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Author Topic: How can I make $150k/year from stock photos/videos?  (Read 5415 times)

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« on: March 11, 2019, 19:31 »
0
Title says it all. I'm genuinely interested in figuring out how can I make $150k/year from stock photos/videos?

It's fun to do - now I'd like to figure out how to reach those numbers. Figured I may as well ask in case anyone has some good ideas. Ideas/suggestions?

Perhaps - hypothetically - imagine you personally *were* currently making $150k/year from microstock. What would you have to be doing to acheive that?

Thanks!
« Last Edit: March 11, 2019, 20:43 by SuperPhoto »


Shelma1

« Reply #1 on: March 11, 2019, 19:33 »
+28
When you find out, let us know.

« Reply #2 on: March 11, 2019, 20:04 »
+17
Lololoololololol.

« Reply #3 on: March 11, 2019, 20:17 »
+27
First you have to invent a time machine.  Set it to go back to 2005.  Check your computer's hard drive to see if your photos/videos survived the trip.  Assuming they did, upload them all.  Enjoy a few years of six-figure income until 2012-ish when the tidal wave of competition hits and your income falls by around 20% each year.

Now get back in the time machine, go back to 1980 and buy a bunch of Apple stock.

« Reply #4 on: March 11, 2019, 20:42 »
0
First you have to invent a time machine.  Set it to go back to 2005.  Check your computer's hard drive to see if your photos/videos survived the trip.  Assuming they did, upload them all.  Enjoy a few years of six-figure income until 2012-ish when the tidal wave of competition hits and your income falls by around 20% each year.

Now get back in the time machine, go back to 1980 and buy a bunch of Apple stock.

If I invented a time machine - while yes - I probably would still do some microstock (think of all the cool 'historic' photos I could get) - I'd probably be focused on other things other than just microstock :)

But - it's a serious question - if you were making $150k, what would you be doing to do so?

« Reply #5 on: March 11, 2019, 21:25 »
+3
30,000 high quality shots with no redundancies at all top agencies might do it... this year.  Then add or replace at least 20% per year to maintain sales. 

« Reply #6 on: March 11, 2019, 22:01 »
+6
30,000 high quality shots with no redundancies at all top agencies might do it... this year.  Then add or replace at least 20% per year to maintain sales.

Even then, you better be in a lot of HCV niches.  And your style and subject matter better be very hard for others to match, because the copycats will be all over you.

I believe there are only 50-100 microstockers doing six figures a year.   That's out of, what, 50,000 or so actively microstocking?   Many of those at the top are image factories.  How will you compete? 

« Reply #7 on: March 11, 2019, 22:11 »
+1
Hahaha

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dpimborough

« Reply #8 on: March 11, 2019, 23:52 »
+3
Its not possible unless you establish a video/image factory

« Reply #9 on: March 11, 2019, 23:54 »
+3
About 5,000 to 10,000 clips of similar production quality and subject matter as hotelfoxtrot would probably do it:

https://www.pond5.com/stock-video-footage/1/artist%3Ahotelfoxtrot.html#1/2063/artist:hotelfoxtrot

Of course, those shots cost a lot to make, so if you're talking $150k profit, you'd probably need 20,000-30,000.

« Reply #10 on: March 12, 2019, 00:01 »
0
About 5,000 to 10,000 clips of similar production quality and subject matter as hotelfoxtrot would probably do it:

https://www.pond5.com/stock-video-footage/1/artist%3Ahotelfoxtrot.html#1/2063/artist:hotelfoxtrot

Of course, those shots cost a lot to make, so if you're talking $150k profit, you'd probably need 20,000-30,000.

Mm, good point - I had forgotten about them. But yes - I think I read/heard somewhere they actually do much better than that...

« Reply #11 on: March 12, 2019, 00:05 »
+5
First you start with $200,000 and then buy 50K worth of gear.

I think it would be very hard to impossible as an individual these days - so you either have to have an image/clip factory, or start a microstock site that just sends all the "assets" to other sites and skims 70-85%.

