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Everything posted by Marianne

  1. Yep but there are many blogs that say it stand for "Insertion Order" and others from 2013 and later say it stands for input/output and makes tech sites sound techier while others, which are probably correct, like you, note that note it is a hot choice for startups for all these reasons but that it it in fact the British Indian Ocean Territory but a good choice since the .io domain is unrestricted to country: https://blog.101domain.com/marketing-strategy/meaning-io-domain Anyway, I like Cyberduck - it works well. I used to use the FTP via my Photoshelter site and this is easier and works better. I think I had problems when I first set up Filezilla for Alamy - this was back in around 2011, so I've just stuck with Cyberduck because it works.
  2. So glad I discovered this. I've been told by many in the forum to check my photos for sharpness at 200% on a Retina Display screen and have been doing so for some years now on my MacBook Pro when I am out and not able to use my iMac which has a regular screen, since the Retina Display screen makes everything appear so sharp. No more! I was toodling around on Adobe's site and came across this method for making the display on your Retina Screen emulate a regular screen in Photoshop, which means I get a better sense of how sharp an image really is, whether I may want to downsize slightly, and what any noise may actually look like. It also makes me more comfortable that I haven't oversharpeded my RAW photos when I view them this way. I thought this might be helpful for others who rely on their laptops while traveling. I still use 200% to check for dust. http://blogs.adobe.com/jkost/2013/01/viewing-photoshop-cs6-in-low-resolution-on-a-retina-display.html Read the first paragraph - the rest tells you how to download the correct version, etc if you have problems. I'm sure most of you are familiar with Julianne Kost, but for any photo newbies or those who just want to keep up with what's new in Photoshop and Lightroom and keep improving their skills, I highly recommend Julianne Kost's blogs and tutorials. I've taken classes with her at PhotoExpo and read her stuff/watch her videos a lot. Great way to learn & keep my skills sharp. There is so much you can do in Photoshop and Lightroom, that there is always something new to learn. If you have other tips for checking sharpness, feel free to add them to this discussion.
  3. I also recommend Filezilla as well as Cyberduck for a MAC. I use Filezilla for some of my clients but have Cyberduck set up for Alamy. I should use it more often, especially with larger files. Cyberduck is here: https://cyberduck.io/download/ (Although they have changed their domain to an insertion order (io), you can download the software for free from that page or make a donation or find it in the Mac app store)
  4. Since we have gotten off topic here, I'll try to offer Estelle some advice regarding the underexposed images. Set your monitor brightness at the midpoint. I don't know what equipment you have and it has been over a decade since I've used a PC, but on a MAC there is that little light icon and you should slide it so that it is right in the middle. That will give you a good idea of how your photos will look in terms of exposure. I would also say that you need to learn to trust the histogram - and if you have a well-exposed photo that has a nice spread from light to dark, tweak your monitor's brightness settings until the photo looks correct. Read as much as you can online or in photography books about the basics and see if there are any classes in your area that you can attend. Here in the US we have community colleges (two-year institutions). Although I have a graduate degree, adults are able to sign up for classes there and that is how I learned Photoshop, studio lighting, and other helpful things taking classes over the years, especially when I started out. I was lucky enough to have worked in Manhattan for years as an attorney and needing a creative outlet took classes at ICP, the International Center for Photography in the 1980's, many years ago. I didn't start shooting professionally until I was in my 40's, which is when .I took classes locally, One of my professors at the local community college also taught there, but there are often good photographers who teach classes no matter where you live. High schools here also often have continuing education classes again that any adult can take. Perhaps you have something similar where you live? (the UK I'm guessing). I still take classes time to time, mostly to get my creative juices flowing. If your health limits you so that you don't think you can guarantee you'll be able to show up every week for a class and health or finances limit your ability to take an intensive week-long or full weekend class, the other options that are usually offered, perhaps one of the pros in your area can help. Maybe you can work with them as an assistant, make some money helping them out and learn as you go - or perhaps if you say you can't show up reliably enough, you can do some assistant work in exchange for them teaching you proper exposure and processing. Or perhaps one will look at your portfolio with you and show you how to fix the issues with your photos. I worked as a photographer's assistant 3 days a week back in the mid-2000's in the suburbs while I was shooting assignments (after taking some of the classes mentioned), for $28/hour. I'd see assistant jobs in Manhattan, where salaries tend to be significantly higher, for only $12/hour, which seemed ludicrously low to me, so like others here, I'd advise you to make sure you are paid what you are worth, and beware of who is telling you what the "going rate" is. If you are being paid to shoot by the club and then being paid additionally by individuals purchasing the photos, your actual hourly wage may be higher, but it still seems very low. I started out charging $90/hour-$750/day many years ago to shoot and $25/hour