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I started submitting to microstock sites at the start this year and have daily sales with many agencies. However with Alamy I have had only 3. Unusual thing is all 3 were in July over 2 weeks and these were my biggest earners selling for 175$, 22$ and 10$. But apart from these nothing. Any suggestions?

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Let me be the first to say - load more images!!

 

John.

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Let me be the first to say - load more images!!

 

John.

 

+1 Most on here will agree with Stokie.

 

Allan

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Hello Andy,

 

I am/was exactly in the same situation so i have some experience on that. First of all i learned that Alamy and Microstock are reaching two different markets. I am 3 months on Alamy now and in the last period i start to see growth in my portfolio traffic. I started in the first two months to have doubts because no sale wanted to come in. On the same time i saw many photographers having great succes on Alamy so i kept on going and kept uploading. I reached 5000 images here and in the last two weeks my first three sales came in. Zooms and views are increasing and i am expecting this month also sales. To get the same revenue in Microstock i would need there approx 120 downloads. This is my story.

 

It is very difficult to compare this two worlds. Keep in mind also that more images are needed to make regular revenue from Alamy. Also patience is a good thing to have before the first sales come in. It is not like on microstock that sales are coming in real time. The 3 sales i had reported now where all realy made in August.

 

Again...there is no specific rule wich way to go.... like me you can test both see wha fits you depending on your time and what kind of images you shoot.

 

I did microstock for 4 years and started 3 months ago with "traditional" stock. I was sending images to 9 different microstock agencies. Now i send to Alamy/AGE and feel that it is matching my needs more and that i can make more out of it. I have more time for photography and myself and revenues are growing here. My goals is to pass the monthly amount i receive on microstock and then concentrate on only one world since i dont want to compete against myself.

 

Mirco

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Just a few things I noticed - be careful with keywording and captioning. Your "spiney" puffballs are actually "spiny", so you may be losing out in searches. Also on things like your dragonflies - what type is it? latin name? The kids arms are "injured" - maybe saying "grazed" would be more accurate.

 

As others have said, keywords are a huge part of this little game. I took some, what I thought were saleable shots, of people punting in Cambridge a fortnight ago and they missed out on a search on "Cambridge punting" because I had the word order as "punting Cambridge".

 

Cheers

 

Dave

Edited by CandyAppleRed Images

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D402KM.jpg

D402KM is a Palladian Bridge (Palladium is a chemical element). In common with quite a few others, it requires a property release for commercial use so should not be RF.
 

Edited by Sprocket

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Would I be right in thinking that the Microstock sites did the keywording/ captioning for you? That could certainly be a problem.

Having said that, I think 3 sales from fewer than 300 images isn't at all bad. 

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Would I be right in thinking that the Microstock sites did the keywording/ captioning for you? That could certainly be a problem.

Having said that, I think 3 sales from fewer than 300 images isn't at all bad. 

 

Hi Phil,

 

Just to answer your question. Also in Microstock you have to add the keywords yourself. 3 sales from that small amount of images is in my oppinion also good.

 

Mirco

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I'd be over the moon if I had 3 sales from 300 images in less than a year!!

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Yes indeed.... very good images.

 

Poor sales is wrong title. It should be "poor" portfolio in terms of quantity. 3000 of this great images and you will consider your topic :).

 

Mirco

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As others already said, you could improve your captions and keywords.

 

Absolutely. For example, in your photos of the Buddha head statue, why on earth is there no mention at all of where this is?

 

Alan

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Thanks for the feedback. It's a learning curve for me as I'm relatively new. But with perseverance I am improving.

Thanks again.

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Guest

I started submitting to microstock sites at the start this year and have daily sales with many agencies. However with Alamy I have had only 3. Unusual thing is all 3 were in July over 2 weeks and these were my biggest earners selling for 175$, 22$ and 10$. But apart from these nothing. Any suggestions?

 

As mentioned, micro and sites like Alamy are often very different markets. There's a lot less impulse buying and using up subscriptions on Alamy when the prices are higher per unit.

 

You have made sales and that's your  first guide, look at what you have sold and try to make deductions from it...were they all 'on whites' or scenes with specific buildings etc, was copyspace an issue??? The first truth in stock is that your sales are the only thing that can really guide you. Others have mentioned the poor keywording etc.

 

You have low numbers but if they were model-released, highly styled images showing business people in great locations.... you would have regular sales (even on Alamy).

 

Decide what sort of work and at what level you want to execute it, quick snapshots or highly considered work..... just adding volume of Alamy fodder will bring sales but it's not exactly a 'business' proposition.

 

Geoff

Edited by Guest

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As mentioned above microstock and Alamy are different markets. When in the Alamy sin bin a few months ago I uploaded a few pics to various microstock sites and having found myself in a similar position I just checked those sites and found that on one there are 5 sales from a total of 28 images whereas with Alamy I have one sale on over 900. I do the keywording for both and never put model released material on microstock only generic stuff.

