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I've been watching live news content over recent days. It seems to me that Alamy have decided that, apart from a favoured few, they have given up on contributor generate content, and instead are acting as distributors for a long list of Agencies. Action Plus Sports,  Xinhua, DPA, ITAR-TASS, Foto Arena LTDA, EFE, Aflo Co Ltd to name but a few.

 

Though why UK news should be ousted in favour of litter picks in Eastern Russia or Indonesia, or blatantly biased reporting of dead bodies in Gaza leaves me speechless.

 

But the message is clear. Alamy doesn't want us any more.

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4 hours ago, Matt Ashmore said:

 

 (Please note – Every day weather  are NOT breaking news)"

 

Really, Alamy?!  What a joke.  😂

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Wow every time I go out thinking Alamy cannot possibly make things worse I come back to find they have.

 

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(As Russell said on the list of agencies...).


It is well known that most are distribution partners among them, at the same time as with Alamy.
Each mentioned agency has local/regional contributors or staff togs in where their headquarters are based, and in most cases also directly contributors from abroad (I have contributed with one of them). But, the most important thing is, in some way the "world map, especially those big/important cities" are covered.

 

The live news was in a certain way out of control, because it was "allowed", but to say a great part of the "problem" wasn't a mistake from "we" the contributors.
Now, the land was cleared, many times "demolishing an old house is easier than repairing it". Simply, this is part of the harsh reality about running a business. IMHO
(I mentioned before about my disappointment on the way it was done)

 

After that "surprise" e-mail and the re-applying, I did not stand still waiting for a response whether favorable or not (so far just silence), so once again, I began to invest more time in upgrading my blog/site portfolio, at the same time contacting with a few of more news specialized "heavyweight" agencies. So far, at least I have received specific feedback (or convincing answers) about projects in the medium term, from professionals who have worked in the front line. Fingers crossed.

 

On the other hand, "breaking news" images are always "newsworthy", but "newsworthy" images are not necessary "breaking news".

 

Have a nice weekend!

 

Andre

Edited by AM Chang
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3 hours ago, losdemas said:

 

Seems to about sum it up.  Divide and rule.

 

Just to clarify... 

 

I didn't mean to say that this is a deliberate policy that Alamy have put in place, just that this seems to be it's effect. Same as the commission cut. The two threads concerning the cut revealed lots of rough edges and had various contributors here on the verge of attacking one another - a long way from the general sense of community and well-being that we have tended to have here in the last few years. 

 

Alamy have been sadly lacking in the way they approach things. They still possibly remain the best place to be - I imagine that other agencies given the same circumstances would've perhaps been worse?

 

It's just that 'they' seem to have a great idea, which should be thoroughly reviewed and thrashed out among those in charge - but isn't. It's then implemented, then they realise what a gormless error they've (he/she?) made, then back-pedal furiously, knocking down everyone in the process. I just get the feeling that lessons aren't learned.

 

There are a large contingent here, however, who will probably quite rightly tell me to shut up and get my camera out! It's a business, just get on with taking photos. Let Alamy do their side of the business in the way they deem best. I can live with that.

 

I think that both views have their merits. Enjoy the rest of your weekend. :)

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As most will know - I have always advocated that shooting news is different to shooting stock.

 

Many of the arguments I have read have centred on “weather” as soft news.. and whether it is news...... many subjects “can” be soft news... the thing is not always the subject... it can be how the subject is shot.... that is not to point the finger at anyone or any of the arguments... I am just saying news photographers tend to approach subjects, hard or soft, in a particular way.....

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1 hour ago, Julie Edwards said:

As most will know - I have always advocated that shooting news is different to shooting stock.

 

Many of the arguments I have read have centred on “weather” as soft news.. and whether it is news...... many subjects “can” be soft news... the thing is not always the subject... it can be how the subject is shot.... that is not to point the finger at anyone or any of the arguments... I am just saying news photographers tend to approach subjects, hard or soft, in a particular way.....

I completely agree.

 

I think that the discussion of whether the "weather" is newsworthy or not, it's a "misunderstanding" consequence of what was already mentioned (surprise e-mail), from one day to the next for some togs who shoot "weather" it remains "newsworthy", for another who also shoot it is no longer (just because the lack of upload route, etc.).

 

"Live news (platform)" should be separated from photojournalism which is much broader and more interesting.

 

(And, please, it's nothing special with anyone, it's a general point of view, everyone has my respect, the "original main problem" is not you, lady or gentleman "togs". To say, "we" are the consequence of a "ill-advised/imprudent" action).

Edited by AM Chang

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Another "live news?" trio which is sure to cause a stink. T455E0

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10 hours ago, Matt Ashmore said:

Not by Alamy's definition it's not. Quoting from their email to me....

 

"Remember, if you ever have breaking news pictures that were taken in the past hour, please apply for Breaking News via the news application form. (Please note – Every day weather, political marches or previously scheduled events are NOT breaking news)"

 

 

 

Since when are scheduled events and political marches not news?    Looking at the live news pages, I see many scheduled sporting events,  political demonstrations and events, entertainment events,  photos of the sun, the moon, and photos of a skunk in green grass (ok that last one wasn't scheduled, but is it news?).

