Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Experiment 9 : find your pictures on line with Amazon.com

In a previous post, I was talking about several ways to find your pictures in action. I recently found few of my microstock images on Amazon.com, mainly in books published along with their credits.

What you have to do is perform a search on books using your first name and last name as keywords and you might get some relevants hits. If you have a Amazon account, you can take a peek inside the book and do a second search to land on the credits page: putting the page number as keyword will hopefully bring you to the page with your image,. You just have then to do a printscreen et voila!
My published pictures I found so far were purchased from Istock and Dreamstime and it was interesting to see in what context these pictures were used, always unexpected. Copernicus statue was taken in Warsaw Poland in 2007, offices building in battery park Manhattan in 2001 if I remember correctly. Religious mural in the Shrine of Lourdes in 2007. Cat scratching on the wall in 2008.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

November 2008 earnings


I was complaining about last month but November was worse for me with less than $ 250 sales for Microstock. However, one sale at Yaymicro (5 euros), one at Panthermedia ($19.3), one at Zymmetrical ($21) plus referrals push this month earnings to $ 285. Global RPI sunk to 0.46 and average $/dl was 0.59.

Compared to November 2007 in ():

Total earnings: $ 233.57 ($ 143.9)
Pictures sold: 396 (377)
Average $/dl: 0.59 (0.38)
Global RPI : 0.46 (0.93)

Microstock one by one

  • Shutterstock. By far number 1 again despite a pretty bad 1st half of the month. For the time for a while, just below the $ 100 mark this month Like last month I had four on demand sales taking 8 % of the earnings. A good split between old and new files regarding downloads which is good. My lowest RPI ever this month at 0.16... I sold more pictures than last year at the same time but because of higher commission now I actually earned more.
  • Fotolia. Similar number than last month with a nice EL
  • Istockphoto. Lost its solid second place. Earnings went down for the second consecutive month and I am back to money I was making at the beginning of the year.
  • Stockxpert. I decided finally to opt-in in an attempt to get some pay par dl's sales at photos.com. It did not happened yet, but I had quite a lot of sub from Jupiter image.
  • Dreamstime. Pretty slow month, a lot of sub sales which explains the low number this month
  • Bigstockphoto. BME by one dollar this month. I managed to have 500+ photos on line now.
  • 123RF. Very dissapointing month, sales came to a halt. It is actually my year Worst Month !

Less than 1%:
Crestock (BME),Scanstockphoto,Canstockphoto (no sales).

Friday, October 31, 2008

October 2008 earnings

October pictures (collage Picasa 3)


An pretty slow October (especially the second half) with 500 pictures sold for a bit less than $300 . Referrals and midstock pushed my earning to $ 320. No extended licences sold this month but one sale at Zymmetrical. Global RPI is only 0.63 down from 0.84 last month. I continue uploading to YAY micro and Cutcaster as a test but no sales so far....
The only got thing is that the dollar regained some strengh against the Euro...
Compared to October 2007 in ():

Total earnings: $ 296.35 ($ 122.53)
Pictures sold: 501 (275)
Average $/dl: 0.59 (0.45)
Global RPI : 0.63 (0.84)

Microstock one by one

  • Shutterstock. By far, my best earner this month even if RPI went down to 0.22. I had four on demand sales taking 8 % of the earnings. I noticed that new uploads did not get as many downloads as usual and that the second half of the month was noticibly slower than the first.
  • Istockphoto. More than 50% down compared to last month probably explained by change in best match : my best seller lost a lot of ground but on the positive side I sold some ''old'' pictures for the first time.
  • Fotolia. Pretty similar than last month and I still hold my uploads over there, just clear out the queue from time to time...
  • Dreamstime. Not far from a BME but $/dl decreased compared to last month since I had few level 2 picture sales.
  • Stockxpert. Up again after two slow months, hope to see this trend continue in the future
  • 123RF. Earnings are in the normal range this month but nothing spectacular. I have now 800 + pictures on line.
  • Bigstockphoto. BME. I included BSP in the detailled earning this month as I had a big jump in sales (3 % of total earnings). It is probably due to the fact that I cleared my pending queue of pictures.

