fogwalker

No sales after 8 months here

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fogwalker    5

Hello guys, I just wanted to ask those with RF only images who started on Alamy in the last 12 month if and when did they have a first sale? I started roughly 8 months ago and still no sale. I have 133 images with good or optimized discoverability and 1542 images with poor discoverability. All the images are fully keyworded.

I was hoping for some sale to show me that it is not a work in vain to optimize the rest of my photos but it did not happen so I will probably not bother with the rest. Just wanted to ask around to see if this is not normal and that my images are probably not interesting for Alamy customers. I also had like 12 zooms only in those 8 months so that probably confirms it. Any thoughts are welcome.

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John Mitchell    1,902

Captions are really important these days. I would add more descriptive and location info to your captions. They are something of a mixed bag at the moment -- some captions are OK, others too sparse. The general consensus is that optimization isn't worth the effort and is probably even counterproductive.

 

Nice images, though. Sales should come along. Good luck.

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arterra    3,760

Alamy is mainly editorial orientated. Your port shows way too many typical microstock subjects. Those seem not to sell, judging the many complaints of all those microstockers who came over lately. Aim for very well defined subjects that could serve as illustrations for articles. Shooting just "a brick wall" or just "a tree" is a waste of time. "Editorial" is a completely different ball game than "microstock". For every single one of my images I can tell instantly who could use it, to illustrate what. Can you do the same with yours? :mellow:

Tip for the top: it's not the pretty images that sell, it's the interesting ones ........ interesting for editors (magazines, news, travel, educational, ...)

 

Cheers,

Philippe

Edited by arterra
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John Mitchell    1,902

Interestingly enough, Alamy Measures / All of Alamy shows no shortage of client searches for "microstock-like" subjects. However, these types of images definitely don't seem to sell well on Alamy, which is too bad really. It would be nice if they did. Alamy certainly has no shortage of them.

 

I created a separate pseudo for my microstock-ish images, which I enjoy taking, and I have to admit that I'm not having much luck.

 

That said, some "pretty" images can be made more appealing to editorial buyers if enough information is included in captions and keywords. It is sometimes possible to put an editorial slant on typical microstock subjects.

 

 

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arterra    3,760
4 minutes ago, John Mitchell said:

Interestingly enough, Alamy Measures / All of Alamy shows no shortage of client searches for "microstock-like" subjects. However, these types of images definitely don't seem to sell well on Alamy, which is too bad really. It would be nice if they did. Alamy certainly has no shortage of them.

 

I created a separate pseudo for my microstock-ish images, which I enjoy taking, and I have to admit that I'm not having much luck.

 

That said, some "pretty" images can be made more appealing to editorial buyers if enough information is included in captions and keywords. It is sometimes possible to put an editorial slant on typical microstock subjects.

 

 

But why would customers buy those subjects here, if they can get them elsewhere for peanuts?

 

Cheers,

Philippe

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John Mitchell    1,902
1 minute ago, arterra said:

 

But why would customers buy those subjects here, if they can get them elsewhere for peanuts?

 

Cheers,

Philippe

 

Excellent question, Sir. B)

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arterra    3,760
14 minutes ago, John Mitchell said:

 

Excellent question, Sir. B)

 

Think we cracked fogwalker's mystery -_-

 

Cheers,

Philippe

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Proteus    0

Hi , I think 8 month is a short time at Alamy. Give them more. I am a creative photographer, I have RF and RM photos, but I can say and alamy recommended to sell RF. You have some very nice creative photos. All of my sales are RF, also I am with Alamy a little more than 5 month only.   Many people say creative photos can not be sold here, but it is not true, trust me.

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John Mitchell    1,902
42 minutes ago, arterra said:

 

Think we cracked fogwalker's mystery -_-

 

Cheers,

Philippe

 

Yes, I'd supply some links to images on a certain microstock agency, but that would be against the rules.

 

Still, no harm in dreaming, eh?

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GS-Images    1,211
8 minutes ago, John Mitchell said:

 

Yes, I'd supply some links to images on a certain microstock agency, but that would be against the rules.

 

Still, no harm in dreaming, eh?

 

Why not send a personal message with links instead?

 

Oh wait........

