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Topics - steheap

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I spent a lot of time building my own personal stock site with the Symbiostock plugin for wordpress, but it is time to close it down. So few sales although it does rank well for individual images on Google. But I don't want all those incoming visitors to see a 403 page missing notice. How have those of you who have taken down your personal websites done it and what did you replace it with?


One for the old folks among you all - I wanted to make something that allowed me to copy all the slides and negatives I have from years back. Not necessarily for stock purposes (although I suppose there might be some interesting ones in there) - but I just wanted to be able to look at where we had been on past vacations etc.

Here is my DIY slide scanning rig in all its glory:

And the full article on how I built it:


I know EyeEM might not be one of the bigger earners, but it has been pretty consistent for me recently. As I was adding quite a number of new images, I spent some time trying to understand exactly how the upload process worked and how the keywords went into the system. I learned some things that could really screw with your earnings over time and have tried to summarize all my learning points in a post I made today on my blog.

I'd be interested if others have come up with workarounds - especially for the way that your keywords get thrown away before the image is uploaded to Getty!


New Sites - General / EyeEM Earnings
« on: April 30, 2019, 17:45 »
Anyone had their earnings from EyeEM for April? Nothing so far for me


123RF / US Tax form 1099 from 123RF
« on: February 14, 2019, 09:48 »
I asked 123RF when we will get our 1099 forms from their agency for the 2018 tax year. Helpful as always, they said:

The 2018 tax statement will be made available via the Tax Center page at a later date in March.

Kindly check the page in the coming month for updates on your tax statement.

Hope this clarifies, have a nice day!

Best regards,
Your Submissions & Review Team

Great news for those that like to file their taxes early...


General Stock Discussion / December Earnings
« on: January 02, 2019, 11:07 »
Funny how there used to be a race to publish the previous months results - now, not so much!

So I'll start. December was pretty lousy. After what had seemed like an endless run of months being better than the same month the year before, December dropped by $850 or so for me. Most sites were just poor and little of my holiday shots seemed to sell. However, I also did my annual review of 2018 on my blog and this graph stood out as a real sign of the future:

At this rate, I need to keep doubling my portfolio just to earn the same. Nothing new there, but the steadiness of the decline is the most worrying feature. No sign of a leveling off - just down and down.

Lets hope that 2019 is the year that pulls us out of this - although I can't think of what would cause that to happen, unfortunately.

My full results are here:

Happy new year to all...


Newbie Discussion / Holiday Sale - Getting started in stock ebook
« on: December 25, 2018, 17:53 »
I'll probably get kicked for introducing more photographers to this crowded market, but I have reduced the price of both my ebook, Getting Started in Stock and the bundle including Alex's Brutally Honest guide to stock photography between now and 31 December. The price that shows on my website has been reduced by 25%.

So if you didn't get the present you would have liked for Christmas, here is the perfect solution...

You will find it here:


Adobe Stock / Keyword Order in Lightroom
« on: December 17, 2018, 11:03 »

I'm sure quite a number of us use Lightroom to process and keyword our images before uploading to Adobe stock and its great that many enhancements have come along over the months. But the one glaring issue is that keywords are always sorted into alphabetic order in Lightroom and then Adobe Stock states clearly that the most important keywords must be first.

Are there any plans to fix that in Lightroom and offer a feature to sort keywords by priority order?


General Stock Discussion / Sales in September
« on: October 01, 2018, 12:11 »
Who remembers the good old days when by lunchtime (US time) on the first of each month there was always a vibrant new post detailing the earnings from the previous month? Sometimes it was a race to see who could be the first to report. These days - not so much.

So I'll start. A pretty good month for me (yes, you heard that right) with September being my 16th consecutive month when I have exceeded the earnings in the same month of the previous year. The big saving factor for me this month were my video sales - $564 our of a total of $3315 for the month.

Full details as usual on my blog:


General Stock Discussion / How was your August?
« on: September 01, 2018, 19:22 »
Am I the first to report this month. A pretty good month for me, helped by an amazing $79 on Canstock and two big print sales on Fine Art America.

15th consecutive month where I have exceeded the earnings in the same month in the previous year.

Full details as usual on my blog:


11 / CanStock on a roll...
« on: August 30, 2018, 08:56 »
I don't know what is going on with Canstock this month but I have sold 3 high priced images this month for $24.90, $19.90 and $9.80 to bring my total earnings to $80. Normally it is $10 to $20 a month. Whatever they are doing - lets hope it continues.

I applied for a payout!


I came across a new product a few days back that looked interesting for travel photographers - Steadify. I talked about it on my blog here: but basically it is a support that fastens to a belt and then has an extending monopod like arm that comes up to support the camera or lens. I've seen nothing other than their publicity information, but it looked interesting.

Anyway, the point of this post - their Kickstarter campaign has just gone live and there are some interesting early bird offers. Here is the link to that campaign: This is not an affiliate link but the company did provide me with a shortened link so that they know where the interest is coming from.

