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Author Topic: monthly earnings question?  (Read 9075 times)

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« on: January 12, 2018, 20:07 »
0
Thought there might be a thread about this, but can't seem to find any...

I'm brand new to this, and trying to get an idea of what kind of work/portfolio size/etc I will need to put in, in order to see a good return on my photography/videography. I have done lots of HD/4K/etc photography & video work, just never realized the possibility of selling it online until recently.

If you don't mind sharing -

a) What is your portfolio size?
b) What average monthly earnings (USD) have you seen over the last 12 months?
c) Any specific sites you recommend? (I do see the list on the right, I'm asking about you personally what worked best for you).
d) Any trends/things you'd recommend focusing on? (I.e., certain types of video/styles/etc?)

I also do get the idea of properly keywording/titling/etc the videos/images/etc. Any other recommendations you might make other than that?

Thanks very much!
« Last Edit: January 12, 2018, 20:11 by SuperPhoto »


« Reply #1 on: January 12, 2018, 20:35 »
+8
You'll find we're not too keen on giving out all that data, as it's a dog eat dog world right now.  Still, you might find some useful bits by reading old posts.

steheap

  • Author of best selling "Get Started in Stock"

« Reply #2 on: January 12, 2018, 20:36 »
+2
You might look at some of the blogs out there that explain exactly what you are looking for?

Steve

PS - I mean my own...

« Reply #3 on: January 12, 2018, 20:44 »
0
Mm - didn't think it was really a 'dog eat dog' - simply - because you can't really "copy" a good photo/video. (I.e., there is work involved, which, I think most people are allergic to. And even if you managed to 'copy' the lighting, props, etc - just because you copied it doesn't mean it will sell - because someone already 'beat' you to the punch, etc).

I have taken a look at a few blogs - found the backyardsilver - where I think he said he made about $3k/month. To me - that seems "low" in the stock photography/videography field - but reading some other posts some people seem to be happy to get paid about $50/month.

So I was trying to figure out - if the people making $50/month only say have 10 images uploaded, or - if it's like they having 1000's of images/videos/etc - and are just making that... i.e., how viable it is, etc...

If you know of any major success stories, I'd be interested in hearing about those...

« Reply #4 on: January 12, 2018, 20:46 »
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hehe @ steve - lol - didn't realize you were posting on this forum (and I 'just' quoted you in my previous post).

Nice to 'virtually' meet you! :)

& PPS - thanks for sharing, does help give an insight!


« Reply #5 on: January 12, 2018, 20:54 »
+8
I didn't say it was about copying.  All that you asked for is what could be considered confidential business data.  And not knowing you from anyone, that's a lot to ask.  Nothing personal.

niktol

« Reply #6 on: January 12, 2018, 20:59 »
+1
"Incognito" is the name of my business model, so...

« Reply #7 on: January 12, 2018, 21:49 »
0
@sean, okay, no problem if you don't wish to share. some people do, some people don't, and I respect both decisions.

SpaceStockFootage

  • Space, Sci-Fi and Astronomy Related Stock Footage

« Reply #8 on: January 12, 2018, 23:44 »
0
These answers relate purely to video...

a) What is your portfolio size?

About 550 give or take.

b) What average monthly earnings (USD) have you seen over the last 12 months?

$3,300

c) Any specific sites you recommend? (I do see the list on the right, I'm asking about you personally what worked best for you).

Pond5, Shutterstock, VideoBlocks, iStock and VideoHive are my five best earners. They're not specifically 'recommendations' though.

d) Any trends/things you'd recommend focusing on? (I.e., certain types of video/styles/etc?)

From my experience, motion graphics work sells better than live action video. It also takes more time, so the key is to find a way to make decent quality stuff quickly. Hybrid shots might be an idea... live action hand holding an animation of the Earth etc. They're pretty common, but I'm sure you could come up with something more unique.

« Reply #9 on: January 13, 2018, 03:59 »
+4
$3k is probably top 2-3% I reckon for individuals. Look at SStocks published results and do some maths ;-).

niktol

« Reply #10 on: January 13, 2018, 04:14 »
0

I have taken a look at a few blogs - found the backyardsilver - where I think he said he made about $3k/month. To me - that seems "low" in the stock photography/videography field - but reading some other posts some people seem to be happy to get paid about $50/month.


which amount are you aiming at?

