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Author Topic: How many 'Accepted' photos do you need per week to be Succesful?  (Read 10092 times)

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tab62

« on: April 09, 2011, 21:49 »
0
Hi Stock Folks,

Right off the bat I want to define successful as the following:

Monthly Gross Sales
Poor-   $100
So So  - $300
Fair-    $500
Good -  $1,000
Very Good  -  $2,000
Excellent   -  $5,000


How many photos are needed to pushed out per week?  For example, if I want to be in the range (see above table) from $300 to $1,000 per month in gross sales how many pics are needed per week. Yes, I know some folks can generate this type of income on few pics because they produce 'money' shots but for the average newbie what can I plan on thus know how to schedule my time.

Thanks.


Tom


« Reply #1 on: April 09, 2011, 22:04 »
0
You better be producing "money shots" otherwise this microstock thing is not going to get you anywhere.

There are IS exclusives that have hundreds of thousands of sales from a portfolio with a few hundred images.

On Shutterstock there are contributors with 5000 and more images that just end up with a couple grand a month tops.

- Just focus on producing the best images you can.
- Submit as much as you can.
- Shoot as often as you can.
- Learn as much as you can.

Statistics are worthless if you don't constantly improve your skills. $500 a month can be a comfortable income in some parts of the world. In other parts it won't be enough for gas for your car.

It's all relative. No one can give you a number or tell you what you need to do to achieve your goals - only you know that and what you are capable of.

It's a learning curve. Get to know the business, study your stuff and never, ever give up.

P.S. And the specific answer to your question of "How many 'Accepted' photos do you need per week to be Succesful?":

As many as possible.
« Last Edit: April 09, 2011, 22:06 by click_click »

tab62

« Reply #2 on: April 09, 2011, 22:17 »
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thanks for the comments. I find at this point that I have to balance my act with education and than pushing out pics. I try to spend at least one day shooting and later on push them out which can be very time consuming.


Tom

« Reply #3 on: April 09, 2011, 22:24 »
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Consider it as a job.

If you want to participate in this seriously, you need to show some commitment.

Of course your education comes first, but if photography is a passion of yours and you want to move up to a minimum of $1000 a month from your photos then you need to dedicate a good chunk of your time doing it.

Ideally you should set a fixed number of minimum hours that you can spare for your photography each week or set yourself a minimum limit of how many images you want to submit weekly.

When I started off, my goal was to upload at least one image every single day, which means of course one image a day to all the agencies.

Try to find your level and meet those expectations, this will get you somewhere. It's very hard work and yes, it will be very time consuming.

tab62

« Reply #4 on: April 09, 2011, 22:31 »
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Good points! My goal right now is to do 3 images per day to include uploading to the 15 sites that belong to with the exception of iStock whom I hope to be a member very soon. I failed their admin test twice thus put on a 30 days notice.

Thanks.


Tom

« Reply #5 on: April 09, 2011, 22:33 »
0
Take the income that you earned in a month at a site and divide it by the number of images you have there. That's your RPI. Do several months to get an average. Add up your RPI for each site and that is your total RPI. Then, you can calculate roughly how many images you need to reach your goal and which sites are more profitable to upload to. It's not a straight shot, and you'll probably need to make adjustments along the road. But, it is a better indicator than other people's numbers. Other people's figures can be inspiring, but they don't necessarily apply to you.

« Reply #6 on: April 10, 2011, 03:45 »
0
Take the income that you earned in a month at a site and divide it by the number of images you have there. That's your RPI. Do several months to get an average. Add up your RPI for each site and that is your total RPI. Then, you can calculate roughly how many images you need to reach your goal and which sites are more profitable to upload to. It's not a straight shot, and you'll probably need to make adjustments along the road. But, it is a better indicator than other people's numbers. Other people's figures can be inspiring, but they don't necessarily apply to you.

Yep, that's the way to go.

PaulieWalnuts

  • We Have Exciting News For You
« Reply #7 on: April 10, 2011, 06:17 »
0
Like Cthoman said it depends on your Return Per Image (RPI) performance.

However, I would say people who are just getting started and fit into the amateur category will probably earn an RPI of .10 - .25 cents per image per month. So as an example using a .10 cent RPI with 100 images would earn $10 per month. To earn $1,000 per month would require 10,000 images. If you're doing 15 images per week then it would take 666 weeks, or 55 years, to reach 10,000 images to earn $1,000 per month.

If you improve your RPI may increase. Leaf's survey said the average RPI for experienced people is .75 cents so using that figure it would take around 1,400 images to hit $1,000 per month. And at 15 images per week it would take just shy of a couple years.

So how many images need to be pushed out per week? Depends on your RPI and how long you want to take you reach your goal.

