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Jose Elias

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Posts posted by Jose Elias

  1. I'm also entitled to my opinion. I'm censoring no-one. Skrill charge an exchange commission, but so do Citibank currently. I hardly think that bearing a cost of doing business is punishment.

    Just because you can express an opinion doesn't mean you should.


    Why do you write to yourself?


    If I'm receiving my payments for $175 without fee, and now I'll be receiving a $100 payments without option to decide what level of payment I prefer and so I'm forced to pay a fee, yes it's punishment.


    The cost of doing business is being paid already from the 65% commission to the 50% commission drop.


    Why don't you propose that alamy charges for server storage of our images? And an aditional fee for advertising. And another for the water in their toilets flushers? After all it's a "cost of doing business"? And you can add other all sort of costs leaving nothing but pure profit for alamy. Great, no?

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  2. Alamy is a UK company and much of its business is in the US so why should it bear the cost of paying into euro accounts?

    Another thing, it's rather bad form to run down your agent on a public forum. Alamy is not our employer and we don't have to use it. If we do, we abide by the contract.


    First, If this is how you feel why haven't you come to the forums asking alamy to charge a fee to the Euros before today since you're so favourable to the the idea of us being punished?


    Second, this forum is managed by alamy, and if it's public it's because alamy decided this way. Contributors have the right to express their opinions, and if alamy provides a space where we can do it, actually benefiting the agency by the input (although not always positive) we give them, we have the right to do it.


    I don't think alamy mandated you as moderator or master-censor. When alamy feels a discussion is not of interest it blocks it as it has happen numerous times, and down the road may even make the forum visible only to contributing photographers.


    Until then, censor your own opinions when you see fit and let other make those decisions for themselves.

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  3. I also never understood why this forum was never available to contributors only. And I may add, open only to contributors with approved images, not simply registered ones.


    There could be a section on this forum for those that still don't have approved images and seeking advice about alamy. But that section would only be to that effect. Discussions about other issues would not be allowed.


    I also see it as an important thing to be able to discuss things openly, including the prices images are being given away lately, but that should be an internal question between contributors and alamy.

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  4. What are your thoughts on minimalist keywording?


    This is an issue I debate with myself too.


    Although I do not spam keywords I tend to add secondary and even some tertiary level keywords to my photos. This ends up creating enough keywords to fill the Main field and even put some in the Comprehensive.


    The problem is that we don't know which words are going to be used by buyers, especially when we're talking about an agency with global reach. If alamy was an UK only agency with could get away with "Lorry" only, but in this case we must add "Truck" too because of US and the rest of the world which suffer more influence from the US English. So, in this type of things you end up adding some more words when you know the differences between UK and US.


    But worse is when we're talking about the non-english speaking countries and buyers from there. For a particular word that's probably the most used by UK and US buyers you need to put some synonyms since you don't know if someone from France, Germany or Portugal is going to use the most common word. It's quite possible that a less used word will be searched because the lack of knowledge the buyer has about the English language. Not to mention possible on-line translators uses. So some more synonyms are added.


    In my case, that photograph a lot of historical architecture, there's always the question about the architecture style, the materials used in the construction or objects, the colour, the religion, the religious order, but also the weather, etc., etc., etc.


    I'm quite confident that 95% of the keywords I add to most of the images will never be used, but how can I be sure that all people will search for Mafra Palace, and that no one will search for Franciscan Baroque Convent?


    I've been also tempted to reduce my keywords to a minimum, but it's quite hard in many cases to determine what is a minimum.

  5. The first 6 months of 2013 earned me only 45% of what I've earned in the first 6 months of 2012.


    The number of sales of 2013 is only 42% of what I had in 2012, meaning that there was a slight increase in the average sale price. At least, a small good news.


    Yet, the number of zooms only had a drop of 10% comparing the same periods of time. As I've mentioned in another thread this is the bit confusing me. Almost the same zooms but a huge drop in sales.

