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Author Topic: Profitable?  (Read 8978 times)

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PaulieWalnuts

  • On the Wrong Side of the Business
« on: July 25, 2014, 08:37 »
+5
This question came to me from another thread. People always come here trying to figure out how much they can make doing micro. Nobody seems to ask what it takes to be profitable. They only care about how much they can earn per month or year.

I then see some people responding that they have thousands of images and are making a hundred-ish dollars per month. I can't imagine those figures being worth anyones time. There are costs for everything even when trying to be frugal. Camera, memory cards, camera accessories, computer upgrades, gas to travel, parking fees, props, models, and on and on. And then theres time to take pictures and the ton of time to edit, keyword, submit pictures, redo rejections, etc. Micro is a lot of work.

And overall things seems to have taken a downturn from a few years ago. Contributors are reporting they're growing their portfolio but income is dropping.

Can anyone turn a profit earning .05 cents per image per month? Is anyone in micro profitable anymore?


« Reply #1 on: July 25, 2014, 08:50 »
0
I'm... :)

« Reply #2 on: July 25, 2014, 09:52 »
+1
Is anyone in micro profitable anymore?

I assume many people are (probably not as many as there should be though). It doesn't take too much to cover my operational expenses. The time part is kind of tricky because I can work a lot on stock one week and none the next. Or, I could stop working on stock all together and probably make the same amount. I still enjoy doing it though. That said, it would be nice to get paid more per sale at most sites. That would make everything so much easier.

Ed

« Reply #3 on: July 25, 2014, 10:21 »
+4
I would say that for most people, this is a hobby and they are not profitable.

My overhead (insurance, depreciation on gear, internet access, web hosting, creative cloud membership, etc.) works out to about $16 per day.  That's what it costs for me to sit and do nothing.

If you add in studio rent/fees, model, makeup, etc. then those costs can add up.  I'm willing to bet 95% of the people contributing to the micros have not sat down and done the math.

I've had model shoots that have cost me as much as $1,200 and I've had model shoots that cost me as much as $10.  It is very difficult to churn a profit while shooting on speculation - or shooting strictly for stock.

« Reply #4 on: July 25, 2014, 10:51 »
+4
I profit on old images.  Don't shoot often or spend as much now and only do if I think there's money in it.  Less profitable to speculate anymore.  Low commissions may have kill innovating

« Reply #5 on: July 25, 2014, 16:00 »
+1
I profit on old images.  Don't shoot often or spend as much now and only do if I think there's money in it.  Less profitable to speculate anymore.  Low commissions may have kill innovating

wow, u read my mind, so u get 1 heart...as i have been thinking this for months now.
i look at my sales charts. it is good, been earning more than before. but  i can count my regulars on both my hands and feet. it is like you say PB, sit on my skinny @r$e and just watch the $$$ roll in.

now i can see why Yuri makes that much more with a lot more $$$$$$$$$ . it all started many years ago, and we gain that search position. and then you do nothing else.
just like the other stock exchange,no???

i like to think the new works make as much, since i insist my new work surpasses that of my initial years. but the clients don't seem to care, or mind.
and neither do i, so long as they keep downloading my regular sellers.

repeat PB what u say.. i echo too..
Low commissions may have kill innovating
before this, if my new work sells on the first hour, i can safely say it will be my regular money earner.
today, for months, new work see 2,5, 10 sales and they die off.
so, why even bother?

back to paulie's question. i do zero costing or low expense images for microstock.
like i said, i make food, i shoot food, i eat food.
and if it makes $$$ , i buy more food.

only problem is my tummy gets bigger, and my wallet too. so why complain? LMAO
« Last Edit: July 25, 2014, 16:02 by etudiante_rapide »

« Reply #6 on: July 26, 2014, 07:05 »
0
It's passive income once you're done. Forget about it for a few months,bam! new lenses, new camera bodies. If you're not doing it full time, that is.

PaulieWalnuts

  • On the Wrong Side of the Business
« Reply #7 on: July 26, 2014, 08:09 »
+4
It's passive income once you're done. Forget about it for a few months,bam! new lenses, new camera bodies. If you're not doing it full time, that is.

Even doing it part time is still work and for some people it probably works out to be $1-$2 per hour. Minimum wage here in the US is around $8 per hour. Maybe a part time job would be a better return on time and more money.

Just doing some loose math with 1,000 images. Minimum of 30 minutes each to shoot, edit, keyword and upload. That's 500 hours. Earning .10 cents per image per month equals $100 per month or $1,200 per year. That's $2.40 per hour. And I realize it's recurring revenue but images lose sales volume quickly. Mine peak after about six months and bottom out after about a year. You must keep producing new images otherwise income will dry up. And there are a lot of people doing much better than .10 PIPM but you would need to be doing 3x better just to earn minimum wage. And most minimum wage jobs don't require hundreds or thousands of dollars in costs for you to do the job.

Which goes back to my point of I wonder why some people spend a huge amount of time and money on this for very little return and probably no profit.

« Reply #8 on: July 26, 2014, 08:36 »
-1
It's passive income once you're done. Forget about it for a few months,bam! new lenses, new camera bodies. If you're not doing it full time, that is.

Even doing it part time is still work and for some people it probably works out to be $1-$2 per hour. Minimum wage here in the US is around $8 per hour. Maybe a part time job would be a better return on time and more money.

Just doing some loose math with 1,000 images. Minimum of 30 minutes each to shoot, edit, keyword and upload. That's 500 hours. Earning .10 cents per image per month equals $100 per month or $1,200 per year. That's $2.40 per hour. And I realize it's recurring revenue but images lose sales volume quickly. Mine peak after about six months and bottom out after about a year. You must keep producing new images otherwise income will dry up. And there are a lot of people doing much better than .10 PIPM but you would need to be doing 3x better just to earn minimum wage. And most minimum wage jobs don't require hundreds or thousands of dollars in costs for you to do the job.

