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I've looked at the other topics discussing this issue, and none seemed to be exactly on point.

 

I just got a bunch of photos passed of a tourist attraction here in the US. Not a vastly popular one, but in an area where surprisingly I've licensed a fair number on Alamy and some via my site on Photoshelter too -  I think that these are two places where editors go for those hard to find images. I'm tempted to tick "exclusive to Alamy" because they are not the types of images I expect to sell often, hence I've uploaded them here, and I don't expect they'd be a big draw on either of the other two macro sites where I could also upload them, but obviously just having them here lowers my chance of licensing elsewhere. 

 

Have you found that ticking "exclusive to Alamy" has boosted sales? I know the extra 10% is nice and am kicking myself that I've had a few sales of images that are only here but which I did not tick as "exclusive." Most of my Alamy images are not on sale elsewhere, but I'm reluctant to restrict them. I'd love know what people's experience has been so far with this new development.  

 

I'm also not sure how much this locks me in. Am I correct that I can still license an image myself? How long is the exclusive period for? Can I change them back by giving Alamy a certain amount of notice? Has "exclusive" been defined? At other sites it usually locks you in for 6 months, or 2 years, or 5 years.  Does anyone know what the time is here?

 

Thanks for input. 

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Posted (edited)

Both my gross revenue and sales volume are up this year, but I have no idea whether or not this has to do with "exclusivity". About 90% of my images are currently available only on Alamy. 

 

We are not being asked to sign an "exclusive" contract with Alamy, which is a good thing IMO. It's basically an honour system, so there is nothing stopping us from changing images back to non-exclusive (and vice versa) if we submit them somewhere else, plus there is no locked-in time period. Alamy has said that we can sell "exclusive" images on our own -- i.e. on POD and personal websites, etc. As far as I know, "exclusive" just means that the image is "available only on Alamy" -- no other definition has been given. Personally, I'm happy with this flexible arrangement. It seems very fair to me.

 

 

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

Both my gross revenue and sales volume are up this year, but I have no idea whether or not this has to do with "exclusivity". About 90% of my images are currently available only on Alamy. 

 

We are not being asked to sign an "exclusive" contract with Alamy, which is a good thing IMO. It's basically an honour system, so there is nothing stopping us from changing images back to non-exclusive (and vice versa) if we submit them somewhere else, plus there is no locked-in time period. Alamy has said that we can sell "exclusive" images on our own -- i.e. on POD and personal websites, etc. As far as I know, "exclusive" just means that the image is "available only on Alamy" -- no other definition has been given. Personally, I like this flexible arrangement.

 

 

 

Thanks John. It really does seem like a no-brainer then when the image isn't anywhere else. Makes life easier just uploading here. 

My sales volume is about par with last year, but $$$ is actually up - gross income is already even with last year,. As so many sites add 100s of thousands of images each year, ticking that exclusive box may well be a boon. 

 

I've been so torn about where to upload, and it has slowed me down. I was really gung-ho here last year but after adding more images, I had a very disappointing year for sales, but things seem to be turning around this year, and with only 1100 images, it's bound to be uneven. I actually have closer to 1200 when you count my iPhone photos. I was gung-ho there too but it took until I had about 100 images there to start seeing sales, so I started slowing down, thinking all the work was for nothing. Now it's paid off. Love that I can go out to dinner, see something beautiful, take a photo, and upload it on the car ride home (not food, I'm talking about sunsets LOL though I do have some food shots on there too).

 

Anyway, John, I think that the only way for me to figure it out is to take the plunge and tick "exclusive" on some of the 100s of images that are only on Alamy. Wish I'd done it on my last several sales pix, since they were all only here. 

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Posted (edited)
11 minutes ago, Marianne said:

 

Thanks John. It really does seem like a no-brainer then when the image isn't anywhere else. Makes life easier just uploading here. 

My sales volume is about par with last year, but $$$ is actually up - gross income is already even with last year,. As so many sites add 100s of thousands of images each year, ticking that exclusive box may well be a boon. 

 

I've been so torn about where to upload, and it has slowed me down. I was really gung-ho here last year but after adding more images, I had a very disappointing year for sales, but things seem to be turning around this year, and with only 1100 images, it's bound to be uneven. I actually have closer to 1200 when you count my iPhone photos. I was gung-ho there too but it took until I had about 100 images there to start seeing sales, so I started slowing down, thinking all the work was for nothing. Now it's paid off. Love that I can go out to dinner, see something beautiful, take a photo, and upload it on the car ride home (not food, I'm talking about sunsets LOL though I do have some food shots on there too).

