Category Archives: Earnings

Can you make it with just travel stock photos?

I had a really good discussion with a budding stock photographer yesterday who offered $75 for an hour’s one on one tuition/advice from me. We discussed his portfolio, talked about improvements and had a good debate on how to come up with ideas for new shoots. He asked me if you could “make it” with just travel photography or whether you needed the second of my three main subject areas (places, things, people) to get a reasonable income. Of course, having all three is perfect, but not everyone is comfortable with outdoor shots, or people images, so you do the best you can! But it made me think – how well do my travel shots sell versus my studio “things” shots?

Well here is part of the answer!

 

One of the major issues I faced in looking at this question is – how can I analyse my portfolio into different categories? Continue Reading

Review of 2017 earnings from Stock Photography

It is that time again – a review of the year’s earnings from stock photography. First the good news – I ended the year with a record total earnings of $32,732 after a decreasing trend over the past three years ending in 2016 with $28,368.

Looking at this on a monthly basis, almost every month this year has been higher than I earned in the same month in previous years, which I think is a very good sign. The last two months in particular were significantly higher than I received in November and December in any of the earlier years. If I can somehow maintain that into the coming year, then I should be in good shape for perhaps reaching $40,000 in 2018. Who knows! But that would be a great objective for the year.

Now what has caused this success? Continue Reading

Earnings from Stock Photography November 2017

November certainly was a good month for me this year. Even though we have a US holiday, the sales were good throughout the month and I ended up with earnings of $3177. This is my best month ever (ignoring one special month in December 2014 when I sold an image on ImageBrief for $1060!) This continues a pattern I have seen all year where, almost without exception, the earnings in a month this year have exceeded the earnings in the same month in previous years:

Earnings from stock photography and microstock agencies with online images and videos

This is also my first time above $3000 since March and I beat that threshold by quite a margin this month. Here are my results from each of the agencies in November: Continue Reading

Earnings from Stock Photography – October 2017

I’m very late this month – my apologies! I was off on yet another trip to take stock photos – this time to Southern California. Not as many images to process as my last trip (which I haven’t finished yet), but I now have another 823 to process and eventually keyword the selected images. One thing you need to understand about this business – it is actually quite a lot of hard work going through every image, choosing the ones that might be suitable for uploading, processing them and then keywording and describing each one. Think of it as a job – not a hobby. You must get those images properly keyworded if they are going to earn their keep!

But enough preaching! How did I do in October? Not too bad. My overall earnings came in at $2793 – a bit down on last month, but still pretty respectable. Here is my normal monthly chart showing earnings in each month compared to previous years:

Earnings from stock photography in October 2017

What were the highlights this month? Shutterstock keeps its position as my number one agency with $725. For the first time for a long time, I had no enhanced license sales, but got $201 from single sales in the month. However, there is a real up and coming agency pushing for the number two position with Continue Reading

Earnings from Stock Photography in September 2017

It is a long time since I posted, but I do have an excuse. I was on a cruise around the Baltic sea (and to save you reaching for Google Maps, the ship went from Sweden to Finland, Russia, Estonia, Poland, Germany, Denmark and finally Norway). I’ve come back with 2270 images and am slowly working my way through them to try to get the best stock photos out of the voyage.

However, I came back to some nice earnings this month, with the total just short of $3000 – I ended up with $2977. Here is my graph showing earnings per month over the past four years:

Earnings from stock photography and microstock agencies over the past four years

As you can see, this was a very nice increase over last month and seems to be following a trend in most months this year where the 2017 total is more than the same months in previous years.  Continue Reading

Earnings from Stock Photography in August 2017

Another month end comes round. Is it just me, or is time speeding up? Anyway, this month is following the usual trend – add more images, earn the same money! I still think it is a viable way to earn money, it is just different to what it was a few years ago when adding more images resulted in a growth in earnings. Now it seems like the time spent on adding more images results in a continuation of earnings – more like a normal job I suppose where you work each day and get the same amount of money each month.

For the month, I ended up with $2573 compared to $2267 last month. As August is generally a pretty poor month, this is not too shabby and the historic analysis tends to bear this out:

Earnings from stock photography via microstock agencies in August 2017

As you can see Continue Reading

Earnings from Stock Photography in July 2017

Some months up, some months down – that seems to be the story of stock photo earnings these days. Overall the month was not bad with earnings so far of $2267. For some reason I am not seeing any sales on Zoonar (when I normally get some sales each month) and that could be a reporting issue on the site, but it is unlikely to shift the dial very much. As a summary chart this month I have included the monthly earnings organized by month over the past 4-5 years:

Apart from that one month in December 2014 (which was driven by a $1050 sale via Image Brief) what is interesting about this chart is  Continue Reading

Earnings from Stock Photography in June 2017

The days shoot by and here I am writing once again about earnings. It has been a busy month for me putting all my Hawaii images online and I’m still going through the videos and uploading those. I took quite a lot of Point of View GoPro images with the camera stuck on the front of the car as we drove around the narrow roads in Maui, so hopefully some of those will sell. Of course, Shutterstock, in its wisdom, rejected a number for “unstable video” when I was driving on a rough dirt road – I guess I thought that was the point of filming that bit of road! I’ve “appealed” to the submission team and will see if it is worth resubmitting.

Earnings this month have been pretty good with a total of $2859. As I blogged earlier, I had a real run of solid sales on Shutterstock mid month and a total of 10 sales on Alamy on my own account for $210. The final one came in on 30 June for a net of $18. If only I owned this many real bitcoins with the rate that they are currently selling for!

Of course, these are just gold colored metal coins! Shutterstock ended well with Continue Reading

Earnings from Stock Photography in May 2017

A steady performance during May – ending up with $2448 compared with $2469 in April. I am continuing to maintain my monthly earnings chart to see how my performance has varied by month over the years and it is showing some interesting results:

What I hadn’t really noticed before is that the early months of the year have been showing a steady increase year by year. So the 2017 results are generally higher than 2016, 2015 etc. May is slightly below 2016, but not by much. What seems to go wrong is that the second half of the year reverses that performance such that my 2016 monthly results are lower than previous years – by quite a lot in some cases. That possibly shows that my images for winter use are not as good as the current offerings on the agencies – perhaps I need to refresh my Christmas and winter shots! Overall, my earnings are continuing on their plateau as shown in this next graph Continue Reading

My Experience with Adobe Stock

I was reading a discussion about the Adobe Stock Contributor Portal and a few people were complaining about how their sales had fallen since Adobe took over Fotolia. I was under the impression that my sales had gone very strongly in the opposite direction and so I decided to look at my stats and see what my experience was. As I suspected, the results have been very positive:

 

Adobe announced the purchase in December 2014 but not very much happened, as you would expect in the next 6 months or so. I had always had issues with Fotolia Continue Reading

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