This Stock Photography Income Calculator is an online tool that allows stock photographers to easily analyze their stock income.
It will calculate your estimated income until the end of this year and the next year based on the data you provide. It even roughly estimates your projected portfolio growth and includes that in the calculation.
Furthermore it generates important analytical figures for your stock photography business, for examples your „Return per image“ (RPI), „Return per download“ (RPD) and „Downloads per photo“ for each stock agency. It also accounts for different currencies that agencies use and supports as many agencies as you like.
To read more how it works, please read the information and help section below. (German explanation here).
How does it work?
Four different pieces of information are required to generate results:
- The number of downloads this year so far
- Your earnings this year so far
- The number of images in your portfolio now
- The number of images in your portfolio at the beginning of the year
How do I enter the data?
Here some examples, how you gather the required data from your stock agency account. You don’t need to provide your login details for the Calculator to work. Instead you have to look up the required numbers for yourself at the agency pages.
- Number of downloads this year: Login to your account, click on your username and click on the tab „Stats“ (as marked below). Scroll down until you see „Monthly statistics“. There is a field called „Downloads“ that states „2009: XXXX Downloads“ (where XXXX stands for the number you need to enter in the Calculator
- Earnings this year: Right above the download number is the amount you earned this year so far, which looks like „2009: $XXXX,XX royalties“ (where XXXX,XX stands for the number you need to enter)
- Number of images now: On the top right under the word „Portfolio“ is a line that says: „Files: XXXX“. This is the number to enter.
- Number of images at beginning of the year: This one is a bit more tricky. Click on the „My Uploads“ symbol and sort your uploads by „Upload date„. Then scroll the pages until you found the first image from this year. Then count how many images have been uploaded before the beginning of this year. You can easily count the pages left and multiply by 20 and add the images on the page where the upload year changes. This is the needed number.
Professional photographers will have this number ready anyway, so make sure you save yours for further reference.
- Number of downloads this year: Login to your account, click on „My Files“ and then on the tab „Statistics“ (as marked below). Choose „All“ for the period and „year“ for the total. Select „How many of my photos have been downloaded?“ as information. The result for 2009 is what you enter in the Calculator.
- Earnings this year: Change the information to „How many credits have I earned?“ The result for 2009 is what you enter in the Calculator.
- Number of images now: In the left „My account“ column you see the information „Selected files“. This is what you enter in the Calculator.
- Number of images at beginning of the year: Tricky again. Click on uploaded files, sort by „Date“ and count how many files have been uploaded until the beginning of this year. You can save time by multiplying pages with the number of images per page. Make sure you have „View deleted files“ deactivated.
- Number of downloads this year: Login to your account, click on Stats (as marked below) and sum up the „month total“ for all month this year.
- Earnings this year: Same goes for the earnings, just that you sum up the montly royalties instead of downloads. You can simplify getting both number if you choose „Download Earnings spreadsheet“ and enter the first of this year as start date and the date of today as end date (similar to the image shown). In the resulting Excel-Sheet the first number in the last row will be your total downloads this year and the last number in the last row will be the total earning in this year so far.
- Number of images now: On your account page under „Image Stats“ is a line called „Images in gallery: XXXX“ (where XXXX is the required number)
- Number of images at beginning of the year: On your account page in the box „Check your numbers“ click on „Status of Submitted Photos“, then on the tab „approved photos“. then count the number of images that have been approved before the beginning of the year. It’s frustrating, so again, do it once and keep the numbers handy.
- Number of downloads this year: Login to your account, click on „Management Area“ and then on „Statistics“ (as marked below). In the column „Earnings/Sales“ sum up the numbers for each month this year.
- Earnings this year: On the „Statistics“ page sum up the numbers of the royalties on the column „Earnings/Revenue“ for each month this year. You can simplify your counting either by selecting „Archive: Quarterly“ instead of „Montly“ or downloading the data via „Download Excel Archives“ and letting Excel doing the math.
