Tutorial: How to earn extra money with Christmas photographs


In this moment, I see the call stock-photography, especially as a way of earning passive income by taking advantage of the photographs that are released at concerts or field trips, or of personal works turning them into additional income.

It is quite nice to see how your knowledge in photography go up and earn a little extra money from personal photography projects, which would otherwise just be sitting on a hard drive somewhere. However, from time to time you have to go out and have a specific Stock Photos, and thus earn extra money, and the time Christmas is ideal for it. Today I bring you a Tutorial: How to earn extra money with Christmas photographs.


Access is the key to Great Stock Photography

I don't have a lot of thematic photos of the Christmas in my Book, and a lot of the population in  Christmas It gets really cheesy so I figured I'd shoot some tasteful and elegant Christmas photos and take a bunch of Christmas photos I could get myself some good Christmas stock that could turn out to be a good investment. In a previous post, in New business models for photographers on the internet, we saw some options on how to move our work around the web.

I am not a lifestyle photographer family neither, and I don't have a wife and children either, and the concept for this shoot was to photograph a real family (a family attractive and impeccably dressed), in a real house, tastefully decorated, current, with ornaments of Christmas.

To achieve that, together he needed a current and attractive family who were willing to sign modeling contracts, and who lived in an attractive, impressive, contemporary house, with an attractive Christmas decoration.


So I asked an interior decorator friend if he had clients who have a big house so they might be willing to model me for some Christmas photos, in exchange for an album with the entire shoot developed and printed.

In exchange for access to your home, I promise this family some photos for them, and like any family, although they would love to have some impressive photos of themselves together, doing the decoration of the Christmas tree and so on, what they really want is photos of the family.

As it turned out, this particular family really wanted was a group photo for their Christmas card and some fun portraits for a wall photo in their incredibly well decorated living room. But we will come back to this later.

I was more than happy to take some family style photos while I was around. The installation was very simple, but I had to make a conscious effort not to let the entire time of the photo shoot that the family wanted.

Return on Stock Photography Investment

The point of this session was for him to walk away with a series of archival photographs of Christmas that they are going to make me earn money. Here is a simple summary of the time I had invested in this session:

E-mail correspondence: 1h
Pack and store equipment: 1,5 hours
Driving: 2h
Photoshoot : 2.5 h
Initial editions: 1h
Advanced editions: 1h
Loading and Meta-dating 1h


All of that adds up to a total investment of ten hours of my time (in real estate it's probably a little more than this).

My rate is normally 50 eu / h, so I need to raise a minimum of 500 eu on the sale of the images during their useful life to be able to say that I have made money from the session.

(By the way - if at this moment you are reading 50 eu per hour and you are thinking something like "how dare that guy ask 50 eu per hour, if I am better than him" ... then we have to have a talk about calculating your rate). Of the 2,5 hours of time I had to shoot, I left with maybe 10-20 solid Christmas photos to sell.


I also estimate that the lifespan of the images from this shoot is approximately five years, after the fashions of time will change, popular color schemes will evolve and the people and things in these photos will no longer be as current as they are now. .

So that means I have to make an average of 100 eu per year for five years from this set of 10 to 20 photographs.

Right now I average around 10 eu for each download, (which has been pretty consistent from month to month), so that means I have to sell about 10 photos per year for five years out of a set of 10 to 20 photos in order to reach the goal.

Unfortunately, based on my current sales history, that is not a very realistic goal.

Actually, I'm going to be lucky enough to sell a photo or two of this shoot each season of Christmas for the next five years.

As purely a trading session, the bottom line is that I'm going to take a very big loss here. I could be lucky and have about 100 in annual sales, but the reality is that I will only get no more than a few hundred euros in the long term with this session. 


Other income streams

The best thing that I can think of to make the most of the photographs is to sell them on Micro-stock pages. There are many of these pages, and we have several clear options, even before choosing the Micro-stock page that we are going to choose.

One of the options is to sell them directly to several of these pages, obtaining benefits from several different places, which will normally be 50% of those generated by the series on each page, that includes only sales per download, not counting the exclusivity that a client may want on the photo, which can be a very succulent extra.

You also have to have the possibility of selling them to a Micro-stock company that is very interested in your series of photos for them alone.

More information - New business models for photographers on the internet


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