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Author Topic: How many of you are doing stock full-time?  (Read 10981 times)

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« Reply #50 on: November 09, 2019, 10:28 »
0
65% of my income as a professional photographer comes from stock, the rest comes from orders in social photography and reports.

Lark, try to work with models regularly and eventually you gain confidence with them and friendship. Also look for a videographer / photographer to complement you in those sessions and become your partner.

I do. I can work long hours in some periods and then I can do nothing for months. I am very satisfied financially at the moment. But what will be in the future - who knows? I feel free and independent. The only disadvantage is working alone at home. I feel very isolated. Not only that it limits my social contacts but most people cannot understand at all what I am doing and I cannot speak with anyone except with my close relatives about my work which is a substantial part of my life. I live in two separate dimensions - one is online in Internet and the other is my real life. And they do not cross each other except in my mind.


« Reply #51 on: November 09, 2019, 13:43 »
+1
I know asking for what you shoot is a touchy subject. But for the ones that have been doing it full time what things have worked for you apart from finding an absolutely amazing niche to specialize in? What have you automated, are you employing people, what ways of ideation?

Hi,
the only things that work for me are:
1) constant uploads
2) raise the quality bar :)

Some years ago i wrote a little tool for keywording. It's a crap piece of code, full of bugs,
but i use it everyday to speedup the process. I work alone (i refused some collaboration proposals).
Usually i start with a concept and i try to find new ways to illustrate it, nothing special :)

« Reply #52 on: November 09, 2019, 16:20 »
+4
I know asking for what you shoot is a touchy subject. But for the ones that have been doing it full time what things have worked for you apart from finding an absolutely amazing niche to specialize in? What have you automated, are you employing people, what ways of ideation?

1) You do not necessarily need to shoot in niches. Popular themes are popular for a reason. More competition but also more demand.
2) You need to think about how to recycle part of your work some how. Illustrators and motion graphics people can often easily recycle elements of their work to make new stuff. People who do photo composites also recycle part of their work. The recycling creates efficiency.
3) You need to rework your work flow so it moves faster. You may need to think out of the box to do the work flow in an unconventional manner to increase speed.
4) You need to figure out how to produce above average work. High quality work attracts downloads, which pushes the image up in rankings, which attracts more downloads.
5) With so many images already online, volume is sort of key to some extent.
6) Don't produce content that likely no body will want, ie pictures of your socks.
7) Develop some sort of 'style'. Doing the same things over and over again will help you refine your style, which increases speed. With lots of practice, your quality will also go up because you've had more practice. Once you have a style, my guess is that you are also more likely to be booked marked by customers.

« Reply #53 on: November 10, 2019, 09:40 »
+1
Been full-time since 2010 income has gone up and down some but still along for the ride. Can't complain!

« Reply #54 on: November 11, 2019, 11:40 »
+4
On my side I could easily live with the monthly earnings I have, but I keep investing and trying to find new ways to market my images. Note that I mostly do illustrations and videos (since 2009) and I have hired a lot of help to help me continue to create more stock. I do not do much photography as from what I read everywhere, it seems over saturated and it's hard to get a decent income.

I see this as a business so I reinvest part of the earnings to keep making my portfolio grow... I'm playing the game of making the monthly income grow as much as possible while not waiting too long to sit back and cash in as we never know what the market will be in 5 years or 10 years.

Some do not believe the earnings posted here but there is nothing to prove to others. I just keep working and building and finding new ways to market the images... giving a new try to new agencies here and there, working on merchandising (with no results yet), and keep working on my niche.

To me I see this more as a part of my business I work on and the numbers are encouraging on my side, can't complain for now. Like everyone I need to work 3x more to get the increase I would have had before, but I keep finding ways to increase the income.

In 2016 on Shutterstock only, I was making 2x what I was making last year. I tripled my portfolio size, and I just managed to gain as much or a little less than what I was gaining in 2015-2016... I just think that it's a lot harder to grow, but still possible. Hiring help for me was a good idea, but I still have to make up for the investment but it will pay off over the year.