Less than 1%:
Crestock,Scanstockphoto,Canstockphoto (no sales).

Detailed earnings, figures in USD

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Microstock sales commission: highs and lows

Few dollars more to break even :)

This year saw many microstock agencies increased their prices and their contributors' commission. Often articles about microstock are talking about photographers making pennies but overlook that commission for the same picture varies quite a lot....
Sales commission depends on multiple factors : the business model of the agency (subscription and/or credit sales), the resolution of your camera (if you downsize or not as well), being exclusive or non exclusive contributor, your own ranking or the one of your images.

These numbers are not absolute but related to my ranking in some agencies and my gear as well : I have a 10 MP camera, a bronze level at Fotolia with some exclusive photos there, few level 2 images at Dreamstime, sold more than $ 500 worth of pictures at Shutterstock but less than $ 3000.

I had a look at my sales this year at each microstock agencies and these are the highs and lows I registered so far (excluding extended licenses):
  • Shutterstock : between $ 0.33 (subscription) and $ 2.48 (on demand sale)
  • Stockxpert (subs opt-out) : between $ 0.5 (XS size) and $ 7.5 (L size, pay per download Photos.com) .
  • Istockphoto : between $ 0.19 (XS size) and $ 2.70 (L size)
  • Fotolia : between $ 0.35 (subscription) and $ 4.16 (L size, exclusive)
  • Dreamstime : between $ 0.30 (subscription) and $ 2.90 (L size, level 2)
  • BigStockphoto : between $ 0.5 (small) and $ 2 (large)
  • Crestock : between $ 0.25 (subscription) and $ 1 (S size)
  • 123RF : between $ 0.36 (subscription) and $ 4.5 (Mega High XL TIFF)
In my case I can get as low as $ 0.2 at IS and as high $ 7.5 at SXP for the same picture!
123RF is the agency where the difference is the more important...

However, because of my large volume of sales at Shutterstock my average monthly sales commission fluctuates between $ 0.6 and $ 0.7 per picture....

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

September 2008 earnings


A 20 % increase compared to last month and a few dollars shy of a BME. The couple (SS + IS ) took 65% of the earnings and I had 2 BME at IS and DT. Cumulative RPI was 0.84 this which is much lower than my BME last May with 1.11.
I sold 548 pictures this month with an average of 0.61 $/dl with no extended license sales to report:(
I continue contributing to YAYmicro and Cutcaster but no sales so far. PS is no longer there so i my RM pictures go to Alamy. I earned $ 10 at Panthermedia , the only midstock with sales to report this month.

Microstock one by one

  • Shutterstock. 2nd BME with on demand sales taking 4 % of the earnings. I have now close to 500 pictures in my portfolio. RPI pretty stable at 0.27. I still try to gather more referrals so here is my link : Submit Photos to Shutterstock and make $$$!. Thanks !
  • Istockphoto. BME this month with an increase for the 6th consecutive month now. My best seller took 43 % of the earnings. I have sold now 500 pictures at Istockphoto since the beginning. Highest RPI of 0.38 (same than last month).
  • Fotolia. Noticeably down compared to last and a poor RPI of 0.05. A big drop in $/dl as well.I still have some files on the queue but did not upload any new pictures there last month
  • Dreamstime. BME with earnings almost doubled compared to last month. 1.15 $/dl which is a record so far for DT.
  • 123RF. A nice surprise there with a second BME and a very high $/dl at 1.27. I think it will the first agency where I will reach 1000 pictures by the end of the year.
  • Stockxpert. Like FT, a big drop compared to last month and still the same problems with the views. Hope sales will start again soon because SXP has the highest $/dl at 1.71 this month.