 

Anyway, John, I think that the only way for me to figure it out is to take the plunge and tick "exclusive" on some of the 100s of images that are only on Alamy. Wish I'd done it on my last several sales pix, since they were all only here. 

 

There's no reason not to tick the "exclusive" box as you can simply un-tick it if you decide to send an image somewhere else.

 

I have several hundred images going nowhere at another agency. I plan to bring most of them "home" to Alamy if things don't improve there (faint hope). It will take over six months, though. A couple of them have licensed here for $$$ recently, so I lost 10%.  Bummer.

Edited by John Mitchell
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1 hour ago, John Mitchell said:

 

There's no reason not to tick the "exclusive" box as you can simply un-tick it if you decide to send an image somewhere else.

 

Absolutely. If licences for an image are not available elsewhere then tick the exclusive box. Not doing this is throwing away 20% of your revenue. The small downside is the admin required to ensure images marked as exclusive really aren't for sale elsewhere. 

 

Mark

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2 hours ago, Marianne said:

Have you found that ticking "exclusive to Alamy" has boosted sales?

 

My number of sales hasn't gone up, but the gross revenue per sale seems to be a bit better for me. It could be just random chance (my portfolio isn't that large) and not related to exclusivity at all. It's hard to tell.

 

Mark

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Posted (edited)

I think that what a lot of us find galling is that there is no actual advantage to being exclusive to Alamy apart from their arbitrary decision to reduce commission from 50% to 40% for those which are non-exclusive. Image buyers are not even made aware which images are exclusive so presumably Alamy don't feel that it actually matters to them. 

 

But yes if your images are only on Alamy you should certainly tick the right boxes. 

 

There was some vague mention that this loss of 20% would allow Alamy to fund something or other which would work out as a benefit - but who knows what that was all about, sounded like flannel to me.

Edited by geogphotos
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Posted (edited)

 I just made about 100* images exclusive. I have to check a lot of my older ones, they may be with a couple of boutique sites I joined eons ago that aren't going anywhere. 

 

I have some similars on other sites where they are selling well, and while I saved my best shots in those cases for Alamy, I need to be careful that I'm not making similars exclusive, as that doesn't seem right, even if there are no "rules." 

 

I've been picking places I've visited at random and trying to bulk process bunches of photos, but I am still too picky and it is going slowly. My goal was 2000 images here by the end of the year. LOL I am far off but now that our beautiful weather has turned to rain, it's a good use of my time, I suppose. I worked on a bunch yesterday instead of going out and shooting more, now regretting that. It's easy to forget that summer weather is fleeting in this part of the world.

 

The admin is the hardest part. I had a LR catalog with collections for various sites but when I switched computers I messed it up. I should probably do a backup catalog with all my stock images, but it is all so time-consuming, though it is probably a good exercise. I often think I have images online only to realize they are still on my hard drives and not uploaded. I just don't want to tick everything I think is only on Alamy, only to find that I've made a mistake. Keeping track of over 80,000 images is so difficult but also so frustrating that only a very small handful of them are available for sale. 

 

*250 - and I plan to make a full third of them exclusive, but have some additional admin to do first. 

Edited by Marianne

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4 minutes ago, M.Chapman said:

 

My number of sales hasn't gone up, but the gross revenue per sale seems to be a bit better for me. It could be just random chance (my portfolio isn't that large) and not related to exclusivity at all. It's hard to tell.

 

Mark

 

Mark, I had a handful of images randomly exclusive, probably from the old days of "only on Alamy" which I ticked for very few (since I also have an RM site in Germany I submit to).  

So, my experience is not linked to exclusive sales, but my return per image has gone up a lot this year, less than half as many sales as this time last year, but gross revenue is already tied with all of last year. But, certainly could be random here, my portfolio being much smaller than yours. 

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Going back a good few years talking to a the owner of a small specialist agency she told me that they stopped their exclusivity submission  requirement because they found that so many of their photographers simply lied - even going to the extent of hiding behind false identities - so it ends up being meaningless trying to assure clients. 

 

As this business gets tougher and tougher and agencies squeeze more and more I can't imagine that the situation regarding honesty has got any better.

