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31 zooms, only 3 sales...what am I doing wrong?


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4 hours ago, The Blinking Eye said:

Third: I did look at Alamy Needs once and they listed an architecturally innovative small college in my neighborhood for the disabled. I went inside one day before yoga class - it was just down the street - and took a lot of interior pictures. Only one other photographer had uploaded pictures of it and they had uploaded about 30 similars of the exterior. Not much competition.

 

 

Interesting that those architectural exteriors were taken in Feb. 2019, and either didn't get the right keywords or they weren't what the searcher was looking for. 

 

 

 

 

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On 21/11/2020 at 09:23, MizBrown said:

 

Um, no.  I saw that people were searching for "Nicaraguan sign language" and all that was coming up were photos of Nicaraguan signs, which was not what the people looking for Nicaraguan sign language were looking for.   I got access to a refuge for deaf kids who used Nicaraguan sign language, and I've pretty much still have the only photos for that.    And the other option is doing the best photograph because it's unique and very good technically.  I tried to find out what the search terms had been for one of my fish photographs that went for $$$, and it appears to have been "cichlid pairs" but mine were perhaps the most animated cichlid pair.  I've licensed one short finned molly group twice, lowest fee was 2/3rds to me of what you've gotten so far. 

 

This is why I check what people have searched for that Alamy doesn't have many or any of.

 

I have the only jicaro gourd drinking set for horchata on Alamy, not that anyone has searched for that.

 

 

great examples. thanks for sharing.  

  

 

 

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52 minutes ago, MizBrown said:

 

 

Interesting that those architectural exteriors were taken in Feb. 2019, and either didn't get the right keywords or they weren't what the searcher was looking for. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

don't forget the Needs is not always on customer request.  Some are based on Alamy's views of what is missing or low on offer.  I actually wish they would differentiate between them.  so i know which one i should go out of my way, and which one i should do if it's convenient.

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5 hours ago, meanderingemu said:

 

 

don't forget the Needs is not always on customer request.  Some are based on Alamy's views of what is missing or low on offer.  I actually wish they would differentiate between them.  so i know which one i should go out of my way, and which one i should do if it's convenient.

 

I spent some time today prowling around the low end of All of Alamy. 

 

Of the more than 34,000 searches with 0 views, a huge chunk were misspelled.  Some one wanted "Green Lentil tomato Watercress Soup," "Lewis County General Hospital," "Gwyneth Paltrow candle," "generic bus south america," and "archaeologist working united states."  Capitalization vs lower case seems to matter more than I'd realized.  "Shoemaker" vs. "shoemaker" didn't show mine when "shoemaker" was the search term and I'd capitalized "Shoemaker."  This may be unique to searches that could be either last names or professions.

 

For the results of one view with no sales -- often this was either not understanding the subject area or keyword spamming, or both.  "Energy harvesting clothes" had a woman up a tree harvesting apples.  Keywords included "energy" and "harvesting" and probably "clothes."  Googling the term was more illuminating.  Alamy has zero examples of what the searcher was looking for, just some seeds on cloth for "energy harvesting cloth" and the apple picker for "energy harvesting clothes." (Someone living near where the research on this was being done could probably fill in that hole).   Alamy split a hyphenated term, "frog-<plant name>" with "flowers eaten by slugs" to get "frog eating slug" which Alamy doesn't have.  Splitting hyphenated terms gives false positives. 

 

"Ethnic" seems to be "other than black" to some people.   Looking for "nurse using sign language" didn't mean "deaf grannie using sign language with her deaf granddaughter."  People were looking for nurses who could communicate with deaf patients.   Most of the search terms that came up with one view were spelled correctly. 

 

When one view went to one sale, mostly this looked like people were searching for things by caption (part or whole) and/or image ID.  They or an assistant made a note of either or both.  The other "one view, one zoom, one sale" were searches for distinct names.   If a buyer searched either with the complete full caption or the image ID, someone had seen it before.   Wouldn't surprise me at all if some larger publishers and ad agencies didn't have junior assistants making first culls of possible images.  Publishing has first readers.

