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Aaron

New here with Questions

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Hello,

    Good Morning, Good Afternoon, Good Evening to whomever is in different time zones. I am new to Alamy but I have been uploading to Alamy and hoping to make some sells than based on what I am not fully archiving with Shutter Stock or Adobe Stock. I been doing photo work for quite sometime. My Portfolio . Mostly sports but been doing different things here and there. My question is since each platform is different and each one is tricky. Like how SS sometimes allows certain photos I take on my travels like buildings and certain events then doesn't, same with Adobe Stock. I wish 500px would supply more of my photos to iStock and Getty as they are supposed to, even my landscape photos are not even being ported over. Only a small handful about a year and half ago when they did make the change adding iStock and Getty to their selling feature now nothing. Also 500px is weird at times because when a photo doesn't pass to be licensed but you upload it again and it does but the photo that follows the one that does get licensed it doesn't than even if it is landscape photos. 

 

So my Questions are since I have a ton of photos more than 10,000 about 40,000 and still adding more. I am hoping to reach about 100,000 before the end of the year. But my questions are. Do people make a decent living on this platform? If so how long and how many photos needed? I understand that a huge amount makes you more noticed. Also with release forms, do you really need a release form? Because honestly some of the landscape or travel photos which have no people or known building in the photos, Adobe and Shutter Stock still reject them??? Very odd. If it is a old run down farm or building with no ownership. The photo gets rejected. So I ask does that truly matter here??? 

 

I hope someone is able to answer these questions and I hope to work with some of you. I been seeing a lot of backlash about this platform. Which about Alamy steals photos and sells them without your consent to do so and no one makes money here even after a year. Also the commission has dropped big time and people are leaving because of it. 

 

So what is true or not? If any of that is true will this platform bottle up like SS and AS and only give people .25 or .33 cents for one sale??? Honestly that Subscription crap is BS. Because it hurts the creator in the effort of doing something worthy. Like putting a video together that took 6-8 hours of editing and only get a few bucks when the true price of it is in thousands. So I hope Alamy doesn't drive down that road and turn into a subscription platform and screw over the creators big time. People need to pay by the work not by shot. 

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My opinion is that you are better off here than in microstock but, no, not at all likely to make a living unless you are doing more than stock with your photography. Alamy is honest and fair but have gone from giving us 50% of a sale to 40% unless the image is exclusive to Alamy. Prices are falling and a lot of us (not all) blame microstock for that. For someone like me who is a hobbyist it is a swell place to license images. All this my own opinion, of course. I like it here. About releases, no you don't need them. Just be honest in your declarations of whether you have them. You can't get a commercial sale without them but Alamy is primarily editorial.

 

Paulette

Edited by NYCat

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Alamy does not reject for content, only for technical issues.  There are certain images that aren't allowed, such as close ups of any type of artwork, where the work fills the frame.  I believe images of National Trust properties are also not allowed.

 

No releases are necessary for editorial usage (which is what Alamy is mostly).

 

Jill

 

 

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one thing that is different i guess, is forum rules 

https://discussion.alamy.com/topic/11220-welcome-to-the-alamy-forum-please-read-these-guidelines-for-use/

 

This is an Alamy forum so it’s not the place to be attempting to damage the Alamy brand through defamatory comments or promoting competitors. You also should not post anything defamatory against our competitors or customers.

Edited by meanderingemu

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3 hours ago, NYCat said:

My opinion is that you are better off here than in microstock but, no, not at all likely to make a living unless you are doing more than stock with your photography. Alamy is honest and fair but have gone from giving us 50% of a sale to 40% unless the image is exclusive to Alamy. Prices are falling and a lot of us (not all) blame microstock for that. For someone like me who is a hobbyist it is a swell place to license images. All this my own opinion, of course. I like it here. About releases, no you don't need them. Just be honest in your declarations of whether you have them. You can't get a commercial sale without them but Alamy is primarily editorial.

