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@OP: I'm guessing your experience with SS was over ten years ago, as 25c has been the minimum there for that length of time. It's a pity you didn't read your contract, and SS's T&C, because Kleenex told you wrong. Via SS, usage on merchandise requires an enhanced licence and you should have got much more for that sale.

You'll see that most agencies have it in your contract that you do not contact customers directly in the first instance. I don't know about SS as I've never submitted there, but it's in your Alamy contract that you must contact them first if you suspect any misuses, and that's pretty general.

If you had stuck with SS that long ago and submitted all your images there, and to others, you would likely have earned a LOT of money by now. Nowadays the market is just about saturated in most subjects.

I also hope that when you submit to Deviant Art and other photo-sharing sites and social media, you put big watermarks on your images. It doesn't stop your files being hotlinked to , but it certainly deters a lot of would-be image thieves, though obviously the determined and fairly skilful could deal with the watermark.

Don't imagine that only having your images on Alamy will save you from image thieves. As soon as someone has bought your image legitimately and puts it online, it is unprotected and essentially 'up for grabs', and it's not always possible to retrieve a payment, even when your copyright and Alamy is in the file metadata.

Alamy is not good for getting lots of sales. Be aware that nowadays, some Alamy RM contracts have such wide terms they might as well be RF, and that some prices on these may not be high (I've had three under $1 net). You might also hit the jackpot, and get a nice high-value sale, which apparently are still occasionally had.

Do your own research in this forum and in independent forums and do your own experimenting to see which agencies serve your images best.

Edited by Cryptoprocta
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Schöne Fotos. 

Bear in mind that it's not just a marmot, but an Alpine Marmot (Marmota marmota), put in Groundhog as a keyword and put in the captions, where the photo was taken.

Check on EOL for common and scientific names http://www.eol.org

What breed is the calf? Why just put in Canal Grande? In English, it's Grand Canal. Etc. be as precise as possible. 

Keine Angst, das wird schon. :-D

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4 minutes ago, vpics said:

Bear in mind that it's not just a marmot, but an Alpine Marmot (Marmota marmota), put in Groundhog as a keyword and put in the captions, where the photo was taken.

Ok, after my blushes re agoutis yesterday, I'm just going to ask about this, I'm not an expert on marmots.

Is the (European) Alpine Marmot, M. marmota the same as the (North American) Groundhog  M. monax? Otherwise, why would you put in Groundhog as a keyword on an Alpine Marmot?

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2 minutes ago, Cryptoprocta said:

Ok, after my blushes re agoutis yesterday, I'm just going to ask about this, I'm not an expert on marmots.

Is the (European) Alpine Marmot, M. marmota the same as the (North American) Groundhog  M. monax? Otherwise, why would you put in Groundhog as a keyword on an Alpine Marmot?

Some people might just search for a groundhog and don't know that they're really marmots.

Put the correct version in the caption and add anything else in the keywords. 

It's also a lot about scientific and common names. So check EOL.

 

Edited by vpics

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Just now, vpics said:

Some people might just search for a groundhog and don't know that they're really marmots.

Put the correct version in the caption and add anything else in the keywords. 

I wonder if others would care to pitch in with opinions on this.

Maybe people don't know that groundhogs are marmots, but if they search for 'groundhog', aren't they likely to actually want a photo of a groundhog rather than some random marmot (15 species)?

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Ooops, just realised that EOL has changed a lot since I last used it ... 

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1 minute ago, Cryptoprocta said:

I wonder if others would care to pitch in with opinions on this.

Maybe people don't know that groundhogs are marmots, but if they search for 'groundhog', aren't they likely to actually want a photo of a groundhog rather than some random marmot (15 species)?

The German name for marmot is Murmeltier and one of the English translations for Murmeltier is groundhog.

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2 minutes ago, vpics said:

The German name for marmot is Murmeltier and one of the English translations for Murmeltier is groundhog.

Hmmmm, but Alpine Marmot is Alpenmurmeltier.

If someone searches only on Marmot, it is correct for pics of Groundhogs to show up among their search results, but IMO it's not correct for Groundhogs to show up on a search for Alpine Marmots.

 

BTW, it seems that the Italian language doesn't have a different word for monkeys or apes (maybe only as commonly used, presumably the scientists differentiate[?], but I wouldn't put 'monkey' on a pic of e.g. a chimpanzee, nor 'ape' on a photo of e.g. a marmoset.

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13000 images for marmot but only searched a handful of times over last 12 months. So demand against supply not favourable. 

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10 minutes ago, andremichel said:

13000 images for marmot but only searched a handful of times over last 12 months. So demand against supply not favourable. 