 

Some searches brought up more than one image when I clicked on the search, so I think view is "mouse-over," not just being on the page.  Mouse-overs give a bit more information about the photo, and the stack with other similar photos by the photographer.

 

I don't know how much anyone wants to trawl through this section of All of Alamy, but I have one license from having seen people searching for things Alamy didn't have examples of. 

Edited by MizBrown
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7 minutes ago, MizBrown said:

 

I spent some time today prowling around the low end of All of Alamy. 

 

Of the more than 34,000 searches with 0 views, a huge chunk were misspelled.  Some one wanted "Green Lentil tomato Watercress Soup," "Lewis County General Hospital," "Gwyneth Paltrow candle," "generic bus south america," and "archaeologist working united states."  Capitalization vs lower case seems to matter more than I'd realized.  "Shoemaker" vs. "shoemaker" didn't show mine when "shoemaker" was the search term and I'd capitalized "Shoemaker."  This may be unique to searches that could be either last names or professions.

 

For the results of one view with no sales -- often this was either not understanding the subject area or keyword spamming, or both.  "Energy harvesting clothes" had a woman up a tree harvesting apples.  Keywords included "energy" and "harvesting" and probably "clothes."  Googling the term was more illuminating.  Alamy has zero examples of what the searcher was looking for, just some seeds on cloth for "energy harvesting cloth" and the apple picker for "energy harvesting clothes." (Someone living near where the research on this was being done could probably fill in that hole).   Alamy split a hyphenated term, "frog-<plant name>" with "flowers eaten by slugs" to get "frog eating slug" which Alamy doesn't have.  Splitting hyphenated terms gives false positives. 

 

"Ethnic" seems to be "other than black" to some people.   Looking for "nurse using sign language" didn't mean "grannie using sign language with her granddaughter."  People were looking for nurses who could communicate with deaf patients.   Most of the search terms that came up with one view were spelled correctly. 

 

When one view went to one sale, mostly this looked like people were searching for things by caption (part or whole) and/or image ID.  They or an assistant made a note of either or both.  The other "one view, one zoom, one sale" were searches for distinct names.   If a buyer searched either with the complete full caption or the image ID, someone had seen it before.   Wouldn't surprise me at all if some larger publishers and ad agencies didn't have junior assistants making first culls of possible images.  Publishing has first readers.

 

Some searches brought up more than one image when I clicked on the search, so I think view is "mouse-over," not just being on the page.  Mouse-overs give a bit more information about the photo, and the stack with other similar photos by the photographer.

 

I don't know how much anyone wants to trawl through this section of All of Alamy, but I have one license from having seen people searching for things Alamy didn't have examples of. 

 

That's some clever researching! AoA is your friend!

 

I would urge everybody to do a search once in a while on AoA for something that you have a good knowledge of as a subject. This way you get a feel for how AoA works and what results mean. And yes about how stupid some researchers can be. Also remember that you may be looking at Google Translate at work.

 

Something like Energy harvesting clothes could have been the first tentative search to see if that sort of terms give an acceptable sort of yield to choose from. But it could also be the 4th or 5th try because something like smart clothes do get you nowhere. Smart clothing meaning something different from clothes made from smart fabric.

One of the problems on the researchers side is not only assistants and interns having to do the real work, but mainly that with the devaluation of photography, the amount of money available for research has decreased with it. So you get not only lower qualified personnel, but also less time to do a good job.

And because of the devaluation of journalism in general, you get people with no clue about what they're writing about.

And then there's plain stupidity.

 

Stupid searches deserve a topic of their own. Otherwise I could fill the rest of the page here.

 

wim

 

 

 

 

 

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16 minutes ago, wiskerke said:

Smart clothing meaning something different from clothes made from smart fabric.

 

One photograph on the first page of "smart fabric" that's roughly in the ball park.  Two more pages eyeballed for nothing.   Someone with some MIT or other tech school connections could fill this gap quite nicely.  The rest looks like "British smart fabrics for smart dressers" was what was served up.

