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With the substantial downturn I've been seeing in net income of late, I find that I am more reluctant to put myself out to take photos. So, for example, I am uploading fewer shots of people. Once I would happily shoot street images, and when appropriate, would ask permission to take some photos - and that was rarely refused.  Now I find it difficult to motivate myself to go the extra mile, I guess that this first started to set in when a tribe of us were ejected from Live News, but it's become more of a problem now that we are regularly seeing photos sell for very little. 

 

Further to this, while the main reason why I stopped reporting Alamy images seen in the papers was the 50 to 40% cut, I had been thinking for a while that the effort involved was disproportionate to the value of the sales that I found.

 

I just wonder how sustainable this industry is, will there be enthusiastic new blood entering and prepared to work for less, or will this business model slowly wither away?

 

 

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22 minutes ago, Bryan said:

 

 

I just wonder how sustainable this industry is, will there be enthusiastic new blood entering and prepared to work for less, or will this business model slowly wither away?

 

 

 

 

Alamy sent out some sort of survey recently to discover more about the 'demographics' of their contributors. I didn't complete it but it would seem fairly obvious that we are an ageing group.

 

My hunch is that the answer to your question is a resounding 'No'. 

 

When I started with Alamy they had under 1 million images and my first sales were for $$$. When I had 1000 images on sale it looked as though if I could get to 10,000 I'd be making a damn good living. Now I have 70,000 images and can't see much financial point in adding more. 

 

You don't have to be a Maths genius to figure out that with Alamy revenue of £20 million divided by 280,000,000 images it is an almost impossible struggle.

 

 

Edited by geogphotos
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Right on cue:

 

 

18/11/2021   FFJGKA 16IDM0134 geogphotos RM 0.18 -0.11 0.07

 

 

So is this somebody using an image for a student homework? I could happily accept that.

 

No it isn't!

 

Country: United Kingdom
Usage: Editorial, Use in syndicated editorial news features, single context only. Includes archive rights in-perpetuity.
Media: Newspaper - national
Print run: Unlimited
Insert: more than 25
Placement: National
Image Size: up to full area
Start: 18 November 2021
Duration: In perpetuity

 

For syndication, news features ( plural),archive rights, perpetuity, national newspaper, unlimited print run, more than 25 inserts , up to full area..

 

Somebody is having a laugh. Not me.

Edited by geogphotos
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41 minutes ago, Bryan said:

With the substantial downturn I've been seeing in net income of late, I find that I am more reluctant to put myself out to take photos. So, for example, I am uploading fewer shots of people. Once I would happily shoot street images, and when appropriate, would ask permission to take some photos - and that was rarely refused.  Now I find it difficult to motivate myself to go the extra mile, I guess that this first started to set in when a tribe of us were ejected from Live News, but it's become more of a problem now that we are regularly seeing photos sell for very little. 

 

Further to this, while the main reason why I stopped reporting Alamy images seen in the papers was the 50 to 40% cut, I had been thinking for a while that the effort involved was disproportionate to the value of the sales that I found.

 

I just wonder how sustainable this industry is, will there be enthusiastic new blood entering and prepared to work for less, or will this business model slowly wither away?

 

 

100% agree

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21 minutes ago, geogphotos said:

 

 

Alamy sent out some sort of survey recently to discover more about the 'demographics' of their contributors. I didn't complete it but it would seem fairly obvious that we are an ageing group.

 

My hunch is that the answer to your question is a resounding 'No'. 

 

When I started with Alamy they had under 1 million images and my first sales were for $$$. When I had 1000 images on sale it looked as though if I could get to 10,000 I'd be making a damn good living. Now I have 70,000 images and can't see much financial point in adding more. 

 

You don't have to be a Maths genius to figure out that with Alamy revenue of £20 million divided by 280,000,000 images it is an almost impossible struggle.

 

 

Unfortunately, the same experience

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The model that PA / Alamy came up with this year is not viable for individuals. An individual here can only be a fan of photography, who is not primarily interested in money. Here he becomes a member of a Sunday photo club, where he can talk about photos, pat each other on the back, and later return to reality. I never wanted that. Unfortunately, in the words of a Czech classic, I have to say "I will harvest this year, but I will not sow next year"

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Bryan's thoughts and experience perfectly mirror my own. On both still and video elsewhere, the number and value of sales has crashed and I can't help but think, 'Why bother?' 

 

I will contribute more at some point, but the times of planning and organising specific  shooting days are probably over.

 

ETA. I should have said 'planning, organising and PAYING FOR specific shooting days are probably over'. The agencies sometimes behave as though the  photos they present to customers appear FOC off the Magic Photograph Tree (a close relative of the Magic Money Tree).  

