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Author Topic: Expectations: what is your approx. return per 100 images  (Read 19415 times)

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PaulieWalnuts

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« Reply #25 on: March 12, 2011, 15:19 »
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Thanks all, great answers.  i don't plan to do any pears, apples, strawberry, et al isolated on white; i do have some ideas for some new stuff; as a former scientist i have some ideas in that arena also.

Scientists shaking hands?


« Reply #26 on: March 12, 2011, 15:28 »
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Goldfish in lab coats!

« Reply #27 on: March 12, 2011, 15:47 »
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Goldfish in lab coats!

 Thanks for the idea.. I'm off to shoot before anyone gets these images uploaded.!!

« Reply #28 on: March 12, 2011, 17:47 »
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Goldfish in lab coats!

i like it

« Reply #29 on: March 12, 2011, 18:20 »
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Either do it, or don't.  Just don't come in doing isolated pears and apples and then complain it doesn't support your wildlife habit.

Correct.  Shoot Kiwi.

I haven't tracked Return Per Image / Month since before I went exclusive in the summer of 2009.  Back then I recall averaging about $0.80 per image per month.  I would suspect it is much lower these days as libraries have expanded greatly while I have been less active.

« Reply #30 on: March 12, 2011, 18:34 »
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John, just in case you find that traditional microstock shooting a little soul s*cking.....  (LOL, the forum automatically removed that word that rhymes with f.... so I had to add an asterisk)

Are you comfortable with Photoshop at all?   I am going to go out on a limb here and toss you another option suggesting that you can experiment a bit with your current library....  You really have some exceptional shots, but what about turning them into commercial concepts?  Have you seen John Lund's work?  www.johnlund.com  He does this crazy, amazingly creative work with animals - elephants meditating on mountaintops, or surfing in the ocean kinda stuff.  Dogs drinking coffee, or opening presents at a birthday party.  He must spend hours in photoshop, but man his work is fun and very memorable.

Keep your pure nature portfolio - but maybe think about recycling your shots AND you can even use some culled shots that you originally found awkward or with poor framing etc. for some photoshop concepts.  I didn't dig too deep into your library, and I'm not going to hotlink to your photos to mess up your ranking but I've inserted the direct links.

http://www.visceralimage.net/cpg/albums/userpics/10002/normal_mcwfxar-000742~0.jpg
This photo  could be turned into a Christmas theme - separate the wolves a bit and have them fighting over a nicely wrapped christmas present OR a big bone with a ribbon.  Change the background to a nice eye popping graduated blue sky with a colourful Christmas tree and/or Santa's sleigh etc... then swap the background out with a fireplace with Christmas stockings and garland.  

Or this one http://www.dreamstime.com/stock-photo-coyote-image13644580

Place your wolf on a larger canvas, turn it to night and have a full moon in the opposite corner with a big spread for copy.  Then turn your wolf into a sillhouette and place her directly in front of a big full moon.  It's really a spectacular nature photo, a wild animal in a natural environment, doing that howling thing we all hear about and it is exactly the kind of shot you would look for if looking for a wolf - but, unfortunately other than that it's not terribly "commercial".  That doesn't diminish how wonderful it is.

Since you've done the work isolating that wolf and repainting in hair etc. you would want to use it as many times as you can with as many different concepts.    Take this other wolf, throw her in a tower, maybe with one of those pink princess hats with a flowing ribbon and he can be the Romeo below singing to his Juliette in the tower.  http://www.dreamstime.com/royalty-free-stock-photography-coyote-image13644557

Then you can sell them as greeting cards on Zazzle too - so you've developed another revenue stream.

Sometimes it doesn't have to be elaborate photoshopping either - dropping in a sky or making the canvas larger for example can really change the look and make it more useful for a designer.  Photoshop isn't the idea of fun for a lot of people, and someone who goes to the extremes that you do to get such fabulous and pure nature photos may be dead against it - but I'm guessing that (in microstock) one well executed concept created in photoshop could equal maybe 30 good nature shots.  

« Reply #31 on: March 12, 2011, 18:57 »
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Really great suggestions Pixart!

« Reply #32 on: March 12, 2011, 19:01 »
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^^^ Now that is such a good idea.

I can't remember the photographer's name but he and his wife used to complain bitterly on the old Yahoo microstock forum about microstock in general. Anyway he had a port containing many very ordinary images of zoo animals (I assumed) on Alamy and other places. One of his images sold last year, if I remember correctly, of an elephant superimposed on a surfboard at something like $20K. It wasn't even particularly well executed (massive understatement) but it certainly didn't have much competition.

I'm sure one of m'learned friends here will be able to identify the original story.

« Reply #33 on: March 12, 2011, 20:04 »
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Pixart and others;

Thanks; really, Thanks!  That post took alot of thought and time; really helpful.  You are correct, my preference is time in the field not time behind the computer.  One look at my images and you can see they are pretty raw and direct from the camera, minor tweaks for white balance or saturation but basically directly out of the camera.

