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I crashed down to QC ranking star ONE! How long it will take to get to ranking star two again?


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My history in short:

Very first upload: Samsung S4 images got rejected with the reason of not suitable camera. Beside that all Canon EOS 70d passed.

Then a very long times all passed because I only uploaded images from the Canon.

Then I bought a new smartphone Samsung A50s. I love it, because the results from the images are great! Especially if I use the wide lens. I uploaded a mix of Canon and A50s images and they got passed.

Then I stopped uploading a few month because I was thinking about uploading strategies of better and not so good images and to which agencies first. I only know, Alamy will be one of the first yet. But it needed time to research for the other agencies and so on. Beside that i also researched much about keywording and changed then the keywords from my approved images.

Then my better images, which already long time waiting for upload including much better keywording, I upload nearly 150 images in small batches of around 20 images each - theme batches.

Next day I thought: Hey, you forgot ONE image, which I like most. So I uploaded it in a own batch before all got into QC. A second after I uploaded that last image, I remembered why I did not uploaded it a day before: the quality might not good enough because of blur motion, which might not be accepted from Alamy in this case. BUT, we know: once uploaded, no way back or way to delete that image. And that time it was exactly the time when Covid makes much problems for Alamy. And of course the reviewer just clicked the last image and all 150 images got rejected. - Follow up: No upload allowed for a while AND after I was allowed to upload, I had to wait 3 to 4 weeks. My God! 

 

That was the time, Alamy seems to be more selective of my uploads and 2 from 3 uploads got rejected. Then: AH! Luckily they clicked on an image from my smartphone AND told me the reason: Even my new smartphone is not suitable. Good to know. Would have been better they told me earlier. I was not expecting it, because mixed uploads with Canon AND smartphone passed before.

 

Okay, it was indeed my fault, because I should have checked the cameras, which are okay for Alamy.

Then a long time I only upload via wirestock, where nearly 100 % of all images (Canon AND smartphone) got accepted.

 

Then I wrote Alamy to ask how long time it could take to get ranking star 2 again and I also told them that I was thinking about creating a new account/portfolio instead, with which I automatically increase to ranking star 2 directly. Surprisingly Alamy told me that I indeed can do it - creating a new account. But is that really the best idea for me?

 

My questions:

Does anybody here has experiences like me? How long time it needed to get back to QC ranking 2 again?

And what counts?: How many TIMES my uploads got approved - no matter how many images I send?

Or also how MANY images I got approved?

With other words: Would it be faster if I upload 150 images and they got approved or should I take the long way and upload only around 20 each time and then might be in a year I will be back on ranking 2???

 

Any advices?

do not forget my alternative: creating a new account. 

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Smartphone images have never been acceptable here and never will be- this has always been made clear. Your mixed submission obviously slipped through QC on the strength of the DSLR images. There is a separate app called Stockimo for them but discussion of it is not allowed here.

It's best not to try to game the system- just submit images as and when you need to, in batches of a size appropriate to your working methods, and eventually you will improve your QC rating.

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Hi Hanif,

That's a long post!!

 

Firstly, Alamy is not an agency that accepts mobile phone pictures:

https://www.alamy.com/contributor/how-to-sell-images/guidelines-for-submitting-images/?section=3

 

A side note on this - whilst mobile phones are improving, they are still limited by the physical size of sensor that can be behind such small lenses. Meaning the quality is not (yet) as good as for DSLR or equivalent cameras.

 

Secondly, Alamy do not have the resources to check all photos submitted - any mobile phone pictures in your portfolio should probably not have been approved and slipped through QC. In order to keep the quality of the entire collection up, they ask contributors to stringently check their images against a checklist of failure reasons. They expect a certain level of technical competence. So you should be doing the checking yourself - failing all images in a batch is an incentive for contributors to carry out these checks themselves.

 

2 star QC rank is also not ideal, you should aim to be at least 3.

 

Personally, if I was you, and only had 196 images uploaded, I would start from scratch again - your current QC failure history through not understanding the requirements means you will continue to get a lot of scrutiny by the QC team. I failed my first QC at Alamy because I didn't really know what I was doing. It took me a year before I felt I had learned enough to try again. I've only had 1 QC failure in the 6 years since then. Before you upload to a new account, I would read through Alamy's requirements so you know them thoroughly. Are you aware of this document for example:

https://www.alamy.com/contributors/alamy-how-to-pass-qc.pdf

 

You should be using a suitable DSLR or mirrorless camera, shoot using raw files and be editing those raw files using photo editing software (and you should know how to use the software!) If you are unable or unwilling to follow this, you will likely continue to have problems with passing QC. You should take the approach that Alamy are expecting a professional product from contributors.

