Am I really making money from microstock?
I started microstock photography 2 years ago. Today, I have almost 1800 pictures in my portfolio submitted to multiple agencies and working part time for microstock.
Every month, I am posting earnings reports in my blog, Pixels Away. There are usually happy showing some positive trends. A few other microstockers are also sharing their numbers. However, it is not a full story. It doesn't say how much expenses and photographer's time was invested to produce these images. So, finally, I tried to include expenses into my analysis:
Part 1 ... Part 2
- I calculate RPI (return per image) or other statistics in reference to a total number of pictures prepared for microstock including rejects, multiple versions, pictures not submitted.
- I added expenses (including money saved for camera and gear upgrades) and looked at "net RPI".
- Finally, I derived my "hourly rate" as a microstock photographer - currently, about double minimum wage in US, so better than flipping hamburgers or babysitting and, arguably, much more fun.
- I included several graphs in my article.
I would welcome any comments or suggestions. How to improve my approach? What I am missing?
Photo credits: Marek Uliasz.