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11 minutes ago, Brian Yarvin said:

 

Steve, very niche yes, but much more than architecture magazines. Think the entire construction industry and interior decorating, both residential and commercial. It's a huge market. 

 

Sure, I work in the construction industry. But I would have imagined both of those fields would use commissioned photographers much more than purchasing stock photos....? Certainly for construction - it's difficult for the general public to get access to building sites during construction.

Edited by Steve F
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2 hours ago, PhilHalfmann said:

 

Thank you for swift responding.

 

It would be great if you could elaborate and explain your reasoning...why are photographers shooting stock if you can't make at least $10/picture/year? Or are most "stock photographers" doing it as a hobby instead of shooting with purpose?

 

Thank you

Mine is definitely not a hobby but it probably might as well be. It's a by-product of travel, or, lately, just a walk down the road.

My only direct expense for a stock image has been the €1 I put in the collection of a mime artist in Düsseldorf. I got it back after 7 years.

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Brian, no worries, I’m not generation Z, I don’t need to call my psychiatrist because there may be a difference in opinion.

 

I’m relatively new to the stock game and hence don’t have much experience.

 

It is interesting, with regards to revenue stream expectancy of 10 years, Brian & Steve have conflicting experiences/opinions.

 

I didn’t expect anybody to provide the solution/all the answers to succeed in stock photography nor do I believe the world of stock photography was just waiting for me to start shooting.

 

I’m basically trying to understand the landscape of stock photography better…what is realistic and what isn’t and why.

 

I’m sure I don’t cover everything and may use the wrong terminology here and there…but I hope you get the bigger picture. Most likely there will be exceptions here and there but a general idea/consensus should be attainable.

 

Brian, you are right, I didn’t list Sports Photography for instance because you need a camera that can shoot 15pic/sec + zoom lenses with quick autofocus + access to venues = extremely expensive

 

So why shoot stuff that requires expensive equipment if you can’t get paid for it accordingly? or are sports action pictures much more in demand?

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Phil, you've gotten so many answers from us because of how much you've shared. I (and we) are correcting you because we understand that these questions have many more readers than you might first think. For me, it's really important that you don't conflate what could have been done with stock photography with the state its in now. I also believe strongly that getting the terminology right will make threads like this one clearer to people who join in later.

 

Next ...I want to think that I encouraged you to shoot lifestyle because it will make you a better fashion photographer. The meticulousness of fashion and beauty combined with the energy of lifestyle is a pathway to big-ticket assignments - even if it no longer brings in much in stock revenue. If you're thinking of this as the business of making marketable photos, I don't think it's a bad way to look at things.

 

AND ... while I can see that it could make it easier, you don't NEED such equipment to nail sports images. You need lots of practice with the camera you have and a solid knowledge of the sport you're shooting. 

 

 

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37 minutes ago, PhilHalfmann said:

with regards to revenue stream expectancy of 10 years, Brian & Steve have conflicting experiences/opinions

 

I think we essentially expressed the same thing with different words. 🙃 People do get sales from images of years gone by. But you're much more likely to sell recent imagery.

 

I have 12 licenses this month. 1 from 2016, 1 from 2017, 10 from 2020-2022. I started in 2015..

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12 minutes ago, Steve F said:

But you're much more likely to sell recent imagery.

I find otherwise. I started in 2009 and my sales age graph (not sales volume) is a curve with the hump about 2012-16- in other words, half the time I've been in.

Only 3% of my volume has licensed by the end of the year after it was taken.

Sorry about the blue passport btw.

Edited by spacecadet
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On 26/08/2022 at 22:31, PhilHalfmann said:

Greetings everybody.

 

I'm shooting mainly fashion & beauty in the US & Europe and I'm curious about your feedback.

 

Here is my portfolio.

 

Thank you

There's a forum thread that starts at the end of each month called "How was your October" etc. Theres also a thread at the end of the year.

https://discussion.alamy.com/topic/15200-how-was-your-2021/

If you take a look at that you'll be able to see the gross incomes various contributors have made. It's also possible see how many images they have and take a peek at their portfolios by clicking on the link under their avatars. With a bit of maths this will reveal the typical return per image per year. Average was around $0.5  per image per year in 2020. Some contributors do better, but I'll bet very, very few beat $10 pipy from stock. Live news contributors can maybe do better, but that's another "ball game".

