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Author Topic: monthly earnings question?  (Read 1746 times)

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« Reply #25 on: January 13, 2018, 10:37 »
+2

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


That's quite ambitious I must say, at least in photography. Of course you do video which is not something I really know about. However, considering the type of questions you are asking, I would say that you have a long learning curve ahead of you before you can realize your potential. Not to dissuade you or anything, but think hard before you invest years of your time in a very fickle market.


steheap

  • Author of best selling "Get Started in Stock"

« Reply #26 on: January 13, 2018, 10:46 »
0
Interesting discussion and I certainly agree with the last comment from Niktol:
Quote
That's quite ambitious I must say, at least in photography. Of course you do video which is not something I really know about.

One thing in this discussion about earnings that hasn't been mentioned - photo and video licensing is very different to other sorts of "work for hire" in that the earnings are not directly related to the work that you are doing in a particular year. So you can stop working on stock photos for 12 months and do something else, and, to a large degree, the income from your photos will continue to arrive. I've not seen any really substantive work on how long that will continue and at what rate it will fall off, but you are certainly looking at several years of similar if falling income after you stop submitting.

I guess a real economics expert could amortize that income back to what you are earning now to give you a better picture of your prospects!

Steve
« Last Edit: January 13, 2018, 10:49 by steheap »

steheap

  • Author of best selling "Get Started in Stock"

« Reply #27 on: January 13, 2018, 10:48 »
0
Duplicate. Sorry

« Reply #28 on: January 13, 2018, 10:49 »
0
Interesting discussion and I certainly agree with the last comment from Niktol:
Quote
https://www.backyardsilver.com/2015/03/serious-eats-guide-to-food-photography/

One thing in this discussion about earnings that hasn't been mentioned - photo and video licensing is very different to other sorts of "work for hire" in that the earnings are not directly related to the work that you are doing in a particular year. So you can stop working on stock photos for 12 months and do something else, and, to a large degree, the income from your photos will continue to arrive. I've not seen any really substantive work on how long that will continue and at what rate it will fall off, but you are certainly looking at several years of similar if falling income after you stop submitting.

I guess a real economics expert could amortize that income back to what you are earning now to give you a better picture of your prospects!

Steve
I think though it would be hard for anyone to estimate as the future is so uncertain. We may all be Kodakcoin millionaires ;-).

« Reply #29 on: January 13, 2018, 11:09 »
0
I think though it would be hard for anyone to estimate as the future is so uncertain. We may all be Kodakcoin millionaires ;-).

Not that hard, but collection of data will take some time. You are right about the Kodakcoin though. BTW I am spending all my revenues on buying lottery tickets, and that's my way of financial planning.

steheap

  • Author of best selling "Get Started in Stock"

« Reply #30 on: January 13, 2018, 11:54 »
+1
I guess you could estimate it reasonably well if you looked at the earnings of images first uploaded in 2012, say, and tracked them year by year. Of course, that assumes that the agencies don't downgrade the portfolio of someone that stops uploading.

Steve

« Reply #31 on: January 13, 2018, 12:22 »
+1
I guess you could estimate it reasonably well if you looked at the earnings of images first uploaded in 2012, say, and tracked them year by year. Of course, that assumes that the agencies don't downgrade the portfolio of someone that stops uploading.

Steve
You could if you think the last 5 years reflects what will happen in the next 5....I doubt it myself. Any forecast based on past data only really works in a stable or predictable  environment.

« Reply #32 on: January 13, 2018, 12:26 »
0
It is stable and predictable to a degree. I would go with reasonable projections for one year ahead if past 2-3 years are analyzed.

« Reply #33 on: January 13, 2018, 12:37 »
+2
It is stable and predictable to a degree. I would go with reasonable projections for one year ahead if past 2-3 years are analyzed.
Yeah id say two years is reasonable but I doubt a mortgage provider would agree ;-0. Although of course some believe that SS determine your earnings down to the nearest cent ;-).

« Reply #34 on: January 13, 2018, 12:59 »
+1
It is stable and predictable to a degree. I would go with reasonable projections for one year ahead if past 2-3 years are analyzed.
Yeah id say two years is reasonable but I doubt a mortgage provider would agree ;-0. Although of course some believe that SS determine your earnings down to the nearest cent ;-).

Reasonable projections cannot rely on the revenue from a single agency. In that respect I believe exclusives are much harder to predict. People get worked up because of daily fluctuations in sales, agencies constantly tinkering with search algorithms (if that's a real thing), prioritization of contributors, caps, real or imagined, all sorts of random things, but in fact it's all noise. There are much more important parameters which aren't agency-dependent than all this nonsense. And those are never mentioned on this forum.

Hey I'm not insisting on anything. It's not academia where I have to validate every  statement and approach.

ShadySue

  • There is a crack in everything
« Reply #35 on: January 13, 2018, 13:31 »
+2
The OP needs to be specific about whether s/he is talking gross or net. Some of the biggest earners also have the largest expenses, for models, muas, props, locations etc.

I don't think there is much mileage in projecting forward - the agencies keep changing the goalposts (though that applies to iS/Getty more than most) and your files are totally at the mercy of search algorithms.

« Reply #36 on: January 13, 2018, 15:06 »
0
I doubt many will share so academic really...you are right though money grossed is very different from net profit. Personally I wouldn't spend money I haven't got yet from such a precarious exercise unless I had a fall back but I do project earnings forward but don't bet my essential spending on it......

« Reply #37 on: January 13, 2018, 16:51 »
0
@shady - I'm talking gross.

You can always cut down on your expenses (i.e., buy a used camera instead of brand new) so your net profit is higher... but yes -  wanted to know what the gross sales were before taxes/expenses/etc... and what kind of effort needs to be put in to acheive specific goals, etc...

