MicrostockGroup Sponsors

Author Topic: Earnings  (Read 15813 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

« on: September 12, 2008, 00:05 »
Seeing as I'm just starting out, I'd just like to know some of the successes some have had with microstock? I understand there's never a get-rich-quick scheme but approx how much cash can this bring in? AND I MEAN IT WITHOUT THE "well if you work hard the possibilities are endless". And as far as that's true, the reality is we can all improve in one way or another, thus never meet the get rich quick.


How much do people make and in what period of time? Is it enough for new equipment or hardware, tuition fees, expenses etc? I'd essentially just like in the end to cover costs of buying a new dslr however more is good :)

« Reply #1 on: September 12, 2008, 00:12 »
I read to that Shutterstock just had its 60 millionth download since 2005.

« Reply #2 on: September 12, 2008, 01:13 »
Quite a few folks around here are making their living from stock photography, myself included.  I lost my job unexpected almost two years ago, and thanks to the portfolio I had built up I have never needed to look for another job.  Now I'm a full-fledged full-time stock photographer.

« Reply #3 on: September 12, 2008, 01:27 »
how much is simply a matter of how many images you can get online.

To get an idea of actual numbers look at the RPI average in the lower right.  Those numbers are the average of what people earn per image per month on the various sites.

If you add them up they are $1.6 per image per month.  And well I can tell you my earnings are not near that high, but i have lots of landscape and somewhat boring subjects and very few illustrations (which earn more)  but it gives you an idea.

Once you have 100 images or so online you will get an idea of what your RPI is and just figure out what 1000 images will earn you and how much you can make.

I am working as a full time microstock phtography.  It is the best job i have ever had :)

« Reply #4 on: September 12, 2008, 06:05 »
Once you have 100 images or so online you will get an idea of what your RPI is and just figure out what 1000 images will earn you and how much you can make.

Leaf, I don't think you can extrapolate that way. The last 100 images on the 1000 are probably a lot better than the first 100. Your approval rate is probably better then too so it affects the position of your images in search for some sites (DT at lwast). There also seem to be a "size does matter" effect on the portfolio.

So I think that your RPI with a portfolio of 1000 will be higher than at 100 but again, it may just be a misconception from me

« Reply #5 on: September 12, 2008, 06:31 »
well the whole things is just guessing and approximation anyhow, but your earnings will also go down as images get older, and your new images at shutterstock are no longer new.

I think it would somewhat even out... but nonetheless if it was more than you calculated then you are in for a nice surprise... but it isn't going to be THAT much more.

« Reply #6 on: September 12, 2008, 07:27 »
Agree with Leaf, $1-2 per month per image is an achievable goal.

However, this is valid only for a normally skilled photographer: some extremely talented photographers will get a lot more and I'm afraid that some not-so talented photographers will never get more than a few pennies from their portfolio.

So, the first question you have to answer is: which category do you belong to?  ;)

As a result, it does indeed explain why many say "If you work hard, the possibilities are endless": your earnings will strongly depend on the size of your portfolio and building a big (and diversified) portfolio require a lot of work.
« Last Edit: September 12, 2008, 15:13 by araminta »

« Reply #7 on: September 12, 2008, 08:05 »
My this years average per image is $1,39 only on IS.
You also should think about, that not the whole portfolio gives money. Only 39% of my images brings the income. :'( ;)

« Reply #8 on: September 12, 2008, 08:27 »
Need opinion...

I am here for a six month...

Last three months I track my statistic...
I have opened all 6 accounts on "big six" + 3 "up and coming"

SS makes 75 % of my earnings, all other are in category "less 10 %"...
IS also about 10 %, here my acceptance rate is about 60 % , on other about 85 %...

Can I expect change in proportion between agencies...

« Reply #9 on: September 12, 2008, 09:15 »
I am reporting my monthly earnings and actual payments from microstock in my "Pixels Away" blog (9 months so far):

« Last Edit: September 12, 2008, 09:17 by PixelsAway »


« Reply #10 on: October 03, 2008, 22:58 »
I am reporting my monthly earnings and actual payments from microstock in my "Pixels Away" blog (9 months so far):

Always an entertaining site. Do you realize that if you dropped all the sites except DT, IS and SS, you would lose all those .03 RPI photos, and the effort that it took to upload them, and the financial loss would be about $60? Of course if you have free time and it's not taking away from the top three, or getting outdoors in the Kayak? Do it. ;D

What the heck happened in July. SS ran up to the top and IS had a big drop. Entertaining! keep it up.

Microstock monitor stopped working with Foxfire, I haven't looked at any sites except SS, AL and FP in over a month. Now there's some laid back tracking.

« Reply #11 on: October 03, 2008, 23:43 »
What the heck happened in July. SS ran up to the top and IS had a big drop.

I got 1 EL from SS in July. It makes a huge difference for a small portfolio.

