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Hello fellow photographers. Happy May to all!

I don't have the largest or strongest portfolio, but I had 7 sales last year, particularly active period of September to November. However, everything dried up suddenly and no sales since November.

I am based on west coast of United States.

 

Is this typical for anyone in the States? Anyone having good success this year? What kind of content has been doing well for you?

I guess I don't attend rallies or catch social issues in time to provide those kinds of photographs.

 

Thanks, and good luck to all, stay healthy and happy.

 

Alex

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Bursts of sales followed by periods of inactivity are pretty normal. It's not a USA thing, it's just the way the stock photo industry goes.

 

And don't confuse what people on these boards shoot with what Alamy is selling. There may be a bunch of photojournalists contributing here, but they don't represent the whole of what Alamy does. There is room for every conceivable specialty. (You have a specialty, right?)

 

The most important thing you can learn from this board is to do the best job of keywording and captioning you can. Somebody is searching for what you've got, will you be the one who's images they find?

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Posted (edited)

I can't answer your question. However, looking at your images made me nostalgic. Back in the 80's, when things were much less expensive, I used to make annual pilgrimages to California through Oregon down the winding coastal highway, usually in September when most of the Winnebagos had gone home. It's a beautiful state but pricey (especially for Canadians) and crowded now. All I can say is that it's really difficult these days. You have to find "stock" subjects that are both scarce and in demand. I'm just hanging on by a thread. Best of luck.

Edited by John Mitchell
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2 minutes ago, John Mitchell said:

I can't answer your question. However, looking at your images made me nostalgic. Back in the 80's, when things were much less expensive, I used to make annual pilgrimages to California through Oregon down the winding coastal highway, usually in September when most of the Winnebagos had gone home. It's a beautiful state but pricey (especially for Canadians) and crowded now. All I can say is that it's really difficult these days. You have to find "stock" subjects that are both scarce and in demand. I'm just hanging on by a thread. Best of luck.

 

6 minutes ago, Brian Yarvin said:

Bursts of sales followed by periods of inactivity are pretty normal. It's not a USA thing, it's just the way the stock photo industry goes.

 

And don't confuse what people on these boards shoot with what Alamy is selling. There may be a bunch of photojournalists contributing here, but they don't represent the whole of what Alamy does. There is room for every conceivable specialty. (You have a specialty, right?)

 

The most important thing you can learn from this board is to do the best job of keywording and captioning you can. Somebody is searching for what you've got, will you be the one who's images they find?

 

Alright, I guess I will stick with it. I don't think my subjects are bad, perhaps not great. I've tagged them thoroughly, though maybe I am missing some conceptual or abstract tags. I will need to revisit some of the images.

 

Yes, sadly California is very over-populated. That's what happens to a popular place, then slowly it loses its appeal. Look at the flocks of people at Iceland these days. It is becoming a not-so-tranquil place to visit.

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1 minute ago, John Morrison said:

Also... I'd say that 600+ pix is nowhere near enough to establish any meaningful trend, re sales...

 

Well you've gone and broken my fragile heart. =(

I know, I have a ton of photos. Probably need to upload more than a handful a week. I figured everything is so over-saturated these days, the stock photo markets. Why add to it more?

But then all of my stuff is swamped.

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4 minutes ago, AlexG said:

I figured everything is so over-saturated these days, the stock photo markets. Why add to it more?

 

Why indeed? But you have to decide whether you're in the game... or just spectating.

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4 minutes ago, John Morrison said:

 

Why indeed? But you have to decide whether you're in the game... or just spectating.

 

Maybe I was hoping I would be the next Robert Frank, and the few images would blow everyone else's out of the water.
Wishful thinking...

 

You're right. By the way, I see that you have several similar images within a series. Do you find that it helps? I've been told not to have too many alike, maybe just 2-3 similar.

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1 hour ago, AlexG said:

 

 

Alright, I guess I will stick with it. I don't think my subjects are bad, perhaps not great. I've tagged them thoroughly, though maybe I am missing some conceptual or abstract tags. I will need to revisit some of the images.

 

Yes, sadly California is very over-populated. That's what happens to a popular place, then slowly it loses its appeal. Look at the flocks of people at Iceland these days. It is becoming a not-so-tranquil place to visit.

 

True, I probably wouldn't recognize parts of California. The population has doubled since my visits. The state has more people than all of Canada now.

 

Oh well, lots of fond memories...

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44 minutes ago, AlexG said:

 

Maybe I was hoping I would be the next Robert Frank, and the few images would blow everyone else's out of the water.
Wishful thinking...

 

You're right. By the way, I see that you have several similar images within a series. Do you find that it helps? I've been told not to have too many alike, maybe just 2-3 similar.

 

No place is the next <Floyd County/ Costa Rica>.   Nobody is the next <Robert Frank/ Diane Arbus/ Julia Cameron/ Gordon Parks>.   On similars -- the best advice is no more than one vertical, one horizonal in any given season.   Pick the best photo or photos.

 

According to Wikipedia, Robert Frank took 28,000 shots during his American travels in the 1950s. 83 of these were selected by him for publication in The Americans. 

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1 hour ago, AlexG said:

 

Maybe I was hoping I would be the next Robert Frank, and the few images would blow everyone else's out of the water.
Wishful thinking...

 

It may or may not be wishful thinking. Stock photography has absolutely nothing to do with being recognized as a great photographer. Indeed, if Robert Frank was uploading his images to Alamy (I have no idea if he did or not), his fame and reputation would be of zero value here. 

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1 hour ago, AlexG said:

 

Well you've gone and broken my fragile heart. =(

I know, I have a ton of photos. Probably need to upload more than a handful a week. I figured everything is so over-saturated these days, the stock photo markets. Why add to it more?