Which goes back to my point of I wonder why some people spend a huge amount of time and money on this for very little return and probably no profit.
1. You don't understand the concept of passive income. Sells do dry out but after a while remain constant. I have seen a port of 500ish with no upload for years.
2. Not everybody lives in the USofA. Which do you enjoy more? minimum wage job? photography?
3. You actually don't need hundreds of thousand dollars to stock. (Although I did spend hundreds Ks myself. I found out later that I only need a normal zoom)

One of the key to success is to keep the production cost low. Income increases with number/quality of image, not linearly but almost.

Stockphotography is similar to buying stock in stock market. You invest only once.

PaulieWalnuts

  • On the Wrong Side of the Business
« Reply #9 on: July 26, 2014, 09:02 »
0
It's passive income once you're done. Forget about it for a few months,bam! new lenses, new camera bodies. If you're not doing it full time, that is.

Even doing it part time is still work and for some people it probably works out to be $1-$2 per hour. Minimum wage here in the US is around $8 per hour. Maybe a part time job would be a better return on time and more money.

Just doing some loose math with 1,000 images. Minimum of 30 minutes each to shoot, edit, keyword and upload. That's 500 hours. Earning .10 cents per image per month equals $100 per month or $1,200 per year. That's $2.40 per hour. And I realize it's recurring revenue but images lose sales volume quickly. Mine peak after about six months and bottom out after about a year. You must keep producing new images otherwise income will dry up. And there are a lot of people doing much better than .10 PIPM but you would need to be doing 3x better just to earn minimum wage. And most minimum wage jobs don't require hundreds or thousands of dollars in costs for you to do the job.

Which goes back to my point of I wonder why some people spend a huge amount of time and money on this for very little return and probably no profit.
1. You don't understand the concept of passive income. Sells do dry out but after a while remain constant. I have seen a port of 500ish with no upload for years.
2. Not everybody lives in the USofA. Which do you enjoy more? minimum wage job? photography?
3. You actually don't need hundreds of thousand dollars to stock. (Although I did spend hundreds Ks myself. I found out later that I only need a normal zoom)

One of the key to success is to keep the production cost low. Income increases with number/quality of image, not linearly but almost.

Stockphotography is similar to buying stock in stock market. You invest only once.

Oh boy. Yes I understand the concept of passive income. Regular income with little work. Technically if you submit 1 image and earn $1 dollar per year that's passive income. And submitting 10,000 images, quitting, and earning $1 per year would be passive income. Would it be profitable? No. 

Yes I understand not everybody lives in the US. All financial stats vary based on a lot of different conditions. $1 per hour in certain countries may be a good wage, but again, that's why I pointed out "here in the US" which you seem to be overlooking.

You need at least a camera which is going to be hundreds of dollars. And just because you have a phone or existing camera, in business, it's still a cost. And you're not going to make much, or any, money shooting things around your house or in your backyard. Unless your back yard has the Eiffel Tower or a modeling agency that offers free models.

Good luck with the stock market.

Goofy

« Reply #10 on: July 26, 2014, 09:33 »
0
In my case I do this strictly as a hobby thus 'profit' really isn't a concern to me. My other friends have hobby like - golf, fishing, traveling or collecting cars which is more expensive than my hobby...

« Reply #11 on: July 26, 2014, 09:46 »
+2
In my case I do this strictly as a hobby thus 'profit' really isn't a concern to me. My other friends have hobby like - golf, fishing, traveling or collecting cars which is more expensive than my hobby...
That's an interesting concept of fun that you have haha
I would never do micro if I wasn't after a way to make money online, thus profit is the reason I'm here.

« Reply #12 on: July 26, 2014, 11:54 »
0
It's passive income once you're done. Forget about it for a few months,bam! new lenses, new camera bodies. If you're not doing it full time, that is.

Even doing it part time is still work and for some people it probably works out to be $1-$2 per hour. Minimum wage here in the US is around $8 per hour. Maybe a part time job would be a better return on time and more money.

Just doing some loose math with 1,000 images. Minimum of 30 minutes each to shoot, edit, keyword and upload. That's 500 hours. Earning .10 cents per image per month equals $100 per month or $1,200 per year. That's $2.40 per hour. And I realize it's recurring revenue but images lose sales volume quickly. Mine peak after about six months and bottom out after about a year. You must keep producing new images otherwise income will dry up. And there are a lot of people doing much better than .10 PIPM but you would need to be doing 3x better just to earn minimum wage. And most minimum wage jobs don't require hundreds or thousands of dollars in costs for you to do the job.

Which goes back to my point of I wonder why some people spend a huge amount of time and money on this for very little return and probably no profit.
1. You don't understand the concept of passive income. Sells do dry out but after a while remain constant. I have seen a port of 500ish with no upload for years.
2. Not everybody lives in the USofA. Which do you enjoy more? minimum wage job? photography?
3. You actually don't need hundreds of thousand dollars to stock. (Although I did spend hundreds Ks myself. I found out later that I only need a normal zoom)

One of the key to success is to keep the production cost low. Income increases with number/quality of image, not linearly but almost.

Stockphotography is similar to buying stock in stock market. You invest only once.

Oh boy. Yes I understand the concept of passive income. Regular income with little work. Technically if you submit 1 image and earn $1 dollar per year that's passive income. And submitting 10,000 images, quitting, and earning $1 per year would be passive income. Would it be profitable? No. 

