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Just received a mailing from Alamy urging me to add categories to my photos. I have done so for quite a while now, but sometimes struggle to know which category particular images fall into.

 

Does there exist anywhere any guidance on the use of categories, maybe with a list of examples?

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I can't be bothered and I'm not in distribution in any big way!

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Posted (edited)
8 minutes ago, Rolf Adlercreutz said:

I can't be bothered and I'm not in distribution in any big way!

I hear ya! I have put categories on a lot of my files, but others don't seem to fit, and I didn't make a big point of 'categorising' old files unless it was super easy.

 

"Our distributors in particular" but is there any point on Alamy at all (yet)?

Edited by Cryptoprocta

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I've been through my entire portfolio several  times since I joined Alamy, tweaking one aspect or another of the metadata as their systems have evolved. It's been hard work but I believe it was worthwhile. However, I won't be doing so for categories. i just can't see how categories add a significant advantage to the customers' ability to find an image. If keywords and captions can't do the trick, exactly what do categories add?

 

The email says categories 'help visibility of your image on (distributor) sites'. Does this mean if no category is assigned my image doesn't show up on distributor sites at all? Or is pushed to the back?   It could possibly explain why I have very few distributor sales, but given the meagre return on distributor sales I keep hearing about, I'm not too bothered. 

 

I'm open for Alamy to convince me (honestly) , but it will take something more substantial than the email they've sent today.

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I try to assign categories, but I'd say that about 50% of my images don't fit well into Alamy's categories. The list needs refining and expanding IMO.

 

No doubt most of us would be able to offer suggestions for additional categories...

 

 

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Bryan said:

Just received a mailing from Alamy urging me to add categories to my photos. I have done so for quite a while now, but sometimes struggle to know which category particular images fall into.

 

Does there exist anywhere any guidance on the use of categories, maybe with a list of examples?

 

A list of examples would be helpful. For instance, where does one put images illustrating environmental concerns (e.g. climate change) or diversity and numerous other popular subjects?

Edited by John Mitchell
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3 hours ago, John Mitchell said:

I try to assign categories, but I'd say that about 50% of my images don't fit well into Alamy's categories. The list needs refining and expanding IMO.

 

No doubt most of us would be able to offer suggestions for additional categories...

 

 

 

Maybe do not invent any wheels. What do the others (industry leaders) use?

 

wim

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2 minutes ago, wiskerke said:

 

Maybe do not invent any wheels. What do the others (industry leaders) use?

 

wim

The one I have experience of removed categories, claiming customers didn't find the useful. Unsurprisingly.

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2 minutes ago, Cryptoprocta said:

The one I have experience of removed categories, claiming customers didn't find the useful. Unsurprisingly.

😂🤣🤐

Still not a bad idea to have them. Probably not very useful for real clients though. More for the marketing dept. Still important.

Clients expect Google. Everything of it. Just all those things why everybody and his/her granny and grandchild are using it.

 

wim

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Reminds me of stemming,discoverability and various other ideas put forward by Alamy to improve my sales when all thats happened is that prices have plummeted over the years. Have not changed anything or submitted since the cuts to support the American office. i cannot support a system where the total take by the agents exceeds that available to the photographer.

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Posted (edited)
31 minutes ago, wiskerke said:

😂🤣🤐

Still not a bad idea to have them. Probably not very useful for real clients though. More for the marketing dept. Still important.

Clients expect Google. Everything of it. Just all those things why everybody and his/her granny and grandchild are using it.

 

wim

Yebbut Google's been losing the plot.

For a long time now, when I search with Google, from the UK, the top searches are often from the US, even for things like fresh flower delivery or dried cherries (only trying to see which physical shops sell them) that I'd hardly be likely to buy from the US. Recently I was looking up car models (which are available here) and US dealers were top of the search. Insane. And that's even if I put UK search term or search term UK. or even "UK". Super annoying.

Sometimes (too often) systems can be too d*mn clever by far.

 

Back to categories: why is having a search on a category better for searching on the same keyword? (Question for Alamy, not for speculation)

Edited by Cryptoprocta

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Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, wiskerke said:

😂🤣🤐

Still not a bad idea to have them. Probably not very useful for real clients though. More for the marketing dept. Still important.

Clients expect Google. Everything of it. Just all those things why everybody and his/her granny and grandchild are using it.

 

wim

 

That's my guess as well -- it's mainly for distributors who want to market themed collections -- e.g. "Browse our collection of awesome travel images."

