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Brian Yarvin

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    610
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381 Forum reputation = good

About Brian Yarvin

  • Rank
    Forum regular

Profile Information

  • Gender
    Male
  • Location
    Pennsylvania, USA
  • Interests
    Eating, Walking, and then eating some more.

Alamy

  • Alamy URL
    https://www.alamy.com/contrib-browse.asp?cid={11754ABE-5B2C-4CD0-B0FF-133DA432726E}&name=Brian+Yarvin
  • Images
    9545
  • Joined Alamy
    18 Jun 2004

Recent Profile Visitors

3,425 profile views
  1. Kent, I'm not sure of what you don't know when it comes to the technical aspects of digital photography, I do know from personal experience that the dark, B&W food photos you've posted on this board are very unlikely to appeal to stock photo buyers. Speaking as a person who's main income is food photos and text/food photo packages, I believe that there are food publications - especially in continental Europe - that would go for such work, just not as stock. Of course, clients like those are much tougher on technical stuff than any stock agency. Submit an in-camera jpeg to one of them and you won't get your next submission read. Worse, submit an in-camera jpeg for an assignment and you'll have the humiliating (at least it was for me) experience of being blacklisted by somebody who could make your career - if only you had a bit more tech skill. It has been fifteen or twenty years since images that are "time consuming and expensive to make" were able to return their investment as stock. If that's part of your calculus for joining Alamy, then I'd say that you're making yet another big mistake. Many people have already told you "no, don't do it." Or maybe, "no, don't do it the way you currently are." There could well be a message there. You have tons of self-confidence and it's killing you.
  2. Kent, I've been following these posts and I think I should add that it's a bad idea to try to get marginal - by QC standards - images online because they're far less likely to sell. These idle images will have passed QC, but they'll drag your rank down for years to come. If you're here to work with Alamy, start by following their rules to the letter. They have them for good reason.
  3. You are missing one of the most basic fundamentals of the stock photo industry; there is an unlimited supply of new photographers. People will keep entering the business without regard to what's happened in the past. Most of the stock photographers I knew twenty-five years ago have quit (because of falling revenues) long ago, and they've been replaced by another generation that's pretty much given up over falling revenues. You yourself joined in at exactly that point and now somebody is waiting in the wings to take your place too.
  4. I too, see it as a twenty percent loss. But my Alamy sales are insignificant compared to my sales at the micros - indeed, I went with the micros after sizing up my situation at Alamy. At Alamy, I have no repeat sellers - there are images that I had on Alamy alone for five years or more without a sale that have racked up hundreds of downloads on the micros. My typical Alamy sale is an agent sale - most likely in Turkey - that is around eight bucks before the agents take their respective cuts. And there are always exceptions! I have several thousand images that aren't in my specialty that are on Alamy alone. In total, all of them rack up twenty or thirty bucks a year, not enough to worry about percentages.
  5. Was this me? I have examined this question over and over again and never see a relationship between where photos are posted and how well they sell at each agency. We old timers - used to the days when buyers would check several agencies before they used an image - are stuck on this point. It's completely wrong today though and for good reason; typical stock photo users have one subscription and never go beyond it. They may have comparison shopped when they bought the subscription, and once they have it, that's their source. When you're paying hundreds of dollars a month for unlimited images from a micro - even ten bucks more for something from a specialist looks like a ripoff.
  6. John, this is a really interesting point. I sincerely and honestly never had any idea that objectivity played a role in the marketing of stock photography. What I thought (and still think) is this: good salespeople get buyers to believe that the images they have are great. In general, they do this by showing the buyers the work and then offering reasons - often using the same words you listed - why they should pay more. I'll take this all into consideration but I'm still hoping to convince publishers and buyers that I do great work. It's not so easy.
  7. While I was hoping to remain positive, and I aspire to be inspiring, this has been my point during the past day or two - just not presented the way I wanted.
  8. Fascinating list there, John. Every last one of them a word that was once used to describe stock photography and no longer is. Your list is more than that though - it's a summary of the reasons that people pay more for something. May I suggest that you - all of you who are reading - go down that list and recall a publication or publisher that suits one or more of those words and imagine your work being used by them. Will it make it? Are you reaching out? Reaching up? This is the real first step to getting higher prices - doing better work. Some of us here aren't hobbyists. Our very lives depend on making better images and finding better markets for them. For us, that list of words should be an inspiration.
  9. Estelle, a rarity premium could work for journalistic photos - these images often have value because a skilled photographer made an image where nobody else did - or perhaps everybody else's is of relatively poor quality. Obviously, in the case of popular genres like travel, there can be no rarity because there will always be somebody else there to take the photo. Ian, in theory, I agree with you, but those buyers would have to be convinced that the service is there and worth contacting. That would take costly advertising. It's also worth repeating that these customers are paying for research services, not image quality. In any case, our potential seller would have to see if there's any market out there at all. And worst of all, they would have to overcome the dreadful reputation that stock photography has brought upon itself during the past two decades. I think that this is the toughest challenge of them all.
  10. Chuck, you and I talked about premium collections privately last year. You were passionate about a high-end journalistic venue and I was (at least) curious about the high-end of commercial. In theory, this could work at Alamy because it's one of the last agencies standing that has its own live sales team - indeed, there will be no high prices without sales people to close the deal. What's missing - not just at Alamy, but in the whole stock photo industry - are editors with the skill and insight to properly choose the collections. These people aren't born that way! They need to be trained by others with those same skills, but now there's nobody. Alamy never had editing and putting it in place would be a huge change in corporate culture. Several of the micros are trying this and I am enjoying their image choices, but they're not out there selling. They're just putting higher price tags on the chosen images and hope that people bite. Supply isn't the only problem! The entire marketplace is gone.
  11. This is the real mark of a professional and would help him in any business.
  12. Good grief Betty! Just get on a plane and go! Any pub in the UK will make you pretty much anything you want. Cold, warm, dark, light ... it doesn't matter! My niece got married in Cambridge a few months ago and I was the only American at the event. It was easy to get to and I could drink anything and everything. If I remember correctly - and it was quite a party, so maybe I don't - they had everything from Coors to St. Sixtus. In an actual British pub, nobody will judge you. An American voice at a meeting like this will mean a lot.
  13. It doesn't sound like it based on what I just wrote, but I would love to see Alamy create a premium collection - if for no other reason than to see what the Alamy crew considers to be "premium." Back in the days of paper catalogs, it was easy to tell what a given agency treasured. Not anymore.
  14. Mark, having worked in agencies myself back in the day, it's been my experience that what adds value for a customer isn't always technical, photographic perfection. A premium collection might mean something very different to buyers. At agencies where it presently exists, it means more commercial, more trendy, and higher production values. Those things will absolutely get a small group of commercial buyers to spend more. It's unlikely that the secondary editorial customers that most Alamy contributors seek to work with would care at all about these things. What really kills me is the way that the stock photo industry as a whole has just walked away from the high-end of the media business. For those of us with commercial backgrounds, this was both lucrative and intensely creative. It's all gone now.
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