The truth about income from royalty free stock photography!

posted on 15th of january, 2011

If you are a professional photographer in the sense that you derive your sole income from your photography, then you might look at royalty free stock photography as a low maintenance form of income because you already have the volume ready to go and might have already earned income from it! As a professional photographer, you might submit your out-takes which have already been paid for in service fees on past assignments. Everybody else must build it up over the years! You will not make a living out of stock photography without the volume! So for everybody else, treat it as a hobby that just might provide real income in the next decade, or as a pension in later years! Make your priority fun as a passion you enjoy, but don't think about giving up your day job too soon! Remember you don't have to be a professional photographer to produce professional quality images!

Comments (8)

Posted by Flexigav on August 15, 2016
Thanks Maxsp, I wrote this article years ago based on the progress of a few members I knew. One who has done very well out of it! I have not been active in stock photography due to time constraints imposed by my digital design & media creation career development, which involves a lot of animation. I will concur that success is related to effort. I would like to get back into stock image photography as soon as time permits. One thing I have noticed over the years are the number of stock media agencies all claiming huge libraries. It is a good thing that customer desires are so varied and particular, or else surplus might exceed demand...but then media does age and trends change so there is always a demand for fresh new visuals.
Posted by Maxsp on April 14, 2015
It's not hard to have 600 photos as I have.. and I had travelled 2 times to Europe using DT money... So i think, considering the SIZE of your portfolio, you are talkinga bout something you didn't live yet.
Take a lot of photos, upload to Dreamstime... and then you talk about the result, not about your imagination arround this subject.
Posted by Ginae on January 20, 2011
This is pretty solid advice. Well done!
Posted by Flexigav on January 18, 2011
Thanks Mani33 for your comment! I'd like to say I'm in no hurry...truth is the majority of my work is elsewhere...not royalty free! When I get time I will get back to playing around with this royalty-free microstock concept! Cheers
Posted by Egomezta on January 17, 2011
Agree with you.... For me it's a hobby, and all incomes will be used to buy photography equipment...
Posted by Kk8737 on January 16, 2011
good advise
Posted by Mani33 on January 16, 2011
Thanks for the advise!
But 19 photos in your port during more than one & a half years, makes me wonder if Microstocks is your third class hobby! Sorry if I am mistaken! Cheers!
Posted by Visceralimage on January 16, 2011
Truth spoken, it is difficult to make a living at microstock but it is possible. It takes lots of work and a steady flow of images to make enough income; but what you upload today will payoff in the future. If you do not upload till the future, then you will not see payout.

Comments (8)

This article has been read 1635 times. 2 readers have found this article useful.
Photo credits: Fantasista.

About me

Undertook a press photographer cadetship way back in the 1970's. Moved into digital media development after 2010. Now divide my time between stills, image composite creation, graphic animation and audio visual product development. Became a member of a few photographic societies in Australia to which my photographic work is assessed. Now undergoing professional development in digital media which incorporates a lot of visualisation, primarily from photography. Recently obtained a diploma in digital media technologies (2015).

Gold Coast, AU

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