IanButty

Is it possible to make a living out of stock photography any more?

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18 hours ago, Steviebuoy said:

Thanks to all your advice, I have spent the last week editing my descriptions. I have tested out my new wording. When I put "Mayan elder Mexico" my pic came up second on the page. However when I put "Sinclair C5" neither of my images were listed at all. Despite both having the phrases "sinclair" and "C5". Of the 2 pages shown as results half where of abandoned factories. Where am I going wrong? 

Your two images are on the results page for "sinclair c5". In fact they're higher than mine and I probably have the higher ranking, having had sales on Alamy for years, though not on those images.

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1 hour ago, spacecadet said:

Your two images are on the results page for "sinclair c5". In fact they're higher than mine and I probably have the higher ranking, having had sales on Alamy for years, though not on those images.

 

Ouch! Still, probably best not to mess with tags/captions if you're happy with what you have (I haven't looked, BTW): the changes that seem to happen with the search engine algorithm every now and again, along with the median ranking that likely applies to Steviebuoy's C5 images will likely even themselves out in time. 

 

Unless you're really on top of these things (and I most definitely am not!) then it's probably best to leave well alone or risk long-term damage to ranking? 

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3 hours ago, losdemas said:

 

Ouch! Still, probably best not to mess with tags/captions if you're happy with what you have (I haven't looked, BTW): the changes that seem to happen with the search engine algorithm every now and again, along with the median ranking that likely applies to Steviebuoy's C5 images will likely even themselves out in time. 

 

Unless you're really on top of these things (and I most definitely am not!) then it's probably best to leave well alone or risk long-term damage to ranking? 

Good news that it is now working. I immediately updated my tags after the first advice. I’m now on the Costa Brava for a week. Bearing in mind previous comments I hope to find something a little more abstract than beaches and sunsets. 

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On 10/13/2017 at 09:45, Aylish said:

3 years experience in photography means I'm not a newbie to the subject, even if i'm a newbie to the forum and alamy.

 

Aylish

 

3 years experience?!!!  Wow!  I've 27 years experience, for what it's worth...

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19 hours ago, Steviebuoy said:

........... I immediately updated my tags after the first advice. I’m now on the Costa Brava for a week............

 

Blimey, those sales must have come in quick! :D

 

John.

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On 10/15/2017 at 21:20, Colblimp said:

 

3 years experience?!!!  Wow!  I've 27 years experience, for what it's worth...

 

Yes I got my first camera 40 years ago (giving away that I am old). 

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On 10/13/2017 at 09:45, Aylish said:

Deary me people really do get hot under the collar about advice and criticism. (I can see why Philippe left) why  are you even on here if you can't take it eh?

Search engine optimization it's been talked about quite a bit on here. I know similars when i see them and people on here will say the same thing.

 

Taking a photograph of something from a diagonal composition close up and then walking away a bit and taking the same image is a duplicate. I don't see why pseudo makes any difference. thought it was if you had multiple people using your account to upload photos. Then each person would be under their own name.

 

3 years experience in photography means I'm not a newbie to the subject, even if i'm a newbie to the forum and alamy.

 

Your welcome to criticize and give me advice on my photos/Keywords (I won't get upset) :) I have changed my tone since my previous forum post about not welcoming criticism. 

 

This forum is for giving advice and helping people regarding Photography and Alamy matters.

 

I don't want to get into any argument  or aggrieve anyone on here.

 

Sorry for raining on your parade.

 

PS: everyone on here was a newbie once dosn't mean you can't give advice.

 

Aylish

 

Thanks for the ranting response. 

 

I am very appreciative to receive constructive criticism from those who have the experience and wisdom to be of help, or even from those that may be less experienced but have something useful to contribute. There is always something new we can learn. But you so far come across as an over opinionated and rather clueless novice, that would be advised to listen more and only talk when you have something worth saying.  

 

 

Edited by andremichel
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23 minutes ago, andremichel said:

 

Thanks for the ranting response. 

 

I am very appreciative to receive constructive criticism from those who have the experience and wisdom to be of help, or even from those that may be less experienced but have something useful to contribute. There is always something new we can learn. But you so far come across as an over opinionated and rather clueless novice, that would be advised to listen more and only talk when you have something worth saying.  

