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Commission change - James West comments

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2 minutes ago, Foreign Export said:

 

absolutely nothing wrong with a principle of existing contribs  get a different rate to new ones - after all thats how the world works

 

as time moves on new contracts are formed - otherwise we would all be buying houses etc at 19th century  prices 


There is a difference. Of course houses now cost more than 200 years ago, but people suggest that people should get different percentages for the photos sold on the same day. That creates two classes of photographers. It's like the problem with two different tariffs for workers who do the same job in the same company. That is very bad for the company climate.

Of course new people are free to sign up even for 40% or lower, but they might be very angry if they realize after a while, that others get more. At least that fact should be communicated to them when they sign up.

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1 minute ago, Skyscraperfan said:


There is a difference. Of course houses now cost more than 200 years ago, but people suggest that people should get different percentages for the photos sold on the same day. That creates two classes of photographers. It's like the problem with two different tariffs for workers who do the same job in the same company. That is very bad for the company climate.

Of course new people are free to sign up even for 40% or lower, but they might be very angry if they realize after a while, that others get more. At least that fact should be communicated to them when they sign up.

 

“Other places” have tiers whereby those that have generated more revenue are rewarded - I don’t see a problem with that, an incentive to do better?

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3 minutes ago, Skyscraperfan said:


There is a difference. Of course houses now cost more than 200 years ago, but people suggest that people should get different percentages for the photos sold on the same day. That creates two classes of photographers. It's like the problem with two different tariffs for workers who do the same job in the same company. That is very bad for the company climate.

Of course new people are free to sign up even for 40% or lower, but they might be very angry if they realize after a while, that others get more. At least that fact should be communicated to them when they sign up.

 

no it doesn't - it creates photographers who joined before feb 19 and those who joined after that date - its not a different class its just time

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3 minutes ago, Martin Carlsson said:

 

That’s not true - I use the full range of arrows, as well as posting. Certainly nothing evil behind its use. People are to hung up on likes and approvals now-a-days, it is ok to not agree or think differently. I much more enjoy discussing, as well as generally finding it more fruitful, to discuss with those that don’t agree with me, at the end of it either I learn something or they do, or both parties continue to disagree. 

 

 I don’t really look as to what I receive, but on occasion I do and getting a bunch of reds I interpret as nothing more than whatever I said didn’t fly with the majority, which can lead me to think again, try and see things from another perspective or just accept that we all have difference of opinions. 


Yes, people should not take arrows personally. Also it is much more productive to have a conversation with people who have different opinions. On Facebook or Twitter people should rather follow people with different views than their own to avoid the "filter bubble". In times of social media people prefer to read posts that are in line with their own opinion. That is a big mistake.

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Just now, Skyscraperfan said:


Yes, people should not take arrows personally. Also it is much more productive to have a conversation with people who have different opinions. On Facebook or Twitter people should rather follow people with different views than their own to avoid the "filter bubble". In times of social media people prefer to read posts that are in line with their own opinion. That is a big mistake.

 

Totes agree, and adding “don’t take everything so damn personal”. Discussions are fun, enlightening - should be able to disagree completely and still “get along”, be pleasant etc. otherwise a discussion forum might not be the best of places for one to frequent IMHO. 

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3 minutes ago, Martin Carlsson said:

 

That’s not true - I use the full range of arrows, as well as posting. Certainly nothing evil behind its use. People are to hung up on likes and approvals now-a-days, it is ok to not agree or think differently. I much more enjoy discussing, as well as generally finding it more fruitful, to discuss with those that don’t agree with me, at the end of it either I learn something or they do, or both parties continue to disagree. 

 

 I don’t really look as to what I receive, but on occasion I do and getting a bunch of reds I interpret as nothing more than whatever I said didn’t fly with the majority, which can lead me to think again, try and see things from another perspective or just accept that we all have difference of opinions. 

You get a green for that ;)

1 minute ago, Skyscraperfan said:


There is a difference. Of course houses now cost more than 200 years ago, but people suggest that people should get different percentages for the photos sold on the same day. That creates two classes of photographers. It's like the problem with two different tariffs for workers who do the same job in the same company. That is very bad for the company climate.

