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Posts posted by Marianne

  1. @Joseph Clemson


    Absolutely, and those discussions may have stepped over the line. It is a slippery slope ... but I have never seen Alamy close down a discussion where, for example, contributors have explained to newbies that Alamy isn't like the micros, that Alamy's focus leans toward editorial, that artsy photos are better on POD sites, etc. This doesn't hurt Alamy, it helps new members learn.  It seemed like people stopped replying to the OP once the Guidelines were mentioned.... freezing out potentially helpful responses based on a misinterpretation of the Guidelines. 


    This is the second time this has happened this month. As a long-time contributor, I thought that I could be helpful by speaking up. I do not believe my response was disrespectful nor heated. Nothing I said was critical of Alamy or other sites, In fact, I didn't mention any other sites. I also was not critical of anyone here, merely disagreeing with your interpretation of the Guidelines, opining that Alamy encourages debate and does not limit our discussion so drastically, while agreeing with @meanderingemu that the OP should be more circumspect in discussing Alamy and other sites. 


    I didn't promote myself nor did I link to any other photo forums, so I am confused by the Guideline language that you are quoting now. Everything I have said here has stayed within both the letter and the spirit of the Guidelines.  But I get your point, you don't want to see this get shut down, and having wandered off topic, I'm concerned too although I think all three of us were trying to help the OP understand how Alamy works, so in that respect this tangent isn't completely off-topic. No one is name-calling or immaturely giving others red arrows. 


    I was a NYC trial lawyer for more than a decade, so I have a pretty thick skin. I also understand there is a difference between disagreeing with someone's point of view, or their interpretation of what something means, and attacking that person. This is not a personal attack. I sometimes forget that for the average person, when someone disagrees with them, they are bound to take it as a personal affront. It was not meant that way. We are all trying to help here. 


    @Aaron  I'm glad you found my comments on your images helpful. You asked to get in touch. You can find me through the contact me form on my personal website but I am not permitted to share that info here. Google is your friend.


    • Like 3

  2. @meanderingemu


    Sorry for the misunderstanding. And not to confuse things further, but I meant the language that you quoted from the guidelines, not from the OP's post. More importantly though, please don't feel defensive. I agree with what you wrote. it was good to bring the guidelines to the OP's attention. 


    In re-reading and editing what I wrote, I realized that you were not the one to say that we could not mention other sites. Unfortunately, I couldn't figure out how to add a second quote once I had hit reply. I considered taking out your quote all together, but then I saw that you had replied and it seemed wrong to then edit my post after you had replied. 


    My intention was simply to  point out that while Alamy bans the kinds of discussions that you rightly point to in your posts, they do not ban every mention of other sites.  It's so easy for assumptions to turn into "facts" on a forum and the only way to really understand how things are going here is to do so in the context of the larger stock photo market. I think Alamy's Guidelines reflect that. And I think that reflects well on Alamy. 


    Anyway, I hope there are no hard feelings. I really was trying hard to be constructive and I wasn't challenging what you said, just trying to clarify the conclusions others drew from the Guidelines that you pointed to. 

    There have been a few cases recently when contributors became somewhat heated when others mentioned sites other than Alamy. It seemed like this discussion might be heading that way and I was trying to jump in and maybe steer things back on course. Hope I haven'[t derailed it instead. I see more replies popping up as I write. Uh oh...

    • Like 1

  3. @Aaron

    I have taken a quick look at your portfolio since you have asked for constructive criticism. You have a lot of similar images - e.g. way too many similar shots of the American flag - and this will reduce your CTR (click through rate - do a search for CTR or click through rate in the forum and you will then understand why having all these similar images will hurt you).


    Also, most of your images don't have captions. They have strings of keywords which is not permitted. But, more important, it means people have no idea what the photos are about. An American flag is obvious. People milling about in front of others at a table outside - are they signing up at a rally? Are they at a garage sale? Just out for a walk? I have no idea what they are doing and neither will a buyer. Are they doing something that might be of interest to a news outlet for a story? Think about why you took the image and how it could be used by a buyer. If you have no idea, don't upload it.


