Monday, November 30, 2009

November 2009 Earnings aka "I love iStock"

November has been an interesting month. It seems that my big earners for October were not even contenders this month. And all of the hard work on getting accepted to iStock has paid off! Only 12 uploaded files and 5 sales! I earned much more per image than all of the other sites combined.

Now onto my goals. I didn't meet either one of them. I originally wanted to add 40 approved images to each site and make $20.00 overall. I'm finding that some of the agencies are a little more picky than the others, so it has made that goal pretty hard to attain. Also, with the holidays this month, things have been slightly hectic and I didn't get a chance to shoot as much as I normally would.

Despite not meeting my first goal, I was very close to reaching my second goal. I was only a few short dollars away!

Before getting to my numbers, I thought I would give my thoughts on the agencies so far, now that I've had a few months to get familiar with them:

ISTOCK: I LOVE ISTOCK! It took me a few tries to get accepted, but now that I'm in, I'm getting a great amount of sales for such a small portfolio. I must admit that I was a bit skeptical of the new keywording requirements (since I was cutting out the majority of keywords to get my images approved), but I'm continually getting views and sales. Couldn't be happier. The only downside would be the monotonous uploading process, but if you download the free DeepMeta, that takes care of that problem.

FOTOLIA: This is by far the hardest agency for me to get images approved. As you can see in my stats, my portfolio is still really small (even though I submitted the same number of images as the others). The upside is that I'm having a few steady sales, so I definitely see the potential. Also, FT has the fastest review time (at least for me). So that's always good!

DREAMSTIME: DT is another one of those agencies that has surprised me. I have a smaller portfolio, but I seem to get consistent sales. This shocks me since I heard that DT will put your images at the end of the search queue if your approval rating is low (which mine is). From now on, I will be submitting my images to other websites first to get a feel for what is getting accepted before submitting to DT. Hopefully this will help raise my rating. But so far, so good! The only downside would be the review time. It usually takes about a week to get images approved.

BIGSTOCK: I don't really have much to say about BSP. I received my first sales this month and they seem to be making a decent amount of money, so again - I see the potential. My approval rating has gotten better over the last month and their review time is usually pretty good - a few days at most.

STOCKXPERT: This was a huge earner for me in October, but not so much this month. Last month I also noticed that I was getting regular views. I can't say the same for November. Perhaps November isn't the best month for buyers. I'm hoping this will pick back up.

123RF: I just recently had my first sales at 123. I was starting to think that it would never happen! My earnings have been decent compared to other sites, so hopefully I'll start to see more activity. They seem to approve most of my submissions, so I have my largest portfolio on this site.

CANSTOCK: So far, I'm not impressed. This website also has my largest portfolio, but I rarely get any views and haven't yet made a sale. I will continue uploading until I hit the 6 month mark and then decide if it's worth the time. I keep telling myself that I'm still new at this, so maybe it will pick up in the next few months. I'd like to at least report something each month!

So here are my numbers:

Hope everyone had a good month!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Quick Update

November has been pretty good so far. According to the Yuri Arcurs Projected Monthly Income Calculator, I'm on track to meet my $20.00 goal (if my sales continue through the end of the month, of course).

The front runners for this month have been surprising. iStock has dominated my sales, followed by Fotolia, BigStock, and Dreamstime. Last month, the big site for me was Stockxpert. I have yet to get any sales at SXP this month. So it's interesting how things are flopping back and forth between the agencies.

I am in love with iStock. I have made 4 sales totalling $7.44 (my portfolio only has 10 images). My views seem to be consistent (even though I drastically cut down my keywords) and my commissions have been outstanding - even on subscriptions. Granted, it's a little tough to get images approved through them, but once they're in, they do seem to sell. I hope the trend continues.

