Assignments - only the best

I've only had thee images accepted for assigments. My (limited) observation is that acceptance into an assignment (with the corresponding level 5 status) is the kiss of death for images that are simply 'ok'. That is, you'll make more money if you don't enter the assignment. Excellent images will make more money in an assignment.

family elders and seniors winners

agriculture traditional or modern winners

new beginnings winners

Take the above assignment images, for example. The two wheelbarrow images (just 'ok') have managed 3 sales each in their 23 and 13 month respective sales periods. All subscriptions. Not a good return, really! The garden image had already made 3 sales as a level 1 image before being submitted for the assignment. My suspicion is that it would have continued to sell at the lower level, but they're not worth the level 5 price.

In contrast, dandelion seeds flying into the wind has been online 9 months, with a total of 25 sales, 17 of them subscriptions. That's a good return! It's got a strong concept and probably would have sold well as a low level image, but the level 5 status means that it features high in the search results.

Taking the assignment the dandelion was in, new beginnings winners, you can see that sales aren't very high for most of the images. In 9 months, only 3 images have more than 20 downloads. Another 3 have more than 10 downloads. Another 5 have more than 5 downloads, and the rest have less than that, with 10 having no downloads at all. That suggests that having an image accepted to an assignment simply doesn't guarantee sales.

The images with more than 10 downloads are shown below. They're all either conceptually or artistically strong. They've probably made more money and had more downloads as a result of being in the assignment.

So, if your image is 'ok', leave it out of the assignment. You'll probably make more money. If you can make a great image - excellent, enjoy the sales! Of course, if you can make every image you submit an excellent image, so much the better1

Photo credits: Georges Kyrillos, Grafvision, Juliasha, Kellyrichardsonfl, Lindamstyle, Stephen Denness.

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April 02, 2014


Hello, I'm just curious about one aspect of the assignments: What kind of standards must an assignment photo (that you want to sell the rights for 25$) has to meet? It's just very curious, has anyone sold any? Cand you give an example? Mine submitted for assignement and which I choose to sell the rights was rejected because it was too simple and they wanted something more complex. Truly it was a simple photo with a pinned location on a map.

September 15, 2011


Thanks for sharing, this is great.

September 15, 2011


Thanks, on the last one I had a few images already online that might have been good but decided not to take them down to enter in the assignment. I entered two other ones but they didn't get in.

September 15, 2011


Interesting perspective. Thanks for sharing

September 15, 2011


Thanks for sharing!

September 14, 2011


Interesting read Stephen, thanks for sharing

September 14, 2011


Very well said. My images from assignments sell very rarely and they are mainly subs sales. The only advantage for "ok" images would be that the photos being level 5 and appearing more often in "most popular" draw attention to contributor's portfolio.

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