Category Archives: Stock Photo Examples

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!

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

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

Microstockr Pro – I missed it!

I’ve written about Microstockr Pro before, but it is always difficult to justify spending money on applications for microstock. It seems like we are so conditioned to accepting pennies for our images that we absolutely hate spending money (especially recurring money) on services that might make our lives easier! I know someone who earns more from me from stock photography who will not pay for applications like StockSubmitter and Microstockr Pro even though it is clear that she can easily afford it.

I accidentally let my subscription to Microstockr lapse at the end of December and initially thought – “oh, so what! I can see how my earnings are doing from time to time by visiting the main sites – I don’t need to spend my money on this.” So I didn’t renew. The result was pretty amazing – I really missed the program! Continue Reading

Review of 2017 earnings from Stock Photography

It is that time again – a review of the year’s earnings from stock photography. First the good news – I ended the year with a record total earnings of $32,732 after a decreasing trend over the past three years ending in 2016 with $28,368.

Looking at this on a monthly basis, almost every month this year has been higher than I earned in the same month in previous years, which I think is a very good sign. The last two months in particular were significantly higher than I received in November and December in any of the earlier years. If I can somehow maintain that into the coming year, then I should be in good shape for perhaps reaching $40,000 in 2018. Who knows! But that would be a great objective for the year.

Now what has caused this success? Continue Reading

How to maximize your earnings from your photos

We all spend a lot of money on our hobby, so how can you maximize the amount of money you earn from licensing your images via stock agencies? Well, the obvious immediate answer is to take great commercial images that are better than all the ones already out there, but, to be honest, that is easier said than done. There is another way though – maximize your income by making your photos available to as many potential buyers as possible.

We are all aware of the main agencies, Shutterstock, Adobe Stock and so on. Some people have decided that the rewards are greater by choosing one agency and making yourself exclusive to them. Often their commission rates are higher for an exclusive contributor and you save the effort involved in uploading and submitting images to other agencies. I can understand the logic, but you are really making yourself dependent on the success of one agency for your entire income stream. If that agency annoys its buyers, fails to market correctly, or is simply taken over by another company that doesn’t have the same objectives you could be in trouble! Continue Reading

How to create images for things in the news

It is always a good idea for stock contributors to be ahead of the game when it comes to illustrating subjects that are going to get a lot of coverage in the news and on blogs and sites. Of course some of those are obvious now in retrospect – buying some fake bitcoins to illustrate the seemingly endless rise in their price would have given you lots of opportunities for sales:

Since I first bought these “gold” coins back in March and I uploaded 48 different sorts of images and videos, I have earned over $1000 from the set. Total cost to me was about $40 (the ethereum coin was almost $20 for some reason). It is a bit late to get on this bandwagon, but how do I go about creating images for things that I think will be newsworthy? Continue Reading

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