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[1 Dec 2009 | 3 Comments | ]
Microstock Photography Earnings – November 2009

November brought a slight drop in my earnings from microstock photography. I was quite busy last month adding 67 pictures to my portfolio – 1823 pictures in total with the largest selection online with Shutterstock – 1565.

iStock, Shutterstock and Dreamstime provided 81% of my microstock earnings. My RPI (return per image taking into account the entire microstock portfolio) was down to $0.79 in comparison to $0.84 in October and $0.73 in September.

I added a profit line (earnings minus expenses) to a graph below. What it is included in expenses I explained in two previous posts Am I Really Making Money from Microstock Photography ?

I just completed 2 years in microstock photography. November was my 2nd month with a profit above $1000 (well, slightly above).

iStock. BME, 44% of my microstock income. 43 new pictures added. $0.92/download – same as in October.

Shutterstock. 26% of my earnings. 65 new pictures added. $0.45/download (1 EL and 11% from “on demand downloads”) – lower than in October.

earnings, goals & milestones »

[14 Nov 2009 | 9 Comments | ]
Am I Really Making Money from Microstock Photography ? Part 2

First part of this article was easy. I simply decided that I would measure productivity of my portfolio in reference to the total number of pictures I have produced for microstock. These cover rejects, pictures not submitted and some multiple versions, so they represent my entire work for microstock including learning process and some failed projects.

To proceed further I need make some assumptions and guess estimates.

After two years of microstock photography I consider myself the part-timer. I have half time in a regular job and some other streams of income in a self employed mode. It means that I can share different expenses between my self employed activities. I am not planning to work a full time for microstock.

I do not keep records of my hours spent on microstock. That wouldn’t be fun … My estimate is that I am working about 60 hours per month, i.e., 1/3 of my time. I am doing this quite regularly shooting a 3-4 times per weeks and processing and submitting a few pictures almost every day. No special shooting campaigns or “power weeks.”

I am analyzing here 23 months from December 2007 to October 2009. To build a portfolio of 1748 pictures I needed 1380 hours. It results in about 46 minutes per picture.

After months of experimentations my stock photography is focusing now on a table top subjects and concepts in my home office/studio. I enjoy a lot of outdoor activities (paddling, hiking, biking) usually with a camera. However, sales of my “recreational” pictures are too low to justify counting these trips into expenses and labor time related to microstock. However, I take into account time needed to process these outdoor pictures for microstock submissions.

Some short trips are planned specifically for microstock shooting. It is sad that shooting a local sewage outlet is much more profitable from microstock perspective than visiting Rocky Mountain National Park or other scenic destinations in Colorado where I live.

earnings, featured, goals & milestones »

[8 Nov 2009 | 14 Comments | ]
Am I Really Making Money from Microstock Photography ? Part 1

Is it just a hobby providing a supplemental income or business? Am I really making any money here?

earnings, portfolio »

[1 Nov 2009 | Comments Off on Microstock Photography Earnings – October 2009 | ]
Microstock Photography Earnings – October 2009

October was quite successful for my microstock photography. I added 80 pictures to my portfolio. Sales are still growing: BMEs for most of agencies, $1478 in total sales, $250 more than in September. iStockphoto, Shutterstock and Dreamstime provided 80% of earnings. My RPI (return per image taking into account the entire microstock portfolio) was up to $0.84 in comparison to $0.73 in September and $0.71 in August.

iStock. BME and #1 with 42% of my microstock income. 59 new pictures added. $0.92/download – lower than in September due to increasing number of Xsmall downloads within $0.20-0.30 range. I guess I am producing pictures for bloggers.

Shutterstock. BME. 71 new pictures added reaching 1500 files, $0.50/download (1 EL and 14% from “on demand downloads”). However, last 6 months in SS were rather disappointing. In October I made only $34 more than 6 months ago in April despite of “feeding the beast” regularly, adding 387 new pictures and jumping to higher payment rate during that period. Before April 2009 I had almost a year of constant growth in SS.

DreamsTime. BME. 52 new pictures added, $0.85/download. It is getting more and more difficult to get my pictures accepted there (too similar …, lack of concept …).

StockXpert. BME. A great performance with 70% of sales still coming from Jupiterimages and Photos.com. The last good month?

