IanButty

Is it possible to make a living out of stock photography any more?

Recommended Posts

On 9/24/2017 at 12:11, IanButty said:

If you had to give one piece of advice to someone considering getting into selling their images as stock photography, what would it be?

 

Why would I want to give advice to someone considering getting into stock photography?  Part of the problem is "people getting into stock photography".

  • Upvote 2
  • Downvote 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote

Why would I want to give advice to someone considering getting into stock photography?  Part of the problem is "people getting into stock photography".

 

Hi Sean,

 

Welcome and good to see you here :)

 

  • Downvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
31 minutes ago, seanlockephotography said:

 

Why would I want to give advice to someone considering getting into stock photography?  Part of the problem is "people getting into stock photography".

 

Most Alamy photographers on these forums have always been welcoming to newcomers.

 

I would much prefer that they contribute here even if that means competition - at least it is a fair, level playing field. 

  • Upvote 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, seanlockephotography said:

 

Why would I want to give advice to someone considering getting into stock photography?  Part of the problem is "people getting into stock photography".

I there were no people getting into stock photography, then there would be no stock photography business so you wouldn't be here either. Likewise if it was just junk. A good quality industry is what keeps you selling images.

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

"Riviera" means "Coast".

In Italy we have some of it for i.e. "Riviera Adriatica" which means "Adriatic coast".

It has nothing to do with the word "Europe", 'cause "Riviera" refers to all the towns, beaches and places that are near the sea.

Edited by KODAKovic

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, KODAKovic said:

"Riviera" means "Coast".

In Italy we have some of it for i.e. "Riviera Adriatica" which means "Adriatic coast".

It has nothing to do with the word "Europe", 'cause "Riviera" refers to all the towns, beaches and places that are near the sea.

 

In Italian yes, but not in Spanish, which is spoken in Mexico. The word for "coast" in Spanish is costa.

 

Mexican tourism developers like to stick "Riviera" in the names of places so that tourists will associate them with luxury. An example is the so-called "Mayan Riviera" along the Caribbean coast of the Yucatan Peninsula. It's a beautiful, once-wild area now mostly spoiled by huge hotel complexes and cruise ship crowds.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, John Mitchell said:

 

In Italian yes, but not in Spanish, which is spoken in Mexico. The word for "coast" in Spanish is costa.

 

Mexican tourism developers like to stick "Riviera" in the names of places so that tourists will associate them with luxury. An example is the so-called "Mayan Riviera" along the Caribbean coast of the Yucatan Peninsula. It's a beautiful, once-wild area now mostly spoiled by huge hotel complexes and cruise ship crowds.

 

That means Europe?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 6-10-2017 at 16:29, Matt Ashmore said:

 

Does a photographer truly ever retire? ..... I bet you'll still see the pictures as you go through life and want to take the photographs as a result! But I guess you don't have to take commission work!

 

Looking at it from another point of view there's the joke...

 

"When I grow up I want to become a photographer."

"I'm sorry but you cant have both..."

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 07/10/2017 at 12:32, Aylish said:

I think the success of stock photography relies on the amount of images you upload and the effectiveness of your tags.  People on here earn thousands.  Marketing skills also make a difference to how many photos you sell. 

 

So I think you can make a living out of this if your persistent and consistent with uploads/tags and Marketing of your photos.

 

Aylish

Aylish

 

Im pretty new to selling photo's. I made the initial mistake of mislabelling and am in the process of correcting them all. One point you made is about marketing of your pics. What do you mean by that and how is it done?

 

Steve 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
On 10/7/2017 at 11:23, KODAKovic said:

 

That means Europe?

 

No, not in this instance. Image KC1191 was taken in Mexico, specifically in Tulum on the so-called "Riviera Maya" or "Mayan Riviera", not in Europe.

 

We seem to be speaking different languages...

 

 

 

Edited by John Mitchell

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think you might as well ask if it is possible to make a living as a footballer.

