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Author Topic: How many of you are doing stock full-time?  (Read 9828 times)

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« on: August 07, 2019, 06:10 »
0
I am self-employed as a signwriter but have been doing  vector and animation stock for extra cash for a few years.

Would so love to do stock full-time but for now it is just a pipe dream that seems to be getting less of a possibility.

How many of you are making a living out of it? I know depends on living costs, but I am just curious if many actually do.
For me, for now, it's a nice extra small income and good to have some creative freedom (and no clients to deal with!).
 :)suz

« Last Edit: August 07, 2019, 22:22 by suz7 »


« Reply #1 on: August 07, 2019, 06:31 »
+3
proofread your subject line.  ;)  edit: FIXED! 👍
« Last Edit: August 08, 2019, 06:27 by cathyslife »

SpaceStockFootage

  • Space, Sci-Fi and Astronomy Related Stock Footage

« Reply #2 on: August 07, 2019, 07:45 »
+1
Me!

« Reply #3 on: August 07, 2019, 08:00 »
0
Stock generally makes up about half of my income.

« Reply #4 on: August 07, 2019, 08:22 »
0
I do.

Microstock Man

  • microstockman.com

« Reply #5 on: August 07, 2019, 09:35 »
0
It's still possible, just harder than it was.

« Reply #6 on: August 07, 2019, 12:22 »
0
Stock photography is about 4% of my income. Guess its impossible for me to make a living of it.

« Reply #7 on: August 07, 2019, 13:35 »
+2
I still do and have for the last 11 years. Doubt it will be possible in the next 5 years if the trend is heading in the same direction and at the same pace........

« Reply #8 on: August 07, 2019, 14:54 »
+2
I do full-time for the last 10 year .

k_t_g

  • Happy Thanks Giving!
« Reply #9 on: August 07, 2019, 16:56 »
+6
Never! I always saw it as extra par-time equivalent income.
Everyone who qualifies in the creative market and who is honest should have a chance at this.
But these days too much greed on both sides has muddied the waters so to speak so now, I see it as piggy bank money.  ::)
Its like kids at a pinata, or those seagulls in Finding Nemo. Everyone is clamoring for more and repeating "MINE! MINE! MINE!"  The little guy gets squeezed out and gets none in the end.  Just the sad reality of today's world. 😐

« Reply #10 on: August 07, 2019, 18:51 »
+2
as a retiree, I get about 20% of total income from stock, but that's declining; I use it to pay for some of my travel

« Reply #11 on: August 07, 2019, 21:46 »
+2
as a retiree, I get about 20% of total income from stock, but that's declining; I use it to pay for some of my travel

Same here. I feel bad for people who have to make a real living doing this.

« Reply #12 on: August 08, 2019, 01:23 »
+5
Would so love to do stock full-time but for now it is just a pipe dream that seems to be getting less of a possibility.

I make a good full-time income in an expensive Western country from stock (license fees + other royalties). I can't say I spend 40 hours a week on it though, much less than that most of the time. I guess I'm a bit too lazy... But on the other hand, when inspiration strikes, 12-hour days fly by just like that. It's hard to quantify exactly, and if you count thinking about work, procrastinating and reading forums, yeah, then it might be 40+ hours. ;)

I will say that only a small part of that comes from still images. My advice would be to focus on the most difficult (but of course still commercially viable) areas of stock that you still think are fun. So instead of making a simple 2D illustration that artists can churn out in an hour or less, maybe make a stylized animation that will have much less competition.

There is so much you can sell as stock, and more opportunities turn up all the time as new applications or trends become popular. Spend time on YouTube and other social platforms and see what the content creators are using. More likely than not, they didn't make the graphics/titles/animations/music/sfx/etc. themselves - they used stock media.

I frequently see my stuff being used just browsing YouTube or scrolling down my Facebook feed.
« Last Edit: August 08, 2019, 01:44 by increasingdifficulty »

« Reply #13 on: August 08, 2019, 01:54 »
+17
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.

dpimborough

« Reply #14 on: August 08, 2019, 03:46 »
+1
I do but this last two months have been hard :(


« Reply #15 on: August 08, 2019, 03:54 »
0
one is online in Internet and the other is my real life. And they do not cross each other except in my mind.
Real life?
Could you explain me what is it?
:-)

« Reply #16 on: August 08, 2019, 04:14 »
+1
proofread your subject line.  ;)
Whoops!
Thanks ;D

Great insights from everyone, thanks for replying.
 "if you count thinking about work, procrastinating and reading forums" hahahaha!


