Jump to content
  • 0

No sales!


BuddyL

Question

Hi all

I started to add to my folio earlier this year so I only have 96 images online.

I realise now some of my earlier images were probably unsellable so I've gradually been changing the content of my submissions but I currently have `0` sales!

Anybody have advice please on how you get that elusive first sale?

Thank you.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Recommended Posts

  • 0

Upload more.  Start looking at All of Alamy in the Alamy Measures section of your dashboard.  Do image searches on some of your keywords and see what the competition is like.  There are 108 pages of electric pylons on Alamy.  Identify yours a bit more specifically.  Check what other people have licensed.  Getting keywords/tags up to 50 is not necessary, but try figuring out what can get them up to 15 to 20 in a legitimate way.   Either be very very good at a specialty or upload a variety of shots. 

 

 

 

  • Upvote 2
Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0

Hi Rick, some really nice looking photos. +1 to what MizBrown says, you really need many more photos. You obviously spend a lot of time editing your pictures as you've noted previously - my question would be, how often do you see 'arty' images like this in print or online....? I think there is room for these sort of images, but they look a bit over-edited to me. That is my opinion of course, you will find a whole host of other opinions on the Forum I'm sure! I'm not saying edit like everyone else, you've got some really unique images here - maybe try a mix of different editing styles....? Do keep a look out for what type of images get published.

 

You're applying quite a lot of heavy vignettes. I do use them occasionally, but try to keep it subtle. Clients can easily apply a vignette after they've purchased an image if they wish to - you're not giving them a choice. If you really want to use vignettes, you could upload one image with and one without.

 

The York Minster picture does not have a straight horizon (the building is tilting left) and there are also converging verticals making the building look like it's leaning backwards - these are easy fixes with editing software.

 

Good luck, keep uploading. 

Steve

  • Upvote 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0

MizBrown and Steve have made a lot of good points already. Just to add a bit more about keywording/tagging, which is just as important as uploading good images. I looked at one of your images from the Lake District - 2D50FTX - as an example. You have some irrelevant tags, such as swan, swans, geese (there are only gulls in the image) and probably sunset (it's not really a sunset image), and I would suggest deleting these. Tags that should be added are birds (you have bird as a tag, but birds plural would be more appropriate). You have English as a tag, but you have left out England, UK and United Kingdom. Also you have Derwentwater as a single word, but Derwent Water as separate words is also correct so include both. I looked at 'All of Alamy' and there are almost as many searches for Derwent Water as there are for Derwentwater, and you might be missing out on potential buyers seeing your image. It's also worth filling in the location in the Optional information.

In general, you don't need so many keywords, but it's important to make them accurate and relevant or you'll get a lot of inappropriate views which will lower your CTR and potentially your rank.

  • Upvote 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0
16 minutes ago, Ed Rooney said:

Your portfolio looks great, Rick, but 77 images uploaded in over a dozen years? You're not in the game. Any why questions should be pointed at yourself. 

To be fair to Rick he's uploaded them all this year, but even in lockdown I've managed more than that and I regard this as a lost year sub-wise.

OP, my yearly average is about 1000. Rule of thumb is that with 77 images you could expect a sale a decade, and that's with a varied collection. Illustrative work doesn't do well here.

Your most saleable images are probably the ones of Preston bus station, but there are 500 on Alamy and one of yours isn't even tagged as such.

 

  • Like 1
  • Upvote 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0

I can't add much more than what has been said here, but I will try.

 

My first point is that this takes work no matter which way you look at it. You have to be competent at producing photographs (you appear to be), have the determination to keep at it with the numbers and be on top of uploading, keywording etc. You have to graft. According to the homepage, there are 225 million stock images here. Of those, 77 are yours. The odds are not stacked in your favour. Upload some more images, try to hold off a bit on the creative editing. It can work well in some instances, but as a blanket rule I'd try to keep stock photos more neutral. It also gives your image more shock value when you have used creative licence to jazz it up a bit, which in isolated circumstances can work very well ie to convey a feeling of heat in summer etc.

