My 7 Best Selling Stock Files and Lessons Learned


Today I’ll show my top-selling files and what I learned analyzing them. Hello again, I’m Gui Siebert and this is Creative Income. The purpose of this channel is to help more and more people to achieve creative income, so they can focus on on what really matters. For now, I’m focusing on stock footage and stock photography, which I’ve been doing since 2012 If you haven’t started yet, you can find a lot of interesting links in the description. In the last video. I brought you a full report of my incomes in 2017. I was very happy with the comments and support I received – and critics as well… But it’s amazing to see this happening since the first video. It makes me believe that we can really bring some content out of this channel. So if making income out of your creativity is something that interests you, be sure to hit subscribe. One of the comments that I received on the last video suggest that I talk about my best sellers. This is a very interesting subject because you can learn a lot when you analyze other contributors’ portfolio. So I will go farther and I’ll also tell you the earnings each file brought. Please keep in mind that I am an average contributor. A lot of you guys are much better than me. My portfolio size goes a little over 300 files and I still don’t make a living out of this. This channel is really focused on helping more people on how to get there. I’m not here to show off how many files I have or the size of my portfolio. This is something that I really want to keep working on, growing, doing this together with you guys. so… Right when I started analyzing these files I got surprised, once again, with how unpredictable this market is. Many of the clips that I was sure that would sell a lot didn’t come even close to a lot of files that I don’t really like and have been selling a lot. So I’ll stop fooling around and let’s go for it. Number 1. This is by far my best seller. It’s a group of space travels made on After Effects and so far they made me $1,900 50% came from Shutterstock. 40% came from Pond5. 10% from Deposit Photos. These are actually the only files I have that were entirely made in computer, and it makes me think that maybe I should invest more time in doing this kind of files. They were originally made for an project It was a service opener for my church, which later I adapted to sell It’s quite a nice effect, but I never expected that they would sell so well And I’m so happy that I did submit him. This is the first lesson that I would say I’ve learned from this analysis: Leave no file behind! You have no idea of what can sell and even those crazy things that you thought nobody would buy (I have a lot of these in my portfolio) But sometimes this kind of files sell a lot… I mean you’re not going to lose so much time Just trying to submit them. It’s it’s worth a try On the 2nd place, I have this slow-motion shot of the Brazilian flag. This file alone made me more than U$900. 92% percent came from Shutterstock. It was shot in 2014. A few months before the World Cup in Brazil –it’s a very strategic one. This is the kind of opportunity that you shouldn’t lose If you have this kind of things happening close to you. This was in the World Cup, which of course is a very large event. But… sometimes there’s something close to you happening, that it’s important to someone. It’s cheaper for them to buy it from you than to send someone from another country to go to your country and shoot it. So definitely, do enjoy these opportunities around you I did this one with my Canon 60d, and it’s not even in Full HD So this is a second lesson you can learn here: Start with what you got! On third place There is this pack of shots that I made from my city’s public transportation. There are five files that combined made me more U$700. 20% came from StoryBlocks while Pond5 and Shutterstock represented 40% each. Apparently the city where I live in, Curitiba, is a historical reference for public transportations. So I guess these images do well for documentaries. The lesson I learned from this one is: Explore the unique subjects that are close to you. Many other clips that I have from touristic points of my city also sell well. I believe this works well if you live in a city that is not mainstream or in mainstream touristic points. So I guess this is something you can definitely explore So next we have this aerial shot of the Amazon forest. And with this shot I was able to sell U$600 This one is strong on Pond5. Not so strong on Shutterstock. Pond5 represented 80% of the sales of this one and Shutterstock had 13% While Storyblocks had 7%. and if I combine the other images I did on this trip to the Amazon It would easily go over U$1000 Which is, I believe, enough to cover all the costs I had on this trip So this is a very good lesson that I learned: To make good use of my travellings. Here’s a very funny one This was one of my first approved files. It was actually just a test that I made with my dog and it sold U$357 40% came from Pond5, 30% from Shutterstock and Storyblocks each. What I learned from this is: commercial value it’s way closer than what I think There’s probably something around you that that has some commercial value for someone So let’s go to the sixth one. This is another interesting case. It’s a shot of a sunset in the mirror of a car. No idea where this was made. You can see that it’s not a very special car The fun on this one is that there are no sales on other agencies. Just on shutterstock. U$230 here. The lesson I learned: Take your camera with you – all the time. This is something that I fail to do a lot of times but… It’s something that I’m definitely going to change this year The next one is of this public university here in my city that for some reason sells a lot $228 The image was shot during night, in very bad conditions. Not with a good camera. so I tried again with a better camera… a couple of years later and… No sales. Go figure! so once again start with what you got What you have already on your computer, what you can already start doing today, Maybe even with your phone, we can talk about that later, but start with what you got! So I will stop here but there is still a lot of curious cases I could talk about and it’s interesting how many files that I don’t like sell better than the ones I’m proud of A And this is something that I would like to hear from you, put it on the comments below: Which are your your funny bestsellers? I guess that if we talk a little more about this we can learn a lot from each other. This is it for today guys. Keep uploading those files. Let me know what you would like me to talk on the next videos.

