Over the course of my life I went from pencil drawings to watercolour painting to oils and then to photography. My initial interest in photography was street and candid imagery followed, eventually, to travel and food.
The photography stock market has, for me in the past two years, been disastrous – 2019 was my best year for the number of images sold via Alamy and one of the best years in respect of revenue (both Alamy and direct commissions), the previous best was in 2007 though 2008 was impacted adversely by the financial crisis – my studio as well as stock work suffered to the extent that I closed my studio in 2009.
Last year, ie 2021, was a disastrous year for my stock sales with the last sale in December making just $0.17 with a feeble $0.07 (seven cents!) being my share.
Such revenue levels, especially the revenue distribution values, make me wonder if it is at all worthwhile taking the effort to upload new images. But it is a modest, if irregular, source of income so I shall devote some time and set a target to ensure the effort is justified. A possible issue is the frequency of image uploads – I added quite a few in 2019 but only one since then! So maybe there is an algorithm at work that favours those who upload. I shall add more this year.
My attention during 2021 had been focused solely on painting.
In total I produced over 250 pieces, the majority (75%) were in watercolour but quite a number of subjects were created in pen and ink (15%), some in acrylic (10%), and a couple or so of pencil and charcoal subjects. I expect to do more acrylic painting, and maybe some oils, during 2022.
While many of the paintings were initially made available as prints I eventually took the decision to sell only the original. I have begun to produce smaller (approx 10 x 15 cm) paintings that will be sold on ETSY, and these will continue to have a print option.
If my theory of the algorithm holds true for stock photography, perhaps it does too for my Saatchi and ETSY images. I shall test the idea over the next six months.