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4 hours ago, NYCat said:

 

Please don't make me sorry I encouraged you to stay on the Forum. No politics, please. It can ruin it for all of us.

 

Paulette

Just report him. That will make at least 2 reports and we can keep the rest of the thread, unlike the one he got locked.

And I still didn't mean him...........

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12 hours ago, geogphotos said:

Stock is an absolute mess now. I used to think about how much psychological benefit people got from stock photography, now I think about how much negativity it creates with commission cuts, greedy owners, falling prices, insane levels of competition etc. Everyone is looking for some sort of solution when there may not be any solution.

 

I am hardly doing any new photography now. I have found an interest in other people's old slides/chromes from the past. See my blue link. A couple more years and I get my state pension, on top of my teacher's pension and a residual trickle of income from stock that should be fine.

 

But if I were Brasilnut, a young man with the means to gain well-paid employment in some other work I'd say go for it. Grubbing around on $10k a year in Europe isn't going to lead you anywhere. You can still find interest in photography just get out of torturing yourself trying to find a way through the labyrinth of trying to make sense of stock. There is no sense, there is no way out of the maze.

 

Stock is seductive. Don't get stuck in the trap. It is going to get worse not better.

 

Best of luck to all of us.

 

That's well put. For most of us, stock photography has become a way of making a little extra pocket money or augmenting other income such as a pension (which is what I'm doing). There will always be demand for new images. However, it is difficult to envision things getting better for the reasons that you mention. I still enjoy taking/making photos for "stock", so I'll probably continue playing the game as long as the monthly payouts remain worthwhile and dependable. I certainly won't be putting a supreme effort into it or spending much on new equipment. Mind you, one those nifty little Sony RX100's does sound tempting. 😬

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Posted (edited)

What I have picked up from this thread that it is just about pointless to take pictures for Alamy which are already well represented on SS. I say SS because that seems to be the one with the most extensive secondary editorial coverage. I hadn't realised how deep their coverage goes in some content areas. That is really depressing.

 

To see, in the book that my daughter got me for Xmas, that approx 75% of the credits are for Shutterstock ( quite a few others for free sites like 'geograph') . This is a book about fairly specific UK locations of historical and geographic importance. Also, the quality is generally high.

 

Sorry to say it but I think these photographers need their heads examined or must be suffering from some form of brain-washing.  A remote standing stone miles away in the middle of Dartmoor is not what micro stock is supposed to be about! 🙃

Edited by geogphotos
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9 minutes ago, geogphotos said:

What I have picked up from this thread that it is just about pointless to take pictures for Alamy which are already well represented on SS. I say SS because that seems to be the one with the most extensive secondary editorial coverage. I hadn't realised how deep their coverage goes in some content areas. That is really depressing.

 

To see, in the book that my daughter got me for Xmas, that approx 75% of the credits are for Shutterstock ( quite a few others for free sites like 'geograph') . This is a book about fairly specific UK locations of historical and geographic importance. Also, the quality is generally high.

 

Sorry to say it but I think these photographers need their heads examined or must be suffering from some form of brain-washing.  A remote standing stone miles away in the middle of Dartmoor is not what micro stock is supposed to be about! 🙃

 

Unless everyone at SS jumps ship and swims over here... 🤔

 

Dog Bouncing GIF by JustViral

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Posted (edited)
21 minutes ago, John Mitchell said:

 

Unless everyone at SS jumps ship and swims over here... 🤔

 

Dog Bouncing GIF by JustViral

 

 

Not likely is it!  Alamy is a $25m business and SS more like $500m. 

 

Alamy has missed the boat and that is unfortunate for all of us who sail in her. It has been floating around doing the same thing for a decade and more, meanwhile the industry has moved on. Not establishing a clear distinction between itself and microstock is just one of its major errors. For years you could even have images as RM on Alamy which were on microstock! 

 

Too much fiddling with software and not enough hard edge.

 

I think the mistake we keep making is to think of Alamy as an agency. It isn't. It is an image 'portal'. It is no more an agency than Ebay is. It's just a platform for matching buyers and sellers.  

Edited by geogphotos
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48 minutes ago, John Mitchell said:

 

 Mind you, one those nifty little Sony RX100's does sound tempting. 😬

Do it, they're fantastic!

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22 hours ago, Bear said:

 

The Backyard Silver guy did a study  a while back, you can see from the link he researched whether Alamy buyers searched elsewhere (at microstock sites) for the same image.  Says in his "detailed analysis" that they don't do that (on his stuff, anyway).  I don't know how true this is.  I have not researched it.     

 

I've seen that study too.   I am not sure it made complete sense --- everybody does research online today when buying anything -- but he knows way more than I ever will about stock, so maybe it is true.    I  believe 'Alamy only' makes sense from financial perspective if your port is highly editorial only & thus tailored for specific market.   Otherwise "if he was not willing to give his work for pennies on micros, he'd be making big bucks here"  view if quite naive and simply incorrect.

