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Author Topic: Realistic Timescale  (Read 5417 times)

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« on: November 04, 2008, 06:41 »
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Hi Guys,

I'm fairly new to Micro-stock, although not to Photography. I'm hoping to make the move to full-time. I'm currently in a job I don't enjoy and the thought of making a living with Photography, my real passion in life, is very attractive.

Currently I have 100 images with SS and about 50 in other libraries. Thats getting me an average of 4 sales or $1 a day on SS and not much on the others. Realistically, how long and how many images does it take to start thinking about resigning from my job and going full time? I'm just after a rough timescale here.


« Reply #1 on: November 04, 2008, 07:26 »
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hi,

I guess it depends on the cost of living on your country. If you live in east europe, some parts of asia, south america or africa it will be more easy to make a living of microstock.
I live in germany and the costs of living are very high in my country. so it will be more difficult to earn enough money. If you are outside the USA it also depends on the exchange rate betwen the USD and your currency. so I  am happy about the current devaluation of the EUR during the past weeks  :)

« Reply #2 on: November 04, 2008, 07:33 »
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I'm in the UK. I wouldn't say the cost of living is extremely high but I struggle on my current wages! :-)

PaulieWalnuts

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« Reply #3 on: November 04, 2008, 07:35 »
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Hard to say. Everybody is different. I've seen some people say it took a year while others have taken 5 years.  I think only a small percentage of people are making a living at this though.

It really depends on how much you need to make to resign, how well your images perform, and how many you can get approved in a given timeframe.

To gauge performance, most people earn .25 to $5 (US) per image per month (PIPM). .50 to $1 seems to be the most common amount. So let's say you're at this for a few months and with 100 images across a dozen sites you're earning $100 per month. That's $1 PIPM. Assuming your PIPM rate stays the same over time, if you needed $5,000 per month to resign you would need 5,000 images. If your PIPM rate was .50 you'd need 10,000 images, etc.

So once you know how many images you need to resign and how many can you get approved per month you should know how long it will take for you. If you submit 40 images per month, 20 get approved, and you need 5,000, it would take about 20 years.

Right now you look like you're in the .10-.15 PIPM rate range but if you just started this in the past couple of months it may take a few months for the PIPM rate to stablize.

« Reply #4 on: November 04, 2008, 07:57 »
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There is one missing element in the above analysis: expenses related to shooting and submitting pictures ...
 >:(

« Reply #5 on: November 04, 2008, 08:05 »
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hey PixelsAway,

do you mean the costs per image?  I think you are right.
cost depends on the one hand on the price of the eqipment. In the US for example cost for camera and equipment is about 30 % lower then here in europe. (based on what I have seen on ebay)
on the other hand you will have cost for models and travel and so on, but it realy depends on what you are shooting.

gunnar

PaulieWalnuts

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« Reply #6 on: November 04, 2008, 08:09 »
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There is one missing element in the above analysis: expenses related to shooting and submitting pictures ...
 >:(

Haa. Yep, that's another factor. Who cares about profits? This is my passion.  ;)

After I add my costs of time, cameras, lenses, software, lighting, props, and everything else I've definately lost money in the past year I've been doing this. It's also become a second full time job. Doh!


« Reply #7 on: November 04, 2008, 09:19 »
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Hi Guys,

I'm fairly new to Micro-stock, although not to Photography. I'm hoping to make the move to full-time. I'm currently in a job I don't enjoy and the thought of making a living with Photography, my real passion in life, is very attractive.

Currently I have 100 images with SS and about 50 in other libraries. Thats getting me an average of 4 sales or $1 a day on SS and not much on the others. Realistically, how long and how many images does it take to start thinking about resigning from my job and going full time? I'm just after a rough timescale here.

Hi,
im always friendly, so please forgive me my harsh words, but are you kidding!?
I.e. Youre at IS since 2002 and your portfolio has only 33 images.
You should upload a lot more images on all agencies, wait which ones accepted and wait which ones sales. Than you look at your earnings, deduct your whole equipment and look whats in your bag at the end of the month. After that you can dream on from a full time job ;)

« Reply #8 on: November 04, 2008, 09:33 »
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Ha ha! @ RH :D No offence taken.

