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Some folks seem to be earning red tickets, Paulette. I better give you another greenie. 

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I'm not at all casual about it, but I am confident that I can pass QC once I've got to grips with the technology. I'm aware of the criteria. My camera is on the Alamy list but excuse me if I don't say what it is. I didn't come here to have my choice of equipment picked apart, nor for anyone to tell me whether I've got a right to try my hand at stock photography or not.

 

Many of the people on this forum have been in the stock business for many years. I would have thought that someone entering the business as a newcomer would at least be interested to hear what they have to say.

 

And asking what camera you have and whether it's on Alamy's list is hardly picking your equipment apart, is it? You asked in your first post if your decision made sense. I don't see how anyone can answer that question without knowing whether your equipment is up to scratch.

 

Alan

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I also think it was an odd decision to wind up your business, but presumably, if you sold it, you must have a fair amount of start-up capital.

What you need in this business is time. Pictures you take now might start to provide actual income in 6 months to a year.

Get some good enough equipment (it doesn't have to be top of the range, but it must be quality) and be prepared to spend a lot of time taking a lot of photos before you see any return. It'll be difficult to make any decisions about how well you are doing before the middle of next year.

 

(and treat any advice from anyone with fewer than 18,000 pics with caution)

 

Good luck.

Edited by Phil Robinson
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Wobbly Newcomer (like many others) may be a victim of a very widespread phenomenon. That is the apparent ease at which anyone can become a success these days. After all, we can read a lot about success stories in many areas (some true, many overstated to uphold an image), including stock (Alamy tells them in the blog, too). We will not read failure stories from failed businesses and artists with such frequency. The failure graveyard is full of hopefuls who were blinded by the success stories. Also, most businesses fail, whatever the industry. Most artists fail. Sometimes, it is worth a stroll through the failure graveyard to reset expectations. 

 

One thing is for sure. If all folks need to do is buy a camera, read instructions, push shutter, upload, then have images on sale, it is highly unlikely the majority will be successful. Anything so easy is not a formula for success. Just "being on alamy" means nothing.

 

I hope Wobbly strolled the failure graveyard, and read the engravings on the tombstones before deciding to upload.

Edited by Mark
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Hi Kumar

I thought it might be better to wait so that I could maintain a middle ranking more easily. Perhaps I've misunderstood but, from reading previous threads, it seems that you have to kind of 'feed the beast' to avoid slipping back in the rankings from having too few pictures.

Thanks for your welcome. :)

Jan

Just to clarify further, ranking is based on activity on your images.  Only when you have a certain amount of activity does anything change up or down.  So having a small portfolio means you will have a small amount of activity and so stay at a median rank for longer.  I know someone with only 15 images uploaded who has stayed at median rank for years inspite of very few zooms and no sales - there just hasn't been enough activity to measure.

 

 I hope that makes sense to you

Pearl

Edited by Pearl
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Hi Jan .. well all I can say is I have had had every encouragement and advice form the  alamy team and its  members ... yes I am a photographer but not gone down this route before as I never had the time to sit and read all the info... I am still playing catch up and don't understand all the ins n outs of stock... My latest shock... I will properly only make about £1... per image sold...  :( .. I thought it would be a least £5... how wrong I was.. O yes you can get a good wedge if you have are very lucky... "" that's the way I see it anyway "" might be wrong tho. ^_^ .

     .Now I went down the stock road because I have a bad back and can't be on my feet for 8 to 10 hours doing weddings nowadays... Ahh  yes I thought I could sit on my backside and on my PC and earn money.. How wrong I was...  ;)

 So take all the advice you can get on here they as most of the members have been togs for 30,40,50 years and are technically brilliant, they give good advice and know their stuff...

               Come Jan show the guys what you can do and get your first 4 images passed with flying colors....good luck 

                                                                                                                                                                                best wishes   Barbara 

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B.t.w. Alan, what on earth is that avatar of yours? Looks like a birch tree stump with a face on it  :huh:

 

 

 

 

Yep, that's exactly what it is. In the delightfully-named village of Lumbutts to be precise. I thought it would be less likely to put people off than my own face.

 

DAND09.jpg

 

Alan

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Hi Jan .. well all I can say is I have had had every encouragement and advice form the  alamy team and its  members ... yes I am a photographer but not gone down this route before as I never had the time to sit and read all the info... I am still playing catch up and don't understand all the ins n outs of stock... My latest shock... I will properly only make about £1... per image sold...  :( .. I thought it would be a least £5... how wrong I was.. O yes you can get a good wedge if you have are very lucky... "" that's the way I see it anyway "" might be wrong tho. ^_^ .

