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CrowingHen

am I on the right path?

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Hi.

 

I'm very much enjoying taking photos and submitting them for stock, but I'm not sure if my style is right for alamy. 

 

https://www.alamy.com/portfolio/crowinghen 

 

I've been submitting to two stock agency, my best photos are coming here and my lesser photos on the other site.  With about the same number of photos on both sites, the other site has started to see sales.  Nothing here.  So maybe my style isn't right for this site?  I don't know.  I know they say I shouldn't worry until I hit 500 or 700 photos, so I'm going to keep uploading.  But I am wondering if it's worth putting more effort here or sticking with the microstock site.

 

The thing is, I like Alamy better because the way of navigating the site is easier and the community friendlier on the forums.

 

I'm taking classes to improve my photography skills.  The problem with these is most classes focus on art photography and I'm more interested in product and stock.  But there's skills I can transfer over and I'm learning something new every week.  

 

 

 

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I really admire your work. It is beautiful and I think it will sell eventually. I don't do the sort of subjects you have but I suspect the textile images will be more likely to be useful to someone writing an article. Even better would be to include people using the machines. My sales on Alamy are for magazines and newspapers with the occasional book and a couple of greeting cards. When you are deciding on subjects think in terms of subjects in magazines and books. Watch the forum for images we report having sold and you should get an idea. You haven't been here long and have very few images. It always takes much longer here than on the microstock sites.

 

Paulette

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1 hour ago, CrowingHen said:

I am wondering if it's worth putting more effort here

 

Waaaaay too soon to know if you and Alamy are a good fit. Buyers may already be viewing your pix, earmarking them for projects, etc... but it might take, weeks, months before any pix are registered as sales..

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Hello,

 

I like your pictures. Alamy is an open agency so there are no right or wrong subjects, don't worry about that.

 

Some people start selling quickly, for some others it takes longer. 122 pictures is not many,  I was at 694 when I made my first sale.

 

Good luck.

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Shoot me for saying this if you’d like. Nice images. Well-developed. But, to me, a lot of them clearly look shot for microstock.  
To do well at Alamy requires, for the most part, a different style. I started out with micro for a short time and it almost ruined me for Alamy. It took me awhile to quit shooting things like a needle, a cut flower, a thimble, a tool, and such. Those are still here but not one time has one ever sold. I have sold technology, storefronts, people shopping inside stores, plants, but usually the whole plant or large part of. Those need scientifically identified along with common name.
What I love to shoot is birds. I’ve sold a few hummingbird images,  but I can’t compete with the excellent wildlife collections here. Mostly my butterflies and birds languish with a rare sale here and there.

I would most definitely keep what you have, but in future before you press the shutter, think, “what sort of concept or idea or article would this image serve?”
Two people kicking a soccer ball around would have tags like: sport, ball, kicking a soccer ball, companionship, friendship, cooperation, competition. Among others.  Images of people doing various jobs, family interactions such as cooking, putting a child to bed, etc. Shoot them to appear natural, not posing while looking into the camera.

Use what you have easy access to. An occupation not easily shot by others.  If you have a family, there you go. Ready-made models. My family is grown and I don’t easily have a lot of access any longer. Wish I did, but by the time I got into stock, the kids were grown and gone. When I am around family, I take pictures. Pictures that feature holidays and such.
Then think of the mundane...not necessarily always fun to shoot, but also serves a purpose on Alamy.  Shopfronts, medicine, food, drought, floods, heavy snow, weather damage, spectacular storm clouds, laden fruit trees, gardening, crops, harvesting, and on and on. 

I expect you will eventually do well because you clearly shoot well exposed and developed images. Keep adding images, shoot images for yourself to keep it fun but more heavily shoot for what sells here.  As others have suggested, haunt the threads here of what is selling..soon to be Images sold in November.
Just remember Alamy is a marathon, not a 100 yard dash.

Betty
 

Edited by Betty LaRue
Typo
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Thank you everyone for taking the time to glace at my photos.  This is really good feedback.  I'm feeling much better about things here. 

 

7 hours ago, NYCat said:

... but I suspect the textile images will be more likely to be useful to someone writing an article. ...

 

That's where I started out.  I wrote articles or patterns (with someone to edit away the dyslexia) and the magazines wanted photos to go with it.  I tend to be a bit more technical and tutorial with my textile pictures than may be best here.  I imagine the buyers would want more beautiful photos than showing off a specific technique, tool, or supply.  That's an area I could improve.

 

7 hours ago, Mr Standfast said:

Some people start selling quickly, for some others it takes longer. 122 pictures is not many,  I was at 694 when I made my first sale.

 

1 hour ago, Betty LaRue said:

Just remember Alamy is a marathon, not a 100 yard dash.

 

That makes me feel better.  I'll try for a thousand photos before deciding. If I submit at least 20 good photos a week, I should be there in less than a year.  

