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05/18/2005 11:38:49 AM · #1

how much can you realistily make doing stock photos ? not 0.10 but 1000$
is anyone here making 'real' money ?

today is my last working paid day .. & effectively after this they close the doors
so i will have plenty of time soon ;)
I believe my images are good enough for stock & with more time i believe i can make many images ...

05/18/2005 11:45:25 AM · #2
I recently signed up to ShutterStock (although there are more stock agencies out there). I think quite a few people here use it, you get 20cents per download, but be careful - they only pay out when you get $75 (if you decide to quite before you earn that much you get nothing). I've only got a balance of about $2, but I've only been doing it for a week and only have a few images. My way of thinking is that any money for images usually sitting on my hard drive doing nothing is nice! If you have lots of high quality images ready to upload you should do fine.

Here is a link to ShutterStock: //submit.shutterstock.com/?ref=3557
05/18/2005 11:48:01 AM · #3
Honestly, I'm annoyed with any stock site that sells for twenty cents. I know, I know...we've had that conversation before on DPC.

I signed up to both istockphoto.com and shutterstock and realize I've made a big mistake so I stopped after about 20 images.

At least on shutterstock I'm making money off of references so I'm just going to remove all but one photo and collect the pennies I'm getting from their sales.

If you think you take good photos...collect good money for them.
05/18/2005 11:53:33 AM · #4
Originally posted by thatcloudthere:

Honestly, I'm annoyed with any stock site that sells for twenty cents. I know, I know...we've had that conversation before on DPC.

I signed up to both istockphoto.com and shutterstock and realize I've made a big mistake so I stopped after about 20 images.

At least on shutterstock I'm making money off of references so I'm just going to remove all but one photo and collect the pennies I'm getting from their sales.

If you think you take good photos...collect good money for them.


I suppose it depends on what way you look at it. I'm not in it to earn big money, but if it allows me to buy for example a "free" filter each year I think it's worth it. Just my opinion though, I understand what you mean ;-)
05/18/2005 12:01:58 PM · #5
I see a parallel between the dot-com bust and the impact lowball stock sites are having on the stock photography business. You can't argue with supply and demand; It's simply a reality that today a consumer can buy a much more capable camera and take shots that have commercial utility. In the past, you had to have expensive gear to make suitable images.

Now, there are a lot of pros out there who are capable of making images that an average consumer can not. Those photographers will always serve a niche, and their images will do well at more expensive agencies. in fact, I tend to think that lowball stock sites will have the effect of increasing the value of higer-end stock photos as they get saturated with their lower quality controls. At the same time, there will be fewer pros whose work continues to warrant the higher rates.

It's called commoditization. It happens all the time in different industries. I just watched an exclusive club of computer professionals go through it. IT departments downsized their own groups and back filled with service providers. Many projects which were slated for custom development are now replaced with off-the-shelf products which are less functional but much less expensive.

I'd prefer to make $100 per image than $.20. But if that's my goal, and it's a serious goal, then I should already know why my work is worth more money than the rest of the market I'm trying to enter. No one is undermining any one else; The markets are simply changing. Some will survive, and others will be forced out of business.

I try to think about it like a controlled burn in a forest. Sometimes it takes some pain and destruction to renew an industry.
05/18/2005 12:07:28 PM · #6
I uploaded several photos to shutterstock and dreamstime in late 2004. I continue to make a few cents each day on the photos but have since changed where I upload most photos to. I suggest you check out www.pinupinoo.com (no strings as I don't get referrals, etc. :)) and talk things over with Rachael. She is getting a site started that pays a bit more for photographs and has a different business model. She knows a good deal about stock photos, offers excellent advise and critique, and is a pleasure to work with. Just my two cents :)
05/18/2005 12:07:32 PM · #7
Lets not get started on one of those 20 cent tangents.

Lets look at this from a biginner's perspective - yo may have to start at istock et al - this is not important.