100 thoughts on “My 7 Best Selling Stock Files and Lessons Learned

  1. Great Channel Dude and very informative Video here. Hoq did yout make these Files which are your tosellers? Made from NASA Pictures? Thanks and kepp up good work mate, greetings from Germany

  2. Moito bom! thanks for your content. It's interesting that your footage of the sunset in the rearview mirror sold well, because, as you stated (and if we're very picky and technical about it) it's not a great video from a geeky technical point of view. It's a bit unsteady. But lots of stock videographers are so anal about detail and technical bullsh1t that it puts them and other people off from just shooting. You must put yourself in the shoes of the potential buyer! Buyers are not looking at the FPS, Dynamic Range, fStop, ISO settings, UHD 4K, 8K, 200K and all that crap… they are looking at composition and emotion for the products or services they are trying to promote and sell.

    Great Job bro! Obrigado!

  3. Great. But these videos you have uploaded there was long time ago. Isn`t it? Now these portals rank authors, and for new comers its hard to be seen.

  4. I wanted to sell pictures on ShutterStock but my pictures are too small and not JPEG. I downloaded an app to make them JPEG but they were too small. I tried downloading them and resizing them on Paint but then they weren’t JPEG anymore. What a stupid requirement.

  5. Cara, que legal!! Eu sou novo no ShutterStock e eu sei de demanda bastante empenho e trabalho pra começar a ganhar uma grana legal lá. Mesmo assim eu me interesso muito. Uma pergunta, você sabe me dizer se existem pessoas que vivem disso? Ou seja, se é possível ganhar suficiente dinheiro pelo ShutterStock pra fazer dele sua profissão? Conhece algum caso desses?

  6. I tried to join BlackBox but they want a government issued id, I don't have one as it is not mandatory here! Do you have a second best company I could use? Thanks

  7. You are one of the few content producers whom I subscribed on the very first video… Normally, to subscribe any channel I give a lot of hard time to youtube, it has to present me dozen of quality videos of that particular channel 😉

    Signed-up under you on both sites and will get your course in couple of days… Cheers bro… 🙂

  8. Que susto que levei quando vi os tubos, não imaginava que tu fosse curitibano! Parabéns cara, adorei o canal! Essas imagens vendem em dólar?

  9. I learnt a long time ago that you simply cannot predict what will sell. Shots that I love never do particularly well and shots that I think are quite bland go like hot cakes. All you can do is put it out there and see what the demand is for!

