Welcome to my May 2016 Monthly EyeEm Income Report!

Whenever my photos sell through the EyeEm Market I will give you a detailed monthly report that shows you exactly how much you can make on EyeEm, including EyeEm Market, the EyeEm x Getty partnership and the EyeEm x Alamy partnership. I’ll also share any lessons learned, the photos that sold and the exact dollar amounts from each of my photo sales. So, to answer the question: ‘how much do you make on EyeEm?’, here goes!


Latest Goings On In May

May has been an interesting month for both my photography and for EyeEm, but for entirely different reasons. Let’s start off with what’s going on with EyeEm…

Introducing: The Roll

Earlier this month the EyeEm team released a brand new app for iOS called ‘The Roll’ which aims to organise and find your best photos. They claim that it will ‘revolutionise your camera roll’ and, well, it’s hard to disagree with them. The way that The Roll works is truly magical, rapidly sorting through your entire iPhone camera roll and assigning an ‘aesthetic score’ to each photo.

The app is truly impressive and within the first couple of minutes of it sorting and arranging my photos into categories such as ‘People’, ‘City’, ‘Blue’, ‘Boat’ and ‘Love’ I was looking at photos which I had long forgotten about.

Perhaps the most impressive thing about The Roll though is the ability it has to score your photos and put them into the ‘Your Best Photos’ category. Again, I had found photos which I’d forgotten about which shouldn’t be stuck in my phone.

Although The Roll is a magical bit of software it isn’t without room for improvement. The most interesting component of The Roll for those of us who use the EyeEm app to sell images is the way it can automatically keyword images. The ability to automatically tag photos before uploading them to EyeEm could be a huge timesaver and increase market exposure (the same way it does by uploading to EyeEm through the desktop browser), but…

Sharing an image from The Roll to the EyeEm app doesn’t share the image keywords too…

Here’s how I think this should work: you find an image in The Roll and want to share it on EyeEm; in the image info you see all the keywords that have been assigned; you click share and choose EyeEm; the EyeEm app opens and you can edit you photo just like a normal photo import; on the next page you get to write your caption and the keywords are already pre-filled from The Roll. That would be awesome, but here’s what actually happens…

You find an image on The Roll, you can see all of the tags that have been assigned to the image.


You share the image and the default iOS dialogue shows up. You write a caption and the image is uploaded from The Roll to EyeEm automatically. There’s no way to edit or add keywords before it is put online.



So The Roll is currently a great choice for those of us who have a trove of photos hidden in the depths of our devices but with some extra features it could become an essential as a tool to increase your earnings.

Broken camera, broken willpower

In other news this month it has been a tough one for me and my photography. I finally got time to go through all of the images from our trip to Laos a few months ago and remove all of the dust spots from each one (in case you don’t know, I broke my camera…) I learned a bunch of things from this experience:

  1. Dust spots stuck inside a compact camera are a nightmare (they move with the image stabilisation so you have to manually correct every shot).
  2. The lens housing of a £300 Canon compact costs £200 to replace.
  3. Currys/PC World insurance in the UK is awesome.
  4. Correcting hundreds of images in Lightroom sucks.
  5. I really need a standing/adjustable height desk for big workloads like this.

After agonisingly correcting 95% of them in Lightroom it was finally time to upload them to EyeEm… Except I was completely burnt out. What followed was a downward spiral of self doubt, questioning all of my photos, my editing style and the time it took me to get around to fixing them.

The truth is though it wasn’t just these images, I’ve always found it hard to develop a distinct style. I need to learn to embrace the fact that I like trying new styles with my photos and not see that as a bad thing. I need to learn to edit my photos as soon as possible so that the eye I used to take the photo is the same one editing them (before my vision and views change). And I need to learn that photography is a progression and it never ends.

Towards the end of the month I made some more sales and that brought me back down to earth. I realised that each of the photos that I sold this month are entirely different from each other, but people like them enough to pay to use them anyway. While the money is always nice, it is really the gentle reminder to trust myself that means the most.

EyeEm Photo Sales & Earnings Breakdown

The following figures show the exact earnings I have received by selling my photos on the EyeEm Market. These numbers show the exact amount available for me to withdraw into my bank account.

Total to date: $926.75

The ‘total to date’ amount is the grand total of all earnings made from selling photos on the EyeEm Market, up to and including this month.

Total this month: $58.75

The ‘total this month’ amount counts all sales that happened from the 1st calendar day of the month to the last.

Number of images sold this month: 3

The ‘number of images sold this month’ amount is also based on the 1st calendar day of the month to the last.

Images That Sold This Month

Here are the images that sold this month on EyeEm, including how much I received from their sale and through which EyeEm Market partnership (if any).

$ 48.75 Partner License – Getty Images via The EyeEm Collection


$ 5.00 Partner License – Getty Images via The EyeEm Collection


$ 5.00 Partner License – Getty Images via The EyeEm Collection



Lessons Learned In May

May has been a reminder that although I don’t consider my photos to follow a particular style I can still have fun sharing and selling them. EyeEm makes both of these things really easy to do and the community there is unlike any other that I’ve known. They are supportive, friendly and it’s all about the photos – just how I like it.

While my earnings this month wouldn’t be enough to support my lifestyle it is an enticing though: what if I stopped stopping myself from uploading images and just went for it? What if I stopped trying to learn how to make all my images conform to a certain look or feel and just returned to having fun sharing them?

What I love about the EyeEm Market is that it really is passive income. I haven’t done anything extra to sell the photos this month and just by joining in I’ve managed to earn some extra cash. The joy and surprise of selling photos never gets old so my final thought is this…

Take photos that you enjoy, don’t worry about making it look like the current trends and if, like me, you don’t know what your photographic style is then just focus on making each image one that you want to share.

Got any questions? Let me know in the comments below. Good luck next month!