ShadySue

  • There is a crack in everything
« Reply #8 on: April 10, 2011, 06:42 »
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It's not about accepted photos, though 'getting' acceptance standards is an early hurdle.
It's finding images that aren't already oversupplied already (check before planning a shoot) and which buyers actually want. Many low-supply subjects are in very low demand and more suitable for RM, which is the best lesson you can learn from this particular old dog.

« Reply #9 on: April 10, 2011, 06:53 »
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Are you writing a book or something?  We seem to be moving through various chapters.

1: What sites to join
2: How many pictures do I need
3: White Balance
4: Pushing Exposure
5: Isolating Objects
6: Keywording
7: Equipment
8: Lighting 101

« Reply #10 on: April 10, 2011, 07:05 »
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like some have said here try it yourself, on previous posts I have told you that it wont be easy, thats the real fact so take it month after month, then you will see how it will get

tab62

« Reply #11 on: April 10, 2011, 10:45 »
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Good point on the book part! I didn't even realize all the areas that I have ask questions until it was listed here. Yeah, it sure would make an interesting book and I am studying those areas as well. I post here to get ideas to include what books or training will strengthen me in that area. I will need to add is a few more chapters to complete this book for sure... 

tab62

« Reply #12 on: April 10, 2011, 10:51 »
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Just thinking to myself- I could write a book for sure and it would be titled- " 101 ways on how to screw up a photo" Now that would be me for sure...

« Reply #13 on: April 10, 2011, 11:28 »
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Thanks Tab62 for having the courage to ask the questions I have been afraid to ask.As I often tell my flight students-"there are no silly questions".While you get many different answers there are "gems" hidden in some of them, that you can use.Some of the answers remind me of old crusty pilots who forget they where not born with 10,000 flight hours.
Smiling Jack

donding

  • Think before you speak
« Reply #14 on: April 10, 2011, 16:45 »
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Thanks Tab62 for having the courage to ask the questions I have been afraid to ask.As I often tell my flight students-"there are no silly questions".While you get many different answers there are "gems" hidden in some of them, that you can use.Some of the answers remind me of old crusty pilots who forget they where not born with 10,000 flight hours.
Smiling Jack
Well said.... ;)

« Reply #15 on: April 10, 2011, 19:09 »
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Tom;

I would shoot (pun intended) for 50 images a week, 200/month average.  I don't feel 15/week is pushing yourself enough.  My goal is 200/month; but part of my goal is also to only upload quality images that might sell.

So shoot two days a week, one day to process the images and the last four for education.  Your best education will be during processing the images because you will see your mistakes and know what to study during your education sessions.

BTW, do not ignore the advice of Paulie Walnuts, he was spot on with his predictions about my success and possible income.  It is going to be a long road.

I am at roughly 1000 images online with monthly RPI of roughly 0.30/image but I am pretty new at this business also (one year in).

tab62

« Reply #16 on: April 10, 2011, 19:32 »
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This forum is without a doubt the best place to get advice across all platforms! I really appreciate all the answers that have been given to me. I will try to push out quality images from 25 to 50 per week - Once again thank you all so much...


Tom


rubyroo

« Reply #17 on: April 11, 2011, 03:59 »
0
do not ignore the advice of Paulie Walnuts

That's such a wonderful statement that I'm going to say it to everyone I meet.  Even if they're not photographers..

« Reply #18 on: April 11, 2011, 05:04 »
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Just thinking to myself- I could write a book for sure and it would be titled- " 101 ways on how to screw up a photo" Now that would be me for sure...

LOL, I could add some content that one!

PaulieWalnuts

  • We Have Exciting News For You
« Reply #19 on: April 11, 2011, 06:52 »
0
do not ignore the advice of Paulie Walnuts

That's such a wonderful statement that I'm going to say it to everyone I meet.  Even if they're not photographers..

I'm going to have a T-shirt printed with this statement and wear it every day.

« Reply #20 on: April 11, 2011, 07:01 »
0
do not ignore the advice of Paulie Walnuts

That's such a wonderful statement that I'm going to say it to everyone I meet.  Even if they're not photographers..

 :D

jbarber873

« Reply #21 on: April 11, 2011, 07:13 »
0
do not ignore the advice of Paulie Walnuts

That's such a wonderful statement that I'm going to say it to everyone I meet.  Even if they're not photographers..

+1 ;D

« Reply #22 on: April 11, 2011, 13:10 »
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Take the income that you earned in a month at a site and divide it by the number of images you have there. That's your RPI. Do several months to get an average. Add up your RPI for each site and that is your total RPI.

That method is correct for a single site but not correct for multiple sites. If you contribute files to several sites, you add up the royalties from all the sites and divide the total by the number of DIFFERENT files you have uploaded. Be careful, if the same file is uploaded to more than one site, you should only count it once.

