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On my way to $30,000 this year


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1 minute ago, Doug Jensen said:

Because I have never seen any evidence that there is any money to be made with photos.  

I have and not just from me. There are a lot of complainers here about photo sales - so don't just listen to the doom and gloomers. 

Its 7am in the morning here, and I need a coffee. Ciao and have fun 🙂

 

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I got interviewed for a Shutterstock article on shooting wildlife and nature shock footage. https://www.shutterstock.com/blog/capturing-stock-nature-videos' But the best news is that 2020 is

No one in his right mind would deny that the return on video is undeniably much higher than with photos. The other advantage is that you can extract frames from a 4k video, especially with a camera

It is said not to compare apples with pears, and this should be taken into account when comparing pictures and videos. At first sight, my figures seem to confirm Doug's theories. I currently have the

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14 minutes ago, Phil Lowe said:

I have 914 clips and 1875 stills, totaling 2789 clips and stills.  Breaking it down, it means that 1/3 of my sales are coming from video, which comprises about 1/3 of my overall media portfolio.  The other 2/3rds comes from stills, where Els have really helped in that regard.  And this is why I stress quality: sure, you can grind out beer money on 25 cent subscription sales, but the real money is in Els.  People who buy those tend to look for something other than snapshots.  

These are just a couple of my EL sales:

Those are interesting numbers, thanks for sharing.  But it is not logical for me to jump to the conclusion that either one is worth your time without hard numbers.  2/3 of a small number is still a small number.  Or maybe your earnings are a big number?? I don't know because you haven't said.  My point is that the ratio of income for stills to footage is interesting to hear,  but not useful if neither one paying you very well for the time you have invested into submitting them.

What if you divide your income so far by the amount of hours you have spent curating, uploading, doing metadata, etc. on all those photos can clips?  Don't include shooting because that isn't work, right? Just add up how many hours you've spent on the drudgery part.  How much does that work out to be by the hour?  If you know the average amount of time you have to spend in post on each and every clip or photo (for me it is 5 minutes per clip), your hourly earnings is an easy number to figure out.  So, how much are you making for the time you put into it?

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2 hours ago, Milleflore Images said:

What about 100 in a day?

And who is mahai? And his idol?

I must be missing something here 🤔

Still money to be made from BOTH clips and pics. 

 

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I would also like to know who Mahai is... anyway, $215 in a day?! Wow. I’m seriously impressed, That is definitely something I am looking forward to achieve some day. 🙌🏻🙌🏻🙌🏻

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Okay, Doug,

In 2018 13% of your gross income was shutterstock videos. You want to reach 30.000 $ here in 2019, which means, that you had less than that here in 2018, right. Let's say 20.000$, okay? You had 114.000 in 8 years. If your development in 2018 was much better, than in the years before, you might have made 20.000 $ in 2018.  So 20.000 $ was 13 % of your income in 2018. So you made nearly 155.000 $ in 2018.

I calculate 180 working hours per month - 40 hours a week - 5 days/8 hours. This is 2.160 hours a year. Okay - you have some vacations ( a bit more than 5 weeks), so let's say there are 1.950 hours for doing your work left.

You say, you'd make more than 100$ an hour - including taking a video, postprocessing and uploading. If it only was 100 $, your income could be 195.000 $. If it was 120 $ an hour, you would earn 234.000 $ a year. And I'm pretty sure that you work more than 40 hours a week.

Give up your freelance job! You will have more if you concentrate on microstock!

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$26,466 at SS in 2018 + around $5K from other sources.

Wilm, your numbers aren't far off and your advice makes complete sense . . . if I was only interested in the money.  But being a freelancer gives me access to some of the biggest news and sporting events in the world plus working with celebrities, politicians, and getting to see and do things there's no way I'd ever get to experience otherwise. But as I have decided to cut back on freelancing (I'm getting too old for some of it) and I'm not interested in taking on any new clients (unless it is something that really interests me) I am gravitating more and more to stock.  I have some ideas for stuff that I think will be worth taking a gamble on that will require some out of pocket expenses, which, until now, I have avoided.  But I have proven to myself there is enough money in it to justify the risk and double-down.

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7 hours ago, Doug Jensen said:

I hear what you're saying, but just to be clear, it isn't a full time job for me either.  I'm spending less than 5 hours per week processing clips.  And as far as cameras go, about 80% of by best-selling clips could have been shot (and many were shot) with a Sony F3 or FS100 that can be picked up on eBay now for $1K - $2K.  4K is a good idea for future-proofing your work, but what sells today, by at least a 20 to 1 margin, is still good old HD.  My advice would be to start with HD and let those clips buy you the 4K camera you really want. 

Hey Doug, this is such a great tip for beginner like myself who want to start somewhere in stock footage.

Very inspiring post to read and sincerely wishing you and everyone else who wants to make good money especially in stock footage a big success in their undertakings.

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9 hours ago, Doug Jensen said:

I hear what you're saying, but just to be clear, it isn't a full time job for me either.  I'm spending less than 5 hours per week processing clips.  And as far as cameras go, about 80% of by best-selling clips could have been shot (and many were shot) with a Sony F3 or FS100 that can be picked up on eBay now for $1K - $2K.  4K is a good idea for future-proofing your work, but what sells today, by at least a 20 to 1 margin, is still good old HD.  My advice would be to start with HD and let those clips buy you the 4K camera you really want. 

