Selling stock photos – July 2019

A very nice month for earnings. Of course, one of the big reasons was that amazing sale on Society6 which resulted in $333 being added to my earnings balance in July, but the other sites were pretty reasonable as well. Traditionally, July is a pretty slow month for me – my previous highwater mark was $2500 reached in July 2018. Previous years had been in the $2250 range. So July 2019 came in with a very strong $2866.

Latest financial results from the sale of my digital photos and videos online at stock agencies in July 2019
Monthly earnings from stock photography

This graph is getting a little complex to read, but it is still interesting to see how the earnings for the same month in previous years line up with the current month. I added a few hundred files in the month – nothing like the massive upload in June to give the following totals (stills and videos combined) in the main agencies:

Latest financial results from the sale of my digital photos and videos online at stock agencies in July 2019
Number of online files in various stock agencies in July 2019

Finally, my graph of video earnings. As you can see, July jumped back to the general trend after a poor month in June. I’ll mention some of the videos that helped that total shortly!

Latest financial results from the sale of my digital photos and videos online at stock agencies in July 2019
Earnings from the licensing of video stock files in July 2019

So what were the highlights? Shutterstock was pretty solid at $900 and I had a good month (in June) for iStock with total sales of $488. Adobe continued to be a bit erratic – sometimes almost $700 then down to $360, but this month was middle of the road at $416. Society6 rounded out the big hitters but no way can I expect a similar performance in coming months from that site. I have added some more images though just in case!

I’m always amazed at how poor Alamy is. I have 10000 files there, I can find my images with reasonable search terms, but I get so very very few sales. This month I got a total (net) of $32! Even Canva did better than that and that site has really been sinking fast. I just don’t know what I am doing wrong over there on Alamy. I have some of my early files on Alamy via Zoonar and I got about $50 from Alamy sales via Zoonar even after they take their 50% share. It almost makes me think I should cancel my own Alamy acccount and just use Zoonar in future!

EyeEM was a bit of a disappointment as well. I wrote in depth about some of the issues and tricks I use with EyeEM last month, and I was hoping for around $100, but I collapsed down to $40. After a couple of months of almost $200 this is a big drop, but I keep uploading to them.

I did sell one image from my own stock agency, BackyardStockPhotos, though! A cool $9.99! Now it is only losing about $200 a year on hosting costs!!

Some of my travel shots sold nicely in the month. Best performance came from this one, which sold for $65 on Shutterstock:

Wide panorama of Ilfracombe in Devon

Then back into the studio for a triptych (!) of some beer bottles in plain white carrier which sold for $55 on Shutterstock:

Triptych of six packs isolated against white

Videos really shone though with some reasonably high priced sales (as well as a number of very low priced sales as well!)

Video of a famous stock photographer looking at the sunset

This one sold on Getty for $85 and I also had a sale of a studio shots of my hand reaching into a filing drawer on Getty for $60. Although there are quite a lot of very low priced videos as well on Getty, these higher priced sales are definitely helping my totals from that agency.

Shutterstock had some nice video sales as well with traffic congestion in Beijing selling for $53:

Traffic congestion in Beijing

Going forward, I’m continuing to add images to EyeEM and also Society6. I’m tempted to look into ArchAngel and their book covers after reading about Alex’s month over on the Brutally Honest site and I continue to look for other opportunities to grow (or at least maintain) my income from stock photography! Hope you had a good month as well!

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7 Responses

  1. Sergey Orlov says:

    Hi Steve,

    In MicrostockGroup you asked about the plugin which could redirect old or missing pages into the home page. I’m not familiar with SymbioStock, but if it’s based on WordPress then you may try a very good plugin … guess the name… Redirection 🙂 – I use it on my own photo website.


  2. Shijay Gupta says:

    Dar Steve, after reaing your book the first very goo take was “stock submitter” I am very happy to use it, but it nees more clarification specially about the winows an arrows on the right an proceure to follow for submitting shots to several agencies.

    • Steven Heap says:

      I’ve written a few articles about it on my blog. You could search for stock submitter to see them. Also, I think the author of the application has some instructions as well on his site. Those windows on the right are a bit like a notepad. You can copy the various elements from the metadata (keywords, descriptions) from the top box to the bottom. Then move to a new file and use the Up arrows to copy that information back into the new file from bottom to top. The top box always shows what is actually associated with a file. The bottom box is a scratch pad or notepad simply storing information ready for later use.

    • Amlan Mathur says:

      Are you selling videos on getty images or istock (the cruise video you mentioned). Cause the prices at istock suck

  3. Amlan Mathur says:

    Are you selling the videos you’ve mentioned on getty or istock? Does getty ask for exclusively

    • Steven Heap says:

      Yes, although for a time I didn’t bother to upload because it was too complicated. And they don’t ask for exclusivity (at least iStock doesn’t). If you are a direct contributor to Getty (and not many are) I think that is an exclusive arrangement. I don’t tend to bother too much about the lower priced sales. There are higher priced ones, and would the person buying for a few dollars have wanted my video so much that they would search on another site and pay much more money? I don’t get worked up about this.

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