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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!!

 

Waiting several years before submitting to an agency like Alamy doesn’t make any sense.  Unless you 19 and getting a lot of assignments.  Submitting huge piles of work to Alamy for years on end without any plan or strategy makes even less sense.  Many who cheerily went out on that path five or more years ago are now moaning and groaning about collapsing revenues, for they find that however hard they work, their returns are slowly declining and the only incentive to produce new work is to try and make the decline less steep.  Agencies like Getty and Corbis, some of the smaller commercial agencies and a few specialist ones will pay you more for less when you are ready.

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True. You have to bet on different horses. But not a handful here and a handful there. Also bear in mind that most specialists will require exclusivity. So you will - and here I go again - need a LARGE archive to supply both specialists (exclusive) and generalists (non-exclusive).

 

Cheers,

Philippe

 

 

Most microstockers moving up tend to have more of a commercial bent, as I think the OP does.  The last thing commercial agencies want is a huge archive of images.  To place a large archive in the closest thing to Alamy in the commercial world, Phog’s Choice, you will need more in the bank than in your image collection – that’s how much Getty loves large collections.

 

The OP is on the right track by initially having a small collection of well edited images that are beginning to sell, and probably didn’t need a lot of the advice given.  If he did, well there are the little green pointy things.

Edited by Robert Brook

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Paulette, I'm on IE8 and I'm having the same problem, the first 129 images in Andy's port show and the rest are missing.

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Andy, I think you'd better report this to member services.

 

Paulette

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I am using Safari as well, and can see all of the images.  Perhaps just some machines?

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I've tried four browsers on two laptops and a tablet.  Same problem on all of them.

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Anything from 25c to 25$

 

Congratulations! To be proud of. Did it pay the parking meter?

 

Cheers,

Philippe

 

PS: don't take it personal. Just have it difficult with people who support microstock and complain HERE.

 

I agree with you 100% on the microstock.

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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

 

 Could be AdBlock. Same happened on Shutterstock to people. If you have AdBlock installed it could block images tagged with Advert an Advertisement, etc.

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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

 

Don't want to be rude, but what do customers pay for the 20+ images/week you get from the other agencies???

$40, $85, $180,00 like you can get here per image?

 

Supporting microstock - lets be honest - which ruined the stock industry - and now complaining that your images don't sell at a traditional agency? It's a bit like burning your house down because you felt a little chilly and now complaining that you freeze your butt off all winter long sitting amongst the ruins. (all right, perhaps a weird comparison (English is not my native language) but hey, I guess you know what I mean ;))

 

Cheers,

Philippe

 

Micro stock was invented for amateurs to sell their images for cheap, but it was so successful that the pro's wanted in on it. Dumping their best work on micros and the agencies raised the bar organically because they could reject not so good images now. Everybody had to up their game and started sending in high quality images, but the stock agencies never raised their pricing accordingly. Amateurs are blamed for ruining stock, while it was the pro's that started supplying high quality images to micro stock agencies. The pro's killed their own business.  Dont take it personal, its just a general comment.

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I've tried four browsers on two laptops and a tablet.  Same problem on all of them.

If you have adblock, turn it off, and see what happens. 

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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

 

Don't want to be rude, but what do customers pay for the 20+ images/week you get from the other agencies???

$40, $85, $180,00 like you can get here per image?

 

Supporting microstock - lets be honest - which ruined the stock industry - and now complaining that your images don't sell at a traditional agency? It's a bit like burning your house down because you felt a little chilly and now complaining that you freeze your butt off all winter long sitting amongst the ruins. (all right, perhaps a weird comparison (English is not my native language) but hey, I guess you know what I mean ;))

 

Cheers,

Philippe

 

Micro stock was invented for amateurs to sell their images for cheap, but it was so successful that the pro's wanted in on it. Dumping their best work on micros and the agencies raised the bar organically because they could reject not so good images now. Everybody had to up their game and started sending in high quality images, but the stock agencies never raised their pricing accordingly. Amateurs are blamed for ruining stock, while it was the pro's that started supplying high quality images to micro stock agencies. The pro's killed their own business.  Dont take it personal, its just a general comment.