I do have a few video clips up (and no I won't ask "why haven't I made $1,000,000 with the clips I do have... I only have a handful and know they're not 'unique enough to warrant being downloaded a gazillion times). I do occasionally wonder what's unique enough in my area to take some video and upload...

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Glad you joined the forum, Doug. I think that most high earners don’t have the time or the motivation. I have never seen it before. And it shows that if you are willing to work with stock footage (and maybe photos ..?) more than 40 hours a week, invest in the right equipment, have great ideas and have access to unique locations or venues you are able to earn serious money here ....😀

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14 hours ago, Laurin Rinder said:

Darius....Thats quite different than calling a Person out. and Ya know what. It was the "Good Old Times" You Said>>  "In Every Thread"??? really.?  Maybe you better read More dude.I've also Helped a Lot of Folks here do better and actually Helped some get Jobs which YOU will never do.....Also...No One pays any attention To mahai anymore it's like Like a broken record that Many Of us have heard for a Looooong time.. Just a guy that is filled with Hate and Has delusions of Grandeur Like His Idol had, Pretty Garden Variety...Last week he had 3 Followers. I have 154 and used to be a LOT more But they Left. People should try and read what I say instead of what they think I say. Most do. the Ones I stick with. I haven't seen a word he's written on Obsessing about Me for Over a year. Until someone brings it up.I don't know who His audience is......Could care Less. to Bad.....Smart Guy and He Picks this dialog. Oh, well always One. Been On Photo forums since usenet. Theres always One.

So...Darius....bring it on, if ya have something Original..... seen them all. and turn your hat around Hipster Cool dude. makes ya look Stupid.LOL. And BTW.....Im Kidding, Have fun while your here. And I don't cry anymore. Im 76. Next week.

Ehm... What? 

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Hi Doug, I read your post and while reading it I thought to myself: This is how someone who does what he loves and loves what he does sounds :) If there is a purpose in life, you know yours. It was a pleasure reading about your determination to achieve bigger goals. Just go for it and never stop (as long as you breathe) :)

I agree with picking up your seeds and planting them carefuly. My Grandma use to say: When planting, do it in harmony. ;)

Good luck

 

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Very nice videos, Doug.  I'm re-thinking my whole strategy and concentrating on video as well.  Video takes longer to upload than stills, but time spent doing the medatada is the same, so might as well go for video, the bigger payout.  Oh, sure--if I see something that I feel would make a great stock image that I feel will sell, I'll still shoot it as a still and submit the still too, but $.33 for a sub ain't gettin' it done--I'm prioritizing video. 

What percentage of your (7,200?) clips would you say sell?

Also, have any of your clips sold in the "premium" Shutterstock Select category (where the bigger bucks are)?

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Good question, Mike. 

2300 of my clips have just been uploaded in the past couple of months, so I hope you will agree it's not right to include them yet in my statistics. Many of them will sell over time, but not yet.  So if I count just the 4900 clips that have been around awhile (I didn't upload more than a 100 - 200 in all of 2018) most of those 4900 have been around long enough to get ingrained into the system.  Out of those 4900 clips about 800, or 16%, have already sold at least once at Shutterstock.  That sounds low, doesn't it?  From talking to insiders at certain stock agencies, that number is fairly typical so I'm in line with other successful stock footage contributors.  What makes it all worth it is that the clips that do sell more than make up for the bulk of the portfolio that doesn't.  So I'm cool with 16% and will be perfectly happy if that number holds true for all the clips I will continue to upload.

Why do the numbers work if only one clip out of 6 sells?  Because If I divide my lifetime earnings by the 800 clips that have sold already, that works out to be about $143 for each clip that has already sold.  But that clip has to carry the weight of 5 clips that didn't sell, right?  So if I divide $143 by 6, that means all my clips have earned an average $24 each.  It takes me less than 5 minutes edit, grade, create the metadata, and upload each clip to Shutterstock (and other agencies but I'm not including those earnings in the figures here).  So I can do 12 clips per hour (5 minutes each) and that means my hourly income is around $288/hour.  I hope you can follow that math! :-)

The bottom line is that I only need 1 out of 6 (or less) of my clips to actually sell in order to be making some excellent money. Plus it's hard to say how many clips will eventually sell.  Every single month I have clips that have been online for several years suddenly sell for their first time   You never know when a clip will suddenly come to life so it's not even fair to assume the 5 out of 6 clips that haven't sold yet will never sell.  A lot of them will.  And once a clips sells for the first time, the odds skyrocket that it will sell again, and then again,  . . .

 

 

 

 

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7 hours ago, mandritoiu said:

But, when it comes to SS, I would rather expect a drop in prices, rather than on royalty percentages.

Yes - dream on ... I think they 'soon' will cut the earnings from footage. Crazy 'old' contributors will complain in the forum but continue uploading, but you - and a few others - will welcome the new business plans and shout out that it's sign o' the times and one just have to work harder and smarter.   

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