 

The subject matter needs consideration. For me this is mostly a hobby but I have to tell myself to hold back on uploading photos that likely won't be of interest to anyone. I have quite a few pictures of wildfowl on here but have mostly pulled the brakes on that now as a) there are only so many photos you can take before they start to look the same and b) I don't want to ruin my CTR. I see you have also uploaded a few photos of a swan - lovely photos but I have come to learn here that kind of subject is very rarely in demand and probably a waste of time in uploading. By all means upload random photos like this but don't be too overzealous - this isn't flickr. From what I understand alamy has a liberal policy on image content and don't restrict it to what they see as saleable - just that it is technically competent. I like this approach and have uploaded some images that I suspect other agencies might scoff at, that have then gone and sold.

 

The third thing is, which somewhat relates to the first but is deserving of its own point is the work you do after firing the shutter is going to pay dividends later down the line. The more you make sure the image is keyworded and captioned accurately the better chance you have of it being near the top of the search results. Some of my photos of fairly ordinary subjects took hours to set up, shoot, edit and keyword, including research for the more information box which may help inform a buyer who is perhaps not 100% sure what they are looking for. Sure, it sounds like a drag but being thorough is setting yourself up for later rewards. I think it helps that this is a hobby to me and I enjoy doing it - if it felt like work I'd not have the stamina for it.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0

'Impressionist' pix might do better in some of the smaller agencies which specialise in this sort of imagery.

 

Your 'self-portrait' images are only 'self-portraits' to you. To a potential customer, they are of a 'middle-aged man' (or 'senior man', etc), looking rather depressed (though 'depressed' is not in your tags).

 

You may get "that elusive first sale" any minute... or it may take a year. Good luck...

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0
1 hour ago, spacecadet said:

To be fair to Rick he's uploaded them all this year, but even in lockdown I've managed more than that and I regard this as a lost year sub-wise.

OP, my yearly average is about 1000. Rule of thumb is that with 77 images you could expect a sale a decade, and that's with a varied collection. Illustrative work doesn't do well here.

Your most saleable images are probably the ones of Preston bus station, but there are 500 on Alamy and one of yours isn't even tagged as such.

 

 

I too manage to add about 1,000 new pics a year, Mark. I really like Rick's images, but stock is a numbers game. It's not only a numbers game, but that's a big part of it. 

 

Stay safe, everybody. Let's all try to be here when the vaccine arrives. 

  • Like 3
Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0
2 hours ago, John Morrison said:

 

 

Your 'self-portrait' images are only 'self-portraits' to you. To a potential customer, they are of a 'middle-aged man' (or 'senior man', etc), looking rather depressed (though 'depressed' is not in your tags).

 

You may get "that elusive first sale" any minute... or it may take a year. Good luck...

 

and he is "bald" has a "beard"....  Yes this might not be what you were photographing but it is what is in the image..

 

i try to revisit images once in a while to see what i actually missed that was In the image.  Plus through time needs and things change.  At some point this year, i went through "older" images for "isolation" "social distancing" 

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0

At this point, in this business, you will need 100 times what you have, with a good variety and well tagged images, to see regular sales.  Not being pessimistic, just realistic.

Edited by Michael Ventura
Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0

Wow...more work to do I feel. 

I've only come back to photography and Alamy this year hence my small output but thank you everybody for some excellent advice.

Will take it all on board and keep shooting.

Many thanks to all who took the time to reply.

Cheers

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1
  • Upvote 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0

There is some creative work in there.  As said, your captioning needs to be more literal and accurate.   

 

Alamy is a stock site,  and I do wonder if your more creative shots will sell here.   Any creative images I have uploaded have been ignored, while more prosaic stuff sells.   As said, it's a numbers game.  So get your portfolio up to a few thousand before you start wondering about sales. 

 

I like the impressionist effect.  Is that done in camera or post?

