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Signing up on other stock sites


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#1 Marc Lucas

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Posted 02 July 2013 - 12:13 AM

What the general view on signing up on other stock sites?

 

 


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#2 Peter Jordan

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Posted 02 July 2013 - 05:49 AM

In my early days with Alamy, five years or so ago, I did put images with two other agencies in sufficient numbers to test how good these agencies were.   It is a fair amount of bother to do this as the agencies have different acceptance criteria and ways of working, so I put in a good size sample and waited to see what would happen.

 

Nothing did, so I now contribute only to Alamy.

 

I know that many Alamy contributors do use other agencies as well, but it did not work for me.

 

The punch line is - Alamy Sells!


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#3 arterra

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Posted 02 July 2013 - 11:41 AM

It is a good thing to bet on different horses but it ain't as easy as it might sound.

The successful specialist libraries can be very picky and your images really need to be an interesting ADDITION to their collection, otherwise you will not be accepted.

Secondly - but that's also mainly for specialist sites - they will not allow you to submit the same (or sister) images to another agency in the same country / language territory. So read your contract carefully.

 

It shouldn't be a problem submitting the same pictures to other generalist agencies as long as you respect the RM / RF rules (don't submit the same images as RM to Alamy and as RF in a microstock agency)

The trick is to figure out a workflow so that you minimize the time spent adding captions and keywords (they all have there own rules) for all these different agencies.

 

Cheers,

Philippe


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#4 FCP

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Posted 02 July 2013 - 12:02 PM

Whoever produces images for stock non-exclusively should consider setting up his own site and joining the Symbiostock network. Not only is netting 100% of the sale very nice but you'll also be independent and you don't have anything to lose. I mean images are being processed, retouched and key worded anyway - why not market yourself without depending on the skills and the mercy of agencies? 


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#5 Phil

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Posted 02 July 2013 - 02:21 PM

Whoever produces images for stock non-exclusively should consider setting up his own site and joining the Symbiostock network. Not only is netting 100% of the sale very nice but you'll also be independent and you don't have anything to lose. I mean images are being processed, retouched and key worded anyway - why not market yourself without depending on the skills and the mercy of agencies?


I've looked at numerous Symbiostock sites offering images for sale and noticed that their images are priced at micro stock prices - i.e. $2.50 - $25.

You can set your own image prices on your own SY site of course. But I've wondered how can my own SY networked site be successful if my images were priced considerable higher and in competition with the apparent existing norm of micro level pricing of most other SY sites. Seems my site would be at a distinct disadvantage in a network of micro priced images even if the images offered were unique.

Alamy has indicated they are working towards Google search visibility for Alamy images. SY appears to rely heavily on SEO and Google indexing and search results for steering buyers to their network sites. It seems that once Alamy's images are searchable by Google SY network sites will loose that edge over Alamy.

I guess I don't yet see the advantage of keeping 100% of $25. when I can keep 50% of considerably higher image prices based on my past Alamy image sale prices. Especially given the additional overhead and learning curve of setting up, maintaining, and submitting to my own SY site.

Edited by Phil, 02 July 2013 - 03:09 PM.

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#6 John Mitchell

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Posted 02 July 2013 - 03:12 PM

I too have found Alamy to be the best agency for selling my editorial images. However, as the Alamy collection continues to grow and photographers continue to join, I think it's important to look for other outlets as well. Things can only get more competitive and the slices of the Alamy pie smaller and smaller (as someone else put it another thread). The challenge is finding outlets that are fair to photographers and worth the effort. There is also the issue of competing with oneself when you submit to a lot of agencies with different pricing structures. However, I've come to the conclusion that this has become unavoidable because just about all agencies now have extensive distributor networks. We live in the age of the middleman, it seems, and he isn't going away.


Edited by John Mitchell, 02 July 2013 - 03:13 PM.

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#7 FCP

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Posted 02 July 2013 - 03:26 PM

Whoever produces images for stock non-exclusively should consider setting up his own site and joining the Symbiostock network. Not only is netting 100% of the sale very nice but you'll also be independent and you don't have anything to lose. I mean images are being processed, retouched and key worded anyway - why not market yourself without depending on the skills and the mercy of agencies?



You can set your own image prices on your own SY site of course. But I've wondered how can my own SY networked site be successful if my images were priced considerable higher and in competition with the apparent existing norm of micro level pricing of most other SY sites. Seems my site would be at a distinct disadvantage in a network of micro priced images even if the images offered were unique.

Alamy has indicated they are working towards Google search visibility for Alamy images. SY appears to rely heavily on SEO and Google indexing and search results for steering buyers to their network sites. It seems that once Alamy's images are searchable by Google SY network sites will loose that edge over Alamy.

I guess I don't yet see the advantage of keeping 100% of $25. when I can keep 50% of considerably higher image prices based on my past Alamy image sale prices. Especially given the additional overhead and learning curve of setting up, maintaining, and submitting to my own SY site.