 

 

Welcome back Phillipe, why the name change? ;)

 

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49 minutes ago, Aylish said:

I am and am going to use twitter and pinterest to advertise my photos. 

 

That's what I thought constituted to marketing photos.

 

Hope this helps 

 

Aylish 

 

@Aylish

As the OP of this thread I am really interested in understanding your thinking behind this.  It is never something I have considered doing myself.  As you know I started this thread because I am updating the training notes I have on stock photography.  I've been selling stock for 14 years and still wouldn't call my expert at it.  I'm always keen to learn new techniques and to pass on to others what I have learned.

 

It would be really helpful for me (and others) to understand this strategy if you can give some data on how the strategy works.  As a trainer, I need facts so that I can explain it in the training I give to would-be stock photographers. 

 

1. How have you got photo buyers following you on twitter? 

2. Is there a minimum number of buyers following you needed to create the critical mass for this to work?  If so how many? 

3. I'm a bit of newbie on pinterest, but again how are you attracting photo buyers (as opposed to other photographers etc) to look at your pins? 

4. Do you have any empirical evidence that the strategy improves sales (either from your own experience or documented evidence from other sources)?

5. How are you selecting which images to promote in this way?

6. Even if you haven't seen an increase in sales, have you seen any increase in views & zooms in Alamy measures through using this sort of strategy.  If so, how much did your CTR improve?

 

Thank you for you contribution and I look forward to learning more about this strategy,

Ian.

 

 

Edited by IanButty
spelling mistake
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Approx 50 years of experience.

 

Allan

 

 

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21 hours ago, Aylish said:

Hello, 

 

I have seen people advertising their photos with hastags on twitter and Pinterest.
does anyone do that on here?

 

It's what i'm going to do. 

 

Aylish 

 

It is not something I do myself. I know some contributors here would say it is a positive move and can bring in additional work or sales. Others are more circumspect and wonder if the extra effort is worth it. There is also a concern about one's images being pirated if they are posted on social media and what rights the different social media platforms claim in their terms and conditions over images posted on their sites. Be sure you know the pros and cons before diving in.

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I have had enough of waiting for Alamy to get me any sales. It has been dry for too long so I have had to concede and uncheck my exclusive images here to sell on my more reliable microstock sites. To be honest Alamy’s sales have been so small that it isn’t worth the wait when they do come. Sad, but that’s the way it is. Anyway, any sales I have had here have been ones I have duplicated on microstock. The editorial, exclusives haven’t sold here but I will still keep some back for here from future shoots but I don’t have much hope on my experience up to now.

Edited by Marb

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I have had enough of waiting for Alamy to get me any sales. It has been dry for too long so I have had to concede and uncheck my exclusive images here to sell on my more reliable microstock sites.

 

Good luck. :) 

 

I believe that some of your images would do quite well on Print on Demand agencies, especially the macro and fine artsy type images. 

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6 minutes ago, Brasilnut said:

 

Good luck. :) 

 

I believe that some of your images would do quite well on Print on Demand agencies, especially the macro and fine artsy type images. 

Thanks. I am sure there is more chance of sales that way. To be fair, some microstock sales I have had even beat the prices I have got here. Like I said, I will still upload the editorials here for exclusivity and after time if they don’t sell, send them to microstocks.

Edited by Marb

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Thanks. I am sure there is more chance of sales that way. To be fair, some microstock apsales I have had even beat the prices I have got here. Like I said, I will still upload the editorials here for exclusivity and after time if they don’t sell, send them to microstocks.

 

You've made your decision so no point trying to convince you otherwise. I don't think this is the best place to discuss or even "promote" micros.

 

I agree that putting editorials exclusively here is a smart decision, but what do you mean "after time if they don't sell, send them to microstocks". How long is that? 

 

 

 

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I also want to follow the rule to put editorials here exclusively.  Alamy tends to be the right agency for that. I just feel that micros priority are commercial images. 

 

 

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Get too hung up about the problems that microstock has caused – old news – we are likely to miss what is happening in the wider industry now: stratification. Long gone are the days when all pictures could be sold for the same price. Most of the major players now have price differentials, albeit in some cases through different brands and platforms - SS has Offset and Rex, Adobe represents Reuters plus a clutch of boutique collections from partner agencies, and so on. In my experience, and from comments by others, buyers pay what it says on the tin. In some cases these are prices you will see here maybe once in a blue moon.