That doesn't surprise me. I discovered for one species I had sold more times via my micro site in a year than Alamy had registered searches over the same period. (I don't know how many buyers are registered, but some personal use buyers are)

Alamy doesn't seem to be a go-to place for many wildlife buyers.

 

Edited by Cryptoprocta

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4 hours ago, orest said:

 

Thank you.

So it's all about quantity, not quality?

 

It's about both. Your images are amazing. I'm jealous. They will sell, there's no doubt, but you need more to get regular sales. 

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2 hours ago, orest said:

It's really helpful to read your advices about keywords.

I thought I need to somehow complete all 50 keywords to make my pictures discoverable.

What I didn't know is that I can put few words together to describe the pictures more precisely.

Optimising discoverability takes 90% of upload times.

If I ignore that and add all the directly relevant keywords (who, doing what, why, where, when), I'll win a lot of time.

IGNORE THE GREEN BAR.

Add the keywords you think are relevant - don't add anything just to make up numbers.

The concept of 'optimising' is one of Alamy's biggest mistakes ever. Ignore it.

Good luck.

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Yours is truly a cautionary tale about the perils of microstock. Thanks for sharing it. However, I guess that's the risk photographers take when they embrace the micro world -- i.e. someone can make a mint from your images while you walk away with peanut shells. Something to keep in mind, is that Alamy is very much a "long-tail" agency. If you take a look at the "images sold' forum threads, you'll see that some pretty unusual subjects license here. The world is now saturated with spectacular imagery, so it's often the quirky and harder to find stuff that sells. Good luck.

Edited by John Mitchell
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Orest,

 

I agree with most, your images are excellent, but you IPTC info (captions and keywords) needs work.

 

I spend too much time on prepping images and even more time researching information about the

image subject, location, etc.

 

hang in there and you should do well on Alamy.

 

Chuck

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8 hours ago, wiskerke said:

Set AoA to the earliest date (1 year + the current month).

Set results per page to 100.

Set UCO highest first to see how many searches there have been for a chosen keyword or key-phrase.

Set views lowest first to identify gaps in the collection and find subjects to shoot or ways to shoot a subject. Or just how to keyword them ;-)

Search using the wildcards %% like %Swiss% or %marmot% or %Matterhorn% or %mountain% - it's a database thing. Try it without to see what difference it makes.

You'll notice that clients here are looking for different things than your images. And if they do look for a brown swiss cow, there are 1943 images on Alamy to compete with.

 

 

wim

Pretty cool wim!  I never thought about changing UCO.  Helpful info dude!

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17 minutes ago, Bear said:

Pretty cool wim!  I never thought about changing UCO.  Helpful info dude!

 

You're welcome!

There's even more. Like the obvious: Search term. Sometimes lots of slightly different single UCO searches add up to more than the ones with most UCO. Very useful when scouting out a place.

For something like Lexington or even Kentucky it doesn't make that much difference, but try Washington and you'll see what I mean.

For more serious location scouting I download the spreadsheet files. You could even do that over the years for favorite subjects or places.

 

wim

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16 hours ago, chris_rabe said:

Yeah, passing quality control doesn't mean a great deal - I have uploaded some stinkers and not had one single rejection to date with 400 images :)

 

I try not to upload stinkers though :)

 

And as others have said - variety. It's all good having the best landscape photo ever taken in Switzerland - but if nobody is searching this particular agency for that, well then it won't be found. Also, you have a lot of other photos to contend with, and worse ones than yours may be listed near the top.

 

 

Firstly, I think it's highly misleading to say QC doesn't mean a great deal . . . tell that to anyone who has had trouble with the standard of their submitted images in the past. Indeed, tell that to the majority here who put a lot of skilled hard work into making sure their images meet QC's standards.

 

Secondly . . . . well,  let's just say I think the chances of your next few submissions being give a very, very close look by QC have increased exponentially :ph34r:

 

DD

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14 minutes ago, dustydingo said:

 

Firstly, I think it's highly misleading to say QC doesn't mean a great deal . . . tell that to anyone who has had trouble with the standard of their submitted images in the past. Indeed, tell that to the majority here who put a lot of skilled hard work into making sure their images meet QC's standards.

 

Secondly . . . . well,  let's just say I think the chances of your next few submissions being give a very, very close look by QC have increased exponentially :ph34r:

 

DD

 

That's fine, just had another batch of 127 pass.

 

But to be clear, I don't necessarily mean technically poor, but things can pass without keywords, bad composition, seemingly boring/uninteresting images, but yes, also sometimes technically less than ideal - but I'm not seasoned and not sure where MY quality standards compare to the likes of, say, Alamy.

 

And passing QC certainly doesn't mean anything relative to sales of images.

