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?

Buy this new eBook directly from Amazon 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!

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

Stock Submitter – iStock ESP and the new Alamy supertags

Since my earlier review of StockSubmitter back in December, I’ve really grown to like the system and it really does save time! As I explained last time, my basic process is to keyword in Lightroom (which is alphabetic order) and then to export the files as Jpegs to a new folder structure ready for uploading. Once I open StockSubmitter I first check to see that the categories have been guessed correctly – they generally are, but it is worth a quick check – and then I use the Advanced Editor to put the important keywords first:


I then go into the iStock terms section and assign the appropriate meanings of my keywords against the Getty controlled vocabulary. If you don’t match a word, and its meaning is uncertain, that keyword won’t be submitted as part of the iStock submission.  Continue Reading

Sale on Fine Art America

I haven’t uploading anything new to Fine Art America recently, but I do get sales from time to time. The latest one this week was for a 24 x 24 inch metal print of some seeds from the Swamp Milkweed plant:

Macro photo of swamp milkweed seed pod

They obviously cropped it a bit to get a square format, but I have always liked this series of images – in fact I have two different versions on the wall of my bathroom! This one sold to make a profit Continue Reading

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

Happy New Year

For some reason, I’ve had some high value sales on Shutterstock this month, but that is a story for next week…

In the meantime, here is one of the sort of studio shots I’ve been working on this month. I think I made up the words (at least I was thinking of them before I went to sleep one night), but this sort of image is easy to make and sells from time to time. The basic background was a slate cheese board that I bought at the local supermarket. I then used a Chalk font for this particular shot, but for others I used a chalk brush and “stroked” the path of an existing font. You can change the size of the brush to suit different styles.

New Years resolution concept using chalk on slate blackboard

Some of the others that are proving popular are Continue Reading

Happy Christmas to all stock photographers!

Even on Christmas Eve a stock photographer needs to be thinking of saleable images!

Ornate Christmas Tree in corner of modern home

So here is a shot of my living room decorated ready for a family meal tomorrow on Christmas Day. Also available on Shutterstock, istock……!

I also finally joined Instagram (catching up with social media) and so if you are there, please check out my new images. My user name is Steve.Heap. I’ve only added a few Christmassy images today but will add more as time goes on. I’ve spent most of this month doing shots indoors and I’ll post some of those in the next few days.

I hope you all have an enjoyable Holiday and a profitable (and enjoyable) New Year


Microstock Analytics – Deep Dive into your sales

In previous posts I have reviewed the use of Microstockr Pro for monitoring your sales and how I used it to find images that were selling well but missing from one of the main agencies. There is an alternative application on the market that promises far more detail about your portfolio and so I decided to investigate Microstock Analytics in more detail. This is a far more complex system aimed at really understanding which shots are selling and why, whereas Microstockr Pro is more like a fun system to see the sales coming in. Microstock Analytics is available for Windows and is priced based on the number of images on any number of sites. At present, if you have no more than 500 images on your various sites, it is free. The next band to 1000 images is $29.99 a year, 2000 images is $59.99 a year, and then unlimited images are $119.99 a year or $299.99 as a one-time payment. The system currently covers seven agencies, Shutterstock, iStock, Dreamstime, Adobe Stock, 123RF, BigStock and DepositPhotos.


The main screen gives you the overview of your earnings performance, with many different choices for each window. Continue Reading

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