  6. One possible explanation why Jeff is having increasing sales is that he his US based, particularly in one very popular area like Miami if I'm not mistaken, and in the words of alamy's CEO there's a very, very strong growth of alamy in the US market. So, with almost 100.000 images with themes from the market that is growing it's natural that he may be seeing better sales.


    On the other hand, apart my RF images, all my RM photos are more focused in the European market since all of them are from Portugal which is a tourist destination mainly for Europeans. And as it's common knowledge Europe isn't going through good days... But apart from this, what really puzzles me is the sudden discrepancy between relatively stable views and zooms and the falling sales. If all went down, I wouldn't be happy but could possibly find more reasonable explanations. More competition, better competition, lack of interest on the themes I photograph...


    And I don't think I even had a drop in my search result position in consequence of CTR changes, as the views and zooms attest and my regular checks confirm largely.


    So, in the case of Jeff it's possible to find an explanation for his growth. In my case it's more confusing to understand the drop.

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  7. I think people are always more willing to talk about poor sales than good. Perhaps those selling well are too busy out there taking photos to contribute to the discussion......


    That's the human nature... :)


    But the fact is that starting in January 2013 something clearly changed, at least for me.  It's like a line was drawn and there's a Before and an After. Everything that has happened since contradicts years of data and it's not a seasonal fluctuation, as I know them.


    Yet, only in the sales part as I've shown. The views and zooms only had a slight decrease. Something doesn't make sense. I believe some people are having better sales now than before, but that's normal.


    The problem is the ratio between zooms and sales, and even if alamy changed the clients that contribute with data for the AlamyMeasures, it would be a strange coincidence that those who left, and the ones that started to be monitored had the same interest in my portfolio. At least in a way that I would keep similar views and zooms but the "new" ones would only have less than half the interest in buying my photos.


    Honestly, I find this very strange.

  8. I also see a drop in zooms. The question is that the drop in zooms is small, while the drop in sales is HUGE. I cannot see a correspondence between both.


    Average zooms per month in first six months of the year:

    2011 - 85

    2012 - 56

    2013 - 50 (June hasn't finished)


    The views trend is similar to the zooms.


    How a small percentage drop in the views and zooms stats can lead to a 60% drop in the sale is something that puzzles me.


    That's why, unless there's a better explanation, I'm suspecting that many self-billing clients are not reporting the uses, and unfortunately I have no possibility to control any of this.

  9. Average number of sales per month from January to June:


    2011 - 18

    2012 - 21

    2013 -   8


    Now, this is a drop!


    The income also reflects a +60% drop.


    I have absolutely no explanation for this, but the fact is that the number of zooms have only declined slightly which is very strange. I also believe that there are possibly a huge amount of unreported uses.


    And if UK residents have at least the possibility to checkout the newspapers and magazines, being in Portugal or any other country outside UK makes it impossible to police those newspaper deals. The self-reporting deal is outrageous and insulting to us photographers.

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  10. Finally I got some sympathy and started cashing the green votes CAAAATCHIIIIIIIIIING! :)


    Just kidding. As I said I don't care about votes. I like to discuss ideas, and votes simply deny that as many people instead of speaking their minds use them not adding anything useful for the debate.




    Returning to the topic, some subjects are simply too saturated and unless we get a fabulous and absolutely unique image, it will be hard to license it. But even in this situation you'll have to manage to get the image seen which is not an easy task especially on alamy.


    Subjects like the St. Peters Basilica, Big Ben, Eiffel Tower, Statue of Liberty or even the Belem tower in Lisbon are very tough subjects. In terms of travel unless you go to relatively unknown, or hard to go places like the Himalayas summits you'll always suffer the competition of flickr and micros since many now accept these images as Editorial RF.

  11. Hi Ed,


    I'm not directing that comment to you, unless you've given me the red ticket. :)  EDIT: (I trusted from the beginning it wouldn't be you)


    I don't really care about the votes as I have no cravings for popularity contests. I simply dislike having a comment marked negatively without knowing the reason why. The fact that many are attributed by simple vengeance despite the usefulness of the comment is what irritates me. And I get like this too when I see red tickets on other peoples comments. So it's nothing personal.


