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The sales have stopped abruptly


Mauro C

Question

Hello everybody!

 

I've been on Alamy since March 2018 and I have made 6-7 decent sales a year in the first two years, so these were my expectations about the potential of my portfolio. The problem is that this year my latest sale dates back to the beginning of April and then I've not seen a single sale in more than 7 months! The numbers of zooms hasn't changed significantly over the last year (just a very slight decrease). So I'm beginning to think that there might be some kind of issue, because this complete lack of sales over so long a period seems too strange to me. What do you suggest? Thank you in advance!

 

https://www.alamy.com/portfolio/115468.html

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1 hour ago, Steve F said:

 

Honoured... Hah, I don't know it's all that expert, but thanks 🙂

 

Good the rug shots are selling. Try some shots with and without people in.

 

Buildings. Ah ok, it did occur to me that you might have been forced to do shots like this because of narrow streets. It's just that you have a lot of them! OK, you can't do anything about this.

 

But there are some that look like they could have been corrected:

Piazza Maggiore, the main square of the historic district of Feltre, Italy, with San Rocco church in the background - Stock Image

Rettori Palace in Belluno, in Duomo square - Stock Image

VENICE, Italy - January 12, 2019: Front view of the church of Santa Maria dei Carmini in the Dorsoduro sestiere - Stock Image

 
No problem.
Steve
 
 

 

 

 

 

Good advice as ever Steve. But I will play devils advocate a bit too. I have images on my port where I have and haven't corrected for converging verticals, so far only the non-corrected images have sold. I think in some cases it is acceptable not to correct. I would also add that in all three of the above images if you corrected them they would either crop parts of the tops of the buildings/monument out (images 1 and 2) and either do the same for the third image or leave the crop very very close. IMO the image would then look so undesirable as to be worse than uncorrected. You have to plan your shoot to have a lot of space around it for correction headroom, and a lot of the time it's just not possible to do it. 

 

 

46 minutes ago, Ed Rooney said:

 

I do not click 'editorial only' but I do click that I have no property release. The covers me. I shoot only common access editorial subjects.   

 

You don't even have to do that. Most often nowadays I just leave the releases sections on the optional tab blank. It removes the worry about whether or not that distant fencepost is private property of a disgruntled farmer who likes suing photographers, and places the onus on the buyer to obtain the correct releases if needed. It's an optional field, so you don't have to fill it out if you don't want to.

 

 

-------------

 

I once read on here that if you are having trouble making sales, go out and take photos of banks. It's not particularly exciting, but they do sell.

 

I've been here 2 years and have so far made a reasonable amount of sales particularly picking up as my portfolio size has grown this year. I don't like to talk about what or how much for, but I will say that if you have any kind of niche, or a knack/patience for photographing everyday boring/mundane things well, it will work for you. From my own experiences and from looking at the sold threads, the kind of photos you'd see in newspapers or on online articles will sell here, as a rough starting point. 

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11 hours ago, Cal said:

 

Good advice as ever Steve. But I will play devils advocate a bit too. I have images on my port where I have and haven't corrected for converging verticals, so far only the non-corrected images have sold. I think in some cases it is acceptable not to correct. I would also add that in all three of the above images if you corrected them they would either crop parts of the tops of the buildings/monument out (images 1 and 2) and either do the same for the third image or leave the crop very very close. IMO the image would then look so undesirable as to be worse than uncorrected. You have to plan your shoot to have a lot of space around it for correction headroom, and a lot of the time it's just not possible to do it. 

Morning Cal,

Thanks. Interesting that they pick the uncorrected versions.... I try to leave space around when I'm taking pictures of buildings like this.

 

Boring/mundane. Hah, yes. Very true. I do take pretty pictures sometimes that I'm fairly sure won't sell, but generally you have to be quite commercial about what you shoot. If I don't think a picture could sell, then I generally don't bother to shoot these days. My wife is pleased, I'm becoming a lot more discerning about what I shoot so I don't make her wait so much for me to photograph when we're out and about!

Steve

 

p.s. great protest shots, you really got into the thick of things. I've no experience, don't think I'd dare to get that close to the police, even British ones!

Edited by Steve F
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10 hours ago, Cal said:

Most often nowadays I just leave the releases sections on the optional tab blank.

