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Author Topic: I've compared my earnings with some of the bigger sites - interesting article  (Read 3671 times)

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Brasilnut

  • Author of the Brutally Honest Guide to Microstock
« on: September 19, 2016, 04:59 »
+1
Hey Group,

I've recently put together a small guide on my experiences with stocks with a comparison between the major sites i've uploaded and my earnings - hope you will find it interesting.

The pdf is attached and is called "Why Im Frustrated with Stock Photography and theres light at the end of the tunnel"

Best regards,

Brasilnut


« Reply #1 on: September 19, 2016, 05:31 »
0
I assume you are generating income elsewhere because given the equipment you have invested in you are running at quite a loss.

Brasilnut

  • Author of the Brutally Honest Guide to Microstock
« Reply #2 on: September 19, 2016, 05:35 »
0
Quote
I assume you are generating income elsewhere because given the equipment you have invested in you are running at quite a loss.

I'm probably breaking even just now after four years but yes I have also had a full-time job other than photography

« Reply #3 on: September 19, 2016, 12:22 »
0
Thanks for your shared experience, but I have an another question for you, if possible to answer. Your portfolio is around 2000 images in over 4 years (from what I understand), but how big was 2-3 years ago. I suppose you didn't uploaded daily, but what was your monthly number of images in the first 2-3 years and how much you upload now, after the full frame equipment.  Good luck!

Brasilnut

  • Author of the Brutally Honest Guide to Microstock
« Reply #4 on: September 19, 2016, 15:04 »
0
Quote
Thanks for your shared experience, but I have an another question for you, if possible to answer. Your portfolio is around 2000 images in over 4 years (from what I understand), but how big was 2-3 years ago. I suppose you didn't uploaded daily, but what was your monthly number of images in the first 2-3 years and how much you upload now, after the full frame equipment.  Good luck!


From what I recall.
End of Year 1: 300 images
End of Year 2: 700 images
End of Year 3: 1200 images
End of Year 4: 2000 images

Now I tend to upload aprox 50 images a month but with the winter coming up I will probably upload less and work on older images that I put off due to lack of time.

The full-frame / crop-sensor didn't really change anything, what changed was the quality of images and I did have one lucky break in Sept 2015 when I was in Budapest and was shooting some editorial just the refugee crisis was kicking off. There, I managed to grab a few images and in particular of the little girl holding a SOS sign which is in the pdf article and that image alone has netted me $600 alone. These refugee images have helped to sell other ones as you can see from the graph attached.

There's an upcoming referendum in Italy and I'm hoping to get some shots of some protests so those should do well.

Hope that answers your questions and feel free to ask more.

Good luck

Brasilnut
www.arotenberg.photoshelter.com 


« Reply #5 on: September 20, 2016, 02:33 »
0
Thanks for your info. You chase events for your photography, for me it seems pretty hard, good luck.

Best regards,
Andrei

« Reply #6 on: September 21, 2016, 12:07 »
0
Great overview, thanks for sharing your experience, seeing stuff like this is really helpful for newbies.

At this point, uploading 50/month, you're not at this full time I imagine?

I'm amidst year 2 for myself, my year 1 goal was 100 (I do timelapse/video in addition to photo), end of 2016 I'm aiming for 500 total, I'm at about 425.  I was thinking if by end of year 3, I could reach 1500, then I could have a solid library base and dive in full time.

If working full time, my aim would be to produce about 30 images+timelapse+video clips/week.  That way I would be producing about 1500/year.

Do you have intentions of shooting microstock full time?  If you were to, what would be your weekly/monthly/yearly goals?  Do you only shoot photo, or do you also do video, timelapse, sounds, or graphics?  Do any of us here do stock audio or graphics?  Are those other pursuits worth doing? 

« Reply #7 on: September 21, 2016, 12:16 »
0
whoops double post

« Reply #8 on: September 21, 2016, 12:25 »
+1
Quote
I assume you are generating income elsewhere because given the equipment you have invested in you are running at quite a loss.