What I (we?) need to know, is to make an income from this (in excess of 10 grand a year for a start) how many photos does one need to have sitting in the stock archives for sale? It is a numbers game...the more pics the more money...so 100, 500, 1000??
05/18/2005 12:20:07 PM · #8
I order of the ones that make me the most money:

1.Istockphoto Over $1500.00
2.Shutterstock over $500.00
3.DreamstimeOver $400.00
4.Bigstockphoto Under $50.00
5.Canstockphoto Under $10.00

Message edited by author 2005-05-19 06:47:31.
05/18/2005 12:23:19 PM · #9
Originally posted by melking23:

I order of the ones that make me the most money:

1.Istockphoto Over $1500.00
2.Shutterstock over $500.00
3.DreamstimeOver $400.00
4.Bigstockphoto Under $50.00
5.Canstockphoto Under $10.00


Those are some great numbers! And I must add that it looks to me like those images weren't just taking up space on your hard drive. You've put some effort into it and it shows.
05/18/2005 12:29:45 PM · #10
Originally posted by cghubbell:

Originally posted by melking23:

I order of the ones that make me the most money:

1.Istockphoto Over $1500.00
2.Shutterstock over $500.00
3.DreamstimeOver $400.00
4.Bigstockphoto Under $50.00
5.Canstockphoto Under $10.00


Those are some great numbers! And I must add that it looks to me like those images weren't just taking up space on your hard drive. You've put some effort into it and it shows.


thanks you very much, yes I have been trying, and I hope to get even better! Melissa
05/18/2005 12:46:17 PM · #11
Originally posted by cghubbell:

I try to think about it like a controlled burn in a forest. Sometimes it takes some pain and destruction to renew an industry.


Good comparison.
05/18/2005 12:47:27 PM · #12
Melissa

I just wanted to say that I went to your istockphoto page and was impressed. You seem to have a business approach to what for most is a hobby.

This is something I'd like to do. I just never what I needed to do. I've been learning a lot from doing these challenges and from studying profiles and images from the stock sites.

I will probably visit later to learn more.

brian

05/18/2005 01:40:25 PM · #13
I've made roughly $900 in 7 months on Istock and Shutterstock.... I like about 20% of the photos I upload, the rest are average to crap and I still make $$ off of them. :-)

With this money, I've just bought a Nikkor 50mm prime and I'm looking into the Nikkor 10.5mm fisheye. :-D

Say what you want $0.20 goes a long way doesn't it? Heck, what I like is that I barely upload stuff anymore and I still make on average $4/day!!

I also have 190 exclusive images up on Pinupinoo so we'll see how that does.

My 20 cents worth. :P
05/18/2005 01:45:33 PM · #14
Originally posted by kosmikkreeper:

I've made roughly $900 in 7 months on Istock and Shutterstock.... I like about 20% of the photos I upload, the rest are average to crap and I still make $$ off of them. :-)

With this money, I've just bought a Nikkor 50mm prime and I'm looking into the Nikkor 10.5mm fisheye. :-D

Say what you want $0.20 goes a long way doesn't it? Heck, what I like is that I barely upload stuff anymore and I still make on average $4/day!!

I also have 190 exclusive images up on Pinupinoo so we'll see how that does.

My 20 cents worth. :P


knowing this is very encouraging :) - thanks for sharing
05/18/2005 01:48:39 PM · #15
Originally posted by briantammy:

Melissa

I just wanted to say that I went to your istockphoto page and was impressed. You seem to have a business approach to what for most is a hobby.

This is something I'd like to do. I just never what I needed to do. I've been learning a lot from doing these challenges and from studying profiles and images from the stock sites.

I will probably visit later to learn more.

brian


thank you very much, That is how I learned, DPC is where i got started!
05/18/2005 01:54:33 PM · #16
Originally posted by melking23:

thank you very much


Melissa I love the page on your website where you showcase your stock images actually in use! Fantastic idea! Are these all images sold via the stock agencies or ones you have sold directly via your own website or in person?

05/18/2005 02:01:51 PM · #17
Originally posted by Kavey:


Melissa I love the page on your website where you showcase your stock images actually in use! Fantastic idea!

Let me second that! How in the world do you find out who's using your images (assuming these were sold through a stock agency)?
05/18/2005 02:38:49 PM · #18
Places such as istock, shutterstock and the like are a great place to get started and learn what works as stock and what doesn't. That's where I started - istockphoto. They're great people and definitly have their place in the market, no doubt.

