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Everything posted by MarkK

  1. another month of zero sales....no sales since May 11 and it is now July 9......used to be that every month I had sales and usually a payout. In the past year the majority of months had zero payouts. There are many forces working together, imo, some that can be mitigated by Alamy while some being societal. I have lowered my expectations (and submissions) but hope for better months to come. July 9th marks another full month of zero sales and uploading of more photos. It was never like this. My first two years with Alamy were incredible where I cannot recall a month going by without sales. Now in the past year the majority of months have had zero sales and overall my sales are less than 25% of last year and the number of sales I dont want to even mention. Something has fundamentally happened with my account to go from month after month of good sales to month after month after month of zero sales even though I am getting more zooms than in the past. To top it off I wrote alamy regarding some photos and I received a canned reply saying they wont be replying to emails because of the coronavirus (the email was not about the issue of no sales month after month after month).
  2. I take care of my elderly parents who are 77 and 84......this has been my main concern and was why I worried about going down to the protests to take photos. This is why I still feel I made a mistake by going down there. Cleveland has had 259 deaths and nearly 5000 cases so as the crowd got tear gassed consistently for well over an hour, this meant masks (if they had them) were pulled down, people were yelling, etc.. When I leave the house whether to take photos or otherwise, I am always thinking of my immunocrompromised parents and what the potential is that I get them sick. Lastly, I no longer use cameras with zoom lenses but instead use my Fuji X100t meaning I have to get much closer to people then when I used my other cameras in the past....not a good thing when the coronavirus is still pervasive. The Fujix100t is not the best in times of social distance and the types of photos I generally take.
  3. This is a great thread and appreciate the comments. Yes, covid-19 is a major issue obviously and while many protesters had masks, as the day wore on and the screaming and shouted escalated the masks seemed to come down. Much of the police force, if you look closely in some of the photos, don't have masks on either. I was scared shtless to go to the protests as I have been VERY careful until this point. I even told some friends it was a slip in judgement to go. I have self quarantined since. As for obesity, as one who has lived overseas on and off for many years, it is a major problem not just with the black community but with Americans in general. It seems to be the first thing I notice everytime I come back from living abroad. The coronavirus as you know has been played down by the politicians and as a culture it seems the economy is more important than the health of those contributing to the economy (yes it is ironic). As for not contributing to the story, I disagree. I have been watching constant coverage from many sources (BBC, Washington Post, CNN, CNBC, MSNBC, New York Times) and not once have I seen Cleveland, Ohio covered. That may be because it was so bad last saturday that they cut off access to the city to even journalists (yes that is a huge problem) thus the story could not be documented after Saturday other than from the politicians and police. That in and of itself means the full story is not being shown. Cleveland has a huge African American population and the damage done to the city was incalculable. Today the police have put out a notice on social media and the news that they want photos and videos from the protests! To say I am not contributing anything to understanding of what is going on is wrong......If all people hear about is the protests in NYC, DC, and LA they aren't seeing the bigger picture. I am contributing to that bigger picture. As for stating I should think about how pictures I take before I take them is wrong......instead I will take the photos and then decide afterwards as I go through them. If I have to think about the potential issues associated with each photo I take before I take it then I would be missing out on a lot of photo opportunities. Instead I will make the ethical decisions during the editing process because at that point they are not public and I am outside the context of the riots to determine if I will submit or not.
  4. Thank you. I see my role as documenting society thus while I am not out there protesting I see myself doing my part in helping document in a world in which truth is seemingly becoming non-existent. While photos, such as those of the protests, have bias as we determine what is in and outside the frame, they provide a somewhat objective of truth in what is happening. On another note, the Cleveland police have put a call out to those who have videos and photographs of what they have termed 'riots'. What do we do as photographers? Do we contribute to potentially giving evidence and ultimately getting the protesters pinned for standing up for injustice? There are a lot of ethical questions, as citizens and photographers, to ask during these crazy times.
