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!

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9 Responses

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

  2. T.W. van Urk says:

    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

    • admin says:

      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.

  3. Kaleb says:

    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.

    • admin says:

      Hi Kaleb – not holding out much hope. Video sales are slow and only appear rarely, so the chance of an iStock video sale is pretty low. But I will be watching out for it!

  4. Arga Darmawan Wally says:

    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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