 

 

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Betty LaRue    1,054
31 minutes ago, GS-Images said:

 

Why not send a personal message with links instead?

 

Oh wait........

 

 

:D:lol: you are a riot, Geoff. Love it.

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arterra    3,760

You know what the main problem is of many who want to try the stock business? They don't have a clue WHAT to shoot (Yeah, yeah, I know. Everything sells, you would be amazed what I last sold, blablabla.... :rolleyes:).

 

This is just a general critique, not aimed at the OP, but if I look at some ports, I often wonder if those people ever opened a good quality magazine. Ever took time to figure out what kind of images are published. Do they actually notice the QUALITY of those published pictures and compare it with theirs? Or do they just rely on the critiques of mum and dad, their friends or their spouse: "My God, you're an amazing photographer. You should be a pro!". And do they ever look at what's already represented by the agencies? Especially here - even if you have a medium ranking - what's the use in submitting the 495.000th tomato? :wacko:

 

Cheers,

Philippe

Edited by arterra
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15 hours ago, fogwalker said:

Hello guys, I just wanted to ask those with RF only images who started on Alamy in the last 12 month if and when did they have a first sale? I started roughly 8 months ago and still no sale. I have 133 images with good or optimized discoverability and 1542 images with poor discoverability. All the images are fully keyworded.

I was hoping for some sale to show me that it is not a work in vain to optimize the rest of my photos but it did not happen so I will probably not bother with the rest. Just wanted to ask around to see if this is not normal and that my images are probably not interesting for Alamy customers. I also had like 12 zooms only in those 8 months so that probably confirms it. Any thoughts are welcome.

 

Follow Alamy's advise here:

http://www.alamy.com/blog/tagging-images-on-alamy

But you need to overhaul your images, pick up a national newspaper and look at what's in it!

 

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Matt Limb    82
2 hours ago, arterra said:

You know what the main problem is of many who want to try the stock business? They don't have a clue WHAT to shoot (Yeah, yeah, I know. Everything sells, you would be amazed what I last sold, blablabla.... :rolleyes:).

 

This is just a general critique, not aimed at the OP, but if I look at some ports, I often wonder if those people ever opened a good quality magazine. Ever took time to figure out what kind of images are published. Do they actually notice the QUALITY of those published pictures and compare it with theirs? Or do they just rely on the critiques of mum and dad, their friends or their spouse: "My God, you're an amazing photographer. You should be a pro!". And do they ever look at what's already represented by the agencies? Especially here - even if you have a medium ranking - what's the use in submitting the 495.000th tomato? :wacko:

 

Cheers,

Philippe

 

Stock Success = good quality images technically and visually + market research in what sells, plus an inclination on what will in the future   

 

 

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MariaJ    156

I think you have some really nice images, but the captioning on many of them is very vague.  As mentioned, alamy is more of an editorial agency and customers are often looking for specific images.  E.g. you have an image of railway tracks through a forest.   There is no detail about where it is.   You have to think about why a customer would be searching for a particular image.  Where is the forest, which region, country, continent?    What is the railway line?   Giving such info might be the image useful for an article on rail travel through X country on X route.   

 

Maria

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GS-Images    1,211

Just from looking at your first page, your images are excellent, really well taken and perfectly processed - IMO. So as far as I can see you don't have any worries with the quality of your photography at all, and honestly I think they look a lot better than most of mine (I have a lot of camera-processed news images on my first several pages of my port so don't take them as an indication of the quality of my work!  :)  ).

 

THE most important thing about selling your images is keywords (tags). Looking at some of the rubbish that is sometimes used by clients, the keywords mean even more than the quality of the actual image. I had a quick look through some of your keywords and although you've obviously taken a long time to think a lot about what words to use, you don't seem to have many phrases. That really helps get your images seen. Also don't only be factual - So for an image of someone sitting alone on a mountain top in Spain, then as well as "mountain in spain" you might also add "peaceful mountain top" and "enjoying nature" and "sitting alone" and "enjoying the view". That's what I do anyway but I'm not too sure how much it helps, so take my advice with a pinch of salt.

 

Also describe locations well, but be careful not to always make that a major thing. In other words, be careful about using supertags for the location if it isn't that important. Just putting location details in the caption, which actually has a pretty high relevance in searches, will ensure the image comes up if the location is part of someone's search.