 

1 hour ago, Betty LaRue said:

Shoot me for saying this if you’d like.

 

no shooting.  I asked for advise and I thank you for taking the time to reply.

 

1 hour ago, Betty LaRue said:

Nice images. Well-developed. But, to me, a lot of them clearly look shot for microstock.  

 

I was wondering about this. 

 

I'm not good at shooting people yet (if ever) so I'm going to miss out on the biggest part of the market here.  

 

An idea would be to seek inspiration from my job.  I do a lot of work with textiles; teaching students but also teaching teachers and troubleshoot equipment problems.  It's very difficult to find photos of specific solutions or parts , so I wondered if this is a possible source of inspiration for my photography?   I don't know. 

 

1 hour ago, Betty LaRue said:

I expect you will eventually do well because you clearly shoot well exposed and developed images.

 

Thank you very much.

 

And thank you to everyone.

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9 hours ago, CrowingHen said:

I imagine the buyers would want more beautiful photos than showing off a specific technique, tool, or supply. 

 On the contrary.  What Alamy often lacks is images that show off specific techniques or tools and materials that only a specialist would know about.  If you can make them beautiful - well that's a bonus.

 

Don't think in photographic terms.  Think in marketing terms.  On a stock site such as Alamy you are primarily in the business of contributing images that their buyers can use to illustrate books, articles, advertorial, calendars, factsheets etc.  So identify what that market is, what part you can satisfy, and then use your specialist skills and knowledge to generate saleable imagery.  Do keyword searches on the Alamy image database to identify areas within your non photo skill sets where Alamy is under represented.  Find niches.  Aim to fill gaps.

 

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Your images look lovely, with quite unique and interesting lighting in many of them.

 

Alamy is considered mainly an editorial agency, but just about anything can sell. There is no reason at all your images aren't perfectly fine for Alamy, but as others say, sales can take a while to show up. It's a slow process needing lots of patience.

 

A few tips if that's ok....

 

1) Be as artistic as you like, as long as they aren't over-processed. Your images stand out and that's what is needed to attract buyers.

2) You do have some similar images, so try to broaden your range of topics and include at least some of the types of images you wouldn't usually take that are more of an editorial style, just to get sales to hopefully improve your profile's visibility for other images.

3) Well known shop chains, branded vehicles (a known delivery service for example), monuments, high streets are all good sellers.

4) If something you photograph usually has people in it or using it, then ensure your shots also have people. For example, a shop front - Get people walking in or out. Also a park - Get dog walkers, kids playing, etc. rather than just "a park".

5) Keyword accurately with phrases that a client may use in a search. Include those words, in proper-English sentences, in your captions. Captions carry a lot of weight in the search algorithm.

 

Good luck.  :)

 

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2 hours ago, John Richmond said:

 On the contrary.  What Alamy often lacks is images that show off specific techniques or tools and materials that only a specialist would know about.  If you can make them beautiful - well that's a bonus.

 

I echo what John said. Those techniques, tools and materials are exactly what Alamy wants, such as images of using the tools. If you can’t get a person using the tool, then have the tool lying by the textile while half of the cutting (or whatever you do with the tool!😊) is completed.

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There's an old saying that photo-buyers don't buy what they like, but what they need.

 

That said, you've got some very nice images. However, I'd agree with what others have said. You have to think editorially for Alamy. I guess the trick is to find where your path and Alamy's path intersect. Good luck.

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Hen,

 

Really like the image: 2A6FDJ1.  As others have said Alamy is a marathon not a sprint.

 

Your image prep appears to be spot on and your IPTC info is good.  Stick with it and in

my opinion stay away from Micro.

 

Best,

 

Chuck

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Hi Crowing Hen,

 

I'm in a similar position as you as I've just starting doing stock. I've been with Alamy for about a month and I think the same microstock site as you for about 3 months now. I too find the forum here friendlier. People are collegial and really respectful of one another and that is really nice to see. I like your shots and I think definitely hang in there with Alamy. I do think images of people working in textiles and crafts are a great thing to see, so if that's something you want to pursue I think it might work well for the kind of images people may be looking for on Alamy. They may be helpful illustrations for books, manuals, websites or other publications. It seems you have the interest and motivation to really have a go with stock so I reckon keep experimenting and uploading.

 

I only have 52 images on sale (some in QC as well) and I think it will be a long slog and many, many more uploads before I start to see results. I'll submit my portfolio here for feedback when I have more images. Like you I've started to make sales in microstock, and unsure how much energy to put into each. I've kept things like backgrounds for microstock, as that seems the kind of thing that sells well there, as they are something businesses like to use as a backdrop for advertising their products and services I think. I am staying with microstock for now because I am really hoping to make some income, and some sales feel better than none in this regard, but will just see how things pan out in the long run. I mainly went with it initially because every blog and account I read of peoples' stock experiences I read said they make their highest amount of income from microstock, so this seemed a logical path at the time, but I understand the ambivalence some midstockers have about microstock. I really like Alamy, and don't mind running a marathon as well.