IMVHO both models have their place just be careful what you put where.

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First add 5000 more images in the next year, and then you have every right to complain. Before that, prepare to get mauled here when you bring up poor sales. 

 

The fact that Alamy only managed to sell 0.85% of their library last year should be ignored completely. 

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Many are now coming in from the cold (or microstock as it is sometimes called) and struggling.  Part of the reason is that microstock encourages a jack-of-all trades mentality.  Without some specialising, defining a style, getting very good at a few things, developing a point of view, then only way forward is to produce a vast quantity of ‘Alamy fodder’ as Geoff quite rightly calls it.

 

To begin with think about targeting your work.  Your signs look quite good.  What about signs in context, rather than simply as graphical entities? Animals? really? You are competing against Steve Bloom and professional wildlife shooters here. Two boys sharing – brilliant. It’s a hot topic in psychology at the moment. While your signs are most likely to be low end sales, here you have the kind of material book publishers are looking for.  Why not do more psychological studies?  The styling is a bit weak to none existent.  Improve on that and you will begin to produce commercially viable images.  Have a look at other’s work (e.g. Don Smith’s work with children - on Alamy and at Getty).  There is certainly a market for still life  images, and you might be able to use this for base earnings while you develop your skills elsewhere.  Also keep a beady eye on what buyers are looking for in ‘All of Alamy’.

 

Actually a few sales out of 280 in one year isn’t that bad, as has been pointed out.  But elsewhere in the industry there might be people making a living on not vastly more than that.

 

I agree with point 6 in the previous post (Phillip’s): send ...to agency/agencies. 

 

Maybe start by using Alamy as your base while you develop a viable collection, but remember the world outside of microstock doesn’t begin and end with Alamy.  Your real earnings are likely to be made elsewhere.

 

Robert     

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All very well, Phillippe, but with the rapid changes in technology in recent years, surely you'd be a fool to wait for anything?

 

Photograph for many years and then...xxxyyyzzz??? NOoOO!!!

 

If you want to do it...

  1. Get in now before the technology updates and your old gear/images are no longer deemed acceptable quality-wise - your new gear today is already out-of-date tomorrow, and will be rapidly surpassed by new ideas, methods and technologies.  Even the market for stock may not exist in a few years time (in its current form, at least)
  2. This means that your imagery is current and in demand - wait and your stock may well become suitable only as archive material
  3. At the same time, accept that yes - you will be way down at the bottom of the ladder and as you say...
  4. Just don't moan about poor sales

Myself?  I did (foolishly) wait for many years, put off by the fact that I thought that I wasn't good enough and that I didn't have the quantity of suitable slides to submit to an agency.  Never be afraid that the water's too hot or you'll never get in, you'll miss the boat, whatever!...Sure don't expect to get rich quick or have any kind of false expectation about returns, but the opportunities to get into, and to get return from stock today just didn't exist a few years ago.  Start now and learn on the hoof before the opportunities disappear.  Just accept that the market here at Alamy does demand at least a certain quantity of images to ensure decent, consistent returns.

 

My 3d worth!

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Philippe, it sounds like I need to start going through close to 100 years of negatives, slides and prints stored in my closet for hidden gems...Lynn

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My old scans ...... still sell

My old D2X images ..... still sell

At another agency (started submitting in 2002), even my Nikon D100 (6 Mp) ....... still sell

 

Can't help the feeling that all those who start now .... from scratch ...... missed the boat ........ many years ago.

 

Cheers,

Philippe

 

<sigh> Maybe you're right - and it's a b***er when you're swimming! :(

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Heck, I have boxes of pictures from my own portfolio, my Dad's, 2 Grandfathers' and possibly a handful from before that.  All I lack is time.

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I started submitting to microstock sites at the start this year and have daily sales with many agencies. However with Alamy I have had only 3. Unusual thing is all 3 were in July over 2 weeks and these were my biggest earners selling for 175$, 22$ and 10$. But apart from these nothing. Any suggestions?

 

Andy, I decided to take a look at your images and they were all showing on the first page (120 images) but on the second page I only had nine showing and the rest were a blank with the Alamy number showing but no image. I am using Safari. Are others able to see all of Andy's images?

 

Paulette

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All showing on IE8

 

Allan

Edited by Allan Bell

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Wow I seem to have opened a can of worms here! Many interesting replies and good advice and some which seem a little crazy to this novice. Arterra suggests I shoot for many years to build up a portfolio and then submit and not on the hoof gradually as I am doing. Excuse my complete lack of experience and ignorance but I would have thought submitting when you can and learning as you go along would be the way to go? My images are not the best in the world, I have a lot to learn, but I hope I am submitting something of interest not any old tosh and flooding the servers with shear volume.

I realise I have a very small portfolio but what I was originally driving at but did not make very clear is that I have sales of 20+ images/week from other agencies but apart from the 3 in July nothing from Alamy. Just wondered why Alamy was different.

Sorry if I ruffled any feathers. Thanks for the positive advice!!

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