« Reply #12 on: March 12, 2019, 00:27 »
0
About 5,000 to 10,000 clips of similar production quality and subject matter as hotelfoxtrot would probably do it:

https://www.pond5.com/stock-video-footage/1/artist%3Ahotelfoxtrot.html#1/2063/artist:hotelfoxtrot

Of course, those shots cost a lot to make, so if you're talking $150k profit, you'd probably need 20,000-30,000.

Mm, good point - I had forgotten about them. But yes - I think I read/heard somewhere they actually do much better than that...

Yes, they do MUCH better than that, but they have 70,000+ clips.

Last thing I read was that only at Pond5, they make about $30,000 per month (with a smaller portfolio). They have a strong presence there, with their stuff being promoted a lot, but that's also the case at Shutterstock, so they might pull in $50,000 or so in a good month.

But they are a whole team - production planners, editors, filmers, uploaders, keyworders, not to mention all the models.

---

But no, I do not think you need to be a factory to make $12k per month. You just have to work full-time and be good. I think a lot of people here forget that you have to be good. :)
« Last Edit: March 12, 2019, 00:29 by increasingdifficulty »

« Reply #13 on: March 12, 2019, 00:59 »
0
Quote
It's fun to do

It is rare that anything that produce fun, also produce that great amount of money! :D :P

Guess (by reading others) that you have to treat it like a job? And still no guarantee of success?

« Reply #14 on: March 12, 2019, 02:56 »
+2
About 5,000 to 10,000 clips of similar production quality and subject matter as hotelfoxtrot would probably do it:

https://www.pond5.com/stock-video-footage/1/artist%3Ahotelfoxtrot.html#1/2063/artist:hotelfoxtrot

Of course, those shots cost a lot to make, so if you're talking $150k profit, you'd probably need 20,000-30,000.

Mm, good point - I had forgotten about them. But yes - I think I read/heard somewhere they actually do much better than that...

Yes, they do MUCH better than that, but they have 70,000+ clips.

Last thing I read was that only at Pond5, they make about $30,000 per month (with a smaller portfolio). They have a strong presence there, with their stuff being promoted a lot, but that's also the case at Shutterstock, so they might pull in $50,000 or so in a good month.

But they are a whole team - production planners, editors, filmers, uploaders, keyworders, not to mention all the models.

---

But no, I do not think you need to be a factory to make $12k per month. You just have to work full-time and be good. I think a lot of people here forget that you have to be good. :)
You have to be more than "good" probably in the top 1% at least....and if you were that talented probably your skills would be better directed elsewhere.

« Reply #15 on: March 12, 2019, 04:19 »
+4
You have to be more than "good" probably in the top 1% at least....

Well, yeah. Why should a mediocre amateur make $12,000 per month?

and if you were that talented probably your skills would be better directed elsewhere.

So you're effectively saying that stock is just a place for mediocre talent? With that mindset, of course you will never make any real money. Now, I would say that most stock producers have mediocre skills, but that just makes it all the more profitable to be really good.

Some 1%-ers don't want to be out working real gigs, chasing down clients, doing commercials or films. That is not everyone's idea of fun. Some are very happy being able to work from home, enjoying a passive income. By the way, many real pros also do stock to a certain extent.

Anyway, it seems the mindset of a lot of people is that "stock is supposed to be bad, or mediocre", and we see the "good enough for stock?" comment come up almost every other day here. No wonder you're all complaining so much about sales. :)

And lastly, stock is more than Pond5 and Shutterstock. The web is a big place and many millions of $ are spent on stock.

« Reply #16 on: March 12, 2019, 04:37 »
+2
Yes some people prefer shooting and selling stock which is why I said probably. I doubt though pursuing that avenue will produce the 150K. Which is fine because most of us settle for less because it's something we enjoy.

Being in say the top 10% is not mediocre. Being in the top 1% is exceptional.

With the Microstock market as it is NOW do you really think anyone who isn't a brilliant businessperson and photographer could enter the market today  and make 150k pa? and they couldn't make more elsewhere?

"By the way, many real pros also do stock to a certain extent" So stock photographers not real pros then? But of course it makes sense to produce stock while waiting for more lucrative work..which is exactly how it started.


