Making money from stock photography

Just how much money can you make from stock photography? I started selling my photos on stock agencies and since those early days I have increased my income to more than $35,000 a year. I share the steps and lessons learned in the latest 2020 edition of my eBook – Getting Started in Stock Photography

You are interested in selling your photos, and here is the best way to quickly earn money from those images.  Invest in this book and gain ten years of hard earned knowledge of successfully licensing photos for cash in one easy to read manual.  Newly updated so if you want to get up to speed in a matter of days,  simply choose to buy the eBook now for an instant download – you will get both a PDF and epub version to use on your favorite device. It is one of the most highly rated books in its field on Amazon – 44 great reviews on the Amazon US site alone.

For a really comprehensive view of the stock photography market, why not consider the bundled package of both Getting Started in Stock and the Brutally Honest Guide to Microstock Photography by Alex Rotenberg. I have read Alex’s book and it is a much broader view of the stock photography market than my edition. I focus on the “how to do it” processes, looking at each major agency and discussing their quirks and approaches, whereas Alex looks more at what you need to do photographically to compete and what you can do with the skills you are picking up as a stock photographer. Buying both together saves you over $5 on the Amazon pricing. Buy with confidence here:

Step by Step Guide to Stock Photography
Step by Step Guide to Stock Photography
Maximize your earnings now with the updated 2020 edition of this popular guide! Save hours of reading old posts on forums to try to find the tips and tricks that make this industry tick.

Stock Photography Bundle
Stock Photography Bundle
Specially priced bundle of the PDF and eBook versions of both Getting Started in Stock and the Brutally Honest Guide to Microstock Photography

How will I get my eBook? You will find a download link on the return page from Paypal and I’ll also send an email with the same link – so you can start within minutes of clicking on the shopping cart above! If you are using an iPad, please read this page about how to unzip and open the file on an iPad.

If you are a more established contributor and are looking for a more personalized report on your portfolio, I can undertake a review of the images in your portfolio with overall comments on the choice of images, the processing, the keywording approach and what might be lacking in terms of the coverage of the portfolio. Then I would look at the top 10 images and analyze those in more depth with recommendations on different ways to show the subject, what different keywords could be applied and what processing could have been done. I would complete this by providing a written report on my thoughts on the overall analysis for you. Of course, follow up questions and answers are also included. The charge for this is just $80. You can sign up for that here:

Portfolio Review
Portfolio Review
This is a personalized portfolio review with a written report on what improvements I would make to your images (or videos) to improve sales

If you are the sort of learner who prefers watching and listening to a video, you should investigate my free Master Class in Stock Photography video, available here.

Getting Started in Stock was the best seller in the Professional Photography category on Amazon

Need more persuasion? Over the past ten years I have learned a lot about microstock photography and the various tips and tricks to get the best out of each site. Some things are obvious – others you only learn about after spending hours reading through forum posts.  Save your time – all those tips and tricks are now available in an easy step by step guide to Microstock and how you can make money from your photos. Learn how to get into the business, how to efficiently manage and keyword your images and get them online with the minimum fuss. Finally, jump straight to the time saving tools and web sites such as StockSubmitter, Stock Analytics and Microstockr Pro to effectively manage your portfolio.

This fifth edition of my book is greatly expanded from the early releases. I now cover the main stock agencies and have added detailed graphs and charts showing how my income has developed on each site and whether they are improving in terms of income per online file – in my view the best way to measure success on a stock agency. I have dedicated chapters on what sort of images to take, keywording secrets, easy uploading approaches and discussions on how to analyze your portfolio. As more and more sites now accept editorial images, I have added additional information on how best to meet that need.

There are excellent books available at Amazon on the sort of images to take for stock. I’m not trying to compete with those. My book is clearly a “how-to” guide based on all the experiences (good and bad) as I have gone from an income of less than $100 per month to over $35,000 per year. Why make the same mistakes and miss the opportunities I have missed – one day’s worth of sales will more than cover the cost of my book!

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13 Responses

  1. Steven Heap says:

    I’m trying to restructure my blog to better fit in with the way Google ranks it. I was trying to get rid of some duplicate content and make the flow a little simpler. Sorry if you expected some new information here!

  2. Vlad Savin says:

    I bought your book and Alex’s book. Very helpful. I advise to buy both at once. They complement the overall business scheme.

  3. Shijay Gupta says:

    What aout those who has purchased thesee books recently

    • Steven Heap says:

      Hi Shijay – I apologize for confusion here. I haven’t updated the book – I was updating the structure of the website and it sent out that update email. All I have done is changed the way you see the details of the book on the website.

      • victor says:

        Steve, it’s not exactly what you say in the beginning of the post. You say there’s a newly revised edition. If this is the case, i think he would like to know — and myself too — if it’s available for those who previously purchased it.
        If there’s no update, this statement might be misleading.

        • Steven Heap says:

          Hi Victor – this is what the previous page has always said – I copied the text to this post format. I didn’t intend to publicize the change but I missed the option to avoid sending out an email. Sorry for the confusion, but there isn’t a new issue.

  4. loslos1 says:

    Hi Steve, just bought a bundle. I think it is a really great combination – books complement each other and provide some good insights and actionable tips. Thank you!

  5. Shijay Gupta says:

    Thanks, steve for explaining. I can definately say bot books are vry helpful and very well resented.

  6. Joaquin says:

    Hi Steve, I have been following you for a couple of years and I only have words of thanks for the information you share … and I wanted to ask you if, since the change in the shutterstock portfolio, you have noticed some kind of uptick in your sales in SS. I wonder if the fact that you have your blog, which enjoys a certain popularity, translates into a better SEO positioning in your new SS portfolio. I think it is early to evaluate it, but I imagine that your branding can have some positive impact.

    • Steven Heap says:

      Thanks for your kind comments. Firstly, my earnings on SS are quite volatile sometimes. I think I got $115 from the first 7 days of December from SS (terrible for me) and now I am at $423! I would like to thank the change in the portfolio for that massive increase, but it was actually 5 purchases of video clips that did it. I’m not sure why a buyer would go to my portfolio when they need an image – they might possibly look at similars if one of mine shows up in the search results, but I can’t see someone deciding to search my files. I could be wrong, but it seems more likely that they search for their subject and see my files that way. I don’t publicize my portfolio on my blog very much, and so I doubt if my blog helps in that way, although I do sometimes see sales of images that I talk about in my blog posts. It is very hard to say that the two things are linked, but they could be!

I'm always interested in what you think - please let me know!