 

 

That's a strange twist to the story. It started off designers swapping images for free. It was opened up to photographers, selling only at low price so there was still very little cost for the designers who had ran out of photos to share for free. The price level was so low that it was totally off the radar for professionals. It took off with the amateurs and designers, and I remember very well the pro-bashing going on by the micro stockers. They will rule the world, and send the old farts off into oblivion. But, yes, during the creaming days, some professionals did really well until the dilution began. Also, let's not associate quality and creativity with amateur and professional. Both sides have good and bad examples. Amateurs can be very creative without the constraints of having to make a profit. This is a VERY interesting resource for digital businesses. A resource base that delivers creative images without a profit or high-fee expectation. I would argue this is the primary basis of stock these days. I think amateurs are a force not to be underestimated. By the way, it was the also the amateur radio enthusiast that pushed the development of radio communications. They had the interest to push boundaries without the commercial focus or risk.

 

Professionals are not blamed for sampling the water. Amateurs are not blamed for starting the whole thing. Amateurs are a (new) resource waiting to be utilized. Many follow concepts presented to them that give them a buzz now and then. Amateurs can extract value in non-financial terms (recognition from the group, satisfaction when an image is used, fun, thrill of "own business" etc), and still keep submitting (what a supplier chain….they keep supplying even when making a financial loss, or at best, little or no profit!). It is the business people behind these systems that are to "blame" (not meant negatively, it makes sense to use the resources you have easy access to). However, of course the industry will shift over time. There are so many images now, so freely available, and so easily distributed, good license fees require very special images indeed, sold by entities who know what they are selling (do agencies sell images based on specific intrinsic value of every image, and set the price accordingly?….I have my own opinion on this one).

 

The whole thing is shifting. Images are so "worthless" (or should I say "highly valuable" to businesses who can integrate them into their model) these days, we even see Calvendo and Getty partner up (sorry, in German) to give Calvendo members free access to Getty collections to make personal calendars for sale. Print on demand calendars. We are talking nano-license fees here all around. The images are a given (almost as free as the air we breath), now we move into user-generated products. It is clear that the concept is based on volume. But it is also the next step in utilizing consumers to do work for the business. Thousands and thousands of contributors and photographers all inputting into digital product manufacturing, earning very very little, but the businesses collecting a huge volume of small fees. The problem is that the single user (photographer, calendar maker etc) cannot produce enough volume to offset the low fees.

 

To quote: Nach Ende der Testphase soll das Angebot, auf die Getty-Bilder zuzugreifen, allen CALVENDO-Usern zur Verfügung stehen, selbstverständlich kostenlos. > After the test phase, all Calvendo users will have free access to the Getty images.

 

I don't think it is anyones fault. It is the nature of the world in which we live. There is more to come. Simply pumping images into a digital agency expecting legacy ("high") fees is a dream. Hope dies last. There needs to be more work done than that (each to work out his/her own strategy).

Edited by Mark
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I feel so guilty :(.........

 

I am also someone that started wit microstock on a day that i just wanted to earn money from my images. Microstock was the easiest way to do so on that time. Now after 5 years doing so and helping traditional stock going down i have to say with the small experience i would start directly with Alamy and some others in the same range.

 

Prices went down here.....but the same happened with microstock. I used to have sales 3 dollars per image. Now the general sales are like 0.25 or maybe  0.75. Gongratulations you just sold an image for 1.20 dollars.

 

Again i am not a hypocriet. I was a microstocker. And i would choose different if i where smarter on that time. On this moment i am not submitting to microstock anymore even if it will be difficult over here. I want at least give it a try and i realize that it will be a hard way. Even with over 5000 images there is no reason to complain for me. It is like Philippe said .... it is not that easy this days to start and i feel it.

