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1 minute ago, Shergar said:

So do you think this culling of photographers will spill over into regular stock? If your opinion  is right  for news then I guess it would be right for regular stock. What do you think??

No, it won't spill into regular stock.  I think, and I'm possibly completely wrong, Alamy wants to streamline the whole news thing so it only receives newsy pictures which have the possibility to sell, from contribs who have regular sales.  It's a business thing, nothing personal, I think.

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11 minutes ago, Colblimp said:

No, it won't spill into regular stock.  I think, and I'm possibly completely wrong, Alamy wants to streamline the whole news thing so it only receives newsy pictures which have the possibility to sell, from contribs who have regular sales.  It's a business thing, nothing personal, I think.

I never thought it was anything personal. Im pretty sure Alamy don't sit around thinking who they can piss off today and looking at who's been dumped one could consider oneself lucky to be in such an esteemed group. Location might have played a part. 

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1 hour ago, Starsphinx said:

Oh I would be able to see why it was done - IF it had been done which looking at the newsfeed it has not.

Are we seriously suggesting that the problem is *quote* The ones who claim to be good photographers, say they always have their camera ready and have been near to where the action is, and one day will come up with a scoop, but never actually deliver News images that sell?*unquote but who upload within an hour, properly caption and headline and follow the guidelines to the letter while the ones uploading deer in a field, boats sailing etc are fine?

There are too many people who did absolutely nothing wrong - who carefully decided what to upload as live news and what to upload as stock, who checked and double checked they were getting the IPTC fields correct and who presented damn good images of, yes, news, but who unfortunately did not see their story picked up who have been dumped while others carry on uploading and presenting "pear blossoms in China" as news.

If the culling had been done on the basis of who had followed guidelines about stuff actually being news there would be far less complaining but when people who followed the guidelines have been dropped but can still see images that are not news on the feed they are going to be miffed. Word to the wise if you are going to pull off something guaranteed to upset people it is a good idea to make sure it is seen to be doing what you claim it is for.  

 

I don't give reds, greens or little love hearts but if I did I'd give you a green for this. 👍

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1 hour ago, Shergar said:

I never thought it was anything personal. Im pretty sure Alamy don't sit around thinking who they can piss off today and looking at who's been dumped one could consider oneself lucky to be in such an esteemed group. Location might have played a part. 

 

I was wondering about location as well.  I don't see anything from Canada in the Live News feed at the moment and I wonder how many Canadian contributors kept their Live News access.   My LiveNews images never sold as news, but then again I have never seen any of the local or national news outlets showing any alamy images. 

 

Like others, I am uphappy with the way I was abruptly cut from Live News.  It would have gone over easier if there was an earlier announcement about upcoming changes and how Live News access was going to be reduced.

 

Maria

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2 minutes ago, MariaJ said:

 

I was wondering about location as well.  I don't see anything from Canada in the Live News feed at the moment and I wonder how many Canadian contributors kept their Live News access. 

 

If the decision to cut people was down to their number of live news sales and if Alamy don't sell many Live News images taken in Canada simply because their target audience isn't based in Canada....    ... might this suggest the cause of your observation?

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Posted (edited)

Yes that's what I was getting at Matt.  I'm guessing that some of the LiveNews images produced here may have sold if there were more (or any) Canadian news desks using alamy images.  But like I said, I'm just guessing, I don't know the behind the scenes details, and I haven't checked every Canadian news outlet.

Edited by MariaJ

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I looked for photos of what a number of people consider the biggest recent story out of the UK: Julian Assange's arrest at the Ecuadorean Embassy after his asylum was revoked.  Alamy news photographers had photos of the various protests, but someone else got the photo of Assange being carried out of the embassy by British police.   Getty Images got another, of Assange in the van being taken away.

 

The problem with news photography that's being pushed rather than pulled from the live news feed is that Alamy needs to be confident that they're offering news photographs that are topical and of events that are unique and dramatic.