I'm planning to buy one and test it on my next travel trip.


You might be interested in a Flipboard magazine that Alex and I curate about stock photography. We basically collect interesting articles that have a bearing on our business and make them available in the Flipboard magazine style. Just saying....


Yaymicro / Yay Images - how to see contributor account?
« on: February 18, 2018, 12:26 »
I had a portfolio on Yay Micro when they closed and pretty much forgot about it. I see that Yay Images is still in business and my images are still for sale over there. When I try to log on, I get the message that YayMicro credentials are not accepted and you need to create a new account. Anyone done this and how do you get back to ownership of your own portfolio and see if there is anything owed for sales of those images?


General Stock Discussion / January Earnings
« on: February 01, 2018, 09:34 »
I saw there was a Shutterstock thread, but that seems to be turning into a cap discussion again. Have you ever thought how complex the code would be to change the search order for every keyword for every contributor that had earned a bit more than normal in the previous day/week? And why?

But back to the subject. My January was pretty reasonable. January is always a low month for me, but I increased by 23% over January 2017 to end with $2727 for the month:

The individual sites were a mixed bag - the earnings from some of the sites with larger prices depend very much on just how many of those I get in the month. Statistically that goes up and down. Anyway, full details as usual on my blog:

Happy shooting in 2018!


General Stock Discussion / Review of 2017
« on: January 03, 2018, 09:25 »
I've finally finished writing my review of 2017 from the point of view of a "generalist" contributor. Things were not too bad (dare I say pretty good??) for me in 2017:

These are my total earnings year by year since I started in 2008. 2017 showed a nice bump over the past two years, mainly thanks to Adobe Stock.

The full analysis is here:


General Stock Discussion / Workflow for multiple agencies
« on: December 19, 2017, 18:01 »
Having a bit of free time on my hands, I decided to update the description of the workflow I follow to upload my images to 16 different agencies. If you are interested in how I organize myself to do this, here is the post:


General Stock Discussion / Earnings in November
« on: December 01, 2017, 16:42 »
What is this - mid afternoon and no-one has posted about November earnings? Are we losing enthusiasm or something?

Great month for me - my best if I ignore one $1060 ImageBrief sale a couple of years back. Here is the overall picture:

My discussion is on my blog:


19 / Dreamstime Blog Post Competition
« on: November 29, 2017, 14:54 »
Dreamstime have announced (on their blog) a competition for the best blog post posted on their site between now and December 22nd:

I decided to write about a tricky subject how to come up with ideas (and images) to illustrate things in the news. I know this is a shameless request, but if you have an account at Dreamstime, would you mind having a look at my blog post and, if you find it useful, click on the green Useful button at the top of the left column (at least it is there on a webpage view of their blog!)

Here is my entry:

Thanks, Steve

MicrostockSubmitter / Stock Submitter for VideoBlocks images
« on: August 11, 2017, 15:23 »
VideoBlocks now accept images from approved photographers. Is there a way to upload and submit images to VideoBlocks from Stock Submitter?


I'm thinking of trying drone video and photography and add to my portfolio. As I read the US regulations, it sounds as though you need a Remote Pilot Certificate (for $150) to avoid fines from the FAA. Do the stock agencies such as SS, Adobe, Pond5 require proof of that, or is the risk more with the FAA?

Finally, I'm sure I need to then look at the registration requirements in each country I take the drone to - I doubt if my US Remote Pilot Certificate works like a drivers license!


Adobe Stock / Search within contributor portfolio on Adobe
« on: July 03, 2017, 08:13 »
I'm sure there must be an easy way to do this, but I can't see it! Is there a way to search for certain images (by keyword) within my portfolio on either Adobe or Fotolia?


The perennial question for contributors is whether to submit a "great" image to the midstock agencies (such as Alamy) and make it RM rather than submitting to all agencies (which makes it RF almost by definition) and losing the chance of those high priced RM sales. I decided I really need to analyse that question as best I could with my own sales to see if I could come up with an answer (that works for my sort of portfolio).

The logic and my conclusion is on my blog:

I may, of course, be very wrong, but would welcome counter arguments.


MicrostockSubmitter / Using Stock Submitter for Video
« on: June 25, 2017, 18:42 »
For anyone interested, I did a blog post about how to use Microstock Submitter for video today:


While doing my monthly earnings calculation, I decided to test my Excel skills to work out a quarterly view of earnings per online file at the main agencies I submit to. I went back to 2011 and have plotted the results in my blog post. As you might expect, mid 2011/early 2012 were the "golden years" for me - earnings over 70c per online image per month, but then an uneven decline ever since down to my current level of 42c. February and March were actually a reverse of this trend, but it is far too early to be sure if that is just a flash in the pan. Of course I could go and delete my poor images and improve this number, but as most of us know, we never really know which images are going to sell although we hopefully get better at that over the years.


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