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Where you going to get even 100 good saleable images a week when there are millions of good ones already available in the agencies to compete with?

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Where you going to get even 100 good saleable images a week when there are millions of good ones already available in the agencies to compete with?

Don't forget that there are millions of incorrectly and incompletely captioned/identified images out there, which make them practically useless to serious editorial buyers. Check out the offerings on microstock sites like Shutterstock some time. The captions and keywords are a disaster (which is good for us). One properly captioned and keyworded image is worth more than a thousand botched ones IMO,

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Where you going to get even 100 good saleable images a week when there are millions of good ones already available in the agencies to compete with?

Don't forget that there are millions of incorrectly and incompletely captioned/identified images out there, which make them practically useless to serious editorial buyers. Check out the offerings on microstock sites like Shutterstock some time. The captions and keywords are a disaster (which is good for us). One properly captioned and keyworded image is worth more than a thousand botched ones IMO,

 

That goes the same for Alamy. Its an industry wide problem, not a micro stock problem. Bear in mind that there are a lot of non English speakers submitting to the agencies, macro and micro, which might not always have perfect command of the English language. 

Edited by Semmick Photo

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Where you going to get even 100 good saleable images a week when there are millions of good ones already available in the agencies to compete with?

Don't forget that there are millions of incorrectly and incompletely captioned/identified images out there, which make them practically useless to serious editorial buyers. Check out the offerings on microstock sites like Shutterstock some time. The captions and keywords are a disaster (which is good for us). One properly captioned and keyworded image is worth more than a thousand botched ones IMO,

 

 

It depends on the market.  Keywords and captions are very important if you want textbook sales (as well as for use in any fact based material).  I would argue that few images are adequately captioned, let alone keyworded, for that market.  Otherwise, I think we put too much stress on keywords.  Increasingly buyers are looking for images that communicate something, or will do in a given context.  Literal keywords are of less use here, unless they encapsulate what is communicated - say a particular mood or feeling associated with a certain colour palette.  G&C contribs will be familiar with the theory behind what I am alluding to.

Edited by Robert Brook

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On Alamy, my net income per image is $1.2 and on SS (since the subject was brought up) net income per image is $3.84. Similar number of images, but different subjects.

 

Travel and local images on Alamy, and cupcakes on SS. Experimented with adding some of the cupcakes to Alamy, but they don't sell well (as expected when they are available on Micro).

 

The enjoyment of selling images at Alamy for a higher prices keeps me going .. even though I am a slow uploader.

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Where you going to get even 100 good saleable images a week when there are millions of good ones already available in the agencies to compete with?

Don't forget that there are millions of incorrectly and incompletely captioned/identified images out there, which make them practically useless to serious editorial buyers. Check out the offerings on microstock sites like Shutterstock some time. The captions and keywords are a disaster (which is good for us). One properly captioned and keyworded image is worth more than a thousand botched ones IMO,

 

 

It depends on the market.  Keywords and captions are very important if you want textbook sales (as well as for use in any fact based material).  I would argue that few images are adequately captioned, let alone keyworded, for that market.  Otherwise, I think we put too much stress on keywords.  Increasingly buyers are looking for images that communicate something, or will do in a given context.  Literal keywords are of less use here, unless they encapsulate what is communicated - say a particular mood or feeling associated with a certain colour palette.  G&C contribs will be familiar with the theory behind what I am alluding to.

 

Yes, I had the former (fact-based) market in mind. For instance, you see a lot of images with captions like "big pyramid in Mexico," or "old church in France." With vague identifiers like these, the photos aren't going anywhere. Many happy snappers just can't be bothered to do the research, which is fine by me. I hope the trend continues. 

Edited by John Mitchell
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O yes I just might be the one with .. "church on a hill" or "big fish"  :P  But you guys are teaching me and I tend to learn all about the keywords ..O god I know I will never catch up to you John and the rest of the  experts but I hope to  have fun while learning ... :D .. and yes that's what its all about...enjoying what you do and not to take life too serious .... :D

    best wishes,,,  

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O yes I just might be the one with .. "church on a hill" or "big fish"  :P  But you guys are teaching me and I tend to learn all about the keywords ..O god I know I will never catch up to you John and the rest of the  experts but I hope to  have fun while learning ... :D .. and yes that's what its all about...enjoying what you do and not to take life too serious .... :D

    best wishes,,,  

Barbara, I was referring mainly to "factual" image captions that I've seen on microstock sites. We're all "little fish in a big pond" these days.

