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About IanDavidson

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  • Joined Alamy
    10 Nov 2015

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  1. Joseph is spot on. There are nearly 170 million images on sale and thousands of images sold every week. The sales of any one contributor is noise rather than signal. I despair slightly over these type of questions. It is “nice” to chat about sales but to try to make any meaningful analysis is statistically pointless. I suspect that that there is a Prato distribution with 20% of contributors making 80% of sales, but even that is a guess....
  2. Hi (again) I like your portfolio, but as noted more work is needed on keywords and captions. For animals and flora/fauna Latin names and full breed titles are needed as these are common search terms. You have some nice model shots, but try to get them to do something for more marketable photograph. You are right, finding out about local events, in advance is difficult. Twitter is your friend. Every morning I search twitter for “Brentwood” where I live. Often events and incidents appear first on Twitter. Even the “why is the police helicopter over my house” is worth a look. The local fire service website will often carry live incident news. I find the police much more difficult. Despite a Press card and a good “news” reputation with on the ground officers I find the Essex Police press office unhelpful. Which is sad as I am a supporter of the local police I pick up up a few local stories from Facebook but it is not designed for this type of activity. Local political parties may be a source of information. However, at least around here they seem to have a “fear” of photo coverage. But, I have some contacts and recently picked up some local, but nationally relevant stories. My local MP is now PPS to Boris Johnson so there is a possibility of the very occasional local news lead. There is a general election in the offing, but, due to cited security reasons, but much more to do with media management, access to events or even advanced information will be difficult for freelancers. There will be so called public meetings but they will not be advertised (until after the event) and open to invitees only.... That leads on on to the “contacts” issue. Over the years I have built up local contacts of two sorts. The first is, as indicated, local politicians, business people, schools etc who I can contact to follow up on twitter stories etc. The second sort are the “informants”. Who, if they see something interesting, a police incident etc, will let me know. My son is great at spotting a potential story and giving me a ring. I often catch stories not covered by the local media. (Who often ask, and don’t get, free pictures) The “Westminster beat” which is where I do most of my work, is interesting. I subscribe to a very expensive newswire service, but find I pick up just as many stories by being in the right place at the right time. Yesterday I went to Downing Street on a “random” visit and found out John Bolton, US National Security Advisor, was on a meet and greet with Sajid Javid.... Just by being in the Westminster area during weekdays will nearly guarantee a story or three. Some of my fellow togs concentrate on certain themes and build up contacts with campaign groups etc who not only feed them photo opportunities but also sometimes provide them with PR work. I also find talking to some of the agency togs is helpful in terms of events. Some, not all, are generous with tip offs. Camera crews are also an excellent source of information once you get to know them. In my early days I would follow camera crews around as they would, inevitably, head for a story. I know now you have religious connections, that in itself is a workable niche. With the right contacts etc Being a freelance news photographer is badly paid (and getting worse) I know one well known, frequently published news contributor who has given up largely for that reason. access to information is most difficult. Getting accreditation is difficult, sometimes impossible. I am on the mailing list of a couple of PR companies and that helps. A National Press card is essential. It will not, in most cases, get you access but it will allow you to talk to the doorkeeper. For me, “finding the story” is an enjoyable part of the professional challenge. Best of luck... By the way, I lived in Didcot then Abingdon (home of Alamy) for many years, before having to live in Essex... Ian
  3. That is a loverly thought, but I am not fit to lick the boots of these Magnum togs. I would love to take that course but at £3,000 a bit out of my price range....
  4. Only very occasionally. Old images have a habit of selling sometime down the line. I also try hard not to take images of the same subject which are similar.
  5. https://mobile.twitter.com/RebeccaCNReid/status/1159138755158126592 Another interesting discussion on the use of social media images, without payment, by a national newspaper. I believe the the law is clear, the photographer holds the copyright, (except for embedded tweets) but given the discussion on this topic I may be wrong.... In general, I tend only to post my Alamy watermarked images when marketing my news stories.
