Top 20 Stock Photo Sales 2015

TOP 20 Stock Photo Sales of 2015!!!


Happy Family Walking Away on a Bridge - Income Report

Happy Family Walking Away on a Bridge

Total Downloads to date: 589

Total Income: $307.04

This photo was taken for a family portrait session. They graciously said I could use their photos for stock and signed a model release. Initially, I almost didn’t submit this photo. It was a little bit soft and I wasn’t sure if Shutterstock would accept it. But, I went with my gut feeling, and boy am I glad I did. I think it is so popular for many reasons. You see the back of the family, and so it could be anyone. It also could possibly be several different nationalities because it is far away. Of course, the setting was absolutely beautiful with the eucalyptus trees and the bridge. I think it is conceptual in a generic way due for several reasons They are walking away, or could be walking towards something. They are a family and it definitely shows love and caring. I’m grateful I have received so much success with this photo.


Chef decorating and piping buttercream icing - Income Report

Chef Decorating and Piping Buttercream Icing

Total Downloads to date: 154

Total Income: $80.93

I took this photo at a friend’s house. She is a professional baker and was kind enough to allow me to sit in on one of her baking sessions. While I had seen hundreds of photos of cupcakes on Shutterstock, I saw very little of the baker actually decorating them. I brought my studio light and octobox (soft box) to her house and busily snapped photos while she was working feverishly to meet a deadline. I was lucky to have some in focus:) It was a plus that she always has perfectly manicured nails!


Pancakes with caramel sauce - income report

Pancakes with Caramel Sauce

Total Downloads to date: 153

Total Income: $55.29

This photo, being the third most popular, makes me smile:) I had some leftover caramel sauce that my friend gave me for Dave’s birthday cake and had made whole wheat pancakes for breakfast. I wanted to take a quick photo of my breakfast before eating it and thought to myself, “I should make the pancakes happy.” And so they were. Happy morning, good morning, hello world, breakfast is served! They continue to sell and yes, they were good!!!


Milky Way Galaxy - Shutterstock income report

Milky Way Galaxy

Total Downloads to date: 116

Total Income: $57.47

I have to admit, this photograph of the Milky Way is by far one of my favorites. The memory associated with it is priceless as was the time I spent with my son and husband in one of my favorite places in the world. I purchased a book by Jennifer Wu called Photographing the Night Sky. If you are interested at all in night photography and want to buy only one book, this has my highest recommendation. It is easy to read, crystal clear, and the author even goes as far as to tell you exactly what settings she used as well as how she edited them in Adobe Lightroom. The best time to photograph the Milky Way is probably in August. You can see the fullest portion of it then (at least in California). Dave and I (and my youngest son) went up to Glacier Point in Yosemite National Park. Because it was summer, we had to wait until about 10 pm to get this shot. There were several photographers there, an astronomy club, and one man who planned on spending the night up there for a time lapse exposure. We live about 3 1/2 hours away from Glacier Point (it is an hour into the park and only open during the summer unless you get lucky and the roads are clear in the winter). I am afraid of the dark and afraid of bears, so it was nice having my sweetheart with me for this adventure. When taking photos we have to get out of our comfort zone from time to time to be able to capture what we want. I didn’t finish until some time past midnight arriving back at home around 3 am. I wasn’t even sure if I had captured what I wanted as it was so dark and it’s rude to shine flashlights around when people are doing long exposures. When I finally got some sleep and took a look, I was awestruck. I love nature and I was glad to have captured part of it.


Whole wheat apple pecan muffins - Income report

Pecan Muffins

Total Downloads to date: 97

Total Income: $88.97

This was my first photo accepted to Shutterstock. It was part of my 10 photos that I used for my submission. It took me 6 months to get into Shutterstock, but once you are in, it seems a little bit easier to have photos accepted (or you’ve grown in the process). I made these muffins for breakfast and took this photo using natural lighting.


Large vintage outdoor drive-in movie theater - income report

Large Vintage Outdoor Movie Theater

Total Downloads to date: 92

Total Income: $47.36

This photo is special because I took a trip with my dad specifically to take a picture of it. Before we moved to California, my dad and I would go on drives every Friday to take pictures of beautiful places. He would say, “If you don’t take it, who will?” He thought this vintage outdoor drive-in theater was something novel and not common. I agree. Thanks, dad! I miss our drives terribly.


freshly harvested lacinato kale - income report

Lacinato Kale

Total Downloads to date: 70

Total Income: $76.75

This is a newer photo of mine and it has really taken off. I got some fresh lacinato kale (aka dragon kale) from the local organic farm. I thought the texture was so beautiful that I wanted to take a photo of it before eating it (yum). I think the fact that kale is a popular super food right now is one reason for the quick sales.


