography in September 2016

September is usually a good time of the year for stock earnings. For me, this month, not so much! I must have really hit a bad patch as I ended the month probably just scraping to the $2000 mark. I’m sure many readers would love to get to that point, but I’m only reporting on my experiences with my portfolio.

I don’t have my Alamy/Corbis/Getty earnings yet as I submitted to those via a partner, but without those I ended the month with $1903. I’ll update next week when the latest figures are in. Continue Reading

Earnings from Stock Photography in August 2016

It is hard to work up the enthusiasm for posting this, but another poor month for me. Shutterstock continued in the doldrums with hardly any single or enhanced sales and total earnings of $610. To think I used to regularly get over $1000 from that site! iStock was poor with an estimated $200 and Alamy/Corbis was not great with $100 – not helped by the closure of Corbis to new sales. Continue Reading

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