 

Mark

Edited by M.Chapman
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3 minutes ago, spacecadet said:

I find otherwise. I started in 2009 and my sales age graph (not sales volume) is a curve with the hump about 2012-16- in other words, half the time I've been in.

Only 3% of my volume has licensed by the end of the year after it was taken.

Sorry about the blue passport btw.

Good to have a range of experiences here.

 

Yes, I totally wasn't being tongue in cheek with my 'Brexit Dividend' caption...

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4 minutes ago, Steve F said:

 

 

 totally wasn't

Totally not. I'm OK till 2028 but OH needs a burgundy cover RIGHT NOW and we haven't even managed to get out of the country yet..............

Edited by spacecadet
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Steve, either you can make money with a picture for 10+ years, or you can’t. It’s almost like being pregnant…either your wife is or she isn’t.

 

I look at my “art” in a different way…a better analogy may be building a “quality house”. Let’s define what  a quality house is…take a look at how they build a house in Germany vs. the USA for instance.

 

In Germany, when you drive your car into a house, your car is a total loss…because they build with concrete & brick walls.

 

In the USA, when you drive your car into the house, your house is fucked up…you can basically drive through…because it’s basically made out of wood.

 

So, if you build a quality house (German) then you can rent it out for 80+ years and make money. Of course, when the house is brand new it’s easier to make money and rent it out.

 

So, in my mind, it’s not surprising you’ll make (more) money with your pictures in the beginning when you upload them…same way you can rent out a new apartment in the US immediately because it looks fresh/new…but quality pictures (houses) have a longer shelf life than 5 (or 20) years, respectively.

 

Is it hence unrealistic to make money with your pictures with 10+ years? I don’t think so…

 

 

 

Brian, sure terminology is important…on the other hand it’s more important that you get the message. In other words, who cares about the messenger…if you got the message? Yet I appreciate your attention to detail as others may read this thread as well.

 

Preferably I want to shoot stuff that

 

a) I “like”

b) makes me money at the end of the day

 

because otherwise it’s pointless…it’s my profession, the way I make money, and I can’t afford to lose time, money and energy…I’d rather have sex with my wife if you know what I mean.

 

For me, it’s not a hobby…I come from the world of professional sports (tennis - ATP tour) as a coach…and in that world it doesn’t matter if you have answers/explanations/excuses…either your athlete win or losses (it’s like being pregnant or not)…and if your athletes looses 5x in a row in the 1st round, you are fired!

 

Doesn’t matter if the airline lost your luggage, including racquets…or if your player has “girl friend issues”…or if there was a party till 5:00am in the room next door and you couldn’t sleep and had to play at 8:00am…or whatever…he either won, or lost.

 

We follow the motto: “Champions find a way, losers find excuses”.

 

I approach “photography” the same way…either your work is good or not…either it sells or it doesn’t…and if it doesn’t, don’t complain, get better! Or do something else!

 

You may not NEED great equipment to get the job done…correct…yet it makes the job easier…and since I will be shooting on a regular basis I need to be able to SUSTAIN it for a good amount of time without running out of steam (e.g. “I quit uploading pictures for 2 years because it wasn’t worth it”) and if you need to climb mount Everest once per month why walk if you can take the helicopter to the top?

Edited by PhilHalfmann
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This is not my area of photography at all but I would suggest that for stock you would be better to create images that illustrate something - a concept such as happiness, disappointment, achievement, pride, choice etc, or more simply an actual activity such as a person doing something.

 

How would a client use the image, what would they be looking for in order to select yours?

 

The majority of Alamy clients are in the editorial market - books, magazines, newspapers, websites

Edited by geogphotos
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12 minutes ago, geogphotos said:

This is not my area of photography at all but I would suggest that for stock you would be better to create images that illustrate something - a concept such as happiness, disappointment, achievement, pride, choice etc, or more simply an actual activity such as a person doing something.

 

How would a client use the image, what would they be looking for in order to select yours?

 

The majority of Alamy clients are in the editorial market - books, magazines, newspapers, websites

 

over 40 of my pictures have been selected for book covers...for example...or ads by AT&T...or fashion magazines.

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2 hours ago, PhilHalfmann said:

Steve, either you can make money with a picture for 10+ years, or you can’t.