Yes I understand not everybody lives in the US. All financial stats vary based on a lot of different conditions. $1 per hour in certain countries may be a good wage, but again, that's why I pointed out "here in the US" which you seem to be overlooking.

You need at least a camera which is going to be hundreds of dollars. And just because you have a phone or existing camera, in business, it's still a cost. And you're not going to make much, or any, money shooting things around your house or in your backyard. Unless your back yard has the Eiffel Tower or a modeling agency that offers free models.

Good luck with the stock market.
With that attitude you're not going very far. Trust me, there's a lot to shoot 'in house' if you have some creativity. You can get models for 'free' if you're good enough. I do portraiture and weddings so models are willing to pose in exchange of images.

Camera gears are investments. Just like buying stock and earning dividends. It's almost one time investment. In our case gears, time, production cost are 'investment'. Earning is comparable to dividends. After break-even it's profit.

For faster break-even the only thing that can be easily sacrificed is production cost. This will lower image quality.

I started with just 400D now I use 5D3(which I realised I don't really need for stock. Too bad I shoot weddings too) that's something.

Stock photography can be profitable. There are already many people doing full time. It's the method you need to find by yourself to make it as profitable as possible.

The question is: do you really want to sell mediocre images for pennies for the rest of your life?
« Last Edit: July 26, 2014, 11:58 by Epsilonth »

« Reply #13 on: July 26, 2014, 12:11 »
+2
It's passive income once you're done. Forget about it for a few months,bam! new lenses, new camera bodies. If you're not doing it full time, that is.

+1

it is , as paulie says, not passive income to those who go to it on a regular basis, pumping in 100, 1000, images wkly, mthly,etc.. oblivious to their trial balance and P&L .  in that sense, it can
become a total PITA  ;D


but as goofy points out, some ppl fish for fun,etc. my own ex-business colleague in music fished for fun, has a pencil boat and tons of lures,etc... he travels all over the peninsula to fish. got divorced because he was spending more time on fish than wife lol.
the same with music. many times, as musicians, we rant about how little money we made at times. but another colleague who sings in everything, from janis blues to theatre,etc.. pointed out to me, that she would sing anyway, so whether she made pennies or 10 K ,it is still as Epsilonth calls it
passive income.

it is passive income for those of us who have to shoot no matter what.

i shoot Events photography, model portfolio, etc.. none of these go into micro. but i shoot food
which i eat , and this is passive income to me.
yes, in that sense, micro "stock" or any "stock" photography is similar to "stock" market.

you don't trade daily, you put in and you let it build (or fall). then you watch the passive income roll in, if you invested well.

if you're doing it full time, you won't be considering this passive income;
you consider it a PITA, having to jump through hoops, on a daily basis.
and needing to replace your camera from wear and tear.


still, many of us, shooting 1,000 frames daily , regardless of whether it is to earn money or not.
it is once again, as an actress i shot last week tells me, when i told her she looks like having fun
for as long as i have been watching her at the Event. she says, "everything i do, i am having fun;
the money is just the icing".

otoh, stock photographers do not find it fun, if they are not balancing the books.
in this case, they throw in the towel.
i think it's all about finding a balance,
and having more than one income source. and then you have indeed, several passive income
and not have to lick the boots of the agencies.  and throughout the years, when one passive income is low, the other peaks and you're still balancing the books

« Last Edit: July 26, 2014, 12:22 by etudiante_rapide »

« Reply #14 on: July 26, 2014, 12:29 »
+1
It kinda gotten out of topic now. To sum up. My point is: This is passive income.that recurring cost is almost non existent  It will be profitable no matter what. Unless what you shoot is really expensive to produce or your image is really amateurish.

The question should be when it will break even and turn profit. You need to do a break-even analysis. Basically time when (initial cost fixed cost variable cost) - all income = 0. Will It be in days?weeks? Months?

You wouldn't want to be dead before that! With this really simple method you will know where you need to keep the cost down.

« Reply #15 on: July 26, 2014, 15:11 »
+1
It's passive income once you're done. Forget about it for a few months,bam! new lenses, new camera bodies. If you're not doing it full time, that is.

Even doing it part time is still work and for some people it probably works out to be $1-$2 per hour. Minimum wage here in the US is around $8 per hour. Maybe a part time job would be a better return on time and more money.

Just doing some loose math with 1,000 images. Minimum of 30 minutes each to shoot, edit, keyword and upload. That's 500 hours. Earning .10 cents per image per month equals $100 per month or $1,200 per year. That's $2.40 per hour. And I realize it's recurring revenue but images lose sales volume quickly. Mine peak after about six months and bottom out after about a year. You must keep producing new images otherwise income will dry up. And there are a lot of people doing much better than .10 PIPM but you would need to be doing 3x better just to earn minimum wage. And most minimum wage jobs don't require hundreds or thousands of dollars in costs for you to do the job.

Which goes back to my point of I wonder why some people spend a huge amount of time and money on this for very little return and probably no profit.
1. You don't understand the concept of passive income. Sells do dry out but after a while remain constant. I have seen a port of 500ish with no upload for years.
2. Not everybody lives in the USofA. Which do you enjoy more? minimum wage job? photography?
3. You actually don't need hundreds of thousand dollars to stock. (Although I did spend hundreds Ks myself. I found out later that I only need a normal zoom)

One of the key to success is to keep the production cost low. Income increases with number/quality of image, not linearly but almost.

Stockphotography is similar to buying stock in stock market. You invest only once.

Oh boy. Yes I understand the concept of passive income. Regular income with little work. Technically if you submit 1 image and earn $1 dollar per year that's passive income. And submitting 10,000 images, quitting, and earning $1 per year would be passive income. Would it be profitable? No. 