I have never been a fan of photoshop as I just do not like the time behind the computer; but then again, I like to eat food and I like to drive my car (when I get one) to sites to take pictures, so much easier than walking or riding the bus with a 600mm, camera body, heavy tripod and head, etc-so-I should try some of these on a rainy day.

I like to think of concepts and parodies; so this is right up my alley.  Now, if I could team up with a designer; that would be the perfect thing.

« Reply #34 on: March 12, 2011, 20:12 »
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^^^ There's a lot of PS expertise available from places like India at relatively cheap prices. Just Google it. The difficult bit might be finding one who is used to working to microstock quality standards.

« Reply #35 on: March 12, 2011, 20:25 »
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^^^ There's a lot of PS expertise available from places like India at relatively cheap prices. Just Google it. The difficult bit might be finding one who is used to working to microstock quality standards.

Thanks but really not interested in forging a relationship with someone in India.

RacePhoto

« Reply #36 on: March 13, 2011, 01:46 »
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Really great suggestions Pixart!

+1 gazillion

amazing

« Reply #37 on: March 13, 2011, 08:17 »
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^^^ There's a lot of PS expertise available from places like India at relatively cheap prices. Just Google it. The difficult bit might be finding one who is used to working to microstock quality standards.


Thanks but really not interested in forging a relationship with someone in India.


You don't need to work together with them, just use their time and services for the isolation work.
I tested this company :  http://www.clippingprovider.com/CP_II_EU/Welcome.html
You can send them 4 to 5 test files for free.   Send them a few of your best shots, and choose difficult isolation cases, like the wolf.
Later on, you can sell (1) the wolf on white and (2) the wolf-against-the-moon like already suggested.
They even add the clipping path.

lisafx

« Reply #38 on: March 13, 2011, 14:20 »
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Thanks but really not interested in forging a relationship with someone in India.

Since designers are our primary customers, maybe you can hookup with somebody in the design forums at one of the micros. 

« Reply #39 on: March 13, 2011, 16:34 »
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Thanks but really not interested in forging a relationship with someone in India.

Since designers are our primary customers, maybe you can hookup with somebody in the design forums at one of the micros. 

Thanks lisa, i thought about that and have contacted the lady that came up with the idea; waiting for her reply with acceptance or denial before I contact others.

« Reply #40 on: March 13, 2011, 20:11 »
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Had enough of Russia?;-)
Return per image per month - 1-2 dollars on average, unless you do only highly conceptual shots and then it could be up to 5-7.

« Reply #41 on: March 13, 2011, 21:21 »
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Had enough of Russia?;-)
Return per image per month - 1-2 dollars on average, unless you do only highly conceptual shots and then it could be up to 5-7.

Thanks Elena;  I still love Russia and photographing the wildlife here but it is a very difficult environment to work in, difficult to get around and near the animals, and difficult for an American with all the border patrol checks, security checks, registration issues, et al.  Nevertheless, major reason for return is to seek treatment for my eyes and digestion.  I am yearn for American food and Mexican food; neither is available here in Far East Russia.

Elena, $1-2/image; is that per month.  I assume so; with a port. of roughly 10,000 images, one could be looking at 120K per year; I understand there are many cost involved but that is still respectable.

For others that may be reading, here is my return for wildlife images.  Approx. 1000 images across all sites (except IS, only 30 images on IS); return is approx $300/month or roughly $0.30 per image/month.  The market for wildlife is a bit less so I am not disappointed with these results; especially considering the clothing styles and other considerations do not change for wildlife; they pretty much wear the same clothes year to year; so hopefully the images will keep a constant sales rate year to year.


« Reply #42 on: March 14, 2011, 03:05 »
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Had enough of Russia?;-)
Return per image per month - 1-2 dollars on average, unless you do only highly conceptual shots and then it could be up to 5-7.

Thanks Elena;  I still love Russia and photographing the wildlife here but it is a very difficult environment to work in, difficult to get around and near the animals, and difficult for an American with all the border patrol checks, security checks, registration issues, et al.  Nevertheless, major reason for return is to seek treatment for my eyes and digestion.  I am yearn for American food and Mexican food; neither is available here in Far East Russia.

Elena, $1-2/image; is that per month.  I assume so; with a port. of roughly 10,000 images, one could be looking at 120K per year; I understand there are many cost involved but that is still respectable.

For others that may be reading, here is my return for wildlife images.  Approx. 1000 images across all sites (except IS, only 30 images on IS); return is approx $300/month or roughly $0.30 per image/month.  The market for wildlife is a bit less so I am not disappointed with these results; especially considering the clothing styles and other considerations do not change for wildlife; they pretty much wear the same clothes year to year; so hopefully the images will keep a constant sales rate year to year.