additional for processing (since I was just learning Photoshop) and charge around $250/hour now, which includes only the shoot itself and subsequent minor adjustments to images, with additional fees for major edits & of course additional fees for prints or web images or albums (I don't do weddings, just the occasional party, and shoots for local small businesses). For flat fee work, I figure my hourly rate x how many prints they want, and estimate how long it will take, then add a daily shoot rate, with a cushion, to arrive at a fee. I also do some low-paying work shooting for local magazines @ $50-$100 per photo, which is really more for advertising since it can help me get work and may give me images for stock. All of these fees are quite low, IMHO, but fees for photography have remained stagnant for some years now in my area, and health issues including the fear of not being able to show up due to chronic illnesses that can flare up, have kept me from doing more than the occasional job, so I can relate to your concerns. If I was shooting weddings or shooting more often, I'd be charging at least twice as much. I turn down people seeking cheaper options; some small businesses have come back to me, realizing you get what you pay for. Other people who really can't afford my rates, often say they wish they could afford me. I paid a young talented photographer significantly more than my usual rate for my daughter's wedding out in the midwest last year, and there were many who charged less than half her rate, but I don't see the point in paying for mediocre work, although I know many people who put price ahead of product. So, work on improving your craft and then don't be afraid to charge what you're worth. Since we have gotten so off topic here, I thought of starting another thread on what to charge for assignment work, but this seems to have gone in that direction. Back to the OP's original question. Personally, I think a willingness (or perhaps resignation) to accept lower per license prices for stock images in exchange for an overall higher RPI, is a different thing than an unwillingness to work for less than you are worth. As a young lawyer in Manhattan, my firm charged $250/hr for my work in the 1980's - and here I am charging that decades later for my photography, but society values the two skills differently, and I made the decision to do what I love, but that doesn't mean I'll just give my work away. I look at a shoot that I do for stock (mostly travel) and see how long it takes me to earn back the costs and start making a profit on it, and try to figure out the best way to make the highest RPI. If it is a shoot in a destination that I know will sell a lot, putting those photos on a site with a lower return per license but a higher return per image probably is the way to go, if I want to make a profit from that trip. If it is a still life shoot I've done at home with a concept that will sell, again, getting the highest return per image makes the most sense. If, however, I've gotten shots that I foresee selling as fine art, then my decision is different. If it is a travel shot, it might go on here as RM and it might not be uploaded as stock at all. Prosaic images aren't commodities, but I have learned that treating them as something precious really will hurt my bottom line. This is a business after all. I do not intend to be a starving artist. There are also some benefits to the micro model. I have one image that I took in 2009 that, honestly, I oversaturated, trying to give it a "stock" look and I kind of hate it now, but when I search for a particular high end destination, that photo is on the web on everything from travel sites, B&B's, nursing homes, realtor's, and even in some magazines and newspapers. It has earned me a significant sum, while others from that same destination, normally processed, have made high end travel books and sold as fine art, but it took several of those unquestionably better photos to earn as much as the "stock-y" one. I am much prouder of the better images, but that one hyper-saturated photo paid for the 4-day trip, including a stay at a lovely B&B. Its ubiquity also means that many of my photos from that destination tend to come up in a google search, and it still sells often even a decade later. Ultimately, we all need to do what works for us and what we feel comfortable with. There are people on here who said they won't sell equipment they don't use for a fraction of what it cost them on principal. I sold most of my Nikon equipment early last year, some for close to what it cost me and some for a fraction of what I paid, and bought a new Sony A7rii and some lenses. If the Nikon mirrorless cameras came out sooner, I might have kept all of it, but honestly I'm not sorry for my decision. I wish I'd upgraded to a better camera sooner, but it took me time to get to the point where I could let go of the concept of sunk costs. The photos on my hard drive are there, I shot them and have processed many (maybe not the same as sunk costs, but similar since the trips cost me money and there is the value of my time). So, if the best market for some of those images is not here licensing for $250 a pop as it might have been 5-10 years ago, then I need to put them somewhere where they will earn me less or perhaps, less per "sale" but much more overall, or they can sit on my hard drive taking up space and earring me nothing because I refuse to license them for less per "sale" than I believe they are worth. Uploading to Alamy does not insure, after all, that they won't be licensed for a few dollars. Four of my last five sales were for $6.99-$15, netting me $3.49-$7.50, and the fifth earned me $30, thanks to the new commission, about what I'd earn for a normal "extended" license on a micro site, and there is not enough volume for those small prices to add up. Looking at the images sold thread this month has been very discouraging, and convinced me that spreading my backlog of images across both this site and others is the way to go.
