Steve Heap is a well known stock photographer having started in the business in early 2008 and has grown the income to a steady $35k a year in royalties. He first wrote about his real life experience in getting started in stock photography in his ebook, Getting Started in Stock,  in 2011, and has since revised it three times to make sure it contains the very latest on the changes in the industry. Available as an immediate digital download from this site and from Amazon, it is well reviewed by all as being an invaluable asset in helping you make money from your images.

My images are available for licensing on all the main stock photography web sites. I have created my own stock agency at Backyard Stock Photos and this site contains more editorial work than you will find on the microstock sites.  I’ve also put some of my better “Fine Art” images on Backyard Image, and you can buy prints of some of these at Fine Art America.

Backyard Silver is operated by Backyard Productions LLC and provides regular updates on my activities in Stock Photography.

Please contact me at “sales” at “BackyardSilver.com” or via my contact form.

(Visited 930 times, 1 visits today)

26 Responses

  1. Anna says:

    Thank you for your blog, I find it very interesting and am so glad that I came across it. You’ve answered many of my questions about stock photography. Thanks again, I am looking forward to your new posts.

    Kind regards,

    • admin says:

      Glad you like it. I’ve just moved to a different state in the US and so am very busy with household things, so don’t hold your breath for new posts!

  2. Constance Renda says:

    I really like your photos. They are so natural, not like a lot of the oversaturated, HDR style photos that are popular today. (I know there are a lot of HDR photos that are spectacular, but a lot of them look overdone. I like the natural style a lot better.)
    Anyway, your blog and your ebook are awesome too.

    • admin says:

      Thanks! I like the new HDR treatment in Lightroom – very natural looking and simply blending the exposures together rather than pushing the extreme approach to HDR.

  3. tim says:

    hi – thanks for such an informative blog.

    to help me understand the numbers in your Nov 2016 summary, you spoke of ~$2000 earnings, and a portfolio size that seemed to be around 6000ish – is that accurate?

    Would it be a safe guess to say a reasonable RPI for the current (2016) market is $0.33 + or minus a few cents? (that’s down from the older articles that spoke of $1 as a reasonable industry average)

  4. Roman says:

    Dear Steve,
    Thank you for the very informative and valuable information! I registered by your referral link on Zoonar. I hope this will bring for you small bonuses!
    Hello from Ukraine!

    Best regards,

    • admin says:

      Thanks Roman! I’m finding Zoonar a bit slow these days (plus it takes many months for anything to happen), but good luck and thanks for using the link!

  5. Paul says:

    Steve – Just wanted to share how much I love the blog and the book. Since and subject matter is very similar to mine, your experience has been very informative. I’ve been following a similar path to generate income through microstock over the last three years and your insights and experience continue to be invaluable.

    Keep up the great work!


  6. admin says:

    Thanks Paul – happy to help!

  7. Matthew says:

    Where is the best place to ask you general questions about microstock? You getting started book was great but I was hoping for a little on researching trends beyond look at whats selling because by then I’m guessing its to late because of the saturated marked that is microstock.

  8. elaine says:

    Delighted to find your blog with real figures!! Have about 3000 on Alamy and no great sales.
    Which of the other agencies do you recommend I upload to? Was gonna try adobe

    Any feedback greatly appreciated

  9. Newbie Smith says:

    Hey Steve – I’ve read tons of your stuff. So informative. One thing I don’t see if your image upload count. I know you go on trips and get big numbers on them but do you have a number of images you upload per month or year? 2015, 2016, 2017?

  10. Edgloris says:

    Hi Steve! Just discovered your blog and i love it. Please tell me, do you submit the same images to all your agencies?
    Best regards,
    Edgloris Marys
    Caracas, Venezuela

  11. LorPan62 says:


    I’ve just discovered your site and I’m devouring all your articles. I wanted to ask you some things on microstock (I hope this is the right place).
    Microstock for me is an evening job, a job I do in my spare time.
    First of all I wanted to submit my portfolio on alamy to have your own judgment. I’ve been collaborating with Alamy for a year, uploading photos, but I’ve only had 6 sales and 11 zooms. I send you the link of the portfolio by mail. If you have a moment of time I would be grateful if you give me some advice. Also I want to ask you something that I can not understand. If I send photos to alamy (macrostock) and to other sites like SS and Fotolio I have to put RF on alamy photos? Or I can also enter RM.
    Thank you and good day

    • admin says:

      You need to make the license of your images the same across all sites – which means that as they must be RF on SS, for instance, they must also be RF on Alamy. I don’t believe that is a problem these days – RF and RM images on Alamy sell for about the same amount of money. Yes, I’ll have a look at your portfolio.

  12. Paul Hardy says:


    I’ve just done a quick spreadsheet of sales of video for the last 6 months, and there is a general trend upwards, in volume. Prices will always vary of course. There definitely is a lag, I’m currently selling clips that I shot last year. Nothing this year yet.
    Thinking again about iStock. Probably selling a clip now almost daily which is great. I haven’t even uploaded my entire portfolio yet. I have thought about whether I should for a while because of their prices. And taking away sales from elsewhere. And thinking more like you that clients may not shop around too much. And if you have an account with iStock, you will buy something from there regardless, so isn’t it better that it was you rather than someone else. The same goes for anyone looking at your work on another site, thinking I can get it cheaper elsewhere, would they go through the hassle of creating an account just to get that clip?…
    So far, Pond have been slow, although I have heard that it may take longer for sales to pick up there, but it is the place where I want sales the most obviously because of the higher prices. I wish they sold with the regularity of iStock!



    • admin says:

      Hi Paul
      I think you are right about people buying at the agency they are with – why would they search for a file elsewhere at a higher price unless it was a truly unique need that they had to fill. Not many of our videos are so unique!! I’m not getting anywhere near the sales on iStock that you are seeing – although I didn’t upload video there for a long time and only really started again at the start of the year. I’ll have to see how things develop. Incidentally, I noticed that Microstockr is not properly assigning Pond5 sales to “video” and so I have been under-reporting video sales. I’ve reported it to them, but will have to redo my video sales charts at some stage.

  13. Say Dempsay says:

    Hi Steve:

    My name is Say Dempsay. I am a photography instructor at Santa Barbara City College. This fall I will be teaching a class on Stock Photography. I am looking for a new book and saw yours on Amazon. I would like to review the book before I send my students to buy it. Is it possible to send me an electronic version of the book to me?

    Thank you,

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