Big six ranking

$ : SS>IS>FT>DT>123RF>SXP (same than last month)

Performance (RPI): IS>SS>DT>FT>123RF>SXP

$/dl: SXP>123RF>FT>IS>DT>SS

Less than 1% of earnings: SCP,CT,CSP (no sales). I got my first payout at BSP !,took more than a year though...

Figures in USD

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

First flames at Istockphoto :)

I was talking a while back about my best sellers. Well, I just had today my first picture "on fire" at Istockphoto after 4 months being on line.

I earned more than $ 100 so far on Istock alone and the same image is doing well at Shutterstock as well with a bit more than $20. Interestingly it does not sell as well on other agencies...
Even on IS, I have similar images which do not sell at all.... I guess it is on a good position on IS search engine...
If things stay this way and the picture does not get lost in the search engine ....this picture could earn $ 500 a year spread on all the agencies.
After 500 downloads, flames change to red then blue at 1000 downloads....
Fingers crossed I will keep you posted :)

PS: May 2009, a second photo in my porfolio just caught in fire

Thanks to TinEye, I found two websites using this picture so far

Fourth of July Sizzlers

Vitamin D Deficiency Symptoms

Monday, September 1, 2008

August 2008 earnings

Created with Picasa 3

It was the slowest month of this summer with earnings just below the $ 300 mark. It was also my most productive month ever in microstock but it was not apparently enough to overcome the slump :( Numbers are very similar to last month, SS and IS still leading the pack taking close to 70% of earnings. Only SXP took a noticeable dive.

No sales to report this month on the midstock agencies. I continue uploading to Cutcaster and Yaymicro as a test while I stopped uploads to Mostphotos. I was accepted after two attempts at Alamy which will allow me to send some RM pictures there as well are in Photoshelter.

Microstock one by one

  • SS is just above the $ 100 this month but still number one . RPI went down to 0.24. No EL this month but one on-demand sale for $ 2.48 which is the equivalent of a large size at IS.
  • IS had a BME and rising for the 5th consecutive now mainly due to ….one picture… which took since May 50-60 % of IS total earnings. RPI of 0.38 and highest $/dl ever at 1.14. Still no sub sales...
  • FT Nothing much to say expect that I do not upload there anymore, $ figures did not move for a year and review process still does not make sense to me and to a lot of people as well….
  • DT Stable earnings compared to last month. 500 + on the portfolio but I still would expect more $$$. I did not notice any increase in the $/dl due to the new levels.
  • 123RF after a slump last month went back to its previous levels. I have 700 + images on my portfolio now.
  • SXP Disappointing month especially following the recent upward trend. I noticed that pictures uploaded since 2 weeks did have any views or few views….I do not know if it explains the lack of sales

Big six ranking


Performance (RPI): IS>SS>FT>DT>123RF=SXP

$/dl: FT>SXP>IS>DT>123RF>SS

Figures in USD

Thursday, August 14, 2008

July earnings


Despite new uploads, I am still in the $ 300-400 bracket, for three consecutive months now. The same global trend within microstock agencies was observed: SS and IS leading the pack taking more than 60 % of earnings this month. These two agencies have been increasing steadily the past three months and I had a BME for both of them.

On the midstock front, things were still very quiet with no sales for the past two months . I registered at YAY micro last month but nothing happened yet so I gave it a go at Cutcaster, the uploading and approval were very fast, let’s see what happened. I sent my first right managed pictures to Photoshelter which I do not propose to microstock , I will probably expand to Alamy in the near future.

