Is Selling Stock Photos Worth Your Time?

In this article you may be hoping to find some real numbers when it comes to selling stock photos for profit. We have done very much research to find that some other website or articles may provide you with some very optimistic numbers. Especially some other stock photo calculators that I have come across lately. So for this post, we will try to explain the real side of stock photography income. We will also give you some estimates of what you may expect, but not exact numbers. Since this would be impossible to predict, especially since there are so many factors/variables that you would need to know. Through out this article I will explain some of the major factors that affect your income when selling stock photos for profit.


Residual Income from Stock Photography!

Doing some initial work one time, can enable you to collect monthly payments for many years to come. Residual Income in terms of Stock Photography (or for purposes of this article) is income that you get periodically that does not require any work. This does not include the initial work of taking, and then placing the images online for sale. That would simply be considered your initial investment cost (of labor). Once you begin selling stock photos online in larger numbers, your monthly paychecks will become more substantial. How ever, this does require you take some really high quality photos, or have very many good quality photos. Regular or average images may sell every once in a while, but the sales are so low they are not worth your time. You really want to be sure to produce quality content, even if it takes a little more time.



Why is Residual Income Better?

Selling Stock Images

The best part of residual income is that you can stop at any time, and the income keeps flowing as normal. The work you do is only to grow that monthly income, and not to keep it coming in (like would in a job). If you stopped working your sales may start to decline a little, but it should be very slowly. This is mainly since on some websites uploading new images will gain you more exposure temporarily. Like on ShutterStock for example, you can notice a slight increase in sales when uploading new images. Other than that one factor, your sales may even increase over time depending on the popularity of the stock photo websites. When calculating the cost of your labor, or how much money you made. It’s only time that will tell, and we can only estimate what the results may be.


How Much Can I Make?

Keep in mind that you can resell the same images many times, and also on different agencies as long as you don’t mark them as “exclusive” images. The average image can be sold to make you an average of $0.10 to $2.00 per sale depending on the license the buyer chooses, or which stock photo agency its sold on. The quality of your image will inherently affect the amount of sales you get, also buyers may opt to purchase a more expensive license for your image.

When a buyer wants to use the photo for print, or sell prints of the image many times, they will need to purchase additional licensing. That can sometimes make you (as the photographer) anywhere from $2.50 – $350.00 per license sold. How many times you will sell each image is totally up to you, just keep in mind most photographers will have some images that will never get sold once. So if your really trying to go for the big bucks, you really want to spend your time producing quality and not quantity. So go out a shoot quality images, and then learn where to sell photos online here.






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