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About IanDavidson

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  • Joined Alamy
    10 Nov 2015

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  1. I have no “inside” information on Alamy, but I did spend more than thirty years in financial services/investment banking and gained an MBA during that period. it is entirely up to the Directors of Alamy how they run their business: including business strategy, dividend policy and the like. They own the business. As contributors we are not shareholders (although we are most definitely stakeholders, as are the staff, the buyers etc). We each volunteer to enter a clear commercial agency (in the legal sense) agreement with Alamy. We hand over, in part to Alamy the marketing, pricing and licensing of our images, for which we pay them a percentage of each sale.. If we don’t like that process we have the right, within the terms of the agreement, to cease to have a commercial agreement. That is the long and short of it. The stock photography market is in the process of change, perhaps even “creative destruction”. Like many industries (think Thomas Cook and Flybe in the holiday industry) stock photography is changing and it may be considered somewhat King Canute like to resist the incoming tide. I hope you do not mind this extended metaphor, but it is relevant. When in investment banking I had some small part in the financing of the takeover of a well known football club. I was in a meeting with the potential owners. They had met with outrage from fans and punters all offering “advice” on both the takeover and how to run the club. One of the senior directors of the bank pointed out that in that room we had decades of experience of running global football/sporting clubs and brands, people being paid million of pounds to make the deal happen and funding it. While we took note of the views of the fans as stakeholders, in the deal room we had all available information, numbers crunched by “”rocket scientist” analysts, risk analysis by leading experts in that field as well as extended market/brand analysis by two of the leading economic consultancies in the world. Thus the economic and corporate decisions that were being made, regardless, in some respects, of outcomes ( where there are always elements of randomness and “luck”), were as informed as it was possible to be. The fans and punters offering advice had a tiny view of the overall picture. As contributors we have a tiny view of the total picture, and while offering our views as stakeholders is a legitimate exercise we should do so in the context of limited market information and knowledge. As an individual I believe (and freely admit that I do not know) that Alamy works in my interests and the interest of other stakeholders such as buyers, , (as it is in Alamy’s best interests to maximise revenue, customer satisfaction and attempt to balance supply and demand) within the confines of the “dead hand” of the market, and I am happy for them to operate as they think best. Should I cease to believe that the “Exit door” is well signposted.
  2. Thanks for the spot, corrected. I suspect my protests about College Green will be unsuccessful. It will be a big loss.
  3. For those of you who don’t know, College Green is a small green area across from the Houses of Parliament in London. It is occasionally used as a “media village” during times of political drama. It is actually owned by the Parliamentary Estate and under control of Black Rod and the Speaker. This is a major photo spot for us freelancers with press cards. It puts us on the same footing as the BBC, PA etc in terms of access. I have had published photos of politicians taken there (and Photographed Brian May there last week). The Speaker is proposing to stop the media using this area because of the disruption by protesters. This would block us from getting photos and once more give advantage to PA, Reuters etc who have access to the Houses of Parliament. I will be writing to the Speaker and my MP to protest and would urge Alamy and individual contributors to do the same.
  4. I found it when I clicked on an image, as a buyer. It came up above the pricing information
  5. I may be late to the party, but I notice Alamy is now offering download packs for editorial and personal use.
  6. Markus, with respect, this is one of two posts you have made recently comparing Alamy with other stock platforms. I suggest you read the comprehensive guidance issued by Alamy and perhaps read through the forum posts before submitting both pictures (where you have had issues) and posting on these boards. I do not wish to be unkind, but Alamy is not the same (similar perhaps) to other stock agencies. It has clearly established, and in my view, efficient, ways to carry our its business. Yes, there is a learning curve, yes people will try to help you, but assuming Alamy works the same way as other stock agencies may be considered misguided.
  7. Chuck I have great respect for your views and I take criticism as a learning experience. I absolutely agree Alamy is an excellent agency. I also share your concern over falling prices, but that is the market rather than Alamy. Although having said that my number of sales have doubled every year over the last four (from a low base), although my revenue has not followed that trend. I am not expecting a continuation of the sales trend in 2020. I agree, at least from my own experience, with your comments on people putting up too many images. There are some who use Alamy like a microstock site, but Alamy works best, I think, as a more targeted editorial site. I occasionally try general stock, but I lack confidence in that area: I am a news shooter, it is what I know I guess. I am going to try to do a bit more stock, but not at the expense of my news shoots. A happy new year to you, the contributors who have become my friends on the Westminster beat, (you know who you are) and, of course, the Alamy staff without whom none of this would be possible. Good shooting....
  8. I have bee criticised for my comment and it is true to say that there are some photographers who make good sales from a relatively small (1,000plus) images. The “old” rule used to be 1 sale per month per 1,000 images. But, I am not sure that still works. I don’t think you can usefully compare Alamy with other platforms. Alamy is largely an editorial agency and appears to have a slightly different market segment. It’s prices are, in very general terms and in my direct experience as a news shooter, better than many other agencies. best of luck
  9. V/S is 227 for the year. I was a little.surprised as 90% of my photos are “Live News” and thus do not tend to get zoomed as often as stock. I tend to keyword on a minimalist basis as this is often how news photography works. Occasionally I will revisit and add keywords.
  10. Well in my way of thinking mid thousands would be around 5,000. I agree my post is a bit misleading as I guess it could refer to 50,000.....
  11. Vice.com has used several Alamy pictures, including mine, in its article on The top 50 Dickheads of the Decade” https://www.vice.com/en_uk/article/ne884g/villains-of-the-2010s-worst-people includes Mark Kerrison UWE DEFFNER RUSSELL HART GUY CORBISHLEY AF ARCHIVE MARK THOMAS ALEX SMITH IMAGECHINA LIMITED MARK WAUGH JANINE WIEDEL PHOTOLIBRARY ADAM GASSON
  12. I can highly recommend photo mechanic. It has increased by workflow speed by over 50%. I spend a lot of time in Downing Street covering cabinet meetings. I have a cabinet meeting template that gives location and date and caption The keyword field is pre populated (more on this later). I have a (constantly changing) list of ministers set up so I just type /javid/ and I get Sajid Javid Chancellor of the Exchequer “ (correct spelling and job title ) Add this same /javid/ in the keyword field and sorted. I go through my photos in PM giving them a star marking and only export to Lightroom those with a five star rating thus cutting down the Lightroom overhead. If, as is often the case, I am running with two or more stories I can select which photos to import with which template. I also set up a basic template which populates all the IPTC fields so I just have to add title, caption and keywords. Alamy has issued guidance for the title/caption for UK election photos. I will set this up in a template before I go out later so I just have to add a few details. PM is a real time saver and should increase title and caption accuracy and consistency.
  13. You are in a public place, in a costume, what do you expect? It is legal and within the Editors Code, to take pictures in a public place of anyone. It is “nice” to ask permission but not at all necessary....
  14. Jools, thanks. I was going to use a grided off camera flash, but the kit is quite old, gen 1. I was surprised it still worked...,
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