My Shutterstock activity

Well it has been just over two years since I opened my account with Shutterstock and by the end of today, I should have just over 500 images uploaded. This number, although seeming huge to me, is apparently, just a tiny handful for those contributors who seem to be most active.

This is one from the batch I shall upload later today. I can’t even imagine if it has a commercial value and if it will sell as a stock photo. It may do better on a site that sells contributors images as canvases – I have yet to look at that properly. I barely spend enough time doing what social media I already do (and that is another discussion).


I can’t say stock photography seems to be all glamour – my most sold photo (and my hardest working because it usually sells for minimum return) is a photo I’m not particularly proud of being the author of. But, it has made a fair contribution to my sales, and it does seem to fulfil a commercial need for users all over the world:


And the photo with the best average returns (least sold for most money) is another non-glamourous image that I snapped quickly on the quayside in Folkestone:


This was an early photo that I thought might have some value to show the gender differences between boys and girls but it has never sold. And now, I wonder if it is not such a good photo:



There are a couple of early photos that I do like, and I thought they might have a commercial use but they have never sold. Maybe I need to review the keywording and titles of these images as I feel they should still have potential:






I’m pleased to say I think the quality of my photos is vastly improving as time rolls on. It doesn’t necessarily mean the most recent photos outsell ones that have been there longer – yet. I hope this one does well:



It is a very mysterious game but it is a game I quite enjoy… checking everyday to see what has sold. Having the occasional jolt because nothing sold that day or, the euphoria because a single image sold for a good sum of money. I shall never make my fortune with it but, yes, it’s a good game.

After reading this, if anyone is tempted to get involved in the challenge that is stock photography, there is a reasonable referral scheme. Why not message me and we could talk about how that works.





10 thoughts on “My Shutterstock activity

Add yours

  1. Interesting as to what sells and what doesn’t. My daughter did stock photography for a while and I was amazed at the sheer boring shots that sold! Not something I’d do but I can see the interest in seeing what sells.

    1. It certainly isn’t the place for beautiful sunsets and arty kinds of shots. But it has really made me work on my technical skills – not that you’d know from the carnival post I’ve just uploaded – half of them out of focus 🙂

    1. Ha, you have some super shots Julie. And, many appropriate for stock – plants, animals, everyday stuff. Thanks for visiting. Always enjoy hearing from you.

  2. Congrats on reaching 500 images! I also submit regularly to Shutterstock and am nearing 4,000 images. I look back at some of my early images and some make me cringe!

    I really like your first image of the boat but I dont think it’s a “stock photo”. It would probably do better on a site like Fine Art America (print on demand). As for the other ones, I believe they have some technical issues.

    Sheep – Horizon isn’t straight
    Fish – composition issues (lack of copy space)
    Children playing – Need a closer crop and they need to be doing something…it’s an awkward moment imo
    Dog – Too many pet pics on SS
    Flower – I think the pumpkin is much more interesting than the flower, imo should be the other way around. Too many flower pics on SS.
    Rooster – Could work on a tighter crop as scene around doesn’t really add to the image

    Keep going and submitting more more and learning. Search for top key words for similar images and compare your image and the best selling and you’ll see how far you have to go.

    I wrote a book on making money on Microstock and have a blog on the subject with tons of material – I trust you’ll find it useful!

    Good luck!

    Author of the Brutally Honest Guide to Microstock Photography

    1. Whoa, thanks for brutally honest CC. You may be right. And as you say, things will only get better – I hope. Not too worried about the technical issues you have pointed out with the sheep and the fish…. as boring as they are, they are my top sellers, which is a little disheartening but hey, they have sold nearly 100 times between them in less than a year.

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Blog at

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: