Am I really making money from microstock?

posted on 15th of november, 2009

I started microstock photography 2 years ago. Today, I have almost 1800 pictures in my portfolio submitted to multiple agencies and working part time for microstock.

Every month, I am posting earnings reports in my blog, Pixels Away. There are usually happy showing some positive trends. A few other microstockers are also sharing their numbers. However, it is not a full story. It doesn't say how much expenses and photographer's time was invested to produce these images. So, finally, I tried to include expenses into my analysis:

Am I Really Making Money from Microstock Photography ?
Part 1
... Part 2

In summary:

- I calculate RPI (return per image) or other statistics in reference to a total number of pictures prepared for microstock including rejects, multiple versions, pictures not submitted.

- I added expenses (including money saved for camera and gear upgrades) and looked at "net RPI".

- Finally, I derived my "hourly rate" as a microstock photographer - currently, about double minimum wage in US, so better than flipping hamburgers or babysitting and, arguably, much more fun.

- I included several graphs in my article.

I would welcome any comments or suggestions. How to improve my approach? What I am missing?

Comments (10)

Posted by Ziprashantzi on November 17, 2009
nice efforts dear. i m very happy to see this. thanks for sharing
Posted by Yuritz on November 17, 2009
nice advices,but I'm pretty new and don't really know how I could help or say...anyway good luck for the next sales
Posted by Gilmourbto2001 on November 17, 2009
Nice article - I hadn't thought of it that way.
Posted by Retina2020 on November 16, 2009
Don't Despair. If you use your equipment exclusively for stock photography then the expenses are high but if you use it for pleasure mainly, than your expenses are low. And I think the later is what is keeping many of us in stock photography.
Posted by Kenishirotie on November 16, 2009
Nice analysis, thanks for sharing.
Posted by smartview27 on November 15, 2009
Well, Marek: I think microstock makes good money in time...with a lot of photos, people, new ideas...
Posted by Truhelen on November 15, 2009
But ce la vie. Golddigger for exampl...
Posted by Davidwatmough on November 15, 2009
I have left a comment and question on the blog and thank you for raising and answering this issue. David.
Posted by Wildmac on November 15, 2009
Very interesting blog! Thanks for sharing :0)
Posted by Dan1 on November 15, 2009
Very nice info. Keep. up the good work.

Comments (10)

This article has been read 2432 times. 3 readers have found this article useful.
Photo credits: Marek Uliasz.

About me

I am studio and adventure photographer with a scientific background. I have more than 12,000 pictures in my stock portfolio. Please contact me through my blog if you are interested in custom pictures or photo designs.

Fort Collins, US

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