 

Paulette

Hello Paulette, I have a question about exclusive. What does that fully mean about being exclusive to Alamy. Is it something that I only can upload my images to Alamy and no where else? Or is something that clients/customers are more able to find better Images when they are exclusive to Alamy? What are the pros and cons and differences. Also would I have to worry about legal issues?

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2 minutes ago, Aaron said:

Hello Paulette, I have a question about exclusive. What does that fully mean about being exclusive to Alamy. Is it something that I only can upload my images to Alamy and no where else? Or is something that clients/customers are more able to find better Images when they are exclusive to Alamy? What are the pros and cons and differences. Also would I have to worry about legal issues?

 

 

exclusive is Image per image.  Generally if an image is not offered up for sale at other distributor you can mark it as Exclusive to Alamy.

 

only impact. Alamy charges you less to distribute exclusive images 

Edited by meanderingemu

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5 minutes ago, meanderingemu said:

 

 

exclusive is Image per image.  Generally if an image is not offered up for sale at other distributor you can mark it as Exclusive to Alamy.

 

only impact. Alamy charges you less to distribute exclusive images 

So you gain less with Exclusive? Meaning pay out.

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3 minutes ago, Aaron said:

So you gain less with Exclusive? Meaning pay out.

 

Alamy charges you less, so you keep more of the fee.

Edited by meanderingemu

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You can sell your images on your own website or sell prints at a site like Fine Art America but if an image is being sold elsewhere for stock it is not exclusive to Alamy and you will get 40% of any sales. If image is exclusive you get 50%. It doesn't seem to make any difference for the client. It is just a bit of an incentive to us to keep our images with Alamy and not be competing on another site for the same image. Since you will generally make more money here it doesn't make sense to also have the same image on microstock. Others might disagree with this.

 

Paulette

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It seems than I have some work to do then to pull them from this other sites. But I do have a question about 500px even though they don't sell the photos themselves, they send the over to Getty and this Asian stock site but there is a exclusive feature that  have clicked on but no photos have been sent to the stock sites over a year now. I mostly use it has a portfolio now. But since I have done that. Will there be issues? I do apologize for bringing other stock sites into my response but I am just trying to this right.

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Fine Art America also has a choice to make images available for stock and I know I'm OK there because I never did make that choice and I think other people here just removed the choice so that they would not be selling for stock there. I don't know about 500px but it sounds the same.

 

Paulette

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12 minutes ago, Aaron said:

It seems than I have some work to do then to pull them from this other sites. But I do have a question about 500px even though they don't sell the photos themselves, they send the over to Getty and this Asian stock site but there is a exclusive feature that  have clicked on but no photos have been sent to the stock sites over a year now. I mostly use it has a portfolio now. But since I have done that. Will there be issues? I do apologize for bringing other stock sites into my response but I am just trying to this right.

 

We need to be clear here. Discussing other stock sites is strictly against Alamy's rules for this forum. It is a surefire way to get an entire thread deleted. There are other forums which discuss microstock in general, but this is not one of them.

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5 hours ago, meanderingemu said:

one thing that is different i guess, is forum rules 

https://discussion.alamy.com/topic/11220-welcome-to-the-alamy-forum-please-read-these-guidelines-for-use/

 

This is an Alamy forum so it’s not the place to be attempting to damage the Alamy brand through defamatory comments or promoting competitors. You also should not post anything defamatory against our competitors or customers.

 

First, Jean-Francois @meanderingemu  and Joseph @Joseph Clemson I want to be very clear that I am saying this in the spirit of trying to be constructive and to help a newbie, and not to start a fight here or lead this discussion into one that will be closed.

 

But, I think we need to be clear here, nowhere in the language Jean-Francois quotes and in fact, nowhere in that entire Alamy Guideline post link, does Alamy forbid us from mentioning other sites if it is done to help someone better understand how Alamy differs from POD, microstock or other midstock and higher end stock sites. They do indeed forbid discussions that are defamatory or that promote competitors (as Jean-Francois rightly points out). It is a fine line at times, and some of the OP's comments may straddle that line, so it is good  that you brought it to his attention, but that does not mean he should be dismissed out of hand for asking questions. Obviously, he is considering moving his images over here and maybe deleting some from other sites, so he seems to be honestly seeking advice, albeit some of his comments may be problematic. 