wedding rings on a vintage pillow - income report

Vintage Shot of Wedding Rings

Total Downloads to date: 66

Total Income: $80.69

I took this at a wedding and then antiqued it using Adobe Lightroom (my favorite quick editing tool for my photos – super powerful and easy to mass edit). Simple shot with a timeless message.


giant evergreen trees in front of the Milky Way - income report

Giant Evergreens by the Milky Way

Total Downloads to date: 64

Total Income: $61.94

Another favorite shot of the Milky Way. To get the full story read the description above with the other Milky Way photo.


lettuce, grilled chicken, avocado, raspberry, pecan salad - income report

Pecan Avocado Chicken Raspberry Salad

Total Downloads to date: 62

Total Income: $24.76

This was a delicious salad I made for my lunch one day. The photo was taken in my studio on a weathered barn wood table I found at an antique store. What can I say? Healthy, yummy, food photo:)


Happy Family on a bridge - income report

Happy Family on a Bridge

Total Downloads to date: 49

Total Income: $38.39

Another photo that required a model release. I love this beautiful family!


Milky Way Galaxy - income report

Milky Way Galaxy

Total Downloads to date: 49

Total Income: $38.39

Another beautiful shot of the Milky Way Galaxy! I used a small flashlight to paint the rocks in the foreground so that they could be illuminated. Seriously, if you haven’t already, and love night photography, consider buying Jennifer Wu’s book Photographing the Night Sky. You won’t regret it!


Vegetable platter - income report

Veggie Platter with Ranch

Total Downloads to date: 41

Total Income: $17.52

What can I say? Veggies and dip!


Strawberry-filled cupcakes - income report

Strawberry-filled cupcakes

Total Downloads to date: 37

Total Income: $18.58

These were taken as part of a series during a cake decorating photo session.


Hispanic father kissing and hugging his two girls - income report

Hispanic father hugging his two girls

Total Downloads to date: 36

Total Income: $16.49

Same beautiful family. Same photo session as above.


Racetrack Playa Death Valley - Income Report

Twin Rocks at Racetrack Playa Death Valley

Total Downloads to date: 34

Total Income: $14.11

This photograph will always go down in infamy in my family. The story is too long to write in this post. Perhaps another day. That said, this is Racetrack Playa in Death Valley, CA. I had hear about the “racing” rocks and wanted to see them for myself. A natural phenomenon and mystery (until this year) as no one (except maybe the small few like myself) are even crazy enough to go out there. We happened to go on the third hottest day of the year. I think it got up to 123-125 degrees F that day. Our tires were literally melting and breaking apart. We had to go 27 miles off road to get to this location. After I got my shots, when we began to leave, our car broke down. Not a soul to be seen. The kids started crying and then all of us began to pray. It was nothing short of a miracle that we got out of the desert that day. When we finally made it home, our car broke for good. Altogether I think this trip cost us over $1,300 in repairs and gas. I need to make a lot more sales to make up for this one!!! And to think someone interested in buying it can get it for pennies:)


Cherry Blossom Trees Washington DC - income report

Cherry Blossom Trees in Washington D.C.

Total Downloads to date: 34

Total Income: $21.97

I love the cherry blossoms. This shot reminds me of my dad! I wrote more about it in another post.


Snickerdoodles - income report

Snickerdoodle Cookies

Total Downloads to date: 32

Total Income: $12.30

Ahh! Snickerdoodles cookies. We baked them. I took a photo in the studio and then we ate them! Not much to say except YUMMY!


Caramel Chocolate Cupcakes - income report

Caramel Chocolate Cupcakes

Total Downloads to date: 31

Total Income: $14.51

My friend made these and they were SO delicious! They also photographed beautifully. These were taken in my studio.


Vegetable Platter - income report

Vegetable Platter

Total Downloads to date: 30

Total Income: $14.41

Finally, the 20th most popular stock photo! I made a vegetable platter for my girls for lunch and decided to take a photo outdoors before we ate it:)

If you made it to the end, thanks for reading!


4 thoughts on “Top 20 Stock Photo Sales 2015”

  • Thanks Juventa, I tried Shutterstock once or twice but the photos I submitted didn’t all pass muster. The same photos that were accepted in round 1 were not in round 2, so hard to figure out what they really wanted….then I just never got around to trying again. It is nice to see someone actually making some money with it. Love your photos!

    • I had the same problem at first. They have different reviewers and it is really subjective. That is why it took my 6 months to get accepted:) I remember the last time I tried, I told Dave, “This is the last time I’m going to submit.” Luckily I was accepted:)

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