Stock Photo Revenue Trends Survey Results

Posted on 9/21/2016 by Jim Pickerell | Printable Version | Comments (7)

One-hundred thirty-seven photographers from 27 countries responded to our Stock Photo Revenue Trends  survey. Forty-seven percent of the respondents were from North America and 14% from the UK. The rest were spread rather evenly among other countries.

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Copyright © 2016 Jim Pickerell. The above article may not be copied, reproduced, excerpted or distributed in any manner without written permission from the author. All requests should be submitted to Selling Stock at 10319 Westlake Drive, Suite 162, Bethesda, MD 20817, phone 301-251-0720, e-mail: wvz@fpcubgbf.pbz

Jim Pickerell is founder of, an online newsletter that publishes daily. He is also available for personal telephone consultations on pricing and other matters related to stock photography. He occasionally acts as an expert witness on matters related to stock photography. For his current curriculum vitae go to:  


  • Michael Runkel Posted Sep 21, 2016
    I would have loved the question to which agencies the participating photographers were contributing to!

  • Anne Rippy Posted Sep 23, 2016
    How do you interpret "gross revenue"? Since many stock photographers I've known through the years quote the agency's original sale price rather than the amount they received since it sounds more impressive, I'm curious which amount the respondents to your survey quoted.

  • Tibor Bognar Posted Sep 24, 2016
    I was also wondering about Anne's question, it would obviously make a huge difference when interpreting the results!

  • michael swiet Posted Sep 24, 2016
    I gotta assume gross revenue is our cut we take home but now I'm wondering too - another thing I wonder about is how fast are these numbers changing without Corbis and with Macro prices dropping fast

  • Peter Dazeley Posted Sep 26, 2016
    It seems to me, with the big stock agencies selling their killer images, with high production values, for cents, it is pretty obvious where this is all going to end for the creators.

  • Tibor Bognar Posted Sep 26, 2016
    Peter: It will end in the poorhouse! If you are young or middle aged, sell your photo gear and learn a new trade fast! I'm a little too old to do this myself, so I try to hang on as long as I can, but it's painfully clear that every year everything can get only worse.

  • Jim Pickerell Posted Oct 4, 2016
    Forgive me for taking so long to answer these comments. My intent was for respondents to report the actual amount of money they received in their pocket, not some amount that their agency received from a customer. (If a sub-distributor made the sale they wouldn’t even know what the customer paid because their agency doesn’t report that figure.)

    The question was phrased as follows: “Considering only stock photo revenue, which of the following categories did your total 2015 revenue fall into? (The figure should be in U.S. dollars.)”

    Given the way I asked the question, and the way the reader interprets “your,” the question might have been answered either way. I have no way of knowing what the respondent was thinking.

    I do have to wonder about photographers who think it is more important to focus on how much people paid to use their pictures, rather than how much money they actually have to spend.

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