 

The forum guidelines also say:

  • The Alamy forum is for contributors to spark debate and find answers from each other. Although Alamy will jump in from time to time, this is your forum!
  • Be inclusive and welcome new members. Only provide constructive criticism if it’s asked for. Remember, we were all new once.
  •  

That's one of the things I really like about Alamy, I think that they make an effort to foster free discussion and to be reasonably transparent. They accept criticism without banning people for honestly but politely expressing their anger when they make decisions that photographers are unhappy about. And they give their contributors the benefit of the doubt. We need to recognize that this is an Alamy forum, so they are free to run it as they wish, but as an outspoken Yank I have to say that I have never felt that my opinion here is being censured. Don't scare the OP off. Let him ask his questions. 

 

@Aaron  I would suggest that you heed Jean-Francois' advice and read the Guidelines, and be more careful when you discuss other sites and be careful not to discuss rumors that hurt Alamy. There has never been any suggestion that this site is going the way of subscriptions, and in fact for many contributors, myself included, the price per download has risen substantially this year. I also took a quick look at your portfolio as you asked. See me advice below. 

Edited by Marianne
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@Aaron

I have taken a quick look at your portfolio since you have asked for constructive criticism. You have a lot of similar images - e.g. way too many similar shots of the American flag - and this will reduce your CTR (click through rate - do a search for CTR or click through rate in the forum and you will then understand why having all these similar images will hurt you).

 

Also, most of your images don't have captions. They have strings of keywords which is not permitted. But, more important, it means people have no idea what the photos are about. An American flag is obvious. People milling about in front of others at a table outside - are they signing up at a rally? Are they at a garage sale? Just out for a walk? I have no idea what they are doing and neither will a buyer. Are they doing something that might be of interest to a news outlet for a story? Think about why you took the image and how it could be used by a buyer. If you have no idea, don't upload it.

 

Quality is as, if not even more important than quantity. Uploading 40,000 images won't help you make a living if many of them are virtually identical and/or if they were not taken with a purpose in mind. I have over 100,000 images on my hard drives since I started taking digital photos in 2006 but I only have about 1,200 images here. Admittedly, I am slow at uploading and very particular about editing, But even if I had uploaded every image on my hard drives that I felt was suitable for stock, I'd still have less than 10,000. Just because the Alamy collection is unedited does not mean that you should not edit your images carefully, which includes limiting how many you upload from each shoot and thinking about what each image could be used for. Again, read the discussions here on CTR and you will understand why. 

 

Also spend some time reading discussions here like the images sold threads and discussions about Alamy rank, then take a look at your portfolio and upload photos that you think people will actually be able to use to illustrate a book or magazine, newspaper or web article (editorial) or, if the image has releases or does not need them, a commercial concept that an advertiser might want. 

 

On making a living here, I guess in part that depends on what you need. At one point, I anticipated that having a large portfolio of stock photos would give me a nice nest egg for retirement, but as the stock photo market online matured and changed, I continued to do do the math. That is part of the reason my portfolio is at 1,200 rather than 10K. Even if I spent the time to get another 9K images online, I do not anticipate that I would earn what I would expect to make from that effort, so, for me stock is just one segment of my photo income. But I still see it as a nest egg for retirement, just a much smaller egg in the nest. You need to track you sales here for a few years and do the math for yourself. I make more from some other stock photo sites, even with far fewer images at them, but I like Alamy's pricing structure better and I have many other reasons for putting more of my photos here than elsewhere,  Everyone's needs and portfolios are different. 

 

Finally, Welcome to Alamy - and good luck! 