Last year I started shooting stock full time - specifically based around what would sell well as stock - and submitting to larger agencies (such as Alamy).

With around 2500 photos in my portfolio right now, I've already grossed sales of over $5000 this month and the month is only half over. Of course, there are agency commissions to take out of that and sales vary from month to month, but it's a good way to make a living. I still work hard, even harder than I ever worked before, actually - but it's fun and I wouldn't trade it for anything.
05/18/2005 02:54:45 PM · #19
I really need to buy a better camera
05/18/2005 03:19:17 PM · #20
Originally posted by jodiecoston:

Places such as istock, shutterstock and the like are a great place to get started and learn what works as stock and what doesn't. That's where I started - istockphoto. They're great people and definitly have their place in the market, no doubt.

Last year I started shooting stock full time - specifically based around what would sell well as stock - and submitting to larger agencies (such as Alamy).

With around 2500 photos in my portfolio right now, I've already grossed sales of over $5000 this month and the month is only half over. Of course, there are agency commissions to take out of that and sales vary from month to month, but it's a good way to make a living. I still work hard, even harder than I ever worked before, actually - but it's fun and I wouldn't trade it for anything.


Jodie, your website is lovely!! I'm on dialup, it loaded quickly ... looks so fresh, attractive and easy to follow. And the images are superb!!!!
05/18/2005 03:43:34 PM · #21
Originally posted by Kavey:

Originally posted by melking23:

thank you very much


Melissa I love the page on your website where you showcase your stock images actually in use! Fantastic idea! Are these all images sold via the stock agencies or ones you have sold directly via your own website or in person?


Well thank you nova and Kavey, these are sold via the stock sites and I find them by people telling me or designers emailing me to tell me!

I found a few more today.....I will have to put them on my website soon

Melissa
05/18/2005 03:51:09 PM · #22
Originally posted by jodiecoston:

With around 2500 photos in my portfolio right now, I've already grossed sales of over $5000 this month and the month is only half over.


Of that 5000 how much would you say was generated from people shots? Also how have you found the adaptation from Istock to the bigger places like Alamy? Do you sell the same genre of images now or have you found buyers at Alamy to have a different taste/need?
05/18/2005 04:04:29 PM · #23
Originally posted by moodville:


Of that 5000 how much would you say was generated from people shots? Also how have you found the adaptation from Istock to the bigger places like Alamy? Do you sell the same genre of images now or have you found buyers at Alamy to have a different taste/need?


A very small percentage of my sales are people shots, because I mostly do business and technology still life and digital art. I just looked through my sales and around $300 was people shots. I sell mostly the same kinds of images at Alamy, Acclaim, MyLoupe, etc. as I did at istockphoto, but have definitely refined my style and subject matter as I've figured out what kinds of images sell best for me. If your photos are good, there will be a market for them, no matter where you sell them.

Oh, and that $5000 isn't "typical" it can vary HUGELY... In the summer you start to wonder if the photo buyers have all died and if you'll ever sell a picture again - then it picks back up.
05/18/2005 04:12:16 PM · #24
Originally posted by jodiecoston:

Places such as istock, shutterstock and the like are a great place to get started and learn what works as stock and what doesn't. That's where I started - istockphoto. They're great people and definitly have their place in the market, no doubt.

Last year I started shooting stock full time - specifically based around what would sell well as stock - and submitting to larger agencies (such as Alamy).

With around 2500 photos in my portfolio right now, I've already grossed sales of over $5000 this month and the month is only half over. Of course, there are agency commissions to take out of that and sales vary from month to month, but it's a good way to make a living. I still work hard, even harder than I ever worked before, actually - but it's fun and I wouldn't trade it for anything.


Congrats! Glad to hear you are doing so well and having fun at the same time. I love your input at istockphoto.com keep up the good work :)
05/18/2005 04:26:05 PM · #25
and a follow up to my original question
how long did it take you to ramp up ?
and how did you decide your niche?

thankyou for the responses all/..

(my wife claims i can't make money this way ;)
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