Stock Photography Income

How Much Money Did I Earn from Stock Photography in 2018

Is there anything more interesting than knowing how much money your neighbors are doing? I guess it depends, but it definitely is interesting information. It gives some perspective on how you are actually doing. Anyway, because I know you want to know so I’ll give it to you. My 2018 earnings from stock photography!

My 2018 Stock Photography Earnings

2018 was a good year for me. This is, of course, subjective and someone else might say that my earnings sucked. However, my stock photography earnings multiplied from 2017. On the other hand, my portfolio sizes in 4 main stock sites only grew by approximately 250-300 images in 2018, while in 2017, I uploaded at least 500 new images. This, I believe, will show up on my 2019 earnings as decreased sales. We’ll see…

The main reason why I didn’t upload so many images last year was that I’ve been concentrating on building my new website, writing the blog, and learning some new skills. These have taken a considerable amount of my time, especially during the second half of 2018. All this I’ve been doing, and continue to do besides my 9 to 5 job as an office slave.

OK, but here is what you wanted to see, right.. how much I earned last year. Below you can see a chart of my earnings in the three best-selling stock photography sites that I’m currently contributing to.

Stock Photography Earnings in 2018

As you can see, Shutterstock has been my biggest earner almost every month in 2018. Its sales have been zig-zagging on a rising trend until November when the sales suddenly dipped.. who knows why. I used to have almost every month at least one “biggie” sales as I like to call them. Those “biggies” are sales that sell between $20-$60 per image. In November and December though I didn’t have any of those what actually may be a normal state I guess. These “biggies” are normally very rare so maybe I’ve just been lucky. My total earning in Shutterstock was $877,87 making it an average of $73,2 per month. Not bad I’d say.

My Shutterstock portfolio can be found HERE.

Second, came EyeEm. At the beginning of the year, there weren’t many sales, but it picked up in the second half of 2018. EyeEm sales are a bit unpredictable as you can see in the chart. the sales might one month be very high while at the next month it may dip on the bottom. The sales volume is usually low, but the price per single image can be high. You can earn over $100 per image in the EyeEm market if you’re lucky. EyeEm is also on an upward trend and I hope it will continue as such. EyeEm made money for me $477,07 making the average earnings per month $53.

My EyeEm portfolio can be found HERE.

The third money-earning machine for me was Adobe Stock. Adobe Stock sales are on nice rising trend without too much zig-zagging around. In the last 2 months, Adobe Stock even passed Shutterstock in monthly earnings. I like this smooth growth and hopefully, this will continue on the same trend. Adobe Stock sold $323,02 in 2018, making the monthly average $26,9.

My Adobe Stock portfolio can be found HERE.

On top of these earnings, I finally started to have sales on Alamy too. Not too much though, only $137 totally in 2018, but its a good start. Alamy didn’t earn me anything for a year since I started submitting images for them. That was in April 2017 and my first sale came in May 2018.

Unfortunately, Alamy announced recently to reduce the royalty rate for their non-exclusive contributors from 50% to 40% starting from February 2019. I’m not going to drop-off because of that, but it is a disappointment whatsoever.


Overall I’m happy with my photo sales in 2018. My total photography earnings have been on a rising trend since I started with stock photography in 2016, but I never thought that in a couple of years, I would make over $100 in a month regularly. This isn’t that big of money, really, but it does cover my photography expenses and more.

I hope this rising trend will continue in 2019, although I’m going to concentrate more on making stock videos which are not my strongest skill area. This may have a negative effect on my photography earnings because uploading images regularly is important in stock photography.

Anyway, my total 2018 stock photography earnings were $1814,96. Below you can also see a graph of my total earnings each month.

Thanks for reading!