Yes I understand not everybody lives in the US. All financial stats vary based on a lot of different conditions. $1 per hour in certain countries may be a good wage, but again, that's why I pointed out "here in the US" which you seem to be overlooking.

You need at least a camera which is going to be hundreds of dollars. And just because you have a phone or existing camera, in business, it's still a cost. And you're not going to make much, or any, money shooting things around your house or in your backyard. Unless your back yard has the Eiffel Tower or a modeling agency that offers free models.

Good luck with the stock market.
With that attitude you're not going very far. Trust me, there's a lot to shoot 'in house' if you have some creativity. You can get models for 'free' if you're good enough. I do portraiture and weddings so models are willing to pose in exchange of images.

So hilarious.  Some newbie lecturing Pauly on how to go far in stock.  This guy has been successful for years.  He don't need your advice.  You need his.  If you ignore, well that's on you. 

« Reply #16 on: July 26, 2014, 18:03 »
+1
So hilarious.  Some newbie lecturing Pauly on how to go far in stock.  This guy has been successful for years.  He don't need your advice.  You need his.  If you ignore, well that's on you.

 ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D
like the other thread where the newbie told SJLocke.. and u r who??? or something like that.
this is funny too.  8)


Goofy

« Reply #17 on: July 26, 2014, 18:32 »
+2
So hilarious.  Some newbie lecturing Pauly on how to go far in stock.  This guy has been successful for years.  He don't need your advice.  You need his.  If you ignore, well that's on you.

 ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D
like the other thread where the newbie told SJLocke.. and u r who??? or something like that.
this is funny too.  8)

and if memory serves me correct - that newbie also  called Sean a troll as well- they are long gone now... 8)

« Reply #18 on: July 26, 2014, 18:34 »
+2
So hilarious.  Some newbie lecturing Pauly on how to go far in stock.  This guy has been successful for years.  He don't need your advice.  You need his.  If you ignore, well that's on you.

 ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D
like the other thread where the newbie told SJLocke.. and u r who??? or something like that.
this is funny too.  8)

and if memory serves me correct - that newbie also  called Sean a troll as well- they are long gone now... 8)

LMAO , so i am not the only one who caught that ! cheers ! ;D

Goofy

« Reply #19 on: July 26, 2014, 18:37 »
+1
So hilarious.  Some newbie lecturing Pauly on how to go far in stock.  This guy has been successful for years.  He don't need your advice.  You need his.  If you ignore, well that's on you.

 ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D
like the other thread where the newbie told SJLocke.. and u r who??? or something like that.
this is funny too.  8)

and if memory serves me correct - that newbie also  called Sean a troll as well- they are long gone now... 8)

LMAO , so i am not the only one who caught that ! cheers ! ;D

Yeah, it wasn't a very good way for them to introduce themselves to MSG lol!

PaulieWalnuts

  • On the Wrong Side of the Business
« Reply #20 on: July 26, 2014, 20:02 »
+1
Quote
With that attitude you're not going very far.

I like you. You're funny.

« Reply #21 on: July 26, 2014, 20:04 »
+4
I think "profitable" is really an eroded term for micro stock.  The people who make money will be the point and shooters who have no production expenses and whose images buyers consume.  For people like Sean, JoAnn, Tyler, Gostwyck, and many other top end shooters, they will have to have "other royalty arrangements" with the MS companies or have other revenue streams. With royalties like Deposit Photos 3%, that is like drugs; other MS companies will see that as another way for them to hack away at any meaningful royalties. FOTOLIA and their DPC scheme is another totally destructive model. When photographers who are unaware of the DPC mandatory opt in, then five months down the road wonder where all their income is, they will begin to ask questions. Not all but maybe quite a few more. It's a short term gain mindset.  They will hopefully lose many great portfolios as a result of their money grubbing scheme. Same with DP. 

I am no longer with FT or DP all because of their "ripoff the artist strategy".  Someone in one of these topics recently said something along the lines of "I am running out of agencies to get rid of".  This will become more and more common, and so will these agencies' collections.   

« Reply #22 on: July 26, 2014, 21:00 »
+2
I think "profitable" is really an eroded term for micro stock.  The people who make money will be the point and shooters who have no production expenses and whose images buyers consume.  For people like Sean, JoAnn, Tyler, Gostwyck, and many other top end shooters, they will have to have "other royalty arrangements" .. like drugs; other MS companies will see that as another way for them to hack away at any meaningful royalties. .. totally destructive model.... It's a short term gain mindset.   

I am no longer with FT or DP all because of their "ripoff the artist strategy".

i don't think just the PNS, as JSLocke pointed out recently, it is up to you to distribute your low or zero cost to SS, etc and the high cost production to in his idea he mentioned Stocksy.

eventually, too, as i noticed the absence of other regulars here such as lisafx,etc
to mean that perharps they too have looked elsewhere already. or in my case, nothing like close to the names you mentioned, lisafx, jo ann, paulie,etc..
but still, i see this trend as a warning sign that agencies are more interested in traffic as opposed to downloads, like Getty giving away other ppl work,etc.

thus, i look for re-starting the local opportunities which i had long given up in preference to stock photography as it allows me to travel ,etc.  now it seems, we may have to rewind back to closer to home, not weddings (gawd) but commercial work, events work, headshots, theatre,etc..

maybe in a way it is good that the greed is squeezing us out with short-term profit over long term.
maybe we too have lost the perspective that perharps there is an untappable source of income closer to home since many of the experienced photographers or new experienced since IS and SS have
long forgotten to tap the market at home.

i know this because only this evening, as i presented my work to someone here at an Event,
they were amazed how quickly i delivered and the work i gave them, noise free, no fringe, WB,etc..
astounded them. indicating that perharps we have given up the market to lesser photographers
here assuming that no one wants good work .
i ended up with a card from the manager and the promise that they will come back to me
and have some other people who needs good work done too.

so maybe just maybe we have forgotten that there is work at home .
i like to hear what others globally think as well.
well said, mantis. i "hacked away" to highlight the points u made.