 

Almost any question you can think of has been asked on the Forum at some point so you can search through the Forum as well if you have other questions.

 

Good luck,

Stephen

Edited by Steve F
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From the submission guidelines

 

How to pass QC:

  • There are a number of reasons why images might fail
    Have a read of our guide on how to pass QC to avoid them.
  • Use a DSLR camera (or equivalent)
    Most point & shoot, bridge cameras and all mobile phones will struggle to pass our QC checks, you’ll need a camera with a good quality lens and large enough sensor. See our rough guide to digital cameras for more info.

 

Basically no mobile phones - what's allowed on other sites is not relevent here. Alamy has a route for mobile phone images 'stockimo'.

 

As for how many QC stars... it might make a bit of difference in how long your images await QC but stock (here) is a long game not a quick sprint, I doubt it matters much at all. If one of your images fails QC, all images awaiting QC will fail. It's basic sample QC, Alamy doesn't want to spend our money on checking each and every file.  Just provide Alamy with images which are within their guidelines and capable of passing QC...it's really that simple.

 

 

 

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Gosh three answers in the time I Moved over to the PC. Good answers as well.

 

Hanif, all I can add to the above advice is

1. Learn the rules.

2. Follow the rules.

 

Stay safe.

 

 

Edited by Mr Standfast
spellings
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There's one more important point. As in every other business, there's a relationship between price and quality here. The higher our image quality is, the more money we can command. And of course, the more respect the entire Alamy collection will have. That other agency didn't accept your phone images because they're kinder or more enlightened, they did so because they charge less and pay photographers less. 

 

As photographers, the only real way we can make Alamy better is to submit better photos. We need clients to look at our work and say "this costs more, but it's worth it!"

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10 minutes ago, Brian Yarvin said:

There's one more important point. As in every other business, there's a relationship between price and quality here. The higher our image quality is, the more money we can command. And of course, the more respect the entire Alamy collection will have. That other agency didn't accept your phone images because they're kinder or more enlightened, they did so because they charge less and pay photographers less. 

 

As photographers, the only real way we can make Alamy better is to submit better photos. We need clients to look at our work and say "this costs more, but it's worth it!"

Would advising the OP to delete the smartphone images that got through by chance be a bit picky? Hmm. Not sure. But I do think he should at least caption them as being from a smartphone.

However, if any are eventually licensed they may of course be refunded if the client finds them substandard.

Edited by spacecadet
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What I was told when I first pass QC was to keep uploads small for the next several submissions.  And wait for the results on one batch before sending another.  Cell phone photographs were not acceptable.

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26 minutes ago, spacecadet said:

Would advising the OP to delete the smartphone images that got through by chance be a bit picky? Hmm. Not sure. But I do think he should at least caption them as being from a smartphone.

However, if any are eventually licensed they may of course be refunded if the client finds them substandard.

 

I have some Stockimo images in my portfolio and they appear in searches without being labeled as from a smartphone. Stockimo appears in the keywords (put there by Alamy) and the file size is given as it is with all images. So I see no reason for the OP to delete his.

 

Paulette

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6 minutes ago, NYCat said:

 

I have some Stockimo images in my portfolio and they appear in searches without being labeled as from a smartphone. Stockimo appears in the keywords (put there by Alamy) and the file size is given as it is with all images. So I see no reason for the OP to delete his.

 

Paulette

He uploaded them erroneously through Alamy QC, not Stockimo, and they were not spotted. They will have conventional Alamy references, not an S prefix. So a buyer would have no clue.

Edited by spacecadet
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26 minutes ago, spacecadet said:

He uploaded them erroneously through Alamy QC, not Stockimo, and they were not spotted. They will have conventional Alamy references, not an S prefix. So a buyer would have no clue.

 

I see what you mean. I hadn't thought of the S prefix. I wonder if clients are aware of that. It is a shame Alamy doesn't catch them. I hope people reading the forum don't start trying to sneak images through.

 

Paulette

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Thanks to all of you for your advices.

Well, I thought I mentioned it before that I got it it was MY FAULT.

Yes, I guess NOW I have a good idea, what kind of images I can submit. And yes of course no phone images anymore!

 

So, all your advices are great and right, but I realize them already myself - maybe I was not clear enough writing it here - sorry English is not my first language.