     .Now I went down the stock road because I have a bad back and can't be on my feet for 8 to 10 hours doing weddings nowadays... Ahh  yes I thought I could sit on my backside and on my PC and earn money.. How wrong I was...  ;)

 So take all the advice you can get on here they as most of the members have been togs for 30,40,50 years and are technically brilliant, they give good advice and know their stuff...

               Come Jan show the guys what you can do and get your first 4 images passed with flying colors....good luck 

                                                                                                                                                                                best wishes   Barbara 

MMMmmm thinking ... :o

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... My latest shock... I will properly only make about £1... per image sold...  :( .. I thought it would be a least £5... how wrong I was.. O yes you can get a good wedge if you have are very lucky... "" that's the way I see it anyway "" might be wrong tho. ^_^ .....

 

 

Barbara - I hate to tell you that you are wrong :D

 

It is unlikely that you'll make only a £1 for a sold image - even some of the distributors sales, and web-usage in the newspaper scheme will deliver more than that.

 

The £1 you are seeing is a return on images uploaded. So for a library of 100 images you might expect to see £100 returned per year. Not every image selling for £1 but maybe 2 sales of £50 each, 4 for £25 etc. The real issue here is that for many of us volume and variety drives that ratio - and so to see the return with any reliable regularity you need 1000+ images, probably more like 3000+. The alternative is a highly desirable, creative set of images which sell frequently.... but then you might be elsewhere with those images.

 

It is very unlikely that you will "live off an image for years" in this market.

Edited by Mike@Meonshore
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O WOW....I am  wrong again Mike....  :P ... Well you have made my day ... so once I have a decent amount of pics ""in another 12 months""  I just might earn a few £££ on anything I am lucky enough  might sell.. ...well I just might upload a few more for QC, I was planning to stay for 12 months to see how it goes anyway...Thanks Mike for putting me straight...  :)

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Barbara, when I first started on Alamy it was said that you wouldn't know how well you would do until you had 1,000 images on sale for a year. Now it seems people think it takes 3,000. It also takes a while before sales show up even when they happen. That said, I do make sales with my small number of images.

 

Paulette

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Thanks Paulette.... I do intend to put some more images up  but it will not be in the 1000s...I have looked at you PF and you have really good images in there... and mostly only one of each image... I like that...I do think its all down to the key words as well as a good image..

 I do get some views but no zooms so therefore my images must not be good enough to view in large let alone  to buy... I am sure if I stick at it I just might get it right one day..  :blink: 

 Thanks for taking the time ...

 regards   Barbara 

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Thanks Paulette.... I do intend to put some more images up  but it will not be in the 1000s...I have looked at you PF and you have really good images in there... and mostly only one of each image... I like that...I do think its all down to the key words as well as a good image..

 I do get some views but no zooms so therefore my images must not be good enough to view in large let alone  to buy... I am sure if I stick at it I just might get it right one day..  :blink: 

 Thanks for taking the time ...

 regards   Barbara 

 

Your pix look fine; you just have to upload more. A lot more... :)

 

When we upload pix, they are available to buyers to view - or buy - the following day. But, for reasons I still don't understand, it seems to take time (weeks, months) for new pix to make sales. For example, I'm starting to make sales from pix I loaded up this summer. This time-lag will be most obvious, of course, to someone who has just started here (because there will be no sales at all).

 

Until you have a lot more pix, and they've been on sale for months, you really won't know how your images will 'perform'. So keep uploading... and just wait and see...

Edited by John Morrison

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Hello

I recently decided to ditch my current business (antiques) for stock photography, did loads of research, joined Alamy, bought a tripod and ordered a camera, in that order. My research included reading many threads here (often scary, but I feel like I know some of you already :)) Am ready to take the plunge.

I was a keen amateur photographer years ago but haven't taken pictures seriously for some time. I'm a bit daunted by the new technology I've got to get my head around but I daresay I'll get to grips with it. Most of it. Enough of it.

The best strategy seems to be to spend the next few months taking and editing as many (suitable) photos as possible and, once accepted, upload a few hundred at once or in batches so that I can hopefully maintain a middle ranking. Does this make sense?

I shall probably ask various questions if I can't turn up answers here or elsewhere; will try not be tiresome, though.

Anyway, a happy and prosperous new year to all, hope to make your various acquaintance soon.

