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Steve Valentia

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Posts posted by Steve Valentia

  1. 3 minutes ago, Colin Woods said:

    Because this is an open forum and publicly displaying very low fees could lead to buyers seeing how low prices can go. Not everyone subscribes to this idea but quite a few do, including me. Buyers already have almost all of the negotiating power, no need to give them any more


    The buyer is not in charge of the fee if they buy here. Alamy is or YOU are. I can't see the problem (and I've been doing this for a VERY long time).

    • Upvote 1

  2. On 7/16/2018 at 19:40, JEDphoto said:

    My portfolio is super small but I try and shoot strategically with a purpose instead of just random quantity.


    I came at stock photography (over 30 years ago; and nearly 15 of those with Alamy) from a different starting point than you. That is; I avoided Microstock like the plague, since it's inception (I can remember the first adverts for FREE iStock images in US based digital imaging magazines).


    It's only in the last year that I decided to test the waters of Microstock with less than 200 images. I have sold 77 images so far, and made a grand total of €22.80. With Alamy, In the last 6 months, I sold 58 images, with total sales of $1700. No contest.


    The crunch came with the Microstock images when, only 2 weeks ago, a perfectly good, creative set of model released images (that I had gone to some lengths to take and have MR'd), were rejected on the grounds that the original artwork of the model's tattoos was not similarly "released". No furhter images of mine, of any kind, will be "released" to that library.


    As far as Alamy goes; I have had years when I sold virtually nothing. But in the last 3 years, I have made more of an effort to contribute, sending at least 30 images a week as a minimum. I have seen my sales increase exponentially as a result. I have broken my all-time record for sales 2 years running (I'm currently 10 sales above the record set last year, with 5 months to go).


    My revenue reached a peak in 2009, and I'm currently about 10 more sales short of breaking that too, so it seems that fees are climbing back up, slowly. It's certainly true that the more you (or at least, I) put into Alamy, the more I am getting out of it.


    Unfortunately though, numbers count, and the right sort of images are very important. Your current set of images is more than 10% backgrounds and/or patterns, and I'm not sure that keeping up that balance will provide regular sales. To quote one of the most successful Alamy contributors, Keith Morris, what seems to work best (at least for him) is: OPDOT - one person, doing one thing. There are exceptions to this rule, of course and one of my biggest repeat sellers is an image of an Irish antiquity photographed in a museum (with permission).


    However, this one is of OPDOT; and made a healthy $50 this morning. Good luck with your Alamy adventure.








  3. Only 1 of my 3 pseudonyms are showing. My main one (about 6000 images) is missing along with another, that I only use occasionally. The one that is showing only has 300 images associated with it.


    No one has mentioned contacting Contributor Services (probably the most useful thing to do), so I've done it. I'll let you know if I get a reply.

  4. 3 hours ago, M.Chapman said:


    Sounds like you could get similar information from looking at "Alamy Measure" for "All of Alamy" with the advantage that it's quicker, far more extensive, and there will be less competition.




    I totally agree, except I was assuming (maybe wrongly) that when Alamy Content put out a request, that the client is prepared to wait for the images to come in (maybe not). I also assumed that they won't be looking to pay for a shoot (maybe they will). Searches in Alamy measures strike me as being too late to do anything about, as  the client won't be doing another search (but maybe they will).

  5. 8 minutes ago, geogphotos said:


    On the contrary once you have the lead you interpret it and produce stock images. That way not everybody will be producing the same images. 


    If that is not what somebody wants to do they may well be better sticking to commissions rather than stock.


    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.

  6. 12 minutes ago, Starsphinx said:

    I would imagine its more a case of Alamy want as wide an image coverage as possible - they would rather have as many different types of women eating as many different types of Doritos in as many different ways and places as possible than have every photographer contributing women in their 40s eating plain Doritos from a bag on the sofa.  I mean that may well be what this client is looking for this week but next week the next client might want young women eating flavoured Doritos while out walking with friends.


    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).


    13 minutes ago, Starsphinx said:

    Also, I believe (but could be wrong) they build the briefs from multiple searches by multiple clients.  It's not one client saying they want woman eating Doritos its ten clients saying they want women eating 10 clients saying they want Doritos - so an overreaching brief is formed out of all the clients



    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.


  7. 7 minutes ago, geogphotos said:

    ...but also need not to cross the line encouraging multiple unpaid photographers producing speculative 'non-commissions'. 


    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.



    • Upvote 2

  8. 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).



  9. 9 minutes ago, andremichel said:

    Maybe generally zooms are down across the board regardless of whether you are uploading or not. 




    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. 44 minutes ago, Lori Rider said:


    Thanks, Steve. That's generally what I'm doing--I try to shoot everywhere I go and now I'm shooting with stock in mind too. I have way too many submissions to catch up on keywording, and lots more to submit when I have time. Never enough time for everything I need to do.


    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. 26 minutes ago, Lori Rider said:


    Thank you! I'm way more excited than I should be LOL. Now to sell a few more so I can actually get paid... ;)


    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. 

    • Upvote 2

  12. 1 hour ago, Martin P Wilson said:


    Could they have  used a US format date (MM/DD/YYYY- 5/12/2018) that should have been 12 May 2018 (12/5/2018)


    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.

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