« Reply #11 on: January 13, 2018, 05:26 »
+1
$3k is probably top 2-3% I reckon for individuals. Look at SStocks published results and do some maths ;-).

Do you have a link to the published results?

It's hard to say exactly how many are working for some of the top contributor accounts, maybe 1, maybe 10, but looking at numbers from various sites, the top players seem to pull in around $30,000-$100,000 per month. That means helicopter aerials of all the major cities and thousands of HQ corporate business shots with successful people.

$3k is top 2-3%? Quite unlikely. You really think 1 out of 50 contributors makes $3k per month? Not even close.

I would guess it's not even top 1%, or top 0.1%.

Assuming you pay all the taxes you should as a business, that's right around the lowest full-time pay you can get where I live (i.e. cleaner). In cheaper countries it would go a long way of course.
« Last Edit: January 13, 2018, 05:43 by increasingdifficulty »

« Reply #12 on: January 13, 2018, 05:50 »
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@spacestock - thanks. Yes, from my research I was starting to get the feeling motion graphics does tend to sell better... and was looking at some of the talent - and some of it is very, very good... the scene design, the motion, the actual rendering, etc, etc... something I am considering getting into - but realizing there is a bit of a learning curve...

@nitkol - at least $10-$15k/month

@increasingdiffculty - lol - yes, I was noticing that too... there do seem to be a 'lot' of business shots of 'smiling people shaking hands', etc, and even that seems to be a lot (i.e., versus everyone taking a picture of a tree and uploading that)...

basically, trying to figure out what I need to know about this business to be successful at it online...

« Reply #13 on: January 13, 2018, 05:52 »
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pps #2 - you also do have a good point. in some countries, making $2 USD/hour *is* considered a good wage... so you are competing with hundreds of thousands of people from these types of countries too - part of the reason I think maybe some of these sites can get away with paying contriibutors "$0.35" for a top quality image, etc...

« Reply #14 on: January 13, 2018, 05:57 »
+1
@nitkol - at least $10-$15k/month

Of course, we don't know what kind of work you produce, but to reach that level I would say 10,000 good quality (and commercial) clips would be required (talking live footage only here). If your work is of exceptional quality and hard to reproduce (i.e. helicopter aerials shot on expensive cameras) you would need less.

If you already have a big archive of model released, high quality content, I suppose it could be doable in a year. If not, prepare for a couple of full-time years before you reach that level.

Uploading video to 5 sites is very time consuming.

And 100 slightly different drone shots from the same beach only counts as 1 or 2.  ;)

You'd be surprised how many people come on here and ask why their portfolio of 5,000 clips doesn't bring in more money, when in reality, they only have 500 unique clips.
« Last Edit: January 13, 2018, 06:02 by increasingdifficulty »

SpaceStockFootage

  • Space, Sci-Fi and Astronomy Related Stock Footage

« Reply #15 on: January 13, 2018, 06:01 »
+1
Well, $3K a month is about 35% more than the highest minimum wage in the world (Australia)... so although your statement may be true (right around the lowest full-time pay you can get where I live)... $3K a month isn't exactly on the poverty line, wherever you live!

« Reply #16 on: January 13, 2018, 06:11 »
0
Well, $3K a month is about 35% more than the highest minimum wage in the world (Australia)... so although your statement may be true (right around the lowest full-time pay you can get where I live)... $3K a month isn't exactly on the poverty line, wherever you live!

The minimum wage in Australia is around $2,300 (USD), and where I live, after you pay the necessary business taxes (before income tax), that's approximately what would be left of $3,300. I don't know the business tax rules for Australia, but in most countries, there would be fees to pay before you arrive at the comparable WAGE, that income tax is calculated from. Business income (selling stock) is not comparable to wage.