Microstock one by one

  • SS Above the $ 100 mark again this month but RPI continues to go down at 0.33 despite new uploads and an EL this month
  • IS (+18 %) BME. IS confirmed its second place this month and the $ gap with SS is closing down. Best RPI this month at 0.37 doing better than SS for the first time. I did not have any sub sales yet.
  • FT. Normal month for FT stable compared to last month but always under performing with a RPI of 0.06. They still reject almost everything so my pictures are in the queue waiting for better days…..
  • SXP (+38%) BME. A very good month at SXP with again the highest $/dl at $ 1.94 /dl this month. SXP pictures will be available for sales at www.photos.com in August and this caused a lot of controversy amongst contributors ( low price of EL and the impossibility to opt-out).
  • DT. Very average month but on the positive side a new price structure is in place now so $/dl should increase, logically ….
  • 123RF. Disappointing month again at 123RF where I did not even made $ 10 this month. Credit package sales did not change anything for me. RPI is 0.02 the lowest of the big six

1% or less of earnings: CT, SCP,CT,BSP. BSP and SCP are the only ones where I continue uploading.

  • Big six ranking


Performance (RPI): IS>SS>SXP>FT>DT>123RF

$/dl: SXP>FT>IS>DT>123RF>SS

Earning figures in USD

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

June 2008 earnings

It is being a year already that I am selling my picture on microstock agencies and report my earnings.
This month was pretty good considering I did not have any extended license sales and also no sales on midstock. I am down 13 % compare to last month but still above $ 300 for the total earnings. It was was record month in number of sales with 601. For the first time it is worth noticing that IS is number 2 just after SS.
So far I have significant earnings on 6 sites and if I had to pick 3 of them my choice would be SS,IS and SXP.
I joined YAYmicro this month and will join Image Vortex next month to try to get more value out of my portfolio by selling at higher prices.

  • SS (+11%). BME. Another good month explained by quite a lot of uploads. Approval rate was 81 %. RPI stable compared to last month with 0.41. May batchRPI dropped from 2.08 to 0.85 taking 27% of the earnings this month.
  • IS (+56%). BME. Earnings increased for the third consecutive month. Interestingly,one picture took more than 70% of the earnings! I expect to see flames in few weeks on this one :) RPI of 0.35 which is not far at all from SS. I reached the bronze canister in June with more than 250 dl's. The only advantage is that I have a higher upload limit now.
  • FT. Better than last month but not quite what I would expect from FT. I had few sub sales as well making $/dl the lowest in few months. FT is simply not predictable at all ! RPI very low at 0.06. I noticed that sub sales concerned my last uploaded images.
  • SXP. Equal my BME of last month there again.Approval times were very fast this month. The highest $/dl of all agencies with $1.85.
  • DT BME by few dollars. Still at low RPI at 0.06. Earnings might go up next month again due to an upcoming price change and a change in picture levels.
  • 123RF. The last of the pack this month , a big drop compared to May where i had 2 EL. Hope July will get better, earning seems to stalled otherwise... 600 + portfolio.

Low earners (less than 1 % of earnings)
BSP, CT. No sales at SCP this month for the fist time since i started there, pictures at no reviewed as well :(

* Big 6 rankings

Performance: SS>IS>SXP>DT=>FT>123RF

Detailed earnings figures in USD.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Metrics to track your portfolio performance. A look at Shutterstock

The aim of using metrics is to monitor the performance of your portfolio month after month. Financial metrics are not the only ones to measure performance but non-financial ones can also help making decision about your photo production.

The obvious financial metric we all use is the total monthly revenue. Some photographers are looking at $/download and return per image (RPI). Each metric can give indication about how your pictures are performing on each agency.
To be able to use these metrics at the end of the month, you should compare them to targets you have set target at the beginning for example total monthy revenue and RPI to reach. $/dl is mostly useful for credit based agencies like FT,123RF,SXP (even if they do sub), does not bring anything for SS which will be $ 0.33/dl in my case if did not have EL.

