Stock Footage – What I earned and what I learned.

On this article, I’ll bring you a full report of my earnings from 2013 to 2017 and the participation of each agency on the total income as well. I’m definitely far from being a big contributor, but I’m sure this data can help a lot of people choose the right direction.

Full 2013–2017 earnings Report

I sell my footage online since December 2012, when I only had a Canon T3i. Most of my files were refused, so I started with a very small portfolio (30 video files) on Shutterstock and Pond5. The info I had at that time showed me these two would be a good way to start my stock earnings.

Since that time I used to work on my stock portfolio once a year, I slowly started uploading my files to other microstock websites: Storyblocks (former VideoBlocks), DepositPhotos and iStock/Getty were the next ones. This is how my portfolio grew on the last years:

I reached 240 video files in February of 2017, so I believe it’s fair to say that was the official portfolio size for 2017.

Total Earnings for 2017

So by the end of the year, the sum of all my stock footage earnings was: U$1.690,80.


My 2017 earnings by each agency.

Alright, no complaints about that. Definitely, a good revenue based on a small portfolio. But I have to admit I was expecting a little more earnings when compared to 2016. I thought the increase of files in my portfolio would directly impact my sales. Take a look at my year over year growth.


My personal yearly earnings when summing Shutterstock, Pond5, iStock, Storyblocks, and DepositPhotos.

My personal yearly earning when summing Shutterstock, Pond5, iStock, Storyblocks, and DepositPhotos.

My big mistake

I did a mistake by betting all my chips on Shutterstock. If you go back to the first graph I showed you’ll notice Shutterstock was the only stock agency on which I really uploaded new footage/photos. Since I had never analyzed these earnings as close as I’m doing now, I thought Shutterstock was the main and only source of this “creative income” (I was also very lazy)— but I couldn’t be more wrong.

Take a look at my 2016 income share, when Pond5 and Deposit had my total portfolio, StoryBlocks had 75% and Getty/iStock had 20%.

earnings per stock agency in 2016 (footage + photography)
What each stock agency represented on my 2016 earnings.

On that year, Pond5 was even better than Shutterstock! Videoblocks and Deposit also had better impacts. So that’s a big lesson I learned — I will diversify my portfolio to other websites.

There’s still a lot of lessons I learned when analyzing my best sellers, but this will be a subject for the next time.

If you would like me to keep writing/recording this reports/insights, please let me know! This is something I love doing, but knowing there’s someone reading and interested is the gasoline I need to keep making it public!