 

 

 

 

 

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Posted (edited)
21 minutes ago, M.Chapman said:

Absolutely. If licences for an image are not available elsewhere then tick the exclusive box. Not doing this is throwing away 20% of your revenue. The small downside is the admin required to ensure images marked as exclusive really aren't for sale elsewhere. 

 

Mark

 

I've only had to un-tick the "exclusive" box in a handful of instances. I always wait to make sure that the image has been accepted at the other place before removing the tick.

 

Edited by John Mitchell

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4 minutes ago, geogphotos said:

Going back a good few years talking to a the owner of a small specialist agency she told me that they stopped their exclusivity submission  requirement because they found that so many of their photographers simply lied - even going to the extent of hiding behind false identities - so it ends up being meaningless trying to assure clients. 

 

As this business gets tougher and tougher and agencies squeeze more and more I can't imagine that the situation regarding honesty has got any better.

 

 

Well, we don't really know what's going on behind the curtains. Alamy might be using "exclusivity" as a negotiating tool in some cases. One certainly hopes so...

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1 minute ago, John Mitchell said:

 

Well, we don't really know what's going on behind the curtains. Alamy might be using "exclusivity" as a negotiating tool in some cases. One certainly hopes so...

 

Why wouldn't they tell us if that were true? It would act as an encouragement to share good news.

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18 minutes ago, geogphotos said:

 

Why wouldn't they tell us if that were true? It would act as an encouragement to share good news.

 

That's a good question. It would be nice to know if "exclusivity" is paying off.

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Posted (edited)

I just marked a total of 250 or so RM images as exclusive here, and I plan to add more once I remove a bunch from some small boutique European sites that have been losing the battle in trying to keep prices higher. Some have taken to selling RM images at micro prices and they all seem to be struggling in this stock photography marketplace. I might as well keep my RM images exclusive here, since Alamy seems to be keeping up with the marketplace, even if it means that they cut our commission (still unhappy about it, but we all know the marketplace is a nightmare). 

 

Of course, I also have a lot of RF and while I've pretty much kept my micro and Alamy portfolios separate, where I've split a shoot between the two, I'd keep those different but similar images non-exclusive.  I would think a buyer who really wants exclusive shots won't want to see a similar image at a different price point elsewhere. Going forward, it would be easy to add new exclusive shots as RM so it's easy to keep track. 

 

The 20% bump in income per sale will pay off, even if the image doesn't get  preferential treatment.

 

I hope it's okay to discuss other sites without naming them as they compare to Alamy, especially since the comparison is favorable to Alamy. When we're talking about whether or not to mark images as exclusive, it obviously means that we license images elsewhere, so it's hard to discuss this without making a comparison. I have one micro agency where you can add images as exclusive (they do contests). I have a few there that have made me $$$ and one $$$$ over the years, so conceivably this exclusive by image could really pay off here at Alamy. 

 

Exclusivity could help Alamy when they are negotiating prices. Alamy is already known as a place to find unique and out of the way images, images that may not sell often but when they do, could go for a good price. If someone is looking for images of a small city or town in the UK, the US, or anywhere else in the world, I think Alamy is often a first choice for such a search. I know I've gotten some $$$ and some decent $$ sales from my small town images here, and I tend to just upload them to Alamy. I think that is what helps excellent photographers in this group from small cities and towns across the globe to do well here, and it seems like a smart move to mark those files as "exclusive to Alamy." 

Edited by Marianne
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2 hours ago, geogphotos said:

Going back a good few years talking to a the owner of a small specialist agency she told me that they stopped their exclusivity submission  requirement because they found that so many of their photographers simply lied - even going to the extent of hiding behind false identities - so it ends up being meaningless trying to assure clients. 

 

As this business gets tougher and tougher and agencies squeeze more and more I can't imagine that the situation regarding honesty has got any better.

 

But now images are all on-line and there's reverse image search facility it seems more likely those who take a dishonest approach may get caught? Maybe that will act a s deterrent?

 

Mark

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Just now, M.Chapman said:

 

But now images are all on-line and there's reverse image search facility it seems more likely those who take a dishonest approach may get caught? Maybe that will act a s deterrent?

 

Mark

 

That's what I was thinking. Even to the point of doing those searches when I'm not sure where I may have an image. Early on I joined a bunch of sites that promised higher prices and honestly I'm not even sure if some of them are still out there. I gave up on a few but decided it wouldn't hurt to leave my images that I'd already uploaded and keyworded online, so I need to check out all the shots I took & uploaded between 2008-2010 - lots of admin. But I really don't want my images in the database of places that are bound to go under. 

