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Monthly Income

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#41 John Richmond

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Posted A week ago

In stock photography (and Alamy) terms I'm still very much a newcomer, with only 3 years portfolio building since I joined Alamy in January 2014.  I'm not with any other agency.  So understand that anything I say is based on that limited experience.

 

It's certainly possible to make a small income from Alamy sales.   However, it takes time to build up, and it's certainly dependent on image quantity, quality and appeal to likely buyers.  I think I've been reasonably successful, with 203 image licenses reported to date, but that's not generating a lot of money.  The average net monthly payout for this year - 4 payouts, January to April - is just over $100.  Useful - but hardly enough to call it a living.  It's also been hard work.  Shooting, processing, keywording, and uploading all take time and energy to add the 100 images a month I've averaged.

 

I am, admittedly, shooting mostly in a specialised area.  But it's something I know a lot about so the accurate keywording and captioning that will draw the buyers comes very easily to me.  Of course, once images are seen, they have to be good enough to capture the buyers - but that's the case in any area of stock.  I appear to be doing well enough to have a rolling year average CTR of 1.04, nearly double the Alamy average, and giving me around 2 - 3 sales per 1000 images per month.  Even so, $500 - $700 a month net earnings looks way in the future.  I'm going to need a lot more images of similar or better quality than I have now.  As one of the other contributors has remarked in another thread, "it's a marathon, not a sprint".  Don't expect too much, don't expect it for some time, and don't rely on it.  It's easy to have bad months where you earn virtually nothing.


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#42 Stephen Rees

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Posted A week ago

I think it was much easier starting 10 years ago. I'm sure it's still possible to make $500+ a month for those starting now but much more difficult.  I disagree with the need for 10,000+ images.  I've seen some portfolios with less than 500 images doing really well.  Alamy is just one site and there's many places to make money from photography.  I also think video is a good way to boost earnings but Alamy isn't the best place for that.  Just using Alamy to make that money would be extremely difficult but I'm sure some new people could do it.


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#43 arterra

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Posted A week ago

I think it was much easier starting 10 years ago. I'm sure it's still possible to make $500+ a month for those starting now but much more difficult. I disagree with the need for 10,000+ images. I've seen some portfolios with less than 500 images doing really well. Alamy is just one site and there's many places to make money from photography. I also think video is a good way to boost earnings but Alamy isn't the best place for that. Just using Alamy to make that money would be extremely difficult but I'm sure some new people could do it.


What many tend to forget is that newbies get a headstart because Alamy offers them a medium ranking. If - within a couple of months - they don't get a few sales (because they hardly have any images) that medium ranking goes down the drain, resulting in their images thrown in the back ...... to be forgotten. So, having MANY GOOD SALEABLE images is very important if you want to maintain that medium ranking. Otherwise .... game over. Stock is very simple: images not seen >> no sales.
I really don't understand why people keep saying that a big port is not important :wacko: Isn't it logic itself that the more subjects you cover, the more sales you get? :huh:

Cheers,
Philippe (B.t.w. who's the coward having pleasure to give me all those red ones? Should I guess?)


Edited by arterra, A week ago.

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#44 anna182016

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Posted A week ago

I will try my best and thanks for the advise


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#45 David_Buzzard

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Posted A week ago

I'm hesitant to call BS on that's guy's micro stock sales, but I'm close.  At $.25 a shot or however much you make off micro stock, that's like 4,000 sales a month.  He's also taken 25 trips in seven years (I wish I could afford to travel like that).  It's not that theres anything wrong with his work, it's just looks the same as tons of other photographers selling micro stock.  

 

As a BC based photographer, Vancouver is pretty well covered.  It's a pretty small percentage of my sales.  If I had any advice for you, it would be make a list of everything about Vancouver that would be of interest to someone from somewhere else (or even locally, often it's cheaper to buy a photo from Alamy in the UK than to send out a local photographer).  Off the top of my head, I would say real estate, asian immigration, and tourism, for starters.  If you're really daring, the fentanyl crisis is a really under reported story, visually at least.  Everyone who goes to Vancouver gets a picture of Stanley Park, so as a result, the market for that is really saturated, so think outside the box.  My best sales on Alamy are from places nobody else goes.


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#46 John Mitchell

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Posted A week ago

I think it was much easier starting 10 years ago. I'm sure it's still possible to make $500+ a month for those starting now but much more difficult.  I disagree with the need for 10,000+ images.  I've seen some portfolios with less than 500 images doing really well.  Alamy is just one site and there's many places to make money from photography.  I also think video is a good way to boost earnings but Alamy isn't the best place for that.  Just using Alamy to make that money would be extremely difficult but I'm sure some new people could do it.

 

Do you mean $500 gross or $500 net? Big difference.