« Reply #17 on: August 08, 2019, 05:04 »
+4
thanks

Here's an example of what I meant:

Take the "evolution of man" concept and search Shutterstock. On the image/illustration side - thousands and thousands of competing images. This is a concept I imagine would be quite popular in all kinds of situations, but almost any illustrator can quickly make a copy of this idea.

Search the footage side ("evolution man animation"), and what do you know, I find maybe five possible competing clips. FIVE! And they could easily be done much better - I'm thinking walking animated primates with those moving sketch outlines.

And I believe that would be an incredibly useful concept relevant to many content creators.

That was just off the top of my head, and there are thousands of examples like that.

« Reply #18 on: August 08, 2019, 05:34 »
+2
I do, more precisely I'd say, stock is the only work that I do for money, but my living costs are super small.

« Reply #19 on: August 08, 2019, 06:14 »
+1
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.

There are many people like you.
I like to call them (and me) "digital monks".
The "good" thing is that you can spot and pass all this junk
in both digital and " real" world easier and isolate the harmful people around you.

wds

« Reply #20 on: August 08, 2019, 21:19 »
+6
I read the forums full time.  :)

AnS

« Reply #21 on: August 09, 2019, 01:33 »
+1
I will say that only a small part of that comes from still images. My advice would be to focus on the most difficult (but of course still commercially viable) areas of stock that you still think are fun. So instead of making a simple 2D illustration that artists can churn out in an hour or less, maybe make a stylized animation that will have much less competition.

There is so much you can sell as stock, and more opportunities turn up all the time as new applications or trends become popular. Spend time on YouTube and other social platforms and see what the content creators are using. More likely than not, they didn't make the graphics/titles/animations/music/sfx/etc. themselves - they used stock media.

I really like your attitude! Congrats, you seem to adapt and move with the changes of business while still not giving up on having fun! A bit of a role model, to be honest!  :)

May I ask in what program do you work or what do you recommend for graphics/animations?

« Reply #22 on: August 09, 2019, 12:09 »
+5
May I ask in what program do you work or what do you recommend for graphics/animations?

Sure, while animations are not my main focus, I use After Effects mainly for simpler 2D/2.5D stuff and compositing, and Blender + Cinema 4D for pure 3D.

I know After Effects pretty well, but I would consider myself a novice in real 3D work still. I can produce sellable content, but it takes a long time... Learning more every year though. It's important to be curious, creative and open to anything if you want to be able to skip the 9 to 5 in the long run.

And do the opposite of what the "industry pros who have been in this game a long time" tell you. ;)

« Reply #23 on: August 09, 2019, 12:17 »
+1
May I ask in what program do you work or what do you recommend for graphics/animations?

Sure, while animations are not my main focus, I use After Effects mainly for simpler 2D/2.5D stuff and compositing, and Blender + Cinema 4D for pure 3D.

I know After Effects pretty well, but I would consider myself a novice in real 3D work still. I can produce sellable content, but it takes a long time... Learning more every year though. It's important to be curious, creative and open to anything if you want to be able to skip the 9 to 5 in the long run.

And do the opposite of what the "industry pros who have been in this game a long time" tell you. ;)

Thanks for taking the time to give some great advice, also very inspiring
(I laughed when you mentioned the procrastinating)
And to everyone else too, interesting to hear how others are doing:)

« Reply #24 on: August 09, 2019, 13:09 »
+1
More to the point... how much do YOU need to live full time?

I know one woman here in town that lives quite comfortably on $800/mo.  If that were me, then I would say I am just a bit shy of being able to go "full time" for an income.

Personally, $10K/mo is more my style.  And no, stock sales are no more than pocket change and the fun of seeing who liked my stuff enough each day to actually put money on it (as opposed to Facebook 'likes'...).