 

 

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7 minutes ago, chris_rabe said:

things can pass without keywords, bad composition, seemingly boring/uninteresting images, but yes, also sometimes technically less than ideal

 

Since you know this, you can be your own QC. I know that "anything can sell", here at Alamy, but uploading substandard images isn't, IMO, the way to go...

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2 minutes ago, John Morrison said:

 

Since you know this, you can be your own QC. I know that "anything can sell", here at Alamy, but uploading substandard images isn't, IMO, the way to go...

 

You are starting to move beyond the point - that passing quality control doesn't mean something will sell. 

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I'm pretty new here and haven't yet had any sales but I did a great deal of forum reading before deciding to use Alamy for my back catalogue which I am working through to upload, I also have a bit of background in web SEO - given my short time here I wont be offended if my opinion is disregarded but here goes.

 

  1. Quantity and Diversity - your image standard is high but the quantity and diversity is low - it seems this site is very much a numbers game.
  2. Tagging -  I think the 'discoverability' thing is misleading and probably leads to actually damaging your search results if you end up tagging for the sake of it - every search engine I have ever worked with that uses tagging penalises listings that use vague or irrelevant tag - for example you tag Ambassador a lot - a user here searching using this term is not looking for images like yours - your tag should be about the content of the image only and not about the photographer. Tags should also be in English, that is how searchers are encouraged to use the site. Things like animals though, I would tage with, common name, latin name, and any nicknames etc. In short Tag about the content only, tag in english.

Processing images for Alamy can be time consuming with captions and tags and can slow you down a lot in getting your images online, I would strongly suggest the following -  do your captions and tags in your DAM (Digital Asset manager) and make sure they are copied to the IPTC fields that Alamy reads - then upload by FTP - if you do a good enough job then they will go straight on sale when they pass QC and you can refine them later in Alamy image manager if you wish.

So for my workflow I will take a set of images with common values - taken in the same location or same event etc and then in my DAM (ACDsee) I will select the them all and then on mass apply tags that apply to them all and usually a generic and relevant caption that is accurate for all but not highly specific. I will then select the images in smaller groups applying keywords on mass that are relevant to all the images in that group, and so on getting smaller and smaller groups. If I am short of time I'll just FTP them all to Alamy at this point and then complete the final bit in Alamy image manager after they've passed QC, but I find it faster in my DAM - I Then flick through the images one by one adding a bit of extra image specific detail to the caption if appropriate and any tags that apply only to that image then send them up by ftp. Once they pass QC in Alamy I then add all the optional stuff like category from my laptop whenever I have 10 minutes.

as they say 'finished is better that perfect' - but in alamy context perhaps 'on sale is better that perfect' - you can always fine tune as you go.

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3 hours ago, chris_rabe said:

 

You are starting to move beyond the point - that passing quality control doesn't mean something will sell. 

 

Well, to be fair, no . . . you seem to have forgotten your original point:

 

"Yeah, passing quality control doesn't mean a great deal - I have uploaded some stinkers and not had one single rejection to date with 400 images"

 

You link QC with not having had a single rejection . . . naught about sales until a few post later, to again be fair.

 

DD

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15 minutes ago, dustydingo said:

 

Well, to be fair, no . . . you seem to have forgotten your original point:

 

"Yeah, passing quality control doesn't mean a great deal - I have uploaded some stinkers and not had one single rejection to date with 400 images"

 

You link QC with not having had a single rejection . . . naught about sales until a few post later, to again be fair.

 

DD

 

And the OP's topic was about sales...

 

Are you just looking to start a pointless online argument?

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1 hour ago, chris_rabe said:

 

And the OP's topic was about sales...

 

Are you just looking to start a pointless online argument?

 

Not at all . . . I stand by my original response (which you may note has not changed . . .) :

 

". . . I think it's highly misleading to say QC doesn't mean a great deal . . . tell that to anyone who has had trouble with the standard of their submitted images in the past. Indeed, tell that to the majority here who put a lot of skilled hard work into making sure their images meet QC's standards."

 

ooh look, a butterfly . . .

 

DD

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2 hours ago, chris_rabe said:

 

And the OP's topic was about sales...

 

Are you just looking to start a pointless online argument?

 

I really enjoy a wide ranging discussion of different points of view, and I tend to learn more because of them.

 

I would suggest to orest that he takes his images on the highest quality camera available. His examples are images I would take on a high quality camera. However there is always room to take images on a barely suitable camera, if that is all you have on you at the time.

 

The best camera to use, is the one you have on you.

 

I use a Canon 5Ds most of the time, but a cell phone size Sony DSCRX100 old version 1 some of the time.

 

I am watching smartphone technology because I think it will soon be ready for prime time.

 

Thanks to orest for initiating some interesting discussions

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