Category Archives: Stock Photography

Announcement: How can I sell my photos and make some money???

I asked myself that question over 8 years ago, and decided the answer was to sell my images. Since then I have increased my income to more than $30,000 a year and I share the steps and lessons learned in the newly revised 2017 edition of my eBook – Getting Started in Stock.  You are facing a simple choice – do you want to learn as you go, following the forums and their inconsistent information from people who may or may not know what they are talking about, or do you want to save hours of frustration and learn it all on one easy to follow guidebook?

You can buy the book directly from my site or buy this new eBook directly from Amazon as a Kindle download and get immediate access to the information you need to make money from your photographs! Now recognized as the Best Seller in Professional Photography Books!


I try hard to keep this blog informative, but not bombard you with ads that pop-up and spoil the experience. If you find the site useful and have a need for anything from Amazon (a new camera perhaps!), please use this link (or the product bar below) to check out Amazon Electronics, Camera and Photo Best Sellers It won’t cost you anything, but I will get a small affiliate payment if you decide to buy something! Thanks again!

Junk Shops – a source of Microstock ideas

I’m always looking for something different to photograph (and keeping my eyes open to what is being used on web sites) and I’ve seen a few images with older typewriters on them – gives a more interesting angle to writing, journalism or blogging than yet another laptop photo. So I go to antique stores (which are really junk shops here in the USA) and see what is around. My most recent purchase was an electric typewriter in pretty good condition:

Now getting it to the beach was a bit of a trek, but with only paying Continue Reading

Getting inspiration for new stock shoots

For travel photographers, the winter can be a downer – cold, wet, snowy weather (depending on where you are of course) and little enthusiasm to brave the cold! Now is the perfect time to improve your portfolio and your skills with some studio shots. But what to take?

I find ideas from just generally browsing news and opinion stories, such as ones about people not saving enough for retirement. It was illustrated by a savings jar with a few loose coins in it, and I thought – I could do better than that! I had previously taken a photo of a dying  Continue Reading

Always keep your eyes open to a new edit

I was looking at my daily sales this morning on Microstockr Pro (and there weren’t very many over the weekend!) and I saw a 38c sale of an old image of me in a swimming pool holding a “Help Me” sign. For some reason, my brain immediately jumped to the current collapse of bitcoin prices and the chance that everyone who bought in since December is likely to have lost their shirt (and hopefully not their life savings). A new idea for a stock photo!

All it took was 5 minutes editing in Photoshop to remove the paperwork from around the fingers and slot in a bitcoin and we have a new image. I also realized that I hadn’t submitted the background image before:

I thought this might make a nice background for someone – perhaps the final ending of the human race with climate change as the oceans swallow up the land! So two stock photos from once glance at this morning’s sales!

Earnings from Stock Photography in January 2018

Another year goes by. Hard to imagine that I am now in my 11th year as a stock photographer having starting uploading in early 2008. Earnings that first year – $1113! Now we are in 2018 and January is traditionally a slow month for me in the stock world. This month is no exception – after a run of over $3000 months, I ended in January with $2727:

What is interesting about the chart though is that I was significantly ahead of previous Januarys – a 23% increase to be exact over the earnings in January 2017. It would be hard (but nice) to see that continue through 2018! In terms of uploads, I maintained a hectic pace Continue Reading

Selling the same image on Alamy and other agencies?

I’m intrigued by the question of whether Alamy buyers see an image on that site and then search for the same image on cheaper microstock sites and buy it there. If they regularly do that, then you are losing out on a higher priced Alamy license in exchange for potentially sub $1 income from the micro site. I did a detailed analysis last year which didn’t find any evidence that they do that, but I saw a couple of “zooms” on Alamy this month that could have indicated a problem.

Sunset over Avalon Harbor in California

This one was zoomed on 22 January and I recalled seeing the thumbnail via my Microstockr Pro reports.  Continue Reading

A nice surprise

I received an email via Fine Art America this morning saying:

I am a small time book artist based in Mumbai, India. I want to use your Milkweed seeds image in my upcoming website as I have a set of artists’ books made like Milkweed seeds. I request your permission.

The image in question is this:

I didn’t know which particular image it was at the time, and so, without much thought I replied with a link to my personal stock agency at BackyardStockPhotos. I was very surprised to see an order about 30 minutes later for a medium JPEG for $1.99. I guess I am feeling a bit guilty about charging someone who might be struggling to get by, but equally it is a very nice sign when people are willing to search for the owner of an image they want to use and are willing to pay for its use, rather than just take a copy from somewhere on the internet and just use it. When his website is complete, I’ll link to it so we can see his work!

Sale on Microstockr Pro

Microstockr Pro is one of those few applications that I am willing to pay for! And the good news is that it is on sale with a 25% reduction in price until February 6th. You can see the offer here.

I find the app invaluable for seeing which of my images are selling, and looking at the thumbs of images that have sold often give me ideas for modifications or different shoots to capitalize on that original idea. It is worth checking out!

Can you just focus on travel stock photos?

I had a really good discussion with a budding stock photographer yesterday who offered $75 for an hour’s one on one tuition/advice from me. We discussed his portfolio, talked about improvements and had a good debate on how to come up with ideas for new shoots. He asked me if you could “make it” with just travel photography or whether you needed the second of my three main subject areas (places, things, people) to get a reasonable income. Of course, having all three is perfect, but not everyone is comfortable with outdoor shots, or people images, so you do the best you can! But it made me think – how well do my travel shots sell versus my studio “things” shots?

Well here is part of the answer!


One of the major issues I faced in looking at this question is – how can I analyse my portfolio into different categories? Continue Reading

How many files do I upload per month

There was a question in one of the comments about how many files I upload in a typical month. Of course, there is no such thing as a typical month as two things tend to drive my uploads – either I have been somewhere and come back with a lot of images to process and upload, or I have a spurt of image production in my “studio” when I think of something interesting or topical to photograph!

I decided to keep this simple by choosing Shutterstock as the example agency. They accept both editorial and commercial images and videos and so that represents the best view of my efforts. They tend to accept most images and so it also reflects, reasonably, what I am uploading. Here are the numbers for the past 3 years:

This represents an average of 93 files per month over the past three years. Overall, my numbers look like this: Continue Reading

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