  5. Really impressive post you have written. I agree with you. This past weekend here in Cleveland, Ohio I was photographing the protests in downtown which after a couple hours turned violent. Much of downtown was vandalized, looted, etc. resulting in a curfew until Friday......seven days later which gives insight into the damage. As I was uploading photographs I was wondering who will use them. Will the police in Cleveland use them to identify protesters? The last thing I want is for people to be identified and then potentially falsely accused of doing something that may not have. For example, in one photo a young guy holds a bat at his side. His full face is showing. Did he use the bat? I don't know. As the very nature of the protests are against police culture in the US it is ironic that the photos could be used in dubious ways by them. Thanks again for the post as it really made me think.
  6. zero sales again. 27 zooms since January 1 of which 11 of them were the only zoom. hopefully this months long drought ends soon (zero sales in Nov, Jan, Feb and before that I always had sales every month and a constant revolving balance)
  7. Valid point. As I go on 3/4 months without a sale (after always having a couple sales at minimum for years), I started to look into possible reasons. One of the areas I used to have photos at the top of the first page were knocked down a lot by photos from the Everett collection. I looked and saw that the collection was over 1 million photos! No way to compete with that.
  8. You definitely aren't alone. I cannot recall a time I didn't have at least a couple sales in the pipeline waiting to be cleared. I am now going on my second month with nothing in the pipeline. Over 50 zooms since October with none of them resulting in a sale. No sales since early December. This isn't normal at all for me and quite worrisome. This is after having zero sales in November, then a week of showing sales in early December (after posting on this board saying I had no sales for the month of November), and no sales since. My CTR has been steadily decreasing from above a 1.0 last January to a consistent CTR around .6 give or take some. Coincidentally the sales that appeared in early December all cleared on time....that was the first time everything cleared at once....could it have something to do with the acquisition by PA? As for zooms, I have had 50 since October and not one turning into a sale......that is not normal for me at all thus adding to my questioning about what is happening.
  9. It has been almost one year (March 2019) that they spontaneously culled Live News contributors. This gives some context to the acquisition. It can be assumed that the acquisition has been in the works for a year hence the lowering of the commission, culling of Live News Contributors, and the new star system. The question will be how each of those actions will come into play with the restructuring- will they drop all non-live news contributors? will they cull contributors based on their 'stars' rating? will they cull based on sales amount or number of sales? Like others have stated, when the commission was cut it was not done to fund international expansion but rather to get the books in order for the sale. It will be interesting to see what incremental changes will happen over the coming months.
  10. Very interesting news story today regarding the doctoring of a photo placed in the US National Archives and used in an exhibition. A photo from Gxxx of the woman's march had a sign stating 'God Hates Trump' in the crowd photo. The word 'Trump' was blurred out/doctored by the National Archives and/or Gxxx. The blame is going back and forth and will be interesting to see how this dicussion pans out. CNN reported they reached out to Gxxx who apparently gave approval to have the photo altered....whether that was the case or not is still not determined. The argument made by the US National Archives for the removale of the name 'Trump' on the sign is that some people may have been offended as it was part of an exhibition! Historic archives being doctored by the National Archive because they may offend someone is scary on many levels. This takes politics entering the realm of photography to an entirely new level. This doesn't help in terms of the US discussion on fake news which seems to be part of an overall strategic plan to make everyone question reality. Photos capturing a specific point in time for historic archives being doctored for political reasons by Gexxx is a major issue but just as bad is the National Archives is now altering history and in turn reality. Not sure why I am posting this other than to add to discussions about the changing landscape of photography.
  11. Three years is a long time for me as most of that time was concentrated on taking photos instead of teaching at University which I need to get back to. Cheers.