But then all of my stuff is swamped.

Hi Alex,

I think sales and CTR are very up and down with a small portfolio.

 

I've been slowly increasing my portfolio to ~3200 images and I've seen steadily increasing sales each of the past 5 years.

 

 

1 hour ago, AlexG said:

 

Maybe I was hoping I would be the next Robert Frank, and the few images would blow everyone else's out of the water.
Wishful thinking...

 

You need to read a lot of photography magazines and books and watch suitable YouTube videos and keep shooting all the time, with a view to trying to constantly trying to improve your photography. Almost all photographers would need to put in a awful lot of hard work to become successful like Robert Frank et al.

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17 minutes ago, Brian Yarvin said:

 

It may or may not be wishful thinking. Stock photography has absolutely nothing to do with being recognized as a great photographer. Indeed, if Robert Frank was uploading his images to Alamy (I have no idea if he did or not), his fame and reputation would be of zero value here. 

 

Yea I realize that. It was a bit of sarcasm. No way on earth I have any notions to be close to the level of any famed photographers.

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18 minutes ago, Brian Yarvin said:

 

It may or may not be wishful thinking. Stock photography has absolutely nothing to do with being recognized as a great photographer. Indeed, if Robert Frank was uploading his images to Alamy (I have no idea if he did or not), his fame and reputation would be of zero value here. 

 

Agreed. Confining yourself to stock is not the marketplace for becoming a famous photographer.

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Posted (edited)
3 minutes ago, Steve F said:

You need to read a lot of photography magazines and books and watch suitable YouTube videos and keep shooting all the time, with a view to trying to constantly trying to improve your photography. Almost all photographers would need to put in a awful lot of hard work to become successful like Robert Frank et al.

 

Just a bit of sarcasm to lift my mood. 😃

Edited by AlexG
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2 hours ago, AlexG said:

Hello fellow photographers. Happy May to all!

I don't have the largest or strongest portfolio, but I had 7 sales last year, particularly active period of September to November. However, everything dried up suddenly and no sales since November.

I am based on west coast of United States.

 

Is this typical for anyone in the States? Anyone having good success this year? What kind of content has been doing well for you?

I guess I don't attend rallies or catch social issues in time to provide those kinds of photographs.

 

Thanks, and good luck to all, stay healthy and happy.

 

Alex

 

Living on a island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean I sometimes feel like a red headed step-child in regards to UK centered Alamy. That being said I have been continually amazed at what subject matter sells and have had the good fortune of consistent sales throughout out the years. (But sometimes at ridiculous low prices)

 

The days of spending money to produce stock shoots is long gone as there no return for the outlay. Stock for me is documenting my life, interest, travels and exploiting any access I have to subjects and locations. Hobbies, friends, family and events are all fodder for the camera. It's important to photograph what interests/excites you as it's very hard to make good images of subjects that you have no interest in.

 

Fortunately for me I'm very interested in people and culture as images with people have been consistent sellers for me.

 

I recommend you do the hard work of writing descriptive descriptions/captions that then become the start of the appropriate tags/keywords in the metadata of each image, Ideally on the RAW image file. This one and done approach ensures that the effort of creating the metadata stays with the image not on some remote database.

 

Hope this helps,

 

David L. Moore

 

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Listen to Brian. He's been providing wisdom since AOL photo forum days.

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27 minutes ago, TABan said:

Listen to Brian. He's been providing wisdom since AOL photo forum days.

 

Maybe you should take a look at my work first, and maybe my keywording too.

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7 hours ago, dlmphotog said:

I recommend you do the hard work of writing descriptive descriptions/captions that then become the start of the appropriate tags/keywords in the metadata of each image, Ideally on the RAW image file. This one and done approach ensures that the effort of creating the metadata stays with the image not on some remote database.

 

 

That's a great tip. I underutilize the description and tag tool in my editing software. I very much see the appeal of shooting what I like (for me it's nature and some urban abstracts). Any sales that come with that are an added bonus.

Like suggested above, I just need to add more to my Alamy portfolio.

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9 hours ago, Brian Yarvin said:

Those famous photographers had to start somewhere, but stock isn't where they'd get that recognition.

 

 

Reading Robert Capa's and Robert Frank's Wikipedia entries was illuminating.

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I can't say that American sales have dried up but the publications I regularly check are using fewer and fewer Alamy photos.  I am seeing more and more cheap alternatives being used.  Its hard to compete with free or near free.

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I'm also am too persuaded by the argument that everything has been covered to the point of saturation which discourages new shooting and uploading. So of course sales are diminishing. But I am almost entirely a professional photographer and find it hard to take photos just to please a few friends. So where to find the "go" button to get back in the game? The few times I have spent effort and shot something "which just might be useful" I soon look back on the uploaded images and am far from happy about them. I do find I have a few Alamywhacks and that generates a combination of pride and smugness. That's not such a good thing either!

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14 minutes ago, Robert M Estall said:

 I soon look back on the uploaded images and am far from happy about them.

 

Robert, I'm exactly the same with my own images. It kind of incentivises me to go out and re-shoot better images. It's just annoying when it's somewhere you've been on holiday and won't be going back to!

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18 hours ago, Brian Yarvin said:

Bursts of sales followed by periods of inactivity are pretty normal. It's not a USA thing, it's just the way the stock photo industry goes.

 

And don't confuse what people on these boards shoot with what Alamy is selling. There may be a bunch of photojournalists contributing here, but they don't represent the whole of what Alamy does. There is room for every conceivable specialty. (You have a specialty, right?)

 

The most important thing you can learn from this board is to do the best job of keywording and captioning you can. Somebody is searching for what you've got, will you be the one who's images they find?

+1

 

Kumar

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