Stock photography doesn't pay enough!
One of the biggest pain points of stock photography is selling your photos for tiny amounts, such as 25 cents per sale. I think these extremely low rates scare away new artists from getting involved in the world of microstock. The pricing of photos and other digital media has fallen dramatically over the years.
Why are stock photos so cheap?
I think that one reason stock photography has become so cheap is the massive level of competition. It no longer pays to have a portfolio of a few hundred images or videos, you need a few thousand to make any kind of decent income.
Now that most people carry around smartphones with decent cameras, anyone can snap photos or record videos to sell online. Another reason is the aggressive push by large marketplaces like Shutterstock to lower the pricing of their collection, paying contributors less and less.
How to Make More Per Sale, Shifting Focus to Video
One thing you can do is change your focus from photos to video, as most stock photographers will tell you that video clips pay much better than photos. There are many more photos than videos on the marketplaces, making video the less competitive avenue. The marketplace prices for video clips are generally much higher than photos, netting you more per sale. As much as I love and prefer shooting photos, I've slowly been shifting my gear and goals for video.
What is Stocksy?
Stocksy is a lesser-known marketplace than the big guys like Shutterstock and Adobe Stock. Stocksy separates itself from these large companies by being artist-focused. Stocksy is a cooperative, which means that members are co-owners of the company. This business framework gives stock contributors many advantages over the other stock photography marketplaces.
How much does Stocksy pay contributors?
Stocksy pays photographers 50% from regular purchases, and 75% from extended licenses. Shutterstock pays photographers 15%. Adobe Stock pays photographers 33%. As you can see, they pay their artists much more than the competition.
Stocksys pricing is much higher, with image licenses going from $15-$400 dollars, and extended licenses going from $100-$10,800. So not only do you make a higher percentage commission, but the higher dollar cost of the image puts more money in your pocket per sale!
Why you should consider joining Stocksy
As I've previously written in the microstock mega guide, I generally recommend artists upload their work to ALL of the marketplaces. If you value your art and want to work with a more socially responsible business, going exclusive with Stocksy could be a better option for you.
Uploading to a single marketplace can be easier for beginners, as mass uploading across multiple marketplaces gets fairly complicated. If I had to choose one agency to go exclusive with, it would be Stocksy. I plan on applying with them soon, as I want to run some A vs B testing to get better metrics on their profitability versus the other agencies.
How to get accepted into Stocksy
Stocksy is known to be harder to get into than most of the other stock agencies. You need to submit an application and be accepted before you can start uploading your work. Here is a helpful document from their website that explains what kind of art they are currently looking for:
Stocksy United is looking for talented creators who can add depth and breadth to our collection. You don’t have to be a seasoned artist or have years of industry experience to apply—we look for originality, creativity, consistency, and exciting ideas. We support creative production at every scale.
At this time, we are prioritizing:
Filmmakers and cinematographers
Authentically inclusive and diverse perspectives
Fresh interpretations of common concepts
Underrepresented groups and geographic regions
Explorations of community and society
Business, technology, and industry content
Candid lifestyle and real people doing real things
Elevated concept, product, abstract, and still life
Some areas where we are already well-represented include landscape, nature, wildlife, and weddings (unless there are model releases for people besides the couple!), so artists focusing on topics outside these areas are more likely to gain membership.
How to apply to Stocksy
If you feel like you would meet their requirements, you can apply by using the link below. Good luck! If you're already a Stocksy member, let us know what you think about them in the comments below!