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I have started a Facebook group for wider discussion of stock and photography business: Professional Stock Photographers as a closed FB group so you will have to request membership but if I know you or you have the credentials I will accept your request asap. I appreciate FB may not be the best format or indeed suit everybody but it has worked for a similar writers group and requires minimal administration (which is where a lot of groups have failed in the past). Judging by the take up I seem to have identified a real need. I am a member of a FB writers' group (now with 340+ members) that spun off from a content publishing site when we needed to discuss matters that were inappropriate on a public forum associated with our publisher. It has turned into a very useful, positive and supportive group that needs no moderation - everyone acts like grown-ups. I hope this group will do the same for photographers. It would be particularly useful to discuss the wider stock and photography market as it seems to be changing (again!) and for us to keep in touch with online friends and colleagues as they move on to other things. It would certainly not replace these Alamy forums or be a place to bitch about Alamy; it should be about the bigger picture, wider opportunities and mutual support generally - the sort of advice we already give and receive by email but in a shared environment.
Does anyone know of a good unaligned stock photographers forum/ discussion group? A place where the discussion can be taken wider than Alamy matters and we can get a broader perspective? I am a member (& back up administrator) of such a group for writers on Facebook - it was spawned when a web site we wrote for changed direction and effectively became non-paying. It has become a very useful, positive and supportive site for nearly 350 writers. I am in no way suggesting that Alamy is going wrong, far from it - Alamy is much better many other places I have submitted, but our discussions are entirely appropriately constrained to Alamy related matters. There are topics I, and I am sure others, would like to discuss that are not appropriate here. I would find such a group a useful adjunct to these forums. Would anybody else?
There's an interesting discussion on a post in Let's Talk About Pics regarding whether we should or should not discuss image pricing on the forum. It's buried in the July Comp thread. The debate is interesting so i thought it warrants its own thread. I haven't yet formed a view. But the way I see it there are two significant opposing reasons relating to the issue. There may be more. 1. Some could claim that free speech is being stifled were such behaviour to be banned (but remember it is Alamy's forum). And that it's useful for contributors to see what others are getting for their images - it provides comparative data. 2. But by posting low prices for images we could be damaging ourselves. Consider a buyer seeing prices that are currently much lower than they pay. Would that not be a significant lever for the buyer to attempt to get lower pricing when next negotiating their supply contract with Alamy? The danger being that it becomes a steadily decreasing spiral across Alamy's customer base. I'm mainly talking here about buyers with large usage needs. But it could also be a turnoff for any buyer. There are lots of peripheral issues involved I know - image usage, qty discounts, what other agencies are doing etc. But the potential danger is that we exacerbate the problem. As a general principle should we or should we not post on the forum, actual image pricing received?