Jan

Hi Jan, Ditching your antique business for a plunge into stock photography is a very brave step,Unless you have heaps of cash in the bank to support

your venture. Personally I would do them both in parallel and establish a solid manageable workflow between the 2 jobs. You say you have a camera, you also need a PC, and some photo editing software, all of which will take time to get the hang of. Your learning curve will be steep, but keep your expectations low. You are up against 43.5 million other images on this agency alone.

There are some very helpful experienced stock photographers on this forum who will be happy to answer you questions.

Good luck.

 

Regards

Craig

Hi Craig

Yes, brave and foolhardy, and a decision reconsidered since I made my first post! You're absolutely right, I need to run them side-by-side, I was in too much hurry to ditch my current job, what I really need is to pull back from it and divide my time between it and my new venture, as you say.

I was very lucky last year and, without going into detail, I do have a bit of cash in the bank to rely on while I get myself up and running.

I have a Nikon D5100 with the 18-55 kit lens and the software that comes with it, all of which I am trying to get my head around and it's taking time. I didn't expect it to be any other way, but the eye for a good photograph is a separate skill and one which I'm pretty sure I still have, or I wouldn't even have considered trying this. I know it's different from art or hobby photography. And my expectations are by no means unrealistic - even though I've clearly given the impression that they are - nor am I arrogant.

Craig, thank you for such a kind and helpful post. :)

Jan

PS also have Photoshop Elements 9, but I intend to keep things simple and keep editing to a minimum. Can I use the Nikon software only? I imagine much of my stuff will be Editorial Only.

Edited by Jan Brown
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I also think it was an odd decision to wind up your business, but presumably, if you sold it, you must have a fair amount of start-up capital.

What you need in this business is time. Pictures you take now might start to provide actual income in 6 months to a year.

Get some good enough equipment (it doesn't have to be top of the range, but it must be quality) and be prepared to spend a lot of time taking a lot of photos before you see any return. It'll be difficult to make any decisions about how well you are doing before the middle of next year.

 

(and treat any advice from anyone with fewer than 18,000 pics with caution)

 

Good luck.

Thanks, Phil, I figured about a year to 18 months to know if I was on the right track, your post has confirmed my thinking in more than one area. May seem an odd decision but facts taken in isolation often do seem odd. Cheers, Jan

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Paulette, Barbara & Pearl, thank you so much for your kind and helpful responses. You are the balm on my singes. Jan :)

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Ed, you're clearly a nice guy and your posts were helpful. Sorry, I was hyper-sensitive yesterday. Jan. :)

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I'll assume I'm the "Ed" in question, and your apology is happily accepted. We all have bad moments.

 

As it turns out, your choice of the Nikon D5100 with the kit zoom is a good one. It's a very reasonably priced DSLR, and I've found Nikon kit optics to be surprisingly good. The newer Nikons are very good at controlling noise, too. YouTube is a good place to quickly learn all kinds of things about digital photography: http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=Nikon+D5100&sm=3

 

The FNG Syndrome: In Vietnam, when replacements would report to a Company HQ, they would be assigned to various platoons. (The last two letters of FNG stand for New Guy.) The troops in place were not helpful or welcoming to FNGs, the reason being (or at least the reason stated to me) was that FNGs would probably not make it through the first day, and so the "veterans" did not want to connect with them emotionally. After a few days, these FNGs would become one of their own. (I was a PJ, not military.) I'm sure that you now relate to my metaphor.  Icon stuck his head up too soon, and the Red Snipers got him. 

Edited by Ed Rooney
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I have found Lightroom much easier to use than Photoshop and it is specifically designed for photographers. It will allow you to keep track of your photos as well as process them. If you like to see instructions on the written page Scott Kelby's books are excellent. Martin Evening goes into more detail and I use his books more as reference and when I can't find something in Kelby's book. There is a lot of instruction online. I haven't used Lynda.com but have been told by many people that it is good. It is a subscription. Julianne Kost is the Lightroom "evangelist" and she has videos up on all parts of Lightroom. I find she goes too fast but I can stop the video and go over things. Just Google a question and there will be lots of video instruction on everything. You'll figure out who you learn best from.

 

Good luck. Digital can be a steep learning curve.

 

Paulette

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Also what i found scary is a situation that i had last week.

 

A person that i know and knows that i am doing stock asked me he can get images for a regional magazine that he wants to publish. I showed him Alamy but his reaction was that the prices are quiet high. And then i had to show him some microstock agencies..... and what can i say then :(. The quality of the microstock agencies in these days are equal to Alamy. Also there the images should be techincally correct and have sometimes even the feeling that they are less tolerant since they have enough contributors.