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2 hours ago, Sultanpepa said:

Another "live news?" trio which is sure to cause a stink. T455E0

This one is better T4561P

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30 minutes ago, Sally said:

This one is better T4561P

Lovely rich blacks! 

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On 12/04/2019 at 02:05, 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.  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)

 

 

How do you more gently tell someone that his or her services are not wanted at this time without some proof of making news sales elsewhere (the PDF sample sheet)?   Lot of hurt feelings by people who admit that they never sold a news image as news, though some sold as stock later. 

 

Ever fired someone?  Be blunt, be brief, and let both you and the former employee get on with life.  People with news photography priors in other venues can reapply with their sample PDFs; people with breaking news photos can contact Alamy to up load those photographs. 

 

 

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, MizBrown said:

Ever fired someone?  Be blunt, be brief, and let both you and the former employee get on with life. 

 

Not a good idea if you want to fire that someone from one activity (i.e. as an Alamy News contributor) whilst simultaneously keeping them motivated in their other activity (i.e. as an Alamy Stock contributor). Especially when you've also cut their commission rates for non-exclusive images a few weeks earlier.

 

Mark

Edited by M.Chapman
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7 hours ago, MariaJ said:

 

Since when are scheduled events and political marches not news?    Looking at the live news pages, I see many scheduled sporting events,  political demonstrations and events, entertainment events,  photos of the sun, the moon, and photos of a skunk in green grass (ok that last one wasn't scheduled, but is it news?).

 

They are news, but Alamy has retained sufficient contributors and agencies to cover these, and they do obviously react to true breaking news too.

 

For a previous contributor to get a look in with breaking news they would literally have to be the first on the scene and file quickly, but they most likely won't have the contacts that others who do this regularly have or get a text from Alamy. The chances of a previous contributor submitting breaking news would be close to nil. I have looked at alternatives, and I suspect many of us already have. 

 

I was in London yesterday and there were Alamy contributors covering the non breaking news events, including the London march against extinction and trophy hunting I shot for stock. I avoided the Yellow Vest's UK, they have been done to death. Future more topical events I shoot may be more suited as news. 

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15 minutes ago, M.Chapman said:

 

Not a good idea if you want to fire that someone from one activity (i.e. as an Alamy News contributor) whilst simultaneously keeping them motivated in their other activity (i.e. as an Alamy Stock contributor). Especially when you've also cut their commission rates for non-exclusive images a few weeks earlier.

 

Mark

 

I eat breakfast where my fired part time housekeeper is the cook (working for a friend of mine).  

 

The other side of this is that most of the people complaining don't appear to have sold news images as news. 
 

It might have been more useful if they'd announced that after such and such date, anyone who hadn't sold some percentage of their news submissions would lose their news posting privileges.  What they did with the raise in their percentage of the gross was give us a lead time.  And people got a compromise on that.

 

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1 hour ago, MizBrown said:

 

 

How do you more gently tell someone that his or her services are not wanted at this time without some proof of making news sales elsewhere (the PDF sample sheet)?   Lot of hurt feelings by people who admit that they never sold a news image as news, though some sold as stock later. 

 

Ever fired someone?  Be blunt, be brief, and let both you and the former employee get on with life.  People with news photography priors in other venues can reapply with their sample PDFs; people with breaking news photos can contact Alamy to up load those photographs. 

 

 

 

 

 

We weren't told at all. To stick with your employment analogy, we were locked out.

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1 hour ago, MizBrown said:

 

Ever fired someone?  Be blunt, be brief, and let both you and the former employee get on with life.  People with news photography priors in other venues can reapply with their sample PDFs; people with breaking news photos can contact Alamy to up load those photographs. 

 

Many weren't even told they had been fired. Alamy just changed the locks. 

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1 minute ago, spacecadet said:

We weren't told at all. To stick with your employment analogy, we were locked out.

 

What would you have wanted Alamy to do.  Give us a month's notice?  

 

I was one of those who got locked out, but I understand why Alamy might have wanted to change course with Live News.   Given that people in the arts (and that's part of what we are) tend to be touchy, I'm not sure a month's notice would have been easier.

 

In my twenties, I lived in NYC.  I've seen the bomb wagon go by which might have been a news photos for the city in that day.  I knew the mother of one of the Weather Underground people who blew up a Greenwich Village house.  I came by after a street shooting (not really breaking regional news even). 

 

I think one of the more difficult things to do is get interesting breaking news photos of demonstrations.  The people who've done it have been both good at being where the action is and framing the situation in an arresting way.  My beginning take on this is that the focus has to be on one signature person with other people as context -- the person putting a flower in a rifle barrel during a Vietnam War demonstration, the people buffeted by fire hoses during civil rights demonstrations, the screaming girl over a body at Kent State, Tienanmen Man in front of the tanks, the burning girl in Vietnam.   And somehow more than just a record of a protest or a ceremony. 