As it happens though, I am retired.  I travel a lot (8 countries on a 6-month trip already this year), and write a travel/photo blog ( www.mindstormphoto.com ).  That is where most of my focus goes.  After the blog is published, I look to see what else might sell, and upload that too.  I am fortunate enough that I saved and invested heavily when working, so now can do this and no longer have to worry about money. As they say, YMMV... :)

And, FWIW, I do not monetize my blog in any way, and have no interest in doing so.  I started writing it for myself, just to help me remember and relive these trips we take. Then "family and friends" started reading it. Now it has roughly 2000 readers (according to Google Analytics).  In other words, another little ego boost, but with no cash attached. :)

« Reply #25 on: August 09, 2019, 15:26 »
+3
More to the point... how much do YOU need to live full time?

I know one woman here in town that lives quite comfortably on $800/mo.  If that were me, then I would say I am just a bit shy of being able to go "full time" for an income.

Personally, $10K/mo is more my style.  And no, stock sales are no more than pocket change and the fun of seeing who liked my stuff enough each day to actually put money on it (as opposed to Facebook 'likes'...).

As it happens though, I am retired.  I travel a lot (8 countries on a 6-month trip already this year), and write a travel/photo blog ( www.mindstormphoto.com ).  That is where most of my focus goes.  After the blog is published, I look to see what else might sell, and upload that too.  I am fortunate enough that I saved and invested heavily when working, so now can do this and no longer have to worry about money. As they say, YMMV... :)

And, FWIW, I do not monetize my blog in any way, and have no interest in doing so.  I started writing it for myself, just to help me remember and relive these trips we take. Then "family and friends" started reading it. Now it has roughly 2000 readers (according to Google Analytics).  In other words, another little ego boost, but with no cash attached. :)


you don't need money but sell photos...if i were so rich to not have any problem of money for my style, stock would be the last way of spend my time.

« Reply #26 on: August 09, 2019, 15:45 »
+6
if i were so rich to not have any problem of money for my style, stock would be the last way of spend my time.

Then don't do it.  Simple enough decision.

Apparently, you are not yet retired. How do you plan on spending your time when you are?  I'd bet a month's stock income that whatever you think now will not hold up past the first year (if even that far) into your own retirement...

Create a good workflow, and stock media is not really very much work. No, I probably do not wring every last dime out of my media, but then as you point out, I don't need the cash. I do it to the point the enjoyment of the results is greater than the effort. If that balance ever drops below the break-even point (emotionally), then I will stop submitting.

OTOH, I produced 54 instructional videos (60 to 90 min each) between 1995 and 1999.  Those made a good deal of money when they were new ($10K+ per month).  They are still being sold at Amazon, 20 years after the last one was produced.  I still get about $100/mo from Amazon, and have not even looked at them in over 15 years (about the time I turned them over to a small DVD-on-demand company that was later acquired by Amazon).

Again, not a lot of money, but kinda nice to see that people still actually pay for educational videos this long after I produced them on VHS and sold them from my bedroom (and when I DID need the money)... :)


angelawaye

  • Eat, Sleep, Keyword. Repeat

« Reply #27 on: August 10, 2019, 21:07 »
+2
10K a month is insane to me. I live in New York too.

I use to make a full time income with stock. I'm back to doing web and graphic design projects but around 35-40% is stock.

« Reply #28 on: August 10, 2019, 23:19 »
0
it would be pretty difficult to go full time, (not impossible). It would help you have a full time production crew (3-4) people, expert drone operators, tons of models, and money to pay for models and sets.

« Reply #29 on: August 11, 2019, 06:41 »
0
it would be pretty difficult to go full time, (not impossible). It would help you have a full time production crew (3-4) people, expert drone operators, tons of models, and money to pay for models and sets.

thats' why most of success producer are from russia or ukraine at the monet...cost of production one fourth of the rest of western world. because to make money now you need shoot model released images with great content, the only files that cannot be found easily free on the web, good luck using unspkash files with people and no release:)....the rest travel food still life nowadays can be easily found in free website without any difficulties, editorial are a niche if you have interesting files, but again a lot of competition. lifestyle with good model, good concept have still a great potential, especially video.

« Reply #30 on: August 11, 2019, 06:43 »
+1
10K a month is insane to me. I live in New York too.