I'm not a good reference of a ''classic microstocker'' but I found my way and it's been working out for me. What charged said is right. To me these days volume is important to some extent, and you need find a workflow that works for you. The ''working hard artist'' who spends a full day creating THE one shot will likely end up frustrated by the results :
Quote
Posted by: charged
on: November 09, 2019, 16:20
1) You do not necessarily need to shoot in niches. Popular themes are popular for a reason. More competition but also more demand.
2) You need to think about how to recycle part of your work some how. Illustrators and motion graphics people can often easily recycle elements of their work to make new stuff. People who do photo composites also recycle part of their work. The recycling creates efficiency.
3) You need to rework your work flow so it moves faster. You may need to think out of the box to do the work flow in an unconventional manner to increase speed.
4) You need to figure out how to produce above average work. High quality work attracts downloads, which pushes the image up in rankings, which attracts more downloads.
5) With so many images already online, volume is sort of key to some extent.
6) Don't produce content that likely no body will want, ie pictures of your socks.
7) Develop some sort of 'style'. Doing the same things over and over again will help you refine your style, which increases speed. With lots of practice, your quality will also go up because you've had more practice. Once you have a style, my guess is that you are also more likely to be booked marked by customers.

« Reply #55 on: November 12, 2019, 07:49 »
0
On my side I could easily live with the monthly earnings I have, but I keep investing and trying to find new ways to market my images. Note that I mostly do illustrations and videos (since 2009) and I have hired a lot of help to help me continue to create more stock. I do not do much photography as from what I read everywhere, it seems over saturated and it's hard to get a decent income.

I see this as a business so I reinvest part of the earnings to keep making my portfolio grow... I'm playing the game of making the monthly income grow as much as possible while not waiting too long to sit back and cash in as we never know what the market will be in 5 years or 10 years.

Some do not believe the earnings posted here but there is nothing to prove to others. I just keep working and building and finding new ways to market the images... giving a new try to new agencies here and there, working on merchandising (with no results yet), and keep working on my niche.

To me I see this more as a part of my business I work on and the numbers are encouraging on my side, can't complain for now. Like everyone I need to work 3x more to get the increase I would have had before, but I keep finding ways to increase the income.

In 2016 on Shutterstock only, I was making 2x what I was making last year. I tripled my portfolio size, and I just managed to gain as much or a little less than what I was gaining in 2015-2016... I just think that it's a lot harder to grow, but still possible. Hiring help for me was a good idea, but I still have to make up for the investment but it will pay off over the year.

I'm not a good reference of a ''classic microstocker'' but I found my way and it's been working out for me. What charged said is right. To me these days volume is important to some extent, and you need find a workflow that works for you. The ''working hard artist'' who spends a full day creating THE one shot will likely end up frustrated by the results :
Quote
Posted by: charged
on: November 09, 2019, 16:20
1) You do not necessarily need to shoot in niches. Popular themes are popular for a reason. More competition but also more demand.
2) You need to think about how to recycle part of your work some how. Illustrators and motion graphics people can often easily recycle elements of their work to make new stuff. People who do photo composites also recycle part of their work. The recycling creates efficiency.
3) You need to rework your work flow so it moves faster. You may need to think out of the box to do the work flow in an unconventional manner to increase speed.
4) You need to figure out how to produce above average work. High quality work attracts downloads, which pushes the image up in rankings, which attracts more downloads.
5) With so many images already online, volume is sort of key to some extent.
6) Don't produce content that likely no body will want, ie pictures of your socks.
7) Develop some sort of 'style'. Doing the same things over and over again will help you refine your style, which increases speed. With lots of practice, your quality will also go up because you've had more practice. Once you have a style, my guess is that you are also more likely to be booked marked by customers.

so you need to work 24 hour and hire people just to keep business on line with last year...imagine if this is sustainable? no it's not...and the more you get older the more you won't have the strength to do this....sure this is a business that can work for some years but unfortunately the business will be over in less thant we think for 90% of contributor..the only way is go where cost of life is cheap and production cost are non existent...maybe there will be possible...it's not a case that every time i browse image in some agency a new serbian or urssian house if production pop up with the same model used and the same kind of shooting...in country where salary lower is 500 600 dollar you can live out of micro stock for long time...in country where is 2000 3000 i doubt many could do this

« Reply #56 on: November 12, 2019, 08:57 »
+1
I sell vector stock illustrations and I have been doing it as full time job for years now.
I think now there is much more competition than few years ago as the numbers of contributors keeps growing, but you can surely give it a try. I am learning about animation now as I think in the future it will be more requested.
I think to get a good result you need to focus on it full time for some months at least, you cant expect to have immediate results.

