30 Dec 2007 Microstock Goals for 2007 and 2008

At the end of 2007, it’s time to assess the microstock goals I set back in June and create new goals for 2008.

Assessing 2007

My primary goal for 2007 was to be earning $1,000 per month by the end of the year. As you can see from my earnings reports I didn’t achieve that goal.

Below is my total earnings chart. As the green 12-month moving average line shows, my earnings increased only marginally over the year, ending just $100 higher.

Total Earnings Chart 2005 - 2007

Goals for 2008

Thanks to some major life changes this year, I’ll be committing more time to microstock in 2008 than in 2007. In fact, microstock was my most painless way to earn this year, so it will be my number one earning priority next year. This means I need to learn a lot more about photography.

In light of this, my goals for 2008 are ambitious. I’m including milestones so I can monitor progress and correct where necessary. Here’s my specific measurable outcomes for microstock 2008:


With more focus I expect to achieve my 2007 earnings target by the end of March, then double it by the end of the year:

$1,000 per month by end March, 2008
$1,250 per month by end June, 2008
$1,600 per month by end September, 2008
$2,000 per month by end December, 2008


My total portfolio of accepted photos is around 650. I plan to shoot more often, but focus on quality. If this works, my earnings per photo will rise, while my portfolio grows at a similar pace. The additional focus will enable me to get through my backlog of photos, giving my portfolio an early boost. Here are my milestones for total portfolio size in 2008:

1,000 by end March, 2008
1,200 by end June, 2008
1,400 by end September, 2008
1,700 by end December, 2008

In addition to increasing my total portfolio, I will focus on evening out my portfolios across agencies. As you can see from the chart below, I haven’t been making much progress with this initiative, primarily as I didn’t use IPTC data when I started so I need to insert all the information manually before uploading my older photos.

Portfolio sizes across agencies

I anticipate having my portfolio at each agency level – allowing for different acceptance rates – by the end of March 2008.

Equipment & Skills

In 2007 I purchased a new lens, a camera bag that also carries my laptop, a new tripod with trigger head, a wireless shutter release, and a 7-color reflector. In 2008 I plan to learn how to use this equipment!

In 2008 I also plan to start shooting models. I will learn at home using what equipment I can gather and shooting family and friends. Eventually, I’ll move up to using a studio and professional models, both of which I’ll need to source. Spending money on such resources with no guaranteed return involves a degree of risk. As I expect to be living most of 2008 in Argentina, these risks will be reduced by the lower costs of labor in that part of the world.

  • Michael
    Posted at 13:51h, 30 December Reply

    What you mean by improving the quality of your photos in your article above (the composition of your photos, what you are photographing or simply issues like noise, fringing, etc.)?

    • Lee Torrens
      Posted at 22:01h, 30 December Reply

      Everything. As I’m relatively new to photography I have a lot to learn.

      When shooting, I’ll focus on the technical quality. I’ll study photography technology so I understand more about how to use my camera and how to avoid noise and fringing. My investment in new equipment is part of this goal.

      Until now, microstock has been a hobby. This means I shoot wherever I happen to be, rather than going places specifically to shoot. Doing creative research and targeting specific subjects will greatly increase the commercial quality of my photos.


  • Stephen Strathdee
    Posted at 19:16h, 30 December Reply

    Argentina … wow, 2008 is going to be one heckuva year for you in many ways!

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