« Reply #17 on: March 12, 2019, 04:49 »
+9
xx
« Last Edit: May 11, 2019, 05:25 by Justanotherphotographer »

« Reply #18 on: March 12, 2019, 05:12 »
+1
Being in say the top 10% is not mediocre. Being in the top 1% is exceptional.

That depends entirely on the barriers to entry. For any profession requiring a 4-5-year education, the top 10% are of course not mediocre. Because the really bad ones never got into the school in the first place.

Today, in microstock, there is virtually zero barrier to entry. You don't even need a camera. So yes, I would definitely say that only the top 1% are good, if even that many.

With the Microstock market as it is NOW do you really think anyone who isn't a brilliant businessperson and photographer could enter the market today  and make 150k pa? and they couldn't make more elsewhere?

Why should you not have to be a brilliant business person and photographer to make really good money?

Make more elsewhere? Yeah, you could work oil rigs. Or a hundred other things. Or become a famous photographer doing celebrity portraits. I heard that's really easy and all it takes is talent. ;)

« Reply #19 on: March 12, 2019, 05:16 »
+1

« Reply #20 on: March 12, 2019, 05:33 »
+3
...
Perhaps - hypothetically - imagine you personally *were* currently making $150k/year from microstock. What would you have to be doing to acheive that?

NOTHING, since making already $150k, it would be already enough to me...
Hem, yes, the only thing would be to keep the magical recipe far away from a forum post.

Uncle Pete

  • Great Place by a Great Lake - My Home Port
« Reply #21 on: March 12, 2019, 06:07 »
+4
Title says it all. I'm genuinely interested in figuring out how can I make $150k/year from stock photos/videos?

It's fun to do - now I'd like to figure out how to reach those numbers. Figured I may as well ask in case anyone has some good ideas. Ideas/suggestions?

Perhaps - hypothetically - imagine you personally *were* currently making $150k/year from microstock. What would you have to be doing to acheive that?

Thanks!

Open a video agency and pay poor suckers about 15% cut when you distribute their videos.

Otherwise I think the answer is pretty close to this:

First you start with $200,000 and then buy 50K worth of gear.

I think it would be very hard to impossible as an individual these days - so you either have to have an image/clip factory, or start a microstock site that just sends all the "assets" to other sites and skims 70-85%.


More like, start with $100,000 buy gear, hire models, editors, and rent locations. Build a collection of 10,000 good videos your project starting goal. In other words, you can make $150k a year, but it's going to take maybe $100,000 funding the startup and probably five years, in the current market, to do that.

MxR

« Reply #22 on: March 12, 2019, 06:15 »
+3
shot 500 isolated apples images on white bakcground and 500 clips of regular women looking smartphone and smiling.

« Reply #23 on: March 12, 2019, 08:07 »
+1
Quote
and if you were that talented probably your skills would be better directed elsewhere.

This month March 2019 I got payed for August 2018 tv commercial work. And this, only after labour court order. If I remember right "we" have bought some clips from SS. Guess what, the contributor got payed his cut, whatever the price was. I, (the emploee/editor), didn't. No "talent" factor included in this story I guess...

:/
« Last Edit: March 12, 2019, 08:10 by georgep7 »

Brasilnut

  • Author Brutally Honest Guide to Microstock & Blog

« Reply #24 on: March 12, 2019, 10:41 »
+5
Title says it all. I'm genuinely interested in figuring out how can I make $150/year from stock photos/videos?

It's fun to do - now I'd like to figure out how to reach those numbers. Figured I may as well ask in case anyone has some good ideas. Ideas/suggestions?

Perhaps - hypothetically - imagine you personally *were* currently making $150/year from microstock. What would you have to be doing to acheive that?

Thanks!

$150 a year is quite realistic. You'll need about 150-300 images spread out at at least a dozen agencies. Ideally they'll have excellent technical standards (focus, low noise, even lighting, plenty of copy space). The content should be in-demand and ideally model-released with young attractive people doing fun activities in an authentic manner. Then you'll want to keyword the images to an excellent level using relevant keywords so buyers can find those images.

$150 a year is very reasonable and I hope that answers your question. Good luck!  :P


 

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