I use to make a full time income with stock. I'm back to doing web and graphic design projects but around 35-40% is stock.

yesterday i shoot an anniversary for a couple, 3 hours, 800 dollar....those are money., i do full time but i work like 4 different photographer, stock documentary fine art with top notch gallery and assignment both commercially and personally. those are full proof for the future in case as i think stock will sink more and more. i especially focus on rich people who not have any problems in fork out 2000 dollar for engagement shooting or 5000 for a wedding.

« Reply #31 on: September 18, 2019, 11:21 »
0
I absolutely love this thread, for the hope that someday it might get me enough for rent and a few square meals

« Reply #32 on: September 18, 2019, 12:24 »
+5
The best month I ever had was last October when I made just over $25K (I'm primarily video).  I was blown away, since I really only do this part time when I feel like it. 

I haven't made that much in a month since, but an average month for me now is about $12K.

You just have to find a niche and do your best filling it while not overlooking other subjects.  But stay away from subjects that are already heavily saturated.  Don't waste your time.  I think my strength is seeing shots that most others would overlook.  I'm always scanning my surroundings for ideas.  If I don't have my camera with me, I take notes in my phone for later. 

There's still room in this business, you just have to be persistent.

And no, I'm still not "full time" yet.  Maybe soon.


« Reply #33 on: September 18, 2019, 13:43 »
+4
The best month I ever had was last October when I made just over $25K (I'm primarily video).  I was blown away, since I really only do this part time when I feel like it. 

I haven't made that much in a month since, but an average month for me now is about $12K.

You just have to find a niche and do your best filling it while not overlooking other subjects.  But stay away from subjects that are already heavily saturated.  Don't waste your time.  I think my strength is seeing shots that most others would overlook.  I'm always scanning my surroundings for ideas.  If I don't have my camera with me, I take notes in my phone for later. 

There's still room in this business, you just have to be persistent.

And no, I'm still not "full time" yet.  Maybe soon.

$12k per month is a lot of money. You don't link to your account (and neither do I), so I can't just see for myself what you do. "If" you feel comfortable, could you talk in very vague terms what kind of videos you do, and/or, what is your production budget.

Once upon a time many years ago, for a few months I pulled in $25k a month from photos, I don't even make half that anymore. Though times! Back then I was also spending $100k a year on production costs. Now that I own so much stuff, my on going costs now is mostly studio rent and model costs. So a fraction of what I used to spend.

If I were to sum up what I've learned in the last number of years since prices started plummeting, it is automation is so important. Over the years I've spent a lot money on custom software that automate as many things that I need to do on the computer as possible. Basically as my earnings keep falling year on year, I keep learning to cut costs from automation. At my peak I use to have 7 freelancers who did post production work for me. Most of that work is all now done by software.
« Last Edit: September 18, 2019, 13:49 by charged »

« Reply #34 on: September 18, 2019, 14:43 »
+3
Once upon a time many years ago, for a few months I pulled in $25k a month from photos, I don't even make half that anymore. Though times! Back then I was also spending $100k a year on production costs. Now that I own so much stuff, my on going costs now is mostly studio rent and model costs. So a fraction of what I used to spend.

Ah, the good 'ole days.

« Reply #35 on: September 19, 2019, 03:41 »
0
It is not possible to make more than 10% of a living from stock media

SpaceStockFootage

  • Space, Sci-Fi and Astronomy Related Stock Footage

« Reply #36 on: September 19, 2019, 04:54 »
+2
It is not possible to make more than 10% of a living from stock media

$25K a month is 10% of a living?! You must have some fancy tastes!


« Reply #37 on: September 19, 2019, 05:02 »
0
lol

« Reply #38 on: September 19, 2019, 06:06 »
+2
It is not possible to make more than 10% of a living from stock media

$25K a month is 10% of a living?! You must have some fancy tastes!

Nobody believes when people boast of huge earnings. It's obvious they're just trying to boost their ego and probably only earn a few dollars every now and then

« Reply #39 on: September 19, 2019, 06:10 »
0
Should replace the Lamborghini with a Tesla.

« Reply #40 on: September 19, 2019, 06:23 »
+4
It is not possible to make more than 10% of a living from stock media

$25K a month is 10% of a living?! You must have some fancy tastes!