  12. I haven't been on the forum board for quite awhile but due to having the same experience of a major drop in sales I came to see if anyone else was having the same issue. Your scenario is very reflective of mine. I had 34 sales for $1909. Then a couple months ago things just stopped. I had a couple $ photos (I am not in the distribution scheme so these $ were direct sales including one that sold three years ago for a high $$$ and last month sold for enough for 2 cups of coffee) but other than that nothing. Everything seemed to have stopped. It is the first time since my first months with Alamy that I have not had a sale in over a month and to top it off not enough in the pipeline to have any payout. I cannot recall the last time I didn't have a monthly payout. As my focus is on news and was dropped from contributing to live news, I see that as part of the problem but it is what it is. Reportage is not the same and the photos aren't pushed into the google search engine like the live news ones were. The photos I submitted used to show up on google pretty regularly and now never. I cannot recall the last time I saw a new photo I submitted to Alamy that shows up when I google my name with Alamy. The constant addition of my photos to the Google searches stopped following the live news cut-off. I am having to make a difficult decision as I have invested nearly 3 years of my life into this and now seeing zero returns. As I have been at it for three years (which is not long for many contributors), I see this as more than a minor hiccup. It has been a gradual drop since March/April when the live news stopped. I have over 1000 photos approved photos sitting in waiting in my image manager but the motivation has slowly decreased month by month to the point where I am at now. Anyways, I hope that things look up for you and others who also stopped having sales. Feeding the machine can only go on for so long before one realizes their time and effort no longer pay off.
  13. Thanks for the reply and I don't think it is off topic. It would be logical that any of your photos after you were gone wouldn't be sold hence I was applying the same logic with the distribution scheme at Alamy. In April when I opted out of all schemes it was presumed that sales would stop/be blocked in those categories. Five months later I am having my photos still sold by distributors which to me doesn't seem reasonable but I was hoping to find out, through the board, if this is normal for Alamy.
  14. In April I opted out of distribution sales as well as all of the microstock-priced schemes. In June I had a distribution sale come in thus I wrote Alamy asking why this happened and they said because of the lag time the sale went through. Today, September 12, 5 months since opting out, I received another distribution sale for less than a cup of coffee. If I wanted to sell for microstock prices I would not have opted out of the schemes but since I have opted out of all of these schemes I expected Alamy to honor this. My question for the forum is.......does anyone know when the "lag-time" reasonably stops? Will I still have distribution sales a year after I opted out? Is there any timeline? Are they ignoring my set parameters for sales by still selling my photos to distributors even though I have opted out?
  15. Was just in South Bend Indiana today for the announcement by Pete Buttegieg he is officially running for the President of the US. There were so many people that the fire marshall turned away people shortly after the doors opened as it was already at capacity. So, in the cold and rain, I along with many others stayed outside where a monitor was set-up. Before addressing the crowd inside, he and his partner surprisingly came out and addressed the group outside at which time I was right there to get my photos. Uncanny time/place. Since my LiveNews access was revoked, those photos of Pete w/partner, the crowd waiting outdoors, the reception of the crowd, etc. will all have to go into a review now before posting which at that point the newest news item will take over the news cycle. So I submitted to the other places which I don't get as much for live news but will likely sell them. The bottom line is that with photographers around the world capturing fleeting moments in time, a select photographers few cannot be everywhere at one time around the globe. I lived in Cleveland but drove the 5 hours to South Bend Indiana just as I will be driving to Buffalo later this week for more news stories. There are pockets of the globe where news is happening and while it may not be of interest to the English curators, it may be of interest to the thousands of publications/websites that cover the news throughout the world and purchase from Alamy. Again, the photos I have of Pete and his partner addressing the crowd today were very timely, very important in the world of US politics, and were captured by myself. I had the photos captured and sent (not to Alamy) before they were done addressing the main hall inside. It is what it is but with how fast the news moves nowadays, the photos of Pete and his partner on arguably one of the most important days of his campaign (the official announcement he is running) will not be available on Alamy for a couple days as it is Sunday here in the US as I write this, the photos won't get reviewed until Monday/Tuesday and will be live by Tuesday/Wednesday at which time it is old news. Ok, enough said. Check my photos in a couple days if you want to see the shots taken at the rally today. I am sure many of use who have been culled from submitting Live News have had or will have similar experiences. Unfortunately for two years I have submitted live news only to Alamy and didn't bother with the other outlets but will now seek out other avenues since this one has been closed off.
