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Just had my first 3 images pass QC so now I need to learn the process here. Printed the AIM instruction manual and will read that tonight. Bookmarked a video which I will watch at a time of day that works with my SAT internet, think very slow. So if anyone has suggestions to info I can find on the forms I will follow your advice, promise. I did shoot stock when I first got started in photography , think K25 and Mamiya 645, then I photographed a friends wedding and got a check! That lead to 30+ years of commercial and portrait work. Now I am retired and free to shoot for me so along with a fine art site I thought I would give this a go. Live in Wisconsin but will travel as soon as it is safe again. Tagging and keywords are a mystery to me but I am trying to learn. Thanks!

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Hi,

Welcome. It's a good first step you're doing to check out the requirements rather than jumping straight in - it's very annoying and time consuming to have to go back and alter all your captions and keywords later! The caption should contain as much relevant information as possible and be written as a complete sentence rather than as random words.

 

Your pictures will appear at a certain level (e.g. first page, 10th page... etc.) in searches by clients, depending on various factors. CTR and Sales are the only factors we know about for sure in the secret formula Alamy uses to set our search ranking. Your CTR rank (on your Dashboard) is a function of the number of times a client zooms (clicks on) one of your images versus the number of times your images appear in a client search, but are not zoomed.

CTR=Zooms/Views * 100

This is basically a long way of me saying, don't spam keywords. E.g. don't put sky, blue, clouds for every single outdoors picture you shoot. There is a tendency to try to put lots of keywords for your images to try to get them seen by clients. So they may well appear in searches, but if they're not zoomed by a client, your CTR rank will drop. Which means your images won't show as high up in client searches. You don't want your images to get buried in the 233 million images on Alamy. By all means, put a lot of keywords in for certain pictures if they're relevant. Captions and keywords are almost more important than the image itself because you can have the most amazing images ever, but if they're keyworded wrong, no one will ever see them.

 

Be aware that the location information you put in AIM is not searchable by clients. It's generally a good idea to put location info in both the caption and as keywords.

 

Alamy is mainly an editorial agency (Editorial photography refers to images that run alongside text in publications to help tell a story or educate readers). So keep a look out in books, magazines, newspapers, online articles for the photos that are used to illustrate the articles - most of them will be stock photos. Look out for trends - when the EU brought in the GDPR regulations I took some pictures illustrating this and I sold several almost immediately. You need to try to think more commercially with respect to the stock industry now. Why will this photo sell, what concept am I illustrating? You can take amazing cat pictures for example, but you're competing against over 1 million cat images just on Alamy, let alone other sites. What are the chances your image will be found? Try to find a niche that isn't very well covered if you can - they do still exist. But do photograph what you like photographing too! Have a look at other contributor portfolios to get inspiration - right click on the 'images:' number next to a Forum member's post.

 

It can take up to 3-4 months after a photo has sold before it gets reported with some clients. Most contributors take a few months to make their first sale and have at least several hundred images up. I don't know if you know much about the history of the stock industry. Alamy is one of the more traditional agencies, where the number of sales is not as high as with some of the newer so-called microstock agencies, but the average fees are much higher. The microstock model is pile em high and sell em cheap, you would sell a lot more, but could expect to get 10 cents per image with the most popular MS agency. I've sold 6 images on Alamy this month for $149 gross, $61 net - that's a lot of 10 cent images! Some people will sell a lot more than this on Alamy, even with smaller portfolios due to e.g. different subject matter and if you're interested (and successful) in live news that sells very well. Some people spread themselves over lots of agencies, whereas some stick to Alamy because they don't want to cannibalise sales at higher prices by offering the same photos on MS sites for peanuts - you will find vehement arguments on both sides in the Forum here!

 

Good luck,

Stephen

 

 

Edited by Steve F
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8 hours ago, Sally R said:

Hi and welcome to Alamy.

 

With tagging and keywords it is good to also have a descriptive title that includes the key elements of an image. If it is a plant or an animal it is good to include the scientific/latin name as well, as some customers will be searching by that.

 

In AIM there is a discoverability bar that goes green after you get to 40+ tags. You do not need to get this bar to green to optimise discoverability, and in fact if you add more and more keywords that may not be directly relevant to get the bar green this can work against you. This is because non-relevant or only distantly relevant tags can create false positives for customers searching for an image. So the discoverability bar is a bit misleading in this way (took me a while to realise this). Just make sure you've covered the key components of the image and imagine being a buyer and what terms they may be searching under.