You raise an interesting point. In fact those fields are never blank whether you fill them in or not and you can see that if you download your data. If you ignore those optional release fields then this is the default:

 

Number of people - 0

Model Release - NA

Is there property in this image? - N

Property Release - NA

 

Then on Alamy underneath all your images it will say:

 

Releases: Model - no | Property - no

 

So, unless I'm very much mistaken by not attending to those optional fields we are by default actually stating that there are no people in our pictures and no property even if we don't explicitly say so.

 

I'm not saying that's wrong but I wonder where we stand, I hate the process of deciding what counts as 'Property' as much as anyone else, everything's owned by someone. 'People' is a bit easier often but then there are distant people, people vaguely visible through windows, disembodied hands and elbows etc. etc.

 

 

Edited by Harry Harrison
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3 hours ago, Harry Harrison said:

 

Then on Alamy underneath all your images it will say:

 

Releases: Model - no | Property - no

 

So, unless I'm very much mistaken by not attending to those optional fields we are by default actually stating that there are no people in our pictures and no property even if we don't explicitly say so.

 

 

 I think you've misunderstood the text. It's saying no model releases and no property releases. At least that's my understanding.

Edited by Sultanpepa
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13 minutes ago, Sultanpepa said:

I think you've misunderstood the text. It's saying no model releases and no property releases. At least that's my understanding.

Yes, but it is stating that there are no model releases and no property releases by virtue of the fact that there are no people and no property in the photograph, '0' is the default for both people and property, as opposed to possibly the field being left blank unless you entered something. I'm just wondering whether you could run into problems, in effect by default, by stating that there is 'no property' or 'no people' in the photo when there may obviously be some.

 

Edit:

Then if not, since I never have a property or model release however many people or properties are in my pictures, could I just save myself time and ignore those optional fields as Cal does?

Edited by Harry Harrison
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4 hours ago, Steve F said:

Morning Cal,

Thanks. Interesting that they pick the uncorrected versions.... I try to leave space around when I'm taking pictures of buildings like this.

 

Boring/mundane. Hah, yes. Very true. I do take pretty pictures sometimes that I'm fairly sure won't sell, but generally you have to be quite commercial about what you shoot. If I don't think a picture could sell, then I generally don't bother to shoot these days. My wife is pleased, I'm becoming a lot more discerning about what I shoot so I don't make her wait so much for me to photograph when we're out and about!

Steve

 

p.s. great protest shots, you really got into the thick of things. I've no experience, don't think I'd dare to get that close to the police, even British ones!

 

Thanks Steve. I don't have any credentials at all where the protest photography is concerned, but I fancied trying live news and there were some happening near me so I gave it a go. On the last one I went to there was a guy there who got some incredible shots that made a good few of the media outlets, I looked him up and he's a professional journo so it stands to reason. I have a lot to learn in this area but the one thing I do have nailed down is the ability to effortlessly move through crowds without p1ssing people off - folk wielding cameras are sometimes seen as the enemy - but if you talk to people and listen to their story, whatever it is, you very quickly gain a rapport with the crowd.

 

 

4 hours ago, Harry Harrison said:

You raise an interesting point. In fact those fields are never blank whether you fill them in or not and you can see that if you download your data. If you ignore those optional release fields then this is the default:

 

Number of people - 0

Model Release - NA

Is there property in this image? - N

Property Release - NA

 

Then on Alamy underneath all your images it will say:

 

Releases: Model - no | Property - no

 

So, unless I'm very much mistaken by not attending to those optional fields we are by default actually stating that there are no people in our pictures and no property even if we don't explicitly say so.

 

I'm not saying that's wrong but I wonder where we stand, I hate the process of deciding what counts as 'Property' as much as anyone else, everything's owned by someone. 'People' is a bit easier often but then there are distant people, people vaguely visible through windows, disembodied hands and elbows etc. etc.

 

 

 

That's something I hadn't thought of before. The advice to do what I am doing now originally came from geogphotos on here after I brought up the aforementioned difficulties about what constitutes property and what doesn't. I would still say that given these are optional fields it follows that doing what I'm doing here should be fine, else you are opening yourself up to legal quagmire by not filling in an optional field which doesn't sound right... I'd like to think Alamy wouldn't let that happen?

 

My understanding of the releases: model - no / property - no  part is that you are telling the customer your image isn't released, therefore it cannot be bought on the basis of being used commercially. Of course that doesn't stop a company that owns the building in the photo from buying it and releasing it, etc.