  5. Sigma just announced new Sony zooms: https://www.fullexposure.photography/sigma-e-mount-lenses-sony/ EDIT: I posted too soon - it looked like there were zooms from my search and then I started reading - just two prime art lenses for now with 7 more (primes) to come and rumors of zooms in the works...
  6. You're welcome. Glad it was better than just saying "good job." Thanks for asking me to look again with a critical eye. It gives you a sense of who the other folks a=on the forum are when we really look at large parts of their portfolios - a fuller picture than just these discussions. Enjoyed getting a little more sense of who you are.
  7. I understand your point of view - no need to apologize. Thanks for your response.
  8. Welcome David! Love the composition of the Bateria de Castillitos and that little boy in the red outfit (your son perhaps?) is adorable! That squirrel was certainly a great capture too. My husband and I hope to visit our niece and her husband in Spain next year. It will be wonderful to photograph your beautiful country. Best of luck here!
  9. I have never been able to fully embrace the RF nor the microstock model either John, but though I hate to admit it, the micro model seems to work, and that is why many traditional shooters and not just hobbyists jumped on board, although it was much more lucrative in the past than it is now. There's a part of me that wishes I'd taken advantage of it then, but I couldn't wrap my head around it either, except to experiment with a very small portfolio. I don't know how much longer it will be sustainable - the companies are making money but the competition keeps growing. The fact that I sell photos from my small portfolio daily as they compete with tens of millions of other images is mind-boggling to me, but the volume needed to make real money is substantial and I hesitate to commit so much of my portfolio to it. Being on the fence between RF and RM has kept 1000s of photos in my portfolio since if I commit them to RM I can't put them anywhere else, but RF has its drawbacks. So I sit on the fence and they sit on my hard drive making me $0. There's a part of me that thinks the only option is to upload as much as I can while things are still selling...I'm 60 and had hoped that in the next decade or so I could really grown my portfolio and have a nice residual income, but who knows what the landscape will be like a decade from now. So right now I'm preparing a few hundred stock photos for a long-time publishing client who will probably license 10-20% of them now (and then more over the next several years if I'm lucky) - at a decent fee for each. Preparing them wouldn't be worth the few thousand I hope to make this year except that even though they purchase a one-time use license, I may also simultaneously upload them RF or RM to any stock sites I wish - my choice - but of course since I'm licensing directly I don't want to undercut my own prices, so they will probably only go to Alamy. I was invited to join a German stock site that does not permit me to have the same photos on micro sites, yet they distribute to subscription sites ... so it seems prices keep eroding everywhere and I can't really trust what any site tells me. I am also working on a submission to two exclusive sites, so those photos and their sister images can't go anywhere else, including to my client or to Alamy or elsewhere. Deciding what goes where takes so much time away from taking and processing photos, so it would be easy to just pick one site and upload everything there, but I don't want all my eggs in one basket. My trust has eroded and my crystal ball is cracked...
  10. New York Times magazine, March 10, 2019, Print - Cover Rosalia - Christian Bertrand/Alamy It's a collage of 25 singers. Congrats on making the cover of the NYTimes! Hope the fee was good.
  11. I know. The irony is not lost on me. Everyone is looking for greener pastures. Of course he's laughing all the way to the bank. I bought some stock after the IPO and selling half of it financed some nice equipment. Or if you mean the other guy whose agency was bought by the big guys and then started his boutique agency...I know folks who are doing very well there. The self-proclaimed "top micronselling photographer" also switched to a macrostock agency. But yes, when our income stops growing as much as we anticipate, we all look for other ways to earn. I don't intend to go from here to a microstock model, but I will increase the small portfolios I have there as I continue to also make work that I hope to place on one or more boutique agencies. POD sales also spiked up for me last year by nearly 100% after years of small growth, so I will keep growing that portfolio (and will make sure my best selling travel photos remain RM here, no personal use sales), and I will keep adding photos to Alamy. Everyone's experience is different. And we can learn from that of others but at the end of the day, we all need to look at what we do, what we are comfortable with, and make our own decisions.