 

Not being happy with the sales doesnt help so i go on photographing instead of checking regulary my account.

 

Mirco

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Micro, did you pull your portfolio from the micros after you realised you were 'helping traditional stock going down'?

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Guest

 

 

True. You have to bet on different horses. But not a handful here and a handful there. Also bear in mind that most specialists will require exclusivity. So you will - and here I go again - need a LARGE archive to supply both specialists (exclusive) and generalists (non-exclusive).

 

Cheers,

Philippe

 

 

The last thing commercial agencies want is a huge archive of images.  To place a large archive in the closest thing to Alamy in the commercial world, Phog’s Choice, you will need more in the bank than in your image collection – that’s how much Getty loves large collections.

 

 

By a "large archive" I mean a large archive with a GREAT VARIETY of subjects. What on earth would an agency have against lots of additional subjects whether they come from one photographer or several? May I remind you that the big players contact the small agencies to offer them their archives? So, what you said above doesn't make much sense.

 

Cheers,

Philippe

 

 

Philippe,

 

Commercial agencies, not just general agencies, don't want a mass of variety of subjects. They are crying out for highly considered, styled and relevent material. In the most sold areas of stock, business, lifestyle and concept, that means the work needs to be fairly up-to-date and accounting for changes in socio-economics. Nobody really wants a large archive of white, 18-25 year old women unless they are truly spectacular.

 

You can easily see how the market is going by recent changes on Getty, premium content is what's being asked for and how they have altered their collections. Nobody producing truly premium content is going to have a large back catalog sitting around doing nothing. 

 

Can you make good sales from a handful of images in stock, yes of course you can...it's happening every month. Can you do it with areas that are poor sellers (sorry but I would include nature in that), of course not. if people shoot areas of stock that are only required by clients in small numbers, naturally they are going to assume that's the true picture. It's only true for that area of the market. Top three search terms on Getty - family, women, business. How many of those are covered for example in the OP's work or indeed in many others on here. 

 

It's very simple, if you supply images which are wanted by clients using the most searched terms (in addition to those mentioned) on the biggest commercial sites and the images are highly considered, you can sell work with very, very few images. Naturally if you don't, the opposite will happen.

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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

 

Don't want to be rude, but what do customers pay for the 20+ images/week you get from the other agencies???

$40, $85, $180,00 like you can get here per image?

 

Supporting microstock - lets be honest - which ruined the stock industry - and now complaining that your images don't sell at a traditional agency? It's a bit like burning your house down because you felt a little chilly and now complaining that you freeze your butt off all winter long sitting amongst the ruins. (all right, perhaps a weird comparison (English is not my native language) but hey, I guess you know what I mean ;))

 

Cheers,

Philippe

 

Micro stock was invented for amateurs to sell their images for cheap, but it was so successful that the pro's wanted in on it. Dumping their best work on micros and the agencies raised the bar organically because they could reject not so good images now. Everybody had to up their game and started sending in high quality images, but the stock agencies never raised their pricing accordingly. Amateurs are blamed for ruining stock, while it was the pro's that started supplying high quality images to micro stock agencies. The pro's killed their own business.  Dont take it personal, its just a general comment.

 

 

That's a strange twist to the story. It started off designers swapping images for free. It was opened up to photographers, selling only at low price so there was still very little cost for the designers who had ran out of photos to share for free. The price level was so low that it was totally off the radar for professionals. It took off with the amateurs and designers, and I remember very well the pro-bashing going on by the micro stockers. They will rule the world, and send the old farts off into oblivion. But, yes, during the creaming days, some professionals did really well until the dilution began. Also, let's not associate quality and creativity with amateur and professional. Both sides have good and bad examples. Amateurs can be very creative without the constraints of having to make a profit. This is a VERY interesting resource for digital businesses. A resource base that delivers creative images without a profit or high-fee expectation. I would argue this is the primary basis of stock these days. I think amateurs are a force not to be underestimated. By the way, it was the also the amateur radio enthusiast that pushed the development of radio communications. They had the interest to push boundaries without the commercial focus or risk.