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16 minutes ago, Cal said:

I would still say that given these are optional fields it follows that doing what I'm doing here should be fine, else you are opening yourself up to legal quagmire by not filling in an optional field which doesn't sound right... I'd like to think Alamy wouldn't let that happen?

Yes, I'm all for an easy life, I've just got the impression from the forum that generally seasoned contributors do tend to fill in the number of people even if they don't have model releases, but yes. it is in the optional tab, as is property. I hate doing it so I'd be glad not to feel the need to do it any more, every batch I upload I have to fiddle about seeing how many people there are, 1,2,3,4 or 5+, you know how it is. Property I'm less bothered with but looking at my data download just now I see I'm pretty inconsistent, shop signs maybe, vintage cars, prominent identifiable buildings, etc. etc. I find it the worst part of captioning/tagging.

Edited by Harry Harrison
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16 minutes ago, Harry Harrison said:

Yes, I'm all for an easy life, I've just got the impression from the forum that generally seasoned contributors do tend to fill in the number of people even if they don't have model releases, but yes. it is in the optional tab, as is proprty. I hate doing it so I'll be glad not to feel the need to do it any more, every batch I upload a have to fiddle about seeing how many people there are, 1,2,3,4 or 5+, you know how it is. Property I'm less bothered with but looking at my data download just now I see I'm pretty inconsistent, shop signs maybe, vintage cars, prominent identifiable buildings, etc. etc. I find it the worst part of captioning/tagging.

 

I'm wondering if we should seek clarification from alamy. to me it seemed perfectly clear cut; don't fill in the optional field and the image will go on sale marked as unreleased, therefore it can effectively only be bought for editorial purposes if it has people or property, or the buyer themselves must release it. 

 

the blog post "A comprehensive guide to buying stock photos" reminds us that the buyer must do their part too. If a buyer purchases an image that is marked as not having releases and it contains people or recognisable property, then goes on to use it commercially without obtaining releases themselves that's their risk for knowingly buying an image without releases and using it in this way.  Whether or not you fill out the optional fields to say you have no releases or you leave them blank, the buyer sees the same thing: releases no/no.

 

https://www.alamy.com/blog/comprehensive-guide-to-buying-stock-photos#model-release

 

"What is a property release and do I need one?

A property release is a document signed by the owner of the property in question stating that the picture, which shows their property, can be used commercially.

Like model releases, you don’t need a property release for editorial licences. If the image contains recognisable property, then you will need a property release. Property is not just limited to buildings though; it’s anything identifiable and copyrighted or trademarked such as logos, designs, works of art, branded items, even graffiti! Essentially, anything that is an intellectual property.

If your image does have property in it but the image doesn’t have the relevant releases, then you’ll need to get in touch with the property owner to ensure you’re legally covered to use it. This includes any branding that shows up in the background of an image.

However, this often does not apply for public buildings such as government property. And like model releases, if the property is not identifiable in the image, then a release is not necessary. This includes cityscapes as there isn’t a focus on any particular building."

 

Regarding your last point, I suspect most of us are inconsistent to a degree. This is why I've stayed mostly RM, or RF-Ed, to try and limit the effects of human error. The amount of ports here I see that have RF (non editorial) images that are marked as unreleased containing people or property... yikes.

Edited by Cal
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15 hours ago, Cal said:

Good advice as ever Steve. But I will play devils advocate a bit too. I have images on my port where I have and haven't corrected for converging verticals, so far only the non-corrected images have sold. I think in some cases it is acceptable not to correct. I would also add that in all three of the above images if you corrected them they would either crop parts of the tops of the buildings/monument out (images 1 and 2) and either do the same for the third image or leave the crop very very close. IMO the image would then look so undesirable as to be worse than uncorrected. You have to plan your shoot to have a lot of space around it for correction headroom, and a lot of the time it's just not possible to do it.

 

I was about to write the same reply. I correct every time possible but it's not always possible. In other circumstances I do it on purpose, to try to be a bit more creative in order to show - for example - how imposing a palace is by using perspective.