If you lived in Hong Kong, or any other country with low taxes, you would get to keep all of that. One can also assume that for some people with lower earnings, taxes are simply ignored. So yes, it all depends.  ;)

The point was that maybe 0.1% will see income at that level in this business, just to not make any wild promises.
« Last Edit: January 13, 2018, 06:24 by increasingdifficulty »


SpaceStockFootage

  • Space, Sci-Fi and Astronomy Related Stock Footage

« Reply #17 on: January 13, 2018, 06:25 »
+1
Yeah but nobody quotes earnings after tax. The $2,300 you mention is the minimum wage... which is before any taxes, so if you get $2,300 left from $3,300... then using the same maths, $2,300 is actually $1,602. So $3,300 being the same as $2,300 doesn't work... as you're comparing them differently.   

(It won't be $1,602, as I'm assuming Australia has some kind of minimum earnings threshold like most countries [so that amount will be higher]... but still, I'm just going on the data in this thread)

As far as I'm aware, most published average or median wages are calculated without tax included. As you say... taxes are going to vary widely depending on where you live, so a comparison of amounts before tax would make more sense.
 

« Reply #18 on: January 13, 2018, 06:27 »
0
Yeah but nobody quotes earnings after tax.

Neither did I.

Business earnings (invoiced) is not the same as wage. What you get from the stock sites is not wage/salary. That is a very important difference.

It MAY result in the same amount of money in the end in some countries. In my country (and most western countries), it does not. Taxes are, however, high where I live.
« Last Edit: January 13, 2018, 06:35 by increasingdifficulty »

SpaceStockFootage

  • Space, Sci-Fi and Astronomy Related Stock Footage

« Reply #19 on: January 13, 2018, 06:33 »
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It is, but not in the context of this thread. The point is that whenever somebody says how much they want to earn a month, how much they've made from a certain agency, how much they get per download etc... 99% of the time they're referring to the actual dollar amount received, not how much they'll have left once they've paid taxes.

But still... taxes or not, if someone gets minimum wage in Australia then they get $2,300 a month or $1,600 a month (or whatever it is)... they don't get $3,300.

SpaceStockFootage

  • Space, Sci-Fi and Astronomy Related Stock Footage

« Reply #20 on: January 13, 2018, 06:36 »
0
You did quote earnings after tax, as you're saying that $2,300 is the same as earning $3,300 when you take taxes into account. When you take taxes into account its less than $2,300... not higher.

« Reply #21 on: January 13, 2018, 06:43 »
0
But still... taxes or not, if someone gets minimum wage in Australia then they get $2,300... they don't get $3,300.

Well, they do (if where I live), it's just that the employer pays the social fees (social security, health, etc.) and you don't see them. As a freelancer/business owner, you see them, and have to pay them.

If you want to compare apples to tree trunks, that's fine, but you get a better picture of reality if you compare apples to apples.

Again, in some countries social security is not mandatory and freelance invoicing could be the same as your wage.

Don't know exactly how it is in the UK, but saw something about 9% social fees (I don't live there, so don't know).

That would mean that a $3,300 freelancer income would be comparable to a $3,003 salary.
« Last Edit: January 13, 2018, 06:46 by increasingdifficulty »

SpaceStockFootage

  • Space, Sci-Fi and Astronomy Related Stock Footage

« Reply #22 on: January 13, 2018, 06:57 »
0
Is the $2,300 before or after tax? The $3,300 I'm quoting is before tax which I think we've already establuished. If the $2,300 minimum wage is after tax then I'm the one comparing apples to tree trunks. If the $2,300 minimum wage is before tax, then you're then one comparing apples to tree trunks.

« Reply #23 on: January 13, 2018, 07:17 »
0
$3k is probably top 2-3% I reckon for individuals. Look at SStocks published results and do some maths ;-).


Do you have a link to the published results?

It's hard to say exactly how many are working for some of the top contributor accounts, maybe 1, maybe 10, but looking at numbers from various sites, the top players seem to pull in around $30,000-$100,000 per month. That means helicopter aerials of all the major cities and thousands of HQ corporate business shots with successful people.

$3k is top 2-3%? Quite unlikely. You really think 1 out of 50 contributors makes $3k per month? Not even close.

I would guess it's not even top 1%, or top 0.1%.