« Reply #23 on: July 26, 2014, 22:31 »
0
I love it when you guys assume anyone anonymous not successful.

« Reply #24 on: July 26, 2014, 23:03 »
+3
I love it when you guys assume anyone anonymous not successful.

From your post "With that attitude you're not going very far", you were the one making that assumption about Pauly.  It is not anonymity that suggests not successful, it is silly posts. 

Goofy

« Reply #25 on: July 26, 2014, 23:06 »
0
I am anonymous and I know I am not successful- Some folks make more in one single day on just on site than I make in an entire month on all sites- just a fact...

 8)


« Reply #26 on: July 26, 2014, 23:15 »
0
I love it when you guys assume anyone anonymous not successful.

From your post "With that attitude you're not going very far", you were the one making that assumption about Pauly.  It is not anonymity that suggests not successful, it is silly posts.

The silly thing is 'a supposedly successful stocker guy' declared stock photography is not profitable. Contradiction right there.


« Reply #27 on: July 27, 2014, 09:02 »
0
I love it when you guys assume anyone anonymous not successful.

From your post "With that attitude you're not going very far", you were the one making that assumption about Pauly.  It is not anonymity that suggests not successful, it is silly posts.

The silly thing is 'a supposedly successful stocker guy' declared stock photography is not profitable. Contradiction right there.

As Mantis said in your new thread on same topic, profitable change over time.  Many successful microstockers struggle to remain profitable over long term due to factors out of our control, such as money grabs from agencies, and exponential growth in competition.

  But hey, you teach photography part time at a college, so you know everything.  Don't let reality stand in the way of your simplistic graphs and theories.
« Last Edit: July 27, 2014, 09:05 by PixelBytes »

« Reply #28 on: July 27, 2014, 09:09 »
-2
I love it when you guys assume anyone anonymous not successful.

From your post "With that attitude you're not going very far", you were the one making that assumption about Pauly.  It is not anonymity that suggests not successful, it is silly posts.

The silly thing is 'a supposedly successful stocker guy' declared stock photography is not profitable. Contradiction right there.

As Mantis said in your new thread on same topic, profitable change over time.  Many successful microstockers struggle to remain profitable over long term due to factors out of our control, such as money grabs from agencies, and exponential growth in competition.

  But hey, you teach photography part time at a college, so you know everything.  Don't let reality stand in the way of your simplistic graphs and theories.

I can make more difficult analysis but I'm sure you'll not understand. What's your point? If you so insist you're struggling why don't you just quit?

« Last Edit: July 27, 2014, 09:11 by Epsilonth »

« Reply #29 on: July 27, 2014, 09:18 »
+1
I love it when you guys assume anyone anonymous not successful.

From your post "With that attitude you're not going very far", you were the one making that assumption about Pauly.  It is not anonymity that suggests not successful, it is silly posts.

The silly thing is 'a supposedly successful stocker guy' declared stock photography is not profitable. Contradiction right there.

As Mantis said in your new thread on same topic, profitable change over time.  Many successful microstockers struggle to remain profitable over long term due to factors out of our control, such as money grabs from agencies, and exponential growth in competition.

  But hey, you teach photography part time at a college, so you know everything.  Don't let reality stand in the way of your simplistic graphs and theories.

I can make more difficult analysis but I'm sure you'll not understand. What's your point? If you so insist you're struggling why don't you just quit?

You dont read much do you?  I already said I still make some profit on older images.  It is nearly impossible to profit on new ones for reasons repeated many times in these forums and in this thread.  Its not just me struggling, its most of the long term full timers.  And many are quitting and more will do so in coming months and years if agencies keep bleeding us dry. 

You seem to be assuming again that the anonymous person you talk to is not successful or have no clue.  Once again your wrong. 

« Reply #30 on: July 27, 2014, 09:27 »
-2
I love it when you guys assume anyone anonymous not successful.

From your post "With that attitude you're not going very far", you were the one making that assumption about Pauly.  It is not anonymity that suggests not successful, it is silly posts.

The silly thing is 'a supposedly successful stocker guy' declared stock photography is not profitable. Contradiction right there.

As Mantis said in your new thread on same topic, profitable change over time.  Many successful microstockers struggle to remain profitable over long term due to factors out of our control, such as money grabs from agencies, and exponential growth in competition.

  But hey, you teach photography part time at a college, so you know everything.  Don't let reality stand in the way of your simplistic graphs and theories.

I can make more difficult analysis but I'm sure you'll not understand. What's your point? If you so insist you're struggling why don't you just quit?

You dont read much do you?  I already said I still make some profit on older images.  It is nearly impossible to profit on new ones for reasons repeated many times in these forums and in this thread.  Its not just me struggling, its most of the long term full timers.  And many are quitting and more will do so in coming months and years if agencies keep bleeding us dry. 

You seem to be assuming again that the anonymous person you talk to is not successful or have no clue.  Once again your wrong.

If you insist you cannot produce profitable new contents you should quit and enjoy what you already have then? Go do something else photography related.Stock earning will go downhill then stay pretty constant.

Things always change. Stop complaining and find ways to adapt. Without analysis and pretty graphs you'll be walking blind into minefield.