Of course new people are free to sign up even for 40% or lower, but they might be very angry if they realize after a while, that others get more. At least that fact should be communicated to them when they sign up.

Uh actually it is more normal than you think - I have worked in a factory where some workers got paid more than others for packing a box - that was because they had managed to pack more boxes in a set time, and because some had time service premiums.  When my children got jobs with famous fast food vendors some people got more than others for cooking a burger - because their burger was made quicker or closer to the ideal, or because they did other jobs as well as cooking burgers.  When my children wait tables some waiting staff get more than others for bringing food - because they do it with a better smile, are more responsive or just have the fortune to be allocated the table with a high tipper.

To suggest that just because 2 photographs are sold at the same time means 2 photographers have done the same work is rubbish.  I drove 20 minutes got out of the car walked five minutes and pointed my camera at a ride in perfect light.  Someone else charged their dive tanks, got kitted for a dive, possibly took a boat (which is work in itself) dove underwater searched or hung around waiting for the fish or whatever to fall into the desired pose.   Who did more work to get their image?  Why should both images earn the same?  Then again there are many photographers here with decades of experience - who are going to position themselves better, frame things better, get the right settings on the camera quicker much better than someone who got their camera 6 months ago.  They have years of contributing to Alamy, and will have already made Alamy significant sums of money - why shouldn't Alamy reward with a higher rate of pay?

Maybe "contributors already here stay on 50 new arrivals get 40" isnt the way - but how about 5 years of consistently uploading X amount a year with y sales and CTR of Z gets 45% and 10 years of the same consistency gets 50% applying to everyone no matter when they joined

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1 minute ago, geogphotos said:

My point is that everybody SHOULD BE treated the same but that nobody should lose more than £200 ( or similar figure).

 

Nothing divisive about the. Everybody on the same percentage but a safety net to limit loses.


If you make £4000 per year and your loss is limited to £200, that's just 5% instead of 20%.

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1 minute ago, geogphotos said:

 

So?


You said "Everybody on the same percentage", but that is not true, if one person gets a 5% cut, while the other gets a 20% cut.

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25 minutes ago, Skyscraperfan said:


Yes, people should not take arrows personally. Also it is much more productive to have a conversation with people who have different opinions. On Facebook or Twitter people should rather follow people with different views than their own to avoid the "filter bubble". In times of social media people prefer to read posts that are in line with their own opinion. That is a big mistake.

My facebook and twitter friends include people everywhere on the political spectrum - pro's and anti's in most things - how can I challenge my perceptions if I don't listen to and evaluate all different perspectives.  Echo chambers are pointless.

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1 minute ago, geogphotos said:

Gross figure from direct sales = £4000

 

@ 50% =£2000

@ 40% = £1600

 

Safety net stop loss figure of £200 = end of year invoice to claim back £200

 

Gross figure from direct sales = £2000

@50% =£1000

@40% =£800

 

Safety net stop loss figure of £200 = no invoice claim as loss matches threshold

 

Nobody loses more than £200.

 

This rewards sales.

 

 


I understand the numbers (I even have a diploma in maths), but just imagine you work in a big company, that is near the edge of bankruptcy. So the boss decides that everybody will get paid £200 less per month from now on. The boss who earns £10000 per month as well as the low paid worker who earns £800 per month. Nobody will lose more than those £200  per month. Is that fair?

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What difference does it make for Alamy if 1000 images are sold by one photographer alone or by 50 photographers combined? Accounting costs would roughly be the same, because those are just some electronic transactions to PayPal or wherever without any humans involved. Would it be smarter to make those 50 photographers angry instead of the one, although they both have the same number of sales?

I see it as a kind of selling apples to Alamy. On a weekly market, Alamy would even get a rebate for many apples. Ten apples for the price of eight. So the seller (we) gets less money per apple the more apples he sells. Of course I do not suggest that model for Alamy.

Edited by Skyscraperfan

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3 hours ago, geogphotos said:

My point is that everybody SHOULD BE treated the same but that nobody should lose more than £200 ( or similar figure).