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#47 John Mitchell

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Posted A week ago

I'm hesitant to call BS on that's guy's micro stock sales, but I'm close.  At $.25 a shot or however much you make off micro stock, that's like 4,000 sales a month.  He's also taken 25 trips in seven years (I wish I could afford to travel like that).  It's not that theres anything wrong with his work, it's just looks the same as tons of other photographers selling micro stock.  

 

As a BC based photographer, Vancouver is pretty well covered.  It's a pretty small percentage of my sales.  If I had any advice for you, it would be make a list of everything about Vancouver that would be of interest to someone from somewhere else (or even locally, often it's cheaper to buy a photo from Alamy in the UK than to send out a local photographer).  Off the top of my head, I would say real estate, asian immigration, and tourism, for starters.  If you're really daring, the fentanyl crisis is a really under reported story, visually at least.  Everyone who goes to Vancouver gets a picture of Stanley Park, so as a result, the market for that is really saturated, so think outside the box.  My best sales on Alamy are from places nobody else goes.

 

True, Vancouver is very well-covered on Alamy. You have to look for "trending" subjects. That said, my Vancouver sales have been picking up. Today, a downtown skyline shot taken through my doctor's office window licensed. There is still a demand for stereotypical images taken from a unique perspective.


Edited by John Mitchell, A week ago.

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#48 wiskerke

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Posted A week ago

I'm hesitant to call BS on that's guy's micro stock sales, but I'm close.  At $.25 a shot or however much you make off micro stock, that's like 4,000 sales a month.  He's also taken 25 trips in seven years (I wish I could afford to travel like that).  It's not that theres anything wrong with his work, it's just looks the same as tons of other photographers selling micro stock.  

 

As a BC based photographer, Vancouver is pretty well covered.  It's a pretty small percentage of my sales.  If I had any advice for you, it would be make a list of everything about Vancouver that would be of interest to someone from somewhere else (or even locally, often it's cheaper to buy a photo from Alamy in the UK than to send out a local photographer).  Off the top of my head, I would say real estate, asian immigration, and tourism, for starters.  If you're really daring, the fentanyl crisis is a really under reported story, visually at least.  Everyone who goes to Vancouver gets a picture of Stanley Park, so as a result, the market for that is really saturated, so think outside the box.  My best sales on Alamy are from places nobody else goes.

 

I count 115 searches with 0 views. Even if some are misspellings, those could have been included in someone's keywords.

In total there have been 490 searches for the rolling year with less than 100 views. That's just for Vancouver.

If you would do that research for everything you have access to in your house; street; school; supermarket, my bet is that you would come up with thousands of subjects with no or few views, meaning very few images that cover them.

(children - 1321 with 0 views; Canadian - 116 with 0 views; 1750 0 views for school.)

 

We had a discussion once on this forum about negative vs positive images or subjects.

We then found out that searches favored positive things like 95% vs 5% or even 99% vs 1%, depending on the subject.

There's no reason to think sales are very different. Besides most would probably be newspaper sales.

That's just the nature of stock. If someone comes from a traditional pj background that's a really difficult switch to make.

People coming from art school or from camera clubs will face similar difficulties to adapt.

 

wim


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#49 anna182016

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Posted A week ago

i was asking for monthly income


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#50 wiskerke

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Posted A week ago

i was asking for monthly income

 

Yes of course. Sorry to have missed that.

We do have a monthly thread for that here. If you click on the blue numbers underneath a poster's image to the left, you can look at someone's entire portfolio.

 

January 2017
February 2017
March 2017
April 2017

 

If you use the search function for this forum, you can go back several years.

 

wim

 

edit: most numbers are $$ gross. So half goes to Alamy or, in case of a sale through a sub-distributor, 40% to the distributor and 30% to Alamy, leaving the contributor with 30%.


Edited by wiskerke, A week ago.

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#51 arterra

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Posted A week ago

 

i was asking for monthly income

 

Yes of course. Sorry to have missed that.

We do have a monthly thread for that here. If you click on the blue numbers underneath a poster's image to the left, you can look at someone's entire portfolio.

 

January 2017
February 2017
March 2017
April 2017

 

If you use the search function for this forum, you can go back several years.

 

wim

 

 

+1

 

I was just about to write the exact same response but you beat me to it  ;)

 

BUT ......... it's difficult to compare photographers' sales because they depend on 

  • ranking (are your images found within the first few pages of search results?)
  • quality (you have to decide for yourself whether or not your images are on par with those that sell well)
  • saleability (is there a lot of demand for the subjects you cover?)

 

Cheers,

Philippe


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#52 anna182016

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Posted A week ago

thankyou


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#53 wiskerke

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Posted A week ago

 

 

i was asking for monthly income

 

Yes of course. Sorry to have missed that.

We do have a monthly thread for that here. If you click on the blue numbers underneath a poster's image to the left, you can look at someone's entire portfolio.