« Reply #31 on: July 27, 2014, 15:48 »
+1
lol. This has gotten out of hand a bit again. (lol. typical MSG)

I understand what Epsilonth is saying though, as illustration is mostly a hobby for me I post an image today, maybe two ... and then wait, sometimes wait a few days, sometimes wait a month, sometimes quarters come in and sometimes quarters don't. For me it's gotten more consistent over a long term but, I might be crazy. I wouldn't advise anyone to jump in to microstock right now assuming that they can make a full-time income but, if you take it for what it is ... it works ... kinda.

I try to not sit and pull my hair out over worrying about when or if the quarters come in. It'd be nice to get some payouts before Christmas but, if not."Meh."

« Reply #32 on: July 28, 2014, 03:08 »
+1
I understand you Paulie ;-)

As I said in some other post, the stock business continues to be attractive at the begining ... when we aim to earn $100, then $500 ... or even $1000. After that, and at this time, most of us will face the true and learn that is very hard to make more money.

I think most of the contributors who have earn more (many more) than $1000 are facing a decline in earnings in the last years. And will be rare the new ones that will reach what we earn in the good old years of stock.

The stock photo business in microstock is not dead, but is not profit anymore.
« Last Edit: July 28, 2014, 04:28 by hjalmeida »

« Reply #33 on: July 28, 2014, 03:28 »
0
I understand you Paul ;-)

As I said in some other post, the stock business continues to be attractive at the begining ... when we aim to earn $100, then $500 ... or even $1000. After that, and at this time, most of us will face the true and learn that is very hard to make more money.

I think most of the contributors who have earn more (many more) than $1000 are facing a decline in earnings in the last years. And will be rare the new ones that will reach what we earn in the good old years of stock.

The stock photo business in microstock is not dead, but is not profit anymore.

Of course there's profit in it.

That's the whole reason I commented on this thread in the first place. If you're a photographer, you have equipment, you have lenses you have flashes, reflectors, lights and all of that other crap. I mean, I wouldn't recommend "microstock" as a profession ... Apparently a few years ago it could have been.

But, now? If you're a photographer you've already got the shots post them and just continue to take pictures or whatever it is that you do. There's no time for speculation. Your roi could be small but, it does add up over time. Go flip hamburgers ;)

« Reply #34 on: July 28, 2014, 04:25 »
+1
Quote

Your roi could be small but, it does add up over time. Go flip hamburgers ;)

:-) I have 44, maybe I will start profit from new work some year after I died ... I think to much hamburguers will make me sick.

It's good to be optimistic, but microstock photos are commodity products.

« Reply #35 on: July 28, 2014, 06:09 »
+5
At this point, many photographers looking to make a little money would not do this if they were well informed.  Unforntunetly, it is like quick sand.  You learn about stock and say , hey that's cool and you jump in and maybe buy your first serious DSLR.  Then uh oh, they didn't accept it.  Then the learning curve begins.  The reading, the forums, the questions about sharpening, size and resolution, color, pushing shadows, file types and on and on.  Now comes the purchasing, lighting,  the right tripod, rats I need lenses, oh dern  now i need software, dang, computer is not handling this well.  Then you learn that all your purchases could have been a little smarter by not being so budget minded.  And then the advanced stuff kicks in as you try to problem solve, blend mode and high pass sharpening, noise reduction using color channels, color management, monitor calibration etc etc.  Then you look back at your self taught college level education and say hey,  these folks are getting a lot for what I get in return. 

But cudos to all of you here and everywhere that have done this.  I look at your shots on the agencies and know that I am up against some d*mn fine competition.
« Last Edit: July 28, 2014, 10:23 by old crow »

« Reply #36 on: July 28, 2014, 11:18 »
+1
back here again, can't get enough of it. enjoy the comments.
personally, microstock is as passive income . it also has in many ways profited my local business in the sense that before microstock, i was not exposed to "analities" such as noise, fringe, etc.
and suddenly i see noise the size of golf balls, fringe the color of rainbows,etc.. on everybody gallery photos,LMAO
it has also made me a fast producer, as once you mastered and developed a workflow on your image-manipulation software (no name needed to mention), your prints seem to impress everyone who has not seen the work of a stock photographer .
so in a way, profitable? yes, in many ways than just money.
and i just bought a mirrorless which is an amazing camera for editorials. which has replaced my DSLRs
which i now only leave for studio work.
all this, using only earnings from micros. so really, is it profitable. it pays my internet, it pays my mob, it paid for my AlienBees, and 3 DSLRs and my new mirrorless.
so yes, it is profitable.

but i am not a full time microstocker. if so, i would be making more money flipping burgers (which i am not, lol but i do music, dance, comedy, art,etc..). 
i just do not spend production money with models, props, etc.. at least not for 38 cts .

as SJLocke pointed out in one of the thread a while back, you give to ,... the low cost stuff,
and you give to .... the high cost stuff.

i don't give the high cost stuff to anyone. i don't make high cost stuff, only when the local clients
are paying for the production , then i shoot the high cost stuff.
so, profitable? yes.
« Last Edit: July 28, 2014, 11:23 by etudiante_rapide »


« Reply #37 on: July 28, 2014, 11:27 »
+1
At this point, many photographers looking to make a little money would not do this if they were well informed.  Unforntunetly, it is like quick sand.  You learn about stock and say , hey that's cool and you jump in and maybe buy your first serious DSLR.  Then uh oh, they didn't accept it.  Then the learning curve begins.  The reading, the forums, the questions about sharpening, size and resolution, color, pushing shadows, file types and on and on.  Now comes the purchasing, lighting,  the right tripod, rats I need lenses, oh dern  now i need software, dang, computer is not handling this well.  Then you learn that all your purchases could have been a little smarter by not being so budget minded.  And then the advanced stuff kicks in as you try to problem solve, blend mode and high pass sharpening, noise reduction using color channels, color management, monitor calibration etc etc.  Then you look back at your self taught college level education and say hey,  these folks are getting a lot for what I get in return. 