Assuming you pay all the taxes you should as a business, that's right around the lowest full-time pay you can get where I live (i.e. cleaner). In cheaper countries it would go a long way of course.
http://investor.shutterstock.com/phoenix.zhtml?c=251362&p=proxy You have to make lots of assumptions to get a figure ;-). Its a guess really and I can't be bothered to mine into the figures. I was being very optimistic with that figure the point is really If you are going to make 3K you have to work very hard and be very proficient in what you do. In the UK minimum wage is 7.50 an hour say $10 so an income of $1500 is probably the floor. Of course though if you were doing Mstock you would have to take out any expenses.

« Reply #24 on: January 13, 2018, 07:59 »
0
Is the $2,300 before or after tax? The $3,300 I'm quoting is before tax which I think we've already establuished. If the $2,300 minimum wage is after tax then I'm the one comparing apples to tree trunks. If the $2,300 minimum wage is before tax, then you're then one comparing apples to tree trunks.

The $2,300 is before tax. But the $3,300 you are quoting is before social fees AND income tax. Your $3,300 is not a wage since you don't have an employer.

Wage (what most people get) = invoiced minus social fees. Employees don't see the social fees as they are paid by the employer. They still exist.

Freelancer payouts (what you get into PayPal) = invoiced (even if you don't actually send an invoice).

Freelancer wage = invoiced minus social fees. You are your own employer so you pay the social fees. Before tax.

All this is before income tax. Again, some countries don't require social fees (or very low), so it would be the same. But not in most countries where healthcare, education, etc. are fully or partially subsidized.

---

Of course, as a freelancer you can also write off expenses before you pay any fees or taxes - travel, cameras, gas, etc. - something you can't do on your wage.

If you buy a lot of gear, this can balance out.
« Last Edit: January 13, 2018, 08:09 by increasingdifficulty »

niktol

« Reply #25 on: January 13, 2018, 10:37 »
+2

@nitkol - at least $10-$15k/month


That's quite ambitious I must say, at least in photography. Of course you do video which is not something I really know about. However, considering the type of questions you are asking, I would say that you have a long learning curve ahead of you before you can realize your potential. Not to dissuade you or anything, but think hard before you invest years of your time in a very fickle market.

steheap

  • Author of best selling "Get Started in Stock"

« Reply #26 on: January 13, 2018, 10:46 »
0
Interesting discussion and I certainly agree with the last comment from Niktol:
Quote
That's quite ambitious I must say, at least in photography. Of course you do video which is not something I really know about.

One thing in this discussion about earnings that hasn't been mentioned - photo and video licensing is very different to other sorts of "work for hire" in that the earnings are not directly related to the work that you are doing in a particular year. So you can stop working on stock photos for 12 months and do something else, and, to a large degree, the income from your photos will continue to arrive. I've not seen any really substantive work on how long that will continue and at what rate it will fall off, but you are certainly looking at several years of similar if falling income after you stop submitting.

I guess a real economics expert could amortize that income back to what you are earning now to give you a better picture of your prospects!

Steve
« Last Edit: January 13, 2018, 10:49 by steheap »


steheap

  • Author of best selling "Get Started in Stock"

« Reply #27 on: January 13, 2018, 10:48 »
0
Duplicate. Sorry

« Reply #28 on: January 13, 2018, 10:49 »
0
Interesting discussion and I certainly agree with the last comment from Niktol:
Quote
https://www.backyardsilver.com/2015/03/serious-eats-guide-to-food-photography/

One thing in this discussion about earnings that hasn't been mentioned - photo and video licensing is very different to other sorts of "work for hire" in that the earnings are not directly related to the work that you are doing in a particular year. So you can stop working on stock photos for 12 months and do something else, and, to a large degree, the income from your photos will continue to arrive. I've not seen any really substantive work on how long that will continue and at what rate it will fall off, but you are certainly looking at several years of similar if falling income after you stop submitting.

I guess a real economics expert could amortize that income back to what you are earning now to give you a better picture of your prospects!

