One photography challenge for this year is to see whether I can make a single stock photography sale.  I'll be trying this through Alamy.  They boast of 90,000,000 images on their site so the chance of selling something seems exceptionally slim.  Basically, it's a numbers game.  I'm going to assume I'd need about 5,000 images on there to even have the smallest of chances.  The images don't need to be aesthetically pleasing, merely technically competent.  The difficulty is the time it takes.  With selecting the image, getting it ready, uploading and keywording you're looking at about ten minutes.  That's 833 hours of work to get to the 5k images (or getting on for four months of seven-hour working days).  It's a lot of work for potentially zero return.  As I type this I just have a measly 72 images on the site.  We'll see what happens.

You can see my growing collection by clicking here.


Stock Photography: Can you make money?

Can you make money from stock photography?  Well the answer is definitely yes. If no one was making money then the industry wouldn't exist.  

My brother certainly makes money from it.  His best selling image is of a location that's pretty difficult to get to so there aren't a huge number of images available.

So, can I make money from it?  I'm thinking that it's exceptionally unlikely.  A graph of people making money feels as though it's be incredibly long tail in nature.

Alamy, for example, has 54,297,692 images.  If you're after an image that's great, but if you're looking to sell one.  Not so much.  

Pick a really generic search term such as "apple" and you get 230,158 results.  Even something which feels like it'd not have many results such as "Bulgarian windmill" returns 77.  All of this makes me wonder whether than can ever be a category of photo that isn't completely overdone all ready.

It seems it's too much of a buyers market to bother investing any time in.

What do you think?  Do any of you make any money from stock photography?  How many images did you upload?  How many sales do you get?  How much do you think you're earning per hour of work?

[figures were correct as of 23rd Jan 2014]