Category Archives: Stock Photo Examples

Earnings from Stock Photography in February 2018

Don’t the months go by so quickly these days and although I guess February is a short month it was still reasonable. January had shown quite a bump over the previous month (and the same month last year), but February – not so good! Total earnings were still pretty solid though at $2860 although for some reason nothing has yet been reported by Zoonar – perhaps there is nothing, but usually I get a few sales there each month. Here is my month by month chart:

I must admit that it still looks pretty good – over a $100 more than January even with fewer days, so I should not complain!  Continue Reading

Sometimes my new edits turn out to be just what the market wants!

I wrote earlier in the month about seeing one of my images in a thumbnail and my mind wandering to a new or different edit. The main edit in that case was one of a drowning man holding a bitcoin, but I also realized that I hadn’t uploading the underlying scene of the dark stormy sky with the flooded ocean:

The sky for this was an HDR version of the sky over the Shenandoah valley coupled with an ocean generated in the Flood photoshop plugin. So I gave it some keywords to illustrate global warming or the rise in sea levels and uploaded it. It has only sold twice, but the one today on Shutterstock was for $75. So this one certainly earned its keep!

Ideas just keep coming….

I uploaded this image yesterday as an Easter background – cute?

But where did the idea come from? As usual, just browsing through my sales as I do each morning using Microstockr Pro. I came across Continue Reading

Junk Shops – a source of Microstock ideas

I’m always looking for something different to photograph (and keeping my eyes open to what is being used on web sites) and I’ve seen a few images with older typewriters on them – gives a more interesting angle to writing, journalism or blogging than yet another laptop photo. So I go to antique stores (which are really junk shops here in the USA) and see what is around. My most recent purchase was an electric typewriter in pretty good condition:

Now getting it to the beach was a bit of a trek, but with only paying Continue Reading

Getting inspiration for new stock shoots

For travel photographers, the winter can be a downer – cold, wet, snowy weather (depending on where you are of course) and little enthusiasm to brave the cold! Now is the perfect time to improve your portfolio and your skills with some studio shots. But what to take?

I find ideas from just generally browsing news and opinion stories, such as ones about people not saving enough for retirement. It was illustrated by a savings jar with a few loose coins in it, and I thought – I could do better than that! I had previously taken a photo of a dying  Continue Reading

Always keep your eyes open to a new edit

I was looking at my daily sales this morning on Microstockr Pro (and there weren’t very many over the weekend!) and I saw a 38c sale of an old image of me in a swimming pool holding a “Help Me” sign. For some reason, my brain immediately jumped to the current collapse of bitcoin prices and the chance that everyone who bought in since December is likely to have lost their shirt (and hopefully not their life savings). A new idea for a stock photo!

All it took was 5 minutes editing in Photoshop to remove the paperwork from around the fingers and slot in a bitcoin and we have a new image. I also realized that I hadn’t submitted the background image before:

I thought this might make a nice background for someone – perhaps the final ending of the human race with climate change as the oceans swallow up the land! So two stock photos from once glance at this morning’s sales!

Selling the same image on Alamy and other agencies?

I’m intrigued by the question of whether Alamy buyers see an image on that site and then search for the same image on cheaper microstock sites and buy it there. If they regularly do that, then you are losing out on a higher priced Alamy license in exchange for potentially sub $1 income from the micro site. I did a detailed analysis last year which didn’t find any evidence that they do that, but I saw a couple of “zooms” on Alamy this month that could have indicated a problem.

Sunset over Avalon Harbor in California

This one was zoomed on 22 January and I recalled seeing the thumbnail via my Microstockr Pro reports.  Continue Reading

Can you just focus on 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

How many files do I upload per month

There was a question in one of the comments about how many files I upload in a typical month. Of course, there is no such thing as a typical month as two things tend to drive my uploads – either I have been somewhere and come back with a lot of images to process and upload, or I have a spurt of image production in my “studio” when I think of something interesting or topical to photograph!

I decided to keep this simple by choosing Shutterstock as the example agency. They accept both editorial and commercial images and videos and so that represents the best view of my efforts. They tend to accept most images and so it also reflects, reasonably, what I am uploading. Here are the numbers for the past 3 years:

This represents an average of 93 files per month over the past three years. Overall, my numbers look like this: Continue Reading

Microstockr Pro – I missed it!

I’ve written about Microstockr Pro before, but it is always difficult to justify spending money on applications for microstock. It seems like we are so conditioned to accepting pennies for our images that we absolutely hate spending money (especially recurring money) on services that might make our lives easier! I know someone who earns more from me from stock photography who will not pay for applications like StockSubmitter and Microstockr Pro even though it is clear that she can easily afford it.

I accidentally let my subscription to Microstockr lapse at the end of December and initially thought – “oh, so what! I can see how my earnings are doing from time to time by visiting the main sites – I don’t need to spend my money on this.” So I didn’t renew. The result was pretty amazing – I really missed the program! Continue Reading

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