 

Nothing divisive about the. Everybody on the same percentage but a safety net to limit loses.

 

Think about it Ian - since when are there any guarantees offered in this "field"? I say nah - if offering rewards do it as incentives for those that do well what this field is about i.e. creating images that attract licensing and are in themselves a profit for Alamy. It would also work as an incentive for those that want to get better. In other words - reward those that work hard to create the right type of images that generate actual $. I don't want no guarantees, I want opportunities - the opportunity to earn more if I work harder and better if you know what I mean.

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17 minutes ago, Martin Carlsson said:

 

Think about it Ian - since when are there any guarantees offered in this "field"? I say nah - if offering rewards do it as incentives for those that do well what this field is about i.e. creating images that attract licensing and are in themselves a profit for Alamy. It would also work as an incentive for those that want to get better. In other words - reward those that work hard to create the right type of images that generate actual $. I don't want no guarantees, I want opportunities - the opportunity to earn more if I work harder and better if you know what I mean.

I really do not get why we have become so wary about rewarding the good and insistent that everyone gets the same (this is across the whole of society not just Alamy).  I mean think about it pub one puts all its tips into a pot and shares them equally,  pub 2 uses 50% to share among the backroom staff (cooks pot washers etc) and the other 50% is divided up according to who served the person who left the tip.  Which pub do you think will have the better serving staff?
A good photographer is not only going to sell more images for Alamy they are going to attract new buyers and bring return custom.  They are fully deserving of rewards extending beyond the market place.

Edited by Starsphinx
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I'm liking the idea that those shots marked exclusive will continue at 50%. I have very few that currently are, but it gives me, and others, the option to tick the box on the shots they are prepared to have in that category. It is fair  in that all contributors, new and old,  are treated equally and it does represent an element of risk for those who are prepared to commit those photos exclusively to Alamy. A reward for loyalty. 

 

 

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To All,

 

I feel the need to add that I believe that all creators entering

Alamy be given the same opportunity, be it commissions or

where their images appear in the search results.  I have always

admired Alamy for doing that.  Now we are talking, it is not our

decision or our company, about segregating the new contributors

and legacy contributors?  Again in my opinion that is a bad idea.

 

For more than ten years and based on my over 40 years in the

photo agency business, Alamy was the best agency or library

I've contributed to.  Mr. West's video threw that all out the window.

 

It is not about $, in my opinion it is about respect.

 

With the above in mind, I am making my own decisions and I

don't plan to let the door hit me on my way out.  I also do not

believe that Alamy will suffer from my exit.

 

I do also believe that Mr. West owes us all a public comment.

 

Chuck Nacke

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1 minute ago, JeffGreenberg said:

Many questions related to Alamy suggesting Exclusivity maintains 50/50.

 

...

f. Are there past examples of new conditions introduced causing increased workload for contribs. & NO benefit?

 

Pretty well every time they make a change: re-rank, AIM, etd

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1 hour ago, Chuck Nacke said:

To All,

 

I feel the need to add that I believe that all creators entering

Alamy be given the same opportunity, be it commissions or

where their images appear in the search results.  I have always

admired Alamy for doing that.  Now we are talking, it is not our

decision or our company, about segregating the new contributors

and legacy contributors?  Again in my opinion that is a bad idea.

 

For more than ten years and based on my over 40 years in the

photo agency business, Alamy was the best agency or library

I've contributed to.  Mr. West's video threw that all out the window.

 

It is not about $, in my opinion it is about respect.

 

With the above in mind, I am making my own decisions and I

don't plan to let the door hit me on my way out.  I also do not

believe that Alamy will suffer from my exit.

 

I do also believe that Mr. West owes us all a public comment.

 

Chuck Nacke

 

Wholeheartedly agree,

 

Sadly after almost 17 years there is now no good reason for me to stick around any longer either. May pop in briefly late January to see how it has all played out and to make my next decision. I am now looking, positively, to new horizons.

 

I will miss some of the people here but I hope too see many of you when you pop up in other places.

