Selling photos – last 5 months report

A summary of the last five months March to July 2010
( previous:  February 2010 )

Medieval KnightThis time there is no detailed description for each agency stats, because it would make a real mess.
I hope charts below will  show best what happens with my images at particular agency.

We are in the middle of vacation period and this probably has some influence on a decline in downloads (black progress line).
It can be just my kind of pictures as well but it’s an ordinary course of events.

Last months I’ve made a great progress with getting more high quality photos. Two things helped me with this.

A postprocessing workflow improvement is the first. All the time I practice  working with Photoshop and browse any websites having tips, tricks and tutorials.

See for example  TipSquirrel , Digital Photography School or  Marc Silber Show & SilberStudios.Tv ( there are hundreds great resources on the internet ).

Shooting thousands of photos and choosing the right one is a part of this process.
( I create graphics and photos for years but this kind of activity always needs improvements ).

Summary earnings change,
month by month since February 2009

The second improvement was made  thanks to two lenses I’ve upgraded my photo gear.  Canon 70-200mm f/4.0L  IS USM and Canon 17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM. They give me a lot more light, speed and sharpness than my standard lenses, so there is a hughe difference with the same shots taken…

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Microstock earnings February 2010

Winter sun raysPhoto sales summary for February 2010 ( previous stats: January 2010 ).

After the December’s craze, February as the shortest month did not look promising.
Fortunately it turned out to my Best Month Ever 8-O. It was even more surprising since I just stopped to watch the stats.

This time I show You one chart less as I have already accidentaly summed up March results so it would be misleading.

Wykres sprzedaży zdjęć w Lutym

Monthly Income Chart
with averaged progress line ( February 2010 )

First lines – February to January

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Stock images earnings – January 2010

Stock photo sales in January 2010 – the eleventh month of my microstock ‘career’ (previous:  December 2009).  Finally I found some time to upload new  images.  Still it was not a big number, about 15 images prepared and some sites accepted less.

The biggest issue is my learning curve which i try to keep steady and steep but some topics and subjects consume a lot more time than i thought.


January 2010 was the last month for StockXpert :(, now it is just a simple backend for the site. You can  see it or read more about closing StockXpert.

Too bad because it was obvious that sales are pretty steady and i need just upload more, though.  On the other side it’s really interesting what will hapen to other stock sites earnings, where the customers will go etc. Ok, and now as usual my stats:

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Stock images earnings – December 2009

December 2009 was my tenth month of selling images on microstock  (previous:  November 2009 earnings). I have been quite busy in a real life and did not uploaded too much pictures.  Also i have almost zero seasonal, Christmas images.. anyways the overall result was pretty good.


More photos from Warsaw on SS

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Stock photo earnings November 2009

Microstock – the game of chance. I wanted to try it and I am in, since almost a year. Great challenge, a way to improve skills and meet new friends. But not only ‘throwing the dice‘ gives results. It needs a hard work and a lot of time. Watching, trying, editing, capturing, shooting, describing, keywording…

Sisyphean uphill job

November 2009 was the ninth month of my microstock career  (previous:  October earnings) and most important things  happen: less uploads from me again :/ caused by lack of time and enhancing my graphic techniques.
Right now I just ended next illustration where I studied the 3D materials generation what is very time consuming and needs a lot of patience and observation. Also my PC isn’t the fastest rocket in the industry.


Monthly Income Chart
with averaged progress line ( November 2009 )

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Stock photo earnings October 2009

I had a little delay with this report cause I was at Baltic Sea You can see on this photo.

Nice trip but weather was  ugly,  fog, clouds, rain, wind… not my kind to shoot, especially I mostly wanted to see  the sights at first.

Calm Baltic Sea Orłowo pier

Anyways, October 2009 was an eight month of my microstock activities  (previous: September earnings) and most important things  again:  more  images uploaded and returned to concept illustrations.

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Stock photo earnings September 2009

September 2009 – the seventh month of my microstock activities  (previous: August earnings).
It was a second month without submitting any images. Just in last 3 days I’ve added some photos thus these don’t count at all. I’ve changed slightly the chart for proper display (corrected the total agencies count (factor from 5 to 7) throughout the whole period).

Chart of  photo sales

Monthly Income Chart
with averaged progress line (September)

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Stock photos earnings in June 2009

June – the fourth month of my microstock activities (May report).

According to latest month charts:

Earned on microstock salesThe progress line means month to month: -1,82%, +11,13%, +54,23%, +34,96%

So the overall trend is pretty nice altough i don’t like the  instability of some sites results. And it’s not about wanting more every day.. but just the pure logic need. There is just fuzzy logic involved ;)  Get  each site policy, programmers skills, vision, customers count and other factors and that mix will always lead to unpredictable results – if You  don’t really know the numbers (e.g real buyers, real microstock site incomes etc. ).  You can read example thread or just my post about those fluctuances at Dreamstime forum.

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Images sales report – April 2009

Antiviral Vaccine What happened in April? That was my second full month. There was many changes compared to March earnings and my first sale period.

Shutterstock (SS) – 20% less downloads (DL)
Fotolia (FT) – over +50% DL
Dreamstime (DT) – over + 50% DL
StockXpert (SXP) – almost no changes

But DLs are not everything, each site pays different amount of money for each sale and there is a surprise. In April Fotolia left Shutterstock behind with earnings! I thought there will be no competitor for SS (except iStock but have no time to apply jet) and in April SS slowed down for me despite of regular submissions. I did realized that just writing this report cause i believed so blindly in the SS;). Total DLs count in April = 47

Dreamstime and StockXpert disappointed and ended about 1/4 of Fotolia sales. April was very slow and this time was no site crashes but the swine flu got hit the world.

And that’s the whole report. My portfolio of photos and illustrations grows slowly and every day i know more thus create better i think. I didn’t ever learned english language, had no school lessons or any, learned from computer and internet, but the microstock adventure bumped my vocabulary few hundred % up. I learned a lot about photography and illustrations altough i knew much about. I also enhanced my social net connections which i’d never liked cause i am the real  maverick. When i start to design something just can’t stop and i disappear for the whole world;).

But there is one more interesting point. May

In May Shutterstock introduced their new search engine solution which got hit many submitters with very low sales.  SS just overcomplicated in it and for example my sales dropped just about 100% in the first 7 days. That’s a real nice surprise. You can read more about on SS forums here - New Most Popular and New Marketing Program and here – what would people change at Shutterstock  If You Owned Shutterstock ).

So we have 8 days of May and what is the short summary ?

1.  Dreamstime – earned over 100% more of March and 200% of May (in cash $) – there is a real boost in sales there for me.
2. Fotolia – 100% of March already and 1/4 of May
3. Shutterstock – shame! i can tell You – 0.75$ after 7.5 days ! That’s below anything.
4. StockXpert – less than SS

I do not count 123RF and BigStockPhoto cause the sales are to small there for me altough they’re moved lately.

Thanks for watching, i’ll update if needed and You can always watch me on Twitter or many other places.