How I Finally Made Some Profit From Stock Photography

Stock photography can be a futile pursuit, but Adobe Stock instituted a program that finally made participating worthwhile.

Adobe Stock, a stock image and video marketplace created by Adobe, is currently running a promotion where contributors who upload 300+ assets or sell over $500 in earnings for the year will earn a free year of Creative Cloud Photography Plan. Contributors with 300+ approved videos or $500 in video based earnings will receive a free year of Creative Cloud All Apps.

These promotions are worth $120 and $600, respectively and represent serious earning potential if you are already close to one of the milestones. The promotion runs for the rest of the year, and with the delay in image approval, anyone considering going for it should act now. Adobe mentions that a limited number of copies are available, but as I just received my code today, it appears they still have some left.

I’d recommend checking your contributor account at Adobe Stock Contributor and consider if hitting 300 images for the year is realistic. Keep in mind, the terms and conditions require maintaining a 50 opercent or higher approval rating on submitted images to prevent spam contributions. There are 100 images per page on your portfolio, so if you have three full pages of 2018 images, you will be eligible for the promotion.

I’ve really enjoyed using Adobe Stock, as the upload interface provides AI-powered keywording, making the entire upload process for stock amateurs a lot easier. The uploads can take a while to be approved, but for the most part, I agree with their assessments of images that are marketable or not. They are, however, very strict on having things released: distant background logos need to be cloned out, for instance. I haven’t seen a ton of earnings from stock, as some images can sell for as little as 33 cents, but this promotion made my participation throughout this year worthwhile. 

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37 Comments

Jonathan Brady's picture

I thought this was going to be an article about unsplash! So disappointed...
/s

yanpekar's picture

How the title "How I Finally Made Some Profit From Stock Photography" is related to the content of the article??? It does not say anything about how you made profit from stock. The article is all about Adobe promotion. What is the reason for providing such misleading info (I am tempted to say "lying" but I am not aware of what made you do that). Fstoppers, do you check your content before posting it? Alex Coleman, unless it was on a purpose to grab attention of readers, did you notice that the title has nothing to do with the content, and how can you explain that the article does not say a word about "how you finally made some profit from stock photography"?

Alex Coleman's picture

Hi Yan- the point of the article was to discuss the difference in payoff between the promotion and regular sales through Adobe Stock.

"I haven’t seen a ton of earnings from stock, as some images can sell for as little as 33 cents, but this promotion made my participation throughout this year worthwhile."

I've made less than $100 from actual image sales via Adobe Stock, less than a dollar at a time. Meanwhile, the promotion more than doubled the value I received from uploading, giving me software that I would otherwise have paid $120 for.

yanpekar's picture

The title of an article sets expectations of what the article is about. As a "writer", you are supposed to know it. When a title is misleading, the perception we get is (as in this case) it may be considered as a lie, and it makes readers feel confused (have a look at the comments below). Maybe your intention was (I am guessing) to elaborate on "how you finally made some profit from stock" in the article, but it was not clear at all, as well as the connection between the title and content was not obvious.

You set expectations that you will tell "how you finally made profit from stock". But the article does not say anything about how you made it, your strategy, and what profit you "finally" made. Saying "I haven’t seen a ton of earnings from stock" does not say what profit you made and how you made it, and sounds like it was not profitable at all. Why not honestly say that your article is about Adobe promotion rather than "how you finally made profit from stock..."?

Jeff McCollough's picture

Thank you!

imagecolorado's picture

The best way to earn money on Stock is to sell a lot of stock photos. That free creative cloud is going to expire in a year.

Bill Peppas's picture

The ideal way is to stop uploading and supporting micro stock sites.
Only upload Right Managed images to proper stock sites with real profits for the photographer like Getty Images, Alamy.
Selling our images for merely 0.30$ is plain stupid.

imagecolorado's picture

Photos that don't earn income are worthless.

Alexios Ntounas's picture

Is 500px still worth it or go straight to Getty?

Bill Peppas's picture

500px is also not worth it. Very low profits for us.

Alexios Ntounas's picture

I checked gettyimages and it has a 15% in non-exclusive content, if I am not wrong. It looks pretty low. Are you talking about exclusive?

Bill Peppas's picture

You can opt for exclusive.
But even with non-exclusive, I think 25-45$ per image, and 75-85$ for a 1080p video and 120$ for a 4k video is much better than <1$ on the rest micro stock sites.