Steve
I think though it would be hard for anyone to estimate as the future is so uncertain. We may all be Kodakcoin millionaires ;-).

niktol

« Reply #29 on: January 13, 2018, 11:09 »
0
I think though it would be hard for anyone to estimate as the future is so uncertain. We may all be Kodakcoin millionaires ;-).

Not that hard, but collection of data will take some time. You are right about the Kodakcoin though. BTW I am spending all my revenues on buying lottery tickets, and that's my way of financial planning.

steheap

  • Author of best selling "Get Started in Stock"

« Reply #30 on: January 13, 2018, 11:54 »
+1
I guess you could estimate it reasonably well if you looked at the earnings of images first uploaded in 2012, say, and tracked them year by year. Of course, that assumes that the agencies don't downgrade the portfolio of someone that stops uploading.

Steve

« Reply #31 on: January 13, 2018, 12:22 »
+2
I guess you could estimate it reasonably well if you looked at the earnings of images first uploaded in 2012, say, and tracked them year by year. Of course, that assumes that the agencies don't downgrade the portfolio of someone that stops uploading.

Steve
You could if you think the last 5 years reflects what will happen in the next 5....I doubt it myself. Any forecast based on past data only really works in a stable or predictable  environment.

niktol

« Reply #32 on: January 13, 2018, 12:26 »
0
It is stable and predictable to a degree. I would go with reasonable projections for one year ahead if past 2-3 years are analyzed.

« Reply #33 on: January 13, 2018, 12:37 »
+2
It is stable and predictable to a degree. I would go with reasonable projections for one year ahead if past 2-3 years are analyzed.
Yeah id say two years is reasonable but I doubt a mortgage provider would agree ;-0. Although of course some believe that SS determine your earnings down to the nearest cent ;-).

niktol

« Reply #34 on: January 13, 2018, 12:59 »
+1
It is stable and predictable to a degree. I would go with reasonable projections for one year ahead if past 2-3 years are analyzed.
Yeah id say two years is reasonable but I doubt a mortgage provider would agree ;-0. Although of course some believe that SS determine your earnings down to the nearest cent ;-).

Reasonable projections cannot rely on the revenue from a single agency. In that respect I believe exclusives are much harder to predict. People get worked up because of daily fluctuations in sales, agencies constantly tinkering with search algorithms (if that's a real thing), prioritization of contributors, caps, real or imagined, all sorts of random things, but in fact it's all noise. There are much more important parameters which aren't agency-dependent than all this nonsense. And those are never mentioned on this forum.

Hey I'm not insisting on anything. It's not academia where I have to validate every  statement and approach.

ShadySue

« Reply #35 on: January 13, 2018, 13:31 »
+2
The OP needs to be specific about whether s/he is talking gross or net. Some of the biggest earners also have the largest expenses, for models, muas, props, locations etc.

I don't think there is much mileage in projecting forward - the agencies keep changing the goalposts (though that applies to iS/Getty more than most) and your files are totally at the mercy of search algorithms.

« Reply #36 on: January 13, 2018, 15:06 »
0
I doubt many will share so academic really...you are right though money grossed is very different from net profit. Personally I wouldn't spend money I haven't got yet from such a precarious exercise unless I had a fall back but I do project earnings forward but don't bet my essential spending on it......


« Reply #37 on: January 13, 2018, 16:51 »
0
@shady - I'm talking gross.

You can always cut down on your expenses (i.e., buy a used camera instead of brand new) so your net profit is higher... but yes -  wanted to know what the gross sales were before taxes/expenses/etc... and what kind of effort needs to be put in to acheive specific goals, etc...

Brasilnut

  • Author Brutally Honest Guide to Microstock & Blog

« Reply #38 on: January 14, 2018, 00:17 »
0
Going back to the OP's original question, there's something to be said about the drawbacks of being results-oriented. In other words, asking how much one can earn before investing in those magical 10,000 words is putting the cart before the horse.

I used to play a lot of poker and perhaps this analogy rings true for this business. In poker, you can make the optimal decisions and lose in the short term (which can feel like an eternity). Eventually with enough smart decisions you'll end up ahead. Many amateur poker players make the mistake of changing their (optimal) strategy when in the short term results are unfavorable.