  6. One of the finalists, the Army guy is an Alamy contributor. I can not remember his name, but someone will..... I think he might be out of the army now
  7. Chuck and Phil, thank you for your comments. Chuck, I do try to be careful what I upload. I would admit that I make too many photos, but I try to select and edit carefully so I have a range of newsworthy photos, even if they are just Downing Street headshots. I take into account what ministers are attracting news coverage and also with a view as to what will work on the page and website. The downside is that I sometimes don’t upload Ministers who are subsequently in a scandal;resign. Again, picking up your point, I do shoot a variety of news not covered by other photographers (see my comment on facial recognition below) Phil, I took your advice about culling and had deleted some photos. But, as noted above, I don’t have a lot of close similars. Also, I have found I do sell “old” headshots. Yesterday I sold quite an old headshot of Gavin Williamson. A lot of my recent sales have been from the met police facial recognition trial in Romford about a year ago. Including a print sale in The Observer on Sunday. I guess the issue, as Phil identified, is falling prices, rising costs. I do try to run at least three or four stories each day I am in London not to mention local stories that may have a national impact to reduce costs. (Nigel Farage at the Sugar Hut Brentwood; you could not make this stuff up) I guess i just just need to shoot more just to stand still. At this point in the year I have sold as many photos as all of last year but my revenue is roughly 60% of last year....
  8. While I know the program is highly staged I did enjoy it. The judges, while it maybe alleged are playing to the camera, their comments can be interesting in terms of story telling and that elusive contact with the photographic subject. They must get releases otherwise it would would be difficult to show on television given different countries laws on this subject. I would say it is definitely worth a watch...
  9. Thank you all for your suggestions, I will work out a plan over the next few months. It is a pity that news photography just does not seem to pay the bills anymore
  10. True, and you are not the first person to make the comment. Freelance news photographers are having to diversify to make a living. It is a pity as I love 💕 live news work.
  11. Hi, i know I have had a portfolio review before but this is a different question. About 95% of my pictures are Live News and of those 90% are from Downing Street and Westminster. I have a reasonable level of news web sales (anything from 10 to 30) and monthly print sales. (Between 1 and 5) This give a reasonable income for the three to four days a week I put in. (I have childcare responsibilities) The Cabinet Minister/Prime Minister shots are best sellers. However, I am not getting the level of print sales of friends covering broadly the same subjects. I am aware that the subject of my photography puts me up against the big agencies such as PA and Reuter’s etc so competition is fierce. (And I am frequently surprised when my pictures are used rather than theirs.). I do keyword my news sales as they often pop up as stock. I try the “less is more” with news pictures as the subject is not really conducive to wide key-wording. I do try to widen the scope with weather photos, local (Essex) events and a tiny bit of stock. My trusty (and expensive) Nikon D5 is on its way to the shop as the LCD screen has stopped working so I am using the time to review my business and shooting plans for the next six months, What can I do with my portfolio to improve sales? Any help appreciated https://www.alamy.com/portfolio/iandavidsonphotography
  12. Pail, you are asking two completely different questions. Only you can decide if using Alamy is right for you. Your sales figures are meaningless to anyone else but you. I earn more than a colleague but he has almost no costs, I have a lot of costs. Etc. You have a relatively small portfolio so you so you have a long way to go if you stay. You do have a variety of pictures, some of which I find interesting. I do find a lot of variety in quality however, some appear, on my ipad to be over exposed, but that may just be me. Some pictures are “snapshot” quality and some are excellent. Where I think I have identified potential issues are captions and keywording. Some of your captions are just wrong. For example one or more are captioned something like statute of Monty and no statute... To me your keywords are, in many cases, too generic and too few. I would guess you may use other agencies and are using their standards. You need to keyword much more accurately and tightly to bring your images, which are quite marketable, to the attention of buyers. Do you analyse you AIM data for searches? That will give you some clues as to appropriate search terms. It it is something of a Catch 22. You spend the time keywording you will get sales. Do not spend the time and effort you will not.
  13. Please do not name them I do not need the litigation....😊
  14. I have been paid for this. I do not know if by Wikipedia or by the OBV organisation (that Sir Simon is Chairman) that then passed it to them. The organisation has told me they will get Wikipedia to change the incorrect credit. As long as I have been paid.....
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