Brasilnut

  • Author of the Brutally Honest Guide to Microstock
« Reply #38 on: January 14, 2018, 00:17 »
0
Going back to the OP's original question, there's something to be said about the drawbacks of being results-oriented. In other words, asking how much one can earn before investing in those magical 10,000 words is putting the cart before the horse.

I used to play a lot of poker and perhaps this analogy rings true for this business. In poker, you can make the optimal decisions and lose in the short term (which can feel like an eternity). Eventually with enough smart decisions you'll end up ahead. Many amateur poker players make the mistake of changing their (optimal) strategy when in the short term results are unfavorable.

With stock photography you can spend a considerable investment on gear/setup, models, location, keywording services, uploading software and see the shoot become a flop. This can be to no fault of our own since client habits can be unpredictable to sites chafing the Lagos. What works for me is trying to keep my costs ridiculously low (which can be challenging since I do a lot of travel photography).

A recent example of lower costs is a session I did with my awesome 91 year old grandfather on the theme of fitness for seniors. I wrote about it on my blog:

https://brutallyhonestmicrostock.com/2018/01/11/photo-shoot-older-couple-exercising/

Even if these don't sell, we just had a lot of fun.

« Last Edit: January 14, 2018, 00:24 by Brasilnut »

Brasilnut

  • Author of the Brutally Honest Guide to Microstock
« Reply #39 on: January 14, 2018, 00:24 »
0
duplicate (trying to write long posts on phone is tough)
« Last Edit: January 14, 2018, 00:27 by Brasilnut »

Brasilnut

  • Author of the Brutally Honest Guide to Microstock
« Reply #40 on: January 14, 2018, 00:25 »
0
Going back to the OP's original question, there's something to be said about the drawbacks of being results-oriented. In other words, asking how much one can earn before investing in those magical 10,000 hours is like putting the cart before the horse.

I used to play a lot of poker and perhaps this analogy rings true for this business. In poker, you can make the optimal decisions and lose in the short term (which can feel like an eternity). Eventually with enough smart decisions you'll end up ahead. Many amateur poker players make the mistake of changing their (optimal) strategy when in the short term results are unfavorable.

With stock photography you can spend a considerable investment on gear/setup, models, location, keywording services, uploading software and see the shoot become a flop. This can be to no fault of our own since client habits can be unpredictable to sites chafing the Lagos. What works for me is trying to keep my costs ridiculously low (which can be challenging since I do a lot of travel photography).

A recent example of lower costs is a session I did with my awesome 91 year old grandfather on the theme of fitness for seniors. I wrote about it on my blog:

https://brutallyhonestmicrostock.com/2018/01/11/photo-shoot-older-couple-exercising/

Even if these don't sell, we just had a lot of fun.
[/quote]
[/quote]

SpaceStockFootage

  • Space, Sci-Fi and Astronomy Related Stock Footage

« Reply #41 on: January 14, 2018, 00:34 »
+6
Maybe it's my overly suspicious nature, but do you read each thread with the primary thought in your head of... "What reply can I provide that will allow me to casually slip in a link to my website, in the hopes that somebody might buy my book"?

 


Brasilnut

  • Author of the Brutally Honest Guide to Microstock
« Reply #42 on: January 14, 2018, 05:46 »
0
I want to reinforce the point to keep costs down by shooting friends and relatives, with examples of mg latest shoot. Would be too much unnecessary work and cost  to open up a whole new blog site.  :)

Sorry about duplicates above I don't know what happen (when I tried to edit it made a new post)


« Reply #43 on: January 14, 2018, 05:56 »
0
"With stock photography you can spend a considerable investment on gear/setup, models, location, keywording services, uploading software and see the shoot become a flop. This can be to no fault of our own" well it is really may be unavoidable and will happen but I'd put it down to poor research. Done it many times myself if my pictures don't sell I don't blame the crooked agencies or luck.......

« Reply #44 on: January 14, 2018, 07:09 »
+1
Well stock-photography is ALL about shooting what sell finding a niche etc or else the whole venture is futile! to a newbiee just scan the internet and see whats there. Its a cut-throat game and all friends here but dead enemies in searches, agencies etc.
Thats what its all about.

« Reply #45 on: January 14, 2018, 07:26 »
0
Well stock-photography is ALL about shooting what sell finding a niche etc or else the whole venture is futile! to a newbiee just scan the internet and see whats there. Its a cut-throat game and all friends here but dead enemies in searches, agencies etc.
Thats what its all about.
One of those rare occasions when I agree ;-).

« Reply #46 on: January 14, 2018, 14:10 »
+1
I would not discount the vagaries of what happens on the sites - delays in indexing, search changes, and someone else uploading a flood of similar content (or not) right after you can all have a huge effect on how well an image sells. Unfortunately there isn't a lot we can do about it other than upload more so that those effects get averaged out.

These things can happen in our favor or against them. I know of instances where this worked in my favor, and I suspect ones where they went against me.

The more your images are unique and in demand the more they will sell no matter what the agencies do or don't do.

« Reply #47 on: January 14, 2018, 15:00 »
0
I would not discount the vagaries of what happens on the sites - delays in indexing, search changes, and someone else uploading a flood of similar content (or not) right after you can all have a huge effect on how well an image sells. Unfortunately there isn't a lot we can do about it other than upload more so that those effects get averaged out.

These things can happen in our favor or against them. I know of instances where this worked in my favor, and I suspect ones where they went against me.

The more your images are unique and in demand the more they will sell no matter what the agencies do or don't do.
yes of course there's luck or as some like to call it "statistical variation" but as you say the harder (and smarter) you work the luckier you get. You can control what you do but not your luck.


 

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