 

All the best

 

Martin

Edited by Martin P Wilson

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In the days of stock photography catalogues, the real talent was rewarded by being included in the annual sales catalogue. Only the very best images from the agency collection were in the catalogue. If your images were second rate, they did not make the catalogue no matter how hard you worked. One image in a catalogue was worth $40,000 in sales over the life of the catalogue. The only way to get into the catalogue, and make more money, was to have better images in the agency collection than the other photographers in your agency.

 

Claiming that every photographer should be equal, regardless of their talent and value to Alamy, is just bizarre.

 

Our images are not all the same. Of course we should be divided based on talent. It is not about working hard, it is all about talent.

 

The internet is the great down leveler in the creative industries. Anyone can publish? The crowd has rights? Well the crowd does not have rights, if they are second rate.

Amongst those who buy and care about images, the level of the photography contained in some stock photos by the untalented has become a joke. Look at the stock photo fail articles on the internet.

 

There is an opportunity for Alamy and talented photographers in all of this.

 

Providing photographer incentives would be the way for Alamy to reward and inspire the talented, get rid of the occasionally lucky second rate photographers taking money from the talented, improve the quality of it's library, and therefore truly distinguish itself in a image crowded marketplace.

 

For one to advocate, no incentives to rise above the crowd, everyone equal, a reward for being around so long, jobs for life, security for all, no changes, is only a refuge for the second rate.

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1 hour ago, Bryan said:

I'm liking the idea that those shots marked exclusive will continue at 50%. I have very few that currently are, but it gives me, and others, the option to tick the box on the shots they are prepared to have in that category. It is fair  in that all contributors, new and old,  are treated equally and it does represent an element of risk for those who are prepared to commit those photos exclusively to Alamy. A reward for loyalty. 

 

 

As an 8 month contributor, I certainly agree with this sentiment, Bryan, and appreciate the egalitarian point of view.  

 

Furthermore, I think it critical that exclusivity must create more value than just retaining 50% commission.  Because of the relatively low volume of sales by Alamy,  I would recommend that Alamy postpones any change in commission structure until it has the marketing scheme in place to benefit both Alamy and us from introduction of the NEW, IMPROVED 'exclusive' category. 

 

Up to now they've acknowledged that ticking the 'exclusive' box means almost nothing.  If I'm going to commit to exclusivity, I want it to mean that Alamy is actively marketing that feature of the collection, not just dividing its catalog into 50% and 60% income categories.  I want to reasonably expect to have either increased sales, or better pricing from an exclusive image--preferably both.  In a world where exclusivity seems to be increasingly rare, surely there is some value in it. 

 

-Michael

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2 hours ago, Martin Carlsson said:

 

Think about it Ian - since when are there any guarantees offered in this "field"? I say nah - if offering rewards do it as incentives for those that do well what this field is about i.e. creating images that attract licensing and are in themselves a profit for Alamy. It would also work as an incentive for those that want to get better. In other words - reward those that work hard to create the right type of images that generate actual $. I don't want no guarantees, I want opportunities - the opportunity to earn more if I work harder and better if you know what I mean.


It's not about getting more, but about having to do more for getting the same reward you used to get in the past.

That reminds me of "Amazon Prime". In the past most products were delivered just one day after your order. But then Amazon introduced "Prime", which guarantees a delivery on the next day. That was not a lot of benefit, if your deliveries arrive the next day even without Prime. So Amazon had a brilliant idea: Let's delay the normal (non Prime) shipments for one day. If you order something today without Prime, Amazon will wait until tomorrow evening until it even starts shipping your order. At least that's the case in Germany. So customers have to join Prime for 69 Euros per months to get the same fast shipping that used to be free in the past. That sounds exactly as what some suggest for Alamy: Only get 50%, if you sell very many photos.

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10 minutes ago, Bill Brooks said:

In the days of stock photography catalogues, the real talent was rewarded by being included in the annual sales catalogue. Only the very best images from the agency collection were in the catalogue. If your images were second rate, they did not make the catalogue no matter how hard you worked. One image in a catalogue was worth $40,000 in sales over the life of the catalogue. The only way to get into the catalogue, and make more money, was to have better images in the agency collection than the other photographers in your agency.