 

 

 

 

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21 minutes ago, MizBrown said:

One photograph on the first page of "smart fabric" that's roughly in the ball park.  Two more pages eyeballed for nothing.   Someone with some MIT or other tech school connections could fill this gap quite nicely.  The rest looks like "British smart fabrics for smart dressers" was what was served up.

 

Ian Davidson has been to the Wearable technology show in 2017, so those sort of places is where to look for. His work comes up for wearable technology fabric .

To see if the client has searched for any of that you would have to either go through lots of searches or know your way around the subject. It's highly likely not impossible that the client had no idea either. On your own images it's sometimes possible to figure out what sort of person is searching. Many searches with different boxes ticked or with some words added: someone with some time to do his/her job: not a newspaper.

The usual strategy like with smart clothing is narrowing it down by excluding one or more keywords. However with such a broad subject, adding something is usually quicker.

 

I should go back to my images of the V+A about the future and see if I happened to shoot something useful there. Probably not, I was too obsessed with the obvious stuff like robots that folded one's shirts.

 

wim

 

edit: I'm still scratching my head about your remark about capitalization. It really should not make any difference.

Edited by wiskerke
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1 hour ago, wiskerke said:

I'm still scratching my head about your remark about capitalization. It really should not make any difference.

If mouse-overs are required for views, then that's the other explanation for my cobbler not registering as a shoemaker.  I thought views were totals of pages looked at, but it's obvious that mouseovers on images would be the only way to count those.  Given scrolling down pages of images, mouse-overs might be more random than not.  

 

So at least some zero views are simply that the person didn't look at images on the page even as far as mousing over them, not that these were not covered as categories.  Some of the searches didn't find examples or not an example of an archaeologist working in the field which I suspect was what was wanted. There were not examples of the lentil and other things soup, or the particular hospital searched for, either.  Didn't check the Paltrow candles.

 

I think when searches come up with things that are obviously irrelevant are when there's a niche to be filled. 

 

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On 21/11/2020 at 04:13, Kamira said:

But now every subject is saturated, even dining POV.

Actually, taken at a face value, this statement is a very common myth. It may be true if you focus on a market overcrowded with suppliers, like documentary, travel, etc. Anything that "everyone else is shooting".

 

However, if you specialize on something that is less crowded and go deep in your coverage of that specialized market, pretty soon you'd start discovering plenty of gaps. That is, shots that are in demand but in short or non-existing supply. Choose a niche, where you have any combination of special access, special knowledge, passion, props, photography technique.

 

Further, and in addition, instead of recording reality that already exists in front of you, start producing shots. Set up your shots deliberately: choose a theme/concept/message/mood, pick a location, direct models (if any), choose appropriate props, lights, lenses, etc, etc. Now you've just created a new reality that did not exist before. What are the chances of someone else doing exactly the same? Thus now you have your very own unique shots.

 

GI

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1 hour ago, giphotostock said:

Further, and in addition, instead of recording reality that already exists in front of you, start producing shots. Set up your shots deliberately: choose a theme/concept/message/mood, pick a location, direct models (if any), choose appropriate props, lights, lenses, etc, etc. Now you've just created a new reality that did not exist before. What are the chances of someone else doing exactly the same? Thus now you have your very own unique shots.

Could you give me a couple of examples of staged but unique photos? When I say every subject is saturated I obviously mean the concepts. Of course you can use models and take a photo of , for example, people getting a massage on a tropical beach (random example). Your models will be unique, their poses will be unique but the concept , which is what matters to the buyer, will be done a hundred times. It doesn't have to be done "exactly the same"

 

The case with  "smart clothing" or the Nicaraguan sign language is different. That's indeed  a niche although a very specific one with a very small.market

 

There's a videographer at another agency with lots of videos of space ships launching. That's also a niche. Or if you have privileged access to a particular industry. But how many people have that sort of access? That's completely independent of your photography skills or talent.