 

 



 

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Posted (edited)

My take on the live news changes. Over the last 2 years I've shot only live news, but only sold later as stock. They were used by magazines, national press and for banners on web sites + 1 PU, and some sales I could never track down. Since losing Alamy live news access I've sat back and looked at why they likely didn't sell as live news.

 

Although my submissions were news, most were of minority interest, and uploads weren't prompt. Typically I would shoot a protest march/event, but felt I would miss more interesting shots If I stopped for a quick edit and upload, then head straight to another event, and sometimes three in total. Then sit in the Marylebone Station bar editing and uploading, far too late, before catching the train home. It's whoever submits their photo's first that has the best chance of a sale, but even then it has to be something topical. Losing live news access has actually been a benefit in forcing me to re evaluate how I work. I have done a soft run to see if I could have images ready within an hour, it was surprisingly easy. I always have the IPTC info pre prepared in Photo Mechanic, plus additional variations incase things change, carry my 13" MacBook Pro, and mostly use my phone as a hot spot. Also have looked through the national press in print and online over last week to see what they are using, and live news feeds elsewhere. Something I should have done long ago.

 

I will still shoot news, but be much selective over what I cover. Based upon what I've sold as stock, some I've what I will shoot, still technically news, I will tailor specifically for stock. As for straight stock, I've been shooting specific themes that may be topical for a few months now, just a few need re shooting in better light. Must now finally submit my first 3 images to Alamy. So overall I'm not bitter re losing Alamy live news access, but the the way it was conveyed to contributors could have been much better. 

Edited by sb photos
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4 hours ago, MariaJ said:

Yes that's what I was getting at Matt.  I'm guessing that some of the LiveNews images produced here may have sold if there were more (or any) Canadian news desks using alamy images.  But like I said, I'm just guessing, I don't know the behind the scenes details, and I haven't checked every Canadian news outlet.

 

I've never seen an Alamy image of any kind in a Canadian newspaper. However, I think someone in the past mentioned seeing some in the Toronto Star.

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7 hours ago, Shergar said:

Location might have played a part. 

I doubt that's the case as I live in the middle of nowhere, deep in the countryside, and I was kept in the live news thing.

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Posted (edited)
9 hours ago, MizBrown said:

I looked for photos of what a number of people consider the biggest recent story out of the UK: Julian Assange's arrest at the Ecuadorean Embassy after his asylum was revoked.  Alamy news photographers had photos of the various protests, but someone else got the photo of Assange being carried out of the embassy by British police.   Getty Images got another, of Assange in the van being taken away.

 

The problem with news photography that's being pushed rather than pulled from the live news feed is that Alamy needs to be confident that they're offering news photographs that are topical and of events that are unique and dramatic.

 

 



 

Miz and all,  FYI mostly ALL,

 

With all due respect,  In my opinion "The Problem with News Photography" is that there are too many people trying to do it who have no idea of how it works and what is required.

 

I was very happy to see Alamy get in to the direct upload, read my previous posts, but to sit on the computer complaining about "how sad life is" is a waste of time.  As one of my favorite radio stations in San Francisco, CA, says " If you don't like the news, Go out and make some of your own....."  I have followed this thread closely and I have seen very few constructive comments.

 

In terms of Assange's arrest and extradition from the Ecuadorean Embassy, THE PICTURES THAT MATTER are of him coming out with the police.  If you don't have that picture you do not have the story, actually what you need for a big money magazine and TV sales are pictures of his room and the excrement that he allegedly smeared on the walls.  Take a look at my pictures of Erik Honecker, not great pictures but..., coming out of the Chilean Embassy in 1992 in Moscow ( Alamy Image DA13TY and DA13T7)  I spent weeks on assignment staking this out.  The door shot was with a 600 f4 on FUJI 400 NEG film (pushed a stop).  I was not "just there with a camera ready." 

 

Making "NEWS Images" is difficult and sometimes dangerous work not for people who sometimes stumble on a news event, but over the decades many great spot news images have been made by someone who was just standing on a corner with a disposable film camera or now with a mobile phone. 

