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Author Topic: How many of you are doing stock full-time?  (Read 7218 times)

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« 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 »
+5
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 »
+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.

« 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 »
+1
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 »
+2
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 »
+1
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 »
+1
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 »
+1
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 »
0
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 »
+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

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 »
0
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.

« Reply #44 on: September 19, 2019, 09:58 »
0
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 »
0
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 »
0
full time since 2012


 

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