    Quality is as, if not even more important than quantity. Uploading 40,000 images won't help you make a living if many of them are virtually identical and/or if they were not taken with a purpose in mind. I have over 100,000 images on my hard drives since I started taking digital photos in 2006 but I only have about 1,200 images here. Admittedly, I am slow at uploading and very particular about editing, But even if I had uploaded every image on my hard drives that I felt was suitable for stock, I'd still have less than 10,000. Just because the Alamy collection is unedited does not mean that you should not edit your images carefully, which includes limiting how many you upload from each shoot and thinking about what each image could be used for. Again, read the discussions here on CTR and you will understand why. 


    Also spend some time reading discussions here like the images sold threads and discussions about Alamy rank, then take a look at your portfolio and upload photos that you think people will actually be able to use to illustrate a book or magazine, newspaper or web article (editorial) or, if the image has releases or does not need them, a commercial concept that an advertiser might want. 


    On making a living here, I guess in part that depends on what you need. At one point, I anticipated that having a large portfolio of stock photos would give me a nice nest egg for retirement, but as the stock photo market online matured and changed, I continued to do do the math. That is part of the reason my portfolio is at 1,200 rather than 10K. Even if I spent the time to get another 9K images online, I do not anticipate that I would earn what I would expect to make from that effort, so, for me stock is just one segment of my photo income. But I still see it as a nest egg for retirement, just a much smaller egg in the nest. You need to track you sales here for a few years and do the math for yourself. I make more from some other stock photo sites, even with far fewer images at them, but I like Alamy's pricing structure better and I have many other reasons for putting more of my photos here than elsewhere,  Everyone's needs and portfolios are different. 


    Finally, Welcome to Alamy - and good luck! 

    • Like 2

  4. 5 hours ago, meanderingemu said:

    one thing that is different i guess, is forum rules 



    This is an Alamy forum so it’s not the place to be attempting to damage the Alamy brand through defamatory comments or promoting competitors. You also should not post anything defamatory against our competitors or customers.


    First, Jean-Francois @meanderingemu  and Joseph @Joseph Clemson I want to be very clear that I am saying this in the spirit of trying to be constructive and to help a newbie, and not to start a fight here or lead this discussion into one that will be closed.


    But, I think we need to be clear here, nowhere in the language Jean-Francois quotes and in fact, nowhere in that entire Alamy Guideline post link, does Alamy forbid us from mentioning other sites if it is done to help someone better understand how Alamy differs from POD, microstock or other midstock and higher end stock sites. They do indeed forbid discussions that are defamatory or that promote competitors (as Jean-Francois rightly points out). It is a fine line at times, and some of the OP's comments may straddle that line, so it is good  that you brought it to his attention, but that does not mean he should be dismissed out of hand for asking questions. Obviously, he is considering moving his images over here and maybe deleting some from other sites, so he seems to be honestly seeking advice, albeit some of his comments may be problematic. 


    The forum guidelines also say:

    • The Alamy forum is for contributors to spark debate and find answers from each other. Although Alamy will jump in from time to time, this is your forum!
    • Be inclusive and welcome new members. Only provide constructive criticism if it’s asked for. Remember, we were all new once.

    That's one of the things I really like about Alamy, I think that they make an effort to foster free discussion and to be reasonably transparent. They accept criticism without banning people for honestly but politely expressing their anger when they make decisions that photographers are unhappy about. And they give their contributors the benefit of the doubt. We need to recognize that this is an Alamy forum, so they are free to run it as they wish, but as an outspoken Yank I have to say that I have never felt that my opinion here is being censured. Don't scare the OP off. Let him ask his questions. 


    @Aaron  I would suggest that you heed Jean-Francois' advice and read the Guidelines, and be more careful when you discuss other sites and be careful not to discuss rumors that hurt Alamy. There has never been any suggestion that this site is going the way of subscriptions, and in fact for many contributors, myself included, the price per download has risen substantially this year. I also took a quick look at your portfolio as you asked. See me advice below. 

    • Like 2

  5. Just came here to check - 2pm EDT - Dashboard loads but measures won't. Zooms have surged since a trough in July to an all time high and I was hoping to check new ones (and had hoped to see a sale by now). Glad my internet isn't down which was my first thought.  Wind this time of year tends to take down old tree branches on the lines, even when we don't get anything near hurricane force gales. You'd be surprised how rural the 'burbs can be less than an hour north of midtown Manhattan. 

  6. First, congrats!


    I license images directly to a few different calendar companies. The largest of which is an international publisher with branches in the US and the UK.  While they pay $$$ per image, with  additional fees if the image is used in a different version of the calendar, they do not pay any more for the cover photo than they do for any other image. Despite having a few dozen images in their calendars to date, having one on the cover a couple of years ago was a still a thrill, so I'm glad you feel chuffed! I certainly would. 