Fotolia. Slightly lower earnings than in September. 44 new pictures added, $0.90/download.

123rf. BME with $44.50 (more than double September earnings). I started to rotate pictures in my “favorite” collection. A coincident?

earnings, featured »

[4 Oct 2009 | Comments Off on My Microstock Pie – Earnings Split by Agency | ]
My Microstock Pie – Earnings Split by Agency

There is always a lot of discussion among photographers which microstock agency is the best performing one, which belongs to the “Big 6”, is it Big 6 or Big 5, 4, …

earnings, portfolio »

[1 Oct 2009 | 12 Comments | ]
Microstock Photography Earnings – September 2009

I got more busy with microstock shooting in September and added 77 pictures to my portfolio. However, the September results are somewhat mixed. BME in iStock and Fotolia, a not bad performance of Shutterstock and Dreamstime, but my smaller players went down. I increased my earnings by 8% in comparison to August, but I hoped for better results after summer slow time. Well, actually August was pretty good for me.

IS and SS provided 74% of my microstock income. Adding DT and FT makes almost 89%. This is my big 4 or rather 2+2.

Shutterstock. A better performance than in August, but still well below the April or June. 67 new pictures added, $0.43/download.

DreamsTime. Performance close to July BME. 59 new pictures added, $0.86/download.

Fotolia. BME duet to 5 ELs. 50 new pictures added, $0.94/download.

StockXpert. Unfortunately going down after 3 months of good performance (-33%). Photos.com and JupiterImages subscriptions provided more than 60% of earnings.

Veer. I uploaded most of my portfolio. My acceptance rate is above 80%, however, they rejected practically all my best selling pictures as not suitable for stock. Nevertheless, it looks promising.

earnings, portfolio »

[4 Sep 2009 | Comments Off on Microstock Photography Earnings – August 2009 | ]
Microstock Photography Earnings – August 2009

I spent much less time on microstock in August than usual. I added only 40+ pictures to my portfolio. Nevertheless, I reached to important milestones at iStockphoto and Shutterstock, and a new BME in total earnings.

dreamstime, earnings, other stocks, portfolio »

[1 Aug 2009 | 3 Comments | ]
Summertime! Earnings from Microstock Photography in July 2009

Summertime and microstock sales are slow. I added 61 new pictures to my portfolio in July, but my earnings dropped down by 9%. My RPI was down from 0.70$/image to 0.61. This is my total RPI derived using the number of all my pictures prepared for microstock (not pictures accepted in any particular agency).

IS continued to climb and is definitely my #1 earner. DT was also growing. SXP stayed at the same level despite of uncertain future of that agency. Earnings from SS with only one EL dropped down by 25%. FT experienced even more dramatic decrease in earnings.

July was my 20th month in microstock with $7215 of total earnings.

This month my earning report is shorter than usual since I am just leaving for a week of vacations away of computer and submissions to microstock. I will be paddling in the Missouri River 340 race – 360 miles nonstop from Kansas City to St Charles. This year I am taking Surfrigger, my outrigger canoe, for the race.

I will try to shoot some travel oriented pictures for stock when driving from Colorado across Kansas to Missouri and back. However, during the race I will have only my “paddling” camera, waterproof Pentax Optio W30, so I would be shooting mostly for my Paddling with a Camera blog.

13 Months of Microstock Photography Earnings: June | July | August |September | October | November | December | 2009 January | February | March | April | May | June

earnings, portfolio »

[1 Jul 2009 | 4 Comments | ]
$1000 in Earnings from Microstock Photography in June 2009

I prepared 77 new pictures for microstock in June extending my total portfolio to 1492 pictures. It means that I am slowing down a little bit in shooting for microstock. Fortunately, I don’t see a summer slow down in my earnings. For the first time I reached more than $1000 of monthly earnings!

iStockphoto and Shutterstock provide 70% of my microstock earnings with IS moving to the first place. Adding income from Dreamstime makes almost 80% of earnings, so it’s clear where my focus should be.

earnings, goals & milestones, portfolio »

[27 Jun 2009 | One Comment | ]
How to Evaluate Performance of My Microstock Portfolio?

After 18 months I have my portfolios in 8 agencies with some regular earnings. These portfolios differ in size and, also, in content. The differences will grow in time. I expect to to have two times more pictures with SS than IS soon.

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