 

Professionals are not blamed for sampling the water. Amateurs are not blamed for starting the whole thing. Amateurs are a (new) resource waiting to be utilized. Many follow concepts presented to them that give them a buzz now and then. Amateurs can extract value in non-financial terms (recognition from the group, satisfaction when an image is used, fun, thrill of "own business" etc), and still keep submitting (what a supplier chain….they keep supplying even when making a financial loss, or at best, little or no profit!). It is the business people behind these systems that are to "blame" (not meant negatively, it makes sense to use the resources you have easy access to). However, of course the industry will shift over time. There are so many images now, so freely available, and so easily distributed, good license fees require very special images indeed, sold by entities who know what they are selling (do agencies sell images based on specific intrinsic value of every image, and set the price accordingly?….I have my own opinion on this one).

 

The whole thing is shifting. Images are so "worthless" (or should I say "highly valuable" to businesses who can integrate them into their model) these days, we even see Calvendo and Getty partner up (sorry, in German) to give Calvendo members free access to Getty collections to make personal calendars for sale. Print on demand calendars. We are talking nano-license fees here all around. The images are a given (almost as free as the air we breath), now we move into user-generated products. It is clear that the concept is based on volume. But it is also the next step in utilizing consumers to do work for the business. Thousands and thousands of contributors and photographers all inputting into digital product manufacturing, earning very very little, but the businesses collecting a huge volume of small fees. The problem is that the single user (photographer, calendar maker etc) cannot produce enough volume to offset the low fees.

 

To quote: Nach Ende der Testphase soll das Angebot, auf die Getty-Bilder zuzugreifen, allen CALVENDO-Usern zur Verfügung stehen, selbstverständlich kostenlos. > After the test phase, all Calvendo users will have free access to the Getty images.

 

I don't think it is anyones fault. It is the nature of the world in which we live. There is more to come. Simply pumping images into a digital agency expecting legacy ("high") fees is a dream. Hope dies last. There needs to be more work done than that (each to work out his/her own strategy).

 

 

Here is more about that twist, also read the comments, very interesting. 

 

http://markstoutphotography.wordpress.com/2009/08/06/the-time-magazine-cover-photo-ripoff/

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Micro, did you pull your portfolio from the micros after you realised you were 'helping traditional stock going down'?

 

Hello Semmick....

 

I did not choose a direction because i realize that i helped traditional stock down. Me alone will not make any difference. It is more because i would like to sell RM images and i can not put it on both. I have editorial on microstock and on Alamy. I was doubting at the beginning but now i see my first sales here coming and also zooms are coming in faster. I see a growth in my traffic here. So it makes me believe that it just needed some time and i am positive about it. This 3 sales made up for 60 microstock sales.

 

So i am want to give it a try and go on. And to answer your question...... Yes i did start removing images from Microstock. It is just not going that fast because different agencies have different procedures. But the ones with the lowest fees i am allready out.

 

Mirco

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About high volume.

 

I think i would love to have a agency that can give me a large choice. If everybody only uploads images that has high searches there will be a lack of less popular images. All the clients that are looking for a subject that is less popular will go out with empty hands. But if you are the one that has the image you will get the sale.

 

Also what if a super photographer has 100.000 superior images with different subjects? He should only upload 20.000 because volume is not ok? More good images more sales.

 

Mirco

Edited by Mirco Vacca
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Andy, back to your images not showing. There was a problem a while back with images not showing and I seem to remember that the Alamy number started with D8. I have tried to search for that thread but am not finding it. Somebody here who had the problem might speak up about it. I don't think this is specific to my computer because I can see everybody else's images and, alas, I get quite a few ads and don't seem to have Adblock. Member Services should be able to help.

 

Paulette

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Paulette, a couple months ago there was an issue with the enlarged image not showing when you clicked on the thumbnail. This happened to a couple of my images but MS fixed it in a jiffy.

