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October 2021 Stock Photography Earnings

Welcome to my second monthly earnings report from stock photography

Welcome to my second monthly earnings report from stock photography and video sales for October 2021. I’ll be going over my income from stock photography, stock video and any other related sales (if any). Additionally I share my thoughts and plans about my journey. Here we go…

Stock Photography Earnings for September 2021

October was another Hot Mess…

Quick Personal update… After fishing our road trip to Tennessee I discussed in the September Earnings Report we made our way down to Florida where we’ll be working from for a bit. It was another crazy stressful month though with more health related issues.

This time those issues were with family and again we were crazy stressed out. As a result I did not get a lot of images and videos uploaded nor edited in October. I think I only had about 14 images and 10 videos were approved on average across the agencies. Let’s get into some numbers. 

Octobers Best Stock Photography Earnings Agency – Adobe Stock

My Best earning stock agency was Adobe Stock ! This was a surprise as it has been only a small earner for me so far. 

Portfolio Size 492 (+4) and 23 (+6) videos

Total Downloads 5 Photo 1 Video

Total Earnings $33.23

Royalties/Revenue Per  $5.54 Download average

I am still trying to add more video clips and managed to get 6 clips uploaded to Adobe Stock in October. I am not sure if its related but I also got my first video sale on any stock site! It was not one of the video’s I uploaded in October but rather a clip I uploaded in May or June.

This was shot with my DJI Osmo Action camera during our time living in Puerto Rico at the beginning of the year. It is from our car window driving down the lush roads in Puerto Rico! Funny thing is it was rejected by a few other big sites but accepted on Adobe Stock. Weird how that works.

My Second Best Stock Photography Earnings – Twenty20

Twenty20 was my second best stock earning platform for the month of October. This site continues to be fairly reliable to bring in a few buck a month with usually 10-20 downloads. As I have mentioned before it is a revenue share model and perhaps that is adding to the consistency?

Portfolio Size 561 (+37) images 

Total Downloads 24

Total Earnings $9.00

Royalties/Revenue Per Download $0.38 average

This is the site I was able to upload the most to in October. I also placed in the Top 20 on one of the contests this month coming in the top 12%. The photo contests they do are fun and they make it really easy to join it. Unfortunately I did not earn any of the cash prize money this month like I did last month but I also only entered 2 contests.

This photo placed in the top 12%

This shot of a Toyota landcruiser with a roof top tent is a favorite of mine. This was captured while on a job I was producing in California’s Sierra Nevada Mountains. It is another great example of how you can find opportunities for stock images in your daily life. Opportunities that could provide some nice passive royalties down the road.

Like last month this image is also from one of my favorite shoots. A different one this time. If you don’t know, I am a producer and filmmaker in addition to being a photographer. As such, I produced a music video in California with another epic location I found. 

You can watch the behind the scenes of the “Eyes on You” video below and the actual finished music video here.

Full Behind the Scenes Vlog from the “Eyes on You” video shoot I produced

It is also another time I actually remembered to bring my camera on the shoot and managed to get a few really cool images from this shoot. I was way busier on this production so I only managed a few dozen decent images from it.

This image has actually sold 2 times already on twenty 20, and 2 times on SS ($2.01)  since uploading it in June of 2021. Let me know in the comments if you want me to do a video or article about some of these types of shoots.

My Third Best Stock Photography Earnings Agency for October – SS

My third best site for October was SS (I don’t want to get into any trouble but you can guess).

Portfolio Size 607 (+7) images 34 (+10) videos

Total Downloads 23

Total Earnings $4.72

Royalties/Revenue Per Download $ .21 average

SS really sucked for me in October! This was the third WORST month I have had this year with them. Such a major disappointment from September when I had $23.69 in royalties. All of my 23 downloads were subscription coming in around $.10 – .58 cents each. Here is to hoping adding more videos will get me more $$.

[Dis]Honorable Mention 123RF Stock Photography Earnings

I am only including 123RF in this months round up to show the other end of the spectrum. With so many images online I get maybe one or two downloads on average with 123RF compared to other stock agencies with a similar portfolio size.