Also, I downloaded DeepMeta last week for my iStock uploads. I highly recommend this program to anyone that uploads to IS. As you already know, after uploading your images, you have to go back in so that you can clarify keywords, select categories, etc. DeepMeta allows you to do this for your entire batch of photos at one time so that when you click submit, you're done. You don't have to follow through with the extra steps. They also have great reporting features that allows you to check all of your sales, approval ratios, lightbox additions, etc. And it's free, so that's always a plus :-) One downside, though, is that I can't seem to opt-in to the partner program through DM. I have to go back in and do it through the IS website. Does anyone else have that problem?

Finally, I'd like to voice my disappointment over one of my agencies, CanStock. I hardly get any views and have yet to make a single sale. They seem to approve pretty much all of my submissions, so I wonder if they're just overloaded with images and the buyer can't locate my contributions. Or maybe there are no buyers. I've decided to give them 6 months. If I don't see an increase, I'll probably drop them.

People have often said that if I like iStock, then I will love Shutterstock. My next application is coming up in a few short weeks, so hopefully I'll have some good news to report!

Here are the links to my current portfolios:








Wednesday, November 18, 2009

New tool – projected monthly income calculator | Yuri Arcurs

New tool – projected monthly income calculator | Yuri Arcurs

Posted using ShareThis

Sunday, November 15, 2009

New Image Set

Last week I uploaded my ball of light photo series. To create these images, I used Photoshop along with an image that I shot earlier in the week. I had fun trying out a few new PS techniques. Hope you enjoy!

This image is available in red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple, and white. You can access these images HERE.

Friday, November 13, 2009

First iStock sale!

As of right now, I only have one image approved on iStock. And today it sold for $1.68 (after only being up for a few days)!!!

It's an image that you've seen many times on my blog:

Keyword - Epic Fail

So earlier this week, one of my images was rejected on a site (not going to say who) due to insufficient keywording. They told me that I should remove certain keywords - one being "otoscope."

.....The picture was of an otoscope. Don't you think that having that word as a keyword is pretty important?

I resubmitted it with the word left in. Maybe the reviewer didn't know what an otoscope was?

Anyways, I thought that was humorous.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Shutterstock Update

I was declined again. I had 6/10 approved. Only one more and I would've made it!

Monday, November 9, 2009

iSyndica Review

A few days ago, I finally tested out iSyndica. For those of you who are not familiar with this website, here is what they have to say about it:

"iSyndica eliminates the need for you to upload your files to several sites. You upload with us, we store it, we distribute it and we provide you with statistics. All in one place!"

They have different subscription levels, depending on how many uploads you do each month. Right now, I am testing out their free subscription, which gives me 100 credits per month.

How do these credits work? Well, each time iSyndica sends my image to a microstock agency, it costs me 1 credit. I happen to upload to 6 agencies, so I spend 6 credits for each image that I submit.

Another feature is the analysis section. There you will find charts and graphs of your microstock agencies and how well you are doing. You can see your revenue, projected earnings, and number of downloads for each agency.

Now here's my review:

I've uploaded to microstock agencies via HTTP, FTP, and Java and the iSyndica process is much faster than any of those other methods. As soon as my images upload to the website, they are sent to all of my stock agencies within a minute or two. Since I'm now utilizing IPTC data, this makes for fast, easy submissions. After the images are uploaded, I just go to each of my stock agencies, select my categories, and submit. Very easy.

Personally, I think the analysis tools are interesting, but the whole reason for me trying iSyndica was to help save me time in the uploading process. I currently use the PicNiche Firefox add-on to manage my current earnings, so whether it's through PicNiche or iSyndica, I have constant real-time access to my earnings.

The only downside I see to iSyndica is that it doesn't seem to work well with Shutterstock. Since I haven't been accepted yet, I really haven't had to deal with that. But I did a quick Google search and it seems that there are ways around it. I've yet to try that out, though.

So, to wrap it up, I think it's well worth it to test out iSyndica....especially if you are uploading to multiple agencies like myself. With their free subscription, you really have nothing to lose.

