My observations of being in stock photography about a year

Highway at sunset

A bit less than a year ago I decided to give stock photography a try as I have thousands and thousands photos sitting on my hard drive. Today I hit 1000 uploads and to celebrate that I decided to write a blog post on my observations. Why not, right?

During this time I have realized that you have to submit much much more photos than that if you want to have decent sales provided you have started with stock photography recently. I have analysed some users and the ones that have high sales per image are only those that have started around 10 years ago (at least this is my observation but there might be exceptions I have not seen). It is so saturated that I am wondering that I have sold anything at all :D The second thing I realized is it takes me quite some time to upload the photos mainly due to figuring out meaningful tags and captions for my photos.

On DS I have had really few sales and from those I have not figured out what sells. But what I do see is that between upload date and purchase date always several months have passed, at least this is the case with my photos. So, it turns on slowly. I should probably give it another year or so to see how it develops. The only thing I cannot decide, what should be my target upload number for the next year. What do you think?

Users that are here about a year, what are your observations? Would love to read and discuss!

I wish big sales to everyone in this beautiful year 2018! :)

Photo credits: Janina Landisa.

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February 28, 2018


Yo tengo menos de un año, he subido 91 fotos y he vendido sólo una.. Pero ya veo que no soy la única.. Hay que tener mucha paciencia a penas estoy comenzando

February 12, 2018


Awesome stuff.

January 28, 2018


I joined october 2016 and have 16 sales. Not much. I also think, stock is sometimes like lottery. I am on another stock site too, with more sales, and yes, I joined earlier. What blows my mind, that with 16 sales here, and much more on the other site, I have only two (2!!!) pictures I sold on both. I mean.. Buyers think so different on the two sites, its completly unpredictable for me what would sell.

January 26, 2018


January 26, 2018


Hi :)

I joined in July 2017. Today I have 196 uploaded photos, and 1 got selled. It took a long long time for me to start stock photography, because I thought my photos are just not good enough for this. But then I decided, I will give it a try anyway, and even if I didn't sell much, my skilles have developed a lot. I love to take photos of people, most of them are my friends, because I can't pay models yet. But when you are working with people, it takes a little more time to prepare the images for upload. You have to do color correction, retouching (skin, removing logos, and stuff), prepare the documents, after that the keywording, I am doing this alone, and I already have a job, so I don't have that much free time. So, it kinda takes long time for me to make a bigger portfolio. But my friends who are doing stock photography said, that it takes minimum 1,5-2 years of hardworking for an amount of success, so you can't rush things here. But If you don't give up, and you simply love photography, than I am sure your sales will get much bettter. It just takes time. That is what I am telling myself too. Good luck for everyone :)

January 22, 2018


Hi))) I'm also less than year in DS )) Have 460 photos and just 6 sold images. I try to make photos in different manner and items and try to upload photos every day. But I'm still unpopular ))))) I'm always looking for tips to improve my portfolio )) Wish You the best!!! )

January 19, 2018


@Clewisleake thanks for the comments, they are always welcome! One of my best selling image (not on this stock site though) is landscape and quite dark. And I have honestly no idea what people use it for. But I will think about it, thanks! :)

January 19, 2018


@Clewisleake thanks for the comments, they are always welcome! One of my best selling image (not on this stock site though) is landscape and quite dark. And I have honestly no idea what people use it for. But I will think about it, thanks! :)

January 18, 2018


Stock is like a lottery sometimes..

January 18, 2018


hi my sapumal.from sri lanka.Im less than tow months in dreamstime.I uploaded 165 image. sold 3 image.i suppose i need friends.I LOVE DREAMSTIME.good luck

January 17, 2018


Your observations are correct. Gradations appear over time, a large portfolio is good, but not the main thing. There are authors who have 100 photos and 1000 sales, so here there is something else. I take a lot of pictures, and most of the photos remain on my hard drive, maybe no one will ever see them, but I dream that I will make one photo that will conquer the world. Good luck to Wa

January 17, 2018


I am less than one year in dremstime, I uploaded 100 image aprox. and I sold 5, I need tips, and I supposed I need friends. Regards and luck!

January 17, 2018


My experience was similar Janina, sales have gotten better as time as passed maybe this is partly due to the time it takes search engines to pick photo's up. I think it also helps to get yourself noticed like doing blogs or commenting on others blogs. I found some of my favourite photographers after seeing a comment and then looking at their portfolio. So being patient could well pay dividends over time and you have some great photo's in your portfolio! Good luck going forward!

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