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49 minutes ago, M.Chapman said:

The reset at the start of each year is a real kicker. But the end result may not be as bad as one might think from the anguish on their forum. Contributors don't actually know what the average licence fee at SS is (SS don't disclose this), hence they don't yet know what X% of this unknown value is. It's a case of wait and see methinks. I think I might end up better off.

 

Mark

Mark - SS  license fees are well known.   Someone over in their Forum worked out full new payout structure for each new tier.  But I agree with you,  it might not be anywhere as bad as some think.  Biggest problem is reset at Jan 1 each year.  There are many contributors that worked hard for years to build ports & get into highest tier;  going back to square one hurts the most.

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8 minutes ago, Autumn Sky said:

Mark - SS  license fees are well known.

 

Contributors know the fees per image for a wide variety of purchase options covering a range from $14.50/image (on demand) down to $0.33/image (large subscription deal). But what isn't easy to determine (when being paid a flat rate/image) is what the licence fees an individual contributor's portfolio of images have been receiving on average. Once the new pricing structure comes into force it will become much clearer.

 

Mark

 

 

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1 hour ago, Jill Morgan said:

.  Photographers have to start valuing their work.

 

The simply flood of images has made supply way much higher than demand.

 

Jill

 

 

Sorry but this is not about classical economics and the workings of the price mechanism. Though it certainly suits the exploitative agencies out there to spin this yarn and make everybody believe that their work has no value.

 

Gosh it must be getting on for 20 years ago that iStock had Peebert constantly hammering away at this message that photography had no value - anyone could do it with digital cameras, so stop bleating - all the clever stuff was done by the 'designers'. Remember the 'designers' dirty little secret' - where they could charge clients top dollar for images and pay peanuts?

 

Of course that was long before Livingstone sold out for $50 million to Getty and later created an exclusive agency which 'values' photography. 

 

This is not about supply and demand it is about exploitative business models which play on their contributors' desire to be stock photographers. 

Edited by geogphotos
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1 hour ago, geogphotos said:

And as your comment hints rewarding newbies and the less successful always wins support.

 

My comment isn't based on being a newbie. It's more to do with where I find images being used and whether those customers might be ones who have purchased high volume (low fee/image) deals or low volume (higher fee/image). But it's all conjecture at this stage...

 

Mark

 

 

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Just now, M.Chapman said:

 

My comment isn't based on being a newbie. It's more to do with where I find images being used and whether those customers might be ones who have purchased high volume (low fee/image) deals or low volume (higher fee/image). But it's all conjecture at this stage...

 

Mark

 

 

 

 

My comment was a general one. 

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2 hours ago, losdemas said:

 

We're not, but rules seem to have pretty much gone by the board since UK lockdown. Other agencies (+ st****mo) have been mentioned many times here without redress.

 

Stay tuned. This thread will probably disappear soon. However, the OP raised the possibility that Alamy might adopt a similar policy. Personally, I don't see how this could happen as the business model here is very different, and it still resembles the traditional one -- for RM licenses anyway -- used by "old fashioned" stock agencies.

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

 

Stay tuned. This thread will probably disappear soon. However, the OP raised the possibility that Alamy might adopt a similar policy. Personally, I don't see how this could happen as the business model here is very different, and it still resembles the traditional one -- for RM licenses anyway -- used by stock agencies.

 

 

I hope that you are right but suspect that we have already lost that battle when the contributor 'backlash' over commission was dissipated by it being changed to applying to non-exclusive images. 

 

First they came for the non-exclusives, and I wasn't non-exclusive so I didn't object...........🙃

Edited by geogphotos
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4 minutes ago, M.Chapman said:

 

Contributors know the fees per image for a wide variety of purchase options covering a range from $14.50/image (on demand) down to $0.33/image (large subscription deal). But what isn't easy to determine (when being paid a flat rate/image) is what the licence fees an individual contributor's portfolio of images have been receiving on average. Once the new pricing structure comes into force it will become much clearer.

