Back in the Seventies and Eighties I founded and ran several Fleet Street photo agencies specialising in stock images of celebrities from pop stars to politicians. These were syndicated to the National and International press and Television. These days I am active in the Microstock world and this blog charts my journey as well as, hopefully, providing inspiration and ideas to others. Image buyers should also find this blog useful with links to my portfolios and regular updates on new uploads. Unless otherwise stated all images are my copyright and may not be reproduced or copied. Comments are very welcome but will be reviewed before publication. Enjoy your visit. Regards, David.

Monday, 2 January 2017

December Sales Updates:

The Acropolis of Athens
Well that's it then for 2016. Not a spectacular year in terms of microstock sales for me due to a combination of lack of uploading time reducing my output and the continuing influx of new images to all the sites. Redbubble proved the rising star of the year with regular sales of a wide variety of images. A far cry from FineArtAmerica where I had no sales at all in 2016 -I will, however, be renewing my premium membership for 2017 to see if there is a turnaround. Yay was the casualty in 2016 when I finally ceased uploading new images. With over 2000 files uploaded they produced just one sale for 0.68euros.

So to December then there's no need to say that Shutterstock maintained their lead in first place -though I barely scraped past the minimum payout.

Second place went to Redbubble with 5 product sales ranging from clothing to phone covers.
Stefanos volcano crater on Nisyros island

Third place was taken by Dreamstime. Though they only managed 3 downloads one of those was another high paying credit sale of nearly $10.

Fourth place went to 123rf with an astonishing 25 downloads making it my BME in quantity but not income. A lot of Greek island images sold -presumably to the same buyer.

Steady Bigstock produced 10 downloads to make fifth place.

Exceptionally down in sixth place were Istock with 2 credit sales and 10 subs. This was because of their transition to new sales reporting which is due to happen around February. As a consequence reporting in December ended before the month was over and before any Partner sales had been added. From now on sales will be updated monthly in one go so my rankings will be a bit out of line for a while. Not being able to see sales accrue in real time is hardly motivating for anyone and I hope they reconsider this in the future.

Tentertainment music festival at Tenterden, Kent

Finally a single sale from Mostphotos earned them seventh place. I haven't forgotten Fotolia -they just didn't have a single sale for me in December!

Uploading in December saw a big increase with many new files now available. I intend to keep this pace up throughout 2017 as much as possible. New images included my first Acropolis shot from my Athens trip last May as well as my set from the 2016 Tentertainment music festival. Backtracking to 2015, I also uploaded further images of the Stefanos volcano crater on the Greek island of Nisyros.

Wishing all readers a very happy 2017! Regards, David.

Saturday, 24 December 2016

November Sales Updates:

Nissos Halki ferry arriving at Rhodes island
Another unspectacular month in November with one notable highlight and one negative low point.

As always, leading the pack was Shutterstock but a month of just four On demand sales and no Single sales saw me barely making payout. As I posted last month I haven't uploaded much in recent weeks but I am now attempting to make up for that so, hopefully, 2017 will see some increases.

Dreamstime delighted by coming in at second place with 7 downloads. What boosted things here was the return of high paying credit sales ($9.47 and $6.98 commissions). This is much more like the DT of old and very welcome.

Istock took third place with 5 credit sales and 27 sub and partner sales. Reporting here is slightly
Collecting pine resin on Alonissos island. Bring on the Retsina
complicated here because of the current transition to a new reporting system. November saw both PP sales for October credited and (semi) real time sales for November. We are now moving to the new royalty structure which potentially has sub sales paying out a (worse case) $0.02 per download. Obviously, that's an appalling prospect which has seen a number of contributors closing their accounts. That scenario will only apply where a buyer downloads their entire allowance of images. Shutterstock will tell you that the subscriptions model works because most buyers do not do that and only download what they need. It may well be that income from sub sales actually increases after the change but who knows? The option to close my account is always there so I will wait and assess the situation next year.

Fourth place went to Redbubble with 3 product sales. This has really proved a site worth joining for me. The key is in setting a profit margin high enough to make a worthwhile amount but not so high as to deter buyers.

Female music fans at the Tentertainment music festival
Bigstock came in fifth place with 8 downloads. Never a site that produces any great excitement but ticks away in the background. Obviously, being in the (now closed) Bridge to Bigstock programme helps here. My Shutterstock images just get mirrored at BS automatically so there is no effort on my part.

Fotolia made sixth place with just 2 downloads. I still have hopes that at some point they will start accepting editorial images especially now they have a deal for editorial with Reuters (?). Currently this is not an option for ordinary contributors.

And the low point was 123rf in seventh place with just 3 downloads. Echoes of July when I had just two sales there. Not at all sure what is going on at 123 with such variations (by contrast I have already had 17 downloads so far in December!).

Uploading in November saw further images from my 2016 trip to the Greek island of Halki and then backtracking to 2012 for some images of pine resin collecting on Alonissos island and female fans at the Tentertainment music festival. As it is nearly Christmas day I'll end by wishing all readers a great Christmas and brilliant 2017! Regards, David.

Wednesday, 30 November 2016

October Sales Updates:

Prevelis ferry docking at Emborio, Halki island
My apologies for a late posting this month for October updates.