 

 

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12 minutes ago, Kamira said:

Could you give me a couple of examples of staged but unique photos? When I say every subject is saturated I obviously mean the concepts. Of course you can use models and take a photo of , for example, people getting a massage on a tropical beach (random example). Your models will be unique, their poses will be unique but the concept , which is what matters to the buyer, will be done a hundred times. It doesn't have to be done "exactly the same"

 

The case with  "smart clothing" or the Nicaraguan sign language is different. That's indeed  a niche although a very specific one with a very small.market

 

There's a videographer at another agency with lots of videos of space ships launching. That's also a niche. Or if you have privileged access to a particular industry. But how many people have that sort of access? That's completely independent of your photography skills or talent.

For example, see below for how one very successful photographer produces his real estate shots:

https://ashleymorrisonphotography.wordpress.com/2016/01/18/everyone-sees-things-differently-and-sees-different-things/

As a result, his images have what is called "high production value".

 

Here's another example. Hans Halberstadt, a known photographer specializing in US military:

https://www.militaryphoto.com/gallery-list

Note the title for one of his galleries: "New production - Oct 2020"

 

Your random example is indeed an example of a produced image, but in the over-saturated market. Thus, no, the random example is not going to sell that well.

 

If "smart clothing" or "Nicaraguan sign language" are good markets (ie healthy demand and little supply) then go for it. I do not know if they are or they are not, I have not done the research.

 

Regarding access, "how many people have that sort of access" is exactly the point. Somebody got that access, right? Getting (ie working out) access to restricted places could be very much part of the photographer's *business* skills and talent.

 

This is the line of thought. How many people are going to just walk in into a craftsman shop and make a killer shot of him working? Do you have some friends whose brother's girlfriend knows a craftsman? Could you get an introduction and convince the craftsmen to do (produce) some shots, by, for example, trading photos for their time posing and signing model and property releases? Authentic-looking small business owners in their authentic-looking environments ARE in demand. Do you have a university nearby? It must have some scientists working in the labs? Science images ARE in demand.

 

Specializing, researching markets, producing shots is not easy. However, in my experience, it is even more difficult to shoot, process, upload, keyword thousands of images only to sell at the rate of 1-2 per month for every 1000 images.

 

GI

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8 hours ago, Kamira said:

Could you give me a couple of examples of staged but unique photos? When I say every subject is saturated I obviously mean the concepts. Of course you can use models and take a photo of , for example, people getting a massage on a tropical beach (random example). Your models will be unique, their poses will be unique but the concept , which is what matters to the buyer, will be done a hundred times. It doesn't have to be done "exactly the same"

 

The case with  "smart clothing" or the Nicaraguan sign language is different. That's indeed  a niche although a very specific one with a very small.market

 

There's a videographer at another agency with lots of videos of space ships launching. That's also a niche. Or if you have privileged access to a particular industry. But how many people have that sort of access? That's completely independent of your photography skills or talent.

 

 

 

 

maybe you can help us to understand your process for developing subjects. For example Let's go back to your shoot at Arlington cemetery, how did you get to the level of producing the 20+ images you created.  

How did you plan the specifics, analysis of gaps in current offering, demand?

 

 

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9 hours ago, giphotostock said:

For example, see below for how one very successful photographer produces his real estate shots:

https://ashleymorrisonphotography.wordpress.com/2016/01/18/everyone-sees-things-differently-and-sees-different-things/

As a result, his images have what is called "high production value".

But that's not stock photography. That's a tutorial for real state photography

 

1 hour ago, meanderingemu said:

For example Let's go back to your shoot at Arlington cemetery, how did you get to the level of producing the 20+ images you created.  

I was there with my family. I had the opportunity and I did it :). Look, I'm not saying I'm a great, not even a good stock photographer. That's not the point. I'm just saying that the market is already saturated unless you find a very specific niche with a very small market. And I'm also saying that this industry is falling apart because of competition, the massification of digital photography, websites giving away free images etc.  All that implies that agencies will continue cutting costs and our commissions as a result, making it harder and harder to invest time and money in taking  photos that involve lots of planning , travel , special access, models etc.