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Posted (edited)

In answer to the question in the title: "No, not one bit". Four of my last five months were poor, and I just had my first sale of this month pop in netting me $7.06.

All of my Alamy images are de facto Alamy exclusive, though I've had to mark some as not exclusive due to e.g. statues taking up more the 1/3 of the image.

Edited by Cryptoprocta

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, Marianne said:

I hope it's okay to discuss other sites without naming them as they compare to Alamy, especially since the comparison is favorable to Alamy. When we're talking about whether or not to mark images as exclusive, it obviously means that we license images elsewhere, so it's hard to discuss this without making a comparison. I have one micro agency where you can add images as exclusive (they do contests). I have a few there that have made me $$$ and one $$$$ over the years, so conceivably this exclusive by image could really pay off here at Alamy.

 

I'm familiar with that micro. It's a different kind of exclusivity. In their case, the agency is offering the buyer exclusive use of your image for 1-3 years, which means you have to take it off the market for that period of time. Don't you also have to agree to possible "all rights" deals if you accept their extended licenses?

 

Edited by John Mitchell

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I went exclusive with Alamy at the beginning of the year, removing my images from two other agencies where sales were far less frequent than at Alamy, and where prices were often only one-half or less what Alamy is getting.  But no, I've seen no increase in sales.  This years sales numbers and sales revenue are both slightly behind where I was this time last year.  Not particularly bad, but certainly no noticeable improvement.  In addition to going exclusive I've been using spare time the last several months to review the keywording of old images.  When Alamy changed its AIM system (was that two and a half years ago now?) I found it screwed up a lot of my keywording, dropping commas that had previously been there, thereby creating lots of multiple-word keyword phrases which were likely never to be searched, while also separating into single words keywording that had earlier been two- or three-word phrases (i.e., "palm tree" became "palm, tree" or "ear ring" became "ear, ring", which can produce a lot of false positives and result in a lowered CTR rating).  So correcting all these keyword anomalies should, I thought, improve my CTR rating and lead to more sales, but obviously that has not yet happened.  In any case I don't regret going exclusive since my other agencies were not producing much. 

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Posted (edited)

No doubt there are a few exceptions to what I am about to write but I think that for most people it is true. An opinion that's all.

 

It is not possible to make stock photography into a stand alone sustainable business by being solely exclusive with Alamy. 

 

Having said that - Alamy is fine as a hobby business, as a supplementary income, and as something to add er...focus... to a person's interest in photography.

 

Several contributors have commented that this exclusivity thing has actually driven them away to become more non-exclusive.

 

What is worrying is that the commission change was never presented as being part of a business plan but only as an opportunity for Alamy to take more money from us to help company finances. Then in response to a big outcry they worked the numbers and found that they could afford to keep 50% for exclusive images.

 

But what is the strategy? Why should exclusivity boost sales?

Edited by geogphotos
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A "Hobby business"? I agree with that.

 

I do stock photography for physical, mental, and creative reasons. I do need that extra income now but I don't do it for the money. The game I play is submitting only common-access, editorial RM images to Alamy. All those images are Alamy exclusive. I know I could make more money if I did Live News but I can't and I won't do that at this point in my life. I'll add that I trust Alamy and I do not trust those other agencies. 

 

Edo

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A huge emphatic NO!

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Posted (edited)

Edo

 

I think that the sculpture of sleeping homeless person is Christ - notice the cuts in the feet:

 

Jesus the Homeless, is a bronze sculpture by Canadian sculptor Timothy Schmalz 

 

There's about 100 copies around the world. I have the Madrid one.

 

Here is the wikipedia page: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Homeless_Jesus

 

Is this 'your' one "In April 2019 a statue was installed in the Gardens of Church of Our Lady and Saint Nicholas, Liverpool"?

 

Edited by geogphotos

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Posted (edited)
8 hours ago, geogphotos said:

But what is the strategy? Why should exclusivity boost sales?

 

 I can see exclusivity boosting sales in the case of  buyers who shop around at different agencies to get the lowest price. If a customer finds an image here that they like and it isn't available elsewhere, then they will have to license it through Alamy. How often this actually happens is another question, though.

Edited by John Mitchell
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