 

Best of luck on Alamy and enjoy creating your images.

Thanks for that very helpful imput!

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1 hour ago, Steve F said:

Hi,

Welcome. It's a good first step you're doing to check out the requirements rather than jumping straight in - it's very annoying and time consuming to have to go back and alter all your captions and keywords later! The caption should contain as much relevant information as possible and be written as a complete sentence rather than as random words.

 

Your pictures will appear at a certain level (e.g. first page, 10th page... etc.) in searches by clients, depending on various factors. CTR and Sales are the only factors we know about for sure in the secret formula Alamy uses to set our search ranking. Your CTR rank (on your Dashboard) is a function of the number of times a client zooms (clicks on) one of your images versus the number of times your images appear in a client search, but are not zoomed.

CTR=Zooms/Views * 100

This is basically a long way of me saying, don't spam keywords. E.g. don't put sky, blue, clouds for every single outdoors picture you shoot. There is a tendency to try to put lots of keywords for your images to try to get them seen by clients. So they may well appear in searches, but if they're not zoomed by a client, your CTR rank will drop. Which means your images won't show as high up in client searches. You don't want your images to get buried in the 233 million images on Alamy. By all means, put a lot of keywords in for certain pictures if they're relevant. Captions and keywords are almost more important than the image itself because you can have the most amazing images ever, but if they're keyworded wrong, no one will ever see them.

 

Be aware that the location information you put in AIM is not searchable by clients. It's generally a good idea to put location info in both the caption and as keywords.

 

Alamy is mainly an editorial agency (Editorial photography refers to images that run alongside text in publications to help tell a story or educate readers). So keep a look out in books, magazines, newspapers, online articles for the photos that are used to illustrate the articles - most of them will be stock photos. Look out for trends - when the EU brought in the GDPR regulations I took some pictures illustrating this and I sold several almost immediately. You need to try to think more commercially with respect to the stock industry now. Why will this photo sell, what concept am I illustrating? You can take amazing cat pictures for example, but you're competing against over 1 million cat images just on Alamy, let alone other sites. What are the chances your image will be found? Try to find a niche that isn't very well covered if you can - they do still exist. But do photograph what you like photographing too! Have a look at other contributor portfolios to get inspiration - right click on the 'images:' number next to a Forum member's post.

 

It can take up to 3-4 months after a photo has sold before it gets reported with some clients. Most contributors a few months to make their first sale and have at least several hundred images up. I don't know if you know much about the history of the stock industry. Alamy is one of the more traditional agencies, where the number of sales is not a high as with some of the newer so-called microstock agencies, but the average fees are much higher. The microstock model is pile em high and sell em cheap, you would sell a lot more, but could expect to get 10 cents per image with the most popular MS agency. I've sold 6 images on Alamy this month for $149 gross, $61 net - that's a lot of 10 cent images! Some people will sell a lot more than this on Alamy, even with smaller portfolios due to e.g. different subject matter and if you're interested (and successful) in live news that sells very well. Some people spread themselves over lots of agencies, whereas some stick to Alamy because they don't want to cannibalise sales at higher prices by offering the same photos on MS sites for peanuts - you will find vehement arguments on both sides in the Forum here!

 

Good luck,

Stephen

 

 

Thanks for your insight this information is well thought out helpful. My main disadvantage is what I mostly shoot, Landscape, wildlife and macro. My main advantage that after making a very nice living at this for over 30 years I now shoot for me. Of course I do live in one of the tourist capitols of the Midwest so I can photograph people if I wish. 

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11 minutes ago, Heilman Photography said:

Thanks for your insight this information is well thought out helpful. My main disadvantage is what I mostly shoot, Landscape, wildlife and macro. My main advantage that after making a very nice living at this for over 30 years I now shoot for me. Of course I do live in one of the tourist capitols of the Midwest so I can photograph people if I wish. 

 

You're welcome! I think good macro photography is not so well covered generally. As for the landscapes, if it's a famous area or national park, this can help. Otherwise, just have a look at what else is available on Alamy in terms of landscape and wildlife shots and see if you can do something better, or from a different viewpoint etc. One remaining thing, sometimes shots sell that aren't objectively better than what else is available - it could be due to your rank, or luck, or I suspect a large part is clients searching for the latest photos, so there is something to be said for regularly uploading.

Edited by Steve F
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