More info can be found at:

Upload once - Sell everywhere! iSyndica, the web distributor

November Stats So Far

November is off to a great start. I've had 7 sales so far (compared to 11 for the entire month of October) and I've already earned 25% toward my monthly revenue goal. Fotolia is my #1 earner for this month, which is a bit surprising. Following closely behind is BigStockPhoto and Dreamstime. I'm hoping Stockxpert picks up, since they were my #1 agency last month.

I recently submitted a batch of images that includes a little of my Photoshop work, so as soon as they are approved, I will share them.

Finally, I'm waiting on my first batch of iStock images to be approved. And my Shutterstock application is pending, of course.

So far, so good!

Shutterstock: Take 2

Well, it's been 30 days and I'm able to apply to Shutterstock again! And let me just say....WOW. In my opinion, the quality of my images has really improved in the last 30 days. I guess that's what happens when you start learning about what's accepted/purchased in the microstock world. Now, is it good enough for Shutterstock? We'll find out soon enough! :crosses fingers:

Even if I don't get accepted, I'm still impressed with my growth as a photographer. I'm still proud of my iStock approval, so I would say that this month has been a success so far. I'm sure Shutterstock will happen in due time.


The last time I applied to Shutterstock, I had 3 images that said "Not Approved", but the reason was, "7 of 10 must be approved." So does that mean that they would've been approved if I met the 7 approval goal?? The rest of the rejections had detailed reasons.

So my other question is, can I re-submit those 3 images in my new batch? Or do they want to see 10 brand new images?

Thursday, November 5, 2009

iStock Application

For those of you who are curious about the images I submitted for my iStock application, please see below.

*Note* The thumbnails were taken from my CanStockPhoto portfolio since they are not up on the iStock website yet. (I had to re-submit them to add them to my portfolio).

As soon as I get images approved on iStock, I will post my portfolio link. As of right now, it's still a blank screen :-)

For those of you who are still trying to get into iStock, keep at it! It took me 4 tries to finally get accepted. It seems that iStock is consistently the #1 earner for a lot of photographers. I'm excited about the opportunities!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009


Tonight my application was finally accepted at iStock! I can't wait to start uploading. I've only heard great things about them. I'll post the lucky pictures tomorrow in case anyone is curious about what I submitted.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Off to a great start!

Already I've sold 4 images this month! My best site is still Dreamstime with 3 sales. The other one came from BigStockPhoto - this was my first sale with them. So here they are:

Cowboy Hat (sold 2 times)
Ace Up The Sleeve

Cowboy Hat (slightly different than the above image)

Monday, November 2, 2009

November Goals

I have 2 goals for November:

1) Add 40 approved images to each of my microstock sites. (Last month, I was able to meet this goal on 50% of my sites)

2) Make $20.00. (Last month I made $9.99)

Yesterday I submitted another small batch of medical images in addition to a few humorous shots. I'll be sure to share a few in my upcoming posts!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

October 2009 Earnings

Well, my first month of microstocking is complete! I must say, I'm quite proud of my results. At the start of this experiment, I was happy to just get a few views. (In fact, I checked my websites daily and it made me extremely happy to know that someone out there was looking at my photos). Then, I received my first sale. Let me say this - nothing is more motivating than getting a sale! I've never been so happy about $.30 before!

A few posts ago, I mentioned that my goal for October was to get 40 approved images on each of my websites (BSP, FT, DT, SXP, 123, CSP). Well, I discovered that it can be quite difficult to get photos approved based on the different criteria for the different sites. I found that I was getting all of my images approved on one, just to get a handful approved on another. All in all, I was able to achieve my goal on 3/6 sites.

So overall, I think I did great for my first month. Here are my stats:

So, I guess it's back to work! New month, new goals! Thanks for reading!

P.S. This was my first result posting. If there is information that I left out, please comment and let me know so that I can include it next month!