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Can it get any worse? Maybe it can?

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1 hour ago, Julie Edwards said:

 

Funilliy enough - much of my income is not from celebs... I also cover politics. Etc... The highest VALUE sales are general stock.... celebs bring in lots of lower value licenses ...

 

It’s easy to say it because you have good access... I work hard, I make my access, I plan my shoots, I make my images and I work long hours at it....its my job, its not a side line... that’s the key...  an example - I did ok in the nationals this week .. because I sought a different viewpoint, I did not shoot from the mall or QVM like the 100’s of others..

 

Bottom line ...as in all lines of work its easy to make excuses .... work bloody hard and the rewards are there... it’s not the easy sideline that it once was or it is made out to be ..

 

 

 

No it's not easy at all. Least of all trying to figure out the "who", "where" and "when". If there's a secret to it I haven't found it. Taking pictures is one thing but actually gaining the business knowledge/acumen and putting it all together is another thing entirely.  I keep plugging away at news but never seem to get anywhere with it. It's like I'm always two steps behind the "money shot", or finding out a celeb was in town but the first you know about it is when it's being reported in the press. Yes, it really is hard work in all regards

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3 hours ago, JeffGreenberg said:

You think your free photos are benevolent, but they play role in cutting off financial legs of stock shooters worldwide, IMO.

http://www.slate.com/articles/double_x/doublex/2013/09/giving_money_to_child_beggars_don_t_do_it.html

I haven't clicked on the link, but I'm assuming it's informing anyone who didn't know (I've known since the 70s at least) that in some countries, children are blinded or lamed and sent out to beg for money for their sometimes well off familes (or buyer, or kidnapper).

However, you can't possibly extrapolate from that that all benevolence has adverse effects, which is what your sweeping statement did.

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4 hours ago, Starsphinx said:

 This causes them to decide not to bother with the paper anymore. 

 

 

3 hours ago, Cryptoprocta said:

 

I can't imagine what would make me buy a local paper, to be honest. In a rural/dormitory area, each paper covers quite a number of small towns over a wide area. If I'm involved with something local, I know about it, I don't need to read about it, and only a page or less is relevant to my own area.

 

Either way round, no-one is buying local papers anymore. No circulation means no ad revenue. No ad revenue ultimately means no local paper. Every paper I worked on tried umpteen times to gear up/regroup in an effort to provide whatever the public said they wanted - and to zero effect. The generation that was interested and bought local news has pretty much gone. The millennial generation thinks news is whatever comes in on a Twitter feed. As a direct result, there are no reporters in Magistrates Court every day, nor colleagues covering every council meeting.  There are no photographers covering local soccer, or being called out at 3.00am to a domestic fire. Local news is pretty much dead, and certainly not profitable enough for anyone to invest in - those remaining are being bled to death, rather than revived.

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On 7/13/2018 at 23:20, Bryan said:

Just returned from a 5 week trip dragging our caravan around mainly France. Over 900 images captured, many more deleted in camera. 

 

Not sure that I can find the motivation to process, upload, and keyword any of them. So far I have processed some  of the holiday snaps (the Mrs and myself)  and processed and uploaded one more interesting  shot to Flickr. My experience has been that photos taken in France do not do well here, I've made some sales, but proportionally far fewer than with those from the UK or the USA.

 

I guess, as the days become shorter and the nights longer, I probably will continue with Alamy, but this year, despite having added many more images, I am predicting an end to the rise in sales and income that I have previously enjoyed and am beginning to wonder, just what is the point?

 

Most of my Alamy income continues to come from a pool of older images, so I'm not really concerned much about volume any longer. I now realize that I could probably double the number of images in my collection and not earn significantly more income. If I were faced with 900 new images to process and prepare for Alamy these days, I'd probably go on another holiday, this time leaving my camera at home. B)

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I've voiced concerns tied to this argument elsewhere many times. Put ourselves as photographers and lack of licenses to this sector to the side, the decrease in proper journalism/photojournalism at local level, regional level, national level and worldwide is a very dangerous path - power wielders low to high need to be held accountable by "public" scrutiny, when this decrease and in some places/cases disappears it results in ill-informed citizens and it can then in turn "run wild" essentially, with considerable less risk of repercussions. I find this very worrying. 

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On ‎15‎/‎07‎/‎2018 at 09:13, Phil Robinson said:

Sales are up and this year - for the first time in ages - average fees are up.

Most of my sales (with quite a few notable exceptions) these days are coming from recently-uploaded images. 

Though I can understand the lack of motivation, I think people who stop uploading due to lack of sales may be contributing to their own downward spiral.

Things are getting better.

