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Tony ALS
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Hi all. As a relative newcomer having joined Alamy on the 21 March 2020 my experience of using the site to upload images is so far better than elsewhere and I'm on my way to two thousand images, all of which is now new content and exclusive to Alamy. I have recently started deleting images from SS as they get downloaded and sold but haven't disabled my account with them yet having put the effort in, although I certainly won't be on there by year end unless something changes drastically. I get regular sales there with less than 500 images but am yet to sell anything here. I have seen in other threads that sales can be elusive and understand that the virus situation cannot be helping, but at the same time the threads about monthly sales show that the buyers are there but they're not buying from me so far. Have had a couple of fails in QC early on but my 2 star rating has stayed the same since I joined. I guess there isn't an answer to how long before sales start coming in and perhaps some content isn't right for here. My attitude is to create images based on what I want to photograph and if someone out there wants to use it and pay for it then great. This isn't ever going to pay the bills but I hope it becomes a small additional income eventually. Sorry for rambling on but feeling a little demotivated which I guess is a problem for many at the moment given this mess which looks like continuing long term. Be careful out there and shame on those who are acting irresponsibly and perpetuating this disease. Positive responses would be appreciated if anyone feels the urge but constructive criticism is also welcome. Hope everyone is having a good day.

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4 hours ago, Tony ALS said:

Hi all. As a relative newcomer having joined Alamy on the 21 March 2020 my experience of using the site to upload images is so far better than elsewhere and I'm on my way to two thousand images, all of which is now new content and exclusive to Alamy. I have recently started deleting images from SS as they get downloaded and sold but haven't disabled my account with them yet having put the effort in, although I certainly won't be on there by year end unless something changes drastically. I get regular sales there with less than 500 images but am yet to sell anything here. I have seen in other threads that sales can be elusive and understand that the virus situation cannot be helping, but at the same time the threads about monthly sales show that the buyers are there but they're not buying from me so far. Have had a couple of fails in QC early on but my 2 star rating has stayed the same since I joined. I guess there isn't an answer to how long before sales start coming in and perhaps some content isn't right for here. My attitude is to create images based on what I want to photograph and if someone out there wants to use it and pay for it then great. This isn't ever going to pay the bills but I hope it becomes a small additional income eventually. Sorry for rambling on but feeling a little demotivated which I guess is a problem for many at the moment given this mess which looks like continuing long term. Be careful out there and shame on those who are acting irresponsibly and perpetuating this disease. Positive responses would be appreciated if anyone feels the urge but constructive criticism is also welcome. Hope everyone is having a good day.

 

You need to be patient. Sales take a while to be reported. The customer may have download an image and be preparing an article or book but they won't declare use until article is published (or even later if newspaper/magazine). This is very different to SS where sales appear as soon as the image is downloaded.

Quick comment on your portfolio, I think you have too many similars and some images would benefit from lightening the shadows.

If you are getting views and zooms, then hopefully sales will follow.

 

Mark 

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Appreciate the reply Mark and I was considering a cull of some of the images as well. Plenty of views and some zooms so perhaps with time I'll see some sales. Appreciate you taking the time to have a look at the portfolio and the shadow issue is something I was aware of. I haven't invested in any software to edit photos beyond what iPhoto includes and loathe to spend any money unless I can justify it with some income first. Thanks for being positive and you have some great images in your portfolio. 

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Your keywords need to be a bit more specific here than over there.

Like your VW minibus lookalike, I would caption or keyword it as a Subaru Sambar microvan mod or conversion. Probably also mention it's a Kei car and that it is a Japanese import.

And keep in mind you need to include both UK and US keywords.

 

Here is the body kit in the UK btw, just in case someone wants to convert one. 😁

 

wim

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Remember that Alamy is primarily an editorial agency. Think subjects that might be used to illustrate books, magazine articles, editorial websites and the like. The clients here tend to be somewhat different from microstock shoppers. However, the micros are now cutting away at editorial markets as well. COVID isn't the only insidious virus out there. Good luck and stay healthy.

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6 hours ago, wiskerke said:

Your keywords need to be a bit more specific here than over there.

Like your VW minibus lookalike, I would caption or keyword it as a Subaru Sambar microvan mod or conversion. Probably also mention it's a Kei car and that it is a Japanese import.

And keep in mind you need to include both UK and US keywords.

 

Here is the body kit in the UK btw, just in case someone wants to convert one. 😁

 

wim

Thanks for your input and the information about the van. Very helpful.

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2 hours ago, John Mitchell said:

Remember that Alamy is primarily an editorial agency. Think subjects that might be used to illustrate books, magazine articles, editorial websites and the like. The clients here tend to be somewhat different from microstock shoppers. However, the micros are now cutting away at editorial markets as well. COVID isn't the only insidious virus out there. Good luck and stay healthy.