Edited by Joseph Clemson
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1 hour ago, geogphotos said:

Right on cue:

 

 

18/11/2021   FFJGKA 16IDM0134 geogphotos RM 0.18 -0.11 0.07

 

 

So is this somebody using an image for a student homework? I could happily accept that.

 

No it isn't!

 

Country: United Kingdom
Usage: Editorial, Use in syndicated editorial news features, single context only. Includes archive rights in-perpetuity.
Media: Newspaper - national
Print run: Unlimited
Insert: more than 25
Placement: National
Image Size: up to full area
Start: 18 November 2021
Duration: In perpetuity

 

For syndication, news features ( plural),archive rights, perpetuity, national newspaper, unlimited print run, more than 25 inserts , up to full area..

 

Somebody is having a laugh. Not me.

Just had the same sale! lowest ever!!

 

John.

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I have been photographing anything and everything for many years now.  I still do so and thoroughly enjoy it.  In the editing process I choose the best and they get sent to a library that curates tightly - a process I am always happy with.  From those that are accepted I choose a few, get them framed and they get displayed and sold via a local restaurant.   The remainder gets submitted her.  They bring in paltry sums with the occasional $$$.  I lost my enthusiasm for Alamy many years ago.          

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2 minutes ago, Stokie said:

Just had the same sale! lowest ever!!

 

John.

 

 

I've already seen this Independent article ( I linked to it on the other thread) on two other websites - presumably the article has been syndicated. ie) The independent are selling the article with images embedded to other publications and making money from it.

 

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24 minutes ago, meanderingemu said:

 

 

i love this.  perfectly captures my feeling

It is a catchphrase from an old Czech film
It literally sounds
Come on, I'd still harvest, I'd sell the cow for the winter, and I won't sow in the spring

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I would think that the majority of contributors cross subsidise their stock photography with other income - so there is an immediate financial hurdle facing many younger people, and anyone without some sort of financial cushion.

 

It is hard to see how stock can be sustainable given the low fees and huge over-supply of images. What incentive is there for newbies?

Edited by geogphotos
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11 hours ago, geogphotos said:

You don't have to be a Maths genius to figure out that with Alamy revenue of £20 million divided by 280,000,000 images it is an almost impossible struggle.

Quite a contrast with numbers elsewhere

Revenue ~$600M from ~400,000,000 images.

But they only share about 10% (on average) of revenue with contributors

 

Mark

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I definitely fall into the "ageing bunch" demographic, and I find myself incapable of and disinterested in taking the types of pictures that Alamy and other agencies now seem to be looking for. Perhaps the future of stock photography now lies in the hands of younger people who can relate to ideas like "gender-fluid parenting" and "unfiltered." More power to them. However, I'm too old-fashioned to relate to this stuff. Fortunately, I have pension income and another part-time gig not related to photography. I'll continue to do photography because I enjoy it, but "stock" is quickly losing its shine. Re the business model withering away, the microstock phenomenon has already taken care of that IMO. Oh well. C'est la vie. 🙄

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As a newbie I seriously didn't know how hard it was going to be with Stock photography until I got some really good advice from quite a few people on this forum and how many photos needed I agree with so many and share the similar views Didn't know how long it was going to take to get sales and how low the amount of money you got after everything is taken off 

It's nearly put me off completely Disheartened like many  

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When I was a working photographer doing photo assignments, it called for talent, technique, and hard physical work. Older now and considering myself retired, I need something to focus my day on. Since retiring, I shoot only common-access editorial subjects, so no model releases or property releases are needed. I walk a lot but climb no mountains nor lug no lights or heavy kit around. 

 

I believe that most of our complaints are really about the digital stock industry, not just Alamy. Would I like to earn more money and have a more interesting choice of subjects? Of course! Reality bites. 

 

Edited by Ed Rooney
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38 minutes ago, Ed Rooney said:

 

When I was a working photographer doing photo assignments, it called for talent, technique, and hard physical work. Older now and considering myself retired, I need something to focus my day on. Since retiring, I shoot only common-access editorial subjects, so no model releases or property releases are needed. I walk a lot but climb no mountains nor lug no lights or heavy kit around. 

 

I believe that most of our complaints are really about the digital stock industry, not just Alamy. Would I like to earn more money and have a more interesting chice of subjects? Of course! Reality bites. 

 

 

 

Much the same for me Edo. Stock very much fits in with my lifestyle and interests. It is the perfect job for me in many respects. But if Alamy wants to encourage more participation, and continue to keep the rest of us keen, I think it needs to do some serious thinking about doing more to actually nurture its contributors. As I recall it started off in the early days very much striving to be the photographer's friend. Then James West started attending conferences about crowd-funding along with all the micro stock companies.....