 

People often talk about what images are sought after on Alamy, and I'm no expert on that as I don't have a huge number of sales or a large portfolio. So listen to what others say about that (I bet I'm one of the culprits for putting up non-sellable images here!), but also don't be afraid to put images up that there are already hundreds of thousands of. If they look good and you're clever with keywording and use phrases, which most don't, your images have a good chance of being seen for at least SOME searches. So a tomato - Sure, you won't be on the first page most likely. If someone searches for "ripe tomato" or "large ripe tomato" and you have that as a phrase - I bet you'll be on the first page.

 

Good luck,

Geoff.

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vpics    326

Don't think there's much wrong with your images, apart from the captions.

Always remember to put the exact location into the caption (apart from classic still life shots), even though you may have it in the keywords. 

 

 

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Brian Yarvin    245
19 hours ago, arterra said:

 

But why would customers buy those subjects here, if they can get them elsewhere for peanuts?

 

Cheers,

Philippe

 

Philippe:

 

There are two answers to this question that I am aware of and I suggest you take them both into account:

 

1) A buyer can get even a single image from Alamy without taking out a subscription (or worse, being pressured into taking out a subscription).

 

2) Alamy has a sales department that does picture research even for those who don't have subscriptions.

 

 Alamy has always made them selling points and I think it's important that we remember them.

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Ed Rooney    1,302

You are really a very good photographer, fogwalker, and it was a pleasure to look through your collection.

 

Unfortunately, you know less than nothing about editorial stock, captioning or tagging. I won't repeat any of the very good advice that John, Philippe and others have given you . . . but let me point out two things:

 

Do you think a picture buyer would be doing a search on "various sorts of food"? Is that your idea of a useful caption? 

 

The second point is even harder to digest than some of that unidentified food: Alamy stock is a long game. That is a long game measured in years. 

 

Good luck

Edited by Ed Rooney
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arterra    3,760

Ah, deleted <_<

 

Cheers,

Philippe

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fogwalker    5

Good Afternoon guys. First of all I just have to say Wow what an amazing community you are here, it's really something great, I did not expect so many responses and advice. Thank you so much all of you. And you are right that I am new to editorial photography so I will try to get better with the captioning and keywords. To be honest I thought that the caption of a photograph is not that important if the words are in the keywords section but apparently that was a mistake. I will have to remedy that when time allows. I will also try to learn and take more editorial-suitable images if possible. But this will be a long hard game as you say. Maybe a small part of my problem might also be that I am from a small country (Czech Republic) and I see that many of you guys are from either UK or US or Canada so maybe the buyers prefer that?

I really thank you for all your help, first I will work on changing my captions and be more specific and see what happens.

 

Thank you and good luck to you all as well.

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arterra    3,760

Thanks for listening and responding. Appreciate that ;)

Many ask advice but don't bother to reply.

 

Cheers,

Philippe

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geogphotos    214

Eight months isn't an unduly long time to have to wait for your first sale if you have built up slowly from 0 images. I started in a February and had first sale reported late October. For a start it often takes months for a sale to be reported.

 

I agree with what other have said about metadata. Microstock buyers may well be designers who are thinking of 'pretty blue flowers' but most Alamy buyers will be interested in a specific type of blue flower and may want to see the Latin name. 

 

My days of arguing over microstock have long gone but it is not a training for general editorial stock and never has been. Microstock is a mug's game IMHO. 

 

I wonder where all those people are who were telling us 'trads' at Alamy that we were all about to be blown away by the storm?

Edited by geogphotos
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Brian Yarvin    245
1 hour ago, fogwalker said:

 Maybe a small part of my problem might also be that I am from a small country (Czech Republic) and I see that many of you guys are from either UK or US or Canada so maybe the buyers prefer that?

 

I doubt that buyers prefer photographers from the UK, US or Canada, but being in a native English speaking place gives certain advantages in keywording at the beginning. It's nothing you can't learn, it will just take a tiny bit longer. Even those of us who ARE native English speakers get a solid lesson in language and vocabulary every time we keyword.

 

... and welcome to Alamy!

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