I'm probably breaking even just now after four years but yes I have also had a full-time job other than photography

i think most ppl will break-even with stock photography, unless you're really bad.
in 5 years, any business is supposed to do that. that is why the taxman do not come after you
for an audit until the 8th to 10th year.

personally , i too have paid for all my studio and field equipment plus my internet and post-processing equipment just with microstock as a side-dish!

i remember some one here (mintz, ithink.. the late great man who dares to say anything he chose... i think ) suggested spending only the money you make on microstock or any stock
back on the equipment you use, and nothing more.
this way, if the agencies $crew you , you're still ahead.

after that, the equipment, studio, workshop... is all free to use,
and you can continue to shoot for the sake of shooting...
no more tomatoes, marijuana, telemarketing clerk, ...etc.. on white!!!

just shoot, and if the whole business of micro disappears, you're fine with it too!!!
i think that is what my colleague here... mantis ... is doing..
and i think i should do that too!!!

Brasilnut

  • Author of the Brutally Honest Guide to Microstock
« Reply #9 on: September 21, 2016, 13:34 »
0
Quote

At this point, uploading 50/month, you're not at this full time I imagine?

Do you have intentions of shooting microstock full time?  If you were to, what would be your weekly/monthly/yearly goals?  Do you only shoot photo, or do you also do video, timelapse, sounds, or graphics?  Do any of us here do stock audio or graphics?  Are those other pursuits worth doing?


Nope, I've never been full-time but some weeks sure feel like it since as soon as I get home from work I'm either shooting or post-processing! Also weekends I was doing a lot of bike trips around northern Italy with the intention of shooting. I was in Rio for the whole of the Olympics and shot quite a bit there but much of my stuff isn't selling hmmmm...

I don't have any intention to devote all my time for microstock as the returns aren't significant enough for the effort. I'm devoting more time to my fine art stuff and trying to get galleries to exhibit my work. Also doing some interior property shots even if I'm not crazy about it but pays ok.

My monthly goals aren't so much about uploading x amount, I rather stick to quality than quantity. As I mentioned in my article, just that one refugee shot in Budapest amounts to 10% of my total earnings out of 2050 images. Add another top 5 best sellers and that's nearly 50% of my total earnings. Half of my portoflio doesn't sell and probably never will, a lot of windmills from when I was living in Holland some random beach shots in Rio which these sites are saturated.

I only shoot photography.  I can't comment on other pursuits.

Good luck

P.s I put together this short guide and it's on the newbie forum. I trust you will find it useful:

http://www.microstockgroup.com/newby-discussion/guide-how-to-take-criticism-to-improve-as-a-commercial-photographer/new/#new

Alex
www.arotenberg.photoshelter.com

« Reply #10 on: October 02, 2016, 11:19 »
+2
Quote
I assume you are generating income elsewhere because given the equipment you have invested in you are running at quite a loss.


I'm probably breaking even just now after four years but yes I have also had a full-time job other than photography


i think most ppl will break-even with stock photography, unless you're really bad.
in 5 years, any business is supposed to do that. that is why the taxman do not come after you
for an audit until the 8th to 10th year.

personally , i too have paid for all my studio and field equipment plus my internet and post-processing equipment just with microstock as a side-dish!

i remember some one here (mintz, ithink.. the late great man who dares to say anything he chose... i think ) suggested spending only the money you make on microstock or any stock
back on the equipment you use, and nothing more.
this way, if the agencies $crew you , you're still ahead.

after that, the equipment, studio, workshop... is all free to use,
and you can continue to shoot for the sake of shooting...
no more tomatoes, marijuana, telemarketing clerk, ...etc.. on white!!!

just shoot, and if the whole business of micro disappears, you're fine with it too!!!
i think that is what my colleague here... mantis ... is doing..
and i think i should do that too!!!


The Miz?

http://www.microstockgroup.com/photoshop-tutorials/the-miz-his-memory-lives-on-through-his-tutorials/

Yes he was one of a kind and had some great talents. I don't know if any of the tutorials work anymore.