  10. Great video! We'd love to have new stock video contributors on Motion Array. Check us out: https://motionarray.com/become-a-producer

  11. Love this video! Going to watch some of your others. Been struggling for more stock ideas and you helped. I have a huge HCX1, so hard to use in alot of places, so just ordered a G85 to have with me for more content. Thanks for sharing the best sellers. I have a pretty good variety and it shocks me at what sells, and what doesn't. If I think it's going to sell…it doesn't and if I don't think it will, it sells. Some of my best selling aerials are literally from flying from my yard and showing the old farm roads and fields near my house. Go figure!

  12. Hmm seems like learning video and uploading that as well could boost up earnings.
    Because with photos, I only make about 100$/year with a portfolio of a little over 600 images,
    I'd probably make more showing my willy on adult video chat sites lol

  13. I really like your content! I'm curious though, about the legal limits of using images and videos of private property and flags, things like that? There's a lot of information on the laws of taking the videos, but not a lot about what you're allowed to make money with. Thanks!

  14. Hi dude! That space movie you made, did u create the space background yourself or is it taken from the hubble telescope or something. If you took it, is that okay to do?

  15. I am selling about 8,000 dlls a year in Getty images I am not quite where I want to get, I am pushing it to be around 3000 minimum every month, but it has been a ride this is my 6th year with Getty Images, I promise to tell my story in video soon, thanks fir this video I was looking for something like this.

    When I started I made a test on Getty Latin with 400 images and I got a check after the third month of $750 dollars, that make me realize this was a business that I can do.

    But I have more than 8000 images and 1000 videos on Getty, I sell volume.

  16. As a truck driver, I often found myself in places I thought were not interesting at all like warehouses, rest areas, and truck stops. I found some beautiful images in places no one would ever think of looking. I think it matters to think from someone else's perspective because what doesn't interest you might be worth buying to someone else.

  17. Olá, gostei bastante do vídeo. Sou de Portugal e tenho uma dúvida, já usou o Blackbox para vender vídeo? sabe se é de confiança? abraço

  18. may i ask
    if i record footage MTS Format, should i need to convert that footage into MP4 format before submit into shutterstock?

  19. Thanks for sharing! I really liked how you shared your different shots and let us know how much each has brought in! Gives me encouragement to start uploading! 🙂

  20. This is a very good channel with a lot of useful information, I hope it grows with time! After watching some of your videos there is one question that comes to mind. Is it best to concentrate on Blackbox only (since it is linked to all major footage sites) or to load to Blackbox and to all the major footage sites separately? The reason I ask is that uploading takes a lot of time, but if uploading everywhere increases sales it is probably worth the effort. Thanks in advance!

  21. Demorou pra perceber que vc é brasileiro. Só percebi quando você mencionou Curitiba. Obrigado por fazer esse vídeo. God bless ya.

  22. Would you recommend making multiple accounts across stock footage websites for better a percentage on each sale or use the likes of blackbox which sells to multiple sites for you, just interested which you think would be more cost effect, great video btw!

  23. found your Shutterstock portfolio and it has only 329 files, how could it be that it is selling so good? I've got almost 400 and non of them has sold for 1000 $ in total(and I'm doing pretty good content)

  24. The constellations videos are intresting. My bestsellers on stock are shots of climbers on high altitude. There was uneasy circumstances so I skipped an elevation on the top of mount and preferred to shoot others. It's pays off, but I didn't subdued the peak. It's all about the choice!

  25. Well thank you very much. You inspire a lot. Can I shoot with the j7 Galaxy max phone and get such sales?

  26. Great video. glad i found your channel and subscribed. Thanks! Please check out my channel if you get a chance.

  27. Can we upload the same footage on shutterstock and Pond5 or we need to seperate different files? Do we need to edit color or keep the original footage? thanks for your response

  28. It’s kind of odd what you say at the end of the video about some of the photos or images that you said you did not think would sell, did. On Instagram he picks that got the most likes or ones I had to grab in a hurry with no time to set up or think about what I was doing. And the ones I thought I took more time on that would be great, no one gave likes too, so go figure

  29. Love your channel, may I ask
    Which one do you use comercial or editorial option if you shoot in public scape like in your video public transportation that you share in this video?

