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2018 - is this what the future holds?

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16 minutes ago, MircoV said:

We have to think about future. 

 

A technology company can take energy to create the best car mirror, but if the future are car cameras it will be a expensive waste of time. Thats how Kodak lost ground...concentrating on films while others where preparing for digital age.

 

Ignoring Microstock will not stop the evolution we are in. It is take or leave. Since i get only older and will not live forever i will take. I use the strength of both. Alamy and Microstock.

 

It works for me. 

 

And it is not 'evolution'. It is business not natural selection or social Darwinism, things happen because of human decisions not evolutionary predestination. 

Edited by geogphotos
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49 minutes ago, MircoV said:

 

Just to correct. Many do this wrong assumption. How much i love Alamy we also need to be honest. That microstock creates only 0.25 usd is a big myth. First of all it is 0.38 cent talking about that agency. Furthermore you get regular 28USD, 50USD, 75USD and 120USD sales. NET amounts. So it is not straightforward to ask how many 0.25 sales you need to get 100dollars. To be honest i think you can get that amount very quick. I am on both worlds so i really know what i am saying. It can be a very normal scenario that somebody makes on micro 10 times more then on a traditional agency despite having many 0.38 sales. They are combines with the larger sales. 

 

I wouldn't demean myself by accepting sales of my work for .38c.  My work is worth more than that!

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I wouldn't demean myself by accepting sales of my work for .38c.  My work is worth more than that!

 

January, I had exactly 400 downloads on a well-known micro agency for $460.24 giving me a total of $1.15 per download average. It's a big change to 38 cents but I do see your point that our work is "worth more than that", although it's a different business model based on volume.

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Also it depends. 

 

I look at the money on the account. And we are not talking only about 0.38 cent. Images are downloaded multiple times. There are photos sold only 1 time for 38 cent. But also 1 time 2.70USD or 5USD to max 120USD. Then there are photos uploaded lots of times. I have some photos totaling 2000+ NET. Many others 500+. I dont mind if the 2000USD is split by 1000x2 or 10x200.

 

I am not including Alamy but several non micro agencies that shared they payout to contributors show max 10 million per year. Only 1 well know micro agency is 115 million per year. Its clear where the money is. Pitty to ignore it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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10 hours ago, Chuck Nacke said:

Alamy is "Chugging along" just fine for me,  I am not happy with the license fees that I am seeing

but I can live with it.  Two years ago I came out of retirement and am now doing commissioned

corporate work and make more in an afternoon than I do from Alamy in a month, but I don't have

to pack 400lbs of lighting equipment to the location to do that. 

 

Over the years I've been with all of the major photo agencies, most are no longer with us and of all

of the agencies I've worked  with Alamy is my favorite.  Just wish I had more time to scan chromes

to upload to Alamy and shoot more  news for them.

I agree with Chuck - get out there, talk to editors, talk to businesses, get yourself commissioned to shoot. Some of what you have to do may be pretty mundane, some of it will be exciting and challenging. In any event it will be a lot more fun and certainly much more rewarding than doing stock table top pictures which have a vanishingly small chance of selling (unless you really enjoy doing those, in which case the best of luck to you!)

Alex

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Quote from Brasilnut's blog

 

“We feel that for the majority of photographers, it’s best to maximise your reach and place your images with a range of distributors.” – James Allsworth, Alamy Contributor Relations

 

I have the feeling that many interpret the choice we have as either Alamy or Micro's. There is lots more choice out there... but you often do have to have the correct product.

 

It is actually good to see that Alamy are encouraging diversification, see also the 100K blog where Jim West says

 

1) Be frugal. Last month, I photographed a couple of cattle ranchers in Colorado and asked them whether they could make an OK living at it. They said, “Yes – because we don’t spend any money!” Good advice for a stock photographer. I spend the money I need to for professional-quality equipment, but I’m very careful about it. And I live in Detroit, where the cost of living is low.

2) Quantity and patience. Since prices are low, you’ll need a large stock portfolio, which takes time. I have 30,000 images at Alamy.

