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Author Topic: monthly earnings question?  (Read 7280 times)

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« on: January 12, 2018, 20:07 »
0
Thought there might be a thread about this, but can't seem to find any...

I'm brand new to this, and trying to get an idea of what kind of work/portfolio size/etc I will need to put in, in order to see a good return on my photography/videography. I have done lots of HD/4K/etc photography & video work, just never realized the possibility of selling it online until recently.

If you don't mind sharing -

a) What is your portfolio size?
b) What average monthly earnings (USD) have you seen over the last 12 months?
c) Any specific sites you recommend? (I do see the list on the right, I'm asking about you personally what worked best for you).
d) Any trends/things you'd recommend focusing on? (I.e., certain types of video/styles/etc?)

I also do get the idea of properly keywording/titling/etc the videos/images/etc. Any other recommendations you might make other than that?

Thanks very much!
« Last Edit: January 12, 2018, 20:11 by SuperPhoto »


« Reply #1 on: January 12, 2018, 20:35 »
+8
You'll find we're not too keen on giving out all that data, as it's a dog eat dog world right now.  Still, you might find some useful bits by reading old posts.

steheap

  • Author of best selling "Get Started in Stock"

« Reply #2 on: January 12, 2018, 20:36 »
+2
You might look at some of the blogs out there that explain exactly what you are looking for?

Steve

PS - I mean my own...

« Reply #3 on: January 12, 2018, 20:44 »
0
Mm - didn't think it was really a 'dog eat dog' - simply - because you can't really "copy" a good photo/video. (I.e., there is work involved, which, I think most people are allergic to. And even if you managed to 'copy' the lighting, props, etc - just because you copied it doesn't mean it will sell - because someone already 'beat' you to the punch, etc).

I have taken a look at a few blogs - found the backyardsilver - where I think he said he made about $3k/month. To me - that seems "low" in the stock photography/videography field - but reading some other posts some people seem to be happy to get paid about $50/month.

So I was trying to figure out - if the people making $50/month only say have 10 images uploaded, or - if it's like they having 1000's of images/videos/etc - and are just making that... i.e., how viable it is, etc...

If you know of any major success stories, I'd be interested in hearing about those...

« Reply #4 on: January 12, 2018, 20:46 »
0
hehe @ steve - lol - didn't realize you were posting on this forum (and I 'just' quoted you in my previous post).

Nice to 'virtually' meet you! :)

& PPS - thanks for sharing, does help give an insight!


« Reply #5 on: January 12, 2018, 20:54 »
+8
I didn't say it was about copying.  All that you asked for is what could be considered confidential business data.  And not knowing you from anyone, that's a lot to ask.  Nothing personal.

niktol

« Reply #6 on: January 12, 2018, 20:59 »
+1
"Incognito" is the name of my business model, so...

« Reply #7 on: January 12, 2018, 21:49 »
0
@sean, okay, no problem if you don't wish to share. some people do, some people don't, and I respect both decisions.

SpaceStockFootage

  • Space, Sci-Fi and Astronomy Related Stock Footage

« Reply #8 on: January 12, 2018, 23:44 »
0
These answers relate purely to video...

a) What is your portfolio size?

About 550 give or take.

b) What average monthly earnings (USD) have you seen over the last 12 months?

$3,300

c) Any specific sites you recommend? (I do see the list on the right, I'm asking about you personally what worked best for you).

Pond5, Shutterstock, VideoBlocks, iStock and VideoHive are my five best earners. They're not specifically 'recommendations' though.

d) Any trends/things you'd recommend focusing on? (I.e., certain types of video/styles/etc?)

From my experience, motion graphics work sells better than live action video. It also takes more time, so the key is to find a way to make decent quality stuff quickly. Hybrid shots might be an idea... live action hand holding an animation of the Earth etc. They're pretty common, but I'm sure you could come up with something more unique.

« Reply #9 on: January 13, 2018, 03:59 »
+4
$3k is probably top 2-3% I reckon for individuals. Look at SStocks published results and do some maths ;-).

niktol

« Reply #10 on: January 13, 2018, 04:14 »
0

I have taken a look at a few blogs - found the backyardsilver - where I think he said he made about $3k/month. To me - that seems "low" in the stock photography/videography field - but reading some other posts some people seem to be happy to get paid about $50/month.


which amount are you aiming at?

« Reply #11 on: January 13, 2018, 05:26 »
+1
$3k is probably top 2-3% I reckon for individuals. Look at SStocks published results and do some maths ;-).

Do you have a link to the published results?

It's hard to say exactly how many are working for some of the top contributor accounts, maybe 1, maybe 10, but looking at numbers from various sites, the top players seem to pull in around $30,000-$100,000 per month. That means helicopter aerials of all the major cities and thousands of HQ corporate business shots with successful people.