- Number of images now: In the top right corner in the box „Account stats“ you see the field „Uploads: XXXX (where XXXX is the required number)
- Number of images at beginning of the year: Click in the Management Area on „Online files“, sort by „Uploaded“ and count the number of images uploaded before the beginning of the year. You can save time by multiplying pages with the number of images per page.
What do the results mean?
Provided, you enter your data correctly, the Calculator will show you the following information:
Downloads per image/year: Estimates you how many times you will get a download for each photo in your portfolio in this year. The number tries to account for your portfolio growth over the year and downloads to come.
Return per image/year: This number is also known as RPI and states how much money you earn with each of your images at that agency over the year.
Earnings total this whole year: Estimates how much money you will earn this year at that agency.
Return per download: The RPD shows how how much you earn with each download on average.
Earnings total next year with todays images: Estimates how much you will earn next year if you do not upload new images.
Total images till end of this year with today’s growth rate: Shows how much images you will have in your portfolio until the end of the year if you keep uploading with the same pace.
Total images till end of next year with today’s growth rate: Shows how much images you will have in your portfolio until the end of the next year if you keep uploading with the same pace as this year.
Earnings total next year with today’s portfolio growth rate: Estimates how much you will earn next year if you keep uploading like this year.
On the bottom of the Calculator are the total results shown for all agencies combined. Make sure that the earning currencies are in the same currency because otherwise the Calculator adds up the different currencies and produces wrong results. For more information about currencies see the answer to the question below.
Basically this tools accounts for your image growth and bases estimates on your current downloads and earnings. But the formulas are not rocket science and they DO NOT regard factors like decline or growth of market share of an agency, higher commissions after a certain number of downloads or earnings and so on.
How do I use the currency settings?
The standard setting outputs the results in the same currency as the input earnings. However, to compare earnings with different currencies (for example istockphoto pays me in USD, but Fotolia pays me in EUR) it is possible to enter a currency exchange rate if you choose „other“ on „Currency settings“.
For example: If all agencies pay you in USD, but one agency in EUR and the exchange rate would be 1 EUR = 1,48 USD , then you can enter „1,48“ in the „Conversion rate“ field to get the output in USD. This way the overall results for all agencies at the bottom of the Calculator will nicely match.
How do I save and load my data?
The Calculator works without having to login. But if you want to save your input and output data, you can easily do so by clicking the „Login and load your data“ box and entering a name. Just choose the name you want. Then you can save and load your data until you decide to log out. Warning: The data is only saved locally on your computer by cookies, so deleting your cookies results in deleting your data!
Is my private data safe?
I cannot see any data you enter in the Calculator! All the calculation is done on your computer and if you decide to use the login-function, all information will be stored in a cookie on your computer only. I do not have access to your information. If you want to delete your data, simply clear all fields and click on „save“ or manually delete the cookie from your browser cache.
Why this tool?
I am a professional stock photographer myself and had this idea for a while now. I calculate all these (and many more) numbers in an Excel sheet for my personal business and wanted to share the information with my fellow photographers. The highly respected stock photographer Yuri Arcurs has a similar tool online, which in my opinion however lacks some functions, because it only lets you see your royalties to the end of the month and doesn’t take your portfolio growth into account. The „disadvantage“ of my Calculator however is that it requires four times as many data to produce results compared to Yuri’s tool.
Any suggestions? Need help?
If you have any suggestions, ideas for improvement or need help with the Calculator, feel free to write a comment below or send me an email. I try to answer and tweak the tool, but keep in mind that my day job is producing stock imagery and the Calculator is only a byproduct of my work. If you want to learn more about stock photography, feel free to read my blog „Alltag eines Fotoproduzenten“ in original German or automatically translated to English. If you can supply another translation for the Calculator, please drop me a line.
The content of this site is for general information purposes only. I do not accept any responsibility or liability in relation to its use. Though I tried my best to ensure that the numbers are accurate, I cannot guarantee their accuracy.