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does anyone still get a wage from stock photography agencies

5 Oct 2011 5:14AM

can anyone honestly say they are making money from stock photography these days , i have 20,000 images with alamy , age fotostock and photographers direct(waste of time) but recently my sales are just not worth writing about, on average i get one sale a week now and thats for around$70 minus 40-60% commission....in a nutshell its not good

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lemmy 10 2.7k United Kingdom
5 Oct 2011 11:56AM
It's pretty pathetic and I think we are seeing the beginning of what will be a nastier downturn than we yet realise. I'm retired so can treat my income from Alamy as bunce and a reason for continuing to take pictures but if I were relying on the money I'd be in trouble.

On the other hand, my music and show business library from the 70s and 80s continues to earn me decent money through Rex Features.

By most stock standards I'd have thought you were still doing better than most - you're doing better than me for sure - but it's a poor return on 20,000 pictures.
ade_mcfade 14 15.2k 216 England
5 Oct 2011 12:00PM
every graphic designer I meet says I should upload to stock libraries...

if only they knew the ROI was pitiful..

Maybe if there's a niche agency doing buildings with yellow road markings in front of them I'd make a bit Wink
Camairish 12 1.4k Scotland
8 Oct 2011 10:02PM
One sale a week from 20,000 images is a poor return from Alamy. Perhaps you should evaluate your keywording or do some serious editing to improve your rank? I agree that PD is a waste of time (& effort) - I dropped out last year. Alamy and one specialised agency give me better returns than the other general agencies I used (including PD)...... so I came out of the others. I get about 3 sales per month from 2300 images (which I need to improve on) with Alamy but recently the prices have started climbing a little again.

Stock is hard work for little return but for me but like Lemmy, it is not an income I rely on so any sales are a bonus. It's still a great challenge to try & produce good stock images that sell in today's market.

Have a look at the Alamy forum - there is a lot of good advice on there pertaining to keywording, ranking and how to improve your returns. There are a few regular and successful contributors who are generous with their advice to those of us who ask.


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