  30. Hello Gui! For months, I have been following your channel and the channel of others who are talking about stock photography. I definitely have learned so many useful things that I have put into good use. I'm grateful for the many wonderful and practical advice. So, since starting about 6 months ago, and with about 1,700 plus and growing photos, I am on track to receive my first minimum payout from Shutterstock in the amount of $35. This is what I am getting after 6 months worth of dogged work. Now, most likely, my photos are either bad or irrelevant that's why I'm not earning more. You be the judge. Go and see my photos on Shutterstock. But what I really want to say is that I have noticed one thing that no one from YouTube or anywhere else talks about. And that is the cost of an Internet subscription on top of the cost of equipment and time. How many of you are on an unlimited fast Internet without overage fees? I'm on a DSL plan that caps on 150GB a month with $50 fee for every additional 10GB of use. Last billing cycle, I forked more than $350 to pay for my Internet service, mainly due to uploads to Shutterstock and others. In the previous months since I started submitting to stock agencies, my bill was anywhere between $250 to $300. So, on average of 6 months, I will have made $35 from Shutterstock, and would have spent around $1,500 in Internet service alone, not counting the equipment (cameras, lenses, computers, accessories, etc.), and the time invested. Does that sound like a good business to you? Now, of course, I've made inquiries from other Internet service companies in my area for unlimited fast Internet service without over-limit fees and all sort of fees. So far, in my neck of the woods, there's nothing. I tried using my cell phone's already expensive mobile hotspot feature of the "unlimited" cellular plan, turns out, I'm only actually allowed 10GB of blazing fast internet hotspot sharing, and after that, I'm unceremoniously downgraded to a 2G speed service. So that didn't quite work out. Imagine how long it will take to upload all those photos. My computer will be consigned 24/7 to uploading pictures and will probably never ever cartch up or finish if I hope to upload so many pictures! (Remember, we've been gleefully forwarned by more than one YouTuber that "This is a numbers game! And we've willfully taken that warning to heart.) So, ok, any solution to this kind of situation? Quit? What?

  31. Still haven’t understood though what is not allowed when it comes to stock footage…whatever is considered as private property? Does that include shops? signs of businesses? religious sites? Even if you film a street which shows someone’s house is that allowed? Really confuses me…

  32. My best selling image is of the Amazon logo on it's offices in Gdansk, Poland. It's the most boring image ever but I've literally sold thousands of them.

  33. How you dont have a million subs yet I dont know, but I can tell you this is the most amazing idea for a channel and I think what you are doing is AWESOME the planet needs more people like you. I hope you don't give up!!!

  34. Amazing. I love the way you are open about your actual work. Most people make those How videos without giving any information and leaving more question marks than actually giving info. It was quite an eye-opener. My daughter has quite a talent in videos,, does some local stuff here in the Philippines, for only a few bucks, like 3 minute Restaurant presentations for no 100 US. There is shit loads of work involved. She'd better get through her footage and start adding clips to pond5. Cost nothing and may create a few dollars extra for her. In a country where people earn less than 150US average a month, that may mean a lot to her…

    One question, if you talk about sales, is it the revenue you vcreated, or the commission you got?

  35. Amigo, por favor, sabe me dizer se eu posso usar a mesma foto em sites diferentes (sem exclusividade)? Notei que tem a mesma imagem em sites diferentes, mas você faz alguma alteração (edição) ou elas são idênticas?

  36. mano assisto seus videos direto e nao sabia que vc era brasileiro, continua o bom trabalho, well done bro, if you Malaysia give a shout, take care

  37. I'd love to upload what I have, but Blackbox only wants professional stock. I'm not there yet, but I'm close. Should I try to upload my stuff to other sites?

  38. Very helpful channel. Informative, honest, brief and straightforward. Keep it up with the good work. Thanks for sharing your experiences.

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