I've been thinking (for several years) about putting a calendar of my images. Finally, the other day, I pulled together a dozen shots from my microstock submissions, and sent them off to my favorite processing lab: Mpix. They did a (predictably) wonderful job, it looks great. Much better than the samples I've seen at places like OfficeMax, Kinkos and Wal*Mart.

Here's what I used:

Jan- Feb-
Mar- Apr-
May- Jun-
Jul- Aug-
Sep- Oct-
Nov- Dec-

Locations: January - Charleston Falls, near Dayton, OH. February - Land Between The Lakes, Western KY. March - Pontiac, IL. April - West Alton, Missouri. May - Niles, OH. June - New River Gorge, WV. July - Funk's Grove, IL. August - Bellflower, IL. September - Edwardsville, IL. October - Highland, IL. November - Seattle, WA. December - Land Between The Lakes, Western KY.


Merry Christmas 2007

Ah, the joys of microstock... This is one of my images (not available through microstock) combined with a tree from 123RF, and some text in Photoshop Elements....



Shutterstock always displays your 3 most recent sales. When you get three in a row, people call it a "jackpot". You know, like a slot machine??



It is interesting to see how different versions of the same image perform at microstock. For example, here's two shots, taken (and uploaded) at the same time, different orientation:

Silly little photos, but what the heck, huh?? But back to the question: How have they performed?? The horizontal version has 6 sales (at SS), the vertical has 5. Looking at a more popular photo shows similar results:

In this case, the horizontal version has 13 sales (at SS), the vertical has 15... So it would seem to pay to do both versions. I've not done so well at that, it'll be something I need to remember.

UPDATED: I checked my numbers more closely. I only have 5 sets of images at Shutterstock where I included both Horizontal and Vertical layouts. The sales breakdown remains pretty close. How close????

Horizontal = 51% Vertical - 49%

So, the logical conclusion is that we can double our sales potential by shooting both formats. While I'm sure life doesn't work quite that simply, it is clear that providing more options to our customers is smart!


Top 5 Sellers, All Time

I've been doing microstock for almost 11 months now, here's my overall top selling images, based on total dollar earnings from all sites combined:

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October Retrospect

October is in the books, and was my best month ever (BME) for image sales in microstock! And, along with good sales, October was my “broadest” month yet, with 19% of sales coming from my second-tier sites (other than SS and IS). On to November!
I didn't have a great month for adding files to my portfolios, but here’s some recently approved files:

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Sales Trends

I keep track of my weekly sales in the world of microstock. The graph above shows my rolling, 4-week sales. That is, each weekly data point represents the sales over the past 4 weeks. This provides some smoothing effect. I graph overall image sales (dark red line), Shutterstock (blue line), iStock (green line) and everybody else combined (ROW = rest of world -orange line). This is just image sales, no referrals or such. As you can see, over the past 16 weeks (1/3 year), my trend lines look pretty good. Overall sales are up about 50%. SS has been remarkably steady, while IS has been more variable (and not soo good the past couple of weeks). The ROW is still pretty mediocre, but at least on the right side of stable. Still not ready to quit my real job, but I do like the direction, and will be ordering a new lens for my camera today, funded through microstock earnings!

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Most Popular, Part 2 (iStock)

Here's my Top 8 "most popular" at iStock, as of today (10/10/2007). They use some secret algorithm, a mix of sales and views with some factor for time on the site....

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