    I'm totally against the negative voting system from the start as I several times mentioned to alamy, or any type of voting for that matter. But having one, simply allow the positive vote. For "negative" actions we already have the report button.


    But this is another issue.

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  12. Jose, I just did those same searches on Alamy: Peter Rome, 12,124; St Peter Rome, 6,864 and so on. 


    So, with regard to this subject (I hope not all subjects) I will have to dumb down my keyword thinking? Obviously most buyers are unfamiliar with the Vatican as a city state, and they don't know the difference between a church, a cathedral or a basilica. "Peter" is enough . . . Peter Pan, Peter Fonda, Petter Rabbit, all the same. 


    I'm going to leave this issue alone for a while—maybe forever. I'm not going to call Alamy and ask for that RF to be changed to RM, and I'm not going to ask for an effective search term for Il Basilica di San Pietro in Vaticano. Basta!


    Ed, from my experience on using the alamy measures functionality, as well from another agency that relates keywords to sales, I think that almost all buyers use two or three keywords max, and in the simplest form possible.


    I don't know why this happens, but maybe poor keywording from the vast majority of contributors (using English as second language many time poorly, spam, etc.) led buyers not to overcomplicate the search terms with the danger of missing good images. For example, some photographers may only use the saint word, others only the st and others both. In this case I bet buyers will use peter vatican, or peter rome, to avoid the basilica/church "trap".


    And then there's the "peter's" "peters" question. Apart from native english speakers I have serious doubts other people will use these terms, preferring "peter". But I may be wrong. There's almost as many "peter" has you have "peters" in search results.


    Buyers themselves may also not know the difference between a cathedral, basilica or church, so they will also avoid using more terms than peter rome, or peter vatican.


    I think you should put all the correct keywords and variants, but I would keyword differently the first image you have (B4YAP3). I would demote landmark and catholic and put rome, peter, vatican and saint or any of the ones that would fit into 50 characters.


    I would also consider putting church in the keywords as many people don't know the difference or even the correct exact names of some locations or subjects.

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  13. Would the person who rated my previous comment with a negative note, care to comment what was so bad about it? What did you disagree with it? Or have I said a lie, was rude to anyone? Anything?...


    I'd really like to know as I provided a possible answer to the original poster, among possible others, on why his photos haven't sold, with solid facts. The competition is just too strong in numbers and price to have a sale guaranteed on this subject.


    Or is it just a personal vengeance for mentioning a reality some people don't like to be reminded of? That there thousands of cheaper or even free photos out there available to anyone who decides to send a couple mails promising simply attribution?


    To give more info, on iStock there's 1860 images for the words, Basilica and Rome. The first one has more than 1200 downloads, The following 14, from 100 to 500 downloads. Most of them are excellent images. Maybe I shouldn't say they are good. Maybe that's the problem,,, Well, check for yourself...


    And that the online calculator of alamy may be scaring more customers than bringing them here, when many sales are in reality made with 80, 90 and even 95% discount over the calculator price for 10 years licences and more? I actually have problems in sending clients to alamy, since I do not like to work on the sale part, as the calculator will make customers quit.


    So, if you care to explain to me why is may previous comment negative (and possibly this one too), I would appreciate it.

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  14. In Shutterstock there's 3439 images with the search: Peter basilica Rome


    If you only search; Peter Rome; you get 4321 photos.


    In a very quick look over the first page of results I could see some fantastic pictures from a multitude of points of views as better if not better than the first page of photos in alamy.


    If you go to flikr you may get tenths of thousands of pictures probably with some awesome ones too, and lots of people giving them away.


    These are probably the most important reasons why you haven't sold pictures of this theme. Excellent pictures for free, or very cheap, beat the scary alamy standard calculator prices any day.