$3k is top 2-3%? Quite unlikely. You really think 1 out of 50 contributors makes $3k per month? Not even close.

I would guess it's not even top 1%, or top 0.1%.

Assuming you pay all the taxes you should as a business, that's right around the lowest full-time pay you can get where I live (i.e. cleaner). In cheaper countries it would go a long way of course.
« Last Edit: January 13, 2018, 05:43 by increasingdifficulty »

« Reply #12 on: January 13, 2018, 05:50 »
0
@spacestock - thanks. Yes, from my research I was starting to get the feeling motion graphics does tend to sell better... and was looking at some of the talent - and some of it is very, very good... the scene design, the motion, the actual rendering, etc, etc... something I am considering getting into - but realizing there is a bit of a learning curve...

@nitkol - at least $10-$15k/month

@increasingdiffculty - lol - yes, I was noticing that too... there do seem to be a 'lot' of business shots of 'smiling people shaking hands', etc, and even that seems to be a lot (i.e., versus everyone taking a picture of a tree and uploading that)...

basically, trying to figure out what I need to know about this business to be successful at it online...

« Reply #13 on: January 13, 2018, 05:52 »
0
pps #2 - you also do have a good point. in some countries, making $2 USD/hour *is* considered a good wage... so you are competing with hundreds of thousands of people from these types of countries too - part of the reason I think maybe some of these sites can get away with paying contriibutors "$0.35" for a top quality image, etc...

« Reply #14 on: January 13, 2018, 05:57 »
+1
@nitkol - at least $10-$15k/month

Of course, we don't know what kind of work you produce, but to reach that level I would say 10,000 good quality (and commercial) clips would be required (talking live footage only here). If your work is of exceptional quality and hard to reproduce (i.e. helicopter aerials shot on expensive cameras) you would need less.

If you already have a big archive of model released, high quality content, I suppose it could be doable in a year. If not, prepare for a couple of full-time years before you reach that level.

Uploading video to 5 sites is very time consuming.

And 100 slightly different drone shots from the same beach only counts as 1 or 2.  ;)

You'd be surprised how many people come on here and ask why their portfolio of 5,000 clips doesn't bring in more money, when in reality, they only have 500 unique clips.
« Last Edit: January 13, 2018, 06:02 by increasingdifficulty »

SpaceStockFootage

  • Space, Sci-Fi and Astronomy Related Stock Footage

« Reply #15 on: January 13, 2018, 06:01 »
+1
Well, $3K a month is about 35% more than the highest minimum wage in the world (Australia)... so although your statement may be true (right around the lowest full-time pay you can get where I live)... $3K a month isn't exactly on the poverty line, wherever you live!

« Reply #16 on: January 13, 2018, 06:11 »
0
Well, $3K a month is about 35% more than the highest minimum wage in the world (Australia)... so although your statement may be true (right around the lowest full-time pay you can get where I live)... $3K a month isn't exactly on the poverty line, wherever you live!

The minimum wage in Australia is around $2,300 (USD), and where I live, after you pay the necessary business taxes (before income tax), that's approximately what would be left of $3,300. I don't know the business tax rules for Australia, but in most countries, there would be fees to pay before you arrive at the comparable WAGE, that income tax is calculated from. Business income (selling stock) is not comparable to wage.

If you lived in Hong Kong, or any other country with low taxes, you would get to keep all of that. One can also assume that for some people with lower earnings, taxes are simply ignored. So yes, it all depends.  ;)

The point was that maybe 0.1% will see income at that level in this business, just to not make any wild promises.
« Last Edit: January 13, 2018, 06:24 by increasingdifficulty »


SpaceStockFootage

  • Space, Sci-Fi and Astronomy Related Stock Footage

« Reply #17 on: January 13, 2018, 06:25 »
+1
Yeah but nobody quotes earnings after tax. The $2,300 you mention is the minimum wage... which is before any taxes, so if you get $2,300 left from $3,300... then using the same maths, $2,300 is actually $1,602. So $3,300 being the same as $2,300 doesn't work... as you're comparing them differently.   

(It won't be $1,602, as I'm assuming Australia has some kind of minimum earnings threshold like most countries [so that amount will be higher]... but still, I'm just going on the data in this thread)

As far as I'm aware, most published average or median wages are calculated without tax included. As you say... taxes are going to vary widely depending on where you live, so a comparison of amounts before tax would make more sense.
 

« Reply #18 on: January 13, 2018, 06:27 »
0
Yeah but nobody quotes earnings after tax.

Neither did I.

Business earnings (invoiced) is not the same as wage. What you get from the stock sites is not wage/salary. That is a very important difference.

