Earnings from photography May 2019

Another month passes by and this one was a bit “blah…” For some reason, the last week of the month (ignoring Memorial Day in the USA) was very slow, which hit the earnings overall and so I ended up with a total of $2755 for the month. By the way, it was very nice to see that Alex, over on the Brutally Honest website, managed to beat the $1000 threshold this month – well done, Alex!

Earnings from selling photos and digital images online during May 2019

As you can see, May has traditionally not been a great month (the start of the summer slump) although looking at the chart above it does seem to be a bit higher than I normally see. I was not very productive at adding files in the month as I was away for over 2 weeks in Europe. I have enough images and videos now to keep me very busy during June so I should see an increase in files online next month.

Files online at the various key stock photo and video agencies

So what were the highlights and low lights this month? Adobe was a disappointment for the first time in quite a few months (OK, since January!). March was $635, April $453, May $367… Still, it is one of my favorite agencies in terms of how new images get picked up and start to sell, and so no complaints from me. iStock followed a similar trend with $653 in March, $453 in April and $399 this month. Note, these are the months I get the payout, not the month the images actually sell. Shutterstock was fine with $856 and EyeEM (mainly sales on Getty although I did get one from the site itself) had a total of $197. Canva maintained its steady drop because of all the deals they seem to be doing that are having the effect of reducing contributor income and ended up with $95. A far cry from the $295 in May 2018. One brighter part of the picture came from video sales – a total of just over $400 in the month.

$289 of this came from Shutterstock with a lot coming from two sales:

A deceptively simple shot of a wasted Brexit vote that sold for $97.50, presumably as a 4K download, and one of rough seas off the front of a cruise ship from my trip to China last year. This one sold for $53.70.

I also had sales of changing an air conditioning filter and a pan of the terracotta warriors in China from Shutterstock as well. Adobe gave me a sale of the wake of a ship taken from the back of a cruise liner as well this month. Every time I look at my sales I tell myself I must take more videos on my trips, but I rarely do! I’m a photographer at heart and find it difficult to shift my mindset towards thinking of what would make a good video! However, I’ll keep thinking about it and keep reporting here that I have missed my target once again! Just to reinforce this message, I had just 5 images that earned more than $10 in May (at least in the agencies that Microstockr Pro tracks). Two of these were from Alamy with net earnings of $35 and $39. Now that isn’t a good message to leave you with! But I need to get on with my keywording, so that will have to do for my May report!

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6 Responses

  1. Jason Finn says:

    My sales for the last week were terrible too! I am glad to hear that it may be a trend rather than just me!

    I have been blogging about my weekly earnings. I made $48 last week. I am usually closer to $100 and I had a big $200+ week for the previous week.

    If you’re curious, I think you can click my profile link. If that doesn’t work let me know.

    Thanks for sharing your earnings again!

  2. MuamerO says:

    Hi, great job 😀 Hope I will get to those numbers in due time 🙂 With that much geting from stock I would be able to do it full time 🙂 Got a sale on Alamy on the begining of the month (My first sale there and a big one :D) I have 100% commision from them and i get fine 90$ 😀 Wanted to ask you how long do you usualy wait for payment to get cleared on Alamy and how often does the sale end with refund?

    • Steven Heap says:

      Congratulations about the Alamy sale! I don’t usually check the refund status – I just wait and see what they pay out. I don’t tend to get refunds very often – a friend of mine with more studio still life shots seems to get more refunds, but I’m not sure why.

      • MuamerO says:

        Thank you 🙂
        And what about geting payment cleared i read that it can take up to 4 months?

        • Steven Heap says:

          I honestly don’t track it. Its a frame of mind for me – if something can be used to improve performance, then track it. If there is nothing you can do to impact it, then ignore it. I thought it was about a month, but I’m not sure.

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