 

Mark

 

 

Correct.   Under old model when you got flat sub compensation, you couldn't tell which credit pack made the purchase.  Now you will.   As you said wait and see.  I have fairly standard # of downloads every month over there & it will be easy to make new/old comparison.

 

Real issue is Jan 1 reset.  This is where larger operators with many 1000s of images stand to lose lots of money

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38 minutes ago, Jill Morgan said:

 But I do shop around.  Commercial fees can vary greatly for the same image from site to site.  And I usually find an image I want on all the micros as most contributors to micros seem to contribute to them all.  There are images I would have paid more for simply because the image was so good and I knew I could make more money from it than others.  Photographers have to start valuing their work.

 

A very interesting statement and useful information on whether or not (some) clients shop around.

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It might have been inevitable, but the advent of digital photography, the internet and plenty of hobby photographers willing to basically give their photos away, gave rise to micro stock and essentially killed this business for the career professionals who relied on this income to make a living.  I will never submit my photos to a micro and if Alamy becomes a similar business model, I will exit.

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46 minutes ago, Michael Ventura said:

It might have been inevitable, but the advent of digital photography, the internet and plenty of hobby photographers willing to basically give their photos away, gave rise to micro stock and essentially killed this business for the career professionals who relied on this income to make a living.  I will never submit my photos to a micro and if Alamy becomes a similar business model, I will exit.

 

I went "over there" mainly because Alamy doesn't accept video clips, and there really wasn't much else in the way of options for a dabbler such as I. Deciding to add a few images to test the waters came later. As it stands, my only decent earnings and payouts so far have been from video sales. With this new policy, I'll be effecting my retreat from the microstock front, with no plans to return to the battle. 😄

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36 minutes ago, Michael Ventura said:

the advent of digital photography, the internet and plenty of hobby photographers willing to basically give their photos away, gave rise to micro stock and essentially killed this business for the career professionals who relied on this income to make a living. 

 

The bottom line. Period

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1 hour ago, Autumn Sky said:

Real issue is Jan 1 reset.  This is where larger operators with many 1000s of images stand to lose lots of money

 

Indeed it's quite an unusual policy. Sudden drop in income each January... But, if a contributor has many 1000s of images and is making enough to worry about the size of the drop in income, they should climb back up the commission tiers pretty quickly each year. Although it must be tough to reach the top tier unless you're an agency.

 

Mark

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I closed my account with SS in March. Although I sold more images there than anywhere else, the amount per image was insulting and only ever went down with time. Plus they declined my application to become an Editorial Contributor, a bit like Live News here, because they already have someone to cover the events I cover (mostly catwalk fashion shows in London) and didn't want duplicate content, fair enough, but of course my shots were better than their contributor. LOL! Well I have been embedded in the LFW scene for some years so can generally get a better spot etc.

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23 minutes ago, John Mitchell said:

 

I went "over there" mainly because Alamy doesn't accept video clips, and there really wasn't much else in the way of options for a dabbler such as I. Deciding to add a few images to test the waters came later. As it stands, my only decent earnings and payouts so far have been from video sales. With this new policy, I'll be effecting my retreat from the microstock front, with no plans to return to the battle. 😄


John, I do understand your desire/need to find an outlet for video clips.  I have never shot video with the intent to sell, but only because it is not what I want to do or should I say, have the skill to do.

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4 minutes ago, Michael Ventura said:


John, I do understand your desire/need to find an outlet for video clips.  I have never shot video with the intent to sell, but only because it is not what I want to do or should I say, have the skill to do.

 

I haven't made any video clips for some time. Not sure that I'll get back into it at this point as I find it really difficult to come up with ideas, and "over there" was the only place that I had any decent luck.

 

For some reason, I find that hamster video hypnotic. Great soundtrack as well. I feel sorry for the little critters, though. 😒

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31 minutes ago, Autumn Sky said:

 

The bottom line. Period

 

 

But it really isn't the 'bottom line'. 

