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Paul J

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Posts posted by Paul J

  1. On 19/07/2019 at 05:56, Bryan said:

    I would be hesitant to recommend that anyone should take up stock photography as a means of providing a regular income. I quite enjoy the work involved, but, for me, this is one of a series of retirement activities that fill my time.  While the cash generated is certainly useful, if I needed to make real money I would be doing something else!


    WRT your photos, there's some saleable stuff in there, but I'm seeing quite a lot of repetition, e.g. the tank standing outside the museum. I would recommend that you be a bit more disciplined over what you upload, choosing only your best 2 or 3 shots, preferably, including both landscape and portrait, of any given view of a subject. There are two reasons for this. One, your Alamy rank will suffer if you get loads of views but few hits resulting in fewer views in future, and two, Alamy appears to present views on an arbitrary basis, with the result that your weakest shot can be the only one that the customer sees.


    Thanks, the problem I do have in uploading just a couple is that I'm often surprised on what photos of mine get published in the national papers, occasionally its a photo I have been close to deleting, but it has suited the publications page design. But do understand it may affect rank, but could lose a sale. Catch 22

  2. On 18/07/2019 at 22:58, IanDavidson said:


    you are asking two completely different questions.  Only you can decide if using Alamy is right for you.  Your sales figures are meaningless to anyone else but you.  I earn more than a colleague but he has almost no costs, I have a lot of costs.  Etc.  


    You have a relatively small portfolio so you so you have a long way to go if you stay.


    You  do have a variety of pictures, some of which I find interesting.  I do find a lot of variety in quality however,  some appear, on my ipad to be over exposed, but that may just be me.  Some pictures are “snapshot” quality and some are excellent. 


    Where I think I have identified potential issues are captions and keywording.  Some of your captions are just wrong.  For example one or more are captioned something like statute of Monty and no statute...    To me your keywords are, in many cases, too generic and too few.  I would guess you may use other agencies and are using their standards.  You need to keyword much more accurately and tightly to bring your images, which are quite marketable, to the attention of buyers.  


    Do you analyse you AIM data for searches?  That will give you some clues as to appropriate search terms. 


    It it is something of a Catch 22.  You spend the time keywording you will get sales.  Do not spend the time and effort you will not.  


    Thanks, I have been lazy with the captions with a generic one over an image set. Should have said I chose to upload sets that have mostly already been published in a national paper or news website to see if they were saleable again, obviously not (all direct sales, don't use any agencies). 


    I'll have a think again.



  3. Hi, 


    I have tested the water with Alamy and not sure its worth the time and hassle to upload and keyword my archive. I have tested the water uploading some batches of 'News and feature'' picture sets which I have done. I sell direct to publications for 100% of the sales, so have thousands of images I could upload, but it's so time consuming for little rewards. I have uploaded whole jobs for ease, so there is variation, but repetition. Its represents only about 5% of what I do, so if I decide to upload the lot, its a huge amount of work. I don't bother with Alamy Live as I make more money with direct sales,  Alamy has cut price subscription deals which means peanuts in some cases. 


    If you could have a look at my portfolio I'd be grateful, be brutal, not point being polite as I'm here to try and improve sales. The most recent photos haven't been captioned or keyworded properly so ignore the Goodwood Festival of Speed ones - https://www.alamy.com/portfolio/pauljacobs


    My sales average an overall 40% commission (diluted with the third party sales), and I have been paid about £500 after the commission and exchange rate since joining. Gross sales figures are pointless, as it means nothing. As they say, turnover is Vanity, profit is Sanity. 



  4. I suspect picture desks at the nationals have complained about the junk filling their picture feeds as Alamy Live would go straight into it. It has become a free for all with any crappy photo being uploaded as 'News'. I syndicate all my own images for 100% of the money to the nationals and also sell other peoples images, but I do filter what goes out.  


    Even looking now, there are photos there that have Zero chance of being published. Alamy need to improve their QC on the live images and remove the junk. 


    Uploading as reportage will be handy. I had a set of images rejected due to 'poor quality' despite being published in a national paper a few days previous.

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  5. I emailed James West to question the definition of 'Exclusive' as the wording in the contract was not as detailed as his description in his video and had the following response. 




    Thanks for you note for pointing out the discrepancy. The 50% rate allows you to sell direct to your customers by any means. We will review the contract wording but please take this email as confirmation of the broader definition in the meantime.


    Best wishes


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  6. The meaning of EXCLUSIVE is different to how James West described it on the video before xmas, he said ‘sell those yourselves through your own direct sales channels, website and existing customers to retain the 50%’ 


    No mention of Direct sales or existing customers in the fine print today, only mentions your personal website and print sales. I have emailed him for clarification. 


    Labeling something as Exclusive when it is not could result in the contract being terminated. 

  7. On 30/12/2018 at 10:02, Marmot said:


    I totally agree - and don't get me started on the National Newspapers selling millions of copies.


