The world of stock photography continues to evolve. With all the fears of AI generated images replacing photography or making photographers obsolete, I have to say, it seems like a bunch of bunk to me. I’m not seeing anything generated by AI that is going to compete with the type of stock photography I do. As a matter of fact, I’m making money off of AI. Adobe Stock is paying me to use my stock photos to train their Firefly AI generator. Getty isn’t allowing anything AI on their photos platform, and other stock agencies are still trying to figure out how to make money with it. In the meantime, I’m enjoying one of my best stock photo sales years ever. There are still a couple of months left in the year, but right now my stock sales on track to beat my previous best year, 2018.
Adobe is also giving me a free subscription to the Creative Cloud photographers package, which is saving me at least $120 per year as well. I haven’t had to pay for Photoshop or Lightroom since I became a top contributor to Adobe Stock. I’ll take it.
I dropped Shutterstock a few years ago when they reduced the average payout for a photo sale to around 10 cents. I’m not suffering from that decision, as my sales on Adobe and Getty have more than made up for the loss of income from Shutterstock. Bigstock Photos has also stopped accepting new material, why?, I’m not sure but Big Stock, owned by Shutterstock, has always been a nickle-dime stock site that has more or less dropped to the bottom of the barrel for me. Dreamstime is getting better every year and is now my #3 sales source, along with 123RF and Vecteezy, both of which are providing a continuous stream of quarters.
I’ve always said, that to me, stock photography is like saving quarters in a coffee can. Every time one of those cans fills with change, I cash it in. It’s not making me rich, but it’s a constant source of income and it more or less pays for my photography gear and photographic trips each year.
Today’s photograph is a stock photo. I recently visited Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge and found this Swainson’s Hawk perched on a fence post along the side of the road. Easy pickings. With any luck, it will earn me stacks of quarters.