RPI is a very useful metric to measure how your pictures are selling at a particular agency. Based on my portfolio (no people pictures, no vectors) my targets for RPI at SS are the following:
  • RPI> $ 0.50 excellent
  • RPI between $ 0.25 and $ 0.5 average to good
  • RPI< $ 0.25 poor
The problem with RPI is that it a metrics related to new and old pictures from the portfolio. Anyway, I propose a modified RPI which I call batchRPI which like it says is related to your monthly batch. It is a direct indication of the quality of your batch and it can give also indirectly indication about the lifespan of the batch: the idea here is that if you maximize bRPI, you are lickely to see the benefits even the following month. Also , these pictures are likely to sell well on other sites like IS,123RF,DT,FT on the longer term.

How to calculate batchRPI ?

First evaluate the size of your batch accepted at SS: from the main page, click on waiting to be reviewed . Then on status of submitted photos click on the approved photos tab and count day by day.

Then the painful one... From the downloads stats open each day stat and count how did you earn for the batch.

bRPI = batch earnings/batch size

The way how SS works is that newly uploaded pictures sold straight away with more or less success then sell occasionally in the following months. Following this logic, a good bRPI in May is likely to have positive impact on the RPI in June.

Some graphs !

  • bRPI March 2007

Initial bRPI was 1.14 which is average and represented 34 % of total earnings this month. Interestingly, this batch managed to kept his value in April with a bRPI=0.92. In June, however bRPI went down and will represent only 2% of the earnings....

  • bRPI May 2007

This batch had a very good initial value with bRPI=2.08. It was a batch of 45 pictures which earned 2.08*45=$ 93.6 (73% of earnings!). Will this batch hold his value or not? So far I saw I bRPI in June was divided by more than 2.


bRPI> 1 : very good to excellent (new pictures made at least $ 1 in average)
bRPI between 0.33 and 1 : average
bRPI = 0.33 (new pictures sold only once in average)

SXP May 2008: bRPI= 0.26 (63% of earnings coming from new pictures!), RPI = 0.10

Enough for financial measures, the two non financial metrics I will follow will be the monthly acceptance rates at SS and IS. Looking at the other acceptance rates in their other will not bring much since they are too high or too fluctuating. As it is not useful to measure too many things I will discard as metric the sell through rate (STR) which does not say much about month to month performance.

Friday, May 30, 2008

May earnings

A record month for earnings which for the first time were above the $ 300 and closing down on the $ 400 mark....
4 BME on the big 6. 123RF performed very well this month due to two EL and the new price structure. SS came back to the first position with a record month in sales helped by the 32% increase in commission.
FT came down very hard but was better at the end of the month. It can explained by the fact the search engine was scrambled..... Apparently FT is also implementing a subscription package but at $ 0.23 it will be the lowest price in the industry, not good... So far it only possible to opt-out exclusives pictures, even worse.... That is what I did first.
BME at IS as well where the subscription package started the 26th but apparently sales were not credited yet.
SXP gave me the highest $ per regular dl's with $ 1.82 helping by some $ 5 sales (I still opt-out for sub there).
Regarding midstock one sale to rport at Zymmetrical for $ 19.6.

Microstock one by one

  • SS (+72%). BME. Excellent month and with global performance coming back up again to the level it was last December. More than 400 pictures sold this month. performance 43 %
  • 123RF (+559%). BME. Record month due to 2 EL at $ 36.5 each few days apart.$ per download of $ 3.4 the highest this month.
  • IS (+21%) A good month at IS with a average of $ 0.87/dl this month and a global performance of 28 %.
  • FT (-64%) Earnings clearly down this month and only number 4 this month.... $ 1.5 /dl
  • SXP (+96%) BME. SXP continues its progression with an average of $ 1.82/dl (subscriptions opt-out). Global performance 11 %.
  • DT (+9%). Stable compared to last month. Average return of $ 0.77/dl and global performance of 4 %.