Things are getting better??? When an alamy print sells for less than personal use fee then things really are downhill. And I had 4 of them

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Publishers are also getting more savvy to other ways to get images, so paying for a stock photo isn't always necessary. Some examples:

 

1. One wiki-based site imports all of the free images from Flickr and so on, and probably receives just as many uploads as Alamy too, creating an untidy but nonetheless free-to-use stock library that nobody has to pay for - and they have offices around the world working to encourage more people to contribute for free, so it's only going to grow. A lot of the biggest publishers don't that source much yet, but I expect it's only a matter of time.

 

2. Images are being sourced from social media more than ever, and journalists/photo editors have become really adept at finding good images and getting permission to use them. The BBC also increasingly seem to use images from Twitter.

 

3. Fields like music photography are now flooded with hobbyists who'll give away their images, or hopefuls thinking it'll help further their professional career, even sometimes pitching them for free to publications. This has resulted in fields like that being killed off as a profession.

 

4. A number of publications seem to now just use a Google Maps image to demonstrate a location or a street, which will inevitably affect sales of street type photography.

 

5. Phone cameras are improving and are perfectly adequate for web use in a lot of cases. Coupled with social media, this makes it much easier to just pass up on professional images.

 

6. Even at accredited events, such as some sport, you'll often find "amateurs" competing with professionals, using their DSLR kit to take photos that they'll then put online. A lot of these people send them to the local paper as their hobby, because they enjoy getting the image used, which means the paper doesn't have to pay for an image. For example, one recent tennis event had 3 or 4 spectator photographers with decent kit virtually on some sort of day out, sat together in the front row of the matches, while the pros worked around them.

 

7. Some events are increasingly supplying free images for coverage of their event. For example, Reading and Leeds music festivals have a repository of free-to-use images for coverage of the festivals, so publications can either pay one of the agency photographers, send their own, or use the ones from the festival. The event photographers often get better access and better vantage points, too: In the Reading and Leeds example, they might get to shoot over the crowd or from the side of stage, not just from the pit.

 

8. Some publications now seem to embed or screenshot a tweet or Instagram post rather than paying for an image. It seems to be a grey area in the law, as everyone does it. Take the image of Kylian Mbappe kissing the World Cup here, for example: The BBC won't be paying the photographer for that, because it's a Twitter screenshot, but undoubtedly a professional had to produce the image. (He was probably paid by somebody along the way, but the reproduction is still lost revenue.)

Edited by Katie
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1 hour ago, KWheal said:

Things are getting better??? When an alamy print sells for less than personal use fee then things really are downhill. And I had 4 of them

Only speaking from personal experience - I realise it's not the same for everyone. 

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14 hours ago, TeeCee said:

 

 

Either way round, no-one is buying local papers anymore. No circulation means no ad revenue. No ad revenue ultimately means no local paper. Every paper I worked on tried umpteen times to gear up/regroup in an effort to provide whatever the public said they wanted - and to zero effect. The generation that was interested and bought local news has pretty much gone. The millennial generation thinks news is whatever comes in on a Twitter feed. As a direct result, there are no reporters in Magistrates Court every day, nor colleagues covering every council meeting.  There are no photographers covering local soccer, or being called out at 3.00am to a domestic fire. Local news is pretty much dead, and certainly not profitable enough for anyone to invest in - those remaining are being bled to death, rather than revived.

Actually, there are local photographers covering local soccer (football :P) and being called out at stupid hours to incidents like domestic fires - I do both (or I should say I am prepared to do both - even local newsworthy stuff does not happen in any particular location that frequently lol) .  Online circulation wise all my local papers are being beaten out of site by a tiny pretty much one man operation specialising in emergency services news.  He is very slowly building up a network of "informants" regularly beats local group papers to stories and last week managed to break 3 stories before the nationals.  Yes, the monetizing aspects are challenging and I am not denying the local print papers are having to face changing their methods completely but as the one man bit in my area is showing people do still want to read good factual interesting writing and see good photographs.  If the print versions are not gaining online following it might just be because they are offering bland generic pap.  When people have the choice between a report written the following morning by someone who was not there using a generic image and a report written on the scene with pictures of the scene and quotes from real people really there the second pulls in visitors massively over and above the former.

Edited by Starsphinx

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5 hours ago, Katie said:

 

6. Even at accredited events, such as some sport, you'll often find "amateurs" competing with professionals, using their DSLR kit to take photos that they'll then put online. A lot of these people send them to the local paper as their hobby, because they enjoy getting the image used, which means the paper doesn't have to pay for an image. For example, one recent tennis event had 3 or 4 spectator photographers with decent kit virtually on some sort of day out, sat together in the front row of the matches, while the pros worked around them.

 

 

 
1

Having oh so recently been that total amateur and still having so much to learn I am going to be rude and say the quality of such images is generally low - my stuff at that stage certainly was.  Have you considered that 3 or 4 spectator photographers on some sort of day out had actually paid a pro for the opportunity and had been coached by said pro before the start of the match?  I know in football and equestrian areas there are quite often pros offering instruction days where the enthusiastic amateur shells out a few hundred to have a lesson and then do a shoot at a top class event.  Usually limited to between 3 and 6 people.