Thank you John. I do get that Alamy is mainly editorial. I keep seeing that mentioned in posts here. Yet, when I look at the monthly reporting of what's sold there seems to be a mixture of content and my experience over at SS is that images you least expect to sell are often the most popular. More important right now is to avoid this virus and act responsibly. Vancouver is a place I would imagine as a relatively civilised part of the world to be during this crises. Have a good day.

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12 hours ago, Tony ALS said:

Thank you John. I do get that Alamy is mainly editorial. I keep seeing that mentioned in posts here. Yet, when I look at the monthly reporting of what's sold there seems to be a mixture of content and my experience over at SS is that images you least expect to sell are often the most popular. More important right now is to avoid this virus and act responsibly. Vancouver is a place I would imagine as a relatively civilised part of the world to be during this crises. Have a good day.

 

Yes, all types of images license here, but I'd say that ones that can't easily be found on MS agencies do better these days. So far, Vancouver has been a good place to be during the pandemic. British Columbia has managed to keep infection rates at some of the lowest in North America. Fortunately, the pandemic response hasn't become politicized and healthcare officials have been allowed to run the show. However, I fear that things could change for the worse very quickly.  Now that summer has arrived, a lot of young people are not taking the virus as seriously as they should. There have been new cases here resulting from house parties, crowded beach gatherings and the like. People in general are starting to let their guard down. This virus spreads very quickly once it takes hold.

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15 hours ago, John Mitchell said:

 

Yes, all types of images license here, but I'd say that ones that can't easily be found on MS agencies do better these days. So far, Vancouver has been a good place to be during the pandemic. British Columbia has managed to keep infection rates at some of the lowest in North America. Fortunately, the pandemic response hasn't become politicized and healthcare officials have been allowed to run the show. However, I fear that things could change for the worse very quickly.  Now that summer has arrived, a lot of young people are not taking the virus as seriously as they should. There have been new cases here resulting from house parties, crowded beach gatherings and the like. People in general are starting to let their guard down. This virus spreads very quickly once it takes hold.

Thanks John. I guess it's impossible to know what will sell so I'll concentrate on quality and go through to check key wording, captions and delete some of the similar images. The pattern with the virus is much the same where I live unfortunately. I'm in the north of Spain and it looked like the virus had almost gone until the irresponsible few managed to cause outbreaks again. Sadly this isn't going away and won't unless some sense hits the less wise (I'm trying to be diplomatic!) or a vaccine comes along and gets into the population efficiently enough to have an effect. Health is so important as this virus has highlighted and yet some are still willing to risk their own health and the health of those around them. This will continue into next year now which is very disappointing. With a 9 hour time difference I hope you have a good day when it starts for you.

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You may be getting regular sales on SS but how much is each image selling for? Don't actually tell me, I am asking the question to provoke thought.

 

I have made a very small amount of sales here, but none have been at micro stock prices.

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On 24/07/2020 at 21:38, Cal said:

You may be getting regular sales on SS but how much is each image selling for? Don't actually tell me, I am asking the question to provoke thought.

 

I have made a very small amount of sales here, but none have been at micro stock prices.

Thanks Cal. Of course the payments are minimal on SS. The market for Alamy stock seems to be limited compared to the likes of SS however. No sales on Alamy equates to nothing compared to peanuts from microstock. Luckily I'm not expecting any of this to pay the bills.

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On 25/07/2020 at 08:43, giphotostock said:

A good question to ask yourself is "what these images can be used to illustrate?" (aka "what is my market?"). What it is that the buyers can do with these images?

 

GI

Thanks GI. I have seen the same type of comment before and I know what you are getting at. I came up with an idea for Covid-19 which has sold 30 times now so I do put some thought into it. I wouldn't restrict myself to what I might think would be useful to someone as I wouldn't presume to know what is or isn't useful. Does this mean you sell every image you put on here because you can predict what will sell? I don't think so. I look at the monthly reports of sales in this forum and the images sold are across a vast range of subjects and types of image. Having sold the same sunset image twice (!) on SS when there are millions of sunset images I fail to see how it is possible to know who will buy what. In these difficult times I wish you GI and everyone success and above all to stay healthy. 

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10 hours ago, Tony ALS said:

I came up with an idea for Covid-19 which has sold 30 times now so I do put some thought into it.

That's exactly what I mean. Do the same exercise for other subjects and you will have to ask "how long?" a lot less frequently.

 

10 hours ago, Tony ALS said:

I wouldn't restrict myself to what I might think would be useful to someone as I wouldn't presume to now what is or isn't useful.

If you goal to sell and make money, it would pay to spend time on market research (ie what images sell and to whom). That would take a lot of guesswork and presumptions out. If your goal is something else, then why contribute to a stock agency (other than that there are a lot of nice people here on Alamy forum)?