 

Claiming that every photographer should be equal, regardless of their talent and value to Alamy, is just bizarre.

 

Our images are not all the same. Of course we should be divided based on talent. It is not about working hard, it is all about talent.

 

The internet is the great down leveler in the creative industries. Anyone can publish? The crowd has rights? Well the crowd does not have rights, if they are second rate.

Amongst those who buy and care about images, the level of the photography contained in some stock photos by the untalented has become a joke. Look at the stock photo fail articles on the internet.

 

There is an opportunity for Alamy and talented photographers in all of this.

 

Providing photographer incentives would be the way for Alamy to reward and inspire the talented, get rid of the occasionally lucky second rate photographers taking money from the talented, improve the quality of it's library, and therefore truly distinguish itself in a image crowded marketplace.

 

For one to advocate, no incentives to rise above the crowd, everyone equal, a reward for being around so long, jobs for life, security for all, no changes, is only a refuge for the second rate.

I'm sure I agree with you, Bill, but could you clarify what--in the world of stock photography, especially editorial--counts as talent?  Is it something more than the ability to upload images which customers license?

 

Thanks,

Michael

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4 minutes ago, geogphotos said:

What all of us benefit from is more talented photographers than ourselves staying with Alamy. 

 

The person getting direct sales of $6000 gross a month in sales is helping all of us. That person is an Alamy hero! 

 

Change the split and instead of $3000 that contributor is getting $2400, a loss of $600 every month or $7200 per annum.

 

Lose somebody like that and we all lose. A person like that has choices. 

 

I say reward those who are successful and that also incentivises everybody else. 

     As a relatively new, and as-to-now minimally successful contributor, I agree with you, Ian.   I am reminded of a bit of advice given me by a Greek professor when I asked him if I should take a certain course.   He said "yes, always take the hardest course you can get into".   I've generally followed that advice through my life, and chose Alamy for that reason.  I am here to learn, improve, rub shoulders with those far better than me, and contribute when I can. 

     From my admittedly limited perspective, I see Alamy as the best place to be for any generalist.  For the company to diminish that quality in any way would be a horrible mistake for all concerned. 

 

--Michael

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Guys, red arrows and green arrows don't matter.  What matters is this 20% cut which we're all facing.  Now it seems West is looking at exclusive images retain 50%, but I don't see how that can be policed.  Additionally, for those who are pro photographers, to maximise income, our pics are with multiple agencies/platforms.  It would be folly to 'put ones eggs in one basket', thus West's 'clutching at straws' idea is nothing short of desperate.  Just keep the damn commission at 50/50 for everyone and be done with it.  TBH, I'm sick of reading about it! 

 

As for those complaining about red arrows - toughen up, it really doesn't matter!

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3 hours ago, Bryan said:

I'm liking the idea that those shots marked exclusive will continue at 50%. I have very few that currently are, but it gives me, and others, the option to tick the box on the shots they are prepared to have in that category. It is fair  in that all contributors, new and old,  are treated equally and it does represent an element of risk for those who are prepared to commit those photos exclusively to Alamy. A reward for loyalty. 

 

 

 

If Alamy does go this route, I would hope that they define "exclusive" as not being available on other stock agencies only -- i.e. the definition should not include images on POD sites as well as those that we license through our own websites. I would probably pull some duplicated images from non-performing agencies. However, like many others, I have a lot of images sitting on POD sites that I'd like to leave there.

 

P.S. It seems that the 50% exclusive offer is more appealing to UK contributors because many of them have apparently not placed their images anywhere else, even though Alamy has counseled against this in the past. Correct? It strikes me as being a bit odd that an agency that has never asked for loyalty, even advised against it, is now thinking of rewarding it, doesn't quite add up.

Edited by John Mitchell

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9 minutes ago, JeffGreenberg said:

 

 

Sadly, by contribs ratting on each other.

Maybe by spot checks via Google Image???

 

... and by buyers as well, not too difficult to do in the age of the Internet. "Hey! I just found this exclusive image that I licensed from you for $$$ available on a microstock site."

Edited by John Mitchell

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