What sells on Shutterstock

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Well, here is an interesting update. Up until June of this year all of my photos on Shutterstock had been nature and animal photos.

Animals photos on Shutterstock have generated $2.90 over the last two years. 15% of the photos in the Animal collection have been downloaded. The most downloaded photo is on the bottom right in the photo below. I think it’s worth noting that these photos are not particularly special and quite a few were shot on iPhones.


Animal stock photography on Shutterstock conversion.png

Nature photos on Shutterstock have generated $2.61 over the last two years. 10% of the photos in the Nature collection have been downloaded.


nature collection conversion on Shutterstock

Food photos on Shutterstock have generated $0 over the last two years. 0% of the photos in the food collection have been downloaded.


Food stock photography on shutterstock

Now here comes the interesting stuff. In about 2016 I started stepping out from the other side of the camera and became the subject of my photos. What can I say, I caught onto the bug of being “Instafamous”. The more photos of yourself the more likes and comments that you would receive, it was easy back then! Within two years of posting photos of myself my IG account went from a few hundred to well over 17K. Pretty cool! So, it dawned on me, maybe all of my photos of myself from Instagram might sell on Shutterstock. I worried about me ending up being used in a commercial piece of work that I didn’t intend. I don’t really care. Then I thought about identity theft – well there are more than enough pieces of content to steal my identity out there for free on the various social sites.

In July I started to put my photos of myself on Shutterstock and be the model. Strangely, I’m getting paid to put on my fedora, bullwhip and carry around my suitcase. My vintage look is converting. Pretty cool!

My model photos on Shutterstock have generated $8.77 over the last two months. 20% of the photos in the model collection have been downloaded.


people photos vs outdoor shutterstock


people photos vs outdoor shutterstock

Those numbers are unreal as far as I’m concerned! I have sold more photos in the last two months than in the last two years when compared to nature (outdoors) or animal shots.

Selling a few dollars worth of photos of myself is pretty neat. Being a model that gets to dress up how he likes, travel to unique places and take photos is priceless. There may not be a huge market yet, but there is a market!

These projects has been incredibly rewarding. While most of them haven’t generated much revenue, the learns from them have been worth it. If you are interested in selling your photos, here is all the information from Shutterstock.

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