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Stock Photography Income Report | September 2019 - My Worst Month Yet

October 9, 2019


September 2019 - My Worst Month Yet

Most of you already know, but each month I release the numbers on exactly how much income I’ve earned by selling stock photos and videos on Shutterstock, Pond5, and Adobe Stock. In case you missed it, here’s last month’s report.

I will always be completely honest and transparent with you, even when I have a bad month of earnings. That’s exactly what happened this month. I haven’t changed a thing. But for whatever reason, things just didn’t sell much this month, especially on Shutterstock.

September Shutterstock Earnings

It’s been a crazy month for our family with lots of weddings, travel, etc. So the extra bit of time that I would normally have to consistently upload new photos and footage to stock photo sites has been completely zapped. I haven’t uploaded a single new file since June.

However, it’s made for a pretty cool experiment. It’s shown that being a stock contributor can be a source of completely passive income. Until this month, sales have kept up and even increased, even without doing any additional work on my end.

Not to be too discouraged though - my sales for this month (up to October 9th) have already surpassed what I made in September. This makes me think it must have just been a fluke.

Ok, on to the numbers!


Want to dive even deeper? If you’ve read my monthly income reports then you already know that I haven’t added a single clip or photo to my portfolio since January this year, and yet I’m still making hundreds of dollars each and every month from photo and video sales. It’s the easiest money I’ve ever made. I’m walking you through exactly how to do it, even with a small portfolio of HD clips.

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  • Top 8 categories and genres of stock
  • Growing your portfolio into a money making machine (literally)
  • How to find keywords that will quickly rank high in search results so that your photos and video clips sell over and over again
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Shutterstock Total Earnings for September: $55.21

(30 total downloads)

Videos: $43.70
Photos: $11.51

My current catalog includes 444 images and 469 videos.

shutterstock earnings for september 2019

Best selling images for September

These two have consistently been my top best selling images, each selling every few days. They received about 5-6 downloads this month.

top selling stock image
best selling stock image

Regardless of poor earnings this month, Shutterstock is still my consistently highest earner. I would still recommend starting with Shutterstock if you’re looking to sell your own photos and videos online.



Pond5 Total Earnings for September: $9

(1 total download)

Videos: $9
Photos: none

(note: I don’t think Pond5 markets photo sales on their site anymore. I almost never get any photo sales here.)

Pond5 Earnings for September

Note: Seeing some of my drone footage starting to sell more consistently is pretty exciting. I’m jumping the gun talking about October sales, so I’ll save it for another analysis next month.


Adobe Stock Total Earnings for September: $59.62

(6 total downloads)

Videos: $55.99
Photos: $3.63
adobe stock september earnings

Thank you Adobe Stock for pulling through this month! It started off as a poor summer of earning with Adobe Stock, but the last two months have shown that all hope is not lost with this stock site.

While the sales are fewer and farther between, they do seem to sell for higher prices than the other sites.


That wraps it up for the month of September. As I said before, I’m not too worried about Shutterstock sales, as they’ve already picked up for the month of October. Thanks again for following along on this journey. Please leave me a comment below and let me know any further questions you have or other topics you’d like to learn more about.

Total Stock Photo + Video Sales for 2019

Stock Photo and Video sales for 2019

Happy shooting!


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Hi, I'm Beth.

I started Handcraft Films to give other filmmakers and photographers the gift of documenting their own stories for years to come. I hope you'll learn something new and share your creativity here.
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