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:
I don’t have the exact numbers for the end of 2017 (as I don’t track videos and still images separately), but this morning I had 8376 images and 260 videos on Shutterstock to give you an idea of the split of file types. I’ve been quite busy this month on creating new images and videos, having uploaded 33 videos and 138 images, 60 of which were ones from California taken in November that I finally finished keywording and uploading.
It definitely looks like I was busy in 2017! I did travel a lot, ended up with many shots that are now waiting for their first sale (!) but did enjoy myself! The peak in the last quarter of 2017 was a combination of a cruise around 8 different countries in Europe plus a trip to California that all needed processing, keywording and uploading.
Will all these sell? Probably not! I’ve found that travel images can sit there for a long time with no activity, but they have more chance of the larger priced sales. What I mean by that is a studio shot of a bitcoin might sell every few days for 38c and rarely earn much more than that. A travel image of a location or a landscape will not earn anything for a few months and then it will have a sale for much higher. For instance, this view of a sandy beach from Dana Point in California had never sold and then it had a Single sale for $36 last week:
By no means my best photo from the trip, but you do what you can with the weather!
This one from North Devon in England sold as an enhanced license for $16 a couple of days later:
It is the first time it has sold since being uploaded last summer.
The net effect is that I have a large portfolio of travel shots, but the sales of individual images within those sets is sporadic but occasionally nicely priced. My thinking is that I like taking the photos, I am willing to put some time into keywording them, and so the sales that result are worth the effort.
Hope that helps explain how I go about things and the effort it involves.