Low earners (less than 2 % of earnings)
BSP (no sales this month) CSP ($ 0.75...) , SCP ( $1.5), CT ($ 1.5....), LO ( $ 0.4) RIP

* Big 6 rankings

Performance: SS>IS>123RF>SXP>FT>DT

Detailed earnings Figures in USD. Note: 100 % global performance is defined by a portfolio with an average of sales of $ 1 per picture.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

123RF review

I started submitting to 123RF in July 2007 along with other agencies. I don't have any link with 123RF (except the referral link at the end :) ) I just wanted to give a fair review of this agency and talk a bit about my experience so far.
Even if sales started very slowly at first, 123RF has been growing at its own pace very consistently as I uploaded regularly every month between 40 and 50 pictures. At this date I am seasoned contributor with a bit more than 500 pictures online. I had 2 payouts (took me 8 months for the first, only 2 months for the second). For the past two months 123RF was my 5th and 3rd site in term of earnings.

I tried to put a list of things I like about 123RF which is actually surprisingly long !

  • Consistent and fast reviews (typically 24 to 48 hours)
  • Nice and quick web interface with very low downtime
  • Easy uploads , no categories and disambiguation needed
  • One of the highest acceptance in microstock (at least for me about 80-90%)
  • Movable watermark
  • 50 % commission
  • Possibility to mark as favorites 5 % of your pictures, giving them more exposure during the search
  • Automatic Paypal payment after $ 50 reached
  • Balanced credit and subscription models in term of sales
  • Highest exclusive license commission in all microstock agencies (up to $ 36.50).
  • Very fast on line support (used it once)

What I don't like ? Well not many things so far except the donated images I tried it several times which did not increase significantly my sales. However I noticed that fave your best pictures really increase picture exposure and sales. I advice to rotate pictures in the faved section from time to time.
On the graph below I plotted my earning since the start. Please noted that this month is exceptionally high since I sold two extended licenses in a row :)

Is 123RF the little agency that grows and grows ? Time will tell but they have been pretty innovative so far and active in marketing their products. They unveiled recently a new label called EVO, limited so far to some cherry picked contributors. With this, 123RF expands its products to the midstock market.

If you are already submitting to microstock and looking to increase your earnings with a agency with some potential I definitely recommend 123RF. You will need to put at least 200 pictures online to see some earnings though.
And if this post has been useful to you and I convinced you to register you can use my referral link below, you will be my first :) Thanks !

Buy Stock Photos for $1

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Update on Shutterstock

I wanted to give an update on my progress on Shutterstock : 4 months have passed since my previous post so what happened ?

  • I got a raise from 0.25 to 0.30 then $ 0.33 per download
  • Best day with 34 downloads in December 2007
  • Only 8 pictures so far have made more than $ 10 each (a bit less than 3 % of my portfolio)
  • At this day 2200 pictures were sold including 2 extended licenses (for $ 20 each)
  • Portfolio is now close to 300 pictures

  • Despite regular uploads, sales are not linear anymore with the size of my portfolio since last December
  • The performance of my portfolio decreased steadily from 53 % last January to less than 30 % last month
  • SS was my number earner for 8 consecutive months and only second last month after FT
  • The raise in March did not change anything :( so I am looking forward to raise this month....
It will be interesting to see how much SS are willing to give to their contributors for the raise and how the subscription program that IS will implement later this month will impact on my SS and IS sales. Will SS be number one again next month ? We will see...
Update graphs are below

Despite the pessimist tone of this post, it is still worth to join Shutterstock. If you want to join here is my referral link Submit Photos to Shutterstock and make $$$!
Thanks !

Friday, May 2, 2008

April Earnings

This is now my 10th consecutive earnings report and the best so far closing down on the $ 300 mark. For the first time, SS lost his number one spot over FT. All the other sites are performing as usual no surprise there. I got my first sale (11.97 euros) at Panthermedia with a very small portfolio which is encouraging.

