When do Microstock Photographers Upload Images?

For at least as long as I’ve been involved with microstock I’ve been running into forum posts and being sent emails asking when should microstock images be uploaded/submitted for two specific reasons:
1) The best time for reviewers to be ‘generous’ with acceptance.
2) The best time for accepted images to appear in front of the most buyers.
Usually the forum threads end up as long chains of speculation and superstition, so here’s a quick attempt to settle when ‘most’ photographers really do choose to upload their images 🙂

I can’t be hugely specific about a best time for each of the specific goals above, but with some digging around in the database here’s basic information about when microstock photographers actually distribute their images to the agencies:

Loading the Chart showing which day of the week photographers upload to microstock agencies

And a follow-up, when do most photographers upload to each specific agency:

Loading the Chart showing which day of the week photographers upload to each microstock agency

Both charts suggest a tuesday is the most popular day for uploading to microstock, although this timeline is probably equally indicative of a weekend-shoot, mid-week processing cycle as of anything else, and the differences between days whilst significant is not a clear majority for either the normal-average OR the more experienced contributors, suggests that ‘most’ photographers don’t have a ‘magic day’ to do their submissions. Hopefully that’s that question settled, though I doubt it, I’m sure this question will continue to pop up, it’s the one I hear second-most after the whole microstock copyright stripping thing 😉

My best answer… To sell more photos, submit your images when they are ready… no sooner, no later 😀

When do you upload? Do you have a ‘magic day’?

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  1. Posted May 21, 2012 at 11:53 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for that! I’ve often wondered if uploads were ‘flat ish’ across the week with full timers in the week offset by ‘wannabes’ at the weekend. I thought they might have been higher at the weekend, BUT I realise your stats are biased to those who are serious enough to use picworkflow.

    Were you able to adjust the values for each users local timezone or is it all one timezone?

    • bobbigmac
      Posted May 22, 2012 at 12:13 am | Permalink

      I figured it would be offset too, though pw has limited exposure to the ‘weekend warrior’, they do seem to make up the majority of the free-tier usage and still don’t quite offset the midweek peak. Hmm 🙂

      It’s normalised to all the same timezone (UTC) so there’s probably some leaning to be found in there, at first look I figured 12 hours either side, but a quick look at my site usage figures (high in Russia and US) gives a guess that I’m looking at margin of around 4-5 hours either side.

  2. Posted May 25, 2012 at 6:51 am | Permalink

    Great to see when the other stockers are submitting.
    I always aim to submit late thursday night / early friday, working upon the theory, reviewers are in a better frame of mind with the approaching weekend.

  3. Posted May 29, 2012 at 8:59 pm | Permalink

    The bean, and how many people uses picworkflow
    i.e. what percent of stokers in a sample?

    • bobbigmac
      Posted May 29, 2012 at 9:09 pm | Permalink

      About 800 microstock contributors in the sample.

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