Edited by Marianne
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11 minutes ago, Marianne said:

 

First, Jean-Francois @meanderingemu  and Joseph @Joseph Clemson I want to be very clear that am saying this in the spirit of trying to be constructive and to help a newbie, and not to start a fight here or lead this discussion into one that will be closed.

 

But, I think we need to be clear here, nowhere in the language Jean-Francois quotes and in fact, nowhere in that entire Alamy Guideline post link, does Alamy forbid us from mentioning other sites if it is done to help someone better understand how Alamy differs from POD, microstock or other midstock and higher end stock sites. They do forbid discussions that are defamatory and that promote competitors (as Jean-Francois rightly points out). It is a fine line at times, and some of the OP's comments may straddle that line, so it is good  that you brought it to his attention, but that does not mean he should be dismissed out of hand for asking questions. Obviously, he is considering moving his images over here and maybe deleting some from other sites, so he seems to be honestly seeking advice, albeit some of his comments may be problematic. 

 

 

 

thanks for the long write up.  not to be defensive, but i did not quote any language.  I simply stated the fact this forum has specific guidelines, which may be different from other forums. 

 

 

had i wanted to be specific, i would say the following statement:

 

"SS and AS and only give people .25 or .33 cents for one sale??? Honestly that Subscription crap is BS."

 

is pretty negative on the model of the competitors. 

 

 

I also wanted to leave that comment noiseless, hence answering his question for which i could provide info in another post.  

Edited by meanderingemu

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@meanderingemu

 

Sorry for the misunderstanding. And not to confuse things further, but I meant the language that you quoted from the guidelines, not from the OP's post. More importantly though, please don't feel defensive. I agree with what you wrote. it was good to bring the guidelines to the OP's attention. 

 

In re-reading and editing what I wrote, I realized that you were not the one to say that we could not mention other sites. Unfortunately, I couldn't figure out how to add a second quote once I had hit reply. I considered taking out your quote all together, but then I saw that you had replied and it seemed wrong to then edit my post after you had replied. 

 

My intention was simply to  point out that while Alamy bans the kinds of discussions that you rightly point to in your posts, they do not ban every mention of other sites.  It's so easy for assumptions to turn into "facts" on a forum and the only way to really understand how things are going here is to do so in the context of the larger stock photo market. I think Alamy's Guidelines reflect that. And I think that reflects well on Alamy. 

 

Anyway, I hope there are no hard feelings. I really was trying hard to be constructive and I wasn't challenging what you said, just trying to clarify the conclusions others drew from the Guidelines that you pointed to. 
 

There have been a few cases recently when contributors became somewhat heated when others mentioned sites other than Alamy. It seemed like this discussion might be heading that way and I was trying to jump in and maybe steer things back on course. Hope I haven'[t derailed it instead. I see more replies popping up as I write. Uh oh...

Edited by Marianne
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WOW, such a heated topic lol. But I happy to see the response I am getting. I am new to Alamy, I am new to this forum and I am sort of new to stock photography. I appreciate each and everyone of you that have took the time to respond to my questions. Thank you. 

 

There is a lot to digues here.

 

First I want to say I will try to watch what I say on these forums. I was just stressing my issues about how we creators are getting a very short end of the stick. Because how some of us travel a lot and and expect something that is decent but only earn the very low bare minimum makes this type of field seem to be very under appreciated. But yet, from youtube and blogs many are saying they are making about $300-500 on other sites when the commission is very low. So I am very confused at that point, which led me to here. A place that makes us feel more appreciate for our effort. So I hoping Alamy stays on the path of the business structure they have. Also I do deeply apologize for making such remarks about Alamy. I have read blogs and seen youtube videos that do talk down about this platform. I don't know if it were people that didn't like Alamy for some reason or members from the other stock sites doing rouch marketing by creating a scare to keep people away from sites like Alamy. It was just a question nothing more. I don't know what is true or not. But the obvious look at it is if Alamy was doing all those things people were saying than no one would be on this platform. So I have feeling it is people from the other sites that are trying to keep people away from sites like Alamy. Just my guess. 

