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About riccarbi

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    Forum newbie

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  • Location
    Cremona, Italy
  • Interests
    architecture, art, food


  • Alamy URL
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  • Joined Alamy
    31 Mar 2014

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418 profile views
  1. I agree this could be extremely useful in certain cases, like a football match (you previously know the players of each team, presumably), and even in a museum (of which you already know what's in the collection). By and large, it is always useful when you have previous information about what you are going to picture, or when you frequently take photos at the same subject in different contexts (i.e. football stars, showbiz celebrities, politicians, and so on). Unfortunately, this method would be largely useless in my case. As in many special exhibitions of contemporary art, you already know some details (the venue, the city, the name of the artists featured, for example) but most of the artworks on view are totally new, artworks which have never been displayed before; furthermore, the exhibitors always keep their artwork list as secret as they can (I read all their official press release in advance and they never mention a single artwork's title). That's why I always prepare a lot of keywords in advance that many pictures will arguably share and which I can cut and paste in seconds (such as: Venice, Art, Biennale, 2019, Venice Biennale, Biennial, exhibition, Arsenale, Arsenal, exhibition, British Pavilion, and other 40 or 50 of them....). Yet, I still have to check and write a lot of details I can't prepare beforehand such as work's title, year, owner, technique, main color, media, type of artwork (sculpture, sculptural installation, painting, drawing, video-art, photograph. mixed-media, audio-visual, ...), ownership, and so on; moreover I have to check if there are special copyright conditions and /or attributions I have to comply with or which prevent me to sell my picture (and that's a pain in the neck, every time). To do that in a couple of minutes, would mean to make a mess, believe me. Contemporary art is a very specific niche, I know; with its own odd rules.... Nevertheless, thank you for your suggestion; for other subjects, I'll certainly give Photomechanic a look.
  2. Thank you, Sultanpepa. That's useful advice, I'll contact the contributor support and explain my case. I'll report their answer here. Just to clarify my point. With the new, shorter time limit, Alamy clearly expressed its vision about what a "Live News" picture actually is. And most of my pictures, IMHO, are simply not that kind of photos (namely, they do not depict sports events, celebrations, political events, and so on). I can't properly prepare 100, or even just 10, images within one hour, because in that hour I am still shooting and moving from one venue to another until midnight and beyond. And the following day it's just the same. Therefore, there is currently a gap between pictures which lose much of their value within a day and should be really considered "Live News", and evergreen photos which I will sell maybe five years from now. There are photos you will sell in 2023, perhaps, but that you'll sell much more probably within a week. They are neither "Live News" nor evergreen, but something in between which would much benefit from a quicker revision process during the weekend or, alternatively, with an "Extended News" category with a different submission deadline. PS. "very special press pass" was ironic, anyway I've just deleted it since that was clearly not obvious to all...
  3. Sorry, but this is a bit offending. I have a Press Pass, not a Press Photographer Pass, because I write from 20 to 40 articles about the Venice Biennale (art and architecture) each year. Furthermore, I have access to the first day of press preview which is restricted to major newspapers and magazines which are covering the Biennale for, at least, five years. (If you have ever been there, you know that shooting decent photos on the third press preview day is almost impossible due to the crowd) I shoot a large number of photos there (usually from 500 to 1,000), but only a small part of them is included in my articles, while the others go to Alamy. Live News is useful for...news, not for contemporary art pictures which have a complex and long keywording process (you have to clearly identify the artist, the artwork's title, the year, check for previous copyright restrictions, and so on). You can't do that in minutes, because no one is interested in "a picture of artwork at the Venice Art Biennale 2019", you must add a lot of details to make it commercially interesting. I try to do my best and, in a day or two, I write five to six articles, select and edit about 100 pictures (discarding 200 more pictures which are repetitive or technically not enough good to be published), both those for my articles and those to be sent to Alamy, and put all that stuff online. Therefore, my first pictures are potentially available for other magazines usually on Friday morning, which is when I begin sending them to Alamy for QC (the Biennale opens to the public on Saturday and all the publishers which haven't sent their photographer to it are looking for pictures from Friday evening to Sunday morning. I am aware that contemporary art and architecture are small niche markets, and I understand Alamy can't change its QC process for what is just a small number of additional sales, compared to their 160-million-picture repository. Yet, at least in my case, a QC running six days a week could be very, very useful. Most online agencies work 7 days a week (for example, outsourcing support and evaluation processes overseas), so I am just suggesting to Alamy to consider such a move seriously.