3) You’ll probably need other income, whether photo-related or something else. Maybe for a while, maybe forever.

 

For many years I put too many eggs into the Alamy basket, too much reliance, too much time. The garden path was there to be lead up and I lead myself up it with some encouragment from Abingdon. All the years when I concentrated on Alamy I needed to do other work to make ends meet. If I hadn't had a change of policy and diversified I would have been well and truly stuffed now. Product diversification and market diversification (which doesn;t necessarily mean going down the micro route) is now standard. Everything is temporary, some things less so than others... but but many agents from not so long ago are no longer with us, including biggies like Corbis.

 

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This is indeed not about what is better.

 

Alamy is a great place to sell your photos and will always be. One thing they have for sure the best. THE BEST SERVICE TO US CONTRIBUTORS AND CUSTOMERS. No doubt about it.

 

Still it there is a good intention of Brazilnut by sharing his post. There is a good message in it.

 

PS. Dont think that i am promoting Brazilnut.... i hate this guy :P    ... @Brazilnut;)

 

 

 

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, Brasilnut said:

 

January, I had exactly 400 downloads on a well-known micro agency for $460.24 giving me a total of $1.15 per download average.

 

My work is worth more than $1.15 per image, too! :rolleyes:

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On a major micro site I have almost made as much in 2018 as I did all of 2017 on Alamy of which I had 9 sales. That came to $143.80 for a whole year which really should have been around that for each sale. So the average Alamy sales for me were $15.97

Edited by Marb
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11 minutes ago, Marb said:

On a major micro site I have almost made as much in 2018 as I did all of 2017 on Alamy of which I had 9 sales. That came to $143.80 for a whole year which really should have been around that for each sale. So the average Alamy sales for me were $15.97

Then you have some information about where to direct your efforts.

There's little point complaining about sales of apples when your stall is in the orange market.

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18 minutes ago, Marb said:

On a major micro site I have almost made as much in 2018 as I did all of 2017 on Alamy of which I had 9 sales. That came to $143.80 for a whole year which really should have been around that for each sale. So the average Alamy sales for me were $15.97

 

 

But you are willing to accept far lower fees at your micro sites. I just don't understand why you moan about Alamy fees.

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3 minutes ago, geogphotos said:

 

 

But you are willing to accept far lower fees at your micro sites. I just don't understand why you moan about Alamy fees.

I think the total amount is more important then the individual fees. Whats the point to get 2 sales for 100 dollars compared to many small sales for 300 dollars. This is how it looks in Marb case. I would take the money. Details how the money is build...... whatever :).

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And even better just contribute to both. Then he can have 400 dollars ;).

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2 minutes ago, MircoV said:

And even better just contribute to both. Then he can have 400 dollars ;).

Exactly. There seems to be a black and white on/off view here that it's either one or the other. I have the right to complain about my exclusive editorial non sales here, especially when they are not selling on microstock. I hear people raving about the great fees you earn per sale and am underwhelmed. Perfectly within my right to highlight the fact.

Edited by Marb
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31 minutes ago, Marb said:

On a major micro site I have almost made as much in 2018 as I did all of 2017 on Alamy of which I had 9 sales. That came to $143.80 for a whole year which really should have been around that for each sale. So the average Alamy sales for me were $15.97

Then you have some information about where to direct your efforts. $16 is very low.

But there's little point complaining about poor sales of apples when your stall is in the orange market.

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10 minutes ago, Marb said:

Exactly. There seems to be a black and white on/off view here that it's either one or the other. I have the right to complain about my exclusive editorial non sales here, especially when they are not selling on microstock. I hear people raving about the great fees you earn per sale and am underwhelmed. Perfectly within my right to highlight the fact.

And here is the moment where the @Brasilnut blog comes in place. 

 

Alamy should always be in the list. The second part is a choice and not a crime. You can be exclusive with Alamy but also add more agencies. Alamy seems to be very confident with their business :).

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15 minutes ago, MircoV said:

I think the total amount is more important then the individual fees. Whats the point to get 2 sales for 100 dollars compared to many small sales for 300 dollars. This is how it looks in Marb case. I would take the money. Details how the money is build...... whatever :).