 

Life's not black and white and nor is stock photography. A lot of sales appear random to us. Please take our advice in good faith.

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11 hours ago, PhilHalfmann said:

 

over 40 of my pictures have been selected for book covers...for example...or ads by AT&T...or fashion magazines.

 

You  asked for feedback. When it is offered you argue with it.

 

Glad to hear how well you are doing with your excellent images.

Edited by geogphotos
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12 hours ago, PhilHalfmann said:

Steve, either you can make money with a picture for 10+ years, or you can’t. It’s almost like being pregnant…either your wife is or she isn’t.

 

I look at my “art” in a different way…a better analogy may be building a “quality house”. Let’s define what  a quality house is…take a look at how they build a house in Germany vs. the USA for instance.

 

In Germany, when you drive your car into a house, your car is a total loss…because they build with concrete & brick walls.

 

In the USA, when you drive your car into the house, your house is fucked up…you can basically drive through…because it’s basically made out of wood.

 

So, if you build a quality house (German) then you can rent it out for 80+ years and make money. Of course, when the house is brand new it’s easier to make money and rent it out.

 

So, in my mind, it’s not surprising you’ll make (more) money with your pictures in the beginning when you upload them…same way you can rent out a new apartment in the US immediately because it looks fresh/new…but quality pictures (houses) have a longer shelf life than 5 (or 20) years, respectively.

 

Is it hence unrealistic to make money with your pictures with 10+ years? I don’t think so…

 

 

 

 

It is not a simple question of new Vs old images. The longevity of a picture depends enormously on its subject matter.

 

Your images of 'beauty' are obviously of a particular time, place, culture. Concepts of beauty probably change faster than just about anything else - hair styles, clothes, colour palette, and so on. What looked cool 10 years ago may now look completely out of fashion. 

 

There is an obvious difference between that and Steve producing pictures of construction techniques, architectural styles, etc which don't change much, or only change very slowly. 

 

You have over 40 pictures used for book covers so you can answer this longevity question for yourself. How many of those were new pictures when they were published, how many were 10 years old?

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20 hours ago, Steve F said:

 

I think we essentially expressed the same thing with different words. 🙃 People do get sales from images of years gone by. But you're much more likely to sell recent imagery.

 

I have 12 licenses this month. 1 from 2016, 1 from 2017, 10 from 2020-2022. I started in 2015..

One image sold this month from 2014.  A year after I started properly with Alamy.  And its of a building in London that has hundreds of compting images on Alamy.    There is no correlation in my stock imagery between age of image and sales- unless there is a specific reason, such as clothes, car styles of something else that dates an image.

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7 hours ago, geogphotos said:

 

 

It is not a simple question of new Vs old images. The longevity of a picture depends enormously on its subject matter.

 

Your images of 'beauty' are obviously of a particular time, place, culture. Concepts of beauty probably change faster than just about anything else - hair styles, clothes, colour palette, and so on. What looked cool 10 years ago may now look completely out of fashion. 

 

There is an obvious difference between that and Steve producing pictures of construction techniques, architectural styles, etc which don't change much, or only change very slowly. 

 

You have over 40 pictures used for book covers so you can answer this longevity question for yourself. How many of those were new pictures when they were published, how many were 10 years old?

 

It's difficult to say when you sell pictures for only 2 years...is it not? The question is not if I can sell a 10 year old picture once but if I can sell a picture continuously for 10 years in a row.

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4 minutes ago, PhilHalfmann said:

 

It's difficult to say when you sell pictures for only 2 years...is it not? The question is not if I can sell a 10 year old picture once but if I can sell a picture continuously for 10 years in a row.

 

Some images from a portfolio will sell repeatedly. Once you find out which ones do - learn by doing! - you can reproduce more of the same. Many never sell (assuming a diverse portfolio). You seem to underestimate how random sales are. There's no client commissioning you to do stock, this make a massive difference. You're essentially guessing what will sell. You can look out for stock photos that are published and look at sold photos on e.g. the Forum here to get a good feel for what sells, but that doesn't bring any guarantees anyone's going to purchase a particular image.

 

I wouldn't care to predict where the market will be in 10 years, but the trend for fees has been downwards for years. You won't get anywhere near your normal fees for commissioned work here, that is clear.