 

This recent 18 cents 'deal' is nonsense. Offering over 500 high res images in perpetuity, available for syndication, use at any size etc etc for $100 undermines even the micro stock companies. It is plain insulting to the contributors to be sending them a commission statement for 7 cents. 

 

If Alamy's clients are asking about more diversity, more females, more youngsters, more photographers from different ethnic backgrounds, then somebody from Alamy at those meetings needs to sit up and raise the point that if they truly want all that then they are going to have to pay a fair amount. Photographers just like anybody else have to be properly financially rewarded.

 

My hope is that things go full circle and photographers start looking for, and even demanding, fair treatment and decent contracts. There are alternatives out there where individuals are seen as more than just being part of a meaningless crowd. Of course, the ideal solution would be if Alamy started thinking along these lines but I sense that we aren't anywhere near that at the moment.

Edited by geogphotos
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Here's today's wake-up de-motivator.

 

Maybe I'll just sit by the fire and sip ale.....

 

20/11/2021   DBB32M 13IDM2246 geogphotos RM 0.26 -0.16 0.10
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Just a few months ago, I did advise newcomers to work hard. I believed that hard work would lead them to success. I don't think so today. All my hard work and time are at the moment wasting like steam over a pot

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2 minutes ago, Radim said:

Just a few months ago, I did advise newcomers to work hard. I believed that hard work would lead them to success. I don't think so today. All my hard work and time are at the moment wasting like steam over a pot

 

 

It does seem that Alamy are overlooking some very obvious reasons why they are not getting the diversity of contributors that they would like.

 

First off, look after the contributors that you already have! 

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1 hour ago, geogphotos said:

 

 

It does seem that Alamy are overlooking some very obvious reasons why they are not getting the diversity of contributors that they would like.

 

First off, look after the contributors that you already have! 

I fully agree with your advice
First off, look after the contributors that you already have! 
 
Unfortunately, I think we are thrown overboard because the current model does not really take individuals into account. It targets quantity, big players, news agencies, etc., where everyone is connected to everyone. The individual photo no longer plays a role, everything will be in packages, baskets and I don't know what else.

 

AP / Alamy calls for diversity, but the reality is the opposite and it loses its uniqueness. Alamy is globalizing where the individual plays no role. There are always new contributors who will try, but over time they will find that the time invested does not pay off. I no longer believe that an individual can achieve something here. Of course, there will be exceptions that will be adored. But as a species, we are doomed.

Ç'est la vie

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25 minutes ago, Radim said:

 

 

AP / Alamy calls for diversity, but the reality is the opposite and it loses its uniqueness. Alamy is globalizing where the individual plays no role. There are always new contributors who will try, but over time they will find that the time invested does not pay off. I no longer believe that an individual can achieve something here. Of course, there will be exceptions that will be adored. But as a species, we are doomed.

Ç'est la vie

 

 

and they have clearly acknowledged this.  Their whole argument for the drop in commission and these $0.18 licencing is "we want to be in line with the microstocks" . This says that they find no way to differentiate themselves other than that, and this may be the market, but it is a clear statement.  Some brands sell differentiation, Porsche doesn't try to compete with Lada on price,  it seems we have giving up trying.

Edited by meanderingemu
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19 minutes ago, Radim said:

I fully agree with your advice
First off, look after the contributors that you already have! 
 
Unfortunately, I think we are thrown overboard because the current model does not really take individuals into account. It targets quantity, big players, news agencies, etc., where everyone is connected to everyone. The individual photo no longer plays a role, everything will be in packages, baskets and I don't know what else.

 

AP / Alamy calls for diversity, but the reality is the opposite and it loses its uniqueness. Alamy is globalizing where the individual plays no role. There are always new contributors who will try, but over time they will find that the time invested does not pay off. I no longer believe that an individual can achieve something here. Of course, there will be exceptions that will be adored. But as a species, we are doomed.

Ç'est la vie


I couldn’t agree more.

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The Twitter account Alamy Content Team calls

 

The place for inspiration, tips & trends. Join our contributor hub and give your passion a platform. Why? Because all photographers deserve to be seen.

 

Don't let the dark #evenings deter you from creating content. Grab a coat. Shoot your shots. 

 

Experiment with perspective and find fresh new angles

 

If you're a plant or wildlife photographer, you should include Latin names in your tags. Publishers love this.

 

And so on in a similar spirit, but there should also be an afterword
We are willing to pay you $ 0.18

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