 

 

 

Edited by John Mitchell
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Posted (edited)

I noticed that Alamy Content sent out a tweet about Categories the other day though I'm not sure there's any rhyme or reason about how or why these tweets get sent out:

 

https://twitter.com/AlamyContent/status/1148290654511833088

 

I'm curious, why this mention of distributors, was that in the email? Categories are a particular bugbear of mine, I'm very dubious about whether they are used at all, there is anecdotal evidence that the Alamy team use them internally, but there is also anecdotal evidence to the contrary.  I too find many, many occasions when my images don't fit a category and I wonder whether adding a not particularly relevant category might do more harm than good.

 

Worth pointing out that the categories in the 'Browse Images by Category" page accessible from the Alamy home page have nothing whatsoever to do with the categories tagged in the optional tab though some of those seem more useful. I'd like to see 'Environment and Green Living' for example and as for 'Industry and Agriculture', why put them together?

 

 

 

 

Edited by Harry Harrison
typo

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1 hour ago, Harry Harrison said:

I noticed that Alamy Content sent out a tweet about Categories the other day though I'm not sure there's any rhyme or reason about how or why these tweets get sent out:

 

https://twitter.com/AlamyContent/status/1148290654511833088

 

I'm curious, why this mention of distributors, was that in the email? Categories are a particular bugbear of mine, I'm very dubious about whether they are used at all, there is anecdotal evidence that the Alamy team use them internally, but there is also anecdotal evidence to the contrary.  I too find many, many occasions when my images don't fit a category and I wonder whether adding a not particularly relevant category might do more harm than good.

 

Worth pointing out that the categories in the 'Browse Images by Category" page accessible from the Alamy home page have nothing whatsoever to do with the categories tagged in the optional tab though some of those seem more useful. I'd like to see 'Environment and Green Living' for example and as for 'Industry and Agriculture', why put them together?

 

 

 

 

 

Harry, this is the gist of the e-mail. I'm guessing it only went out to peeps with 1000's of un categorised images.

 

 

"How can I increase my sales potential?

   

...by adding categories to your photographs!

 

You could be missing out on potential sales by not having categories assigned to all your photo's. Our distributors in particular have expressed how much this will help the visibility of your images on their sites.

 

You can set categories in the Alamy Image Manager under the optional tab, if multiple images come under one category, remember you can do them in bulk."

 

 

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1 minute ago, Mr Standfast said:

"How can I increase my sales potential?

   

...by adding categories to your photographs!

 

Thanks, so this could be a clue then, the distributors get to make use of the 'optional' categories?

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Just wondering when does an image fall into the Travel category. If I shoot photos in one of my local cities, say Durham, not much travel involved, but if I were a tourist- and the place is sometimes overrun with them, it would be a Travel image maybe. When I go on my travels in mainland Europe all the shots are related to my Travel.

 

So how do we define Travel images, do they have to depict exotic locations, scenes (that would be Landscapes maybe) or groups of tourists (Lifestyle?) or what? 

 

Do old buildings fall into Architecture or Historic,  or is that category meant for photos taken in the past?

 

Some clarification would be useful.

 

 

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1 minute ago, Bryan said:

Some clarification would be useful.

 

You have very neatly described some of the many dilemmas concerning the categories and I'd like guidance on these matters also. Unfortunately such guidance is not forthcoming from Alamy (though surely it could easily give some). We can all to a degree deduce the success or otherwise of our captions, keywords, even numbers of people etc. by searching ourselves, or looking at AoA perhaps, even take an educational look at how others are captioning their similar images, but no such routes are open regarding categories.  Hard to get any definitive advice I would have thought but I'd like to be proved wrong.

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48 minutes ago, Bryan said:

Just wondering when does an image fall into the Travel category. If I shoot photos in one of my local cities, say Durham, not much travel involved, but if I were a tourist- and the place is sometimes overrun with them, it would be a Travel image maybe. When I go on my travels in mainland Europe all the shots are related to my Travel.

 

So how do we define Travel images, do they have to depict exotic locations, scenes (that would be Landscapes maybe) or groups of tourists (Lifestyle?) or what? 

 

Do old buildings fall into Architecture or Historic,  or is that category meant for photos taken in the past?

 

Some clarification would be useful.

 

 

 

Good questions, I have no answers only guesses. Some examples are here:-

 

https://www.alamy.com/category.aspx

 

I've just gone through my old 2008 to 2010 submissions, applied some very broad categories. I'm working on the basis something is better than nothing and if it's wrong I've jeopordised a distribution sale, so not much lost.

 

 

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2 hours ago, Bryan said:

Just wondering when does an image fall into the Travel category. If I shoot photos in one of my local cities, say Durham, not much travel involved, but if I were a tourist- and the place is sometimes overrun with them, it would be a Travel image maybe. When I go on my travels in mainland Europe all the shots are related to my Travel.

 

So how do we define Travel images, do they have to depict exotic locations, scenes (that would be Landscapes maybe) or groups of tourists (Lifestyle?) or what? 