 

 

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2 hours ago, geogphotos said:

 

 

Not likely is it!  Alamy is a $25m business and SS more like $500m. 

 

Alamy has missed the boat and that is unfortunate for all of us who sail in her. It has been floating around doing the same thing for a decade and more, meanwhile the industry has moved on. Not establishing a clear distinction between itself and microstock is just one of its major errors. For years you could even have images as RM on Alamy which were on microstock! 

 

Too much fiddling with software and not enough hard edge.

 

I think the mistake we keep making is to think of Alamy as an agency. It isn't. It is an image 'portal'. It is no more an agency than Ebay is. It's just a platform for matching buyers and sellers.  

 

Most agencies are portals now. A big Spanish one comes to mind. It used to be a serious stock agency with a philosophy and look of its own. Now it resembles a flashy "come and get it" online shopping mall. I agree that Alamy needs to distance itself more from microstock (perhaps it's not too late). There are plenty of newbie photography blogs and websites that actually refer to Alamy as a microstock agency.

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Just now, John Mitchell said:

 

Most agencies are portals now. A big Spanish one comes to mind. It used to be a serious stock agency with a philosophy and look of its own. Now it resembles a flashy "come and get it" online shopping mall. I agree that Alamy needs to distance itself more from microstock (perhaps it's not too late). There are plenty of newbie photography blogs and websites that actually refer to Alamy as a microstock agency.

 

I left that one last year when sales tanked. Or at least reports of sales did. Almost mysteriously so. Seemed also to happen to others. 

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Just now, geogphotos said:

 

I left that one last year when sales tanked. Or at least reports of sales did. Almost mysteriously so. Seemed also to happen to others. 

 

I still have some images with them through another non-performing "portal". As you say, sales tanked -- about two years ago for me -- so I removed the majority of my images, which took over six months and some nagging. At one time it was a good agency.

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1 hour ago, John Mitchell said:

 

I still have some images with them through another non-performing "portal". As you say, sales tanked -- about two years ago for me -- so I removed the majority of my images, which took over six months and some nagging. At one time it was a good agency.

 

Six months?! That was super-quick!

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56 minutes ago, losdemas said:

 

Six months?! That was super-quick!

 

It was through another agency that eventually contacted the Spanish one for me and gave them a nudge. If they hadn't, my images would probably still be gathering cobwebs there. 

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Posted (edited)
12 hours ago, geogphotos said:

Not establishing a clear distinction between itself and microstock is just one of its major errors.

 

I could not agree more!

Also, I cannot help thinking that having here images that are also available for almost nothing on countless microstock websites can only lead to confusion and actually contributes to lower the average value of every single image in the collection.

Edited by Olivier Parent
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21 hours ago, riccarbi said:

 

I give my 2 cents. As a (very small) web magazine publisher, I can say that for most publishers - apart form the big names that usual have special agreements with one or more photographic agencies - the procedure to find suitable editorial photos for an article is as follows:
1) Go to Flickr (usually, in the portfolio of some photographers you already know) and see if you can get the pictures for free.
if you don't find anything useful, then:
2) Go to SS or AS and see if you can buy your photos for pennies.
if you don't find anything useful, then:
3) Go to Alamy (or G.).

if you don't find anything useful, then:
4) contact a specialized agency or photographer for a quotation.

 

Thanks for sharing buyer's perspective.

 

21 hours ago, riccarbi said:

Long time ago, a reputed magazine didn't give a damn about saving some tens of dollars for a picture,  it was too time-consuming. Now things are very different and also large publishers look for very cheap photos on microstock.

 

So what has changed from "long time ago"? Is your (or dedicated photo researcher's) time required to find absolute cheap photos suddenly become free? Stock images (ie images shot on a speculation that they may sell one day) are maybe devalued but people's time working on a funded (commercial) project could not be much less than $15/hour?

 

GI

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14 hours ago, John Mitchell said:

 

Most agencies are portals now. A big Spanish one comes to mind. It used to be a serious stock agency with a philosophy and look of its own. Now it resembles a flashy "come and get it" online shopping mall. I agree that Alamy needs to distance itself more from microstock (perhaps it's not too late). There are plenty of newbie photography blogs and websites that actually refer to Alamy as a microstock agency.

 

Alamy does have some microstock elements, which I don't think is necessarily a bad business decision...it's just catering to buyers' evolving needs.

 

One instance of "microstocky" behaviour is offering the image-packs which is just a fancy way to call them subscriptions (albeit at higher priced than at full-on micros).

 

A more clear example are the heavy discounts given to "bulk discount, flat sales" purchases:

 

Here are some of the gross prices I've seen for such recent sales:

 

- $3.14

- $3.48

- $4.80

- $2.98

- $3.14

etc 

 

But fortunately, these are offset by larger sales, such as the following recent gross prices:

 

- $109

- $105

-  $377

etc

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Posted (edited)
6 hours ago, Brasilnut said:

 

Alamy does have some microstock elements, which I don't think is necessarily a bad business decision...it's just catering to buyers' evolving needs.

