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earnings, goals & milestones, portfolio »

[9 May 2010 | 6 Comments | ]
Microstock Earnings – First 30 Months

Where are my monthly microstock earnings reports? I stopped posting them … December 2009 was the last one. I was busy shooting recently. And, those monthly graphs got a little bit boring. However, I am going to write some more general posts on trends in microstock photography from my own perspective.

I am trying to follow my microstock business model as described in my earlier posts: Am I Really Making Money from Microstock Photography ? Part 1 and Part 2. I treat microstock photography as a part time job (1/3 of my time = about 60 hours/month) and I tried to keep all related expenses below 30% of total sales.

How that business model works for me in practice? I ended the 2009 year with a little bit more than 40% in expenses due to a new Canon 5D/II camera with two lenses I bought by the end of the year. My expenses should go down to 30% when looking together at 2009 and the first half of 2010. However, I am not sure if my 30% model is sustainable in a long run unless I significantly increase my sales.

60 hours per month? Well, I am sure I am doing some overtime … I could record hours spent at my home table top studio and in front of a computer, but it would be difficult to clearly separate my part time microstock photography from pictures shot just for fun during paddling or hiking (some of them are ending up in my microstock portfolio).

I gathered 30 months of data including sales estimates for May 2010. So, let’s look at some trends.

portfolio »

[6 Jan 2010 | 2 Comments | ]
Microstock Photography Earnings – December 2009

My profit (after expenses) from microstock photography stayed at the same level of $1000 during the last three months of 2009 year. It happened to be my microstock goal for 2009. However, I was rather lucky in December.

I produced a similar number of pictures for microstock as usual (~65), but mostly during the second half of the month during Christmas time. Earlier in December I spent a week at American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting at San Francisco. Of course I was shooting pictures whenever I could, but I doubt if a visitor to San Francisco can shoot anything what hasn’t not been shot before. Anyway, I extended a little bit my San Francisco portfolio. It was fun.

Sales in all of my microstock agencies except one went down in December. The most dramatic sale reductions happen in Dreamstime and Shutterstock even with a couple of ELs. BigStockPhoto showed a slight increase but well below its BME.

The situation was saved by iStockphoto. It was showing a slight increase of revenue with comparison to November. Then, a day before Christmas, I got a nice gift in the form of three extended licenses. This put IS out of scale and, now, I have problems with my performance graphs.

earnings, portfolio »

[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, 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, 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.

news & links, portfolio »

[23 Sep 2009 | Comments Off on BigStockPhoto – End or New Beginning? | ]
BigStockPhoto – End or New Beginning?

Unexpected acquisition of BigStockPhoto by Shutterstock is discussed everywhere today on all microstock forums and blogs. So, I took a quick look at my portfolio performance at BSP.

I started to submit to BigStockPhoto in January 2008 and currently I have close 1300 pictures there. BSP provided 4.3% of my total earnings from microstock. I plotted my monthly earnings from the last 13 months below.

It is my regular graph of monthly earnings, but I removed iStockphoto and Shutterstock which provide together more than 70% of my income. We can better see how my portfolio is performing in lower income microstock agencies.

Earnings from BSP are low but steady and higher than from 123RF and CanStock. When their payout limit was $30 I was receiving regular monthly payment.

Is it the end of BigStockPhoto or new beginning? I will keep to submit my pictures.

Related post: Microstock Photography Earnings – August 2009

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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