 

I started taking pictures for a medium daily newspaper when I was 15 in 1975.  I quickly decided that I did not want to be a "newspaper photographer" I got a degree in journalism and started working for the news agencies and on assignment for the major news magazines.  Did that for decades.  My magazine images have appeared in the worlds major magazine covers and across many two page spreads and single pages over the decades.  

 

In closing I will say that, in my opinion, Alamy is currently not really a "NEWS PHOTO AGENCY" but it is getting better.  There is currently one agency that most of us know and I was contract with them for years.  I feel at home with Alamy and my experience since 2004 has been that they have treated me well and they have done the best they can in a difficult market.  The news photo business has changed dramatically over the years and I am no longer involved in it on a daily basis and I do not want to be involved in it on a daily basis, but I do photograph events or subjects that interest me and Alamy has been a valuable resource to distribute newsworthy images.

 

I SUPPORT ALAMY

 

Chuck Nacke

Edited by Chuck Nacke
clarification
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9 hours ago, Colblimp said:

No, it won't spill into regular stock.  I think, and I'm possibly completely wrong, Alamy wants to streamline the whole news thing so it only receives newsy pictures which have the possibility to sell, from contribs who have regular sales.  It's a business thing, nothing personal, I think.

 

The point I (and others) are trying to make is that by insisting on the former coming only from the latter Alamy are restricting themselves.

Good photographers who do not have regular news sales can and will take newsy pictures which have the possibility to sell.  So what if each non-regular news contributor only ever gets one "scoop" in their lifetime - multiply that by the number of lifetimes of contributors and that is a hell of a lot of scoops that Alamy has just done a good job of cutting itself off from (not because of what it has done but how it has done it)

I repeat that the complaints I have seen about the news feed both before this happened and since do not and did not concern sporadic contributions of genuine newsy pictures from non-regular news contributors, they concerned the presence of photographs that were not and are not news at all.  A plane preparing to take off is not news - yes I get there is a news story to go with it BUT the image that has been uploaded could have been taken any time and the story could be illustrated with photos already in stock.  They have had complaints about one thing and cut a different one which overlaps.  I will admit from a personal point of view it is this careless casual inefficiency which irks me the cut ABC in order to deal with an issue from B.  No Alamy are not the only ones who do things like this - not by a long way - but the practice is wasteful harmful and damages the company in the long run.

If I want to start throwing hyperbole about I might observe that this "you can only sell news photos if you are a proper news photographer" smacks of closed shop restrictive employment practices that should belong in the past.

I say again - when one of Alamys contributors is the only one to photograph Elvis riding Shergar off a newly landed UFO should Alamy be the place they automatically send the image or should they be looking at the whole market of agencies to decide where is best to send it?

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15 minutes ago, Starsphinx said:

The point I (and others) are trying to make is that by insisting on the former coming only from the latter Alamy are restricting themselves.

Good photographers who do not have regular news sales can and will take newsy pictures which have the possibility to sell. 
 

1) Alamy is restricting itself to photographers who make regular sales.

 

2) Good photographers who don't have regular news sales may take pics which have the POSSIBILITY to sell, but Alamy is only interested in what WILL sell.  The proof of the pudding is in the selling.  I could send in 100's of 'news' pics every day, but if they don't sell then clearly the work I'm producing simply isn't up to scratch. 

 

You and I might think an aircraft preparing to take off isn't newsy, but if a picture editor thinks otherwise...  I'll also say, in my experience, a lot to do with news sales is the caption.  A good caption can turn a normal image into something newsy.

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1 minute ago, Colblimp said:

1) Alamy is restricting itself to photographers who make regular sales.

 

2) Good photographers who don't have regular news sales may take pics which have the POSSIBILITY to sell, but Alamy is only interested in what WILL sell.  The proof of the pudding is in the selling.  I could send in 100's of 'news' pics every day, but if they don't sell then clearly the work I'm producing simply isn't up to scratch. 

 

You and I might think an aircraft preparing to take off isn't newsy, but if a picture editor thinks otherwise...  I'll also say, in my experience, a lot to do with news sales is the caption.  A good caption can turn a normal image into something newsy.

