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Steve Valentia

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Everything posted by Steve Valentia

  1. When I started in stock photography, in the late 1970's, I bought an excellent book on freelance photography by Ed Buziak (I now have a cherished B/W print on my kitchen wall by the great man, and a signed copy of the book). In it, he listed numerous ideas for stock shooting and also suggested keeping an eye on "wants" lists supplied by stock agencies such as Tony Stone. I always interpreted these in my own way and sometimes just used them as a springboard for shooting, when I had otherwise run out of ideas. So, I agree with you that it's useful to interpret such requests. But, I was under the impression that in the case of Alamy Picture needs, the client may have had a specific image in mind. They may, of course, just want to see what comes in and pick the best from the 400 or so submissions. In which case, I'll stick to winning the lottery.
  2. My view would be that the next client should specific how they want their client to look and act when eating their Doritos, or fries, or burger or cheese salad. That way they have more chance of getting the shot (and so do we). Contributor services said this... When we post vague picture needs like this it’s usually because this is the only information we have. We collect data from customer searches so ‘woman eating Doritos’ would have been a search term used by the customer so we don’t have any other information than that. In these cases, it’s worth uploading a variety of options if you can.
  3. June is turning out to be a slower month than the first half of the year, so far, with only 6 sales. This is the best one so far ($73), a Martin guitar, studio shot.
  4. My point is that if you're going to attempt supply images for the picture needs (which is a speculative non-commission), then it would be better for the photographer, and the client for there to be as much information provided as possible. If you don't want to do make a submission on the grounds that it's odds-on that your image won't be chosen, then you may not be suited for stock photography; because that's the nature of it. Contributor services have just let me know about a new tool coming soon, that will allow you to keep the picture needs on your dashboard and tick off which ones to which you have responded.
  5. Not on me, I've been using that expression all my life (probably a Northern English term; Lancashire or Yorkshire). I'm so old now that I no long clean my clogs, as I expect to pop them very soon.
  6. I’ve been working hard to increase my contributions and sales over the last 18 months, and to some extent this is working. I have now exceeded my all-time record for sales in 1 year (which is not huge, but I’m encouraged). I’m sending in more news images, and also responding, where I can, to #Alamypicneeds. I've contacted Contributor Services to ask if they might be able to offer more information for some requests, such as “Woman Eating Doritos”, for which I have uploaded 23 images, yesterday. I’m an experienced commercial and advertising photographer and know that when fulfilling a brief like that, as much information as possible will help to give the client what they require. As it stands, it’s just hit and miss as to whether the brief is met as “Woman Eating Doritos” is a very wide brief. My view is that If they were able to post other details, perhaps on another page it could help (not just for this request but many others). For example, how old is the woman; what shape and size; what colour hair; where is she eating the Doritos; what kind of Doritos; what size pack; is the pack in the shot; what facial expression is she using…etc, etc. I wondered what others thought of my suggestion...(runs to hide behind the couch, eating a large pack of Doritos).
  7. Thanks for the replies guys. I left my 5 images sitting there for over 20 minutes and they slowly uploaded - took about another 15 minutes for them all to upload. I trust Contributor Services are aware of it? I'm thankful that I wasn't planning on uploading 50 images today.
  8. 13.50 GMT Thursday 14th June. Absolutely nothing happening with 5 images I'm trying to upload. My connection is quite fast (just tested it). Anyone else had this problem today, or know of an issue? Thanks, Steve
  9. I don't think my zooms are "down". as mentioned, I've probably sold as many zoomed as non-zoomed images, in the 14 or so years I've been with Alamy and that doesn't seem to have changed significantly.
  10. Hope I was helpful Lori. Keep up with the key-wording, even at the expense of sending in more images. You may have some great images but if no one can see them; they are of no use to anyone.
  11. It's a good feeling, getting a sale and even better is seeing your images in print. I still get that buzz 35 years or more after my first published image (and I'm now associate editor of a camera magazine). My best advice, though, is to concentrate on two other S words. Not "sales", but "shooting" and "submissions". Keep taking photographs (with an eye on the content requests and blogs Alamy puts out) and keep submitting them. Don't worry about the sales, the more you shoot and submit, the more you sell.
  12. Yes, that could definitely explain it. But, I'm guessing there must be a 'fail-safe' for this, otherwise the feed would surely be flooded with US date-stamped images stuck at the front for weeks.
  13. Another one dropped in this morning; $50. Very close to breaking my all-time record for sales in one year with 6 months to go. Rock on!
  14. When I read the OP I thought that the issue would be about the captioning and tags on the image. They are probably some of the worst I have seen. But if they are typical of others around, then I can sleep more easily about my own.