 

I am really afraid that this will affect the  future of "traditional" stock even more. I really love Alamy like i said and am just concerned. Like i said ... the numbers of new users on microstock is growing fastly. I really dont see why a new costumer would like to spend 180 dollars when he can get same quality for 3 dollars. This really worries me. :(.

 

Mirco

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Thanks Philippe.. Normandy sound a great  place to go... I do need advice as I am not sure what images to post that might sell...I do believe every thing has been done and my work would have to be exceptional to get even a zoom never mind a sale...

              We have just had 2 week in the Caribbean on a cruise.. now there is not many things to shoot for stock on  there is there...

     O yes there were  ships and bigger ships and clippers  more clippers big one small ones.. O yes beaches and blue water, sun bathers and  swimmers...O did I say yachts ...O yes I missed out sunsets and sunrises,,,   :)  but not a lot of stock images...

 It was a great holiday.. Now back to the real world and I must get my head down and try and earn enough pennies for a new pr of flip flops for my  next holiday... The only thing I should have shot was all the fab meals the presentation was excellent ... How could I get my big SLR out and start taking pics of fish and twigs  on a plate in all my finery... besides the camera wouldn't fit in my little clutch bag...  :D :D  .. All joking aside I do need to take more salable  shots and start thinking of what I am doing ...  I  need plenty of advice and I much appreciate it  ... you are all so kind on this forum....

 Right I have almost downloaded most of  my cards into lightroom .. one large one to go ... and I will go through them and see it are any worthy of Alamy.. What I do is find a decent image and look on the site to see how many similar have already been uploaded and as you know there are 1000s of every image you can think of.. ""whats the point of posting a pic when there are already 1000s similar""  .so that puts me off posting, ...So I know its the keywords that I need to get right....O yes and not forgetting to get the spelling right....  :wacko: 

  Thanks for taking the time and energy to help.... 

 Regards  Barbara ...

 

Edited by BqarbaraL

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I also think it was an odd decision to wind up your business, but presumably, if you sold it, you must have a fair amount of start-up capital.

What you need in this business is time. Pictures you take now might start to provide actual income in 6 months to a year.

Get some good enough equipment (it doesn't have to be top of the range, but it must be quality) and be prepared to spend a lot of time taking a lot of photos before you see any return. It'll be difficult to make any decisions about how well you are doing before the middle of next year.

 

(and treat any advice from anyone with fewer than 18,000 pics with caution)

 

Good luck.

 

What a totally amazing coincidence! It just so happens . . . coincidentally . . . that you have about 18,000 images!  By golly! So I guess the rest of us poor fools should just shut up? 

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Jan, if you are selling on eBay, and taking the right kind of quality image to sell properly there, you need not undertake any additional photography at all. My personal interest - shared with my wife - happens to be travel photography (or more accurately, tourism photography) and this greatly dilutes my returns per image. I can not analyse the percentage of 'objects' or products I also photograph and submit to Alamy, but I can assure you the returns are in the order of tens of times the annual returns per travel image.

 

If you were a general dealer, rather than antiques, the position would be even stronger as the sales from current and recent products (last 50 years) are very strong, where I've never really found a place for sales of furniture/paintings/jewellery. There's a kind of running joke amongst Alamy photographers - shared with microstock shooters - that you can do the weekly shopping, and pay for it by photographing it. This is probably not true as we all buy the same stuff repeatedly! But it has a truth at the heart of it.

 

Good luck anyway. If you do it right, you'll make more from each antique item off Alamy than you make in the margin selling it. I have paid stallholders at antiques fair for permission to take a photograph of items I did not want to buy, but did want to photograph - and I've also bought items, knowing I would cover the cost.

 

David

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why is my number red< who are these red snipers.

 

if its a voting system thats silly and childish.

 

anyway did you all think my opinion was wrong, thats why the red?

 

the op comes here asking advice so she can compete with us and we openly give her the advice and then she catches an attitude!

 

iv asked help before but...awww whats the use. i hate using this word but "whatever". why dont we all just donate a top earner to her so she can get started competing with everyone here?

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Jeff - been hiring props for 40 years! There are whole warehouses devoted to it. I've also taken plenty of pictures for nothing, but if I want to take an item back to the studio, I do not expect to be allowed to walk off with it free :-)

 

David

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