I know I have a long, long way to go but I really just want an indication of how long it would take to get a living out of Microstock. Oh, and it's 100 images rather than 33  ;)

« Reply #9 on: November 04, 2008, 09:35 »
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Ooops, correction RH, Apologies, I didn't realise I'd signed up on IS all that time ago! The difference is, I'm absolutely serious now. It's taken me a while to find my path as it were :-)

« Reply #10 on: November 04, 2008, 09:48 »
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by the looks of your portfolio you should have an average income.  Conservative estimages are $5.00/pic/year high estimates are $15.00/pic/year

if you want to be on the super safe side, take $5.00 and you shouldn't be diaspointed.. just figure out how much you need to make / year and divide by 5.  That's how many images you need... then it all depends on how fast you can get them online.

« Reply #11 on: November 04, 2008, 09:49 »
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Hi Steve,

jokes aside. It depends how stocky your images are. Maybe it comes very soon. Im photographing nearly 30 years and im not a real stock-photographer. So my income is okay, but i cant live without my full time job.
So i wish you a lot of DLs and regards
Ralf

BTW: If you got it, you can spend me a beer ;D

« Reply #12 on: November 04, 2008, 09:52 »
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As many have alluded to, there is no way that someone could answer that question for you.

That would be like someone saying that they have a passion for soccer and would like to know how long it would take them to make a living out of it.

There are just too many factors.  Your lifestyle.  The cost of living where you reside.  What you consider "making a living".  The subject matter of photos you take.  The quality of photos that you take.  The acceptance ratio of your images.  Ad infinitum.

The only thing that you can do at the moment is take your current rate of income and pro-rate that.  You state that you make about $1/day from SS and a little more from the rest.  Let's assume that you total $2/day for the sake of argument.  That comes to a little over $700/yr.  If you are looking to make $35,000/yr, then you would need 50x more images (or 5000 images on SS and 2500 images on the others).  As a point of reference, there are only a few % of submitters that ever have over 2500 images.

If you are serious about this, then I would revisit this topic in about a year after you have uploaded a bunch of images and see what has changed.

« Reply #13 on: November 04, 2008, 10:05 »
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Hey Ralf, I'd be happy to buy you a beer ;D

May thanks to you all. I think I have enough info to go on with. I am looking in the long-term and intend to keep my submissions going. Right now, I'm getting together a shoot (in spare time at work!).

Thanks again

« Reply #14 on: November 04, 2008, 10:18 »
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and remember to keep graphs of your progress and current earnings.  It is VERY helpful to keep motivated and see when things change and progress.

« Reply #15 on: November 04, 2008, 10:36 »
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A typical warning for a stock market:

"Keep in mind when looking at a stock or industry's record that historic returns are not necessarily a predictor of future performance."

It may also be applied to a changing photography stock industry.


« Reply #16 on: November 04, 2008, 12:22 »
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In my experience the only way to make some decent money with microstock is hard work.. there really is no shortcut or get-rich-quickly scheme. Do you want to make money doing this? Then start setting goals like shooting x amount of images and actually go for it . Focus, shoot (or design) and upload :)


« Reply #17 on: November 04, 2008, 14:36 »
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Hard to say. Everybody is different. I've seen some people say it took a year while others have taken 5 years.  I think only a small percentage of people are making a living at this though.

....

To gauge performance, most people earn .25 to $5 (US) per image per month (PIPM). .50 to $1 seems to be the most common amount. So let's say you're at this for a few months and with 100 images across a dozen sites you're earning $100 per month. That's $1 PIPM. Assuming your PIPM rate stays the same over time, if you needed $5,000 per month to resign you would need 5,000 images. If your PIPM rate was .50 you'd need 10,000 images, etc.

....


much depends on the type of stock you're shooting - if you're not shooting models and business stock, the PIPM is going to be a LOT lower.  for me, the only site that reaches $.10 PIPM is SS, the others are barely on the radar.

otoh, PIPM isnt as valid a marker for sites that have very liberal acceptance policies -- you'll end up with a much lower ratio. 

so it all comes back to what you need to live on and whether you can maintain a high submission rate.  for me, the biggest impediement right now is finding time to edit past work; shooting new stuff hasnt been a problem.

steve


 

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