I'd have all the equipment I use if I did Microstock or not. I didn't start to do this cheap sales, I already have the photos and equipment so I added Microstock for some small income and fun. That will get some hate mail, because some people think this isn't supposed to be fun. Make work into fun and you'll be much happier with life.

Good pdf Brazilnut. You could have saved much money by buying a good top prime lens and keeping the lower camera. Too late now. Your discovery is that good photos sell and common photos don't? Purpose, content and subject are much more important. You have nice work and compositin. That's what sells, not the expensive camera that you used.

If you aren't on Fotolia you should be.
« Last Edit: October 02, 2016, 11:29 by YadaYadaYada »

« Reply #11 on: October 02, 2016, 11:40 »
+1
I do miss the Miz  :(
He had a way of cutting through the BS

Brasilnut

  • Author of the Brutally Honest Guide to Microstock
« Reply #12 on: October 02, 2016, 15:16 »
0
Quote
Yes he was one of a kind and had some great talents. I don't know if any of the tutorials work anymore.

I'd have all the equipment I use if I did Microstock or not. I didn't start to do this cheap sales, I already have the photos and equipment so I added Microstock for some small income and fun. That will get some hate mail, because some people think this isn't supposed to be fun. Make work into fun and you'll be much happier with life.

Good pdf Brazilnut. You could have saved much money by buying a good top prime lens and keeping the lower camera. Too late now. Your discovery is that good photos sell and common photos don't? Purpose, content and subject are much more important. You have nice work and compositin. That's what sells, not the expensive camera that you used.

If you aren't on Fotolia you should be.

I agree it should be fun and I generally enjoy myself taking shots (not so much the keywording). I need it as a therapy since my other day job isn't creative.

Thanks! I'm in the painstakingly slow process of putting together a 10,000 word comprehensive guide with 100 pic examples on how to get started with microstock, so stay tuned!

Will check out Fotolia :)

« Reply #13 on: October 02, 2016, 16:42 »
0
Good pdf Brazilnut. You could have saved much money by buying a good top prime lens and keeping the lower camera.

well spoken Yada3.
brasilnut, as i echo what yada advised,
prime lens are far superior to zooms and faster and lighter... and cheaper.
the pro top of the line cameras are fine if you're shooting 18 hours a day in studio,etc..
that's what you pay for the top of the line, it's for  the rough wear and tear .

but if you're not doing that sort of heavy shooting, you'll save money with prime lenses
as it is the glass that counts, not the body.
many photogs over spend on the body , when really you could have used that money
to get your studio lighting, and a more superior zoom if need...
in exchange for a less expensive latest model issue body with all the bells and whistle.

« Reply #14 on: October 03, 2016, 10:34 »
+1
I do miss the Miz  :(
He had a way of cutting through the BS

And some days creating it, but he was true to his words and honest and helpful.

Brasilnut

  • Author of the Brutally Honest Guide to Microstock
« Reply #15 on: October 04, 2016, 14:53 »
0
Quote
well spoken Yada3.
brasilnut, as i echo what yada advised,
prime lens are far superior to zooms and faster and lighter... and cheaper.
the pro top of the line cameras are fine if you're shooting 18 hours a day in studio,etc..
that's what you pay for the top of the line, it's for  the rough wear and tear .

but if you're not doing that sort of heavy shooting, you'll save money with prime lenses
as it is the glass that counts, not the body.
many photogs over spend on the body , when really you could have used that money
to get your studio lighting, and a more superior zoom if need...
in exchange for a less expensive latest model issue body with all the bells and whistle.

That's true. My first lens other than the kit lens was a 50mm f1.8 and loved it. Thereafter, I upgraded to my now all-time favourite (and bulky) 24-70 f2.8 and a 10-20mm wide angle (crop sensor) which I also love. I didn't have to upgrade a d800 but had some extra cash (not from stock earning). I also bought an sb-900 flash gun which I used quite a bit at indoor events.


 

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