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51 minutes ago, PhilHalfmann said:

 

It's difficult to say when you sell pictures for only 2 years...is it not? The question is not if I can sell a 10 year old picture once but if I can sell a picture continuously for 10 years in a row.

 

Have you sold the same pictures continuously over two years in a row?

 

Edited by geogphotos
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On 26/08/2022 at 23:31, PhilHalfmann said:

Greetings everybody.

 

I'm shooting mainly fashion & beauty in the US & Europe and I'm curious about your feedback.

 

Here is my portfolio.

 

Thank you

I can only share my experience. In my early days of photography I had a collaboration with MUA and stylists to build up a portfolio, we hired pro models (250E for 2 hours), which means 90% of the shots were good. I thought I could recoup some cost by uploading some photos to creative libraries. Those days it wasn't rare to have  4 or even 5 digit licenses (yes 5 digits),  yet my fashion photos have never ever sold, not even for 1$.

 

If I wanted to be a  successful fashion photographer I'd try to be more bold, these are the current trends:

 

https://www.luerzersarchive.com/en/magazine/print-detail/absolut-vodka-75689.html

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c81uh2Bw5LU

 

https://ww.fashionnetwork.com/news/Vestiaire-collective-data-shows-positive-eco-impact-of-resale,1398776.html

 

Good luck.

 

Edited by CarloBo
bah
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5 hours ago, geogphotos said:

 

Have you sold the same pictures continuously over two years in a row?

 

 

yes...not here...but on other sites

Edited by PhilHalfmann
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5 hours ago, CarloBo said:

I can only share my experience. In my early days of photography I had a collaboration with MUA and stylists to build up a portfolio, we hired pro models (250E for 2 hours), which means 90% of the shots were good. I thought I could recoup some cost by uploading some photos to creative libraries. Those days it wasn't rare to have  4 or even 5 digit licenses (yes 5 digits),  yet my fashion photos have never ever sold, not even for 1$.

 

If I wanted to be a  successful fashion photographer I'd try to be more bold, these are the current trends:

 

https://www.luerzersarchive.com/en/magazine/print-detail/absolut-vodka-75689.html

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c81uh2Bw5LU

 

https://ww.fashionnetwork.com/news/Vestiaire-collective-data-shows-positive-eco-impact-of-resale,1398776.html

 

Good luck.

 

 

Thank you for sharing.

 

I sell pictures daily...maybe not on this site...but it's a steady flow of income...but I didn't shoot with the purpose for stock photography.

 

I have repeat paying business client because my pictures perform well online - make my clients money. If you can produce pictures that "sell" then you don't need to worry...clients will stay with you...wouldn't you? If you spend e.g. $5,000 on a photoshoot and you make e.g. $25,000 why wouldn't you rehire the photographer? 

 

On the other hand, it's a lot of stress/pressure because you must produce pictures that sell....not just simply sharp, pretty pictures.

 

If I can have less stress/pressure because I'm producing for myself and I can make some consistent money with it, why not? That's why stock photography is somewhat attractive to me and I'm playing with the thought...it's not like I don't make money from shooting.

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1 hour ago, PhilHalfmann said:

 

Thank you for sharing.

 

I sell pictures daily...maybe not on this site...but it's a steady flow of income...but I didn't shoot with the purpose for stock photography.

 

I have repeat paying business client because my pictures perform well online - make my clients money. If you can produce pictures that "sell" then you don't need to worry...clients will stay with you...wouldn't you? If you spend e.g. $5,000 on a photoshoot and you make e.g. $25,000 why wouldn't you rehire the photographer? 

 

On the other hand, it's a lot of stress/pressure because you must produce pictures that sell....not just simply sharp, pretty pictures.

 

If I can have less stress/pressure because I'm producing for myself and I can make some consistent money with it, why not? That's why stock photography is somewhat attractive to me and I'm playing with the thought...it's not like I don't make money from shooting.

 

Phil, like you, the vast majority of my income is from assignments, mine though are almost all regional magazines with a comparatively low day or shoot rate, but I shoot a lot.  There was a time when stock was easily 50% of my income and I thought I could retire or fade away from the assignment by just relying on stock.....no such luck.  My stock revenue is now only 5% of my income and I am working harder and have more stress than I have ever had, to make up for the lack of stock revenue.

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