  4. Live News is not feasible for me. It takes no less than two full days to cover the Venice Biennale. Thereafter you have to develop and edit each photo, check image quality, prepare captions, keywords and so on... 48 hours are not enough to post a significant number of images this way. Furthermore, I used to post Live News pictures in the past and I didn't sell a single one of them, perhaps Alamy is not considered a reference in the LN market, who knows... What I tried to say is that, In today's world, Saturday is a working day for many of us, including me. To rent someone to do the QC on Saturdays doesn't look a big effort IMHO, and would make Alamy more competitive in the Stock Photo market at a reasonable cost, arguably. To wait from Friday morning to Monday evening (or even Tuesday) from uploading to having your images available for keywording is too much, in the current World Wide Web ecosystem; or, at least, I believe it is.
  5. I am a photographer mostly focused on contemporary art & architecture. Last week I went to the Venice Art Biennale, three days before the grand opening, with my press pass (it took me five years to get the Wednesday pass, while the exhibition opens to the public on Saturday). I shoot about 500 pictures, developed about 100 of them, and started uploading to Alamy. Thereafter... I started to wait. Processing stage, evacuating stage, database update... Meanwhile, many similar photos were already available (and searchable on Google) on two other stock photo agencies (guess you all know whom I am speaking about...). Alamy, have you ever wondered about renting someone to review contributors' pictures in the weekend, just to compete with your rivals, especially after the recent restrictions in Live News picture requirements? Today I added about 50 new (news?) pictures; yet, I'll arguably have to wait until Monday afternoon to see whether they were approved. or not. A waste of time and money, for both me and you.
  6. I'm not saying you can't make money on Alamy. To be honest, I have been pretty happy with Alamy, so far. I did some math and, currently, an hour spent to edit and keywording an image (not counting the time required for shooting that picture, something I do for other reasons than selling it) could pay me about $35 within ten years. In 2018, I sold 30 photos with a small port of 600 images (now it's a bit larger) with an average CTR of 1,15. I can't complain about that. Yet, apart from a $205 sale, I got a lot of low-value sales in 2018, and my average (gross) revenue per image sold dropped from $47 in 2017 to $33 in 2018. I don't have much information, admittedly, but, based on other contributors' experience, it seems that prices are quickly dropping in this market. Therefore my calculation on how much posting a photo on Alamy actually will pay me can be overestimated. If in the future it will drop under $10 per hour of work, publishing new images on Alamy (or on other online stock agencies) won't worth the effort, unfortunately.
  7. Great work, but...who cares? Am I the only one missing the point of working for days just to create a picture of a digital character which looks "almost exactly" like a real person? We have 7 billion people living on this planet, I don't see the need to create other ones by CGI, those actually existing are far more interesting...
  8. I totally agree. Let's be honest, who cares about 65,437 photos of the Big Ben, 76,740 of the Eiffel Tower, 641,177 of a cat, and 1,211,607 (!) pictures of a dog? That's not providing more choice to the customer, it's only making Alamy a messy place where it's hard (and will be progressively harder) to find what you are looking for...
  9. True, yet such a situation also depends on photographers uploading to Alamy a gazillion pictures - many of which were arguably not their best ones - just to have the largest port possible. That has caused an "oversupply" of pictures on Alamy which, as one could expect, is leading to lower prices, on average. Now Alamy has two possible strategies. On the one hand, they can go on increasing the number of photos as much as possible in order to compensate their dropping median value, with a view to secure their overall income (thus, reducing their difference from a Microstock agency) OR, on the other hand, they can focus more on artistic and technical quality, as well as on providing the clients with photos with original subjects, reducing the number of images available on Alamy, for example by tightening QC and artistic/creative standards. It looks like they are preferring the first scenario, which can be (possibly) acceptable for Alamy, but much less acceptable for us, because we'll reach a point in which the time spent for editing and keywording an image will be paid peanuts and not worth the effort, from an economic point of view.