 

Do old buildings fall into Architecture or Historic,  or is that category meant for photos taken in the past?

 

Some clarification would be useful.

We can designate two categories.

Under 'travel' what about people in the process of travelling (often overlapping with Transport).

 

As I didn't see any benefit of all the many hours over several days I spent unjumbling the keywords mangled by the introduction of the new Measures, and for sure my files which 'happen' to have good visibility by naturally needing a lot of keywords aren't selling any better by those with 'poor' visibility, I'm not jumping through many hoops for categories. If it's obvious, I'll tick it, if not, too bad. There can't be many cases where the category word wouldn't be a natural keyword in any case.

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, Bryan said:

Just wondering when does an image fall into the Travel category. If I shoot photos in one of my local cities, say Durham, not much travel involved, but if I were a tourist- and the place is sometimes overrun with them, it would be a Travel image maybe. When I go on my travels in mainland Europe all the shots are related to my Travel.

 

So how do we define Travel images, do they have to depict exotic locations, scenes (that would be Landscapes maybe) or groups of tourists (Lifestyle?) or what? 

 

Do old buildings fall into Architecture or Historic,  or is that category meant for photos taken in the past?

 

Some clarification would be useful.

 

 

 

Yes, "travel" is a relative term. Where is Mr. Einstein when we need him.

 

I just put any image that I feel could be used by a travel magazine, newspaper travel section, or travel website into the "travel" category.

 

I checked the main Canadian distributor of Alamy images, and they don't appear to use any categories at all, at least they don't have themed collections for buyers to peruse. Hmm...

 

I know of another big agency that does most of the keywording for you. They add their category names to your keywords in most cases. They also do such an inadequate job of keywording that I'm amazed they're still in business.

Edited by John Mitchell
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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, Bryan said:

 

Do old buildings fall into Architecture or Historic,  or is that category meant for photos taken in the past?

 

Some clarification would be useful.

 

 

 

I'm also confused about the "Historic" category. As a result, I seldom choose it.

 

To add to the confusion, there is a difference between the adjectives "historical" and "historic". The former usually just means old, while the latter means old and famous (historically significant for some reason) -- e.g. the crumbling church in your village may be historical but not necessarily historic.

 

 

 

 

Edited by John Mitchell
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17 minutes ago, John Mitchell said:

To add to the confusion, there is a difference between the adjectives "historical" and "historic".

 

In fact the pre-defined Category on the Alamy category page linked to by Mr. Standfast is called 'Historical'. If you choose it you can see that it is in principle a search for the following "history and historical and archive" and brings up 1,812,204 images. If you do your own search for the same it brings up 1,811,711 images and the images on the first page are clearly different. I think this gives an insight into how a lot of these categories work, custom searches with a custom sort order. Yes, the numbers don't quite add up so there's something else going on but they're fairly close in the scheme of things.

 

A lot of these so-called categories work like this though some are straightforward curated selections with, say, less than 1000 images - 'Art',  'Entertainment & Celebrities' , 'Live News & Reportage' for example.

 

If anyone can explain the slight differences in the numbers of images in the search results that would be good. I suspect that some might be added selectively by the curator.

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1 hour ago, Harry Harrison said:

 

In fact the pre-defined Category on the Alamy category page linked to by Mr. Standfast is called 'Historical'. If you choose it you can see that it is in principle a search for the following "history and historical and archive" and brings up 1,812,204 images. If you do your own search for the same it brings up 1,811,711 images and the images on the first page are clearly different. I think this gives an insight into how a lot of these categories work, custom searches with a custom sort order. Yes, the numbers don't quite add up so there's something else going on but they're fairly close in the scheme of things.

 

A lot of these so-called categories work like this though some are straightforward curated selections with, say, less than 1000 images - 'Art',  'Entertainment & Celebrities' , 'Live News & Reportage' for example.

 

If anyone can explain the slight differences in the numbers of images in the search results that would be good. I suspect that some might be added selectively by the curator.

 

I guess the results show that to Alamy "historical" means "historic" images (of significant events and famous people) taken in the past, whereas the "history" category can mean different things to different contributors, which means we're basically back to where we started. 🙃

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Posted (edited)

I'm currently going through a "lack of inspiration" period, so I've decided to go back and add categories to a lot of my old images. It's amazing how many I overlooked. So far no flood of zooms. I wonder if zooms made through distributors show up in Alamy's stats. Has anyone figured that out?

Edited by John Mitchell

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11 hours ago, John Mitchell said:

I'm currently going through a "lack of inspiration" period, so I've decided to go back and add categories to a lot of my old images. It's amazing how many I overlooked. So far no flood of zooms. I wonder if zooms made through distributors show up in Alamy's stats. Has anyone figured that out?

 

 

any way to filter photo with no category, or is it a one by one click?

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