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Motivation is a photography blog that discusses the creative aspects of photography. The posts will include thoughts about images and their interpretation, photographers and their work, technique, workflow, my ongoing projects, and perhaps even the occasional off topic rant.

A Dirty Word, Part 5

Please feel free to have a look at Parts 1, 2, 3, and 4 of this series.

So I am sure people are interested in knowing exactly how much are we talking about in terms of sales. Clearly, the amount one can make is dependent upon how much time and effort they are willing to put into it. Let's just say there are not many people who make a living doing micro-stock, but there are many people who use it as an adjunct to their earnings, particularly if they are a professional photographer who has many images from photo shoots that they are not going to otherwise use.

But, of course, that isn't really the question at hand. The question is how much can someone like me (or you) make? Let's assume that you have a regular day job, that you enjoy photography and try to go out to photograph at least once every other week, and that you have a number of images already that you never thought about trying to sell via micro-stock. Further, lets assume that you particularly enjoy nature photography, that your primary interest is in making fine art photographs, but that during the winter months you might toy with taking shots of some interesting objects when it really is freezing cold outside. That is me in a nutshell (is it you?).......so how much?

Well, part of it depends on how many images you have available at any given agency and how long they have been out there for. In some instances and at some agencies it depends on how frequently you upload, in terms of gaining exposure. So, after all that, I will give you my numbers, with the following caveats. The first is that I have only tried this as an experiment for two months. The second is that start up is slow, as you must get accepted, upload, and have your images approved. The approval process can take anywhere from less than 24 hours to 1-2 weeks depending on the agency. By the end of the first month, I only had about 15 images live and online. At the end of the second month I had about 50 live.

My earnings for the first month was $37.00 and for the second month it was $78.93, for a two month total of $115.93.

It took some work to get the images up, for sure. Besides spotting them, quick processing, and converting to jpg there was also the process of adding keywords and uploading.

It is a little uncertain to me at this point, after only two months, and with the caveats above as to what the likely potential is given time constraints etc. Will this month's revenue double again, as it did from the first to the second month? I don't know. But I have no problem letting you know once the results are in!

One benefit that I can see is that I have many images that I probably would still be thinking about processing that are now actually 'developed', at least to the point of being able to show on the computer even if not optimized for printing.

I will do a brief wrap up of some thoughts regarding my micro-stock experience for the next post and then move on to something totally different.