  16. As one who has also been cut off from submitting to Live News, I wanted to add to the discussion. First, I submitted to Live News sparingly. Second, the majority of my photos are of events thus cutting off the Live News avenue is requiring me to seek other avenues. Third, the newspaper industry in the US is going through many changes as it lays off staff and turns to stringers. In my hometown of Cleveland, Ohio, USA, the main paper just let go the majority of its journalists last week. Isn't this an opportunity for agencies such as Alamy to step-in and let them know there are locals on the ground able to cover Live News stories. Unfortunately I am very much under the impression that UK/Euro news is what is relevant and of interest to the News Desk personnel. To give an idea of Live News photo ops that I have in the coming two weeks, here are the events I will be attending but not submitting as Live News but instead as stock. As the events are US specific I again see why Alamy has made it clear to me (even in a personal email) that these events in the US are of no interest to them. On Saturday and Sunday I will be in South Bend, Indiana to cover the Sunday announcement by Pete Buttigieg. It is assumed the 37 year old mayor of South Bend is going to announce he will be running for president. Yes this is US news but as is clear from the past couple years, the election of a US president impacts the world just as Brexit impacts the world. Following that I am heading to Lordstown, Ohio where the GM factory was closed and where Bernie Sanders, another Presidential Candidate, will be speaking. The closing of the GM plant represents many culturally specific issues and is extremely important to Ohio voters which in-turn is important to US voters as Ohio tends to be a swing state (albeit this time around it looks like that may be changing). That in turn means that the Lordstown talk by Bernie Sanders is relevant not only in Ohio but throughout the US and will idealistically impact global issues. Then on Saturday I will be in Denver for the 4/20 celebration, the largest of its kind in the United States. As cannabis becomes a political, economic, and sociocultural issue throughout the US and world, the relevance of this celebration is a global one. It is even more imporant in that the issue penetrates into so many areas including access to medical marijuana, legalization and its impacts on incarceration, state versus federal laws and the battle between the two, etc. Following that I head to Buffalo, New York for the largest Dyngus Day celebration in the United States. Each of these events offer real-time opportunities for Live News but instead I will now find myself uploading them as regular stock. If one looks through my portfolio they will see that my photos tend to cover demonstrations (time specific), government news (time specific), and other events. Again, I maybe uploaded Live News photos a couple times a month albeit during the summer months moreso than the winter months. I used the Live News outlet sparingly but now have been trying to figure out where to submit Live News to where relevance of events in my area are viewed with interest. It is what it is. After the recent 20 percent reduction for non-exclusive photos and then the Live News issue I have learned to not expect much from Alamy at this point.
  17. Clemson, Thanks for the reply (ironically my alma mater is Clemson University : ) As for the photos, I am not sure about the demand for weather photos here in the US as I usually don't submit them but as I live in a region where the weather is tumultuous and destructive at times (think blizzards, flooding) I am sure they would be of interest. As for weather in general, I need to pay more attention as I cannot answer that. With so many news outlets from print to the internet to tv, there is likely a demand for the photos but where they procure them from I am unsure. I personally love seeing weather photos but that interest spans the globe and weather events from every continent and if Alamy is really branching out then I would assume photos of weather should be of interest from 195 countries and not based on the reviewers self interest.....same with events from around the world. You brought up one of the main points I am trying to make. You stated quite well "UK newspapers have an insatiable daily appetite for run-of-the-mill pictures they can use to illustrate a line or two about what the weather has been today or what it will be tomorrow". So if Alamy was based in the US and the US didn't see the cultural signifance and rejected photos out of non-interest do you see how that would be operating from a very myopic US-centric point-of-view? Just because outlets in the US may not have an interest in the weather as much it doesn't mean that the photos should be removed as they likely would be of interest to outlets in the UK as well as other places around the world. I was just trying to make a point of how the review process on what constitutes interest and what doesn't should be from a global worldview even if Alamy is UK based. I have lived around the world and in my worldview news is everywhere and just because it may not be of interest to or directly impact someone in the UK doesn't mean it isn't of interest to others elsewhere. I am concerned that not once but twice over the weekend the notice came and that is considering I rarely submit Live News. If Alamy is going to determine CONTENT is not of interest to THEM (whoever they may be), then that is of concern. As many of us here experienced, some of our photos sell which we ourselves could not believe someone would want a photo of said item/event. That is the beauty of Alamy and why is Live News any different. As for the US, yes, I know that they have opened an office in the US but like you I have no idea how much they have penetrated the markets here. I will try to add some of the photos here later (I always have a hard time doing that on the forum for some reason....the photos aren't connected to an URL nor are they part of an existing attachment....my two choices here) but as indicated, it wasnt the technicality of the photos per se but rather the content they had no interest in....twice. It takes a lot of effort to contribute in a timely fashion to Live News so after this weekend I cannot foresee my putting in the effort at least for Alamy Live News.