Alexios Ntounas's picture

Sure, comparing that to micro stock sites makes a pretty big difference. Thanks for your time!

Alex Coleman's picture

Stock can be tricky- many users make very little, but some can be quite successful. Given that this promotion is based on images accepted, not just images sold, I think this has a lot of value for any photographer.

The best way to "sell a lot of stock photos" is to upload a large portfolio, and this is a great incentive to get started.

Dan Umberger's picture

Your article says "where contributors who upload 300+ assets . . .", but Adobe's site says "you need to have 300+ new assets approved . . ." That's different!

Jeff Walsh's picture

What the actual shit? The title is a straight up lie. There's literally nothing about how the writer made a cent, or any instruction on how others can do it. They just posted a bullshit lie for the title then told us about an Adobe promo. C'mon Fstoppers, you already let terrible bloggers post "journalistic" stories they don't investigate AT ALL, now we're letting people outright lie in a title so we can be sold on something?

yanpekar's picture

Totally agreed. The writer is good about creating a title which gets attention of readers. I am wondering if he cares about the fact that the title has nothing to do with the article's content. I am surprised how Fstoppers employ writers who write articles where the content has nothing to do with titles.

Bill Peppas's picture

Guess what, the editors alter most of the titles.
Click-bait on purpose.

Alex Coleman's picture

Hey Jeff- the free year of Photoshop/Lightroom could reasonably be valued at $120, as many photographers subscribe to that plan.

Receiving that for uploading finally made stock worth the time.

Jeff Walsh's picture

Okay, I'm not arguing that. But let's be real, in no way does that qualify as "making profit from stock photography." There's a very real implication, that I believe you were fully aware of, when you made that title. The implication is that the article is going to give tips on how to make money from stock sites. This entire heap was a commercial for Adobe.

Ethical writing is so far gone here it's insane.

Jeff McCollough's picture

I might have to apply to be a writer so maybe we can have some better content here.

eric krouse's picture

I'm with you, Alex Coleman. Even if they don't sell, each acceptance is worth $0.40. If I make the deadline, it'll be a photo finish... (sorry) Adobe's been killing it lately; they're only under Shutterstock for me now.

Alex Coleman's picture

Rights management is a huge consideration for professional use of stock images.

Designers and art directors want to know that the images they source are legal for them to use. Stock websites are strict about releases- I mention in the article that even background logos can make an image ineligible.

Jeff McCollough's picture

A lot of people do. I make quite a bit from selling stock and the amount I make keeps getting higher each month.

Deleted Account's picture

Was the title supposed to be sarcastic or am I missing something? How did you make money?

yanpekar's picture

I believe, it was just supposed to grab our attention.

Deleted Account's picture

The old Bait and Switch

Alex Coleman's picture

Got a free year of Photoshop/Lightroom, in addition to the current and future earnings from the uploaded images.

It is a "bonus", more than profit, but is a great incentive if you are already thinking about contributing stock. A guaranteed $120 in earnings for a new stock portfolio can be meaningful.

Bill Peppas's picture

Actually you gained too little and helped Adobe make lots.
Selling our imagery for pennies is bad for our profession/hobby.

Alex Coleman's picture

I think there are many views on stock- most of the images I've uploaded aren't in my portfolio, or otherwise available for sale. They are a way to monetize, however small, work that I have already done.

alexdesalta's picture

I disagree with the fees that Adobe pays

Michael Glenn's picture

New headline. "Adobe Stock has so little value that they are giving subscriptions away if you use em."

John Dynia's picture

When you consider the real cost of shooting those shots, your time, effort, the alternative cost of money, you lost money like crazy.

Bill Bentley's picture

Be 100% sure you know what you're doing with stock photography before you start uploading anything or you might have this happen to you. Nothing illegal about what happened but just be sure about what you upload I guess.

https://globalnews.ca/news/4786805/stock-photography-fredericton/

Tom Reichner's picture

The title makes us think the article will be about how to make profits from stock photography. Instead, it's only about getting some stupid bonus freebie that is only worth $120. Getting a one-time free bonus product is not at all akin to making a profit. The title is deceptive clickbait and it is offensive to me that Fstoppers would allow such a shallow article to be published on their site.

Why did you use the title that you used? Why not make a title that is directly about the article's content, such as: Abobe Stock giving away Adobe CC to those who submit 300+ images. I mean, why in the freaking heck didn't you make that your title? What is wrong with you?

Erpillar Bendy's picture

What a lying lie of a headline. Fake. Phony baloney.