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  15. Sorry, but is this a discussion about the Find a Photographer project or a discussion about technical issues that should be solved with alamy?!!!!!!! :angry:




    I've just edited this message to "thank" the two negative points for having simply pointed to the people that were high-jacking a thread about the "Find a Photographer", with questions that had absolutely nothing to do with the original message and could/should be solved with alamy services and PM's.


    This vindictive use of voting is just pathetic and serve only to show how small some people are.


    I don't care about the points, negative or positive. I do care though about petty attitudes.

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  16. I've been in the program since the beginning, not a single contact so far...


    Don't know if there's been requests and alamy sent the clients to other photographers in Portugal because of style of photography or location, or if no one has actually asked for photographers in Portugal.


    The feedback on this project from alamy, as far as I know, is non-existent.

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  17. Alamy has several problems when comparing to microstock.


    The main one are the fees charged when compared to the licences granted in RF. Even if in some images the fees are higher than in micro, the licence granted is so permissive that in iStock it would be necessary to buy several Extended Licences that would easily pass what Alamy charges.


    Even in Shutterstock I'm having several sales of $120, $90 per month (my cut) in their "Single & Other Downloads" and in the last months these are higher than most or all of the alamy sales after commission.


    The second problem is the amount of work alamy requires in their keywording when compared to microstock, for a reward in many cases similar to micro. Plus, in micro part of the agencies control keyword spam in the review of each image which doesn't solve spam problems but controls it a little bit.


    The policy about people on alamy is ridiculous. If a silhouette of the tip of a finger is seen peeking out of a corner of a building 3 miles away, you must say there's a person in the picture and you can't put it as RF!


    Alamy is also trying to create an edited collection, but it's really far behind the micro and most agencies in that respect.


    The numbers of sales are free-falling in value and numbers (at least for me).


    The only advantages of alamy is that you can submit RM and you have a "lottery ticket" for "THE sale".

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  18. Most of my sales come without zooms, so in this case what benefit is CTR? Isn't there a better way to measure?


    In fact zooms does mean sales even if you cannot connect a specific search with a specific sale. At this moment I'm having a sale for about 4 or 5 zooms. The raise in the number of views with the same number of zooms will help bury your images in the search results even if CTR is not the only criteria used in the ranking system.

  19. All this non-sense surrounding the Red and Green button is something I've already mentioned in the original post about them when the new forum was launched. At the time I've mentioned that this feature would be used, not to reward good posts and protest against bad ones, but to punish unpopular ideas no matter how true and clear they were.


    Many people simply cannot distinguish between a bad contribution from a good contribution that they don't agree with. Many people will use the red button as a negative vote against something they don't agree with, despite the quality of what has been written and the validity of it.


    I cannot believe that you want people wasting energy on futile discussions over a self-gratifying like feature that only brings the worst in many people, and demotivate members that could give good contributions despite being unpopular ideas and not what some want to ear...


    If you want to keep anything just be positive and keep solely the green and the report buttons. Good post will stand out - you can even put a bold frame around any post that goes over a certain number of votes like other forums do - and unpopular ideas will simply be there without consequences to the member who expressed them.


    Honestly this feature will only make good member stop participating, and worse, soon some will find funny to have the biggest negative score in the community and start posting useless comments, that still inside the rules, will irritate people to collect red arrows...


    Again, this is a useless waste of energy for every parts that will only create more frictions and kill different ideas and opinions, which is the opposite of what a forum should promote.

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  20. Maybe the creation of a spam button could help.


    If a large number of clicks on this button occurred (imagine 15 clicks, or if 75% of those who opened the discussion clicked the spam button and those clicks got to 10/15/20), the discussion started by that spammer would be hidden until reviewed by Alamy. If the spam message was written in a legitimate post than only that message would be hidden until review by Alamy.


    I'm not a fan of "popular justice" but this could help.


    In the eventuality that the spam button was hit by a large number of members as a reaction for an unpopular but legitimate post those members could suffer some kind of warning. After a certain number of warnings they would be see their posting rights suspended for a period of time.

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