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0

Hi Marc

I realise now it's not about your best or favourite shots but what other people want to buy. I have gradually changed what I'm shooting but probably need to research a bit more.

I presume the impressionist effect you are referring to are the tree images. I took 25-40 images of each and then layered them in Photoshop.

I look at an image I like and try to recreate, get bored with that and then move on. I think the photographer is Pep Ventori or Ventora who did the tree images. I do like the technique though but I can see why it wont sell.

I'm going to look at my captioning though which currently is leaning more towards getting 50 keywords but from what people say that is not so important.

6690 images is pretty impressive. I'll keep posting and maybe in 20 years I'll get there 🙂 

Cheers

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0
8 minutes ago, BuddyL said:

Hi Bill 

Don't know what that is, is it an American thing?

 

 

Google "print on demand" and "fine art" and you'll find them. These are sites that sell prints - a good place for your more artsy images. I'm with one British and a couple of American sites (that also sell in Europe) and I make more from them than I do from stock. Worth a look. You have some lovely images that would probably do well. Good luck!

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0

Hi Buddy, Yes, I like the tree and the buildings.    I have been trying some multiples like that, but clearly need more exposures.  Any pointers?

 

I suggest you also upload the straight image you did of the subject. They will fit a news article about a building or even a reference to a type of tree. 

 

I upload about 1000 images a year.  

 

Marc

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0
12 hours ago, BuddyL said:

Hi Marc. Just a quick question. I had a look at the images in your folio and noticed quiet a few with people in them. How are they accepted if you have no model release?

 

I don't want to butt in here, but you can have people in your images without releases - just tick the box in AIM, optional, do you have model releases... and say no.

 

John.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0
1 hour ago, Stokie said:

 

I don't want to butt in here, but you can have people in your images without releases - just tick the box in AIM, optional, do you have model releases... and say no.

 

John.

 

(with usual disclaimer)

 

...provided you meet local regulations as to use of photos of people without consent.😁

 

public places, newsie, public people yada yada yada etc depending on where taken.

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0

Having really good captions maybe drill down for comprehensive descriptions that if you couldn't see the photograph the words would describe it. For instance your photo of a submerged gate in Derwentwater, beside being a nice photo instead of submerged I might have used "flooded" and put that in the tags too along with every word for flood, floods, flooding, maybe try a keyword phrase etc. Your photos are good but descriptions and tags are so important to getting found and making that first sale. Maybe concentrate on uploading more content and building your portfolio size and quality, the sales will come. Best of luck.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0
On 11/11/2020 at 09:15, VbFolly said:

MizBrown and Steve have made a lot of good points already. Just to add a bit more about keywording/tagging, which is just as important as uploading good images. I looked at one of your images from the Lake District - 2D50FTX - as an example. You have some irrelevant tags, such as swan, swans, geese (there are only gulls in the image) and probably sunset (it's not really a sunset image), and I would suggest deleting these. Tags that should be added are birds (you have bird as a tag, but birds plural would be more appropriate).

Quote

You have English as a tag, but you have left out England, UK and United Kingdom.

Also you have Derwentwater as a single word, but Derwent Water as separate words is also correct so include both. I looked at 'All of Alamy' and there are almost as many searches for Derwent Water as there are for Derwentwater, and you might be missing out on potential buyers seeing your image. It's also worth filling in the location in the Optional information.

In general, you don't need so many keywords, but it's important to make them accurate and relevant or you'll get a lot of inappropriate views which will lower your CTR and potentially your rank.

You mention adding locations into the keywording but is this necessary if the location details are added to the Options/Locations box?  I have always assumed that a search for location would be covered if added here?

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0
On 18/11/2020 at 11:44, meanderingemu said:

provided you meet local regulations as to use of photos of people without consent.😁

 

public places, newsie, public people yada yada yada etc depending on where taken.

Usually this is the responsibility of the publisher, not the photographer. It doesn't apply in the UK where the OP is from.

Edited by spacecadet
Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.