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O John I didn't take it personal. :) .but I do tend to put silly captions on my images...but then I am a little flippant about myself and my work...I don't  take  things too serious...   :)

 All the best... B

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Where you going to get even 100 good saleable images a week when there are millions of good ones already available in the agencies to compete with?

Don't forget that there are millions of incorrectly and incompletely captioned/identified images out there, which make them practically useless to serious editorial buyers. Check out the offerings on microstock sites like Shutterstock some time. The captions and keywords are a disaster (which is good for us). One properly captioned and keyworded image is worth more than a thousand botched ones IMO,

 

 

It depends on the market.  Keywords and captions are very important if you want textbook sales (as well as for use in any fact based material).  I would argue that few images are adequately captioned, let alone keyworded, for that market.  Otherwise, I think we put too much stress on keywords.  Increasingly buyers are looking for images that communicate something, or will do in a given context.  Literal keywords are of less use here, unless they encapsulate what is communicated - say a particular mood or feeling associated with a certain colour palette.  G&C contribs will be familiar with the theory behind what I am alluding to.

 

Yes, I had the former (fact-based) market in mind. For instance, you see a lot of images with captions like "big pyramid in Mexico," or "old church in France." With vague identifiers like these, the photos aren't going anywhere. Many happy snappers just can't be bothered to do the research, which is fine by me. I hope the trend continues. 

 

You mean like this ANCBXC  ?
 
Its not related to micro only. 
Edited by Semmick Photo

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Where you going to get even 100 good saleable images a week when there are millions of good ones already available in the agencies to compete with?

Don't forget that there are millions of incorrectly and incompletely captioned/identified images out there, which make them practically useless to serious editorial buyers. Check out the offerings on microstock sites like Shutterstock some time. The captions and keywords are a disaster (which is good for us). One properly captioned and keyworded image is worth more than a thousand botched ones IMO,

 

 

It depends on the market.  Keywords and captions are very important if you want textbook sales (as well as for use in any fact based material).  I would argue that few images are adequately captioned, let alone keyworded, for that market.  Otherwise, I think we put too much stress on keywords.  Increasingly buyers are looking for images that communicate something, or will do in a given context.  Literal keywords are of less use here, unless they encapsulate what is communicated - say a particular mood or feeling associated with a certain colour palette.  G&C contribs will be familiar with the theory behind what I am alluding to.

 

Yes, I had the former (fact-based) market in mind. For instance, you see a lot of images with captions like "big pyramid in Mexico," or "old church in France." With vague identifiers like these, the photos aren't going anywhere. Many happy snappers just can't be bothered to do the research, which is fine by me. I hope the trend continues. 

 

You mean like this ANCBXC  ?
 
Its not related to micro only. 

 

Yes, that's the type of thing I had in mind. Including the name of the church and location might increase the saleability, although I suppose this image has "concept" value as well. And, you're correct, there is no shortage of poorly captioned images on Alamy.

Edited by John Mitchell

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Good thread going here. A few years ago I averaged $3 an image from a couple of agencies - net ! That's how far we have fallen. These days there is a steady stream of newcomers with grandiose dreams - just that - dreamers

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Good thread going here. A few years ago I averaged $3 an image from a couple of agencies - net ! That's how far we have fallen. These days there is a steady stream of newcomers with grandiose dreams - just that - dreamers

$3 net per image sounds pretty exceptional. Congratulations. As I'm sure you remember, in the good old days of film, the rule of thumb was $1.00 gross for each image placed with a stock agency. That was about right IME. There were a lot of dreamers back then as well. Come to think of it, I was one of them.

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Oh I'm thinking back when $3 net was the standard in NA

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Yes I did better than most for a couple years

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Oh I'm thinking back when $3 net was the standard in NA

 

That's £1.82p here on Old Blighty.  While editorial photography is a lot tougher than a few years ago, you can still make considerably more than this at some niche agencies (well at least a few). 

 

If you can't make that amount at Alamy, you can distribute your collection (Age, Rex etc).  You could apply for a non-exclusive contract with Corbis.  Some small agencies distribute to the majors and you don't have to be exclusive. With a large collection contact VPD* who will distribute it for you.  Alamy's distribution system may lead you to think that distribution isn't worth it, but a well put together system can quadruple your income.

 

You can do this if your work is good enough.

 

 

*VPD:  In case anyone is thinking of contacting the Vancouver Police Department, VPD stands for 'Virtual Picture Desk'

Edited by Robert Brook

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How useful is a comparison of return per image between different contributors? Some create images specially for stock. Others simply upload images that are byproducts of other (paid) assignments. Some spends hours or even days retouching, researching and keywording one image. Others maybe 5 minutes. A return per hour spent on stock photography seems much more useful to me.