The surprise this month in microstock was LO announcing that they will close down the 15th of May due to a lack of funding. Got one payout there and have so far $ 3.40 on the piggy which will probably get lost.... Other agencies are following this path and it looks like that on the long term, micro will evolve to midstock.
Next month should see an increase in earnings: SS will announce and implement its raise for its contributors in the first two weeks of May, I hope it will be something like $0.40.... IS will implement subscription at the end of the month (26th) and finally 123RF implements its new credit prices today the 2nd of May.
Go back to stats now with microstock one by one

Microstock one by one

  • FT (+74%). BME. My best earner this month for the time since I started contributed to SS last August. A exceptional month at FT with good sales volume and a record of $ 2.57 per download due to an extended sale ($ 26, picture was exclusive to FT). Global performance of 14 %.
  • SS (- 5%). Despite uploading new pictures, earnings do not increase like they did before , it is hard enough to maintain them.... Hopefully with the raise coming and more uploads it will possible to make $ 100 a month on SS. Global performance down to 29 %, an all time low.
  • IS (+72%) A good month at IS with a average of $ 0.72/dl this month and a global performance of 27 % just behind SS...
  • DT (+28 %). Not far from a BME this month. Average return of $ 0.85/dl and global performance of 4 %.
  • 123RF (+31%) A dip in sales compared to last month but 123RF is pretty stable otherwise. Hopefully earnings will go up this month when the new credit prices will kick in this month. Performance of 3 % and average of $ 0.72/dl.
  • SXP (+8%) BME. SXP continues its slow progression with an average of $ 1.44/dl (subscriptions opt-out). Global performance 6 %. 200 + portfolio this month.
Low earners (less than 2 % of earnings)
BSP, LO (RIP), SCP, CT (a slight improvement in sales this month). No sales at CSP for 2 months in a row (next to go down ??).

  • Big 6 rankings


Performance: SS>IS>FT>SXP>DT>123RF


Detailed earnings Figures in USD. Note: 100 % global performance is defined by a portfolio with an average of sales of $ 1 per picture.

Sunday, April 27, 2008


I just wanted to write a review about ProStockMaster, a software I have been used for almost a year now to submitted my pictures to microstock.

ProStockMaster saves me a lot of time because I organize, keyword and upload my pictures to nine microstock agencies simultaneously. It is particularly useful when submitting to Istockphoto to put pictures directly into the queue. When I start with a new category of pictures, the semi-automatic IPTC keywording works very well to provide me with a first set of keywords. With ProStockMaster I can also keep track of my records and avoid resubmissions.

The most addictive feature of all is most certainly the statistics which allows you to check your stats just in one click. Technical support is very helpful and because of the open communication with their customers, ProStockMaster is getting better at each version. Because of all these things, I highly recommend including this software in your workflow. Try it, and you will not be disappointed.

You can download the trial version and later decide to buy the full version by clicking on the banner below.

Stock Photography Workflow Management Software

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Experiment 8 : Your photos in action, how to find them?

After selling hundred and thousands of pictures, it is always gratifying to see where and how they have been used but you will be able to find only a tiny fraction of them....

Your microstock pictures can be found in a number of media: website, magazine, leaflet, brochure, mugs, mouse pad, billboards or even TV commercials....
Only Fotolia so far, allows you to know the company or individual who bought your picture. The next step is then after few days or weeks to do a search on google with some luck find your photo in action.
The other option is google search your full name between commas, or your porfolio's nickname. If you are lucky enough, buyer can contact you or you got informed by another stock photographer via a forum. Recently, a group called "your photos in use" was created on facebook, you can have a look here.
If you are even luckier, you can stumble on your picture on line (it happened to me once) or on a magazine.

Here are my tear sheets so far, find with a Google search and random browsing. I will update this post if I found more of them.

Bought most probably on Fotolia. Found by Google Search

Bought by Mostphotos ! Found after random browsing....