With stock photography you can spend a considerable investment on gear/setup, models, location, keywording services, uploading software and see the shoot become a flop. This can be to no fault of our own since client habits can be unpredictable to sites chafing the Lagos. What works for me is trying to keep my costs ridiculously low (which can be challenging since I do a lot of travel photography).

A recent example of lower costs is a session I did with my awesome 91 year old grandfather on the theme of fitness for seniors. I wrote about it on my blog:

https://brutallyhonestmicrostock.com/2018/01/11/photo-shoot-older-couple-exercising/

Even if these don't sell, we just had a lot of fun.

« Last Edit: January 14, 2018, 00:24 by Brasilnut »

Brasilnut

  • Author Brutally Honest Guide to Microstock & Blog

« Reply #39 on: January 14, 2018, 00:24 »
0
duplicate (trying to write long posts on phone is tough)
« Last Edit: January 14, 2018, 00:27 by Brasilnut »

Brasilnut

  • Author Brutally Honest Guide to Microstock & Blog

« Reply #40 on: January 14, 2018, 00:25 »
0
Going back to the OP's original question, there's something to be said about the drawbacks of being results-oriented. In other words, asking how much one can earn before investing in those magical 10,000 hours is like putting the cart before the horse.

I used to play a lot of poker and perhaps this analogy rings true for this business. In poker, you can make the optimal decisions and lose in the short term (which can feel like an eternity). Eventually with enough smart decisions you'll end up ahead. Many amateur poker players make the mistake of changing their (optimal) strategy when in the short term results are unfavorable.

With stock photography you can spend a considerable investment on gear/setup, models, location, keywording services, uploading software and see the shoot become a flop. This can be to no fault of our own since client habits can be unpredictable to sites chafing the Lagos. What works for me is trying to keep my costs ridiculously low (which can be challenging since I do a lot of travel photography).

A recent example of lower costs is a session I did with my awesome 91 year old grandfather on the theme of fitness for seniors. I wrote about it on my blog:

https://brutallyhonestmicrostock.com/2018/01/11/photo-shoot-older-couple-exercising/

Even if these don't sell, we just had a lot of fun.
[/quote]
[/quote]

SpaceStockFootage

  • Space, Sci-Fi and Astronomy Related Stock Footage

« Reply #41 on: January 14, 2018, 00:34 »
+8
Maybe it's my overly suspicious nature, but do you read each thread with the primary thought in your head of... "What reply can I provide that will allow me to casually slip in a link to my website, in the hopes that somebody might buy my book"?

 

Brasilnut

  • Author Brutally Honest Guide to Microstock & Blog

« Reply #42 on: January 14, 2018, 05:46 »
0
I want to reinforce the point to keep costs down by shooting friends and relatives, with examples of mg latest shoot. Would be too much unnecessary work and cost  to open up a whole new blog site.  :)

Sorry about duplicates above I don't know what happen (when I tried to edit it made a new post)


« Reply #43 on: January 14, 2018, 05:56 »
0
"With stock photography you can spend a considerable investment on gear/setup, models, location, keywording services, uploading software and see the shoot become a flop. This can be to no fault of our own" well it is really may be unavoidable and will happen but I'd put it down to poor research. Done it many times myself if my pictures don't sell I don't blame the crooked agencies or luck.......

derek

    This user is banned.
« Reply #44 on: January 14, 2018, 07:09 »
+1
Well stock-photography is ALL about shooting what sell finding a niche etc or else the whole venture is futile! to a newbiee just scan the internet and see whats there. Its a cut-throat game and all friends here but dead enemies in searches, agencies etc.
Thats what its all about.

« Reply #45 on: January 14, 2018, 07:26 »
0
Well stock-photography is ALL about shooting what sell finding a niche etc or else the whole venture is futile! to a newbiee just scan the internet and see whats there. Its a cut-throat game and all friends here but dead enemies in searches, agencies etc.
Thats what its all about.
One of those rare occasions when I agree ;-).

« Reply #46 on: January 14, 2018, 14:10 »
+1
I would not discount the vagaries of what happens on the sites - delays in indexing, search changes, and someone else uploading a flood of similar content (or not) right after you can all have a huge effect on how well an image sells. Unfortunately there isn't a lot we can do about it other than upload more so that those effects get averaged out.

