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 on stock agencies. Since then I have increased my income to more than $35,000 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 book?

You can buy the book directly from my site or buy this new eBook 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!

amazonbestseller

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!


Steadify – you are the tripod

I’ll start with a confession. Eight years ago, I spent $216 on a carbon fiber monopod and I’ve used it maybe twice in all those years! It just goes to show how we are always seeking something to provide stability in those difficult lighting conditions that travel photographers both seek and struggle with. A tripod is great, and I almost always take one on vacation with me, but that doesn’t mean to say that I always have one with me! Not only do you have the weight to contend with, you have the problem that many locations don’t allow tripods inside the building – which is exactly where you need it. There are alternatives that I’ve used such as boosting the ISO to very high levels and taking 6 shots in quick succession and using the stack mode trick in Photoshop, and I must admit that stabilized cameras are also great, but as I get a (bit) older, I also find my hands are not as stable as they once were!

So I was very interested to see a new Kickstarter project starting up for something called Steadify.

 

Rather than carrying a monopod or tripod with you, this device is attached to a belt that you wear and it fits under the camera lens or to the tripod connection on the base of the camera and provides a solid support that is basically formed from your legs and arms. It also appears to be very useful for smooth panning for video as you basically rotate around this solid point rather than just move your arms or body to change the viewpoint. The Kickstarter phase starts on July 18, but in the meantime, you can sign up for early bird specials at the Steadify website. And here is the Kickstarter link for when the project goes live later this week.

I obviously haven’t tested this myself, but I’m definitely interested in trying it out. After all, it is cheaper than my monopod (at $89 for super early bird sponsors) and it might get more use!

How to take fireworks over a city

This July 4th, I went up to Pittsburgh in Pennsylvania to see and photograph the fireworks display over the city. Although only 70 miles away, we decided to stay for a couple of nights both to get the best idea of where to shoot the fireworks and to get some other images of the city as well. As I started to realize, getting everything right about fireworks, especially if you want to position them with the city itself to give the context, is more complex that it appears! First, I did my research. I found a local professional photographer with a gallery near the hotel so first stop was to visit that and hopefully chat with the photographer. He wasn’t there, but his assistant was very helpful in explaining the lie of the land! He has some great shots of Pittsburgh if ever you are looking for some! He also had some great shots of fireworks over the city on his blog with more details on where he was for the show – so that is the first problem solved – where to go!

Independence day photographs over Pittsburgh Pennsylvania

I chose a location by the Point of View statue on Mount Washington and scouted it out earlier in the day to see where I might plant my tripod. That brings out the next issue – when to arrive? Continue Reading

Earnings from stock photography in June 2018

The months seem to fly by and now I’m writing again about earnings from stock photography (and video) at the end of the second quarter of the year. June really felt like a slow month as I was tracking my earnings on Microstockr Pro. One downside of them adding more agencies (Canva was the most recent) is that there is much less of a surprise when I finally put my spreadsheets together, but I was caught out by how much the “off-App” agencies added up to this month. I was expecting a pretty blah month, but actually ended up with just beating the $3000 threshold (by $1.80!). June 2017 was itself a pretty good month and so I wasn’t expecting to beat that one, but in the end I did:

Earnings from stock photography in June 2018

That means that I have exceeded my earnings in that same month a year ago in 9 out of the past 10 months. Not bad going at all in an industry that most think has seen its best days. Continue Reading

What to do when the weather doesn’t co-operate?

We have all been there – we travel to some location, perhaps on vacation, and then the weather isn’t really that good for photography. Do you still take your photos and then what do you do with them on your return? I recently went to New York City for a couple of days and although it was generally dry and a partially sunny, we took a trip to Staten Island on the (free) ferry past the Statue of Liberty and then back to Manhattan. I’ll get onto what I took shortly, but my ideas for processing developed when I saw that this:

had earned over $400 since I uploaded it – far more than any of the similar images that have the normal pretty glum water in front of the city. Admittedly, most of those sales were from iStock and Getty, but I’m still not complaining! So back to New York. This is what my image looked like out of the camera: Continue Reading

Canva – what sells there?

This has been a tricky question to answer as the website does give a list of all images sold in date order, but it doesn’t show a thumbnail of the sold image. There is a tampermonkey script (search Canva tampermonkey on the Microstock Group forum to find details) that shows those thumbnails against each sale, but even then you are just eyeballing a long list of sales. However, Microstockr Pro has now added the agency to their list of supported agencies and so we can see what is selling on a daily basis and can also use the best seller function to see which images sell most frequently. Here is my best seller snapshot:

What is interesting about this is that my best selling images are almost all isolations. I’ll talk about that in a minute, but any thumbnail on here that has a dark grey background is actually a PNG file with the white background totally removed and transparent pixels there instead. So the designer using the Canva app can simply drag one of these images onto their design and simply add the object with no extra work. Continue Reading

Earnings from Stock Photography in May 2018

No clickbait headlines from me this month! However, the earnings were probably worthy of a headline like that. Certainly not as good as April with its $3500 total, but certainly better than May 2017 with a total of $2954:

Earnings from selling photos online

What is very nice to see is the continuing trend (which started last August) of the current earnings being higher, in some cases much higher, than the trend had been in the same month in previous years. This month was no exception, with earnings coming in about $500 (or 20%) higher than any of the previous years. Yes, I have added more images and video, but I had also done that in previous years, so it is very nice to see some reward for my efforts.

I traveled to England for almost 3 weeks this month and so didn’t upload much that made any difference to the downloads, but it certainly gave me a lot of work on my return.  Continue Reading

Interesting new feature on Microstockr Pro

You may already have seen this, but I had been talking to the developers of Microstockr Pro with ideas for new features and asked for the ability to be able to sort the images in the download section to show images ranked by the sale value rather than just by the date of the sale. My idea was that if you have been away for a few weeks, it would be good to look back at the higher selling images rather than have to go through page after page of subscription sales. They have come up with a neat way of doing that – you can put financial filters in the search box to show you images equal to a value, above a value or below a value. For example, putting <0.05 in the search box shows me the “sales” that have occurred on iStock with a value of less than 5c:

Sales for less than 5c on iStock

The good news is that $0.01 is the lowest price iStock are allowing on their site!!! Ignoring the big debate about how much an image is worth, this new Microstockr Pro feature is very nicely implemented. Thanks, guys!

This photographer decided to sell his photos – the results will amaze you!

OK – sorry for the clickbait title. I always avoid clicking on posts like this, but I guess some people must click on them otherwise we wouldn’t see them everywhere! However, the results this month will amaze you – at least I was pretty pleased with them! Historically, April has marked the start of the down months for my stock earnings – a slump that lasts until August. But this month has knocked that tradition out of the ballpark with an overall earnings total of $3460. My best result ever for monthly sales. Here is the chart:

Almost $1000 more than in April 2017. That has maintained the steady growth pattern that started around last August and has been generating best month after best month ever since. Continue Reading

Did my junk shop typewriter earn its keep?

Back in February, I wrote about the ideas you can sometimes get from objects in a junk shop – specifically a typewriter which cost me $15. I was asked to report on success – did it pay it’s way? After 2 months of sales, I can report that it did!

Total earnings from the typewriter shots now that my iStock results are available are $47 – so a solid $32 profit! I must admit that the sale that pushed it well into positive territory was actually a video from Adobe Stock for $28 a few days ago. So there is another tip – when you have bought your object from the junk shop, take both still photos and video clips of it!

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