 

Good luck on your stock journey!

 

 

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On 30/10/2019 at 04:03, John Richmond said:

 On the contrary.  What Alamy often lacks is images that show off specific techniques or tools and materials that only a specialist would know about.  If you can make them beautiful - well that's a bonus.

 

Don't think in photographic terms.  Think in marketing terms.  On a stock site such as Alamy you are primarily in the business of contributing images that their buyers can use to illustrate books, articles, advertorial, calendars, factsheets etc.  So identify what that market is, what part you can satisfy, and then use your specialist skills and knowledge to generate saleable imagery.  Do keyword searches on the Alamy image database to identify areas within your non photo skill sets where Alamy is under represented.  Find niches.  Aim to fill gaps.

 

 

I see.  I need to think more like when I'm finding photos for a magazine article.  Thank you! 

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Thank you everyone for taking the time to have a look.

 

What I'm hearing is that my technique is in range, if a little different.  Where I would benefit from the most is to focus on different content - more tutorial and technical.  Images that display techniques or activities at various stages.

 

And if I can get over my hermit nature, photos with people or parts of people.

 

Thank you so much.  I'm feeling like it's worth it to keep going.

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On 30/10/2019 at 13:39, Chuck Nacke said:

Really like the image: 2A6FDJ1. 

 

Thank you.  

 

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28 minutes ago, CrowingHen said:

And if I can get over my hermit nature, photos with people or parts of people.

Use yourself.  Tripod, remote release or camera timer.  It's easy enough:

 

Testing glucose level with electronic meter and test strip after lancet has drawn blood sample from Type 2 diabetics finger Stock Photo

 

Firming the compost around the bare roots of an Autumn potted rose Stock Photo

 

Snowdrop bulbs lifted 'in the green' after winter flowering for division and replanting Stock Photo

 

And you can get a model release very easily.  Makes the shot more saleable.

 

Edit: Bottom two have both sold.

Edited by John Richmond
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I took your advice and put part of myself in the photo.  But I don't know how to share embed the photo so it's Image ID: 2A6HC0F

 

Maybe like this?

https://www.alamy.com/two-hands-holding-a-mug-on-a-table-scattered-with-colourful-autumn-maple-leaves-left-wrist-bandaged-with-tensor-oversize-wool-sweater-image331067535.html 

 

It's a bit cliche but I was playing to see how to do it.

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56 minutes ago, CrowingHen said:

I took your advice and put part of myself in the photo.  But I don't know how to share embed the photo so it's Image ID: 2A6HC0F

 

Maybe like this?

https://www.alamy.com/two-hands-holding-a-mug-on-a-table-scattered-with-colourful-autumn-maple-leaves-left-wrist-bandaged-with-tensor-oversize-wool-sweater-image331067535.html 

 

It's a bit cliche but I was playing to see how to do it.

You nailed it! 👍

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5 hours ago, CrowingHen said:

I took your advice and put part of myself in the photo.  But I don't know how to share embed the photo so it's Image ID: 2A6HC0F

 

Maybe like this?

https://www.alamy.com/two-hands-holding-a-mug-on-a-table-scattered-with-colourful-autumn-maple-leaves-left-wrist-bandaged-with-tensor-oversize-wool-sweater-image331067535.html 

 

It's a bit cliche but I was playing to see how to do it.

 

nice quality shot as usual.  i think clichés are good (when i look at the sales forum I'm starting to think i try to be too weird sometimes,  and customers actually want "classical cliché") 

 

love the differentiating element of the bandage .  maybe validate with English person what Tensor bandages are called in UK.   quick look at ama,zone.UK looks like "elastic " and "compression " bandage. 

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Yes, that works.  In the UK they are known as compression or support bandages.  My wife has an good collection.

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thank you.

and thanks for all the help.

compression bandage makes more sense.  I wonder why we call it tensor.  

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25 minutes ago, CrowingHen said:

 I wonder why we call it tensor.  

It's a brand name.

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ah.  That makes sense.  It's the whole hoover-gate thing all over again.

 

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Some very useful advice here, especially from @Betty LaRue whose response was an object-lesson in how to submit for various types of stock library.

My own input is threefold:

1) You need a lot more images than 170 (ish) before you should even worry about making sales (as others have said), and they should be as different as possible. To my mind, you have too many "similars" and this narrows down your actual collection to about 1/3rd the size.

 

2) I would, personally, consider whether some of the edited images would work for the Alamy market. Who would use a black-and-white bobbin of cotton, for example. If you're sure of the answer keep it in. If not, submit images that suit the marketplace. 

3) I interviewed the late Keith Morris, shortly before his sad passing, and he told me "people sell for Alamy. One person doing one thing sells very well." His massive sales figures proved that to be right.

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