Edited by Mauro C
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15 hours ago, Cal said:

I've been here 2 years and have so far made a reasonable amount of sales particularly picking up as my portfolio size has grown this year. I don't like to talk about what or how much for, but I will say that if you have any kind of niche, or a knack/patience for photographing everyday boring/mundane things well, it will work for you. From my own experiences and from looking at the sold threads, the kind of photos you'd see in newspapers or on online articles will sell here, as a rough starting point. 

 

Very interesting...

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31 minutes ago, Cal said:

o me it seemed perfectly clear cut; don't fill in the optional field and the image will go on sale marked as unreleased, therefore it can effectively only be bought for editorial purposes if it has people or property, or the buyer themselves must release it. 

Yes, that does seems logical, It would be nice then if Alamy told us that we don't need to fill in the Models or Property questions unless we actually have model or property releases because as you say, without them the pictures can't be sold for commercial use (as opposed to editorial) anyway so presumably the number of people becomes irrelevant. Still bothered about some Property though, I know there have been discussions on here about distant houses in landscapes, even farm animals etc.

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6 minutes ago, Harry Harrison said:

Yes, that does seems logical, It would be nice then if Alamy told us that we don't need to fill in the Models or Property questions unless we actually have model or property releases because as you say, without them the pictures can't be sold for commercial use (as opposed to editorial) anyway so presumably the number of people becomes irrelevant. Still bothered about some Property though, I know there have been discussions on here about distant houses in landscapes, even farm animals etc.

 

grey area. but as the blog post I linked to says, cityscapes can be sold commercially without a release. it then logically follows that if you sell a large print of a landscape commercially, with a distant house nestled in the hills that's tiny and to all intents unrecognisable, that the owner would have a bloody hard time proving in court their hardship over you selling that image. In fact I'd like to see someone try. That said, such an instance is exactly where I'd leave the optional fields alone. No-one needs that hassle.

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23 minutes ago, Cal said:

 

grey area. but as the blog post I linked to says, cityscapes can be sold commercially without a release. it then logically follows that if you sell a large print of a landscape commercially, with a distant house nestled in the hills that's tiny and to all intents unrecognisable, that the owner would have a bloody hard time proving in court their hardship over you selling that image. In fact I'd like to see someone try. That said, such an instance is exactly where I'd leave the optional fields alone. No-one needs that hassle.

 

 

but saying you don't have property release doesn't mean it can not be sold commercially, that's only if you click "Editorial Only".  i give the buyer all the info, then they can decide. 

 

Even if they can't prove it in court, you still have the time and expense of defending yourself.  I don't need that hassle- i give the buyer all the information i have, yes this house is property, now it's up to you to make your decision

Edited by meanderingemu
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2 minutes ago, meanderingemu said:

 

 

but saying you don't have property release doesn't mean it can not be sold commercially, that's only if you click "Editorial Only".  i give the buyer all the info, then they can decide. 


Basically if it’s recognizable property or person it needs to be released for commercial use to avoid owners of the property filing a claim for compensation. If you don’t have a release a potential buyer can try and get a release from the property owner and then use it commercially but the reality is at this level of production and prices they are not going to do that. The liability lies with the publisher, that’s why ticking no commercial use or editorial lets you off the hook of prosecution potentially.

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14 minutes ago, Normspics said:

Basically if it’s recognizable property or person it needs to be released for commercial use to avoid owners of the property filing a claim for compensation.

It's worth mentioning that there has never been a successful court case in which the image rights of property, as such, have been upheld.

Not even in the US

A House’s Right of Publicity

https://propertyintangible.com/2010/08/houses-right-of-publicity.html

Edited by spacecadet
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21 minutes ago, Normspics said:


Basically if it’s recognizable property or person it needs to be released for commercial use to avoid owners of the property filing a claim for compensation. If you don’t have a release a potential buyer can try and get a release from the property owner and then use it commercially but the reality is at this level of production and prices they are not going to do that. The liability lies with the publisher, that’s why ticking no commercial use or editorial lets you off the hook of prosecution potentially.

 

 

so, what is the issue with saying there is Property and I don't have a release when their is property and i don't have a release.  I guess i am missing something.  What does leaving it blank achieve? 

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12 minutes ago, spacecadet said:

It's worth mentioning that there has never been a successful court case in which the image rights of property, as such, have been upheld.

