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Vital / Uncut Collections - what's the criteria?


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Posted (edited)

I am puzzled as to how images have to be marked so that they appear in the Creative Vital collection.

 

Alamy has stated the following:

 

Vital Collection

Images in this collection are all model released, where there are people, and offer our customers a safe collection of up-to-date lifestyle and commercially usable imagery.

 

 

Uncut Collection

Images in this collection can be for commercial use and are a mix of images that may or may not currently fit into the Ultimate, Vital or Foundation collections. We are still reviewing images in this collection as an ongoing process and may add them to other collections in future.

 

So my recent submissions have Number of People = 0, Property = No, Not editorial and available for consumer, advertising, personal use. Category is Landscape.

 

Non of these images appear in Vital, but they do appear in Uncut. As an experiment I set one of the images to Number of People = 1, Model release = Yes, waited the specified 48 hours for the database refresh, and still it ended up in Uncut.

 

To make things even more confusing, the images I submitted a couple of years ago of the same subject, caption, keywords and optional settings appear in Vital and Uncut collections.

 

I contacted Alamy and they said it was probably because I had not filled in the People or Property fields. This is not the case as I always set these fields.

 

So what's the criteria for these collections?


Update:

Images in Vital we’re uploaded in January 2020, Uncut in September 2019. Bizarre!

Edited by MB Photography
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As far as I can make out, the whole system is now a complete mess. My tiny historical / archival collection of under 500 images is now outperforming the rest of my portfolio in almost every respect. Archival now seems the best way to go. There's not much point in shooting and uploading new images that will just get lost in a huge pile of spaghetti.  🍝

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I’m ignoring these so called collections and I’m wondering if buyers will do the same. If I was buying I would simply be putting my search terms into that nice big search bar in the middle of the home page. Why f**t around doing otherwise?

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4 hours ago, Dave Richards said:

I’m ignoring these so called collections and I’m wondering if buyers will do the same. If I was buying I would simply be putting my search terms into that nice big search bar in the middle of the home page. Why f**t around doing otherwise?

I can see where searching for all people with releases might be useful for someone looking for advertising photos on a budget, but I think this search was possible without special collections.   The other question is what qualifications do the people making the selections have.   The Vital Collection with a search for Nicaraguan people had half of a page of photos that were fruit and not people, and half people.  A general search for model released Nicaraguan people came up with two pages of photos, all people or parts of people who were probably hired models.

 

 

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6 hours ago, Rebecca Ore said:

The other question is what qualifications do the people making the selections have.

Honestly it can't be people making these decisions for Vital & Foundation, there are far too many images involved. It's people making decisions about how to design the search algorithms but not looking at the actual images. They would have to be looking at every image coming into the library in real-time.

 

We have to believe that Ultimate is hand-picked but hand-picked from what, 295 million images? Again, just like those photography competitions with celebrity judges, the 'grunt' work of finding a short-list to look at is done some other way. Unlike Vital & Foundation the numbers in Ultimate have not changed since the launch though, at least not since last time I looked.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Well it’s been several weeks since I reported that the new collections aren’t working.

 

Any new submissions I make don’t get into Vital and end up in Uncut. None of the images have people or property so they meet the required criteria. Some of my older submissions qualify but some don’t.

 

So I suspect there is something fundamentally wrong with the way they have been designed and implemented. So these collections, as they stand, don’t add any value to the search.

 

Considering this was the fundamental reason for making the change to the front end web pages, it’s been an epic fail 😵💫

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I don't think Alamy worries about which images appear in which collection, the whole thing just seems like a marketing ploy to me.

 

AS for the ultimate collection, if I were Alamy I would be embarrassed to call some (not all) of the results an agencies ultimate images.

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  • 3 months later...
2 hours ago, MB Photography said:

Well it’s been 3 months and this still hasn’t been fixed. The Vital collection has not been updated with any new images since the original rollout.

and Alamy has provided zero information on what needs to be done by contributors to support the system 

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3 hours ago, MB Photography said:

The Vital collection has not been updated with any new images since the original rollout.