 

 @Marianne

   Thank you for being very in-depth with your response. I do appreciate that a lot. I have decided to follow you, is there a way we can PM each other? If not that is ok. Yes I am planning to move all my photos to here. Seem a much more respectful platform. Yes I tried to cheated my way to go through the photos after a long day when just stringing keywords. I fully understand where you are coming from so it would benefit the customer for use of the photo. The rest of your response if pretty much straight forward and I will look over the rest of the forum and CTR at a later time. I am hoping to make some what a living on here. But it is still stock and it all depends what is all needed and wanted. It isn't like showing up at a action sport event. Hand out cards and hope they will come find your work and buy your work. Some have but it has gone down because now young and new photographers rather give things away for free instead of selling them which makes it harder for everyone else. $20,000 of camera equipment just doesn't fall from the sky. 

Edited by Aaron
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1 hour ago, Marianne said:

 

First, Jean-Francois @meanderingemu  and Joseph @Joseph Clemson I want to be very clear that I am saying this in the spirit of trying to be constructive and to help a newbie, and not to start a fight here or lead this discussion into one that will be closed.

 

But, I think we need to be clear here, nowhere in the language Jean-Francois quotes and in fact, nowhere in that entire Alamy Guideline post link, does Alamy forbid us from mentioning other sites if it is done to help someone better understand how Alamy differs from POD, microstock or other midstock and higher end stock sites. They do indeed forbid discussions that are defamatory or that promote competitors (as Jean-Francois rightly points out). It is a fine line at times, and some of the OP's comments may straddle that line, so it is good  that you brought it to his attention, but that does not mean he should be dismissed out of hand for asking questions. Obviously, he is considering moving his images over here and maybe deleting some from other sites, so he seems to be honestly seeking advice, albeit some of his comments may be problematic. 

 

The forum guidelines also say:

  • The Alamy forum is for contributors to spark debate and find answers from each other. Although Alamy will jump in from time to time, this is your forum!
  • Be inclusive and welcome new members. Only provide constructive criticism if it’s asked for. Remember, we were all new once.
  •  

That's one of the things I really like about Alamy, I think that they make an effort to foster free discussion and to be reasonably transparent. They accept criticism without banning people for honestly but politely expressing their anger when they make decisions that photographers are unhappy about. And they give their contributors the benefit of the doubt. We need to recognize that this is an Alamy forum, so they are free to run it as they wish, but as an outspoken Yank I have to say that I have never felt that my opinion here is being censured. Don't scare the OP off. Let him ask his questions. 

 

@Aaron  I would suggest that you heed Jean-Francois' advice and read the Guidelines, and be more careful when you discuss other sites and be careful not to discuss rumors that hurt Alamy. There has never been any suggestion that this site is going the way of subscriptions, and in fact for many contributors, myself included, the price per download has risen substantially this year. I also took a quick look at your portfolio as you asked. See me advice below. 

 

I have no wish to seem unhelpful or negative in any way, but it is certainly the case that Alamy normally remove references to any competitor stock library quoted in a discussion. In extreme cases they will delete the entire thread. this has happened many times. I make the point again  because if the discussion continues in this way, an otherwise helpful thread woudl be in danger of disappearing altogether. Alamy moderators work UK business hours, so nothing will happen until tomorrow morning (about 12 hours  from now).  The guideline may not be explicit, but the policy is covered in the guideline point We’ll remove any posts that contain shameless self-promotion or advertising. Kind of goes without saying but we would also expect you to not promote or link to other photography forums.

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@Joseph Clemson

 

Absolutely, and those discussions may have stepped over the line. It is a slippery slope ... but I have never seen Alamy close down a discussion where, for example, contributors have explained to newbies that Alamy isn't like the micros, that Alamy's focus leans toward editorial, that artsy photos are better on POD sites, etc. This doesn't hurt Alamy, it helps new members learn.  It seemed like people stopped replying to the OP once the Guidelines were mentioned.... freezing out potentially helpful responses based on a misinterpretation of the Guidelines. 