  10. IMHO, the problem is not exclusivity or non-exclusivity, possibly it is not the commission rate either. The real problem is how badly the price-per-image-sold is constantly dropping, and that for a full-res RF picture I 'm now getting less than $17 net, on average. Usually, exclusivity is mandatory for major agencies (you know which I'm referring to) which represent professional photographers, have a tough and accurate image evaluation process, are hard to be accepted into, and (often) have low commission rates but high license fees. When James West spoke about "1st tier" agencies he cited two completely different agencies, a well-reputed (and often criticized) pro agency, and a micro-stock one; the only thing they have in common is that they sell photos and have an annual turnover higher than Alamy's. So, my question is: does Alamy want to be a pro agency with fewer photographers and higher prices or a "catch-all" microstock agency with half a billion photos one can buy for 5 dollars?
  11. As I've already said, I don't understand this move, from a microeconomics point of view. Nevertheless, I am quite happy with it since almost all my photos are already exclusive to Alamy. Furthermore, it will discourage those contributors who upload the same image to Alamy and to Microstock sites (an utterly irrational move, IMHO) to keep on doing so.
  12. Sorry guys, but this thing makes no sense at all. Think about it. James West said in the video that Alamy needs more money in order to fund some expansion plan involving new localized websites (or local offices, who knows) etc, etc. They need that money NOW, in order to implement such an expansion within a year or so. By reducing contributors' commissions they will be able to increase instantly Alamy's revenues by 20% (here we all discuss our revenue cut, but no one discusses the corresponding revenue increment for Alamy.). Do you really believe that the supposed revenue growth resulting in making some millions of images "exclusive" would compensate a 20% revenue increase for ALL images sold on Alamy? If, as a CEO of a company, I proposed such a swap to my stakeholders, I would be unemployed within a week.
  13. Maybe because my professional profile is similar to his, but I deem MilesbeforeIsleep comment the best one, by far. I also add my point of view, as a non-professional photographer who is running a totally different business (I run an architectural practice, and I also publish a web magazine of art and design). How much selling photos through Alamy is, and will be, a good business? In 2018, I got (to date) about $ 0,66 net per image in my port. Being quite optimistic and hoping the commercial life o a photo on Alamy is about 10 years, that means that, in 2018, I was hoping to get $ 6.6 net per image, overall. Now, how much time is required to develop, check, upload and keyword a single photo? In my case about 20 minutes on average ( I don't take into account the time I spent to shoot that photo since I did it for different reasons than selling it on Alamy). So, I will supposedly get slightly less than $20 per hour of work. Not very exciting, but not that bad, after all. Now, I have to evaluate if, after the commission change, this situation will still be economically convenient for me. A 20% reduction means my revenue per hour will drop to $16, hmmm. Furthermore, my revenue per image dropped from $ 10 in 2017 to $ 6.6 in 2018. Therefore, the average price-per-photo trend is declining and, extrapolating it, in 2019 I will possibly get less than $4.5 per image in my port and less than $13 per hour of work, and possibly much less in the following years. That's no good. What I should do? Arguably, to stop upload new photos, and leaving those already in my port where they currently are. Furthermore, I could investigate monetization strategies different from Alamy, such as selling most of my photos directly through my websites or advertising them straight to the thousands of potential buyers I have in my mailing list.
  14. My average net revenue per image sold went down from $47 in 2017 to $28 in 2018 (so far). This was mostly due to a number of PU sales (due to their subject, I am pretty sure they were NOT really PU). Just wondering how low the PU average net revenue will be when the commission is reduced to 40%, probably less than $4 ....>:(
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