Of course, in first place were Shutterstock but with dissapointing sales overall. Only a handful of On Demand sales and no Single downloads dragged the results down further.

Second place went to Istock with 2 credit downloads and 24 sub/Partner sales.

Dreamstime came just behind in third place with a 13 downloads. Certainly seeing more signs of life here recently.
Looking to Nissos island from Halki, Greece

Fourth place went to Redbubble with two product sales - a laptop case and a sticker.

Bigstock made fifth place with 13 downloads.

Sixth place for 123rf with 15 downloads. These were nearly all sub sales -made worse by my languishing in the low paying level 1. November results have been dire so my move back up to level 2 could be a while coming.

Fotolia brought up the rear in seventh place with just a single download.

Church of the Holy Trinity, Halki island


Not a spectacular month on any level and probaly a combination of the continuing influx of masses of images to all sites and fairly limited uploading on my part. Personal circumstances in recent months have limited my time available for uploading.


What I did upload concentrated on my last two trips (2015/2016) to the Greek island of Halki. Hopefully my November updates will follow soon though I can say that, if anything, November has been a tough month. Regards, David.

Thursday, 6 October 2016

September Sales Updates:

The abandoned village of Mikro Chorio on Tilos island
A routine month in September without any signs of a big uplift as the Summer period comes to an end.

Starting with Shutterstock, things were slow here with a number of zero sales days through the month including a weekday. I cannot remember the last time that happened and is far from encouraging. A good crop of On Demand sales made up over 50% of sales, along with one modest Single sale.

In second place were Redbubble with four product sales. T shirts, poster and phone case were the products this month. Redbubble has certainly proved to be a site worth uploading to.

Istock took third place with 3 credit sales and a further 32 sub/pp downloads. Images continue to be readily
Pondamos beach on Halki island
accepted here though with a slow review time for non editorials.

Dreamstime managed fourth place with a welcome 10 downloads. Three of these related to media tycoon Robert Maxwell whose death 25 years ago was a subject of a Dreamtime blog I wrote. It's not unreasonable to think that the blog post helped get those sales though it can't be proved, of course.

123rf came in at fifth place with 14 downloads -pretty much all sub sales. Review problems seem to have returned here with several images pending for weeks now.

Bigstock dissappointed with just 2 downloads putting them in sixth place. This was way less than my usual sales with them so I am not sure what happened there

The restored chapel in the Crusader Knights castle on Halki
Bringing up the bottom with just one download each were Canstock, Mostphotos and Fotolia (in that order).

Uploading in September saw me continuing with images from my July trip to the Greek island of Halki. Whilst there I took a daytrip to the nearby island of Tilos where I got some photos of the abandoned village of Mikro Chorio. I was pleased to get two sales of this image within days of uploading to Shutterstock. My images of Amber Rudd also continued to sell following her promotion to Home Secretary and  would expect that to be ongoing given her high profile. Regards, David.

Saturday, 3 September 2016

August Sales Updates:

BBMF takes off at Bigstock
August saw a steady month with one surprise re-appearance from a long dry source.
Obviously Shutterstock was way out in front by a huge margin with a good crop of On Demand sales and one worthwhile Single Download.

Second place this month went to Istock with 4 credit sales and 20 PP/sub downloads. August also saw the deadline pass where you can no longer delete individual images without good reason. This was billed as a move to improve customer experience with images they had bookmarked not having dissappeared. Cynics suggest that this was a precursor to a major change that would lead to contributors deleting images in protest. I expect we'll see soon enough -especially as Istock have form for announcing major changes in September.

Third place went to Dreamstime with 4 downloads. It was a tense month with no sales at all until the 18th
Nikos Express arrives on Halki island
when I had one 35c sub followed by another long gap right to the last few days of the month. Like July, a higher paying credit sale turned things around -a bit.

In fourth place 123RF recovered from my WME in July to get 12 downloads. It's still a puzzle why I only got 2 downloads the previous month.

Fifth place went to Bigstock with 11 downloads. My various images of the BBMF (Battle of Britain Memorial Flight) did well with 7 downloads over several days - presumably to the same buyer.

Sixth place was taken by Fotolia with 2 downloads -both paying reasonable amounts.

Redbubble dropped to seventh place with just one sale of a sticker. I had hoped my July run of sales would continue but sadly not.

Livadia harbour on Tilos island
The surprise came in eighth place with Yaymicro producing their first sale of the year. In fact the first sale on the Yay site itself (rather than Partners) since 2014. Strangely, the sale was dated from May but has only just appeared. I recently took the sad decision to drop Yay for my new uploads because, frankly, there was little point in continuing. It will take more than one sale to change my mind though especially as editorial uploads are not even being placed for sale on their site - reviewed and accepted yes but not for sale.

Finally in ninth place were Mostphotos with one very small sub sale. I'd probaly drop them too but they do provide another form of back up with the ability to download your own images there.

Limited uploading in August saw me working on images from my July trip to the Greek island of Halki with uploads of the Nikos Express ferry arriving at Emborio harbour and also some of Livadia harbour from my day trip to Tilos island. Hopefully, September will see the end of the slow Summer months though, as yet, I haven't seen any signs of that. We'll see. Regards, David.