 

It's an interesting mix of talents.   If Alamy can find and sell those photographs, there's likely to be a knockon effect for its more generic stock market. 

 

 

 

 

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20 minutes ago, MizBrown said:

 

The other side of this is that most of the people complaining don't appear to have sold news images as news.

 

Exactly!!!  It must suck to be locked out of news, but if no sales have been made as news then it's understandable.  It's all well and good taking pics which the contrib THINKS are saleable images, but if picture editors don't use the pics then clearly the photos simply aren't interesting/good/quirky etc enough. 

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1 minute ago, Colblimp said:

Exactly!!!  It must suck to be locked out of news, but if no sales have been made as news then it's understandable.  It's all well and good taking pics which the contrib THINKS are saleable images, but if picture editors don't use the pics then clearly the photos simply aren't interesting/good/quirky etc enough. 

 

The only thing any of us have any real control over is producing better work than the stuff that didn't sell. 

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22 minutes ago, Colblimp said:

Exactly!!!  It must suck to be locked out of news, but if no sales have been made as news then it's understandable.  It's all well and good taking pics which the contrib THINKS are saleable images, but if picture editors don't use the pics then clearly the photos simply aren't interesting/good/quirky etc enough. 

So what if you were a newbie to Alamy or had only been submitting stock until recently but wanted to try news. Do you think you would get past their new selection criteria?

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24 minutes ago, andremichel said:

So what if you were a newbie to Alamy or had only been submitting stock until recently but wanted to try news. Do you think you would get past their new selection criteria?

Who knows?  I'm not saying my stuff is good, if that's what you think, I'm simply stating the bleeding obvious.

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Just now, Colblimp said:

Who knows?  I'm not saying my stuff is good, if that's what you think, I'm simply stating the bleeding obvious.

Your stuff is clearly good enough as it sells. But my point is that you may have failed to make the cut simply by joining Alamy a couple of years later.

 

I expect there are many talented photographers who will never get the chance you got, simply due to this change of policy. 

 

 

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4 minutes ago, andremichel said:

Your stuff is clearly good enough as it sells. But my point is that you may have failed to make the cut simply by joining Alamy a couple of years later.

 

I expect there are many talented photographers who will never get the chance you got, simply due to this change of policy. 

 

 

I absolutely agree, you're right, of course. 

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3 hours ago, MizBrown said:

 

 

How do you more gently tell someone that his or her services are not wanted at this time without some proof of making news sales elsewhere (the PDF sample sheet)?   Lot of hurt feelings by people who admit that they never sold a news image as news, though some sold as stock later. 

 

Ever fired someone?  Be blunt, be brief, and let both you and the former employee get on with life.  People with news photography priors in other venues can reapply with their sample PDFs; people with breaking news photos can contact Alamy to up load those photographs. 

 

 

 

 

 

2

Uh yes, I have fired people - dismissed them whatever.

As well as being blunt and brief it is a good idea to be honest and accurate.

When I need pictures of apples and Joe has only provided oranges then telling Joe too many oranges we do not need you any more is fine.  Saying the same to Dick who has never once shot an orange, occasionally sends in good apple shots, but mainly shoots elephants for a totally different project is not only a disrespectful and insulting way to treat Dick but is harmful to the business as well as it is likely to lose the elephants that are needed in another area.

There are people who have been fired (or locked out, had the locks changed without notice which is a better analogy all around) who made sales through live news of 3 figures sums.  There are many more who never ever uploaded a weather shot but limited to breaking live news that was local to them.   Now if a shot of a 3 car pile up in worthyshire makes the nationals how is the photographer supposed to know in advance that their shot from dumpshire of a 4 car pile up is not going to?  How are we supposed to tell which of the stabbings in local towns will be of national interest before submitting (and yes I know of stabbings near me that did go national and ones that did not).  I have been the first and only photographer at the scene of an attempted murder getting shots of the victim being transferred to an air ambulance.   

Also, I do not know about the USA but in the UK you cannot be fired without warning except for "gross misconduct" which generally equates to a criminal act or life endangerment.  In cases of simply not doing the job - or doing the job totally wrong, it requires a written warning to be given first (for more minor issues there will be 2 verbal 1 written warnings).  If we were actually paid employees right now Alamy would be breaking news for its behaviour breaking employment terms - remember all those stories of businesses going bust and making everyone redundant by text or just not telling them until they arrived to find their workplace closed - this would be worse.

Finally I will repeat and even put in bold my main point - which is that Alamys cack-handed way of doing this is going to hurt Alamy in the future.  You said and I quote "people with breaking news photos can contact Alamy to up load those photographs. "   My point is Why should anyone with breaking News contact Alamy when they can contact other news services or even the providers direct?   The reason I uploaded news to Alamy was because I did not have to contact them.  If I have to contact someone it is not going to be Alamy.

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