    Some companies do pay a larger fee for the cover image. So, I'd send an email to Alamy rather than reporting it as an unauthorized use, since, as others have noted, the license info you get from Alamy doesn't always  reflect the actual agreement. For example, I had an RM image licensed for both the frontispiece and a second license for inside use in a book, one-time use. The photo was then used in subsequent editions, in breach of the terms of the license ("one-time use") that showed up in my sales here, but when I contacted Alamy, I was advised that subsequent editions were included despite the fact that it contradicted the terms. 

  7. 10 hours ago, Allan Bell said:


    Why can you not prohibit PU sales? 

    I put a stop on all PU some time ago.




    Sorry should have said "Thank you for the information re RF/RM."🙂





    You can only prohibit PU sales on RM images.

    Glad you found the info helpful. It's certainly possible and even probable that the sales would have happened whether the files were RM or RF, since many had hybrid licenses (RM files with 25 yr or unlimited duration - RF files with limited duration licenses akin to RM) but the pricing on the RF files does appear higher pretty consistently.

  8. Before 2015, RF accounted for 80% of my three-figure licenses, i.e. sales for $100 or more (what we refer to here as $$$ sales), with the average price when just looking at $$$ sales being $216 for RF and $160 for RM. Beginning in 2015,  that percentage dropped to 50% of my three-figure licenses but the average sales price from 2015-2019 (looking at $$$ licenses only) stayed roughly the same, $212 for RF and went up slightly to $188 for RM. So, RF isn't the draw it once was, but it still commands decent prices. 


    More recently, while 44% of my photos are RF, they account for half of this year's sales, so about what you'd expect. Even with some prices as low as $10, my average price for all RF images licensed this year is $110, while my average for RM is $40, despite the lowest being $25. 


    RF has been turned on its head by the microstock industry and, in light of that, Alamy now provides hybrid licenses, so a client can effectively get an RF license for an RM image, but it is still worth considering for some images because, despite all that, RF can still command high prices. For a rare image, I'd go with RM, since there is always a chance for those coveted $$$$ (four-digit) licenses, especially if you've chosen to make the image exclusive to Alamy, but RF still has some benefits. 


    If I could prohibit PU sales, I'd make many more of my images RF. 



  9. I can't recall exactly what it was at the moment, but a couple of weeks ago I had a really strange suggestion for one of my images when doing a similar reverse image search. The other few I searched that day were as expected, only one weird one. Next time I get a doozy, I'll share it. So, you are not alone, however, while I don't recall the specifics, I'm quite certain it was not as memorably weird as yours! 😎

  10. 20 hours ago, Betty LaRue said:

    I haven’t tried it, Marianne. I’m in the middle of another home project and have been too busy to mess with it. I’m finishing a cedar beam to look rustic like driftwood.

    First I beat, scratched and stabbed it with various tools. Then sanded. Next 2 coats of wood conditioner, 2 coats of pickling paint, and 2 coats of gray stain. Then some sanding involved.  Multiply 4 sides and 2 ends. Looking beautiful. It will be my new mantel. Almost done but it’s too hot in the garage right now.

    I’ve searched bug sites in the past but there was no ID function connected to a photo.  There are some plants/flowers that I’ve spent hours on, but never identified. I hate that. Anything that would narrow choices down to a few would be nice.



    Waiting for the weather to cool down a bit more here to work on a wood project of my own. I bought a beautiful old maple table with two leaves that pull out on the sides to use as a studio table and extra work space in my office at an antique store over the weekend. I need to "sand" it with some fine steel wool and then am trying this restore a finish which I had read about and which the seller recommended. I paid $35 for the table and about $18 for the products to refinish it - but it should make a great surface to shoot on as well as a nice large surface for paperwork. I'll let you know how those other apps work out when I try them. 

  11. 2 hours ago, LawrensonPhoto said:

    That's firefox btw, in chrome the correct icons show up!



    I'm finding Chrome is the only browser I can use on my Mac anymore that works properly with Alamy. I can't do anything re:sharing photos on the forum or online using Safari at all anymore. It's been that way for a few months now. Thanks for the info on sharing in any event. 


    • Like 1

  12. 7 hours ago, Jan Brown said:


    Thanks for this, Marianne, I would've responded sooner but I wanted to give what you had to say some real thought.

