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Steve Valentia

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Everything posted by Steve Valentia

  1. Baker by name and baker by nature, it seems. Thanks for the tip!
  2. I've got a craving lately for chocolate coated peanuts, but Alamy won't even stretch to those with some editorial sales!
  3. I suspect @Marianne didn't do anything about it. The Lighthouse below is (literally) 5 minutes drive from my house. I photograph it regularly, and it is a location for the workshops I offer, on a weekly basis, for individuals and groups. I have also been paid to teach there for the Great Irish Lighthouses organization who own it and I know all of the committee members who run it. They are delighted to have it appear (as it has) in magazines and books and they frequently share my social media posts. They even gave away 100 postcards with my details on the back, and a photo of it on the front, at the hut where tourists pay to visit the lighthouse. I have never asked them to sign a PR and no one has ever told me it's not needed. I would assume that most other lighthouse owners, especially those that are a commercial venture (and many are), would be happy to see it published. The main point about any release, though, is that the purchaser of the image (not the photographer) is responsible for determining if it's needed. I just put "NO" next to 'Do you have a signed Property Release', and leave it to whoever is buying the image to decide if they need it signed.
  4. It's easy to get a cut-out look by increasing the exposure on the background. I hope you don't mind, but I did this on one of your images, in Lightroom, using the adjustment brush tool, with an increase of 2/3's of a stop on the exposure. This is a bit rough, as I spent (literally) only 2 minutes on it. But it shows what can be done. Be careful of the shadows under the objects, though. These are harder to take out. Try to get the soft-box immediately above the objects, rather than on an angle to them when shooting. Also, having all objects on the background (rather than above others), will help to reduce shadows.
  5. My Lightroom routine starts with sorting the rubbish, often whittling down 100 images to 15 or less. Under/over exposed, camera shake, poor composition, high noise etc etc all get the big X. But, I still may be left with more than 5 that are all "good", and sufficiently varied. It's then that submission choices get tricky.
  6. Don't ask me! I've just given advice on not using too many similars, in another thread, and then checked my 'blue number', to find 6 or 7 of the same scene. Not, the same image, exactly, as most of them have changes of pose or angle or editing. When I get a good scene in front of me, I tend to "milk it", not knowing when to stop shooting. On the other hand, part of me thinks it's better to give the client what you want them to see, and not too much choice as they might not be able to decide at all. Help!
  7. Some very useful advice here, especially from @Betty LaRue whose response was an object-lesson in how to submit for various types of stock library. My own input is threefold: 1) You need a lot more images than 170 (ish) before you should even worry about making sales (as others have said), and they should be as different as possible. To my mind, you have too many "similars" and this narrows down your actual collection to about 1/3rd the size. 2) I would, personally, consider whether some of the edited images would work for the Alamy market. Who would use a black-and-white bobbin of cotton, for example. If you're sure of the answer keep it in. If not, submit images that suit the marketplace. 3) I interviewed the late Keith Morris, shortly before his sad passing, and he told me "people sell for Alamy. One person doing one thing sells very well." His massive sales figures proved that to be right.
  8. As it has Digital use, try a reverse image search, it may show up somewhere (eventually). My biggest single sale was nearly $500, and I had a few around $300 - $400 when I first started with Alamy, but that was a long time ago.
  9. I'm not sure mine is either, to be honest. Probably just crap images! (No, I don't really believe that). I worry about Alamy. Just seen the Light-box for the IOM in October and they look like they've been selected by people with no understanding of photographic technique. Yep, sour grapes but I think I have a point.
  10. Absolutely awful October, 1 sale for $14. My total sales, for 2019 are - so far - down on last year and the year before by about 65% and 55% respectively. I was contacted by another contributor (and a really good pro photographer), to ask about my experience, as he had sold only 1 or 2 images all year. He wondered if there had been changes to Alamy's Algorithm. I don't know about that, but I do know I'm disappointed. Last year I made 88 sales ($2500 revenue). This year, so far, I have made 30 sales ($875, my lowest since 2013). Alamy removed me from submitting to the news feed, saying that I had not made any news sales in 2018, when I had actually made about 30 sales as a result of contributing to Live News. But, my sales figures don't agree. After I made a complaint, I was allowed contribute "reportage" (immediate acceptance of the images), but not the news feed. it seems to have had a big affect on my overall sales, so far.
  11. Update: Mine's just arrived. I wouldn't say up 30% (as with @spacecadet ) but definitely up; maybe 20%. Well into €€€, which was a nice surprise.
  12. Ironically, having started the thread, nothing for me yet. I'm assuming (more of a hope, really) that as I now live "abroad", my already useless bank is taking it's own sweet time to process the exchange.
  13. Design and Artists Copyright Collecting Society. It's a UK-based copyright collecting society, that gathers royalties - from books, magazines and library usage, etc, for visual artists like photographers, cartoonists and illustrators.
  14. Thanks @Nigel Kirby and everyone for the feedback. October looks favourite. I'll let you know when mine comes, and if it's on a par with previous ones. Stephen
  15. Thanks for all the replies. I had a feeling it was September for me last year, which is why I asked, but I could be wrong. I also claim directly like @M.Chapman and @Robert M Estall. I think Alamy get enough from me as it is - or they would if I had sold anything lately. it's more refunds than anything!
  16. Has anyone had their DACS Payback for 2019 yet? It may be a bit early - they pay "in the autumn". I just wanted to make sure I hadn't missed mine. Thanks, Stephen
  17. Thanks for the replies everyone. I think @Marianne hit the nail on the head. I was looking at the total CTR column and not "Your CTR".
  18. Yes, it is. I was thinking (obviously wrongly), that the CTR is based on how many of my own images were viewed (.i.e. 2 in this case). So, I thought 2 zooms from 2 views is 100% (if not, even, 200%).
  19. Today, I noticed that I had zooms on 2 images under the same search. I only had those images show up for the search, and no other images were zoomed. 4 images in total appeared in the search. My CTR was 50%. I'm puzzled by that, as only my images were zoomed, 2 zooms out of 2 hits. Should that not be a 100% CTR?
  20. Just noticed that today, as I usually come into the forum via the link at the bottom of the My Alamy page. Seems a bit odd, given that the forum must work to alleviate some of the pressure on the Contributor team.
  21. A similar story with this one, for a book in Ireland (mid $$). 2 sales of it on Tuesday, then both refunded yesterday. Then, another sale of it today for 10 cents more than the original fee. Someone's been busy with the refund button. Made a mess of my neat sales history page though.
  22. Another one this morning, April is getting busier than I thought, despite me getting kicked out of Live News (yes, I'm bitter!) Chelsea Flower show. Usage: Single company, editorial magazine, print and or web, multiple use 2 years Industry sector: Media, design & publishing. Mid $$
  23. 3 mid $$ sales came in this morning. Two are exactly the same use, so I expect one of those will go red. This is the other one.
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