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:

SalesJanMar

As you can see,  Continue Reading

Breaking into stock video production

Ever since I got my Sony A7Rii last June, I’ve toyed with the idea of moving more into stock video production. Why? Mainly because the people involved seem to be doing very well, there is less competition (because it is harder) and the introduction of modern SLRs capable of handling 4K video production is opening up a new market for this ultra high resolution images. If you think about it, almost all the images currently in stock agency libraries are HD or below – so at some level even the basic simple shots will need to be reworked to get to the 4K resolution level. Of course, the changeover from HD to 4K will not happen overnight, but we have a good chance to populate the agencies with our great 4K shots before too many others have uploaded their shots. The only problem is how to take great 4K videos and what to take!

The video above is an example of what you can do pretty easily. Of course, it hasn’t sold yet, but with the focus on the opioid epidemic in the USA, I hope it will. What do you need to get going in stock video? Continue Reading

Using ImageBrief for ideas for new stock shots

As I’ve mentioned before, I have had some successes on ImageBrief – the best one being for the “head shot” that I sold first for $1050 and then was re-licensed for an additional $200:

Image Brief Award

Image Brief Award

However, to be honest, these are relatively few and far between. Far more likely is that you submit some images which the client looks at, but then decides not to license anything and closes the brief. I don’t mind when they choose someone else’s image, but it is annoying when they don’t choose anything! I still watch the new briefs each day though partly Continue Reading

My favorite Sony full frame lenses

After moving from being a long-time Canon shooter to the Sony mirrorless full frame system last June, I started questioning one of my lens choices. I started with the 16-35mm F4, 24-70mm F4 and the 70-200mm F4 Sony lenses and carried those around in my backpack. Right from the start, I was a bit uncertain about the sharpness of that 24-70mm lens and even had some rejections from stock agencies about lack of sharpness. Even though I did some tests on a tripod of a stone wall, which looked generally OK, I found myself downsizing images and sometimes avoiding that lens if I had an opportunity to do so, which isn’t a great tribute to it’s quality! When I read a review and checked out the price of this Zeiss 55mm F1.8 lens and saw how light/sharp it was, I couldn’t resist.

New 55mm F1.8 on my Sony A7Rii

New 55mm F1.8 on my Sony A7Rii

What I always do on Amazon Continue Reading

Microstockr Pro now handles Getty/iStock

There was an update to Microstockr Pro last night that added support for the new Getty/iStock ESP reporting system. I reviewed Microstockr Pro in the past and find it a really useful way to keep a daily track of what is selling on the various sites. It is currently free for desktop users. The latest release picks up the details of the sales of individual images from the ESP site and shows those with thumbnails in the appropriate months:

istockgetty

Of course, the application can only 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

Continue Reading

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:

JanFebEarnings

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:

Keywords

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

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