I think it's a bit more complicated than that, by my reckoning the overall total in Vital has gone up by a quite a few hundred thousand since the launch but given the overall number of Vital images this must be an automated process, probably on import rather than something they revise. However contributors have been left completely in the dark regarding how Alamy determine which images go where (I'm sure they would say this was commercially sensitive though) but more importantly, as meanderingemu says, nothing to explain how we should change our ways of working to make the most of it, particularly regarding 'secondary editorial' and whether to check the 'Sell for editorial only' box. If you do check that box then the image will not appear in Creative as far as I can see. Ultimate seems to be hand-picked and the advertised fees are double the normal rates but it's actually quite hard to judge if there is any real advantage in appearing in Vital, Foundation has its uses for some buyers I suppose. If I was a buyer looking for topical news images I might look in Editorial but if I was looking for secondary editorial I'd stick with All images I think.

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10 minutes ago, PAL Media said:

It isn't that hard to get images in the "Vital" collection, I'm sure you will figure it out.

I'm sure you can't mean it like that but that statement is somehow suggesting that it is possible to play the system. There are rules, no people, or only people with model releases, no property, or only property with releases, no editorial (so no Live News as you say) but are you suggesting that you could upload images again and ensure that they go into Vital? But anyway, is there really any advantage at all to having images in Vital? I imagine that any picture researcher will have tired of it long ago.

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1 hour ago, PAL Media said:

It's certainly not playing the system, it's correctly identifying your images.

 

 

 

Please define Correctly,  something Alamy refuses to do.

 

Does a picture with an unidentifiable person "include people" ?

Does a picture with a designless object "include property"? 

 

 

Alamy always indicated to mark it as such, and client would manage if it could be used commercially.  So yes it is gaming the system.  

Edited by meanderingemu
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1 hour ago, PAL Media said:

some picture researchers will be delighted

Well it is going to depend upon what they're looking for I suppose, searching for something like 'shopping street' brings up a lot of decidedly cheesy pictures that includes released models, normally just two (budgets?) plus empty shopping streets devoid of people. Occasionally a contributor has decided that a bunch of people isn't worth declaring so it slips through. If I was looking for a busy shopping street you wouldn't look in Vital, and you wouldn't necessarily look in Editorial either, so in this case Vital isn't living up to its name. The name is the problem really, why not tell the buyer (and the contributor) what it contains and why?

 

But of course, Alamy does tell the buyer, and us:

 

"This high-end creative collection is built on authenticity and created with emerging trends in mind."

Edited by Harry Harrison
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15 hours ago, PAL Media said:

There is no gaming of the system, If you have an image that is marked correctly it will go in the creative section.

You don't seem to understand his point, perhaps that is because you 'don't bother with the forum any more' because this has been discussed in other posts as well. Also this post is specifically about what process governs whether images appear in the 'Vital' section, not simply in Creative, everything that is not split off into Ultimate, Vital, Foundation, Editorial or Archival will stay in Uncut, so will be in Creative by default.

 

Alamy have always told us that if there are any people in the image, even if they are not necessarily recognizable, we have to put in how many, so there are options for 0, 1, 2, 3, 4 or 5+, and there is a corresponding filter for potential buyers. We also have to say whether these people are model released though the default is 'No'. The advice from this forum and from Alamy has been that you should do this even though it is in the Optional tab in AIM.

 

Probably most have done this because prior to June 24th there was no downside. Now, since the makeover with the new 'Collections' it has become apparent that any image with people in that does not have releases will not appear in this new Vital collection. The same is true of Property and many have been quite cautious about what does and does not constitute Property so may have said 'Yes' when it hasn't been strictly necessary, again until recently there has been no downside, just an extra feeling of security in case of problems.

 

 

 

 

Edited by Harry Harrison
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16 hours ago, PAL Media said:

What on earth are you on about!

There is no gaming of the system, If you have an image that is marked correctly it will go in the creative section.

If you can't work it out, I can't help you.

This is why I don't bother with the forum any more, I try to help out and you get accused of 'gaming the system' 😂

 

I see what you are saying about getting into the Creative section but I think what people would like to know is how to get into Ultimate or Vital. I have images of the same subject and the same markings but don't see why some are Vital and others are not. I suspect there is no secret recipe. Somebody is deciding based on their preferences.

