How Much Can You Earn With iStock

It is time for another report of how rich I have become from uploading pictures to iStock. After two other previous articles about it, I am back with the third and I will show you what has happen in the last 3 months on my iStock account.

344 picsI am an iStock member since March 2015 and until now I just uploaded 344 pictures in the Essential collection, which is basically the lower tier of quality on iStock. There is also another one called Signature where exclusive members can upload their pictures if iStock decides is it worth it.

I am still ashamed of myself because of not working hard enough. I should have been working harder and upload as many pictures as I could. But since April I only have uploaded 54 more picture with a few more pending.

First time I decided to write a report like this, in December 2015 I had 231 pictures so around 120 less than now and barely $14. Back then I also only had 3 real downloads and some more pictures sold through Partner Programs or Image Subscriptions.

Second time, in April I had 287 pictures with $26,85 with only 4 real downloads, so one more than in December. As you can see the amount is almost doubled but the downloads are stagnating.

my earningsSo now I am seeing a nice jump from the previous months, but still not good enough to be really happy about your work. I have now 11 real downloads, and $72,63.

Why I am still not happy? First of all I as said before I am not happy with myself, then I am not really happy with the fact that iStock wants you to reach $100 in order to be able to withdraw. I still need to wait until I will party hard with my first $100.

Considering that it might take me around 2 years to make $100 doesn’t sound good. But this is the reality these days. More and more people are jumping on board. Internet is filled with pictures and stock pictures are no exceptions. Sure working harder, taking more pictures will significantly increase my chance of earning more money, but I don’t think that I will ever be satisfied. I don’t think that you can earn a monthly income but I think you can earn an extra income.

Now you just have to ask yourself if it worth it for you. I am just an amateur, all I know I learned from YouTube and internet articles about Photography and I suck at taking pictures, even if I love it.

I still use my Samsung S6 smartphone and my Sony A58 DSLT camera and I still have lots to learn.

You can check my iStock portfolio here. You will see I really suck at taking pictures and at editing them. But I have faith that with time I will get better at it.

If you love photography there is no reason for you not to try to upload your pictures on a stock website.


I would be very happy if you would ask some questions about iStock or photography. For that you can use the comment section below and while you are at it, you can also check my website for more interesting subjects.


Constantin Sap


  1. Constantin, did you do an article where you tell people how to join. Do you just join or do you become an affiliate. I have a vast library of photos and some might be good enough to upload.

    • Hello Helen and thanks for your interest in this article.
      In order to join iStock all you need is to upload 3 pictures the first time. Based on those 3 pictures they will determine if you are eligible to sell on their website.
      Most of the people do get accepted these days because they really have relaxed the quality.
      And I am just a contributor not an affiliate. There is an iStock affiliate program but I haven’t looked into it.
      Good luck trying to sell your pictures. If you have any more questions please feel free to contact me.

      • Yep I didn’t think it would be as an affiliate. So I will look into it and, I suppose, join to upload photos.

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