 

In Andy's case all images after 129 aren't showing for me, including the thumbnails. This is only happening for me when I view Andy's portfolio, and it happens when I view it from two different laptops running Win 7 and Win 8, from three different browsers on them, without an ad blocker installed, and also from my Android tablet. If this is happening for me, it probably is happening for some potential buyers as well. He has a problem, he should contact Member Services.

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V. strange: no problems viewing all images here (Win7/FF 25.0.1)

 

EDIT: Also good in

  • Opera 12.16
  • Chrome 31 (31.0.1650.63 m)
  • IE11 (11.0.9600.16428)
Edited by losdemas

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True. You have to bet on different horses. But not a handful here and a handful there. Also bear in mind that most specialists will require exclusivity. So you will - and here I go again - need a LARGE archive to supply both specialists (exclusive) and generalists (non-exclusive).

 

Cheers,

Philippe

 

 

The last thing commercial agencies want is a huge archive of images.  To place a large archive in the closest thing to Alamy in the commercial world, Phog’s Choice, you will need more in the bank than in your image collection – that’s how much Getty loves large collections.

 

 

By a "large archive" I mean a large archive with a GREAT VARIETY of subjects. What on earth would an agency have against lots of additional subjects whether they come from one photographer or several? May I remind you that the big players contact the small agencies to offer them their archives? So, what you said above doesn't make much sense.

 

Cheers,

Philippe

 

 

Philippe,

 

Commercial agencies, not just general agencies, don't want a mass of variety of subjects. They are crying out for highly considered, styled and relevent material. In the most sold areas of stock, business, lifestyle and concept, that means the work needs to be fairly up-to-date and accounting for changes in socio-economics. Nobody really wants a large archive of white, 18-25 year old women unless they are truly spectacular.

 

You can easily see how the market is going by recent changes on Getty, premium content is what's being asked for and how they have altered their collections. Nobody producing truly premium content is going to have a large back catalog sitting around doing nothing. 

 

Can you make good sales from a handful of images in stock, yes of course you can...it's happening every month. Can you do it with areas that are poor sellers (sorry but I would include nature in that), of course not. if people shoot areas of stock that are only required by clients in small numbers, naturally they are going to assume that's the true picture. It's only true for that area of the market. Top three search terms on Getty - family, women, business. How many of those are covered for example in the OP's work or indeed in many others on here. 

 

It's very simple, if you supply images which are wanted by clients using the most searched terms (in addition to those mentioned) on the biggest commercial sites and the images are highly considered, you can sell work with very, very few images. Naturally if you don't, the opposite will happen.

 

 

Oeps! I guess I didn't make the connection "commercial" - "creative". I was referring to general stock (travel, nature, street, science, history, as well as tomatoes on a white background)

My fault, sorry.

 

Cheers,

Philippe

 

 

We got there at last Phillipe.  Sorry I was a bit brusque, just my way.  Had I given a lengthy explanation like Geoff's we would have got there sooner.  Some of the subjects you mention will sell well in a commercial context, but need to be completely rethought.

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Strange indeed DannyC, I otherwise have no other issues browsing Alamy so will chalk it up to one of those mysteries that may never be solved to my satisfaction. FYI, I tested with most current versions FF, Chrome and IE8.

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Paulette, a couple months ago there was an issue with the enlarged image not showing when you clicked on the thumbnail. This happened to a couple of my images but MS fixed it in a jiffy.

 

In Andy's case all images after 129 aren't showing for me, including the thumbnails. This is only happening for me when I view Andy's portfolio, and it happens when I view it from two different laptops running Win 7 and Win 8, from three different browsers on them, without an ad blocker installed, and also from my Android tablet. If this is happening for me, it probably is happening for some potential buyers as well. He has a problem, he should contact Member Services.

 

Yep. Definitely an issue for Member Services to solve.

 

Paulette

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