Earnings from Stock Photography in February 2018

Don’t the months go by so quickly these days and although I guess February is a short month it was still reasonable. January had shown quite a bump over the previous month (and the same month last year), but February – not so good! Total earnings were still pretty solid though at $2860 although for some reason nothing has yet been reported by Zoonar – perhaps there is nothing, but usually I get a few sales there each month. Here is my month by month chart:

I must admit that it still looks pretty good – over a $100 more than January even with fewer days, so I should not complain! 

There was a long discussion about the prohibition that Shutterstock wrote into their contributor contract against sharing revenue and earnings on the Microstock Group. I thought that was to avoid analysts being able to predict their company earnings around the time of the IPO, but it is still there in the T&Cs, so I ought to be careful. However, my results were buoyed by a nice sale on that site for $90 just before the month ended:

This was taken at the New River Gorge in West Virginia and although it is a “premium” image, I followed my usual practice of uploading it to all sites rather than just putting it on Alamy to get the higher value sale. I’m certainly glad I did, as it has earned $538 in just 18 months:

For some reason, this has really caught fire on iStock/Getty and this total does not include February sales on that site. And zero sales on the higher priced Alamy site! So the moral is – good images can earn well on the micro sites!

I’ve kept busy in the month with uploading:

The last month has mainly been studio shots – too cold and wet to be outside in February in West Virginia! But I have kept up a reasonable pace of uploads to build my portfolio towards 9000 images on most sites.

In terms of the earnings per site, Shutterstock actually did well and showed an increase over last month. iStock (January earnings paid in February) was very good (best ever in fact) with $512 and Adobe came in third with $397. Canva has made a remarkable recovery for me – having dropped to $92 last July, it has roared back to $273 in February (another best ever). I’ve no idea why – perhaps my images are in favor again, but I hope it continues! Alamy was pretty poor last month – no really big sales and so I ended up with just $153 from that site.  The rest of the agencies were all under $100, but as I have said in the past, multiple sites under $100 can still add up to a nice sum in the aggregate!

I’ll do some more graphs and charts next month, but in the meantime, keep shooting!

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6 Responses

  1. Kaleb says:

    Hi Steve!

    Thanks as always for sharing your results. Any video sales on your iStock counter yet?

  2. Peter Cherry says:

    Hi Steve, thank you for your blog, it is a very good inspiration for me to start selling photos from deep of my HDD:)

    Based on your experience, do you fill both TITLE and DESCRIPTION?

    Shutterstock supports just Description, but for example Apple Stock supports Title only. Pond5 supports both.

  3. Marija says:

    Hello Steve, im folowing your blog as i recently started doing stock photography. Thanks a lot for all your tips they helped a lot not just for seling photos but also for me to became much better in photography. I was wondering if you can make some topic about stock videos as well? How you edit it, what is the main thing to focus when uploading, best sellind sites for it… i dont know something from your experience… hope you will consider it and of course ( i know you are wery busy) when you have time i would really appriciate if you can give some short tips 🙂 thanks a lot for your time 🙂 best regards, Marija

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