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Quelle surprise but very sad nonetheless. Feels like a slap in the face with a wet fish, especially so as Alamy appeared to be one of the better agencies. Fortunately, for me anyway, Alamy is not my main source of income but it must be gutting if you have been slowly working through your portfolio making everything exclusive only to find out that it has been 100% counterproductive, mostly. I guess we shouldn't be surprised, it was on the cards ever since the acquisition by PA. PA has no history or bond with Alamy photographers. They purchased Alamy to make a profit and presumably the business model at Alamy hadn't been working out, which is why they sold out. Time for the vast majority of us to go non-exclusive and good luck to those few who make >$25k! ūüėě

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31 minutes ago, Thyrsis said:

An up to date excel file of all our keywords might be handy quite soon

 

Always do keywording offline on your own computer before uploading to agencies. Anything else is madness.

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I'm still new to all this stock photography so I am not sure about how much these changes will affect me. 
What I do know is that Alamy has 0 sales for me since jan 21, another site has got me 24 sales in 2 months and another 1 sale within a week of joining with an initial 18 images. 
Of course they are all selling for peanuts and Alamy has to compete with that but it seems as though the agencies seem to want to offload the 'little' guys and not bother with their small amounts of images. 

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Here's a crazy idea.  A properly keyworded image should be considered a more valuable asset than a poorly one. Since we do all the work, acknowledge it by paying us. Measure how well you keyword by your CTR. Retain the 50/50 split regardless of your sales volume if your CTR is higher than the average. Just spit balling here. 

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36 minutes ago, Tomtomtom said:

Thank you! But does that mean, when I cancel my contract - let’s say on the last day before the new contract starts - the next 45 days the selling runs under the old conditions or the new? 

it waves the requirement for 45 days, so your termination would be effective July 1.   

 

obviously problem arise since Alamy bases sales on date reported not date sold, that would be on you to challenge. 

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10 hours ago, LSP said:

Hi Alamy,

 

This may have been suggested earlier in the thread, I am in transit and don't have time to check.

 

Thanks for at least trying to be transparent about the changes.

 

Given that we (contributors) have no control over the price our photos are licensed for, and therefore no control over annual earnings - spectacular images can license for $3.00 or less - wouldn't it be fairer to gauge the platinum, gold, silver levels by NUMBER of sales per year for each contributor, rather than $$ gross earned?

 

This would be in Alamy's interests as it would at least provide contributors with an incentive to produce saleable images.

 

There is no way I can hit $25,000 gross per year if Alamy persists in licensing my images for a pittance.

 

Regards,

Suzanne

 

 

 

 

Good idea but that's assuming Alamy actually want to pay the higher commission. I suspect it's either set so unattainably high as a token gesture just to show they are not completely removing the current commission or just to appease their 'important' top contributors and the hell the rest of us.

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2 hours ago, Foreign Export said:

 

well said and once again you are clearly the type of photographer that Alamy/PA should be introducing strategies to motivate you further r- rather than quite the opposite

 

Thank you Martin. It's refreshing to find so many supportive people in these forums.

 

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2 hours ago, Gordon Scammell said:

Had an email from Alamy yesterday asking if I would be willing to lift restrictions on an image a customer wanted to buy.  The image is marked as 'No model release' 'No property release'

 

I replied that I would consider it providing I was told what the licence price was.  I am certainly not going to put myself up for legal action for pennies - despite meaningless platitudes from Alamy saying the third party will do this and that regarding rights.  I was then told Alamy cannot divulge finances etc - which i understand.

 

I replied in view of the new contract changes I was not willing to go out of my way to help Alamy make a sale.  Of course I lose out.  But I only lose 40%.  Gave me a little frisson of pleasure to know that Alamy loses 60%.

 

Petty I know - but I'll take my contentment wherever I can.

