Reader Responds – The Week of Money: Earnings by the Numbers

We’ve received a lot of really great comments about yesterday’s interview with computer programmer, now stock photographer Kevin Lohka.

Here’s one from John Michaels in Philadelphia…

“When I read your article from Kevin Lohka on which stock photo agencies are working for him and how much he’s making from each, there were three things that jumped out more than any other… and made me say to myself, "I've got to get myself in gear and get some photos up on the stock sites."

“First was Kevin saying how many photos he had posted and how much they'd generated.

“This made me instantly want to do the math. So… he's averaging about $3 a photo on Shutterstock…   let's say you load up 10 photos every weekend for a year… that's 520 photos… some will sell, some won't… but even on the averages, that's an extra $1,500+ per year, which is enough to pay for a really nice camera… do it again and, assuming the first year's pictures keep selling, that's $3,000+ in the second year… and $4,500 in the third… and so on.

“Total in three years time, already: $9,000+… enough to cover the cost of a very high end collection of lenses and a camera. Or a couple really great photo-taking vacations. And that's just from one stock site. If you're non-exclusive, you can double or triple that number by using other stock sites.

“Of course, that's an idealized calculation and 10 photos per week is no small feat, but still… knowing the number of photos -- and how small a number it was -- and the cash they generated makes it all seem more real.

“Second was simply knowing from Kevin which of the stock photo sites was working for him best, along with how one started working the same day. Plus the fact that he's non-exclusive and making that work.

“And third was the fact that he's just getting started, yet he's already making it work.

“Anyway… just wanted to let you know that I enjoyed the article.”

Thanks John.

It’s also worth remembering that Kevin’s doing all this while having fun.  How else can you make money doing something you’d gladly do for free?

Plus, Kevin photographs his family and those are the pictures he’s uploading to these stock photo sites.  So in addition to earning money, he now has all these great photos of his loved ones for their family photo album.  That, and great memories, too.

After so much great feedback about Kevin’s article, I’ve invited him to join us in Delray Beach at this year’s stock photography workshop.

He’ll be on hand to help out during some of the studio shoots – showing others the same ropes he learned at last year’s big event.  And he’ll also do a small presentation on getting started that includes a few little tricks he’s picked up for making your images more saleable (like where he finds lists of photos that photo buyers are looking for).

I hope to see you there.


Lori Allen
Director, Great Escape Publishing

[Editor’s Note: Learn more about how you can turn your pictures into cash in our free online newsletter The Right Way to Travel.  Sign up here today and we’ll send you a new report, Selling Photos for Cash: A Quick-Start Guide, completely FREE.]