 

The answer has to be a  theoretical 'Yes' but in practical terms I'd say a resounding 'No'. 

 

But having said that I would say that it is in the realms of being a worthwhile small business.

 

When it isn't I expect the tax authorities will make the decision clear! 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 07/10/2017 at 09:53, seanlockephotography said:

 

Why would I want to give advice to someone considering getting into stock photography?  Part of the problem is "people getting into stock photography".

 

Hello Sean, I've only just realised you've joined the Alamy community, though looking at your portfolio it looks like you've been working here for a year or so. I'll be very interested to hear your insights into life here and on stock photography generally - I know you have a fine pedigree in stock photography. Among many other things we have much discussion on whether microstock type images will sell well at Alamy, especially when the same image is on both Alamy and various microstock sites.

 

I look forward to seeing your contributions to this forum.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote

I'll be very interested to hear your insights into life here and on stock photography generally - I know you have a fine pedigree in stock photography.

 

Sean is a stock photography legend, consistently producing top quality work. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 10/7/2017 at 12:32, Aylish said:

I think the success of stock photography relies on the amount of images you upload and the effectiveness of your tags.  People on here earn thousands.  Marketing skills also make a difference to how many photos you sell. 

 

So I think you can make a living out of this if your persistent and consistent with uploads/tags and Marketing of your photos.

 

Aylish

 

How many people on here earn thousands? Do you mean per month or per year?

 

I think very few earn thousands per month. 3 or 4 forum contributors come to mind, but the vast majority get nowhere near 1 thousand (USD) per month. 

 

I earn £200 (British pounds) per month net from 8900 images on Alamy.  But to make a modest living in the UK, just from stock images on Alamy, I would need to earn at least £2000 PCM.

 

So I need 89,000 images (of equivalent quality) as of today. So I have absolutely no chance. 

 

I set myself a target to reach £300 PCM in a couple of years but that is best I can realistically hope for. 

 

 

  • Downvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, Aylish said:

Only going on what I have read.... oh and you have far too many similar photos if not the same. Do you use SEO? You can go a long way with good keywords.

 

What have you read? As is being noted on the 'financial results' thread, the average RPI on Alamy is a mere £0.10. So if you are average, to earn £1000 per year, you need 10,000 images. 

 

What has SEO got to do with Alamy? I don't see the connection.

 

As a newbie with just 12 images on Alamy I am not sure you have the experience to judge how many similars is too many on Alamy. Each person decides their own strategy. I spread similars across a few pseudos, with my best images on my main pseudo. 

  • Upvote 1
  • Downvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 10/7/2017 at 19:59, funkyworm said:

"When I grow up I want to become a photographer."

"I'm sorry but you cant have both..."

 

:D

 

PS - very jealous of your football pictures. Being on the pitch watching the king sport and photographing it must be heaven, at least that's how I imagine it. Sad to see Robben retire, what a legend.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
32 minutes ago, Aylish said:

...

Search engine optimization it's been talked about quite a bit on here....

 

Aylish

 

Aylish, you've mentioned SEO and marketing in a few posts and I'm wondering what you mean. Are you just talking about good keywording practice or is there more to SEO in this context than that? Is marketing simply about using a personal website or social media to promote  one's own images? IAre you indicating there is something different we could be doing or simply reinforcing what we already know to be good practices in managing our images?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote

You can go a long way with good keywords.

Oh! Like KCWY2m and KCWY1d you mean. Pictures of a Highland Cow, but no mention of the breed in the tags.

 

Pot and kettle ...?

 

 

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
45 minutes ago, Baco said:

 

:D

 

PS - very jealous of your football pictures. Being on the pitch watching the king sport and photographing it must be heaven, at least that's how I imagine it. Sad to see Robben retire, what a legend.

