Earnings from Stock Photography in January 2018

Another year goes by. Hard to imagine that I am now in my 11th year as a stock photographer having starting uploading in early 2008. Earnings that first year – $1113! Now we are in 2018 and January is traditionally a slow month for me in the stock world. This month is no exception – after a run of over $3000 months, I ended in January with $2727:

What is interesting about the chart though is that I was significantly ahead of previous Januarys – a 23% increase to be exact over the earnings in January 2017. It would be hard (but nice) to see that continue through 2018! In terms of uploads, I maintained a hectic pace

adding 250 images and videos to Shutterstock in January. Some of those were images left over from a trip to California in November, but I also took quite a number of studio type shots in the month as well – especially for the upcoming US Tax Return peak in March and early April. Overall, I have the following totals on the various agencies where I track file numbers:

In terms of the actual earnings, it was a mixed bag:

Shutterstock as normal was my biggest earner with $773 – a drop from the previous months but I didn’t seem to get many higher valued downloads this month. It is amazing what a difference a few large Single downloads can make to a month. iStock was down (I include the payment I get from them as my January earnings) with $389. Adobe maintained its steady pace – down a bit from the last 2 months but still good at $443 and Canva did very well again for me with $224. I went through a very “dry” period in the summer when my earnings dropped to $92, but it is performing much better now. Some sites that did great last month, for instance, Pond5 with $246 in December came in with $12! That can make a big hole in your earnings total! It just goes to show that some of the sites are very random – sometimes your images and videos meet a need, sometimes they don’t.

But, overall, a nice start to my eleventh year as a professional photographer!


Comments are closed.

Congrats on the 11th year in stock photography Steve!!! And congrats on the 23% increase 🙂

Hi Steve,

I wonder how you know the earnings of iStock already. My statistics of iStock in ESP are updated ca 3 weeks after finishing each month!?

Kind regards, T.W. van Urk

    I don’t! I mention in the text that I decided to report the payment that I received from Getty/iStock in the month as my income for that month. So I received the payment for the sales that actually happened in December. At least it is consistent then.

Great month Steve! Are you at all interested next month to see about video sales on iStock? As I recall you have began uploading them.

Hi, how many photos do you already have on shutterstock and adobe stock? I have just started out with 2 websites. Thank you very much for your answer

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