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Stock Photography Earnings for September 2021

Welcome to my first monthly Stock Photography earnings report. I’ll be going over my income from stock photography, stock video and any other related sales (if any).

Welcome to my first monthly Stock Photography earnings report. I’ll be going over my income from stock photography, stock video and any other related sales (if any). I know this one is a bit late but you can still learn for the information. Here we go…

Watch the video version

What I Learned After One Year of Stock Photography

September was a Hot Mess for Me

September was a pretty crazy month for me and my wife. We were in the middle of a move across the country on a road trip from Washington State, where we had been homebaseing, back to Tennessee where we used to live. That was before we sold our house and everything we owned to travel about 2 years ago, yep right before the pandemic!

In the middle of the road trip we had to go to urgent care in New Mexico. Everyone is okay, but needless to say the next few weeks were an emotional and financial mess. If you’re interested in more about that you can watch here or read about it on our travel website Wanderinghartz.com 

So all that to say, I did not get a lot of editing or uploading done in September. Overall I think I was able to add around 30 images and a few video clips to all of my agencies. Let’s get into some numbers. 

Septembers Best Stock Photography Earnings Site

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

Portfolio Size 600 images 24 videos

Total Downloads 16

Total Earnings $23.69

Royalties/Revenue Per Download $1.48 average

Finally Made it to Level 2 in July

Honestly this was a pretty crappy month if it were not for a single licence sale for $17.40 (my cut). I finally hit level 2 in July so that meant I earned 20% on that sale and a small bump on my other sales..

A decent Single Image License for this shot

The funny thing about this image is it was a shot I took while on our road trip to Washington State. We were driving through Northern California and I shot this from the car through our front window.

My Second Best Stock Photography Earnings Site – Adobe Stock

Adobe Stock has been pretty slow to earn for me and this month was slightly better than most this year. 

Portfolio Size 488 and 17 videos

Total Downloads 6

Total Earnings $5.11

Royalties/Revenue Per  $0.85 Download average

I have been working on adding more video content as it pays a heck of a lot more for nearly the same amount of work. But sadly I had no video sales. Overall my sales on adobe have been slowing trending upwards. It has a long way to go!

My Third Best Stock Photography Earning Sites – Twenty20

Twenty20 was one of my first stock sites I contributed to. It is also a revenue share mode rather than a standard royalty site like Adobe Stock.

Portfolio Size 524 images 

Total Downloads 16

Total Earnings $6.50

Royalties/Revenue Per Download $0.41 average

So it is a bit harder to determine my “Exact” portfolio on Twenty20, they sometimes remove your images off of their market as “Not Cleared” if they find it somewhere else. This is despite the fact that they are “Non-Exclusive”. I will have to go into a whole article about how to keep this from happening. 

Twenty20 does run a lot of photo contests each week which is really nice. You can win portion of the prize monies of between $100 and $200 if you place in the top 20 or so. One of my images made the top 3% and was selected as an editors pic! Pretty cool, that earned me an extra $2.50 (included in my total).

Editors Pick and Top 3%  @RandomHartz via Twenty20

This image is from one of my favorite shoots. It is also a great example of how you can find opportunities for stock images in your daily life. If you don’t know, I am a producer and filmmaker in addition to being a photographer. As such, I produced a corporate video in Texas with an epic location I found along with some great props. I am talking about horses and cowboys here. 

I actually remembered to bring my camera and managed to get some really cool images from the shoot. Generally I don’t have time or room to bring my camera and lenses to set. My producer duties rarely allow any time. This project was an exception and a real pleasure to work on.

Images from this shoot have been some of my best selling stock images over the last year. Let me know in the comments if you want me to do a video or article about some of these types of shoots.

September Stock Photography Earnings with Canva

Canva is not on a lot of stock photographers’ radar. It is a cloud based subscription design service. My wife uses Canva to make her patterns and designs for her clothing company and social media.

You can contribute to their database of images available to their subscribers. You can contribute images or graphics as either Free for other users (free image model) or available for Purchase ($1 each or part of their Pro Subscriptions). I don’t recommend offering any images for free, maybe for a donation, but that’s another topic. Stick with the Purchase model.  

Portfolio Size 200 images 

Total Downloads 3

Total Earnings $1.73

Royalties/Revenue Per Download $ No Idea

Canva is an experiment for me. I am still not sure it is a good platform for the type of stock photography I create. A big bummer is I have no idea how many images or even which images were downloaded as they don’t tell you. I do know they were all through their Pro subscription plan like the one my wife has. No it was not her.

I have slowly been adding more images to canva, I am still trying to figure out what kind of stuff they like and if it’s worth my time..

September Stock Photography Earnings from All of the Others Stock Sites

The other 10 sites I currently contribute images and video brought me a whopping .29 cents.

Portfolio Size Average of 490 images 24 videos

Total Downloads 2

Total Earnings $0.29

Royalties/Revenue Per Download $0.14 average

What can I say? Rather disappointing to not have a single sale on the other platforms. 

Total Earnings from all Stock Photography Sites

My total earnings for the month were $37.32 with 25 downloads and a RPD $1.49

Overall that’s pretty good for me as my average has been trending upwards since July. 

Stock Photography Agency Alternatives

I had started uploading images to Fine Art America/Pixels as a way to hopefully get some sales for my artsy pictures. So far have not had any sales, although my images are priced pretty high there compared to what most everyone else prices. I am not sure if I should drop the price or not to encourage sales or if there are any sales for artists on the platform. I started running coupon codes and have been trying to promote my images on social media like Instagram and facebook but have not had any luck so far.

Final Stock Photography Earnings – Thoughts for September

Most of my portfolio is landscapes, wildlife and editorial images. This certainly affects the sales I get. There are not a lot of model released images in my portfolio, just a few of me and my wife. Perhaps I might try and get a few more model released images up but so far it has not been a priority.

With all of the travel and urgent care issues I tried to focus what little time I had on finding stock video clips to upload. Hopefully that will get me more video sales. 

I made a conscious decision to not shoot much stock photo or video on our road trip. Being well over two years behind on editing it seemed like the smarter move for my sanity! The exception was during our stay in Sedona, Arizona. I managed to take a few photos and shoot some video but am not sure when I’ll have time to edit those. 

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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