 

This is the second time this has happened this month. As a long-time contributor, I thought that I could be helpful by speaking up. I do not believe my response was disrespectful nor heated. Nothing I said was critical of Alamy or other sites, In fact, I didn't mention any other sites. I also was not critical of anyone here, merely disagreeing with your interpretation of the Guidelines, opining that Alamy encourages debate and does not limit our discussion so drastically, while agreeing with @meanderingemu that the OP should be more circumspect in discussing Alamy and other sites. 

 

I didn't promote myself nor did I link to any other photo forums, so I am confused by the Guideline language that you are quoting now. Everything I have said here has stayed within both the letter and the spirit of the Guidelines.  But I get your point, you don't want to see this get shut down, and having wandered off topic, I'm concerned too although I think all three of us were trying to help the OP understand how Alamy works, so in that respect this tangent isn't completely off-topic. No one is name-calling or immaturely giving others red arrows. 

 

I was a NYC trial lawyer for more than a decade, so I have a pretty thick skin. I also understand there is a difference between disagreeing with someone's point of view, or their interpretation of what something means, and attacking that person. This is not a personal attack. I sometimes forget that for the average person, when someone disagrees with them, they are bound to take it as a personal affront. It was not meant that way. We are all trying to help here. 

 

@Aaron  I'm glad you found my comments on your images helpful. You asked to get in touch. You can find me through the contact me form on my personal website but I am not permitted to share that info here. Google is your friend.

 

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Gee, I must need to watch my postings. It seems they can get into a mess lol.

 

@Marianne I found you on Google and I'll email you there about any questions I do have. But can everyone fully agree that Alamy is mostly the only site that is editorial based? Also besides that other tips do you have any others like what to more focus on for stock and what would be great for stock use.I do see your portfolio is mixed between illustrations and photos. It is good to give customers a different sort of things. But what should I mostly focus on to get buys? If this is to much of a bad question to ask than I do apologize I will cease my discussion.    

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Hello Aaron,

 

You ask, "But what should I mostly focus on to get buys?".  It's not a bad question, it's a question we are all asking, the problem is how to provide an answer for a competitor which helps but dosn't give away your own golden goose. Fortunetly there are lots of contributors to this forum who believe being helpfull improves the ALAMY colection and improves all of out chances of making a sale.

 

The "Have you found any images in ..." and "Images sold in ..." threads are very usefull. The challenge is in evaluating how those success apply to your own style and location. I'm told the USA office is doing well so good luck.

 

Stick around Aaron, you get people involved but you take on board what people say. Thats been in short supply recently.

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Nice discussion - I've found it very helpful. I hope Alamy don't delete the thread. Its nice to have this type of community discussion. I too prefer Alamy to other sites that I submitted to (however sparsely).  Thanks @Aaron and welcome (I too am a newbie).

Edited by BidC
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13 hours ago, Aaron said:

Gee, I must need to watch my postings. It seems they can get into a mess lol.

 

@Marianne I found you on Google and I'll email you there about any questions I do have. But can everyone fully agree that Alamy is mostly the only site that is editorial based? Also besides that other tips do you have any others like what to more focus on for stock and what would be great for stock use.I do see your portfolio is mixed between illustrations and photos. It is good to give customers a different sort of things. But what should I mostly focus on to get buys? If this is to much of a bad question to ask than I do apologize I will cease my discussion.    

 

 

Aaron, there are other editorial based provider, however Alamy is probably the main one that doesn't solely focus on current News editorial component.

 

as for what to focus, one of the best source of information is All of Alamy, in Alamy Measure, which allows you to research how often specific subjects actually get searched. 

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I have few more questions which I have been trying to figure out. Since there is mix information on the forums. I am trying to understand the difference and what one should be used for images. Rights managed or Royalty-Free. What is difference between the other? What gets more sells? What one is used for when there is buildings, people, logos and brands in the image? I just want to know a bit more about this because I couldn't really find a clear answer on the forums. 

 

Thanks again for all the help!

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