But it is a circle - how is the good photographer supposed to make sales when they cannot sell because they have not made sales?

The news is not dependent on who takes it - or at least it shouldn't be.  

If this was about how to make normal images newsy then you would be right - but it is not about that.  It is about a contributor being the only photographer at a sudden newsworthy incident.  Say they are out for a walk and take a clear sharp naturally calibrated image of "a British black panther".  They are holding proof that the wild big cats of myth are real!!!!   Or maybe they snapped a famous politician caught short and watering a bush with natural body fluids.  They have a shot or shots of something that is absolutely most definitely news or at least the sort of thing that newspapers are going snap up  - and they are the only shots because no-one else was there.

Yes, they can phone Alamy and see if Alamy are interested etc - but why choose to phone Alamy over any of the other possible outlets they could also phone?  A couple of weeks ago they would not have to phone anyone - they could immediately upload it straight to Alamy without having to phone or think or anything.  This meant they were most likely to send it to Alamy.  Now maybe Alamy did a thorough assessment of all the black cats and peeing politicians from occasional contributors and found the sales did not justify access on an overall scale.   Fine - but then you come to the second problem.  If you have to do something people are not going to like there is generally a choice between doing it in a way that will minimize their dislike or doing it in a way they are going to really really dislike.  It is generally considered respectful to choose the former and a sign of total disrespect to choose the latter.  Alamy chose the latter.  It's not the first time.

I remain of the opinion that they are going to have hurt themselves with this on which I could be wrong.  I know they definitely could have handled it better.

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2 hours ago, Colblimp said:

I doubt that's the case as I live in the middle of nowhere, deep in the countryside, and I was kept in the live news thing.

So you have that location covered right?  Alamy don't need anymore news photographers for that location .

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Just out of interest...

 

If Alamy had announced, say, that "in two weeks time we will be removing the LiveNews upload facilty from any contributor  who hasn't made X  [insert your own value here] LiveNews sales in the past 12 months",  how exactly would that have made any difference?

 

km

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Posted (edited)
7 minutes ago, RedSnapper said:

Just out of interest...

 

If Alamy had announced, say, that "in two weeks time we will be removing the LiveNews upload facilty from any contributor  who hasn't made X  [insert your own value here] LiveNews sales in the past 12 months",  how exactly would that have made any difference?

 

km

It would have been decent and courteous. If accompanied by an explanation, that would have helped, too.

THere's the PR angle as well. I now think less of the company. That would have been avoided.

Edited by spacecadet
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3 minutes ago, RedSnapper said:

If Alamy had announced, say, that "in two weeks time we will be removing the LiveNews upload facilty from any contributor  who hasn't made X

Well it would have given them a chance to make alternative plans for any Live News event that they had made arrangements to attend for a start. Some on this forum only discovered that they couldn't upload when they got back from an event they were attending. What's the downside to giving people notice?

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27 minutes ago, RedSnapper said:

Just out of interest...

 

If Alamy had announced, say, that "in two weeks time we will be removing the LiveNews upload facilty from any contributor  who hasn't made X  [insert your own value here] LiveNews sales in the past 12 months",  how exactly would that have made any difference?

 

km

 

22 minutes ago, spacecadet said:

It would have been decent and courteous. If accompanied by an explanation, that would have helped, too.

THere's the PR angle as well. I now think less of the company. That would have been avoided.

+1

It would've shown some respect and assurances that they valued their contributors. Personally, it would've made a huge amount of difference to me - and I wouldn't have had any problem with what they're doing. It's the *way* that it's been done. 

We're all different. 

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31 minutes ago, RedSnapper said:

Just out of interest...

 

If Alamy had announced, say, that "in two weeks time we will be removing the LiveNews upload facilty from any contributor  who hasn't made X  [insert your own value here] LiveNews sales in the past 12 months",  how exactly would that have made any difference?

 

km

It wouldn't have made any difference, but it would be the courteous thing to do.  The way Alamy has done it is just another example of what Alamy thinks of its contribs - which is not a lot, IMO, of course.