Nobody believes when people boast of huge earnings. It's obvious they're just trying to boost their ego and probably only earn a few dollars every now and then

Those earning numbers are totally reasonable for a top producer who can spot niches.  I lived from Stock photography for many years.  Now my earnings have plummeted and I've branched out to other things and have little time for stock photo but I sure miss it.  This has been an interesting thread.  I'm awfully curious how much (or little) my earnings would have tanked if I had kept uploading at the speed I once was.

« Reply #41 on: September 19, 2019, 07:01 »
0
.
« Last Edit: September 19, 2019, 07:46 by georgep7 »

SpaceStockFootage

  • Space, Sci-Fi and Astronomy Related Stock Footage

« Reply #42 on: September 19, 2019, 07:48 »
+5
It is not possible to make more than 10% of a living from stock media

$25K a month is 10% of a living?! You must have some fancy tastes!

Nobody believes when people boast of huge earnings. It's obvious they're just trying to boost their ego and probably only earn a few dollars every now and then

I have no reason not to believe them. And if you're going to lie (and you're only making a few dollars here and there) maybe best to suggest you make $200 a month or $2.5K a month!

But still... what's 'a living'? Somewhere between $1K and $5K a month depending on where you live? So are you saying that it's not possible to make more than $100 to $500 a month making stock? I think this opinion might be heavily influenced by your own results rather than the market as a whole!

« Reply #43 on: September 19, 2019, 08:27 »
+4
It is not possible to make more than 10% of a living from stock media

$25K a month is 10% of a living?! You must have some fancy tastes!

Nobody believes when people boast of huge earnings. It's obvious they're just trying to boost their ego and probably only earn a few dollars every now and then

Perhaps you weren't around in the mid to late 2000s. $25k a month OR MORE was definitely possible for many of iStock's top sellers back during that time. For a period of time you could see total sales per contributor and you could guess at their earnings from that. Even when the downloads number went into a fuzzy number, you could still guess by looking at the fuzzy number change over time. Now that number is no longer public. There is someone on this forum whom at the time I was guessing was probably making $500,000 per year from selling photos.

StockDaebak

« Reply #44 on: September 19, 2019, 09:58 »
+2
Doing stock video full time here for a few years, almost all editorial branded content too and I did ok until this year but I was making around $2000 to $4000 per month and then this April it dropped to $200 to $400 per month.

So many factors for the sudden decline I can't list them all but the agencies are doing their best to lead the race to the bottom for some reason by forcing our prices down, capping search results and doing deals with suppliers and allowing them to sell for much higher prices than we can on their platforms, the agencies are forcing us out of business and probably because it's easier and cheaper for them to deal with a few large suppliers rather than thousands of individuals like us.


« Reply #45 on: September 19, 2019, 11:16 »
+1
10K a month is insane to me. I live in New York too.

Well, the $10K/mo is not "basic living expenses." That only runs about $1400/mo here in Ecuador.  I couldn't spend more than that if I tried.

However, we travel 3 to 4 months per year (did 6 months this year, but that was too much -- glad to be home relaxing at the moment!).  That is where the costs add up. We budget $100K/yr for "travel and toys" (meaning new cameras, drones, computers, whatever)

And no, stock sales add up to maybe paying or a new camera or two each year, but not much more than that.  (my Sony 7R4 is already on pre-order! :) )

« Reply #46 on: September 19, 2019, 11:24 »
0
Thats still a long way off, i can maybe earn enough to get a Sony a7III this year. Guess the game is too ramp up the numbers and get some crazy good content this year


« Reply #47 on: September 19, 2019, 14:26 »
+1
full time since 2012

« Reply #48 on: November 08, 2019, 22:44 »
0
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?

Brasilnut

  • Author Brutally Honest Guide to Microstock & Blog

« Reply #49 on: November 09, 2019, 03:29 »
+3
I recently had to go back into full-time non-photography related work to make ends meet. $1k - $1.3k a month isn't enough to live on in most developed countries.

Still earning passively indefinitely while working on something else is the huge benefit of this business model.

« 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 »
+3
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 »
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.


« 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 »
+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.

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 »
0
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 »
+5
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 »
+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.

« Reply #62 on: November 14, 2019, 12:40 »
0
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 »
0
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: Yesterday at 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


 

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