 

But my questions here were not really answered yet. Only one advice: small batches now for a maybe long time and see what is going. I guess then maybe in the future I could increase the batches step by step.

 

I know, you are all fans from Alamy. Hey, me too! It just took a time to realize, how Alamy works and what I have to do. Now I want to start again and try my best.

Just for example: IF my following (small batches) submissions always getting approved, ... when I might get back to ranking 2 again. Of course I want to get ranking 3 later on. But now my first target will be ranking 2!

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The most important thing is to make sure every image is free of faults. This may mean slowing down and adding smaller batches. I don't think any of us can tell you how long it will take but each failure will set you back.

 

Paulette

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Yes, Paulette, you are right.

 

I just checked my approved images. There are indeed many smartphone images approved. (If I am not wrong: One time only smartphone images. - We all are not free from failure.) No wonder that I thought my new smartphone is accepted. Well, however. I think the best is: I will report them myself to Alamy and let Alamy decide, what to do with them. Should be deleted. No problem!

From now on I really do not want to make that kind for basic failures again.

 

Thx again to all for your help.

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1 hour ago, NYCat said:

 

I see what you mean. I hadn't thought of the S prefix. I wonder if clients are aware of that. It is a shame Alamy doesn't catch them. I hope people reading the forum don't start trying to sneak images through.

 

Paulette

 

There's a filter for phone images though: Social and it has an icon of a phone next to it. It's under All images in the upper left hand corner. Or on the front page next to the search box.

The S* word is nowhere to be seen except in the contributor name, which is given as Contributor: Wim Wiskerke / Stockimo / Alamy Stock Photo. (Fictional: I don't have S* images. - Yet.)

 

wim

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2 hours ago, spacecadet said:

So a buyer would have no clue.

 

I doubt most buyers have a clue about this anyway.. and even if they do know that an image with a code starting with an 'S' came from a mobile phone via Stockimo, do they even care? The image is either suitable for their needs or it isn't regardless of whether the image ID starts wih an 'S'.

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Why don't these people read the Alamy instruction and advice pages BEFORE starting to load images. (Note I wrote "advice" Mick).  I know I did and expect most of the long time regulars read then through too.

 

It should be made such that when someone wishes to become a contributor to Alamy they are presented with the above mentioned pages and have to read them and acknowledged they have read them before being allowed to load images.

 

Allan

 

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15 hours ago, Matt Ashmore said:

 

I doubt most buyers have a clue about this anyway.. and even if they do know that an image with a code starting with an 'S' came from a mobile phone via Stockimo, do they even care? The image is either suitable for their needs or it isn't regardless of whether the image ID starts wih an 'S'.

I think the thread is about QC. OP's images were submitted in error and slipped through.

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The fact that phone images slipped through QC suprises me. I thought the exif data were read to detect unsuitable cameras. Or is it only for the first submission? The reason given to more than one failure was 'unsuitable camera', so there must be a check somewhere.

 

Edited by gvallee
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55 minutes ago, Allan Bell said:

Why don't these people read the Alamy instruction and advice pages BEFORE starting to load images. (Note I wrote "advice" Mick).  I know I did and expect most of the long time regulars read then through too.

 

It should be made such that when someone wishes to become a contributor to Alamy they are presented with the above mentioned pages and have to read them and acknowledged they have read them before being allowed to load images.

 

Allan

 

 

Don't worry Allan. I am only doing grammar police work in people in glasshouses emergency situations at the moment - I am too busy for petty grammar crime.  Having said that, you should probably have used a question mark after your first sentence as it is a rhetorical question. Also I think you probably meant them rather than then in the second sentence. You could have used a hyphen between above and mentioned for clarity in the last sentence and it should be acknowledge rather than acknowledged😀😎😇

 

 

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, Allan Bell said:

Why don't these people read the Alamy instruction and advice pages BEFORE starting to load images. (Note I wrote "advice" Mick).  I know I did and expect most of the long time regulars read then through too.

 

It should be made such that when someone wishes to become a contributor to Alamy they are presented with the above mentioned pages and have to read them and acknowledged they have read them before being allowed to load images.

 

Allan

 

Yes😉

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1 hour ago, spacecadet said:

I think the thread is about QC. OP's images were submitted in error and slipped through.