These things can happen in our favor or against them. I know of instances where this worked in my favor, and I suspect ones where they went against me.

The more your images are unique and in demand the more they will sell no matter what the agencies do or don't do.


« Reply #47 on: January 14, 2018, 15:00 »
0
I would not discount the vagaries of what happens on the sites - delays in indexing, search changes, and someone else uploading a flood of similar content (or not) right after you can all have a huge effect on how well an image sells. Unfortunately there isn't a lot we can do about it other than upload more so that those effects get averaged out.

These things can happen in our favor or against them. I know of instances where this worked in my favor, and I suspect ones where they went against me.

The more your images are unique and in demand the more they will sell no matter what the agencies do or don't do.
yes of course there's luck or as some like to call it "statistical variation" but as you say the harder (and smarter) you work the luckier you get. You can control what you do but not your luck.

steheap

  • Author of best selling "Get Started in Stock"

« Reply #48 on: January 18, 2018, 19:59 »
+1
Quote
Quote from: steheap on January 13, 2018, 11:54
I guess you could estimate it reasonably well if you looked at the earnings of images first uploaded in 2012, say, and tracked them year by year. Of course, that assumes that the agencies don't downgrade the portfolio of someone that stops uploading.

Steve
You could if you think the last 5 years reflects what will happen in the next 5....I doubt it myself. Any forecast based on past data only really works in a stable or predictable  environment.

This comment got me thinking about my own images and whether I could track their performance once I stopped uploading that particular subject or theme. I did find a subject (cats) that I stopped uploading in 2012 - even last year, they are still giving a pretty good performance - it is falling off, but still worthwhile. Now that isn't the same as stopping uploading altogether, but it does show that our images do have a pretty good shelf life. This graph shows the top level picture, and the full analysis is here:
https://www.backyardsilver.com/2018/01/can-make-just-travel-stock-photos/



Steve

namussi

« Reply #49 on: January 19, 2018, 08:35 »
+1


With stock photography you can spend a considerable investment on gear/setup, models, location, keywording services, uploading software and see the shoot become a flop. This can be to no fault of our own since client habits can be unpredictable to sites chafing the Lagos.



"Chafing the Lagos"?????

Brasilnut

  • Author Brutally Honest Guide to Microstock & Blog

« Reply #50 on: January 19, 2018, 08:48 »
+3
^^ Synonym to covfefe  ;D

Ps: writing and trying to edit long posts on phone at weird hours is a bad idea.

StockbyNumbers

  • www.StockbyNumbers.com
« Reply #51 on: January 20, 2018, 14:14 »
0
Getting back to the original question - thought my numbers might help a bit. (Footage only)

a) What is your portfolio size?

700 Different clips, all listed on three agencies.

2100 clips total - give or take. For three months I only had about 60 clips total, for 12 months I had about 900 clips total. More than doubled the port in the last three months, so hopefully average earnings will increase.

b) What average monthly earnings (USD) have you seen over the last 12 months?

$550 / month average over the last 12.

Started selling about 18 months ago.

c) Any specific sites you recommend? (I do see the list on the right, I'm asking about you personally what worked best for you).

All of my earnings have come from Pond5, Shutterstock, and Videoblocks. I've found SS has the fastest review times, P5 has the best user interface and takes the least amount of time overall for me, pretty good review times. VB is a slower all around but still decent sales there. I uploaded the same 30 or so starting clips to Dissolve a little over a year ago and unlike the other three agencies none of them sold for a year, so didn't pursue it further. Uploading the rest soon though just in case they come back around.

d) Any trends/things you'd recommend focusing on? (I.e., certain types of video/styles/etc?)

For my port model footage and a few drone shots have sold best. The drone shots have also had a subject though, so not just landscapes. Boats going down a river for example.

For models it seems like shooting shallow depth of field and backlighting sells pretty well - based on my port and glancing over top sellers at different agencies. Slow-motion has sold a lot as well. 4K sales are slowly increasing too.


 

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