« Reply #57 on: November 12, 2019, 09:56 »
0
I sell vector stock illustrations and I have been doing it as full time job for years now.
I think now there is much more competition than few years ago as the numbers of contributors keeps growing, but you can surely give it a try. I am learning about animation now as I think in the future it will be more requested.
I think to get a good result you need to focus on it full time for some months at least, you cant expect to have immediate results.

where do you live?

« Reply #58 on: November 12, 2019, 15:17 »
+2
I sell vector stock illustrations and I have been doing it as full time job for years now.
I think now there is much more competition than few years ago as the numbers of contributors keeps growing, but you can surely give it a try. I am learning about animation now as I think in the future it will be more requested.
I think to get a good result you need to focus on it full time for some months at least, you cant expect to have immediate results.

where do you live?

I agree, videos (especially motion graphics and cg animation) will be the stars in the next years! Obviously they will not stand forever but it's part of this business.."adapt or die" (third option...complain)  :D
PS ciao Elena, sono Luca :)

gillian vann

  • *Gillian*
« Reply #59 on: November 13, 2019, 01:55 »
+1
I do stock f/t but I'm not the family breadwinner. I could probably survive on my own living in Thailand on what i make, but living in Australia is expensive, kids are expensive. I make a really decent part-time wage, and given i'm the stay at home mum, it's been the perfect job that has allowed me to freedom to be home with my kids, and still work when I choose. I wish I'd started earlier than I did, I seem to have missed the good ol days.

« Reply #60 on: November 14, 2019, 12:19 »
+7
I live in Canada and average 10k$ USD monthly. To me it's a small gold mine. Sure I currently reinvest a lot to keep making the monthly revenue grow, and I also work video/photo contracts for my clients right now. But the day I decide to sit back and relax, I'll just cash in and stack as much as I can. One of the main thing I stopped doing was come to this forum often and read about every collapse people are having and start working hard. Did this for the past 5 years and the results are there, each year is better than the previous one. The forum is great for information and getting a general pulse of what is happening but mostly I hear complaining about what we cannot change. Learn and adapt, there will never be enough of us complaining to an agency as everyone is working to their individual goal and business.
Mostly it's a great way to earn passive income when you built it to become interesting enough. Sure there are copyrights thief, low earnings agencies and all that crap, but you live with it and keep going on and try to be innovative and find new avenues.

Anyways, was just dropping by to say, it's possible to live with microstock. If you start from scratch right now, I think it will be a lot harder but I am convinced someone who puts the time (maximizing his time) and will into it can gain his piece of the pie.

On my side I could easily live with the monthly earnings I have, but I keep investing and trying to find new ways to market my images. Note that I mostly do illustrations and videos (since 2009) and I have hired a lot of help to help me continue to create more stock. I do not do much photography as from what I read everywhere, it seems over saturated and it's hard to get a decent income.

I see this as a business so I reinvest part of the earnings to keep making my portfolio grow... I'm playing the game of making the monthly income grow as much as possible while not waiting too long to sit back and cash in as we never know what the market will be in 5 years or 10 years.

Some do not believe the earnings posted here but there is nothing to prove to others. I just keep working and building and finding new ways to market the images... giving a new try to new agencies here and there, working on merchandising (with no results yet), and keep working on my niche.

To me I see this more as a part of my business I work on and the numbers are encouraging on my side, can't complain for now. Like everyone I need to work 3x more to get the increase I would have had before, but I keep finding ways to increase the income.

In 2016 on Shutterstock only, I was making 2x what I was making last year. I tripled my portfolio size, and I just managed to gain as much or a little less than what I was gaining in 2015-2016... I just think that it's a lot harder to grow, but still possible. Hiring help for me was a good idea, but I still have to make up for the investment but it will pay off over the year.