 

No that is not my point. My point is that Marb is perfectly happy to accept extremely low fees at other sites yet never stops moaning about higher fees at Alamy.

 

He has been told countless times that Alamy is a long-term business, it just isn't the same as the microstock model of fast results and high volume.

 

I simply don't grasp why he keeps complaining about Alamy on this forum. It is literally pointless. 

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6 minutes ago, geogphotos said:

 

No that is not my point. My point is that Marb is perfectly happy to accept extremely low fees at other sites yet never stops moaning about higher fees at Alamy.

 

He has been told countless times that Alamy is a long-term business, it just isn't the same as the microstock model of fast results and high volume.

 

I simply don't grasp why he keeps complaining about Alamy on this forum. It is literally pointless. 

To be honest. Complaining never makes point to me also. Alamy just needs different care.....

 

Maybe Marb thinks that the volume is here the same as on Microstock. Every few minutes "BING" a new 100+ USD sale LOL :)

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I do get disturbed at the rancour that is evidenced on this forum at times and sadly it is usually from the same contributors.  It would be good if we could learn to treat one another with respect regardless of how we view the validity of the views expressed here. The following comment is one I have made on another thread but think it also fits in here. I am in a bit of a dilemma.. Alamy is not the only stock agency I use and am enjoying reasonable success with microstock etc. I think I have some personal indicators that some of my images are being viewed and occasionally zoomed on Alamy and then downloaded elsewhere. I have now resolved to keep a percentage of every shoot for Alamy alone to see if that makes a difference. One of the questions I keep asking myself is "Why would anyone pay more for any of my images on Alamy when the microstock market is full of similar and sometimes better images"

My photography is not niche. My subjects are not exclusive and I don't see buyers saying I must have this image and nothing else. Perhaps what I am really saying is that i don't believe in myself enough to go exclusive with Alamy.  Does this reflect the views or feelings of others in any way.

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5 minutes ago, Futterwithtrees said:

I do get disturbed at the rancour that is evidenced on this forum at times and sadly it is usually from the same contributors.  It would be good if we could learn to treat one another with respect regardless of how we view the validity of the views expressed here. The following comment is one I have made on another thread but think it also fits in here. I am in a bit of a dilemma.. Alamy is not the only stock agency I use and am enjoying reasonable success with microstock etc. I think I have some personal indicators that some of my images are being viewed and occasionally zoomed on Alamy and then downloaded elsewhere. I have now resolved to keep a percentage of every shoot for Alamy alone to see if that makes a difference. One of the questions I keep asking myself is "Why would anyone pay more for any of my images on Alamy when the microstock market is full of similar and sometimes better images"

My photography is not niche. My subjects are not exclusive and I don't see buyers saying I must have this image and nothing else. Perhaps what I am really saying is that i don't believe in myself enough to go exclusive with Alamy.  Does this reflect the views or feelings of others in any way.

Thats a great post! 

 

You can also ask a different question. "Why would somebody search on Alamy just to buy a image on Microstock?" I think those people would go directly on micros and not loosing time. Another reason i think Alamy buyers buy on Alamy. There are really a lot of micro photos downloaded and i believe it can happen that sometimes i just happen by coincidence close on zoom at Alamy. 

 

I got a few times situations that an images was bought on Alamy and also on Micro within 1 till 2 days. I dont believe it was the same customer.

 

Mirco 

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6 minutes ago, Futterwithtrees said:

I do get disturbed at the rancour that is evidenced on this forum at times and sadly it is usually from the same contributors.  It would be good if we could learn to treat one another with respect regardless of how we view the validity of the views expressed here. The following comment is one I have made on another thread but think it also fits in here. I am in a bit of a dilemma.. Alamy is not the only stock agency I use and am enjoying reasonable success with microstock etc. I think I have some personal indicators that some of my images are being viewed and occasionally zoomed on Alamy and then downloaded elsewhere. I have now resolved to keep a percentage of every shoot for Alamy alone to see if that makes a difference. One of the questions I keep asking myself is "Why would anyone pay more for any of my images on Alamy when the microstock market is full of similar and sometimes better images"

My photography is not niche. My subjects are not exclusive and I don't see buyers saying I must have this image and nothing else. Perhaps what I am really saying is that i don't believe in myself enough to go exclusive with Alamy.  Does this reflect the views or feelings of others in any way.