 

When was the last time you netted a considerably higher amount than $25 on Alamy?

Yes, you can set your own prices. You'll be in complete control of your products and your pricing. What makes you think your images might be successful on Alamy? The very same reasons will apply to your own site - it's mostly about unique image material you won't find on microstock sites.


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#8 Phil

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Posted 02 July 2013 - 04:40 PM

I have a small slowly growing Alamy portfolio of both RF and RM images.  I've had numerous RF & RM sales in recent years many in the $$$. dollar range.  Even with the price reductions in the most recent years I've only had one sale slightly under $25.    So yes - almost all of my Alamy sales have been for much more than the $25 which seems to be a typical amount for large or X-large SY images.

 

Don't get me wrong.  I think the Symbiostock concept is terrific.  I intend to continue watching it evolve keeping open the possibility of implementing my own if it seems I could get pricing similar to my Alamy net sales history.

 

The crux of my concern is if an SY site has images priced for instance 2X-5X of other SY network sites will image buyers give them a second look versus other competing SY site images priced at micro levels - even with unique images?   I guess there's really no way to determine that until significant numbers of SY sites price their images considerably higher than other SY sites and report on-going sales success at the higher price points. 


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#9 FCP

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Posted 02 July 2013 - 05:24 PM

What do you have to lose? Do you think the people that generated your sales on Alamy don't know that there are microstock agencies out there where someone could buy image licenses for less?

The market is what it is. With SY you can demand the prices you think your images are worth. You don't have to fight the cheapest contributors.

 

If you don't mind, I'll send you a link to my own SY site by PM. Maybe you can see the potential.


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#10 Stephen Rees

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Posted 02 July 2013 - 05:32 PM

Symbiostock is interesting.  If I do decide to use it, I've thought of having 2 sites.  One for the lower priced microstock RF images and a seperate one for higher priced RF and RM.  Some of the microstock sites sell images for hundreds of dollars now, so even the buyers used to paying low amounts will spend more if they have to.


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#11 Ed Endicott

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Posted 02 July 2013 - 05:44 PM

Instead of Symbiostock for selling your own work, you can also try Photoshelter.  Basically the same concept with better marketing and support.


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#12 scotstock

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Posted 02 July 2013 - 08:10 PM

We have a Symbiostock site, and on that site we have placed both micro and higher priced images.  Alamy sell files at a very wide variety of prices, as do the micros, and as does G, so why shouldn't Symbiostock? Remember, Sym was launched through MSG, so for now almost everyone on the network is a micro shooter.

The only way to change that is for non-micro shooters to get involved.

Photoshelter isn't the same at all, as it doesn't involve linked sites. The site search on Photoshelter is almost useless for stock, as it all gets buried under event photography. Photoshelter costs $30 per month and they keep 9% of every sale. Sym, is free, open source, and we keep 100% of our sales. We are already doing better on Sym, and will not be renewing Photoshelter.


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#13 Nick Jenkins

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Posted 03 July 2013 - 07:14 AM

I lodge my work with another agency - both are RM - called fotoLibra. I do this so as to not have all my eggs in one basket. I currently have almost 9,500 pics with fotoLibra but I do have to say that I have found sales to be very disappointing. That said my current level of sales with Alamy are even worse than that so I have no real answer that leads me upwards and onwards!

I have never seen stock as my main income stream but would really love to increase my earnings anyway!

nj


Edited by Nick Jenkins, 03 July 2013 - 07:15 AM.

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#14 arterra

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Posted 03 July 2013 - 08:33 AM

I think one aspect is overlooked greatly by many. To stay within my and the OP's field - nature and travel - when you want to get a foot in the door of well-known specialist agencies who sell well AND at higher prices, you need PROFESSIONAL quality pictures. I'm sorry to say, but a simple "bird on a stick on a dull day" won't cut it. Perhaps, it would have sold 20 years ago. But now, the competition is so fierce, the equipment so much better (excellent quality at very high ISO compared to being stuck with Velvia 50 - where are the days? ^_^ ) and the market so saturated, that your pictures need a big + factor to be competitive.

As a famous wildlife photographer (can't remember his name) once said: "Wildlife pictures don't just happen, they are made.". If yours don't sell, work harder! Look further, wait longer for that special, little "extra" to occur.

 

If you're unsuccessful at selling, take a good quality magazine like BBC Wildlife Magazine (or similar), make a selection of your very best images and ..... compare. Would the picture researcher choose yours?

Never forget - whether you're a full-time professional or a weekend amateur - you work for commercial clients who expect PROFESSIONAL quality. If you don't deliver that .......... you won't sell.

 

Ahum, not that I am the greatest photographer :rolleyes: far from that :D but I think I have a good nose for knowing what sells and what not.