 

Paulette

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5 hours ago, NYCat said:

Somebody is deciding

There are too many in Vital for personal preferences to be involved, but I have 43 in Vital and these haven't changed since the makeover. Searching AIM using the appropriate attributes shows that 159 of mine 'qualify', so clearly something else is going on but then that is what this thread is about, the OP changed the attributes in order to try and 'game' the system (as a test!) but there was no change. It's possible that this initial selection won't be revisited but action is taken on new uploads, I need to upload some I suppose.

 

One thing I do know however is that if you mark one of your 'Vital' images as 'Sell for Editorial only' then it will appear as 'Editorial' but it doesn't get removed from Vital straightaway, so it is not just a normal server update, it takes a few days or some other process, or did when I tried it. Uncheck the 'Sell for Editorial only' box then it goes back into Vital.

Edited by Harry Harrison
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Quite simply - including what I can take in from the forum threads - the whole website change (flickering images et al), the range of collections, what's in and what's not and the complete lack of meaningful guidance and direction from Alamy to contributors is a real mishmash, shambolic, way of doing things. Truly lamentable.in so, so many respects 

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21 hours ago, PAL Media said:

What on earth are you on about!

There is no gaming of the system, If you have an image that is marked correctly it will go in the creative section.

If you can't work it out, I can't help you.

This is why I don't bother with the forum any more, I try to help out and you get accused of 'gaming the system' 😂

 

It is totally gaming the system if you don't follow what Alamy told us to do and have preferred status, no one said You did by the way.  We are instructed to indicate number of people in images even if it was only an unrecognisable hand.  This disqualifies the image for consideration.  Someone who mislabels it as no because there is No one identifiable has the image considered for collection, so labelling properly actually puts you in a disadvantage.   Same for those of us who have followed a more stringent definition of Property. 

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Perhaps there is some advantage to being in Vital. I had a straight-on shot (nothing exciting) of a concrete wall license this past week for mid $$, making it one of my better RF "design" sales. The image is apparently in both the Vital and Creative collections, and it shows up at the top of search results. Then again, the same image ranks well in "All" searches as well. So who knows... 🤔

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6 hours ago, John Mitchell said:

The image is apparently in both the Vital and Creative collections

Good result, that type of image (no people, no property) could well benefit from being in Vital, as could images with people or property where there are releases

 

Basically, as I see it, if you upload an image in the normal way (not via the archival route) then if it's not editorial (Live News or images with 'Sell for editorial only' checked - these are found under Editorial) then it will go to Creative. In Creative it will be in Uncut unless it has been selected/streamed for either Foundation, Ultimate or Vital. Everything can be found under 'All images' including Archival, Creative images can be found under 'All creative' and this search takes a bit longer as it has to separate the results into Ultimate, Vital, Uncut & Foundation. Editorial under 'Editorial' of course. I think that Archival are only found when searching in All Images but I haven't looked into it as I don't have any.

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31 minutes ago, Harry Harrison said:

Good result, that type of image (no people, no property) could well benefit from being in Vital, as could images with people or property where there are releases

 

Basically, as I see it, if you upload an image in the normal way (not via the archival route) then if it's not editorial (Live News or images with 'Sell for editorial only' checked - these are found under Editorial) then it will go to Creative. In Creative it will be in Uncut unless it has been selected/streamed for either Foundation, Ultimate or Vital. Everything can be found under 'All images' including Archival, Creative images can be found under 'All creative' and this search takes a bit longer as it has to separate the results into Ultimate, Vital, Uncut & Foundation. Editorial under 'Editorial' of course. I think that Archival are only found when searching in All Images but I haven't looked into it as I don't have any.

 

 

The "Live News" stays in Editorial category might need to be addressed by Alamy.  There is a significant LN category of soft news images, which Alamy regularly pushes, that are not editorial once in the Stock side- nature, animals, weather.  Again no guidance,  does Alamy want these loaded a second time?  

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1 hour ago, meanderingemu said:

The "Live News" stays in Editorial category might need to be addressed by Alamy.

No shortage of storms and in sunsets there - but I did a few Live News uploads and looking at those I am able to uncheck the 'Sell for editorial only' check-box, would that not suffice? However there surely needs to be a corresponding attribute filter in AIM, there is a 'Restricted images' attribute but I don't sell for personal use so that wouldn't work for me as everything comes up. Is there another way of finding them?

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