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CrowingHen

am I on the right path?

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These are great thoughts.  Thank you.

 

I was wondering about the bobbins.  We use these kinds of images in my work for tutorials and selling product.  I originally took these for a guest blog post I was writing on "avoiding plastic while crafting", but his funding fell though.  I also used these black and white bobbins in a class to show the way we combine the two kinds of thread (they just look like yarn unless you're a weaver, then the idea of these two together becomes interesting)

 

But those are uses that come up in my life.  My writing work (I hire an editor for published work) is exceptionally niche.  The last magazine I wrote for only has a print run of about 50,000 and they tend to hire a real photographer (or sometimes me) if the writer cannot take good enough images.  I can't imagine them buying stock.  But two other print magazines in this area just came back from the bankruptcy graveyard and word in the industry is that they do buy stock to fill gaps.

 

Just because I can imagine a use for these, I don't know if the customers here would need these images.  I don't know enough about stock photography yet to know this.  I figured it's worth a try.  But maybe it isn't.  I'm feeling very new here and appreciate you taking the time to give me your thoughts.

 

On a side note, do they look edited?  I just used my white box and the camera on manual to make the white part white.  If they look edited, it means it worked!  yeh. But maybe it looks too edited for stock photography?  Personally, I wish they had more of a cut-out look because they have too much shadow and I have to send it to the graphic designer to remove the shadow when we use it at work otherwise it won't fit with the already established picture theme.  I hope to learn how to do that in the new year.

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Your experience with writing articles should help you. I would have said the bobbins would sell to someone doing an article and, indeed, you used them. Special knowledge is valuable here, in my opinion.

 

Paulette

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27 minutes ago, CrowingHen said:

Just because I can imagine a use for these, I don't know if the customers here would need these images.  I don't know enough about stock photography yet to know this.  I figured it's worth a try.  But maybe it isn't.  I'm feeling very new here and appreciate you taking the time to give me your thoughts.

 

Hi CrowingHen,

You're taking really nice photos, great post processing too. Now that you're into stock, just keep a look out in newspapers, magazines and books for stock photos because then you know what actually sells. Online newspapers are particularly good - each article is accompanied by a photo to illustrate the story and they use a lot of stock photos for this. You'll see some themes just come up over and over (although newspaper sale prices aren't great). There is room for travel shots too, but they sell a lot less frequently unless you're somewhere famous like Oxford or London. Or unless you can get beach shots if you're near the coast!

Steve

 

p.s. +1 to what others before me have said about people doing things sells pictures

Edited by Steve F

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1 hour ago, CrowingHen said:

On a side note, do they look edited?  I just used my white box and the camera on manual to make the white part white.  If they look edited, it means it worked!  yeh. But maybe it looks too edited for stock photography?  Personally, I wish they had more of a cut-out look because they have too much shadow and I have to send it to the graphic designer to remove the shadow when we use it at work otherwise it won't fit with the already established picture theme.  I hope to learn how to do that in the new year.


It's easy to get a cut-out look by increasing the exposure on the background. I hope you don't mind, but I did this on one of your images, in Lightroom, using the adjustment brush tool, with an increase of 2/3's of a stop on the exposure. This is a bit rough, as I spent (literally) only 2 minutes on it. But it shows what can be done.

Be careful of the shadows under the objects, though. These are harder to take out. Try to get the soft-box immediately above the objects, rather than on an angle to them when shooting. Also, having all objects on the background (rather than above others), will help to reduce shadows.

bobbins.jpg

Edited by Steve Valentia
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A crazy thing happened today.

 

I was at work and did a quick google image search to show my colleague a technique someone was asking about.  One of my alamy images came up in position 8.  That's impressive.  No other agency images until pages four and five.  That's some impressive SEO power alamy has.  

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12 hours ago, Steve Valentia said:

I hope you don't mind, but I did this on one of your images, in Lightroom, using the adjustment brush tool, with an increase of 2/3's of a stop on the exposure.

 

That's impressive!  Thanks for showing how it can look.

 

I'm still undecided which image software I will get.  I understand adobe is big, and there are lots of classes (the library has free Linda classes which work well for my brain).  But, I rebel against subscriptions.  My graphic designer friend says gimp has professional abilities, but there are fewer tutorials.  I'm going to learn more before investing in this area.  Maybe find a class.

 

At the moment, I'm learning my camera.  When I'm feeling confident there, I will have good photos for learning editing.

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7 hours ago, CrowingHen said:

My graphic designer friend says gimp has professional abilities, but there are fewer tutorials.