 

".....the advent of digital photography, the internet and plenty of hobby photographers willing to basically give their photos away"

 

 

Did not mean that everybody else was somehow forced to do the same. 

 

This really gets to me. People have free will. Nobody is forced to submit their photos to stock agencies.

 

People do it because it is their choice to do so. The fact is that plenty of professional photographers not just these 'hobby photographers' helped create this situation that we are in. 

 

Yes, make choices, but why make a choice and then want to duck the responsibility for that choice?

 

I perfectly understand the reasons why some Alamy contributors have decided to submit to micros and don't blame them. But that doesn't mean that I don't criticise the business model and what it has done and is doing to all the rest of us. 

 

 

 

Edited by geogphotos
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46 minutes ago, M.Chapman said:

 

Indeed it's quite an unusual policy. Sudden drop in income each January... But, if a contributor has many 1000s of images and is making enough to worry about the size of the drop in income, they should climb back up the commission tiers pretty quickly each year. Although it must be tough to reach the top tier unless you're an agency.

 

Mark

This is just academic,  but better policy in my view would be to make Jan 1 placement based on last year performance.  So say in 2020 you had 550 downloads, you start 2021 in 30% tier.   But if in 2021 you had 450 downloads you start 2022 in 25% tier, etc.

 

More professional approach would also be to make such fundamental shift on year turn, not in the middle of the year.  Announce now, but rollover on Jan 1.   But it is only stock.

Edited by Autumn Sky
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As I believe a question Ian asked awhile ago has shown, most of us on the board are in or pushing the senior sector of the population.

 

One thing we have to remember is new photographers (coming out of college) probably never used film (except in college) owned an enlarger, developed film, or had their hands in fixer with a red light hanging from the ceiling. My Vivitar 356 has been in my driveshed for 30 years.

 

This is the world of the modern photographer and its what they are used to. Text book sales are all digital, no longer those nice prices of $180 for a text book image. Digital is the only route and all agencies are online. This is the world they have come in to and use it as best suits them.

 

I do think with most of us coming from film to start with, getting images accepted by agencies a lot tougher and perfecting that perfect image we have to realize that digital doesn't have to be as perfect and customers aren't as choosy.  With the sinking of print journalism, money is everything. 

 

We the stock photographer have in our own way stolen the jobs of the staff photographer that most magazines and all newspapers had.  So should we stop selling to preserve those jobs?  Why maintain staff when it is easier and cheaper (even at Alamy prices) to click a button.  We too have contributed to the "devaluing" of images.  How many papers today even have a staff photographer?  Be interesting to research that.

 

Jill

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Not sure about Canada and the rest of the world but here in the U.S., most major daily newspapers still have staff or contract photographers, tho not as much as they used to.  My biggest client for assignments is a major DC city magazine and they have 2 staff photographers....up until the pandemic, they were giving me a good amount of work.  
 

Nothing stays the same, I get that and nor should it. But any young photographer coming out of college, will not likely find a career in stock.  I honestly am not sure what kind of photography career paths are out there.  Even my friends who shoot weddings are having a tough time with too many people calling themselves wedding photographers and charging unsustainable low rates.  They get a cheap camera kit and just want to make some weekend cash.  But that’s life...these people have the right do that.  We all have to adapt or move on.  
 

In 1961, when John F Kennedy became president and never wore a hat, the hat industry suddenly took a deep dive.  So like I said before if micro becomes the only business model for stock, I will find another way another way to survive.

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28 minutes ago, Michael Ventura said:

Not sure about Canada and the rest of the world but here in the U.S., most major daily newspapers still have staff or contract photographers, tho not as much as they used to.  My biggest client for assignments is a major DC city magazine and they have 2 staff photographers....up until the pandemic, they were giving me a good amount of work.  
 