« Reply #23 on: April 13, 2011, 15:35 »
0
Good point on the book part! I didn't even realize all the areas that I have ask questions until it was listed here. Yeah, it sure would make an interesting book and I am studying those areas as well. I post here to get ideas to include what books or training will strengthen me in that area. I will need to add is a few more chapters to complete this book for sure... 

Things that were true last year arent true now. Things that were true four years ago aren't true last year. You need many more accepted pictures now and that is harder then it was before to get accepted. Sales will be less then before and pay will be less to. You need 10000 photo now to make a maybe successful. Newpeople need to get the truth about the future that isn't very bright for new and getting dark for many old.

« Reply #24 on: May 21, 2011, 18:16 »
0
I feel it is important to figure out what you are returning per hour/per year. Start tracking your time, including setup, shooting, uploading, keywording, research, etc. After your port has been online for six months or so, start doing the math. If you spend 10 hours/week for three months, and after all those images have been up for another three months, divide your earnings by 130 (10 hours x 13 weeks), multiply that x 4 (to give you a full year). This will give you $ per hour per year that you earned. It is important to consider that your images only yield returns after they are uploaded and accepted (duh.) - that is why you track the 3 months post instead of the 3 months during which you produced them. As months/years go by, you can get a better feel for how much you are making per hour of work as the ups and downs average out.

Because there are various strategies to microstock (mainly either focusing on quality or quantity - assuming that a better image takes longer to produce on average), the number of files you need to get $1000/mo. could be anywhere from 20 to 10,000. But if you calculate the $/hour/year, you can get a good idea of how well you are spending your time. After you get this initial baseline reading, keep up with what you are making per hour per year - the idea is to make that # go up. So if you find that in the beginning each hour of your work returns you $8/year, then work on getting it up to $10/year and so on. $10/hour doesn't seem like much, but remember that those returns keep coming year after year - the additive and passive income potential over years is what make stock photography so financially rewarding - it is like a retirement plan (kind of).

But in answer to your question, a very rough average for microstock image returns is $2-5/image/year. More calculating, refined photographers will make more per image, "shooters" may make less. So to make $1000/month, you probably need a portfolio of at least 3000 images to make that kind of money, probably more. The more sites you upload those images to, the more you will earn, obviously. But the same image will usually make much more on SS or IS than it will at one of the smaller sites. So you have to decide which sites are worth your time. Uploading and keywording is a not-negligible part of your time working, especially if you lean more towards being a "quantity" contributor.

As you go, you'll get more efficient at shooting, selecting better subjects and style, keywording, etc. - which will make you more efficient overall, and give you higher returns in the long run for each hour you spend working.

But before you worry too much about all this, if you are just beginning then just start learning, shooting, and uploading. See how much you like it. MS certainly isn't a get-rich-quick method. But it can be a get-rich-slow method if you hammer away for years (I have regrettably missed out on a lot by hardly working on my portfolio over the 6 years or so I've been doing this. Some years I only uploaded a few images). You can focus on maxing out the upload limits each week for whatever sites you are using (like IS is 24 photos/week for non-exclusives I think) - that way you know that you are doing as much as you can. As you continue, make those 24 images/week (or whatever # it is) better and better, or take less time - you can increase your yield per hour of work either way: get more done in an hour or get more money for the work you do. But focusing on filling those queue limits can give you a good goal. That kind of assumes that you are going to go at it full force.

One way to maximize your efficiency is to go exclusive with a site. You probably can make more money being independent overall than being an exclusive, but being exclusive is a LOT less work - so you can probably make more money per hour of work being exclusive than being independent (results may vary). But being exclusive carries more risk - what if, say, your exclusive site decides to cut commissions in half? Or, if they go under? Being independent is like having a diversified investment portfolio. Also, each site has their particular pros and cons, and 'types' of images that sell well, etc. I'm sure that IS exclusives make the most money out of the microstock site-exclusive contributors, but you may decide that the benefits of another site work better for you - or that being independent is a better fit. I do several sites just out of principle and so that all my eggs aren't in one basket. But I only upload to 5 sites, so I would probably do better by going to IS exclusively - but I don't like their practices so I won't.

It is good that you are thinking about these issues and asking questions, but the best way to learn is to just browse the collections and get an idea of what kind of images are needed, and start making and uploading those types of images ASAP. You will naturally figure out what works for you as you go - and keep asking questions and reading forums!

Also, take note that this advice is coming from someone who has just a few small ports - so take it with a grain of salt. This is just the way I think about microstock. People doing it full-time have a lot more at stake, and so may have thought harder about these issues. 


 

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