I think any business plan that takes into consideration 1$-2$ RPI is wrong. I am not saying there aren't people who don't achieve this but it is well above average as you can see for yourself in this un-official and unscientific survey.
When you make a business plan you take into account the most probable outcome, in your case be it 30c. If you get more than that, well that's a bonus. (You should also consider what will happen if you're RPI will drop! will you be able to sustain yourself)
In addition if I where you I would invest time and effort in trying to upload more to IS. Even with all of the negative feedback, for that vast majority of people here they seem to always be in the top 3 earners.
Not submitting to them is a mistake IMO.
Your assumption that if you have 10x port size you will make 10x money is wrong. The rule of diminishing returns applies here. In addition in large portfolios there is always self-cannibalization of your own work.
IMH you should not worry much about statistics and numbers. Do what you are GOOD at and do what you LIKE DOING. Think of MS as a business (think Yuri) and start submitting like crazy (yes also to IS).
Quality and quantity is the name of the game, do this and the $$$ will follow.  It's working for us so far...

« Reply #43 on: March 14, 2011, 03:44 »
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Thanks Aeonf;

I am submitting to IS but they only allow 18/week

« Reply #44 on: March 14, 2011, 03:45 »
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my humble opinion is that if you aim for 50/month instead of 100 you will double your RPI
eta typo

« Reply #45 on: March 14, 2011, 04:50 »
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my humble opinion is that if you aim for 50/month instead of 100 you will double your RPI
eta typo

Even if that where true, why would one do that ? The end goal is to make money with the lowest risk and volatility possible, not to have a high RPI.

« Reply #46 on: March 14, 2011, 05:48 »
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if he doubles his rpi with 50 over what he would make with a 100 he would get the same amount of money, wouldn't he?
only for the time saved with keywording it would be worth it ;D

« Reply #47 on: March 14, 2011, 09:24 »
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My conclusion from reading the advise and helpful stats of others is, there is not a one to one relationship between the number of images and income. The more you upload, the lower the RPI will be. Also if it matters, someone can delete images that don't sell after a year and their RPI will go up.

Nonsense.  That's like saying the more you work, the lower your hourly rate is.  If that's happening to you, you'd be crazy not to QUIT.

In my experience, my RPI has gone UP over time, not down.  I've been doing this for three years.   In my first months, my daily RPI was about 10 cents per image.  It's steadily risen, and today stands at 14 cents.  I have not deleted ANY images from my port.  My goal is not to increase RPI but to increase revenue.  Watching my RPI tells me whether I am doing things right, and helps me forecast for the future.  Yes, I could delete my worst selling images and RPI would increase, but that would defeat the purpose!   If my RPI is gradually increasing, that means I'm creating less images like my worst selling images.  You use RPI as a learning and forecasting tool, not bragging rights!

If your RPI is falling, you are doing things wrong.  Maybe you're not learning as you go along.  Maybe you're uploading more of the same that is simply competing with your existing images.  Either way, why are you doing it?  RPI should be flat or growing, or you're wasting your time.

« Reply #48 on: March 14, 2011, 09:38 »
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When you make a business plan you take into account the most probable outcome, in your case be it 30c. If you get more than that, well that's a bonus. (You should also consider what will happen if you're RPI will drop! will you be able to sustain yourself)....

Your assumption that if you have 10x port size you will make 10x money is wrong. The rule of diminishing returns applies here. In addition in large portfolios there is always self-cannibalization of your own work.r...

First part... yes, make a business plan.  Forecast a "probable outcome" over weeks, months, years.  This will give you a good target to shoot for.  Assume a certain RPI, like 30 cents in this example, and project it out against a set number of daily uploads.  Hitting this revenue target should be your goal as time goes on.  This is what I did three years ago, and I'm right where I'd projected I would be now.  (Some months like April - Aug I lag a bit under the goal line, but in great months like Jan - Mar, I'm riding well over it.)

Second part... if you are doing things right, you can increase your port 10x and make 10x the money.  But as you can tell by the majority of responses here, very few can make this happen.  The big risk, as many point out, is cannibalizing your own work.  You have to constantly cover new subject matter.  Plus, if you are perceptive, you will learn pitfalls to avoid -- stylistic techniques that don't sell, subjects that are overcovered or not worth covering -- and this will help you maintain or grow your RPI.  People who tell you that maintaining RPI is impossible just haven't figured out how to do it.  They close their eyes and ears to those who are doing it and say "na na na, can't hear you!  Can't be done!"  You need to recognize these folks when you see them, take their words with a grain of salt, and stay on task.

« Reply #49 on: March 14, 2011, 10:26 »
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But as you can tell by the majority of responses here, very few can make this happen.
This sounds about right. It's tough. Expect road blocks, walls and delays. It would be nice to do it perfectly, but it may not come out that way. Especially if you are like me, and like to do things that aren't popular. But, what's the fun in doing it someone else's way when you can do it the wrong way your own way. ;D


 

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