 

January 2017
February 2017
March 2017
April 2017

 

If you use the search function for this forum, you can go back several years.

 

wim

 

 

+1

 

I was just about to write the exact same response but you beat me to it  ;)

<>

 

Cheers,

Philippe

 

 

John Mitchell beat us both by a mile: he has posted a link yesterday. ;-)

 

wim


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#54 Autumn Sky

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Posted A week ago

I'm hesitant to call BS on that's guy's micro stock sales, but I'm close.  At $.25 a shot or however much you make off micro stock, that's like 4,000 sales a month.

 

He's getting more than .25, as he is in highest tier + he is probably getting on-demand and extended licenses as opposed to subscription based.  But you do have a point, because it is still considerable amount of downloads.

 

 

Different thing sticks out for me.  His work is really high quality.  It is a bit strange if he is giving away some of them for less than $1 / single image in micro-stock.


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#55 Chuck Nacke

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Posted A week ago

Anna,

 

Was composing a long response to you and the thread, but...

 

As someone who has been a working photographer for over

three decades I will say it is about the image.  If you make

great images you will make money.

 

I can also tell you that based on my over 30 years of agency 

experience Alamy is the best place to have images and receive

income from the licensing of those images.


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#56 David_Buzzard

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Posted A week ago

I've said this before, why would you sell your work for $1.00?  You can't get a cheeseburger at McDonald's for that, so that's the value you're putting on your work.   

 

All I can tell you about Vancouver is my own experience.  I sell the occasional Skyline photo, but even the really good ones don't move that often.  I can't even get my own newspaper to run one of my Vancouver photos, they'd rather buy one for a buck from Shutterstock.  The stuff that has sold, and sold a lot, are things like the  Chinatown night market, the downtown eastside, the arts scene on commercial drive, etc.  I'd like to go down and do some work on the fentanyl crisis, as most of the Vancouver newspapers aren't really covering it.

 

As for monthly income, I sell about 50 photos a year, for an average price of just over $50 US each, and that's with a couple of thousand images already uploaded.  I probably clear about $1,200 to $1,400 per year after all the fees get paid, so that really just makes it barely makes it a decent hobby.  Keep in mind that you only get paid when the cheque from the client clears in London, so you might go a couple of months without a payout, unless you're doing a high volume of sales.


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#57 David_Buzzard

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Posted A week ago

I'm with Chuck there, we're both a couple of old hands.  Shoot what you you like and what interests you, make it look good, and you'll sell images.


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#58 Autumn Sky

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Posted A week ago

Things are not as simple though in respect to micro-stock, when you are starting. On Alamy -- 1,2,3 .. how many months?  6 to a year on average?  No sale.  Confidence is lost and you think you'll never sell anything;   but on shutterstock you get sale(s) right away, even if they are just pennies.  So after 4 or 5 months you made 100 bucks on shutterstock and zero on Alamy.  It is only normal to make certain conclusions, even if they might be false on a long run

 

Here is another interesting read:  http://trainerjohnph...art-second.html

 

(There are parts 1, 3, and 4 too in his blog).  I thought this was very interesting;  took him 7 months to make 1st sale, quite modest.  But now he is, according to blog, doing quite well. I believe he is active contributor today.  It is also interesting because he seems to shoot mostly flowers, which according to many, is quite hard to get a sale.   So patience plays a big role.

 

I agree with "shoot what you like and make it look good" & for me this is probably best thing said in this thread.


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#59 arterra

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Posted A week ago

I'm with Chuck there, we're both a couple of old hands. Shoot what you you like and what interests you, make it look good, and you'll sell images.


Depends whether what you like is the same as what customers like :mellow:

Just my two cents, but I think one should shoot what the customers like within a field you're interested AND knowledgeable in.
Arterra is a tiny agency distributing the work of 17 nature photographers. I can only state that those who purely shoot what THEY like ........ sell extremely poorly (in fact, they quit a long time ago because it wasn't worth the trouble. They have beautiful images - but really - nobody's waiting for the 50,000th kingfisher on a stick). But those who love wandering in nature and also shoot all kinds of willow buds (boring stuff -_-), badger poo (not exactly exciting :wacko:) or horse roundworms (disgusting :o) sell so well they can make a living from their photography. THAT's reality :huh:
Please only give realistic advice, not false hope or what you would like to happen in a wonderful world. This is a HIGHLY competitive business, not to be taken lightly if you want to make some decent money :mellow:

CWK4HN.jpg
Horse roundworm / Equine roundworms (Parascaris equorum), parasite worms in horse dung / manure

Cheers,
Philippe

Edited by arterra, A week ago.

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#60 RedSnapper

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Posted A week ago

+1 for getting inspiration from Keith Morris.

 

thanks

 

km


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