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6 minutes ago, RedSnapper said:

Just out of interest...

 

If Alamy had announced, say, that "in two weeks time we will be removing the LiveNews upload facilty from any contributor  who hasn't made X  [insert your own value here] LiveNews sales in the past 12 months",  how exactly would that have made any difference?

 

km

Thank you for asking the question.

 

We would have still received difficult news and be upset, BUT it would have been given in such a manner it would be easier to accept. Time helps you process things, anger, denial etc.  By two weeks you should looking at acceptance...

 

It wasn't the decision to cull, but the lack of finess in the way it was carried out.  If this decision had been run past say the HR director the outcome may have been different, but the benefit of doing such a thing would not have been obvious.

 

As for "just out of interest" Really?  Eh?

 

 

James
 

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1 hour ago, RedSnapper said:

Just out of interest...

 

If Alamy had announced, say, that "in two weeks time we will be removing the LiveNews upload facilty from any contributor  who hasn't made X  [insert your own value here] LiveNews sales in the past 12 months",  how exactly would that have made any difference?

 

km

If they had announced that automatic Live News uploads were being removed but contributors were free to reapply (in other words what has happened without an announcement) it would have enabled those who wish to keep access for occasional news stories that come their way reapply BEFORE being cut off and they would have had time to deal with the reapplications rather than having to post people who have not heard that there are delays due to a backlog .  It would have enabled those who are looking at event and festival lists deciding which are worth paying for and applying for credentials for to decide whether or not they had an outlet to make the credentials/tickets costs worthwhile.  

This direct dumping contributors without warning has cost some people actual money - they have paid for travel etc to cover things purely for news purposes and are now out of pocket.  Sure they can reapply and will hopefully be reaccepted but it is still a smack in the face to someone who has set time and money aside on a planned shoot similar to ones they have done in the past (and possibly sold - we know from this thread that Alamy have made some mistakes on who they kicked out mistaking someone with multiple sales for someone with 3)  to be told sorry you can't upload without reapplying.

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It's been a long time since I was active in news, used to be able to get photos from taking, film processing and to printers in 5 to 10 minutes. With Alamy I seldom uploaded to live news, a fire, an event, an accident but non of national UK importance.

What would have been a more pleasant and helpful approach would be more specific guidelines such as NO non-UK news unless world shattering, no non-national unless very important. Then maybe have a separate news feed for “soft” news with quality requirements not dissimilar to stock. To stop both of these being used as back door to stock not to roll them into stock but just delete after say 5 and 10 days. Good ones to be resubmitted as stock as normal.

As I see it Hard news needs to be topical and now, softer news interesting but timely, stock good but long term. Alamy doesn't seem to be good at selling hard news, maybe not the accredited photographers to do enough of it. Can Alamy get photogs access to inside Downing street, inside European courts, etc. for news? Probably not, probably not interested maybe important to being a news agency.

I would like to see a new in between submission which isn't as exclusive; not 1 hour but 2 to 3 hour submission times while not being that back door to stock entry. Only keep for short time and delete or take offline and delete a bit latter.

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6 minutes ago, Charles Stirling said:

I would like to see a new in between submission which isn't as exclusive; not 1 hour but 2 to 3 hour submission times while not being that back door to stock entry. Only keep for short time and delete or take offline and delete a bit latter.

I like that idea, perhaps even Alamy would have liked that idea if they'd given contributors a chance to contribute before taking action. If I can suggest a refinement then after the allotted period then in order to preserve the keywording etc. then a replacement image could be uploaded for submission to normal QC. Not crucial though, certainly shouldn't get in the way of implementing it if there was the remotest chance it could be.

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Posted (edited)

Just received an e-mail declining my application to rejoin Live News submissions. They are happy for me to submit 'Breaking News' on a per-occasion basis, filling in a form each time. I don't think I'll be doing that and am disappointed in Alamy for not opening any pathway to soft live news for us mere mortals.

 

The email ends 'We also recommend you upload more frequently so that we can gage '

 

Gauge what, precisely???

Edited by Joseph Clemson
added last line

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