Portfolio Size 599 images

Total Downloads 2

Total Earnings $ .43

Royalties/Revenue Per Download $ .22 average

Overall I am still super disappointed with 123RF. At this rate I am not sure I will ever earn enough royalties to even get a payout from them.

On a side note: I realized they have video and audio on the site, but I am only able to upload images and audio. I emailed them to find out how to upload video and they told me they are no longer taking video uploads. 123RF customer service suggested that I can upload video, image and audio files to their sister site Pixlr.

Email from 123RF

I looked Pixlr up and it is like Canva, a cloud based design service. It is a subscription service as well and uses a revenue share model. I will have to look into it further before I decide to sign up or devote any time to it.

Have you heard of Pixlr? Let me know in the comments.

October Stock Photography Earnings from All of the Other Stock Sites

The other 10 sites I currently contribute images and video brought me NOTHING.

Portfolio Size Average of 442 images 32 video’s

Total Downloads 0

Total Earnings $0.00

Royalties/Revenue Per Download $0.00 average

My portfolio average size decreased due to me adding 12 images to iStock/getty. I am just starting to upload there and so it affected my average. I was disappointed with not getting a single download from my other 10 agencies and platforms. Oh well on to the totals…

October Total Earnings from all Stock Photography Sites

My total earnings for the month of October were $$47.38 with 54 images downloads and 1 video for a RPD $.86.

Overall my Best month for me despite the disappointing image sales with the bulk of my stock agencies. Thank goodness for the Video sale on Adobe Stock! 

Overall my monthly royalties are trending slightly higher over the last 4 months. 

Stock Photography Agency Alternatives

As I mentioned in the last update I have been trying out Fine Art America/Pixels . As of October I had 50 images as of and still ZERO sales. I ramped up my social media marketing and it certainly pushed people to my page but I think my prices are far too high for my work. I will revisit my pricing in November to see if that helps at all.

So far my opinion of FAA is pretty worthless. I can not seem to figure out if the whole community aspect is worth the time to drive sales or if it is even necessary to participate in. So far I have refrained. I can barely handle my YouTube channel, Instagram, Twitter and Facebook . I don’t have it in me to add another place to participate in.

Final Thoughts for October Stock Photograhy Earnings

Model Released Images

Most of my portfolio is landscapes, wildlife and travel with some editorial images. I don’t have a lot of model released images, just a few of me and my wife. I plan on uploading quite a few more model released images of us once I can find the time. 

The big issue I have concerning model released images is understanding the release requirements for each agency. Some agencies require a witness and others don’t and some are super specific on your photo shoot dates. It has been a bit confusing for me and looks to create a lot of work to fulfill the requirements for each agency.

I shoot mostly while traveling, so it is super annoying to get a release for each date and then track all of those releases to upload to each agency. So I have not bothered with a lot of model released images so far.

I have downloaded a model release app EZ Release for iOs that is already approved for the main stock agencies. 

Honestly I am not sure if a model released image would sell any better and I am also not too inclined to do all of that work just to sell those images for $ .11. I guess I need to get more details or maybe I will review the agencies again and just upload the model released images to the ones with higher commercial averages.

What has your experience been? Let me know.

Changes going forward Focus

I am definitely seeing a better bang for the buck with video. In the time I can edit and export maybe 4 or 5 images I can edit and export 1 video clip. Video revenue seems to track a lot higher as well. So I am hoping to see how my earnings will be on one clip sale vs 4 or 5 images. 

I have made the decision to not plan any new stock shoots for November as we have been moving around a lot. I feel it is best for me to focus on my crazy huge backlog of images!

Being in Florida at the moment makes it hard not to want to go and do shoots! Since it is such a great place to get cool images.

I Want to Hear From You

Let me know where you are in your stock photography journey in the comments. I hope this provides some insights or even some inspiration that can help you develop your own income stream with Stock Photography.

You can follow along on my socials, subscribe to my YouTube channel and check back here for more insights from my stock photography journey including income reports and more.

If you are just starting your journey then do me a favor and use my links if you found this free advice helpful. It is an easy no cost way to say thanks! Or you can also Buy me a Beer!



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