  15. I reported an issue to the news editors, at the weekend, that at least one contributor, A stock agency, is using a future date stamp on their news images. When I noticed it, at least two images that arrived on the feed had a date of 5th December 2018. This meant that those images stayed at the top of the feed. I haven't looked in the last few days to see if they are still there, but it is something to watch out for as it detracts from all the correctly dated images arriving.
  16. At least half the sales I make are from images that do not appear in my zoom list. I do think, though, that since I started making more regular contributions, after a long hiatus, both my zooms and sales have picked up to the point where I'm disappointed if I don't see a sale every 2 or 3 days. In my "down time" I was lucky to see a sale every month. Last year, I broke my all-time record for sales in a year. This year, I have 7 sales to go to break that record and 6 months to do it in. Not sure at all if there a connection, but as J Paul Getty said..."the harder I work, the luckier I get!"
  17. Thanks Paul. This is a complex question, and the answer varies depending on which country you fly the drone in. It is usually more to do with whether you can fly the drone for commercial purposes, rather than sell the photographs from it. In the US and UK, you will need a commercial drone license to fly a drone for "work" (that is; you fly expecting a fee for your services), which usually involves undertaking a course. In Ireland - where I live - all drones should be registered with the IAA, but there is no such thing as a "professional" or "commercial" drone pilot. However, there are restrictions on how and where you can fly the drone. If you want to fly outside of those restrictions (this may be necessary to undertake commercial work) you will need permission from the IAA, who may grant you a license for that flight; and you have to attend a course to be in a position to apply for the license. Oddly, in the US (not sure about the UK), it is legal to sell images or video taken with a drone used initially for hobby purposes and not for commercial use, after the fact. So, if you fly the drone for fun and then someone wants to buy a photo you took with it, you're not breaking the law.
  18. Really? Where did that figure come from? There are far too many variables to pin stock success down to 800 images for regular sales. 10 000 images of an undesirable subject, or of a desirable one badly photographed still wouldn't be enough.
  19. This was my first Alamy sale, made in September 2005, 6 months after I joined. I'm not sure of how many images I had contributed at the time, but I reckon it was less than 300. It's a RF sale that made $248. It shows a barrow stuck in manure. Not a bad analogy for my photography career at present.
  20. I thought I'd try (God forgive me), a microstock firm last year, for the first time in a very long photography career. So far 60 sales, netting $18.76. 3 Alamy sales in May 2018 so far, netting $200. I am also very close to breaking my all time record for sales in a year, and there's more than half of the year to go! You have around 900 images for sale, which, in the grand Alamy scheme of things, is smaller than half a drop of water in several large oceans. My advice is try harder and spend even more time on it than you have so far, and you may (may) get a sale or two.
  21. First drone image to sell and a 3 figure sale from one of 15 weather news sales this month - from the same shoot (mix of camera and drone).
  22. Thanks for the reply Wim, it was actually your suggestion about the tablet and pen that got me to buy one, but I'm just admiring it unplugged most of the time as I found it less effective than the mouse. Probably because I'm not used to it. I have over 6000 images with Alamy, contributed since 2004, and hundreds of thousands of others scattered across numerous external hard drives. It would take far longer to find the Alamy images to re-upload them than to work slowly on the re-keywording as I am now. I did get a spreadsheet, but again not being familiar with it slowed me down. I found that I had to keep comparing the uploaded images with the image ID on the spreadsheet to know which one I was keywording. I've tried the dragging method and this has some effect. Occasionally though I get error messages about having too many supertags! I wish!
  23. Forget "here comes the sun..." snow's the way to go! As mentioned, my first ever weather news submission (of snow), about a month ago, nabbed 15 sales (with a range of fees from $120 to $10) and I'm hopeful of more from them. Unless I'm frozen out of the running.
  24. I just wondered if my comments were helpful, as I saw that you responded to a joke about the Scottish weather, made shortly before my own original post. I agree with you that the parameters seem illogical, and the decision on whether (or weather) you get an image rejected or not, may be bordering on arbitrary. I would say though (as per my previous post), that there could be a psychological association between weather and nature, and this may account for the animal images you cited being accepted. I'm not saying that is right, I'm just suggesting that the news feed editors may have deemed it more likely to "fit" than the image you submitted. Like most things, being successful in stock photography is knowing how to play the game.
  25. I know one of the people you mentioned in my capacity as associate editor of a UK camera magazine and I realize that he does well with weather news images, sunsets especially. I’m now based in Ireland, and so my outlets are limited for weather shots, although The Sun (ironically) has an Irish edition, and I sold 15 weather images to it last week, from the same shoot. My point was that I think weather is being interpreted too broadly and that may account for some news rejections. I made the same point above, with some helpful suggestions to the OP but as of now my reply has not received a response.
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