Nothing stays the same, I get that and nor should it. But any young photographer coming out of college, will not likely find a career in stock.  I honestly am not sure what kind of photography career paths are out there.  Even my friends who shoot weddings are having a tough time with too many people calling themselves wedding photographers and charging unsustainable low rates.  They get a cheap camera kit and just want to make some weekend cash.  But that’s life...these people have the right do that.  We all have to adapt or move on.  
 

In 1961, when John F Kennedy became president and never wore a hat, the hat industry suddenly took a deep dive.  So like I said before if micro becomes the only business model for stock, I will find another way another way to survive.

 

I don't know much about the microstock world. However, this recent move by that other place to grab more money from their contributors -- and perhaps to even reduce the number of longtime contributors -- seems to suggest that the micro industry has become too competitive and oversupplied for its own good, which in turn might say something about the sustainability of their slippery business model. If Alamy can resist becoming more like a microstock agency, I think/hope that it is better equipped for long term survival, whatever that means these days.

 

BTW, I didn't know that about JFK's hat. Interesting. My father seldom went anywhere without his fedora on in the 50's and 60's.

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7 hours ago, M.Chapman said:

The reset at the start of each year is a real kicker. But the end result may not be as bad as one might think from the anguish on their forum. Contributors don't actually know what the average licence fee at SS is (SS don't disclose this), hence they don't yet know what X% of this unknown value is. It's a case of wait and see methinks. I think I might end up better off.

 

Mark

I have just recently started uploading to SS I've got about 150 images and a few videos and they have sold well, a lot more than here on Alamy. BUT my top sale was for 1.88 most in the ,25 to .66 range. With a small port I am surprised how many I have sold. I had planned on growing my port over there. But that came to a halt. 

 

I agree with M Chapman the yearly reset I cannot do. Gonna pull most of my images and work with the other agency's.   

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I probably should not contribute to this post, but...

 

I have worked on and off for an agency that was acquired by SS and am contributing

to them again and I have been happy so far.  I had been 100% happy with Alamy and 

am still sort of happy to contribute to Alamy, but last years attempt at lowering the 

commissions to contributors bothered me a lot and the very low license fees that I am

seeing in late 19 and so far in 20 bother me even more.

 

I come from a time when photographers knew their agents and they worked together

for both their good.  I am beginning to think that way of thinking is as obsolete as one of

my old NIKON F's and a couple of rolls of Kodachrome.....

 

I do still have a high opinion of Alamy and wish that I could have the trust in Alamy that

I had for years. The door is open.

 

My opinion: The value of an important image has not changed, but the market is being deluded by too

many unimportant images being licensed for to little to fill space, mostly on the web, by too

many agencies or libraries.

 

Chuck

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2 hours ago, R Scott James said:

I have just recently started uploading to SS I've got about 150 images and a few videos and they have sold well, a lot more than here on Alamy. BUT my top sale was for 1.88 most in the ,25 to .66 range. With a small port I am surprised how many I have sold. I had planned on growing my port over there. But that came to a halt. 

 

I agree with M Chapman the yearly reset I cannot do. Gonna pull most of my images and work with the other agency's.   

 

Judging by the big kerfuffle on the forum at that other place, there may not be many contributors left soon. Everyone seems to be deactivating their accounts, or at least threatening to. There is also a petition.

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1 hour ago, John Mitchell said:

 

Judging by the big kerfuffle on the forum at that other place, there may not be many contributors left soon. Everyone seems to be deactivating their accounts, or at least threatening to. There is also a petition.

(Love the "kerfuffle" word)

 

John, there will be contributors left.   98% or more on the "let's go" bandwagon will stay after initial hothead cools off.   People are talking about leaving IS for years, and it is still as it always was.  Kerfuffle is normal;  there was kerfuffle on Alamy too after drop from 50% to 40% was announced not so long ago.  And now it is business as usual.

 

Real issue is sustainability of stock photography business model.  Michael Ventura said the best thing.  Alamy guys must discuss this in their business meetings;   would be great to hear things said there

 

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