 

I'm not exclusive at Alamy.I've been doing stock for 12 years and that's what I see. Hopefully it will be different with Alamy

 

9 hours ago, giphotostock said:

Here's another example. Hans Halberstadt, a known photographer specializing in US military:

https://www.militaryphoto.com/gallery-list

Note the title for one of his galleries: "New production - Oct 2020"

In this case "new production - Oct 2020" he has the most common subjects ever. I can find thousands of similar photos. A soldier on a computer...,. A soldier hugging hs w.ife etc.

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On 20/11/2020 at 23:41, Kamira said:

Of course, it could be because those images are for sale at other agencies. I don't know. I don't think is a good idea to be exclusive to any agency.

You're competing with yourself, which is madness.

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2 hours ago, Kamira said:

 

 

I was there with my family. I had the opportunity and I did it :). Look, I'm not saying I'm a great, not even a good stock photographer. That's not the point. I'm just saying that the market is already saturated unless you find a very specific niche with a very small market. And I'm also saying that this industry is falling apart because of competition, the massification of digital photography, websites giving away free images etc.  All that implies that agencies will continue cutting costs and our commissions as a result, making it harder and harder to invest time and money in taking  photos that involve lots of planning , travel , special access, models etc.

 

 

 

I am not questioning your decision to take the images from Arlington. The issue is the process on what image you should take while you are there.  As you stated images take time and effort, so why not optimise?

 

"Massification" has also lead to Instagramisation.  Everyone is doing the same images. 

 

i have images in my meanderings of subjects that are underrepresented, niche as you call them, that actually cost me nothing more than a public transport ride, or a nice walk.

 

Here is my example, i am now in a new city with a well covered War Memorial also, but i decided i wanted to go. 

First quick look shows that Alamy at time had no images to capture current times. 1)Take image of masked guards. 

Next look for angles that are under represented.  a Few things jumped, photographer had focused on the Monument, so not much i could add there, but in images of sentries there was little portraits, and even less diversity. so this is what i focused on.  

 

 

 

and don't get me wrong, i also upload in other distribution channels, but i try and optimise what I sell and where.  There is no point in me trying to sell my specialise work at Wall-mart, but if at same time i also created trinkets with no efforts I have no issue uploading them there

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On 22/11/2020 at 06:53, wiskerke said:

>total zooms

I used to download all numbers of the year around Christmas time.

 

If you have such a good placement, I would try making the most best perfect ever image of that clichéd travel photo. And try a couple of others too, but not of the same cliché.

It could well take you a year though. Just take it dead serious. What would you want to see in it (think positive and aspiring images - with an activist mindset). Study what is out there. What could you do better (mindset). What would you want to avoid (mindset!). But also what is out there that you cannot do. (That could take another year though 😁)

 

wim

 

According to my zooms and sales, it's looking like capturing current events, especially Black Lives Matter, is the best focus for me, aligning accessibility and interest. I do live in a major travel destination as well, so could probably focus on that, especially because I know the secret spots and niche locales. I've been meaning to photograph the parrots of San Francisco (there are is a flock of famous cherry headed wild parrots living in the city) and I just looked it up and there are only about three photos of that topic on Alamy.

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1 hour ago, The Blinking Eye said:

 

According to my zooms and sales, it's looking like capturing current events, especially Black Lives Matter, is the best focus for me, aligning accessibility and interest. I do live in a major travel destination as well, so could probably focus on that, especially because I know the secret spots and niche locales. I've been meaning to photograph the parrots of San Francisco (there are is a flock of famous cherry headed wild parrots living in the city) and I just looked it up and there are only about three photos of that topic on Alamy.