But cudos to all of you here and everywhere that have done this.  I look at your shots on the agencies and know that I am up against some d*mn fine competition.

wow, well said ! ...
especially like your quicksand analogy

i used to say when people ask me about microstock, i say, "the first puff of opium is always free".
but i think i will use quicksand from now on, because u can go cold-turkey like john and yoko
,but with quicksand there is no escape.

« Reply #38 on: July 28, 2014, 13:08 »
+3
This question came to me from another thread. People always come here trying to figure out how much they can make doing micro. Nobody seems to ask what it takes to be profitable. They only care about how much they can earn per month or year.

I then see some people responding that they have thousands of images and are making a hundred-ish dollars per month. I can't imagine those figures being worth anyones time. There are costs for everything even when trying to be frugal. Camera, memory cards, camera accessories, computer upgrades, gas to travel, parking fees, props, models, and on and on. And then theres time to take pictures and the ton of time to edit, keyword, submit pictures, redo rejections, etc. Micro is a lot of work.

And overall things seems to have taken a downturn from a few years ago. Contributors are reporting they're growing their portfolio but income is dropping.

Can anyone turn a profit earning .05 cents per image per month? Is anyone in micro profitable anymore?

Well it's definitely much worse than a few years ago, I think everyone would agree with that. Many contributors with big portfolios make the same money as they did back then with half of the images - just natural result of increasing competition. When people asking me if it's worth starting now, I usually say - don't bother unless it's just a hobby for you and you get kicks from seeing your images used. I don't think we will return to reasonable profits until everyone on the planet will get their chance to dabble in photography and then get bored of it... but right now it's not that time yet. Fads do pass though, so there is hope:)

Goofy

« Reply #39 on: July 28, 2014, 13:19 »
+1
also another note- my spouse is wealthy thus tells me not to worry about making $$ thus not sure if that would be passive mode in my case- anyway no real pressure on me to produce big bucks...

« Reply #40 on: July 28, 2014, 18:14 »
+2
also another note- my spouse is wealthy thus tells me not to worry about making $$ thus not sure if that would be passive mode in my case- anyway no real pressure on me to produce big bucks...

so the real solution seems to be to find out if your spouse has unmarried siblings,,,

« Reply #41 on: July 28, 2014, 18:54 »
+3
also another note- my spouse is wealthy thus tells me not to worry about making $$ thus not sure if that would be passive mode in my case- anyway no real pressure on me to produce big bucks...

so the real solution seems to be to find out if your spouse has unmarried siblings,,,

Or if he or she is willing to support a few more photographers.

« Reply #42 on: July 28, 2014, 21:01 »
+3
also another note- my spouse is wealthy thus tells me not to worry about making $$ thus not sure if that would be passive mode in my case- anyway no real pressure on me to produce big bucks...

so the real solution seems to be to find out if your spouse has unmarried siblings,,,

Or if he or she is willing to support a few more photographers.

Now I think we're on track!

Goofy

« Reply #43 on: July 28, 2014, 22:28 »
0
also another note- my spouse is wealthy thus tells me not to worry about making $$ thus not sure if that would be passive mode in my case- anyway no real pressure on me to produce big bucks...

so the real solution seems to be to find out if your spouse has unmarried siblings,,,

Or if he or she is willing to support a few more photographers.

LOL! I think one is more than enough for her  8)

« Reply #44 on: July 29, 2014, 01:49 »
+4
I have other ventures so microstock is part-time but very profitable at present. My capital expenses on hardware are flat. I shoot everything at home or in the streets of London. The biggest cost is time - or as I often wonder, what could I earn by doing something else.

However, the added value of working for myself and never going back to having some suit I have no respect for telling me what to do......is immeasurable.

« Reply #45 on: July 29, 2014, 03:14 »
-1
It kinda gotten out of topic now. To sum up. My point is: This is passive income.that recurring cost is almost non existent  It will be profitable no matter what. Unless what you shoot is really expensive to produce or your image is really amateurish.

The question should be when it will break even and turn profit. You need to do a break-even analysis. Basically time when (initial cost fixed cost variable cost) - all income = 0. Will It be in days?weeks? Months?

You wouldn't want to be dead before that! With this really simple method you will know where you need to keep the cost down.

Exactly, this is the emotional-dribble-free, logical answer. Passive income here means you can get your work related costs to almost 0. When people fail to understand how this leads to profit, it just means they got used to their poorly done stuff getting almost no sales, and they can't see tah it can workout an other way for someone more professional and efficient. The question after that is how hard you have to work to make a decent amount of money later.

« Reply #46 on: July 29, 2014, 03:23 »
-1
I understand you Paulie ;-)

As I said in some other post, the stock business continues to be attractive at the begining ... when we aim to earn $100, then $500 ... or even $1000. After that, and at this time, most of us will face the true and learn that is very hard to make more money.

I think most of the contributors who have earn more (many more) than $1000 are facing a decline in earnings in the last years. And will be rare the new ones that will reach what we earn in the good old years of stock.

The stock photo business in microstock is not dead, but is not profit anymore.

this is very hard way to make a living? really? compared to what? I'd say 80% of this planet's working population would just facepalm if they heard this.


« Reply #47 on: July 29, 2014, 03:32 »
0
It's good to be optimistic, but microstock photos are commodity products.

so is the average person looking for work. if you are not pretty much an expert at something, you are gonna be just part of the gray crowd that's getting flushed down the toilet by the unsustainable economy.

