Earnings from selling photos online in August 2018
Another day another dollar as an old American song goes! August may be a slow time of the year with vacations and holidays, but the stock world keeps on turning. I’m going to split the post this month and talk about earnings today and then come back on some of the notable sales – ie those images that earned more than $10, of which there were 14 in the month. As it turned out, August continued my record breaking run of making more than the same month in the previous year – up to 15 consecutive months now.
The month came out at $2887 which compares with $2573 in August 2017. Video sales helped a lot this month, coming out at $238 after a disappointing July.
Adding to the mix were the two great print sales from Fine Art America for a total profit of $182. I’ve often said (and I explain it in the video of my stock photography presentation), you really need to look at this as a job. You need to be willing to put the mental energy into thinking of new ideas, turning those into solid images and videos and, in particular, putting time and effort into keywording and describing them properly. I mention this now because I did add quite a lot of new images this month, and, as you can see from the history, I’m doing more in the last 2 years or so than I did back in the days when earnings seemed to be rising month by month without as much effort. Here is the growth of files on Shutterstock and hence includes both commercial and editorial work:
This month I noticed an article in the Washington Post about issues brewing between West Virginia University and one of the fraternity houses about hazing. It sounded as though it could continue in the news, and so I got up early and spent a pleasant couple of hours walking around the downtown campus of WVU taking lots of images of the main college buildings and then going to each of the “Greek Life” fraternity and sorority. All told, about 50 different editorial images. Now, will they sell – who knows, but it wasn’t really much effort!
Incidentally, although I added these as editorial at the main sites, I did try this and a few others on Adobe as commercial as the building is pretty old and should be free of restrictions. They took a couple where this was smaller in the frame, but rejected most for “Intellectual Property” reasons. I also put this on Fine Art America, put it on my Facebook page and mentioned the university and the FineArtAmerica print – all to see if it was possible to do some marketing for those FAA images and get a bit of traction on them as prints. Who knows how that will turn out!
I also wandered around Winchester in Virginia when I went there to give the talk on Stock Photography to their camera club. Again, they may not sell, but I was already there so why not! Finally, I realized that it is the 100 year anniversary of the end of World War 1 this November and so there are bound to be articles about that. I found an old Memorial Plaque that was cast for each British Soldier who died in the war and so I took a few shots of that at the end of last week. So far it has been accepted as commercial at Bigstock and CanStock – still in the review queue at Shutterstock and the others. It should not need releases having been cast in 1917, but you never can tell!
Those are examples of what I mean when I say you need to be watching the news and trying to guess what is going to be popular in the months to come.
Anyway, back to my file count:
I’m now about 10,000 on quite a few sites now. It is amazing how it grows when you work away each month at new images and videos.
So what were the highlights in earnings? Shutterstock got back above $900 after a slow couple of months. iStock (July sales) was more disappointing with $330. Adobe was solid with $366 and Canstock amazed me with three large Distribution sales to give me a total of $79! A world record! Canva picked up after a slow summer to end with $227 and, finally, both Pond5 and Alamy just crossed the $100 threshold. I’ll do more on what was actually selling to get those totals in my next post.