Not even in the US

A House’s Right of Publicity

https://propertyintangible.com/2010/08/houses-right-of-publicity.html


Well the Greek gentleman’s photograph featured on a Swedish made Turkish style yoghurt sued and that photo was bought at a photo library comes to mind amongst others over the 16 years I’ve been associated with stock photography

Edited by Normspics
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4 minutes ago, Normspics said:


Well the Greek gentleman’s photograph featured on a Swedish made Turkish style yoghurt sued and that photo was bought at a photo library comes to mind amongst others over the 16 years I’ve been associated with stock photography


"there has never been a successful court case in which the image rights of property, as such, have been upheld."

 

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4 minutes ago, meanderingemu said:

 

 

so, what is the issue with saying there is Property and I don't have a release when their is property and i don't have a release.  I guess i am missing something.  What does leaving it blank achieve? 


I’m not commenting on the Alamy form but on the use of an unreleased image being used commercially i.e. advertising. The Alamy form by ticking the box is just adding another step to the uploading process. The default is no release if you don’t fill it out.

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1 minute ago, spacecadet said:


"there has never been a successful court case in which the image rights of property, as such, have been upheld."

 


Owners of those iconic colourful townhouses in San Francisco sued for compensation 

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1 minute ago, Normspics said:


I’m not commenting on the Alamy form but on the use of an unreleased image being used commercially i.e. advertising. The Alamy form by ticking the box is just adding another step to the uploading process. The default is no release if you don’t fill it out.

 

 

I understand that, i am more trying to see what the whole not filling the information discussion is about, and what is the advantage vs inconvenience..   I usually do a sweep once in a while and mass update, at same time as i do my supertags  check my spelling so it doesn't affect the uploading process at all.  

 

as you have said, the onus on the buyer, i just don't get where the advantage would be in not giving information that there is potential property, physical or intellectual,  in the image.

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11 minutes ago, Normspics said:


OK how about murals.......5Pointz Long Island 

That's a case of copyright infringement. Whilst copyright is of course property, I said and meant "property rights as such", separate from copyright, that would be covered by a property release.

Edited by spacecadet
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8 minutes ago, meanderingemu said:

as you have said, the onus on the buyer, i just don't get where the advantage would be in not giving information that there is potential property, physical or intellectual,  in the image.

My initial discussion with Cal was just to point out that just leaving those optional property and people questions unanswered, as he does, didn't mean that they were blank, as I think he thought they were. Rather you were instead by default still left declaring that there were 0 people and 0 property in the picture. I've always personally tried to fill them in but it is pretty time consuming. Cal can speak for himself but to me he's presented a pretty good case for suggesting that it might be time wasted unless you have property or model releases and actively want your pictures to be available for commercial use.

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1 hour ago, Normspics said:


I’m not commenting on the Alamy form but on the use of an unreleased image being used commercially i.e. advertising. The Alamy form by ticking the box is just adding another step to the uploading process. The default is no release if you don’t fill it out.

 

Absolutely, otherwise anyone who doesn't fill out the optional field (and I suspect there are lots) would be leaving themselves up to potential financial ruin. It would be absolute madness to have an optional field in its default state behave in any other way. The data that Harry mentions is likely an anomaly of how this default state of these fields is stored as data, I am happy enough that images annotated this way go on sale with both their property and person releases marked as none.

 

 

1 hour ago, meanderingemu said:

 

 

I understand that, i am more trying to see what the whole not filling the information discussion is about, and what is the advantage vs inconvenience..   I usually do a sweep once in a while and mass update, at same time as i do my supertags  check my spelling so it doesn't affect the uploading process at all.  

 

as you have said, the onus on the buyer, i just don't get where the advantage would be in not giving information that there is potential property, physical or intellectual,  in the image.

 

I tried explaining what I mean and to be honest I bored myself... I'd be largely repeating what I've already said 2 or 3 times. What I will say is earlier on I did take the time to annotate each image fully - I have around 300 images marked as without property and about 350 marked as with, all unreleased. The images "without" property are all birds on water, isolated generic objects where I've rubbed off the logos and a few landscapes, where any buildings are entirely indistinguishable dots in the background or at night... covered by the "cityscapes/unrecognisable property" clause. Starting from around the 600th image I rarely bothered. I still do if it's dead obvious (ie coke can on isolated background).

 

Either way, precisely 0 images in my port have property releases regardless of their property status, so anyone using them and selling them commercially sure isn't getting a release from me anyway.

 

Edited by Cal
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