 

I would suspect that anyone wanting a waiver of model and property releases would be a cheap advertising firm.  Getting signed model and property releases is non-trivial.  Hiring a photographer to do advertising photos with model releases is even more expensive.   I did a release on a selfie and it sold for a little over $1.  Talking people into signing releases (I have a few) requires explaining things and generally either paying the models or establishing trust, making prints for them, etc.   I'd expect that Alamy would get more for released photos than photos for editorial only, but apparently that's not the case, so no point in shooting released photos unless the payments cover time and hassle of getting the releases or hiring and paying models. 

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1 hour ago, geogphotos said:

 

 

I think you would be better off to accept the 40% and find other places to sell your images non-exclusively. 

 

I have a large batch being edited elsewhere right now. When I sent them in I requested that they edit hard and only take the very best so that the majority of images could be exclusive on Alamy.

 

I sent an urgent update yesterday saying please take as many as you can as it is 40% on Alamy whatever! 

 

 

That's my thought. I've spent nearly 20 years submitting solely for Alamy. I'm not going to remove my images overnight (and I'm sure Alamy are banking on most people not doing this too) but they will lose out. I'm staying exclusive right up to the 1st July to get the most I can from them then I'll go non-exclusive and sell wherever I can. I've also been keywording directly on Alamy so its time to download and start doing that locally. I'll also stay while I'm on Gold, if I'm downgraded to Silver though I'm gone - but by then I'll won't be reliant on Alamy anyay.

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1 hour ago, Thyrsis said:

I‚Äôve just gone into Image Manager and selected ‚Äėdownload your data‚Äô. An up to date excel file of all our keywords might be handy quite soon if we decide to place images elsewhere! We only have about 2000 images but folk with large portfolios will have a job on their hands.....

Me too - before they realise their mistake and remove it

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9 minutes ago, Flash68 said:

Me too - before they realise their mistake and remove it

Don't give them ideas!

 

John.

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The "putting your eggs all in one basket" theory has its' downfalls, and now we are seeing it.  Although self-employed, those making their income from Alamy are in theory "working for Alamy" with none of the benefits of employment except a pay cut of 20%.

 

I have a friend who made a product for fishermen and sold to small stores across Canada and on his website.  He went to one of those events Walmart holds for new suppliers to see if he could sell to them.  They liked the product.  In his contract, there were revisions to the product plus package design that he had to make plus of course a cut in price to Walmart where he only made a small profit but of course would sell thousands to all the Walmart stores in Canada.  They assured him this product would be a great seller and looked forward to doing business with him.

 

Part of his contract was exclusivity to Walmart so he had to stop selling to the smaller stores and close his website. Also in his contract was the clause the Walmart had the right to return any unsold product at their discretion.  He worried about this part, but they continued to tell him how great his product was and it was a perfect fit for Walmart.  You can guess the rest.

 

He now has 10,000 of this product in his garage.  My brother-in-law, who sold him the webbing for the product, never got paid.  To resell this product he would have to repackage as Walmart is mentioned on the packaging.

 

When we only supply to one company, we are at their mercy.

 

Jill

 

 

 

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Posted (edited)

Deja Vu all over again?¬†ūüėĀ

 

 

"We recently sent an email regarding a change in the commission structure at Alamy where the commission contributors receive for direct sales will change from 50% to 40% in February 2019.

After careful review, and taking into consideration photographer feedback, we have come to the decision that images exclusive to Alamy will remain at 50%.

Our CEO James West has explained the exclusivity commission in further detail in a video which you can view, and leave comments on below."

Edited by geogphotos
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1 hour ago, Thyrsis said:

I‚Äôve just gone into Image Manager and selected ‚Äėdownload your data‚Äô. An up to date excel file of all our keywords might be handy quite soon if we decide to place images elsewhere! We only have about 2000 images but folk with large portfolios will have a job on their hands.....

 

I dowenloaded mine today, mainly as a banker; been meaning to do it for a while to do a batch update of older image keywoprds etc. Unfortunately no longer necessary. Fortunaterly I have always added metadata at the upload/selection time so it is associated with the opriginal raw file, most of the time anyway. That way ther metadata stays with all versions of the image I create, for libraries, web or the occasional client. It means that it is a one-off job, (apart from opccasional tweaks) that I can even do on my laptop when travelling or at an event, when I had a news distributor, and it is still fresh in my mind.