  12. Every time I take photos down, or plan to, I find one I planned to delete has been zoomed. Hard to know what will sell. If you really want criticism, I guess I'd say spend more time taking the kinds of photos where you've shown people at work or other actions shots. The posed images are nice and if they have model releases I'd keep taking them but if not perhaps put up fewer of them in future, unless they sell - only you know best what is working in your portfolio. In terms of deleting some live news shots, after shooting several live news shots once the event is old you might want to go back and pare them down to a few of the best. The live news people told me 6-10 images from a news event was the target. This includes weather/day in the life shots as well as events, both on Alamy and the connected venue, if that helps you.
  13. Thanks Dominic. Working hard to improve my work. I'm always in awe of wildlife photographers. I'm much better with subjects that don't move. 😎
  14. You're welcome. Always reassuring to know others feel the way we do. Your honesty is refreshing.
  15. You're welcome. ...and LOL ... on another forum I have a pseudonym and people often assume I'm a guy... that old boys' club, I guess.
  16. First, I will say I don't think Alamy is becoming a microstock site and I hate what the industry has done to reduce the price photographers receive for their work, but Chuck & others, I feel I have to defend Starshpinx analyses' - to the extent he is talking about the current market, and to the extent that you dismiss him as not understanding the market so harshly. You are looking at it from your experience but you fail to recognize that those of us who joined this industry when it had already become democratized and overcrowded have had a very different experience from you. This should be a discussion not a bashing of other's views. Each of us has to determine what works for the way we shoot, the access we have, and our own experience. To dismiss the experience of others because yours, as a veteran of a marketplace that was very different than the one we face today, does not move this discussion forward. It just discourages people from honestly airing their views. I don't believe in red marks so you won't get one, and I appreciate your experience but I'm quite discouraged by how harshly you have stated your views. Like him (her?) I too have had health issues in the past decade+ that have limited my ability to consistently work on commissions, and so have turned to stock as a way to grow my business. I have had my photos in Smithsonian magazine, National Geographic books, Coastal Living, and dozens of others as well as in solo and group juried shows in the New York metro area, including at the Museum of the City of New York, so I am not a hobbyist despite the fact that I am only able to work part time. I think that what really damaged our industry was the macrostock agencies that came up with the concept of RF - compounded by a name that confuses the average person who thinks that it means these images are actually available for use at no charge. The microstock agencies then built on this woefully damaging concept by underpricing the established marketplace, But now those established agencies have followed suit devaluing our work, and so we face an industry that is very different than the one you envision. For a few years now, Alamy has been encouraging us to switch unlicensed images to RF, to upload new images as RF and they also license our RM images on terms that may as well be RF (like 25 years for a book). I have two images, one on the frontispiece and another full page as a chapter cover in a book by a major UK travel publisher that were licensed as RM in ~ 2014 and, when they showed up in the 2016 edition, which should have required a new license under the terms Alamy disclosed to me, and I contacted Alamy, I was told that the actual deal they had made permitted use in subsequent editions notwithstanding the language they had posted in my sales history (it's been in subsequent editions too). So, given that the trend in the industry is going toward RF and that the sheer number of images on here (155 million images) continues to grow at an astounding pace (I think Alamy had 8 million when I started in 2008), how can you compare what you are earning on commissioned work or what you earned for an image "back in the day" when the landscape was so different, to what people are earning today? If Alamy is making you the kind of money you feel your images deserve, why do you have such a small port here compared to what must be the size of your archive? I too have spent a lot of time defending Alamy against the microstock sites, even writing articles about it because I felt it was important to encourage people to value their work, but Alamy has encouraged microstock photographers to join and they have always said it was okay to have the same RF photos on both sites. I finally put a handful on both the microstocks and Alamy to compare and on one site alone I earned over $750 on an image which has earned me $80 on Alamy although it was on Alamy exclusively for two years longer (and before prices across the board began their decline in ~2011-2012 - and if I add earnings on other sites it is well over $1,000). Another that Alamy just licensed here for $10 last month ($4 net with the new reduced commission) has netted me over $250 on one microstock site alone. In fact, in the last few years my top five best-selling images on a single microstock site have earned me more than all my 100+ sales here on Alamy since 2008. A sobering reality. It's easy to blame microstock sites or photographers' refusing to charge what they deserve for the state of the market, but the digital revolution, the ease with which photographers from anywhere in the world can upload their photos for sale, and the fact that stock photography is no longer a "members only" club - anyone with a good