My earnings distribution  shifted a little bit in September in comparison to previous months:

IS and SS combined provided only 63% of my income in comparison to ~76% in July and earlier. It means that smaller players improved their performance. Each of them  (DT, StockXpert, 123RF, FT and FP)  provided 6-7% of income. So, at this time I am not ready to drop anything.

« Reply #12 on: October 04, 2008, 04:16 »
In addition to a post about my earnings, I wrote one on  the lows and highs commission on each agencies. So far for me I earned minimum $ 0.2 at IS and $ 5 at StockXpert.
Read more at http://microstockexperiment.blogspot.com/

« Reply #13 on: November 28, 2008, 15:15 »
I have noticed that the people that make the most are of course uploading all the time. The more you have up the more you will get exposure on each site and sell more.
It is all about the numbers and quality of your images.
Always be looking at what is the most popular images selling.


« Reply #14 on: November 30, 2008, 11:32 »
I only contribute to istock and my sales are averaging $1.10 a sale.
« Last Edit: December 08, 2008, 15:39 by shank_ali »

« Reply #15 on: November 30, 2008, 15:34 »
12     months with microstock
546 - average size of my portfolio across 7 agencies

$0.53/image/month earnings (November) which is rather at the low end of microstock earning range


« Reply #16 on: November 30, 2008, 15:57 »
 I have seen $7 per image over the past month but some sold well and fast like SS model and others are just picking up speed like Fotolia and Dreamstime. We will see what the coming months bring.


« Reply #17 on: December 01, 2008, 10:00 »
It very strongly depends on quantity and only much less on quality - I have online over 200 pics during last year (which I admit is not much) and aproximate YEAR rpi is $1,60 with portfolios at SS, DT and IS. Unless you upload regurarly in quantities eg. 20 pics per week forget about rpi like $1-2/month. Mind you I do not upload crap, I admit its mostly nature/travel which are less sellable but still do not expect more then 2x higher rpi even if you upload stock photos in same speed as me.

In case you want to know why I do not upload to all "big 6" - Im not going to upload to another 3 agencies just to get extra 10%, its not worth the time spent. FT rejected about 80% of pics with "we dont need this" - ok, I dont need them then  :P

« Reply #18 on: December 01, 2008, 10:14 »
My monthly earning graphs and numbers:

My earnings went up in November by 16%, but I added 100 pictures to my portfolio.

Much more downloads in small and X-small sizes, especially, at iStock.


« Reply #19 on: December 13, 2008, 07:05 »
I just cleared $1000 this week with my sales on istockphoto. Ample reward for 13 months shooting/editing/learning and uploading to my portfolio.
Some of the top contributors on istockphoto who regularly have 500+ sales ADAY will make slightly more than this though :o


« Reply #20 on: December 13, 2008, 07:57 »
you're averaging $1.10 a sale, have had 920 downloads since July yet have cleared $1000 already this month?


« Reply #21 on: December 13, 2008, 07:58 »
apologies, just realized that you meant total!


« Reply #22 on: December 13, 2008, 09:02 »
How much can i earn supplying my work to micro-stock sites was a question i never actually asked myself when starting.... 
Depends on what you supply and how many images you can get into your respective portfolios.
When your photos start to attract sales though you sure want it to continue and it's a sweet feeling watching your account balance climb.
It must really suck though if you earn your living from photography/microstock and your sales decline for some reason.

« Reply #23 on: December 14, 2008, 22:35 »
I've been doing stock semi-full time for about 3 years. It's interesting, IS was the biggest earner for a long time, then SS for a while, then SX (they came on strong when they started), now Fotolia provides more every month. Same images, about the same number of images. I don't track my rpi for each agency but last year I earned $12,000 from the micros from about 600 - 1000 images, depending on the agency. I spent maybe $1000 on production costs, not counting my camera gear which I already owned, (20D and a few lenses, and an old speedotron strobe system I bought a long time ago, before I was into stock.) Most images I shoot are simple still life.

In comparison, I have 2000 images on Alamy, and earned about $2500 last year. I paid to place 20 images with Getty a year ago and have netted about $300, above the placement fee. Getty would be great if i didn't have to pay to play, but at $50 an image I don't think it's worth it.  I really want to be an assignment photographer, editorial portraiture, celebs and fashion but until I feel I have a good enough portfolio (and enough money) to market myself, it looks like microstock for me.


« Reply #24 on: December 15, 2008, 23:26 »
Hi Stock shooter,

 With these high returns do you think you might add a link to show us your sales and images in your collections. It would be a real motivator around here.



Related Topics

  Subject / Started by Replies Last post
19 Replies
Last post November 08, 2014, 18:28
by Noedelhap
4 Replies
Last post December 09, 2014, 19:17
by Pixart
21 Replies
Last post March 08, 2015, 00:47
by Hobostocker
3 Replies
Last post September 19, 2016, 16:36
by Pauws99
74 Replies
Last post April 25, 2019, 05:08
by stockman11


Mega Bundle of 5,900+ Professional Lightroom Presets

Microstock Poll Results


3100 Posing Cards Bundle