Shutterstock and Alamy are both stock platforms that I have used to bring in passive income. In this video, I compare earnings between photos that I posted on both sites. Which one generated more income in the long run? Keep in mind this is my PERSONAL experience. Perhaps other people have the opposite experience.

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45 COMMENTS

  1. I hope my experience was interesting to you! But again, there are definitely other people who do well on Alamy so don't let my experience deter you from anything.
    Here's where you can sign up for Shutterstock: http://submit.shutterstock.com?rid=172178900
    Here's a FREE trial to Epidemic Sound (the music I use): http://share.epidemicsound.com/zdM3n
    And here's my Instagram, if you want to connect 🙂 https://www.instagram.com/nicolesglass/
    (My links are affiliate links, and using them greatly helps me out!)

  2. Hi,i have a question which category sells best like the comercial one or the editorial i got many downloads from comercial photos for 25 cent but no editorial downloads just curious how much shutterstock pay for an editorial photo

  3. My first sale was with Alamy back in 2012, made $275 on 1 photo, since then I have made about $50 with several photos on Alamy. Shutterstock is consistent, little money but lots of downloads.

  4. Hi Nicole, I have 300 photos in my Alamy portfolio and haven't sold any yet but i found out that one of my photos is being used in newspaper. I don't undestand how that's possible because i don't have any sales. Do you have some experience with stolen photos on Alamy?

  5. Thanks for the helpful video.
    Quick question: have you done a similar compare between SS and Alamy, but with photos that aren't uploaded to both? Given how easy it is to search for a photo on google, I imagine people would shop around for the best deal. $1-5 on SS vs nearly $20 on Alamy.
    I'm just starting out (5 months, 300 photos on each) and I noticed that my SS photos start selling about a week after I upload the same photo to Alamy. Do customers shop around like this?

  6. Shutterstock just rejected two photos for the main subject not in focus and noise/artifacts. Yet these same two photos were accepted by Adobe, Alamy and iStock.

    This happens more often than not. I stopped adding any extra clarity or dehazing, which helped my acceptance rate, but I still get the focus rejection. I’m not the only one, apparently.

    Has anyone else noticed this issue?

  7. I have the most photos of all on Alamy (330), but I’ve only sold three photos. Shutterstock sometimes rejects pics for seemingly arbitrary reasons. iStock accepts more than Shutterstock. At first, I sold the most on Shutterstock , but now I’ve have (slightly) more downloads on iStock. iStock sure pays better than Shutterstock, that’s for sure.

    Most of my pics are editorial, which Adobe doesn’t accept. But at least I have more downloads on Adobe than I do on Alamy!.

  8. Hi there, I'm novice on SS only have Sony DSC w830 point and shoot camera most of my pics got rejected due to focus & noise issue, I kinda losing interest in stocks as I'm neither in position to buy DSLR nor have good phone camera, will you make video for how can we use point and shoot camera for best stock photography.

  9. Shutterstock used to be fairly difficult to get in as a contributor. Now, anyone can. Submit one image not ten and bam you're a contributor! Soon the only difference between Shutterstock and Unsplash will be that while they're both hosting equally good images, one costs money and the other doesn't.

  10. I get monthly sales now on Alamy when I first started it was one or two per year but in years two, three, and four the sales started increasing to the point when I'd usually get 5 to 9 sales per month. A the moment they generate approx 50% of what I sell on Shutterstock. Shutterstock is selling at too low a price like all of the microstock outfits. The microstock outfits are also too greedy grabbing too high n amount from each sale. iStock is the worst at 15% royalty rates for none exclusive images.

  11. About 8 months ago I started uploading to 5 agencies. Out of those 5, Alamy is the ONLY one on which I have not sold even a single picture. The other 4 are doing more or less alright, with Shutterstock and Adobe Stock selling the most. To make matters worse, I just had a batch of 50 pictures rejected during QC because ONE (!!) of the 50 pictures (a night shot) had some noise in it. So, one picture has an issue, and Alamy rejects the remaining 49 UNSEEN? I think I'm about done with Alamy.