 

10 hours ago, Tony ALS said:

Does this mean you sell every image you put on here because you can predict what will sell? I don't think so.

Of course not. But the rate of sales per image is much higher when you have (at least intuitive) understanding of the potential use BEFORE you press the shutter.

I stopped shooting "documentary" or "found" images for Alamy in 2011-2012. Last few images I uploaded to Alamy was in 2014-2015.

Mostly unsellable stuff that I have here sells at a rate ~1 image per month per 1000 images, in line with what other regular contributors here report.

Elsewhere (not microstock) my market-focused collection sells at ~10 images per month per 1000 images. Overall I've sold 27% of images that I shot for that collection. Out of those, many are repeat sellers that sold 5-10+ times.

Another statistics: Back in 2006 I shot ~1200 mostly "documentary" images. In 14 years since, 114 different images from that year have sold, some several times. In 2016 I shot 600 market-focused images. In 4 years since, 183 different images from that year have sold, many sold several times.

By the way, even at that rate the collection does not bring income-level returns, as in "paying mortgage", "paying for kid's college".

 

10 hours ago, Tony ALS said:

I look at the monthly reports of sales in this forum and the images sold are across a vast range of subjects and types of image.

Keep in mind that reports on this forum are representative of what reporters shoot. I do not think reports on this forum are representative of how really successful stock images do. In fact, most reporters here do not shoot "vast range of subjects and types" of highly in-demand stock images. Have you seen, for example, Monty Rakusen popping up in the forum lately?

https://www.rakusen.co.uk/

Or even this young kid:

https://www.coreyjenkinsphoto.com/

 

10 hours ago, Tony ALS said:

Having sold the same sunset image twice (!) on SS when there are millions of sunset images I fail to see how it is possible to know who will buy what.

Again, it is down to the rate of sales per effort somebody puts in. Do you want to chance sales and go for "everything sells" or shoot what is in a real demand?

I guess I am really stating the obvious, that somebody's rate of sales is highly dependent on what somebody shoots.

 

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1 hour ago, giphotostock said:

That's exactly what I mean. Do the same exercise for other subjects and you will have to ask "how long?" a lot less frequently.

 

If you goal to sell and make money, it would pay to spend time on market research (ie what images sell and to whom). That would take a lot of guesswork and presumptions out. If your goal is something else, then why contribute to a stock agency (other than that there are a lot of nice people here on Alamy forum)?

 

Of course not. But the rate of sales per image is much higher when you have (at least intuitive) understanding of the potential use BEFORE you press the shutter.

I stopped shooting "documentary" or "found" images for Alamy in 2011-2012. Last few images I uploaded to Alamy was in 2014-2015.

Mostly unsellable stuff that I have here sells at a rate ~1 image per month per 1000 images, in line with what other regular contributors here report.

Elsewhere (not microstock) my market-focused collection sells at ~10 images per month per 1000 images. Overall I've sold 27% of images that I shot for that collection. Out of those, many are repeat sellers that sold 5-10+ times.

Another statistics: Back in 2006 I shot ~1200 mostly "documentary" images. In 14 years since, 114 different images from that year have sold, some several times. In 2016 I shot 600 market-focused images. In 4 years since, 183 different images from that year have sold, many sold several times.

By the way, even at that rate the collection does not bring income-level returns, as in "paying mortgage", "paying for kid's college".

 

Keep in mind that reports on this forum are representative of what reporters shoot. I do not think reports on this forum are representative of how really successful stock images do. In fact, most reporters here do not shoot "vast range of subjects and types" of highly in-demand stock images. Have you seen, for example, Monty Rakusen popping up in the forum lately?

https://www.rakusen.co.uk/

Or even this young kid:

https://www.coreyjenkinsphoto.com/

 

Again, it is down to the rate of sales per effort somebody puts in. Do you want to chance sales and go for "everything sells" or shoot what is in a real demand?

I guess I am really stating the obvious, that somebody's rate of sales is highly dependent on what somebody shoots.

 

Thank you GI for taking the time to write this detailed response. I have noticed how helpful contributors to this forum are and hope that my lack of experience in stock photography doesn't mean my replies are taken the wrong way. I am willing to learn but equally don't expect to make a fortune through this business. It's interesting to hear of your experience over the years and also your success rate which I am guessing is far better than the vast majority. As I spend most of my time on my main business (which does pay the bills) I don't have time to spend on this to really make it work in the same way as you. It seems the participation in creating images is addictive, certainly to me and from the number of contributors, to many others too. It certainly doesn't seem many make enough to live from creating stock images. I'll keep going and see how I do longer term. Thanks again and wishing you continued success.  

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