It MAY result in the same amount of money in the end in some countries. In my country (and most western countries), it does not. Taxes are, however, high where I live.
« Last Edit: January 13, 2018, 06:35 by increasingdifficulty »

SpaceStockFootage

  • Space, Sci-Fi and Astronomy Related Stock Footage

« Reply #19 on: January 13, 2018, 06:33 »
0
It is, but not in the context of this thread. The point is that whenever somebody says how much they want to earn a month, how much they've made from a certain agency, how much they get per download etc... 99% of the time they're referring to the actual dollar amount received, not how much they'll have left once they've paid taxes.

But still... taxes or not, if someone gets minimum wage in Australia then they get $2,300 a month or $1,600 a month (or whatever it is)... they don't get $3,300.

SpaceStockFootage

  • Space, Sci-Fi and Astronomy Related Stock Footage

« Reply #20 on: January 13, 2018, 06:36 »
0
You did quote earnings after tax, as you're saying that $2,300 is the same as earning $3,300 when you take taxes into account. When you take taxes into account its less than $2,300... not higher.

« Reply #21 on: January 13, 2018, 06:43 »
0
But still... taxes or not, if someone gets minimum wage in Australia then they get $2,300... they don't get $3,300.

Well, they do (if where I live), it's just that the employer pays the social fees (social security, health, etc.) and you don't see them. As a freelancer/business owner, you see them, and have to pay them.

If you want to compare apples to tree trunks, that's fine, but you get a better picture of reality if you compare apples to apples.

Again, in some countries social security is not mandatory and freelance invoicing could be the same as your wage.

Don't know exactly how it is in the UK, but saw something about 9% social fees (I don't live there, so don't know).

That would mean that a $3,300 freelancer income would be comparable to a $3,003 salary.
« Last Edit: January 13, 2018, 06:46 by increasingdifficulty »

SpaceStockFootage

  • Space, Sci-Fi and Astronomy Related Stock Footage

« Reply #22 on: January 13, 2018, 06:57 »
0
Is the $2,300 before or after tax? The $3,300 I'm quoting is before tax which I think we've already establuished. If the $2,300 minimum wage is after tax then I'm the one comparing apples to tree trunks. If the $2,300 minimum wage is before tax, then you're then one comparing apples to tree trunks.

« Reply #23 on: January 13, 2018, 07:17 »
0
$3k is probably top 2-3% I reckon for individuals. Look at SStocks published results and do some maths ;-).


Do you have a link to the published results?

It's hard to say exactly how many are working for some of the top contributor accounts, maybe 1, maybe 10, but looking at numbers from various sites, the top players seem to pull in around $30,000-$100,000 per month. That means helicopter aerials of all the major cities and thousands of HQ corporate business shots with successful people.

$3k is top 2-3%? Quite unlikely. You really think 1 out of 50 contributors makes $3k per month? Not even close.

I would guess it's not even top 1%, or top 0.1%.

Assuming you pay all the taxes you should as a business, that's right around the lowest full-time pay you can get where I live (i.e. cleaner). In cheaper countries it would go a long way of course.
http://investor.shutterstock.com/phoenix.zhtml?c=251362&p=proxy You have to make lots of assumptions to get a figure ;-). Its a guess really and I can't be bothered to mine into the figures. I was being very optimistic with that figure the point is really If you are going to make 3K you have to work very hard and be very proficient in what you do. In the UK minimum wage is 7.50 an hour say $10 so an income of $1500 is probably the floor. Of course though if you were doing Mstock you would have to take out any expenses.

« Reply #24 on: January 13, 2018, 07:59 »
0
Is the $2,300 before or after tax? The $3,300 I'm quoting is before tax which I think we've already establuished. If the $2,300 minimum wage is after tax then I'm the one comparing apples to tree trunks. If the $2,300 minimum wage is before tax, then you're then one comparing apples to tree trunks.

The $2,300 is before tax. But the $3,300 you are quoting is before social fees AND income tax. Your $3,300 is not a wage since you don't have an employer.

Wage (what most people get) = invoiced minus social fees. Employees don't see the social fees as they are paid by the employer. They still exist.

Freelancer payouts (what you get into PayPal) = invoiced (even if you don't actually send an invoice).

Freelancer wage = invoiced minus social fees. You are your own employer so you pay the social fees. Before tax.

All this is before income tax. Again, some countries don't require social fees (or very low), so it would be the same. But not in most countries where healthcare, education, etc. are fully or partially subsidized.

---

Of course, as a freelancer you can also write off expenses before you pay any fees or taxes - travel, cameras, gas, etc. - something you can't do on your wage.

If you buy a lot of gear, this can balance out.
« Last Edit: January 13, 2018, 08:09 by increasingdifficulty »


 

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