  12. Hi,

    Really enjoy your videos and appreciate your sharing your wealth of knowledge regarding stock photography. I would like to get into stock photography but confused as to where to start, in particular what photos to upload for the initial screening. I have an library of over 20k photos of various subjects: landscapes, wildlife, flowers, trees, abstracts, etc. Is it better to upload beautiful images or the ones that are not so saturated and interesting but less glamorous? Or is it more important at the initial screening that they be good quality regardless of subject matter? Your thoughts would be greatly appreciated.

  13. Hi Nicole and thanks very much for your informative video 🙂 I would like some advice from anyone to be exact on what sort of direction I should take. I'm only with one library and that's Getty Images under Rights Managed. Currently have nearly 10000 pictures with them and they are all travel shots. I only shoot travel. Doing ok with RM ( have made about $30,000 in last 2 years ) unfortunately Gettys will be dropping Rights Managed in 2 months and moving us all to Royalty Free ( which scares the hell out of me ) Thanks shutter stock, your the instigator for that ( gettys trying to compete with their biggest competitor) I wouldn't go near Alamy if they where the last library in the world. I don't know if Gettys will be good with RF with travel. Can anybody tell me how travel does on shutter stock and adobe? The trouble with shutter stock is they are micro stock and that really scares me to hell. Does anyone have experience with travel photography with adobe? I'm used to decent sales on RM and now will shortly be seeing peanuts for my shots. I have two weeks to decide to stay with gettys and go RF or get out. Can you image what it will be like to be loading and metataging 7000 odd pictures to other sites? Can anybody advice me which way to go? Cheers Peter

  14. Hy Nicole, thank you soo much for your videos, when you do another Q&A could you please address the topic of what to do with our dearest photos, the ones we don't want being sold for cheap on stock sites? Thanks to you I already signed up for FineArtAmerica (even though I'm in Portugal… I don't think Trump will mind)….

    Again, thank you.
    Joao

  15. Never heard of Alamy before watching this video. Now, I know I'll just stick with Shutterstock. I'm still in the learning curve with not getting stuff rejected for what seems (to me) like stupid, nit-picky reasons…e.g. "visible trademarks," when in fact, they are NOT visible unless the image is enlarged so much that the main focus of it is too pixelated to even use! Or 'not in focus," when my camera is set on AUTO focus, so my 71-year-old eyes don't fool me, and they fail to take into consideration items with depth; things not on the same focal plane are not going to be as fully in focus as the foreground.

  16. I sell vectors but Alamy doesen't sell vectors at all… Neighter Dreamstime, Pond5, depostiphotos or 123 rf. So I guess that shutterstock, istock and adobestock are best for this. If I were a photographer I guarantee that my sales will be higher.

  17. Hi Nicole, my comment isn't relevant to your question, but I hope you excuse me to write this here. Recently, most of my submissions got rejected by SS for "noise, film grain, compression artifacts and/or posterization.” It was like SS changed their criteria because most of my photos had been accepted until recently. I've been using the same camera and the same photo editor. So I almost lost interest in SS and started thinking about focusing on other platforms, then found this video. After seeing people's comments here, I learned everyone is doing fine, so I decided to struggle a bit more. But do you think SS uses AI to review photos? I did a lot of research on this matter and found quite many people struggling with the same issue. This may be a very low-level question, but I assume there are people like me who really need your advice. Anyway, I'll upload some more today! Thank you for motivating me. 🙂

  18. Hi Nicole,

    Interesting analysis. I have pretty much the same images on both SS and Alamy (in fact more on Alamy as RM exclusive) and I make on average 4x per month on SS. I pretty much just submit everywhere (10+ agencies) and RF and let the market decide. Stocksubmitter is a godsend in this case.

    All the best,

    Alex

  19. Hi Nicole I am a real “newbie” in stock photography but old age actually in photography terms.
    I only have 119 photos with shutterstock but have already had success with downloads so I plan to upload some every day

  20. I have the same experiences with the two platforms. Lots of downloads at Shutterstock, most of them for rather small amounts of money. Only ten sales at Alamy but those brought me 5 to 20 dollar per sale. Overall however Shutterstock makes me about ten times as much money as Alamy. But since uploading to Alamy is very easy, I keep doing so.

  21. Do you have a press pass? Can you comment on your experience with things like press conferences where you might need a press pass or some type of credential? Great video once again – Thank you !!!

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