I'm not a good reference of a ''classic microstocker'' but I found my way and it's been working out for me. What charged said is right. To me these days volume is important to some extent, and you need find a workflow that works for you. The ''working hard artist'' who spends a full day creating THE one shot will likely end up frustrated by the results :
Quote
Posted by: charged
on: November 09, 2019, 16:20
1) You do not necessarily need to shoot in niches. Popular themes are popular for a reason. More competition but also more demand.
2) You need to think about how to recycle part of your work some how. Illustrators and motion graphics people can often easily recycle elements of their work to make new stuff. People who do photo composites also recycle part of their work. The recycling creates efficiency.
3) You need to rework your work flow so it moves faster. You may need to think out of the box to do the work flow in an unconventional manner to increase speed.
4) You need to figure out how to produce above average work. High quality work attracts downloads, which pushes the image up in rankings, which attracts more downloads.
5) With so many images already online, volume is sort of key to some extent.
6) Don't produce content that likely no body will want, ie pictures of your socks.
7) Develop some sort of 'style'. Doing the same things over and over again will help you refine your style, which increases speed. With lots of practice, your quality will also go up because you've had more practice. Once you have a style, my guess is that you are also more likely to be booked marked by customers.

so you need to work 24 hour and hire people just to keep business on line with last year...imagine if this is sustainable? no it's not...and the more you get older the more you won't have the strength to do this....sure this is a business that can work for some years but unfortunately the business will be over in less thant we think for 90% of contributor..the only way is go where cost of life is cheap and production cost are non existent...maybe there will be possible...it's not a case that every time i browse image in some agency a new serbian or urssian house if production pop up with the same model used and the same kind of shooting...in country where salary lower is 500 600 dollar you can live out of micro stock for long time...in country where is 2000 3000 i doubt many could do this

« Reply #61 on: November 14, 2019, 12:26 »
+2
I live in Canada and average 10k$ USD monthly. To me it's a small gold mine.

Congrats.  That's a great result from those cute illustrations.

« Reply #62 on: November 14, 2019, 12:40 »
+1
I live in Canada and average 10k$ USD monthly. To me it's a small gold mine.

Congrats.  That's a great result from those cute illustrations.
Thanks! :) The color illustration are an investment I did over the last years. They are gaining traction but my vintage portfolio is the main bread earner. Videos also did great but lately Pond5 and Shutterstock sales tanked... we'll see how it goes :)

« Reply #63 on: November 14, 2019, 18:53 »
+1
I use to make more than $10k a month, I don't anymore. I'm sort of surprised that you can make so much from vectors. Good for you. I use to upload vectors, but I don't currently, I didn't think the 20cent downloads was worth my time for the amount of work required. Stylistically you and me are not the same, so I would never do vintage illustrations like you do.

I live in Canada and average 10k$ USD monthly. To me it's a small gold mine.

Congrats.  That's a great result from those cute illustrations.
Thanks! :) The color illustration are an investment I did over the last years. They are gaining traction but my vintage portfolio is the main bread earner. Videos also did great but lately Pond5 and Shutterstock sales tanked... we'll see how it goes :)

« Reply #64 on: November 20, 2019, 04:36 »
0
I sell vector stock illustrations and I have been doing it as full time job for years now.
I think now there is much more competition than few years ago as the numbers of contributors keeps growing, but you can surely give it a try. I am learning about animation now as I think in the future it will be more requested.
I think to get a good result you need to focus on it full time for some months at least, you cant expect to have immediate results.

where do you live?

i live in italy

« Reply #65 on: November 21, 2019, 14:32 »
+3
I do stock f/t but I'm not the family breadwinner. I could probably survive on my own living in Thailand on what i make, but living in Australia is expensive, kids are expensive. I make a really decent part-time wage, and given i'm the stay at home mum, it's been the perfect job that has allowed me to freedom to be home with my kids, and still work when I choose. I wish I'd started earlier than I did, I seem to have missed the good ol days.

I am also doing stock full-time, but not the family breadwinner.  My husband has always wanted me to do more with my stock, so last year an opportunity arose where I could stay home and just work on that. 

I started uploading to stock 9 years ago, but after uploading a small portfolio (about 400 images), I lost interest and hardly ever uploaded.  The images made a small amount of money, but over time, the amount dwindled to less and less. 

My portfolio focus is on quality images, not quantity.  I have just over 1,000 images now.  My earnings have increased and some of my photos have gained traction. I've also been trying to branch out into video since those make more money than still images. 

At this point, I could live comfortably in the Philippines, but not the US. lol

« Reply #66 on: November 26, 2019, 03:18 »
+9
I do stocks full time. For many people with disabilities its the only way to earn money... The stock market is the heaven on earth for me.


AnS

« Reply #67 on: November 26, 2019, 08:17 »
0
For many people with disabilities its the only way to earn money... The stock market is the heaven on earth for me.

Aw, wow. This did not occur to me before, but actually this is so great to hear! Happy for you and for all of them!  :)


 

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