 

 

Perhaps this would be of interest:

https://www.extremetech.com/internet/300135-udemy-class-review-the-ultimate-gimp-2-10-guide-free-udemy-course

Edited by jodyko
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It looks like I sold my very first image on Alamy!  

 

It's a quick photo shoot I did after reading the advise on this thread.  I tried to tell a story by showing the different supplies needed to make the supplies, needed to make the supplies... all in one photo.  Alamy measures also helped to decided what story to tell and it lead me to some empty niches with less than a dozen photos.  I think I can fill some of those gaps when the weather improves.  

 

Am I right in thinking the number on the dashboard is what the person paid for the picture?  I get a percentage of that based on if I marked 'exclusive' or not and I don't get the money until I sell more photos to make up the minimum amount?

 

Even so, it certainly beats the money I'm getting from microstock!  

 

 

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Congrats on your first sale!

 

Glad the advice others gave you here was so helpful. The folks on this forum are a good bunch.

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It's a wonderful community here.

 

I've decided on a path for me to try for 2020:  Upload my best photos here but exclusive, then upload my second best to microstock.  I'm going to try to have less crossover between the two and try to get to one thousand images on both.  That should give me enough of a feel for both sites to see if I fit better with one or t'other. 

 

But I suspect I'll like Alamy more.  Not just because you guys are super, but because I want to improve my quality and focus on better images.  Reading the doom and gloom of the stock industry makes me think about the Luddites and how they broke the mills in fear that the machines would kill their livelihood.  Automated textile production certainly changed things but 200+ years later, I can make a living making things by hand that someone could buy machine-made for $1. I do this by focusing on quality.  I suspect stock photography will go this way too when the doom and gloom settle down.  The market gets cluttered with inconsistent quality, like textiles did.  Many buyers didn't mind, but enough buyers still seek out quality and are willing to pay for it. 

 

That's where I want to focus my photography learning: improving my quality (both technical and composition).  

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2 hours ago, CrowingHen said:

 

Am I right in thinking the number on the dashboard is what the person paid for the picture?  I get a percentage of that based on if I marked 'exclusive' or not and I don't get the money until I sell more photos to make up the minimum amount?

 

 

You want to look at Sales History to see what the sale was and the amount the buyer paid. Then go to Balance of Account to see what Alamy took. The sales will show as "cleared" when the buyer actually pays Alamy. When your cleared amount is $50 or more you will get paid at the end of the month.

 

I'm so glad you were able to take the advice here and that you understand that any special knowledge and experience you have can make a difference.

 

Congratulations.

 

Paulette

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On 04/11/2019 at 18:31, Betty LaRue said:

You nailed it! 👍

Agree with Betty!

 

CrowningHen, I am in a similar boat as you in terms of number of images on here and time on Alamy (for me since Apr 2019). I've made one sale of a photo of kids' bare and muddy feet T97HXT .

I don't have much new to add than what has already been mentioned before me. Perhaps broadening the subject matter, and that's something I am working on as well. I need to maybe increase my upload rate and frequency, as my portfolio is growing very slowly.

 

Good luck! We will journey together.

Edited by AlexG

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8 hours ago, CrowingHen said:

It looks like I sold my very first image on Alamy! 

 

Wow awesome!

Can you share the link of the image you sold, out of curiousity?

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On 01/11/2019 at 04:17, Sally R said:

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.

 

Hi Sally,

Your gallery is amazing, wonderful bird, wildlife and flower photos, among others. All have great exposure and colors. How is your success so far? Any sales?

 

Regards

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16 hours ago, CrowingHen said:

It's a wonderful community here.

 

I've decided on a path for me to try for 2020:  Upload my best photos here but exclusive, then upload my second best to microstock.  I'm going to try to have less crossover between the two and try to get to one thousand images on both.  That should give me enough of a feel for both sites to see if I fit better with one or t'other. 

 

But I suspect I'll like Alamy more.  Not just because you guys are super, but because I want to improve my quality and focus on better images.  Reading the doom and gloom of the stock industry makes me think about the Luddites and how they broke the mills in fear that the machines would kill their livelihood.  Automated textile production certainly changed things but 200+ years later, I can make a living making things by hand that someone could buy machine-made for $1. I do this by focusing on quality.  I suspect stock photography will go this way too when the doom and gloom settle down.  The market gets cluttered with inconsistent quality, like textiles did.  Many buyers didn't mind, but enough buyers still seek out quality and are willing to pay for it. 

 

That's where I want to focus my photography learning: improving my quality (both technical and composition).  