 

Cheers,

Philippe


Edited by arterra, 03 July 2013 - 09:53 AM.

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#15 incamerastock

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Posted 03 July 2013 - 09:56 AM

I think one aspect is overlooked greatly by many. To stay within my and the OP's field - nature and travel - when you want to get a foot in the door of well-known specialist agencies who sell well and at higher prices, you need PROFESSIONAL quality pictures. I'm sorry to say, but a simple "bird on a stick on a dull day" won't cut it. Perhaps, it would sell 20 years ago. But now, the competition is so fierce, the equipment so much better (excellent quality at very high ISO compared to being stuck with Velvia 50 - where are the days? ^_^ ) and the market so saturated, that your pictures need a big + factor to be competitive.

As a famous wildlife photographer (can't remember his name) once said: "Wildlife pictures don't just happen, they are made.". If yours don't sell, work harder! Look further, wait longer for that special, little "extra" to occur.

 

If you're unsuccessful at selling, take a good quality magazine like BBC Wildlife Magazine or similar, make a selection of your very best images and ..... compare. Would the picture researcher choose yours?

Never forget - whether you're a full-time professional or a weekend amateur - you work for commercial clients who expect PROFESSIONAL quality. If you don't deliver that .......... you won't sell.

 

Ahum, not that I am the greatest photographer :rolleyes: far from that :D but I think I have a good nose for knowing what sells and what not.

 

Cheers,

Philippe

 

+1 - a 'print out and keep' post!

 

It's easier than ever with modern cameras and software to make good vibrant images yet often those we see complaining of low sales (and blaming the agencies and distributors for not selling them!) tend to have dull lifeless imagery that anyone could take.

 

Photographers are the worst critics & the worst editors. Best thing that ever happened to me personally was being edited hard, and I mean *really* hard by one agency a few years ago. It made me mad at the time, that I had to redo work until it was absolutely perfect but it made me sit up and take notice when the sales started coming in. So when I started my own small agency a couple of years ago I knew what I was looking for when I edited my own contributors work. It's helped my own work and those I represent and our sales/image ratio is very high as a result (i.e. we may not have many images compared to most but we can and do shift them...!).

 

J


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#16 Matt Dixon

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Posted 04 July 2013 - 03:32 PM

Symbiostock has a global search engine! - www.symbiostock.info - you get a surprising amount of results back when you type in a query, 'fashion' is my favourite :-)


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#17 kensplace

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Posted 06 July 2013 - 10:21 PM

Just too a look at symbiostock, it seems *very* slow, and the design seems destined to fail badly - as it appears from quick look that the site you linked to pulls in the actual image thumbnails from the *actual*  other third party sites. This slows the page loading down dramatically, and leaves it open to dying dramatically when peoples sites go down...


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#18 scotstock

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Posted 07 July 2013 - 01:45 AM

Just too a look at symbiostock, it seems *very* slow, and the design seems destined to fail badly - as it appears from quick look that the site you linked to pulls in the actual image thumbnails from the *actual*  other third party sites. This slows the page loading down dramatically, and leaves it open to dying dramatically when peoples sites go down...

 

The site caches the thumbnails, which is why the results are virtually instant.


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#19 kensplace

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Posted 07 July 2013 - 06:34 PM

Just too a look at symbiostock, it seems *very* slow, and the design seems destined to fail badly - as it appears from quick look that the site you linked to pulls in the actual image thumbnails from the *actual*  other third party sites. This slows the page loading down dramatically, and leaves it open to dying dramatically when peoples sites go down...

 

The site caches the thumbnails, which is why the results are virtually instant.

 

 

Site loaded very slowly for me, also does not appear to cache the thumbnails at symbiostock - take a look at the source for the html of a search, you can clearly see it is getting each thumbnail from each individual contributors site.

A recipe destined to cause problems.


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#20 scotstock

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Posted 07 July 2013 - 06:49 PM

 

Just too a look at symbiostock, it seems *very* slow, and the design seems destined to fail badly - as it appears from quick look that the site you linked to pulls in the actual image thumbnails from the *actual*  other third party sites. This slows the page loading down dramatically, and leaves it open to dying dramatically when peoples sites go down...

 

The site caches the thumbnails, which is why the results are virtually instant.

 

 

Site loaded very slowly for me, also does not appear to cache the thumbnails at symbiostock - take a look at the source for the html of a search, you can clearly see it is getting each thumbnail from each individual contributors site.

A recipe destined to cause problems.

 

What you're seeing in the page source are the url's for the hover previews, which are coming from the contributor sites on demand. The thumbnails would have filenames of the form 'xxxx-minipic.jpg' and are cached at the search engine. I don't know why you're seeing slow loading, but I see virtually instantaneous loading via a mediocre connection on the far side of the world. And that's with new searches, so it's not cacheing at my end or my ISP's.


Edited by scotstock, 07 July 2013 - 06:50 PM.

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