    I reckon that these "greener pastures" are myth.  Besides, many of us have spent several years and hundreds of hours building our portfolios on Alamy.  So that, combined with all the extra time and work it would take IF we could find another library to post to leaves us with few, if any options.  Alamy know this and are taking advantage.


    So here we are today.  The "exclusive" gang are all smiles, but what about the rest of us?  We haven't yet reached a happy solution! :wacko:  Seems like many of you have lost the plot.......


    I made £4 from a photo in The Times, I typically get £90 for a live news image of the same size syndicated direct, but it was a stock image. 


    Exclusive or not, 50% or 40%, it doesn't mean much when your getting penny sales. They need to restructure the pricing more than anything else. 

  8. 11 hours ago, geogphotos said:

    Exclusivity does not make any sense for me. We have been encouraged by Alamy not to be exclusive, individual sales fees are falling, revenue is falling. Alamy alone is not enough to make a decent stock income. It hasn't been enough for five or six years ( lack of market penetration that James West admits to) 


    My view is that any tiered commission system should be based on performance, particularly actual Sales, so that it acts as an incentive. 


    I have just passed $200,000 gross sales after actively contributing since December 2002. Not spectacular I know but steady commitment and loyalty and an individual achievement for a former teacher without professional training in photography.


    As a reward ......why such a brutal kick in the teeth Alamy?





    I'll take a guess and say your $13,937 has made you around £4,000 this year. Work out your travelling costs - 45p per mile, camera upkeep and upgrades plus insurance (your earning money from photography so need to have Public Liability). A drop in 20% may make your uploads not worth it, next year could be as low as £2500 for you. 

    • Upvote 2

  9. 12 hours ago, Walrus said:

    When I joined Alamy way back, I asked Alamy to publish the buyer in My Alamy. That way, when a sale is made, I can look out for the newspaper, book or website. I was told it was to stop photographers asking for tear sheets. Well, Alamy could easily put a provisor in your contract that would stop you pestering a publisher.


    The anonymous buying gives licence to the buyer to infringe copyright. I know of at least one incident in which the publisher, the Daily Mail, published one of my images without paying. I brought it to Alamy's attention, who invoiced the Daily Mail, who paid. No penalty for infringing my copyright, nor any legal action threatened. Have they done it to other photographers, and to me again? I strongly suspect they have because there's no way I'm going to buy the Daily Mail, nor visit its website on the "off chance" they have bought one of my images so will never know how much revenue I've lost over the years not only to the Daily Mail but other buyers.


    I suspect "Live News" goes straight to the publications picture desk feeds, no downloading from Alamy. I do not use Alamy Live, but chose to syndicate images direct to the publishers for 100% of the money. All the UK papers and news websites have auto billing, no invoices needed. BUT, their system for payment misses lots, in the past year all the publications have missed payments totalling over £10,000 to me. Of course I have to chase it up to get paid, but I have to do extensive checking, every day to see if my work has been used in print or online. I have to go though every paper (online), and google key words and list everything. Takes about 30 mins a day. So imagine the vast volumes of images Alamy have published every day, it is impossible for them to keep on top of it. Not everything is bylined, look at the Daily Mirror. 


    Plus if someone buys an image for a quarter of a page, who checks it was used that size? Someone else mentioned copyright, I have billed and been paid for four lots of £500 this year for copyright breaches. A well written letter explaining copyright law and ignorance of it isn't an excuse, people pay up without argument. Billing top end for copyright infringements is something Alamy should be doing. 


    Syndicate Live News yourself people. 

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  10. I have been using Alamy for just over two years now. With little success. I shoot a lot of Live News, but never use Alamy for that, I syndicate direct to the newspapers and news websites myself for 100% of the money. Alamy sell for a lot less than the standard reproduction rates due to subscription deals so make no sense whatsoever for me to use Alamy for that. 


    I have uploaded 2500 of my live news images after the event for stock, which includes other photos that is not what I would call news photos. I made about £165 from Alamy this year, but £400 last year. That is what Alamy paid me, none of this $1000 of sales nonsense. Why do people keep quoting their sales? it is meaningless as lots of sales are via 3rd parties so you get 30%. Turnover aside, the 2500 images was a test to see how Alamy works for me, IT DOESN'T, poor sales of pennies. I had a quarter page image in The Times this year and was paid £4 !!!, normally £90 if that sale is made direct, admittedly as it was stock I wouldn't have made the sale without Alamy, but for £4, I don't care as the time it took to upload that set and keyword, wasn't worth the hassle. My sales have dipped over 50% in a year, yes its a small sample of my tens of thousands of images. I won't be uploading as a further 20% cut in my revenue from Alamy is a joke. I have spent the time to add 3000 images, so won't remove them. But Alamy has lost out on having my archive.


    So whats 60% commission from zero images Alamy?  




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