Stock photography report as a beginner



Today I will write few words about a small “project” that I had in mind for some time, I wasn’ t sure If I will be good enough to do it.

I am talking about putting my photos on sale on micro stock photography sites. I am sure that all of us have tones of pictures in our hard drives, some good, some not that good.

At the very beggining of the year ( Early January 2017) I started to make a selection of photos that I considered that will be suitable for sale on Microstock sites. I started editing and I ended up with a folder with rougly 1121 pictures.

I chose these sites, and after I will talk about of every one of them separately from my own personal experience.

Sites are: Shutterstock, Adobe Fotolia, Dreamstime, 123Rf,  Alamy and Coina Photo.

Now I will start with them one by one, individually:


For me, it’s the best. They gave me a good acceptance ratio, and my photos got rejected mostly because I uploaded similar images at once.

With 785 images online I have 126 downloads in about four months. It’s a site when thing are moving, even though you are beginner like me. I have one, two downloads a day, and although usualy the selling amount it’s minimum, (about 25 C) it’s ok, it gives me satisfaction. The best seller is this photo, but just because someone paid 11 $ one time for it. Honestly I don’t know why, I consider I have better photos, or at least are better photos outhere with a forest.Anyway, lucky me 🙂

Total sales in four months: 52 $

Adobe Fotolia

It’s a good site, and people are buying also from there. It was a little difficult to get photos on sale here. I have a portfolio of 328 images and 17 sales only.

But, time to time I get an e-mail notifying me that I made a sale, which is nice.

Total sales in four months: 8$



It is the biggest disappointment. I have 1034 images online since the beginning with only two sales. The acceptance ratio was the best, but no sales here. Only in april, after three months of waiting I got my first sale. In the beginning I thought I was doing something wrong, maybe my account was not visible, etc. I even wrote few word on their blog hoping to increase my visibility, but nothing. I guess there I am a very small fish in a very very big pond. Which is fine now, I am over it.

Total sales in four months: 2.15$




I started later with this one, in March, they accept the pictures slow, but the ratio is good. Nothing is moving for me here, I have no sales. I noticed by browsing through the pictures that most of them are very good, created by professionals, with photo sets, etc.

Total sales in two months: 0.00$



I put some hopes in this site, but nothing is moving here as well. I started late with this one as well, about to month ago, and I already have over 1000 pictures on it. They have a nice system of tagging and key wording your photos so they can have maximum discoverability. The impression about them it’s good, although I don’t have any sale.

Total sales in two months: 0.00$


Coina Photo:

At last, Coina Photo is not exactly a micro stock photo agency, but rather a mix between facebook and stock photo agency site. It works like this: I upload a picture and if you like it, You can give me a like, a token ( which worth real money) or you can buy my photo. It’s an open platform for users and buyers. You can follow people, connect with them , chat with them , etc. The site bought me few pictures, and I got featured in their promotion campaigns, which was nice. They are very responsive, and they try hard to succeed.

All and all I like them.

Total sales in four months: 27 $

I hope I didn’t bored you with this post, I just wanted to share my experience with the microstock sites. I will keep upload pictures, any residual income is good, and maybe in the future will grow.



Cutlery on a plate with soft light, on sale for stock photography sites.
Cutlery as a fine art with beautiful soft light
Cutlery on a plate with soft light, on sale for stock photography sites.
Cutlery as a fine art with beautiful soft light
Cutlery on a plate with soft light, on sale for stock photography sites.
Cutlery as a fine art with beautiful soft light

2 thoughts on “Stock photography report as a beginner

  1. Be aware that it can take years to build up a strong Microstock portfolio, meaning at least 2,000 unique marketable images spread out over various Agencies. You have made a nice start and must keep going for a long time before you start earning enough to cover some of your costs.

    I’ve put together a guide for microstock beginners called the Brutally Honest Guide to Microstock Photography. Check it out sometime 🙂

    Take care and good luck!


    Liked by 1 person

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