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How useful is a comparison of return per image between different contributors? Some create images specially for stock. Others simply upload images that are byproducts of other (paid) assignments. Some spends hours or even days retouching, researching and keywording one image. Others maybe 5 minutes. A return per hour spent on stock photography seems much more useful to me.

I tend to agree, $ return per image really doesn't mean all that much unless you are a dedicated statistics fan (which I'm not). Return per hour is even more terrifying to contemplate. Every sale/lease -- especially if it's for a decent price -- in today's highly competitive marketplace is a cause for celebration IMO.

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It's a little tricky working out $ per image at the moment as the size of my port is going up so quickly but looking at earnings of the last 3 months for each source then Net figures would be...

 

Alamy - $0.40 p/image

Micro - $4.32 p/image

Corbis - $5.09 p/image

 

Quite often Alamy prices are approaching Micro prices (or less - Newspaper scheme) without compensating via volume. Text book licences are nice and I would like to see more of these :-) but newspaper and even magazine licences $'s are low.

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Quite often Alamy prices are approaching Micro prices (or less - Newspaper scheme) without compensating via volume. Text book licences are nice and I would like to see more of these :-) but newspaper and even magazine licences $'s are low.

 

Btw, can you tell me guys, why I got that low price?

(UK newspaper scheme is out)

 

Rights Managed  

Country: United Kingdom

Usage: iQ sale: Magazine, Editorial print use only.

Industry sector: Media, design & publishing

Start: 06 January 2014

End: 06 January 2019

    $ 8.08

 

This is third time in last year...

:(

Edited by Arletta

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Quite often Alamy prices are approaching Micro prices (or less - Newspaper scheme) without compensating via volume. Text book licences are nice and I would like to see more of these :-) but newspaper and even magazine licences $'s are low.

 

Btw, can you tell me guys, why I got that low price?

 

 

Because the world is going to hell in a handcart... :unsure:

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It's amazing how that .40-.50 is so close among most contributors - net

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Alamy - $0.40 p/image

Micro - $4.32 p/image

Corbis - $5.09 p/image

 

Your Corbis collection will be much more tightly edited, so if you factor that in, you may still be earning more at Alamy.  However, this is still a useful comparison (given that the work you do for C is similar), because it is an indicator of potential earnings.

 

With a smaller online collection I would estimate that Corbis turns over more p.a. than Alamy has over it's entire existence.  That would suggest that the average net returns are in the low dollars (returns pipy), and the potential returns are much higher.  Therefore you* are not locked into volume production, as most serious Alamy contribs seem to be.  

 

I think the eventual consequences will be that Alamy will soon be able to boast loudly that it has more images than all the big agencies combined, but will need to be very quiet about what this has done for the average contriutor's earnings.

 

Another comparison:  I am currently just over $0.40 p/image after five weeks at another edited collection (1000+) of mainly editorial work. 

 

 

*The royal 'you', not you personally Duncan

Edited by Robert Brook
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How useful is a comparison of return per image between different contributors? Some create images specially for stock. Others simply upload images that are byproducts of other (paid) assignments. Some spends hours or even days retouching, researching and keywording one image. Others maybe 5 minutes. A return per hour spent on stock photography seems much more useful to me.

 

This is true....but some of us do ALL OF THAT.  Sometimes it's specialty for stock (when I don't have paid assignments and I'm feeling ambitious).  Sometimes it is from paid assignments - though I usually don't upload those until about a year after the assignment.  Sometimes I spend days retouching, researching, and keywording.  Sometimes I spend 5 minutes (mostly with editorial uploads....which I come back later to spend time researching and keywording).  Some days it's a walk in a park or at the local zoo shooting street photography just to clear one's head.  Some days I shoot on a TFCD basis knowing that I will probably never license that portrait....but I upload it anyway because as Jeff pointed out in another thread about an image of a futon being sold, you never know what a buyer wants.

 

This also depends on experience.  Editing becomes easier with time, keywording becomes easier with time.  I can knock out a portrait shoot in 30 minutes with another hour and a half of editing whereas years ago, it would have taken me an hour to do the same shoot - thinking of ways to light it, thinking of ways to pose the model, etc....and then another three days of editing to make sure everything was just perfect.

 

As with any trade, the more experienced the craftsman (or craftswoman) is, the greater the return will be as it will take less time to complete the task.

Edited by Ed Endicott

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