 

This is bound to impact here, unless buyers can see where the value is. If Alamy can't sort this out, then the trend towards micro prices will carry on until there isn't anywhere else to go.

Edited by Robert Brook
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2 hours ago, Robert Brook said:

Get too hung up about the problems that microstock has caused – old news – we are likely to miss what is happening in the wider industry now: stratification. Long gone are the days when all pictures could be sold for the same price. Most of the major players now have price differentials, albeit in some cases through different brands and platforms - SS has Offset and Rex, Adobe represents Reuters plus a clutch of boutique collections from partner agencies, and so on. In my experience, and from comments by others, buyers pay what it says on the tin. In some cases these are prices you will see here maybe once in a blue moon.

 

This is bound to impact here, unless buyers can see where the value is. If Alamy can't sort this out, then the trend towards micro prices will carry on until there isn't anywhere else to go.

 

Good to 'see you' here Robert.

 

One thing for sure is that Alamy with its encyclopedic collection is in a position to get good fees along with satisfying those who might otherwise go to micros. There clearly isn't any distinct stratification at Alamy and never has been. But the staff in the sales department do well to satisfy customers at all price points and surely have a good idea of what different images can demand to different buyers. 

 

Of course we all sit up when there is a big fee, but it is the 'bread and butter' stuff along with the tiddlers that builds the monthly total.

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6 minutes ago, geogphotos said:

 

Good to 'see you' here Robert.

 

One thing for sure is that Alamy with its encyclopedic collection is in a position to get good fees along with satisfying those who might otherwise go to micros. There clearly isn't any distinct stratification at Alamy and never has been. But the staff in the sales department do well to satisfy customers at all price points and surely have a good idea of what different images can demand to different buyers. 

 

Of course we all sit up when there is a big fee, but it is the 'bread and butter' stuff along with the tiddlers that builds the monthly total.

 

Seems to me that the lack of stratification is what makes Alamy different -- i.e. makes it the "encyclopedic collection" that you mention.

 

Buyers can go elsewhere if they want "boutique images," etc. It's a big marketplace out there.

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1 hour ago, geogphotos said:

 

Good to 'see you' here Robert.

 

One thing for sure is that Alamy with its encyclopedic collection is in a position to get good fees along with satisfying those who might otherwise go to micros. There clearly isn't any distinct stratification at Alamy and never has been. But the staff in the sales department do well to satisfy customers at all price points and surely have a good idea of what different images can demand to different buyers. 

 

Of course we all sit up when there is a big fee, but it is the 'bread and butter' stuff along with the tiddlers that builds the monthly total.

 

Hello Ian – I may be just passing by.  BTW - I thought you made some interesting points on another forum about PA etc.

 

You wouldn't think, would you, that the unique selling point here is documentary and specific? The front page is full of the sort of images small design companies, etc., running on a shoestring, scoop up from Adobe etc. in great sackfuls. Whether that is a problem or not I don't know, but from the smidgin of business I do here I detect more of a price fall than anywhere else. I know PA is driving us all insane, but still I have much more frequent good two and three digit sales over there, given respective size of collections. And distributor images which sell regular in small agencies in small countries like Norway, never sell here. My feeling is that if you have a mix of cheap generics with unique editorial content, it won't be the latter that lifts up the former, and it won't be the former that brings in the buyers left with deep pockets.

 

And the question then will be whether you can make enough even to have your camera serviced occasionally by specializing in secondary editorial.

 

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6 hours ago, Marb said:

I have had enough of waiting for Alamy to get me any sales. It has been dry for too long so I have had to concede and uncheck my exclusive images here to sell on my more reliable microstock sites. To be honest Alamy’s sales have been so small that it isn’t worth the wait when they do come. Sad, but that’s the way it is. Anyway, any sales I have had here have been ones I have duplicated on microstock. The editorial, exclusives haven’t sold here but I will still keep some back for here from future shoots but I don’t have much hope on my experience up to now.

 

Marb,

 

I followed some of the conversations on here. It does seem to me that you are reacting too quickly, but I come from an age of sending of slides and not expecting returns for years.