Web links found with Google:














Thanks to TinEye

Fourth of July Sizzlers

Vitamin D Deficiency Symptoms

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Experiment 7 : evolution of average $ per download

Disclaimer: it is not a April fool's :)
With the recent changes in prices at IS at the beginning followed by FT and more recently by SXP, SS and 123rf in the foreseeable future I thought it will be interesting to look at the impact on the $/dl for each month (total income/total photos sold) on a graph

I mentioned this possible increase in $/dl in a previous post and it looks like it happened and here to stay.
$/dl increases because of the successive price increases at IS,FT,SXP, my raise in commission at SS but also because of the lowest % of SS sales this past months. Extended sales can have of course also a big impact on the $/dl.
Last month was my highest so far with $ 0.63 (helped by 2 EL at SS) but this month despite a small EL at FT $/dl was still above $o.5.

So looking ahead I hope by keeping the same volume of sales $/dl will continue to increase especially with the coming changes at SS and 123RF and maybe DT ? Future will tell, I will do an update in few months...

Monday, March 31, 2008

March earnings


For the first time since I started this blog, I had a drop in earnings of 14% but I am still above the $ 200 mark. Three BME at FT, SXP and 123RF and an EL at FT. Regarding midstock this month only one sale of $ 7 to report at Zymmetrical which is not bad considering it was a small size.

Some news in the microstock world this month: SXP and 123RF followed IS and FT in the increase of prices which is good news for contributors. SS is expected to implement a raise next month and it was the subject of a lot of discussion across the forums.
I will be interesting to follow SS this year to see if they will stick to the subscription model: a lot of photographers noticed a significant drop in sales at SS this year. I observed this also despite having from 0.25 to $ 0.30 and the upload of new pictures.
Because SXP in their new price structure include a XXXL size I am still opting out for subscription. I did the same at Snapvillage and decided for the time being to put all my pictures at $ 50 treating SV like midstock not microstock. However I do not have any sales to report it there.

Microstock one by one

  • SS (- 19%). A significant drop in sales this month despite a raise at $ 0.3/dl early this month. It looks like SS is slowing declining , hopefully the coming new price structure will compensate some of it. Global performance down to 32 % which is the lowest since I starting uploading there.
  • FT (+13%). BME. A good month at FT where the effect of the price increase are still there with an average $/dl close to $ 1.5. Global performance of 9 %.
  • 123RF (+31%) BME A surprise 3rd place for 123rf. A lot of credit sales with few sales at $ 3.75 which is much higher than all the other sites for a 5MP picture. Performance of 5 % but a good $ 0.89/dl this month.
  • IS (-47%) IS did not continue its progression of last month after the price increase. Less sales and a slight drop in $/dl explain this result. Good performance of 16%
  • DT (-38%). Despite the fact the DT is my 3rd largest portfolio among my leading agencies, sales are not really following. I still do not have any level 2 images but the $/dl is not bad at $ 0.85. Performance at 4% so less than 123RF.
  • SXP (+85%) BME helped by the new prices in place at the end of the month with the highest $/dl of all the major sites at $1.5 . Performance 7 %

Less than 3 % of earnings
BSP, LO, SCP, CT(1 sale at $ 0.25). No sales at CSP this month

  • Big 6 rankings


Performance: SS>IS>FT>SXP>123RF>DT


Detailed earnings Figures in USD. Note: 100 % global performance is defined by a portfolio with an average of sales of $ 1 per picture.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

First sale at Zymmetrical !

I wrote briefly about zymmetrical in a previous post: "Zymmetrical is another midstock agency with a pretty sophisticated multilingual platform. Photographers can set their own prices from $ 3 to $100 for the largest size and get a generous 70 % royalty fee. Up to 5 pictures can be submitted by http with a minimum size of 640 pixels. Zipped pictures can be sent by ftp as well. Some photographers @ microstockgroup have also reported some sales''.

Well I just had my first sale there and with only 33 pictures uploaded it is quite encouraging. I sold only a small size but due to the 70% royalty I got $7. To compare, the same picture on line now for 5 months at SS was sold 38 times and generated $ 9.50. I was hoping to sell there one of my pictures which is on the frontpage for several weeks now but it did not happen yet :(
You can use my referral link if you want to join zymmetrical

Here is the lucky image below