 

One instance of "microstocky" behaviour is offering the image-packs which is just a fancy way to call them subscriptions (albeit at higher priced than at full-on micros).

 

A more clear example are the heavy discounts given to "bulk discount, flat sales" purchases:

 

Here are some of the gross prices I've seen for such recent sales:

 

- $3.14

- $3.48

- $4.80

- $2.98

- $3.14

etc 

 

But fortunately, these are offset by larger sales, such as the following recent gross prices:

 

- $109

- $105

-  $377

etc

 

I can understand why Alamy introduced the image packs. They don't seem like a bad idea to me either. I was thinking more in terms of how Alamy presents itself in the future. I hope they resist trying to sound and look like a microstock agency. For instance, I didn't particularly like it when they adopted the current "packaged" homepage that makes them almost indistinguishable from a certain big micro.

 

Those tiny sales occasionally pop up for me, but my average price per image so far this year is roughly $50 (a far cry from ms prices). This hasn't changed for a long time.

Edited by John Mitchell
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I've been away a while (new house, endless projects).  I see the SS fiasco is a hot topic here too.

 

To be honest, I think it's a tempest in a teapot.  Yes, now instead of getting $0.33 for a subscription sale, I get as low as $0.10.  But the reality is that I've also been getting a lot of other higher sale prices for the other license packages or one-offs.  I'm actually having a good month over there.  So far, here I have $84 in net, while there I have $119.  The sky didn't fall for me yet.

Maybe I'm more inured to the 10 cents sales because I thought the first tier 25 cents when I joined was already so bad.  But in the end, not so bad after all.

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On 18/06/2020 at 14:16, Reimar said:

I've been away a while (new house, endless projects).  I see the SS fiasco is a hot topic here too.

 

To be honest, I think it's a tempest in a teapot.  Yes, now instead of getting $0.33 for a subscription sale, I get as low as $0.10.  But the reality is that I've also been getting a lot of other higher sale prices for the other license packages or one-offs.  I'm actually having a good month over there.  So far, here I have $84 in net, while there I have $119.  The sky didn't fall for me yet.

Maybe I'm more inured to the 10 cents sales because I thought the first tier 25 cents when I joined was already so bad.  But in the end, not so bad after all.

 

It seems to me that once upon a time you used to often report $1000+ gross monthly sales on Alamy. No?

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Yes, John.  Those were the days.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Reimar said:

Yes, John.  Those were the days.

 

You mean the days before SS and others ruined the business with 25 cents sales?

Edited by Olivier Parent
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On Alamy I peaked in 2012, but I'm not sure who or what ruined stock.

First it was RF.  Then MS.  Yes the halcyon days of stock are over, but stock ain't dead yet.

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Well, for what it's worth, my 50 test images on SS on the average net ~$20/month.

In June, with the new commission scheme, these 50 images brought in $73.

Could be a fluke. Sample size of one contributor is not statistically representative.

 

GI

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1 hour ago, giphotostock said:

Well, for what it's worth, my 50 test images on SS on the average net ~$20/month.

In June, with the new commission scheme, these 50 images brought in $73.

Could be a fluke. Sample size of one contributor is not statistically representative.

 

GI

 

It would be interesting to know whether this represents 730 sales at ten cents each or whether the figure is skewed by a number of substantailly higher sales of some kind? In addition, though it is hard to do anything other than speculate, have remaining contributors benefitted significantly by the action of a large group of very angry contributors who have made moves to form a coalition of contributors and have, in many cases deactivated or deleted their accounts. Shutterstock's library  is recored as having dropped from 325 millon at the beginning of June to 321 million on June 26th. 

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17 minutes ago, Joseph Clemson said:

 

It would be interesting to know whether this represents 730 sales at ten cents each or whether the figure is skewed by a number of substantailly higher sales of some kind? In addition, though it is hard to do anything other than speculate, have remaining contributors benefitted significantly by the action of a large group of very angry contributors who have made moves to form a coalition of contributors and have, in many cases deactivated or deleted their accounts. Shutterstock's library  is recored as having dropped from 325 millon at the beginning of June to 321 million on June 26th. 

40 "downloads" total. Average $3.65 per sale.

There we some $0.10, but there was a large number of sales that were more than previous standard $0.33.

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7 minutes ago, giphotostock said:

40 "downloads" total. Average $3.65 per sale.

There we some $0.10, but there was a large number of sales that were more than previous standard $0.33.

 

Thank you for that. I can't see any obvious logical reason why the changes at Shutterstock should have produced a  sudden increase in licences significantly over the basic ten cent variety. Only time will tell if it is a statistical blip or a real change. 

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