Earnings from selling photos online June 2019
Another month zooms by (and this was a busy month for my uploads) but there is unfortunately little sign that the industry is improving. In fact, some agencies just collapsed during the month – Canva was earning $200 – $250 a month last year, in June 2019 I earned the tidy sum of $25.90. As you probably know, Canva acquired Pexels and Pixabay, two “free download” image sites and has presumably integrated that supply into their service. As a result, those photographers are probably now unknowingly supporting Canva’s business model. I’ve stopped uploading to Canva now – not worth the effort.
Overall the month was OK. Total earnings ended up being $2765 but they were definitely helped by some big sales. Earlier in the month I was thinking this was going to be a washout of a month, but those odd sales (which I’ll come on to) really moved the dial. Incidentally, this is also the end of the second quarter and so I will do a quarter report in a few days when I have done my sums!
Shutterstock really moved some stock for me this month, ending up just over $1000. The biggest sale by far was a video taken on a cruise of the wake behind the ship. This one earned $167 for its first sale on Shutterstock.
I also had a $75 single sale on Shutterstock of some eggs on a rustic background that I had given up hope of ever getting a sale for. I thought they were nicely taken, but seem to have been lost in the background of the massive image databases of the agencies. So a very nice surprise to see this one appear:
I talked about one of my $30 sales on Shutterstock last week – the beach scene that had a fair amount of Photoshop work done to it. It all helped to make this a very good month on that agency.
For a change, here is a graph of my various agencies that I still have images with (even though I may not upload there any longer) and how their earnings compared. I removed Shutterstock to spread out the chart a bit. As you can see, Adobe continues to perform well. I was worried about this one as well this month, but a $70 video of some smoking chimneys at a power station plus a $65 image of the Supreme Court really made a difference to earnings this month. iStock kept its normal level of $400 or so (for May) although there were no really interesting sales that month. In fact, nothing above $20! What I find very strange is that I put some of the same images onto Getty via EyeEM (which I will also write about in a few days) and I get nicely priced sales via that channel, even taking their own commission into account, but nothing much via iStock.
I had the $100 sale via Fine Art America as well, which helped, but Society6 fell into the doldrums with a total of just $16.60 this month. I haven’t uploaded there for a while, so perhaps I need to move back to some “fine art” uploading for a while! Creative Market did OK – I’ve been struggling with uploads there as Stock Submitter doesn’t seem to be working well (or Creative Market maybe have some upload limits?), so I need to dig into what is happening there. Talking of uploads, this has been a very busy month for me with 900+ uploads.
As a result of all that work, I have over 12000 images on most sites and approaching 14,000 on DepositPhotos who tend to take every shot. As I asked in the previous post – will these images turn into sales? It is anyone’s guess at the moment! I do see odd sales coming through from that series, but will report more fully in 12 months or so.
Finally, what happened with video? I still need to work on my videos from the cruise (which shows where they fit in my priorities – which is probably wrong!). But overall, this was the video sales picture for June:
$334 in total. The big earners were the ones I have already mentioned above, but there were three $15 sales on Shutterstock for videos I had taken of the Terracotta Warriors in China:
This one also sold for the same amount in May. The makings of a best seller??
I think that covers the highlights of June. Back with a quarterly report in a few days and some thoughts on EyeEM.