Stock Photo Income: How High Should You Aim This Year?

This just in -- stock photo income is still on the rise…

Stock photo industry blog and forum,, released its 2010 survey of stock photographers last week. Among the 524 who responded, 86% reported an increase in income over 2009.

It makes sense -- if you keep uploading good, saleable images, your stock photo income is likely to keep going up each year. So keep up that momentum! (Premium members, this is where the monthly Challenges are going to be really helpful.)

Some other interesting findings from the survey:

  • Income ranged from $1 to $211,708 per year, with the average around $13,439.
  • Shutterstock led in income, followed by iStock, Dreamstime, and Fotolia.
  • iStock led in return per image, followed by Shutterstock, Dreamstime, and Fotolia.

Let’s go get a piece of the pie.

January has come and gone, but we still have 11 whole months to achieve our stock photo goals for 2011.

I caught up with a few readers who submitted stock photos in 2010 to see what their goals are for this year. Here’s what they told me:

Sales!!! A more immediate goal will be to finally make it onto iStock and Shutterstock. I will definitely be waiting on the AWAI pros for their advice before submitting again to those two. -- Joy C.

To work on my motivation and consistency in getting images taken and uploaded so that by the end of the year I am uploading 20 images on average per week. -- Andrea G.

To upload a ton of photos! I have also been working on an indoor studio and have purchased lighting and background kit to accomplish some indoor photo scenes. -- Lynn M.

I want to get into Shutterstock, and I want to make enough money to pay for the new camera I bought in December and all that lighting equipment. -- Caroline M.

To triple my portfolio and double the number of agencies used (used two agencies at the end of 2010). -- Phillip D.

Work on doing some "studio type" shots with objects and backdrops. I also need to work on people shots and overcome by fear of asking for model releases. I see improvement in my work so I hope this year is better. Just need to upload!!!! -- Connie O.

I'd like to start earning $2 per day in sales. -- Katrina T.

To surpass a 50% acceptance rate, to upload every single week without fail, and to never stop learning and experimenting. A digital click costs nothing -- so push the button already and repeat often!!
-- Kathleen U.

Spring is historically a prime time for stock photo sales. And it’s just around the corner -- so go take some new shots this week. Let’s make it a point to upload more before spring hits, and make progress towards our goals!

-- Bonnie

Bonnie Caton
Great Escape Publishing
Breakfast Stock Club

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The latest from your Breakfast StockClub Facebook Page

The Breakfast Stock Club Premium Challenge is underway, and Premium members are showing their excitement on the Facebook Page…

From Richard Mcclure, who shared his goal on the Facebook page: A bit about me - I am a 68-year-old, mostly retired. It has been along time since I did anything but point and shoot so I am learning a new camera, Lightroom, Photoshop, and the stock photo world. Joining the Breakfast Stock Club is already showing to be a good move. I love the Roadmaps, I am printing them out to save and have started a file of stock photos to keep me moved.

My Goal of the year is to make enough that I don’t have to do taxes for others next year for travel money.

From Caroline Maryan: Love the Challenge. Took my camera to the Army base in Seoul yesterday and was shooting chain link fences and air-conditioners. Skip laughed that I was drawing a bit of attention. Note to Army. I am not a terrorist. :-)

From Joy Ciaccio: I love macro photography and combining that with the first Challenge will be awesome…

From Bruce Bidinoff: The time has come to make some noise. To see and be seen!

[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.]