 

Baco,

 

Kind of you to say so. Sometimes I (we) have to kick ourselves in the backside and appreciate the situation we are in. However, it is a lot of work. I reckon covering a football match is ten hours work and colleagues I have spoken to say about the same. Covering the hockey in the summer, I had days where the first game started at nine in the morning and the last, sixth match at eight in the evening. And it is work, lots of hoops to be jumped through, I rarely go to a match with a skip in my step. The fan aspect declines, I would say there are many on the sidelines who would rather be at home with their families. Linking in with the subject matter of the thread, it is a business and I am covering less and less football because the returns are diminishing. There are less photographers and the big agents are covering all the bases and niches more efficiently (or cheaper.) Back in 2006 I was one of the few supplying Alamy with my World Cup images, partially because of the method of supplying (CD's.) Now they can be assured of images instantly from every match from a number of sources. I am still on a financial loss from the last event and am very unlikely to head to Russia next year. National teams are better than club because the shelf life is longer, less matches and more historical value, for example the last match of Robben Tuesday. Even then you see people looking for the niche's, and finding that there are lot of people looking for the niche's.

 

Linking into the 10p calculation above. I would be very surprised if a lot of the big number suppliers of sport and news (eg Zuma) are making as much as that amount. Which means that many are earning more. Bill mentioned the 80/20 rule on another thread. I reckon its more likely to be nearer 90/10 but there are many earning more than 10p returns. I am.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, Aylish said:

 I don't see why pseudo makes any difference. thought it was if you had multiple people using your account to upload photos. Then each person would be under their own name.

 

 

You don't see because you don't understand how pseudos work, and no, it's not what you "thought". Similars which appear together in a contributor search may be positioned differently in pseudos with different performances. This alone may justify their presence. Anyway, it's not you who decides how many similars are allowed, it's Alamy. IMO André doesn't have too many, in yours he does. It's up to him, not us.

Calling out seasoned contributors here isn't doing you any favours.

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"Many earning more than 10p"

 

That is what the mean means :D Some earn more, many earn less.

 

But how much better than average does a new contributor assess that they are likely to be? 10 times better than average? £1 an image? 

 

Equally, assuming that there is a skew with a vary small number of contributors earning much more than others, there has to be a huge proportion earning below 10p an image.

 

A few years back the mean was 20p and the collection was 50 million.

 

2016 profits also inflated in £ by currency decline relative to $ from June 24th onwards. Based on assumption that fact of 50% of revenue from US office is still true. This alone may account for revenue growth. 

 

 Phillipe always said that to hope for any success at stock you should have started 10 years ago. :(

 

Edited by geogphotos
  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 10/12/2017 at 03:20, andremichel said:

 

How many people on here earn thousands?

...

So I need 89,000 images (of equivalent quality) as of today. So I have absolutely no chance.

 

You used your own data to project your earnings. And the result is just not realistic.

 

The implicit assumption in your projection is that you keep shooting the same kinds of images. To break out of that unrealistic scenario, you need shoot different images. Images for which  the demand/supply dynamics is way different than that for pretty pictures one can shoot by going places. It has been an open secret for many years now: business, concepts, people (model-released)... something like that.

 

GI

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks to all your advice, I have spent the last week editing my descriptions. I have tested out my new wording. When I put "Mayan elder Mexico" my pic came up second on the page. However when I put "Sinclair C5" neither of my images were listed at all. Despite both having the phrases "sinclair" and "C5". Of the 2 pages shown as results half where of abandoned factories. Where am I going wrong? 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
18 minutes ago, Steviebuoy said:

Thanks to all your advice, I have spent the last week editing my descriptions. I have tested out my new wording. When I put "Mayan elder Mexico" my pic came up second on the page. However when I put "Sinclair C5" neither of my images were listed at all. Despite both having the phrases "sinclair" and "C5". Of the 2 pages shown as results half where of abandoned factories. Where am I going wrong? 

 

Start by making "Sinclair C5" a tag, rather than just "Sinclair" & "C5" as separate tags.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 minutes ago, losdemas said:

 

Start by making "Sinclair C5" a tag, rather than just "Sinclair" & "C5" as separate tags.

Thanks for that, I will bear that in mind when I go back over all my images.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now