    It's been a long time since I seriously pursued landscape photography and I know that I will never again stand for three hours in a field waiting for the light to change. Urggh. Apart from anything else, there were a few occasions when I came close to being, shall we say, negatively approached and once when I could very easily have been robbed and worse. And I don't run as fast as I used to, even without a camera-mounted tripod over my shoulder. Cowardly? I was once told 'it wouldn't stop Fay Godwin', well that's her choice and I wouldn't worry by the edge of a remote Scottish Lake, but elsewhere . . . 

    My old landscape shots are all on transparency and I wouldn't know where to start with transferring them. Same with the travel shots I took in Australia, New Zealand and various parts of south-east Asia in the 80s. *sigh*

    However, you have begun the tingling of renewed interest in landscape and - as and when I can afford the travel expenses which I currently can't, even within the UK - I will explore that area of photography once more. Like yourself, I'm very attracted to the coast, boats, harbours, seaside resorts and, yes, lighthouses. I thought conventional wisdom had it that landscape doesn't sell in stock but, from what you've said, that might not be quite true. 

    The idea of concentrated bursts of photographic activity makes absolute sense for me. That is what I had in mind for when I'm in a position to do it and I'll work towards that. Apart from anything else, it has been brought home to me that the somewhat parochial nature of my port so far is not going to cut the mustard but it is, at least, a base to build from. I have to admit that, although it was fun to take them, they are a bit like the junk food version of photography. Fun while you're doing it but not very satisfying long-term. My best images still give me satisfaction years after taking them. Got to get back to that. Thinking 'stock' doesn't produce my best work by any means and I have hobbled myself and produced hybrid shots that are neither entirely stock nor entirely anything else. And I think trying to produce good work is more important to me than succeeding in stock. Besides, as you say, shooting what I love may well pay dividends.

    I suspect I'll eventually shoot both landscape and street/documentary. And let the chips fall where they may.

    Thanks again, Marianne, yours was a very thought-provoking and useful post. 




    Jan, glad to be of help. I think if a scene speaks to you it will speak to others too. That doesn't mean the best photos will always sell, but the stock photography market is vast and varied. Alas, not as lucrative as it once was, but if you can make money from taking images that speak to you, then you have profited from them twice.


    That doesn't mean you shouldn't also try shooting concepts, lifestyle, village life, whatever else you think might sell - try different things. But by all means getting out in nature is good for the soul and hopefully it will be good for your pocketbook as well.


    I suppose I have a romanticized idea of the English countryside, but looking at your photos of village life I'm assuming there are country walks nearby, perhaps some autumn color, maybe canals? Places nearby where people like to go on holiday that don't require you to spend more than a tank of gas (petrol) for a day trip with your camera? For example, I often see long strings of sales reported here to Country Walks magazine and for various UK maps. Good luck! I look forward to seeing you report your first sale!  

    • Like 1

  13. Nice images.


    As David said, you need to include location in your images. RF401H doesn't say where it was taken at all, not even the city, town, state, or country. Solitude is a good keyword but as far as a caption goes, remember, you are not trying to sell a fine art print here. Your keywords for stock need to be tweaked from those for fine art. 


    Your flowers are lovely but they are the kinds of images that generally sell less frequently as stock although with a wide variety and botanical knowledge (your keywording of them seemed pretty good to this non-specialist), there are those who do well with botanical images. 


    If you have read the forum, or anything much about Alamy or stock photography in general, you know it takes a lot more than 250 images to start seeing regular sales.  Take David's advice on keywords to heart and keep uploading. Good luck!

  14. Jan,

    Upload your landscape shots!


    In the past year, of my last 7 landscape sales here, 5 were in the $50-$245 range (average price $97). Used for everything from small business marketing on web sites to magazines. If you love shooting pictorial shots, and you are out in the lush English countryside (someplace I only know from photographs and paintings), then do what you love!


    My favorite subject to photograph for a long stretch of time was lighthouses and the sea (though I don't live very close by). I shot those photos initially just for myself but find now that they are still my best sellers. The first photo of a lighthouse that I took back in 2009 has earned me well over $1,000 from stock photo licenses, and when combined with other shots of that  lighthouse I took on that day, the grand total approaches $2,000. Not bad for an hour's work. The following year, I shot another two lighthouses in one town, and that shoot has done even better. Most photo shoots won't do that well (I only have a few other single days that have), but I learned that there was a good market for my nautical images and I have planned vacations accordingly, always making back the costs of those trips (usually a 3-8 hour drive from my home, staying overnight anywhere from 2-5 nights). The point is that if you do what you love, the money will follow. Even if you have a handful of shoots every few months that make you several hundred dollars each, you'll do okay. Landscapes don't usually change so those photos will keep selling again and again for many more years than the 5-10 year life of the "average" stock photograph.