 

No.. I was essentially agreeing with you that the OP shouldn't worry about deleting the images and musing that I don't really understand why Alamy care about making the distinction between mobile phone(Stockimo) images and 'normal' images via a very subtle naming convention for image IDs

 

1 hour ago, gvallee said:

The fact that phone images slipped through QC suprises me. I thought the exif data were read to detect unsuitable cameras. Or is it only for the first submission? The reason given to more than one failure was 'unsuitable camera', so there must be a check somewhere.

 

 

Yes, this is the bit that surprises me. I guess it's possible that a person doing the QC could manually pull up the exif data and decide to reject an image as a result. But if they have to manually do this and cannot tell just by looking at the image itself, what would be the point? I've always thought that the image should stand up under it's own merits and should an antique phone somehow manage to produce an image that is good enough, then so be it. On the other hand, I guess if you can tell the user that their camera is no good then it might reduce the chances of receiving a whole series of failures.

 

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1 hour ago, Allan Bell said:

Why don't these people read the Alamy instruction and advice pages BEFORE starting to load images. (Note I wrote "advice" Mick).  I know I did and expect most of the long time regulars read then through too.

 

It should be made such that when someone wishes to become a contributor to Alamy they are presented with the above mentioned pages and have to read them and acknowledged they have read them before being allowed to load images.

 

Allan

 

 

 

Because the blog gurus they follow tell them to upload to every stock agency with no discrimination of what fits where.

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2 hours ago, gvallee said:

The fact that phone images slipped through QC suprises me. I thought the exif data were read to detect unsuitable cameras. Or is it only for the first submission? The reason given to more than one failure was 'unsuitable camera', so there must be a check somewhere.

 

 

22 minutes ago, Matt Ashmore said:

 

Yes, this is the bit that surprises me. I guess it's possible that a person doing the QC could manually pull up the exif data and decide to reject an image as a result. But if they have to manually do this and cannot tell just by looking at the image itself, what would be the point? I've always thought that the image should stand up under it's own merits and should an antique phone somehow manage to produce an image that is good enough, then so be it. On the other hand, I guess if you can tell the user that their camera is no good then it might reduce the chances of receiving a whole series of failures.

 

 

 

It is not a requirement to upload EXIF data except for the first batch. It can mess up the date taken info if not though. Also Not all images have camera metadata (e.g. scans). I guess they would have to have a filter that would examine the metadata for each image in the same way as images below the minimum size are automatically flagged but clearly that doesn't exist. 

 

I think nowadays with the vastly improved quality of many smartphone images, the main purpose of having unsuitable camera criteria is to try to deter the casual "photographers" who just use smartphones from the more serious photographers who use "proper" cameras. However, the lines are blurring. The notion that just because someone uses a "proper" camera makes their images better than those of a smartphone user is dubious. I can see a time not far away when smartphone images will be permitted on Alamy. 

 

EDIT - a key point here is usage as well. A big proportion of Alamy images are now used online and the differences between images from smartphones and "proper" cameras may be negligible or undetectable. This is coming from someone who prefers to use a quality 45MP "proper" camera by the way. 

Edited by MDM
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10 minutes ago, MDM said:

I think nowadays with the vastly improved quality of many smartphone images, the main purpose of having unsuitable camera criteria is to try to deter the casual "photographers" who just use smartphones from the more serious photographers who use "proper" cameras. However, the lines are blurring. The notion that just because someone uses a "proper" camera makes their images better than those of a smartphone user is dubious. I can see a time not far away when smartphone images will be permitted on Alamy. 

 

If you want to put off casual photographers who are using their phones, then you don't develop an iPhone app which is aimed at casual photographers using their phones! 🙂

 

Just about every other agency that I submit to accepts smartphone images. They either have an app themselves (branded with the actual agency's name rather than for some reason rebranding their app) or they have a smartphone friendly contributor site. And I agree with you.. I suspect that sooner or later, Alamy might well change the policy because particularly new smartphones produce images that are so good that it's really difficult to tell that they weren't taken on a dedicated camera.

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28 minutes ago, MDM said:

 

 

 

I can see a time not far away when smartphone images will be permitted on Alamy. 

 

EDIT - a key point here is usage as well. A big proportion of Alamy images are now used online and the differences between images from smartphones and "proper" cameras may be negligible or undetectable. This is coming from someone who prefers to use a quality 45MP "proper" camera by the way. 

 

I don't see Alamy allowing smartphone images except through Stockimo as they take a larger cut on the Stockimo images (unless you were grandfathered in as a current user when Stockimo started).

Why give up that extra 30-40%?

 

Jill

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