Edited by Starsphinx

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Ah yes. We have seen the offending crowd and it is us.

 

In the 1990’s I used to get an average of $450 per sale with $5,000 per sale not uncommon. Until you lot on this forum showed up in 1998 and disrupted the business, with your lousy stinking $100 per average sale. Shame on you all.

 

I am as mad as hell and not going to take it anymore. I might even stop producing my 3 images per day. But maybe not, so don’t hold me to it. If I stop producing those 3 images per day that would bring the entire 100,000 images per day business to it’s knees.

 

But I can’t do that, I need the lousy stinking $100 per average sale. Ah well, feel better now.

 

+1 to Jeff.

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Here's a fiscal way of looking at it.

Let's imagine that I give a small charity £10. Let's also imagine an image is £10.

The charity buys my image. Alamy gets £5, I get £5, but have to pay 20% (£1) on tax.

The charity has a photo, Alamy has £5, I'm £6 down.

In effect, I've donated £5 to Alamy and £1 to the government for the charity to have my photo.

 

I donate a photo. The charity has a photo. Alamy has £0 (but in reality, the charity wouldn't buy, they'd do without, so Alamy isn't actually losing anything) I don't donate that £10 as I'm donating in kind, so I'm at net £0, which is better than -£6.

 

I can't see any moral difference between donating photos, or taking photos of an event, and making cakes, doing joinery work or any of the gazillions of other ways people support charities. I don't bake cakes, I take photos.

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7 hours ago, JeffGreenberg said:

 

9. Some stock shooters give away their images without any form of compensation, to education genre, to conservation genre,

to entertainment genre, to average-people-doing-average things-genre, etc. etc.  In Totum, millions of free photos for all, all the time.

Yet these same stock shooters whine about low fees, low licensing volume as they struggle for never-achievable full time stock income.

Never achievable due to their own actions In Totum.

 

10.

11.

12.

 

(if you agree, help me achieve +666 greenies by this time tomorrow)

 

Dear Beelzebub ;+)

 

....."without any form of compensation"....

 

I do it because it makes me feel good, as if I am contributing to a greater goal, as if there is some greater meaning to what I do. It makes me feel warm inside to have my photos used for a specific purpose to fits in with my personal ideologies.

 

Although I have to admit I am not what anyone would a call a "stock shooter", I am a hobbyist, as my expenses to take my photos outstrip my income 100 fold. So maybe I fall under item 3 already.  I will continue to fight the satanic capitalist stock machine in the knowledge that on my deathbed I did a little (very little) for my conscience - compensation enough.

Edited by Panthera tigris
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7 hours ago, Cryptoprocta said:

Here's a fiscal way of looking at it.

Let's imagine that I give a small charity £10. Let's also imagine an image is £10.

The charity buys my image. Alamy gets £5, I get £5, but have to pay 20% (£1) on tax.

The charity has a photo, Alamy has £5, I'm £6 down.

In effect, I've donated £5 to Alamy and £1 to the government for the charity to have my photo.

 

I donate a photo. The charity has a photo. Alamy has £0 (but in reality, the charity wouldn't buy, they'd do without, so Alamy isn't actually losing anything) I don't donate that £10 as I'm donating in kind, so I'm at net £0, which is better than -£6.

 

I can't see any moral difference between donating photos, or taking photos of an event, and making cakes, doing joinery work or any of the gazillions of other ways people support charities. I don't bake cakes, I take photos.

 

I am also involved with a charity, both by doing work and by donating the occasional photo. I don't get people complaining that I am preventing them from working because of my donated time, so why have we photographers moaning about the occasional free photo? That said, I have also refused to supply free photos from my Alamy collection when asked by people who are clearly budget holders and paid for their role in an organisation.

 

The factors affecting the cost of pictures are numerous, but ease of production leading to gross oversupply and the demise of the printed media are probably the major ones and the occasional freebie is hardly relevant.

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35 minutes ago, funkyworm said:

 

As I understand it Alamy gives photography students 100% commission. And recently showed similar benevolence towards Edo. I recall that the reasoning behind the first was not just benevolance but partially to help educate students in the value of IP. 

 

With regard the story, there is a programme Undercover Boss. The US version (s)he always seems to be working alongside an employee who is in financial difficulties... and at the end they get charitable and give them a cheque to help them out and tears flow. Nobody seems to point out that if they had been paying the employee a living wage in the first place, they wouldn;t be in financial difficulties.

If they have 10 employees on the same wage and 9 of them are not in financial difficulties the issue is not the amount of the wages. 

Yes this is one of my triggers but I am sick to death of the idea that the solution to everything is "give them more money"

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Hi everyone

 

We agree, this thread has veered off its course so we are locking it down.

 

Thanks

Alamy

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