 

 

congratulations on your sale.  not sure if addressed fully on the $$

 

What you see on your Dashboard is amount sold by Alamy. 

You will also see above a note saying "Current Cleared Balance: $xx We'll pay you once your balance is over $50."  Yours is probably $0, as sales take time to clear

 

To see details, and how much you get there is a button above the chart called "Download Sales report".  Click on it, and this brings you parameter options (defaults is last month clearer, not sure if you can change this, i just bookmarked a new version).  In parameter change the date range to end Today, and last pulldown to "Date of Invoice" , this will give you more details including deductions...

 

 

last note: on the MS comment, i've actually stopped posting on the forum, and have been much happier.....

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8 hours ago, AlexG said:

Wow awesome!

Can you share the link of the image you sold, out of curiousity?

 

https://www.alamy.com/indigo-dyed-blue-linen-yarn-woad-ball-and-woad-plant-image332528093.html

 

It's part of me filling the empty niche combined with the story telling you guys mentioned.  I noticed in the Alamy measures that people seemed to be interested in my indigo dyed yarn, I wondered if there was interest in woad - since I have some woad balls I made earlier, I took them outside with the yarn to take photos next to the woad plant.  There's a a few big empty niches like this I've found and plan to work on filling this summer.  

 

It looks like I have another pending sale late last night.  It's a photo of the chicken that I used for my own Christmas cards this year.  Chicken photos are my favourite to take, so this sale gives me a special warm feeling.  My thought is "the chicken photo market is over-saturated, so if I can sell a chicken photo, it means I'm not terrible at photography."

 

I like the way the "Balance of account" lists the price the customer paid and the  commission that alamy and the distributor takes.  This is a really nice feature.  The first photo looks like it was sold by Alamy and I will get 50% if the sale goes through. 

 

The other one (if I understand right) was part of a bulk buy through a third party, so I'm only getting 30% even though it was also exclusive.  It's not a complaint, it's me learning how the system works.  I'm guessing what happened is the third party took their cut, then the remainder was split 50/50 with alamy and me.  

 

The transparency of sharing these numbers with the photographer, really impresses me.  I'm also digging this alamy measures data.  

 

How long do the sales stay in pending status?  

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3 minutes ago, CrowingHen said:

It looks like I have another pending sale late last night.  It's a photo of the chicken that I used for my own Christmas cards this year.  Chicken photos are my favourite to take, so this sale gives me a special warm feeling.  My thought is "the chicken photo market is over-saturated, so if I can sell a chicken photo, it means I'm not terrible at photography."

That's my excuse for putting up non-shortage subjects. I've been here much longer with more sales so my images appear higher up searches, so you've done very well there, but it's a well-executed image so I'm not surprised.

5 minutes ago, CrowingHen said:

How long do the sales stay in pending status?  

Until they clear, usually 45 days, but as it's a distributor it could be quite a bit longer. Assume 3 months and you won't be disappointed.

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7 minutes ago, spacecadet said:

Until they clear, usually 45 days, but as it's a distributor it could be quite a bit longer. Assume 3 months and you won't be disappointed.

 

cool.  Thanks for the insight. 

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Congrats! You’ve sold your first with far fewer images than when I had my first. And the competition was a lot less back then! 👍

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5 hours ago, CrowingHen said:

There's a a few big empty niches like this I've found and plan to work on filling this summer. 

And if you really have found a big empty niche, the most important thing to do is to keep it to yourself. Its an easy going gang here but don't lose sight of the fact that we are all competitors. By all means share your knowledge but keep your trade secrets.

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13 minutes ago, Colin Woods said:

And if you really have found a big empty niche, the most important thing to do is to keep it to yourself. Its an easy going gang here but don't lose sight of the fact that we are all competitors. By all means share your knowledge but keep your trade secrets.

 

Always good advise.

 

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Congratulations Crowing Hen! Great you have your first couple of sales. I really like your image and the way it tells a story. Best of luck for many more!

 

18 hours ago, AlexG said:

Hi Sally,

Your gallery is amazing, wonderful bird, wildlife and flower photos, among others. All have great exposure and colors. How is your success so far? Any sales?

Thanks for your kind comments Alex. I have no sales yet but a zoom the other day, so hoping a sale might be not too far away. I love wildlife, nature and landscapes, but planning to diversify a bit and trying to think practically what buyers might want/need. I would like this year to focus on capturing life in and around my city, looking at street scenes, architecture, local events etc.

 

I really like your portfolio. It has a lot of colour and variety. Best of luck for future sales!

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