« Reply #48 on: July 29, 2014, 03:36 »
-1
So hilarious.  Some newbie lecturing Pauly on how to go far in stock.  This guy has been successful for years.  He don't need your advice.  You need his.  If you ignore, well that's on you.

wow, he must be almost as great an expert and folk hero as rinder on the SS forums :)))

« Reply #49 on: July 29, 2014, 03:53 »
+1
I understand you Paulie ;-)

As I said in some other post, the stock business continues to be attractive at the begining ... when we aim to earn $100, then $500 ... or even $1000. After that, and at this time, most of us will face the true and learn that is very hard to make more money.

I think most of the contributors who have earn more (many more) than $1000 are facing a decline in earnings in the last years. And will be rare the new ones that will reach what we earn in the good old years of stock.

The stock photo business in microstock is not dead, but is not profit anymore.

this is very hard way to make a living? really? compared to what? I'd say 80% of this planet's working population would just facepalm if they heard this.

If you don't get it ... I was talking about "microstock profit"

It's good to be optimistic, but microstock photos are commodity products.

so is the average person looking for work. if you are not pretty much an expert at something, you are gonna be just part of the gray crowd that's getting flushed down the toilet by the unsustainable economy.

Do you know what is a commodity product? Google it ;-)

« Reply #50 on: July 29, 2014, 03:57 »
-1
I understand you Paulie ;-)

As I said in some other post, the stock business continues to be attractive at the begining ... when we aim to earn $100, then $500 ... or even $1000. After that, and at this time, most of us will face the true and learn that is very hard to make more money.

I think most of the contributors who have earn more (many more) than $1000 are facing a decline in earnings in the last years. And will be rare the new ones that will reach what we earn in the good old years of stock.

The stock photo business in microstock is not dead, but is not profit anymore.

this is very hard way to make a living? really? compared to what? I'd say 80% of this planet's working population would just facepalm if they heard this.

If you don't get it ... I was talking about "microstock profit"

It's good to be optimistic, but microstock photos are commodity products.

so is the average person looking for work. if you are not pretty much an expert at something, you are gonna be just part of the gray crowd that's getting flushed down the toilet by the unsustainable economy.

Do you know what is a commodity product? Google it ;-)

I do, what's your point?

« Reply #51 on: July 29, 2014, 04:04 »
-1
I understand you Paulie ;-)

As I said in some other post, the stock business continues to be attractive at the begining ... when we aim to earn $100, then $500 ... or even $1000. After that, and at this time, most of us will face the true and learn that is very hard to make more money.

I think most of the contributors who have earn more (many more) than $1000 are facing a decline in earnings in the last years. And will be rare the new ones that will reach what we earn in the good old years of stock.

The stock photo business in microstock is not dead, but is not profit anymore.

this is very hard way to make a living? really? compared to what? I'd say 80% of this planet's working population would just facepalm if they heard this.

If you don't get it ... I was talking about "microstock profit"

It's good to be optimistic, but microstock photos are commodity products.

so is the average person looking for work. if you are not pretty much an expert at something, you are gonna be just part of the gray crowd that's getting flushed down the toilet by the unsustainable economy.

Do you know what is a commodity product? Google it ;-)

I do, what's your point?

Good ... then you agree.

« Reply #52 on: July 29, 2014, 04:08 »
-1
I understand you Paulie ;-)

As I said in some other post, the stock business continues to be attractive at the begining ... when we aim to earn $100, then $500 ... or even $1000. After that, and at this time, most of us will face the true and learn that is very hard to make more money.

I think most of the contributors who have earn more (many more) than $1000 are facing a decline in earnings in the last years. And will be rare the new ones that will reach what we earn in the good old years of stock.

The stock photo business in microstock is not dead, but is not profit anymore.

this is very hard way to make a living? really? compared to what? I'd say 80% of this planet's working population would just facepalm if they heard this.

If you don't get it ... I was talking about "microstock profit"

It's good to be optimistic, but microstock photos are commodity products.

so is the average person looking for work. if you are not pretty much an expert at something, you are gonna be just part of the gray crowd that's getting flushed down the toilet by the unsustainable economy.

Do you know what is a commodity product? Google it ;-)

I do, what's your point?

Good ... then you agree.

about what?

« Reply #53 on: July 29, 2014, 04:13 »
+1
Oh boy ... I'm out of here.

« Reply #54 on: July 29, 2014, 04:18 »
-2
I feel like walking walking on eggshells, I have to be extra careful not to offend some intellectually undernourished person simply by being logical. :))))

« Reply #55 on: July 29, 2014, 04:24 »
+3
Another potentially useful thread pertaining to the business reduced to a playground spat.

F's sake.

Goofy

« Reply #56 on: July 29, 2014, 09:03 »
+1
Okay, back to the topic.  It took me fours years to finally break into the profit mode- all my equipment and other accessories are paid off and I will have to report a profit to our IRS this year. Not sure if this is common but 4 years is kind of long in my eyes to reach a profit level? I work about 20 hours per week on my business.


« Reply #57 on: July 29, 2014, 10:57 »
0
Okay, back to the topic.  It took me fours years to finally break into the profit mode- all my equipment and other accessories are paid off and I will have to report a profit to our IRS this year. Not sure if this is common but 4 years is kind of long in my eyes to reach a profit level? I work about 20 hours per week on my business.

You are right on schedule.  Don't Dept of Revenue give you about 5 years to turn a profit?  20 hrs a week for part time micro is alot.  Your hard work is paying of.  Good on you!


 

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