    • Like 1
    • Upvote 2

  15. 10 hours ago, BidC said:


    Hi Marianne - to be honest, I've not used the actual Google lens app on my phone, so not sure if they work in exactly the same way, but don't see why there would be a difference. As for the search in Google, yes - its a search using Google, and uploading a photo to Google using the camera icon in order to search for an image. Alamy have added a same/similar feature recently. Not sure if that helps clarify  .... (?)


    It does, thanks!

    • Like 1

  16. Don't worry about your camera. Alamy still licenses images that I took with my 6MP D70 and my 18-55mm kit lens, which I then had to upsize to 45MP for Alamy's size requirements back in 2008-2009, using a now ancient version of Lightroom, Capture One and/or Photoshop. Your D3400 with the same lens and today's software is lightyears ahead, and you can leave your photos as they are or even downsize if they aren't sharp enough. It's a 24MP camera! I shot for years with what I still feel was a state of the art 12MP D700 (tons of sales), but admittedly I had upgraded my lenses by then. If you think you need something better, get a 50mm prime - inexpensive and they are excellent. I'm still using one of my 16MP mirrorless cameras with a prosumer lens alongside my 42MP Sony and high quality G Master primes. And I've sold more from the 16MP Oly lately. Alamy also sells my iPhone pix on their related site. Most sales are for web use, but in any event your camera is way more than adequate. 


    Nice images, but the I'd try taking the contrast down a bit and opening up the shadows a little, they seem a bit dark in a lot of your images. I assume that you are shooting in RAW and using PS or PS Elements or some similar software. A one-year subscription to Photoshop and Lightroom is a little under $11 a month (don't know in pounds, but similar I imagine) , and I think PS elements is even less and not a subscription. 


    Good color and composition, and a nice variety, so you are off to a good start. Good luck!

  17. I see that it works on the iPhone via Google Photos.  

    Anyone know of a similar app specifically for the iPhone? Or Betty you have it on your iPhone? Or your Android and thinking of your iPad (it should work since it's an iOS device) 


    Here's one by state or (some) provinces for wildflowers (it does other plants too) - only for the US and parts of Canada but it's got links for Android and iPhone for all of them  - and it has a database for Yellowstone/Grand Teton too - larger app (100 megs) as works offline. Good if you're out in the woods without a good signal. https://www.wildflowersearch.org/search?page=Apps 


    One I downloaded ages ago and then forgot about is LeafSnap, started in the northeastern US and Canada but now covers the UK too and will soon cover the rest of the US. They also have a website:



    Hope this isn't considered off topic but there are a lot of handy apps out there. It's great to share those we've tried and which work best. 


    Thanks for the suggestion Betty and the help/any further help re: online use.



  18. 1 minute ago, KFisher said:


    The difference for me is that google photo search works when you're online. Google checks for that photo and brings back online results that match. I use google lens for photos that aren't online - for instance just in my photo gallery on my desktop or other application. I open my photo on the computer, take a pic with google lens with my phone, and it pulls up information based on the images which usually tells you what the photo is based on similarities with online photos. It's helped me identify church interiors taken in Rome, types of plants, landmarks, etc. that I couldn't identify from memory. Because of the way I use it, it would work on mac or windows.



    So if the app works on my iPhone I can use it to take a photo of my screen? I think that's what you're saying. Thanks. (otherwise I'll have to steal my husband's phone LOL). Or ask the forum. 

  19. 14 hours ago, BidC said:


    Betty - the app itself isn't available for the iMac, but I've used it within the Google webpages - so instead of entering words, there's a camera icon (same as the Alamy search interface), and images can be uploaded that way. You've probably worked that out by now, but just in case :) 


    How do you use it on your Mac? Are you just talking about using a google photos search to find your photo (and similar ones - which it does sometimes)? Or is there some other way?

    Does Google photos work the same way as Google Lens for an iPhone? Google Lens itself isn't available on the app store for IOS devices. 



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