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Just tried to 'download your data' in Image manager but getting this message. Any ideas what I might be doing wrong or have Alamy stopped this facility?

 

System.NullReferenceException: Object reference not set to an instance of an object. at ASP.myupload_metadatadownloadhandler_aspx.Page_Load(Object sender, EventArgs e)

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1 minute ago, Alan Beastall said:

Just tried to 'download your data' in Image manager but getting this message. Any ideas what I might be doing wrong or have Alamy stopped this facility?

 

System.NullReferenceException: Object reference not set to an instance of an object. at ASP.myupload_metadatadownloadhandler_aspx.Page_Load(Object sender, EventArgs e)

Just worked successfully for me Alan.

Perhaps the system can't cope with the number of requests coming in.

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1 hour ago, wilkopix said:

That's a very good point.

Luckily a large proportion of mine are keyworded before submission but still well worth downloading the file.

This is no problem if you use Alamy Lightroom Bridge, which I keep blaming on about but few people seem to use. It will download all captions and keywords automatically once you’ve matched the images in Lightroom to those on Alamy.

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13 hours ago, Betty LaRue said:

You are right, I expect. When my husband began working for an utility company during his 20s, the management was run by engineers who had been there a long time. They cared about the employees.  One older man who’d been there for years digging up lines to repair, occasionally went on a bender. He’d miss a day of work throwing up his guts, then be back on the job working hard. The bosses closed a blind eye rather than fire a man who’d been working hard there for 35 years and mess up his pension. That type of kindness was widespread.

As time went on and the engineers retired, they were replaced with men who had Masters of business degrees. All they cared about was the bottom line and they didn’t care what bodies they ran over to make the most money. The whole feel of the company changed.

It was reflected by the employees having less and less loyalty, and many retiring early just to get out.

I guess I hoped Alamy still had a heart.

Betty your loyalty post chimes with me big time! I've always felt that I had a small personal connection with Alamy because they are physically based just a couple of miles down the road from my origins. I was even slightly proud of that. I knew several of the early managers. Now I just feel betrayed. And I live 130 miles away so I can't go round and blow it up!

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2 hours ago, geogphotos said:

 

 

What we are looking at is an almost effortless way of quickly boosting profits in the short term.

 

My guess would be that Alamy is a stepping stone for our CEO and this rapid 'transformation' of the company is an attractive and easy step upwards. 

Yup, change a few words on the contract...instant more profit! How (not) cool is that.

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27 minutes ago, Alan Beastall said:

Just tried to 'download your data' in Image manager but getting this message. Any ideas what I might be doing wrong or have Alamy stopped this facility?

 

System.NullReferenceException: Object reference not set to an instance of an object. at ASP.myupload_metadatadownloadhandler_aspx.Page_Load(Object sender, EventArgs e)

 

Yes, it has worked for me as well, maybe try again in an hour if the server is too busy

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Anyone selling on Photoshelter? How's it going?  Asking because I have a family archive project that needs a home, so could maybe kill two birds with one stone.

 

Also, I'll reiterate that while the commission structure is a very aggravating change, I'm more concerned about the shifting of responsibilities/liabilities/potential costs onto contributors.

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56 minutes ago, Christian Wilton said:

Welcome to the machine.

For me, these contract changes are giant red flags that demonstrate a change of ethics in the company.  I initially liked Alamy because I felt the commission split was reasonably fair, and the staff at Alamy had always been responsive and supportive.  I hadn't posted on the forums until now, but I have read them when I had questions and they have been incredibly helpful - another great resource leading to an overall positive contributor experience.

 

A few things in the new contract bother me, and I won't agree to it. I want to say thank you to the people here for helping me even when you didn't realize it, and to the staff at Alamy who assisted me in the past. Best of luck to all of you, you deserve better.

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3 hours ago, spacecadet said:

Well, yes, but you know what? I'm not sure I give a monkey's anymore. Alamy can police its own forum. Guess what we get for doing it for free?

EXACTLY!

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