Its great you have left your comfort zone and at least given things here a try. Learning by falling down is still learning. But I cant help thinking you have made things hard for yourself and painted yourself into a corner. To start with it does look like you have subject matter with a humungous amount of competition here. A lot of your colleagues here are based in the UK and many upload "found" images whilst out and about in the UK. Nothing wrong with that, but it doesn;t make things easier if you do the same. At which point you click on my images and say... "Crikey, he's a right one to criticise, he's just done the same." Absolutely correct. I have just had a wee bimble around the UK in the rain and taken a lot of "found" images. Which brings me onto the next point. To hedge my bets I'll have about 20 income sources from that trip. Here I admit I will probably send some clips to a micro, where they earn a lot more than photos. The photos will be spread around lots of other places fishing in different ponds, none of which are micro. If I just placed my investment from that trip with one agency it would be much the same as putting all of my eggs in one basket, and I shouldn;t be surprised if I head for a fall. You have decided to say Alamy exclusive and therefore increased your risk accordingly. There are many others who have the same exclusivity on Alamy and are earning... but often they have a sizeable collectin behind them already.

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On 06/10/2017 at 16:58, TeeCee said:

Here's a question, how many folks here have a wife/husband/partner who have a phrase similiar to:

"Oh - I see you're bringing your camera ...."

:D

 

Used to be "a good walk spoilt" but when the money started to come in it's more likely to be "here's a good shot" 

 

Actually she's very patient, but, in the interests of domestic harmony, we normally split up when visiting a new location, arranging to meet for a coffee. It works fine, I don't like browsing shop windows while she isn't keen on waiting for 10 minutes for the master shot to appear.

 

A cooperative spouse is a useful commodity, a ready made model when you need to include a person in the shot.

Edited by Bryan
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12 minutes ago, Bryan said:

we normally split up when visiting a new location, arranging to meet for a coffee. It works fine, I don't like browsing shop windows while she isn't keen on waiting for 10 minutes for the master shot to appear.

Amazing and simple idea i never came to ;). Thanks for this tip. This war between camera and wife has to end :D

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1 hour ago, Bryan said:

Used to be "a good walk spoilt" but when the money started to come in it's more likely to be "here's a good shot" 

 

Actually she's very patient, but, in the interests of domestic harmony, we normally split up when visiting a new location, arranging to meet for a coffee. It works fine, I don't like browsing shop windows while she isn't keen on waiting for 10 minutes for the master shot to appear.

 

A cooperative spouse is a useful commodity, a ready made model when you need to include a person in the shot.

My wife has just given up her job and wants to work with me. She is a graphic designer by qualification but always encourages me to take my camera and helps me find shots. I prefer the found images way of working, although I will sometimes pre-plan if I know something is happening. Not really being a people person (I was at college as I took a lot of found environmental portraiture) I prefer not to shoot them these days unless a potentially exceptional shot presented itself. There is a bit of me perhaps panicking because things are not moving quickly, perhaps losing an income in the house has quickened that panic hence the impatience here, and to be fair, I have waited a long time for sales to pick up from what seemed a decent start to 2017. I have a spare D200 with a very good 18-70 kit lens which still takes great images of which I will train her to use as she is keen. Of course there is graphic images/logos etc she can also sell when we find out the best places to place them.

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21 hours ago, Robert Brook said:

Get too hung up about the problems that microstock has caused – old news – we are likely to miss what is happening in the wider industry now: stratification. Long gone are the days when all pictures could be sold for the same price. Most of the major players now have price differentials, albeit in some cases through different brands and platforms - SS has Offset and Rex, Adobe represents Reuters plus a clutch of boutique collections from partner agencies, and so on. In my experience, and from comments by others, buyers pay what it says on the tin. In some cases these are prices you will see here maybe once in a blue moon.

 

This is bound to impact here, unless buyers can see where the value is. If Alamy can't sort this out, then the trend towards micro prices will carry on until there isn't anywhere else to go.

 

Hallo Robert,

 

Within that stratification, is it a stratification of customers? I.e. putting a price on the product which that customer will deem acceptable.

Or does the stratification get applied to the images? Based on? Applicability? Rarity? Gut feeling?

 

groetjes,

 

Richard

Edited by funkyworm

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