 

Respect is a two way process. There is a massive amount of very good advice given withing these forums. Contributors who freely give out the advice get

frustrated  when people continue to moan and do nothing about it except continue to moan and then moan some more.

"amazing drop in sales"    is a thread on SS, sharing lack of sales on the dark side.

 " 31 usd in 14 days of downloads"  would not inspire me to put my images there, nor would Brasilnuts blog.

The Future of 2018 is in everyone's hands whether they have images here, elsewhere or both.

To moan is a negative and will give negative results.

To read and listen to good advice, then try something different would be a more positive approach.

 

Craig 

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1 hour ago, geogphotos said:

 

I simply don't grasp why he keeps complaining about Alamy on this forum. It is literally pointless. 

I agree, and my recommended response is to simply ignore the posts. The more you argue, the more whinging responses you will receive.

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5 hours ago, geogphotos said:

And it is not 'evolution'. It is business not natural selection or social Darwinism, things happen because of human decisions not evolutionary predestination. 

 

Ian, this is the smartest thing you've said in years. I've become so hardened to typical language that I've forgotten this basic truth. 

 

And if you want to be successful, you HAVE to ignore what won't take you there. You MUST go where your market is.

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Still it is not really human decisions. It is more human acceptance.

 

Digital cameras for low price are everywhere and also people that can take good photos. If someone can make a good photo they will most not spend 100 dollars for a photo that they can take themselves but they will visit the city center and take that shot. BUT paying only 5 dollars it is worth to stay home. That is not a decision it is the state of today. To make a photo 100 dollar worth you need to take photos that other can not create. By being super exceptional or having caught something on the other side of the world. 

 

It is the evolution of technology that makes this happen. NOT microstock. Very wise words from somebody we know very well ;). 

 

I think if there would be no microstock there would be still decline of sales on traditional agencies because people have far better access to take great photos themselves. So to keep people not taking themselves photos it has to be worthwhile. 

 

Mirco

Edited by MircoV
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My photography is not niche. My subjects are not exclusive and I don't see buyers saying I must have this image and nothing else. Perhaps what I am really saying is that i don't believe in myself enough to go exclusive with Alamy. 

 

Being exclusive to a non-exclusive agency is just madness in my opinion. If you want to be exclusive to one agency at least choose one that demand exclusivity in return for an attractive rate, curates their image banks and promotes you as a photographer to buyers. 

 

----

 

I agree with Ian and others that complaining does no good and sucks energy out of you and those around you. It's tough enough having to do all the admin (keywording and uploading), only to have no energy left for creative stuff. 

 

I'm not happy to accept low fees (sub $10), far from it, even at high volumes. But I see the reality that it's a buyers' RF market and I embrace it instead of wishing/hoping that 2002 rates will suddenly return in 2018. Soon we'll have mobile phones that can shoot at 20MP, low noise and 4K video. Millions of teenagers in China and India will be happy to give away their great images for free for commercial usage at the likes of Unsplash in return for a chance of publicity or even bragging rights. So perhaps, considering 10 years from now, we're NOW living in the "glory days". Let's make the most of it! 

 

Alamy nor micros aren't my only source of income, I'm trying everything...Print on Demand, Fine Art Rights-Managed, book publishing, affiliate work. Anything to avoid going back to boring corporate work and that pointless rate race. Putting all your eggs in one basket is too risky, as is passively waiting for downloads. I agree with @funkyworm "Product diversification and market diversification (which doesn;t necessarily mean going down the micro route) is now standard"

 

Pleasure knowing you all and @MircoV I look forward to drinking some Polish vodka with you soon to talk about those "glory days of 2018) haha

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