eye can enter if their photos meet the standards of the particular site they are shooting for - these all affect the market and serve to commoditize our images. Is it really foolish to earn pennies that add up to $1,000's of dollars in this new overcrowded market or is it foolish to cling to the past when reality stares us in the face? I hate to admit that for average photos the "Walmart" model of low prices is more lucrative than the "Nordstrom" model of fewer sales at high prices - but I also agree that special photos like yours of Steve Jobs that can't be duplicated, or highly styled or artistic photographs on boutique stock sites, the old model will still work, but for those of us who joined this industry when it had already become democratized and overcrowded, splitting our images between the "Walmart/micro" model and the "Nordstrom/macro" model may make sense. I see the future as finding commissioned work, applying to boutique agencies that still place a high value on special images, direct sales at reasonable prices, and average (which means quite excellent but common photographs) on 3-5 different agencies where even with low prices each image will earn its keep. My top price for a single sale on the micros was $750 earning me $375, top on Alamy $450 earning me $225. And the top 4 micros have earned me thousands more than Alamy with a portfolio of 100-350 images. I wish Alamy was my top earner. But it is not. If I had put all my Alamy images on other sites, they would have earned me tens of thousands more by now. But I also license stock directly for mid to macrostock prices, and I will not put those images on a microstock site, but I will no longer ignore the fact that I can make good money on subscription sites, and I will split my portfolio accordingly. That's my reality. I realize your experience is different than mine. There is no right and wrong here. Alamy with its 155 million images cannot change the marketplace. So, you can't expect a single photographer to do so.
  17. Love that baby elephant photo - lucky we don't have to compete with that! Some great stuff so far. I'll have to search my archives and see if anything pops up - I love that these challenges get me to take a look at what I have and encourage me to get them online. I learned long ago that it was unBritish to vote for oneself, after I initially did so once long ago when I had a photo in the running, assuming that of course everyone would vote for their photo since there was no rule saying those with photos in the running could not vote...until I saw a discussion on the subject and switched my vote to the competition. As an American, voting against myself wasn't easy, and my inclination would be to abstain altogether, but as this is a British agency, when in Rome...the couple of times since then I've had a photo in the running, I've done the "done" thing and voted for someone else. But, it doesn't come naturally.
  18. Good eye for news and storytelling. I particularly like your photos of people at work - nice mix of closeup and bigger picture shots. I can see why you sell a lot.
  19. A few years ago I had a statue in LA removed - and it was in context but possibly on private property. Meanwhile, also some years back, I had a $$$ sale of graffiti (also in a wide context and also in LA) so go figure. I thought that public art taken in context was okay, but people can sue for anything and here in the US you don't get your legal fees covered even if you win, so you can win and still lose
  20. With agencies sending out their images to 80 distribution partners or more, it seems that true exclusivity isn't possible. But if an agency wants you to place your images exclusively with them, they need to produce results via high image prices and quantity as well. RM seems to have no meaning here anymore, you can't even restrict things by industry, so if you license an image directly for an use that's exclusive to a particular industry, you need to remove the image from here completely even though in most instances the licenses would not conflict. If the images the OP refers to here were licensed to newspapers that number their subscribers in the millions, as appears to often have been the case, then that use would normally be considered an "extended license" as that term is understood in that segment of the industry. If they licensed a very large image for a billboard, again, it would require a significantly more expensive license. RF in the micro industry isn't RF as we understand it, it's really a hybrid. You need an extended license for true RF, and even then sensitive uses are not permitted under most licenses, unless you the buyer pays more and there is an unrestricted release, unlike Alamy's RF.
  21. I've been with Alamy since 2008. I forgot that when they went from 60% to 50% they promised us they wouldn't drop our commissions again. . We should be grandfathered in. But in reality, that's not going to happen. After giving it some real thought, I have to say Alamy's concession that if we tick off our images as "exclusive," then we can get the commission that they agreed to pay us in the first instance, isn't really a concession at all. It's a way to stop us all from running off and putting our images elsewhere, where those images will compete with Alamy. I will probably end up ticking some RM images as exclusive (I'm not going to cut off my nose to spite my face), but after doing a realistic analysis, this royalty cut means that if I'm going to upload a thousand new images, this year, which was my plan, they need to go to an agency where the returns justify the efforts, and if that doesn't happen, then I need to upload them to more than just Alamy if I'm going to get the reward I'd expect for the effort I've made in taking and processing them. I just uploaded about 35 images earlier today, so I'm not giving up here, but I also uploaded them elsewhere.
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