 

All good subjects! As for your current events images, it's easy to see which one is the best on your current first page. (personal opinion of course) However it doesn't leap from the page at the moment. I took the liberty of editing it just a little bit. I'll remove it when you've downloaded it, because there is almost no watermark left. My point is that it can also be useful to go back to an image when the image on the page or the screen doesn't quite convey the emotion of the moment.

 

wim

 

 

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3 hours ago, wiskerke said:

 

All good subjects! As for your current events images, it's easy to see which one is the best on your current first page. (personal opinion of course) However it doesn't leap from the page at the moment. I took the liberty of editing it just a little bit. I'll remove it when you've downloaded it, because there is almost no watermark left. My point is that it can also be useful to go back to an image when the image on the page or the screen doesn't quite convey the emotion of the moment.

 

wim

 

 

 

I downloaded it! Thank you!! It never occurred to me to edit the news photos after the fact (since I didn't edit them while uploading to Live News). So are you saying I should upload a better, edited version now? I agree, that's the standout shot of the bunch.

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39 minutes ago, The Blinking Eye said:

 

I downloaded it! Thank you!! It never occurred to me to edit the news photos after the fact (since I didn't edit them while uploading to Live News). So are you saying I should upload a better, edited version now? I agree, that's the standout shot of the bunch.

Probably if the have long term value.

 

If you can get a better clean version since then it will not have a note `This image could have imperfections as it’s either historical or reportage.`.  In addition it seems stock images rank higher than News in some of the algorithm 

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Karel,

 

I do not think, from what I looked at on the first page of your images on Alamy, that you have put much thought

into what you are doing with Alamy. I did like your landscape of the Washington monument and the pool, but there

are thousands of images of that and from the same angle available.

 

I have contributed to Alamy for over 15 years, I also have legacy images with the other three major libraries,  in years 

past I was contract with them. I have mostly been very happy with Alamy.  I will tell you from experience that in terms

of licensing news images there are other libraries or agencies that will get more licenses, but based on my own

experience, you would need 25 to 50 licenses to equal one or two Alamy licenses (income).

 

I do not let multiple agencies (libraries) license the same image and I can tell you after over 30 years in the international

photo agency business Alamy is the best "open" library (agency) available in 2020. 

 

Keep in mind that I am a semi-retired magazine photographer.

 

Making images for publication (licensing) IS NOT LIKE MAKING SAUSAGES, no offence to sausage makers.  It takes thought

talent and hard work sitting at the computer to make it all work.

 

Alamy is not perfect, but I do believe that they do a very good job.

 

Chuck

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15 hours ago, meanderingemu said:

 

and penalising yourself, giving away 20% of Alamy earnings in exchange for a potential 38 cents.

Yes, that too. 

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6 hours ago, The Blinking Eye said:

 

I downloaded it! Thank you!! It never occurred to me to edit the news photos after the fact (since I didn't edit them while uploading to Live News). So are you saying I should upload a better, edited version now? I agree, that's the standout shot of the bunch.

 

As I said it's about emotion. It should convey what you felt and why you took that image.

Some will argue it's easier to shoot a cause that's not your own others to shoot every cause as if it's your own. My take on that is that it very much depends on your personality. Anyway I'm not seeing a detached gaze here. 😁 So you owe it to your subject to present it as best as you can.

 

wim

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On 22/11/2020 at 23:27, giphotostock said:

But how many people have that sort of access? That's completely independent of your photography skills or talent.

 

You ask.  I've gotten access to places before skills and gear were good enough to do them justice.   You've got the skills but aren't working on the access.   Most crafts people are proud of what they do.   I had unique access in Nicaragua to a collection of 19th Century to mid-20th Century weaponry, to a church clock repair facility, and the refuge for the deaf.    Of these three projects, two had photos that licensed.   I keep tropical fish from local waters.   Highest license price ever was for a pair of cichlids.  

 

I'm in Nicaragua.   Half of what Alamy has up on Nicaragua are street fighting during civil unrest, mostly taken by Reuters photographers.   And I live in a town that's not a tourist destination.   And I don't have a car.

 

 

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