  18. This past weekend I had two rounds of Live News Photos rejected on the grounds they were "not what they were looking for". Here is the email sent for both sets of Live News Photos: Hi Mark Sorry we’ve deleted your image(s) from the News Feed as it's not what we're looking for. For more info on what to submit to Live News see our news guidelines. If you want to resubmit these images then please read the guidelines for stock before uploading as stock. If you have any questions please drop us a line at news@alamy.com Alamy News Team news@alamy.com So, the first set was of the 39th St. Patrick's Day Race that aids the homeless in downtown Cleveland, Ohio, USA. The race has thousands of participants dressed mostly in green for the holiday making their way through the scenic parts of the city. ALAMY live news stated it is not what they are looking for. This was only after I saw they were online for sale then with an error message the next morning. So let me get this straight.....a major event (Cleveland is known as one of the largest St. Patrick's Day multi-day celebrations in the US) in a major city in Ohio (yes its relative) is not "what they are looking for". Is that because they would rather have photos of UK weather? Nothing against weather pics but I have also submitted them for Cleveland and the same response. THEN the major St. Patrick's Day parade in Cleveland on Sunday with upwards of 500,000 filling the streets I decided I would test the Live News System and only submit one pic this time. Guess what.....today I woke to see it was an error because "It's not what we're looking for". It is very concerning that those making the decisions as to "what they are looking for" are viewing it through the eyes of the UK/Europe. I cannot fathom, other than having a purely UK/Europe-centric worldview, why weather photos, photos of major events, etc. are alway rejected by the Live News because its not what they are looking for. They are fine with weather photos from the UK but not from the US. They are fine with event photos from the UK but not from the US. Then they have the gall to write " please read the guidelines for stock before uploading as stock.". I have read them and nowhere do I see the photos must only be of UK or Europe events/weather. Alamy, if you tell me to read the guildeines for stock before uploading as stock then somewhere in those guidelines you need to state that you need to state the geographical boundaries that match the reviewers interest area so that I, or others, don't spend a LOT of time covering events in areas that don't interest you. Again, for perspective, the St. Patrick's Day Parade in Cleveland, Ohio drew upwards of 500,000 in the 177th Annual Parade and city-wide celebration. What criteria do you we need to meet to have the photos be of interest? Please clarify as I am sure other photographers outside the UK/Europe would like to understand how/if we can meet the "Interest" of the Alamy Live News reviers if the event is outside their worldview. Many papers in the US, as well as around the world, use stringers thus the events I cover may not be of interest to you but they may be of interest to editors who want to use them in the US or elsewhere. I am confused as to how Alamy can keep rejecting Live News events while simultaneously constantly accepting many mundane non-event photos in the UK. Some transparency as to the worldviews of those deciding what to accept and what not to accept would be appreciated and should be in the 'guidelines for stock' which you richly pointed me towards in regards to the rejection of Live News photos.
  19. Thank you. As for the cover photo, for some reason it looks washed out and definitely not sharp. I am not sure what happened with the photo when it was uploaded there but as that is the initial impression I need to figure out how to get the photo to display correctly.
  20. I am looking for a critique on my Cleveland Ohio Street Photography portfolio. Sometimes when we spend a lot of time in one place we overlook a lot of what actually makes a place and space unique. In reviewing the portfolio hopefully you will come away with a sense of both the place and space of Cleveland Ohio. Are there obvious gaps? Do you get a sense of the city core and if not what do you see as missing? Is it in the photo compositions or is it gaps in the overall portrayal of place/space in Cleveland? As an academic I am use to being critiqued and while it is not always pleasant in the end it usually helps me improve. I now only use a fixed-lense Fuji X100T which I love but it does have its limitations. Cleveland Ohio Street Photography portfolio: https://www.alamy.com/portfolio/116237/clevelandohiostreetphotography.html
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