Jump to content

Recommended Posts

Hi All,

 

 

This is not to complain, but rather to better understand what is wrong with my approach to Alamy.

 

I have started to upload back in 2012 and started to sell several shot (some for fod $$) that year. I got confident and increase uploading between 2012 and through the whole 2013.

Here is what is frustrating me, the sales declined and became very sporadic, 1 every 2 months? Something like that.

I did not get discouraged and keep uploading but now my last 2 batches are waiting for review since December 20something, so no way to speed up and contantly upload....

 

Am I cursed with Alamy, or my numbers are normal? The whole thing is very frustrating...to bad because I always believed in this agency....

 

Any tip is much appreciated!

 

Cheers, V.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It all seems normal to me :)

 

Alamy said the QC will be back to normal on 13th Jan.

 

It seems that recent uploads have a better chance of selling since the 'new' button was introduced so the advice would be to upload constantly in small batches.

 

I think.. :blink:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Very normal....

 

Upload in 2012 and you automatically get assigned a median rank which allows your images to be more visible in searches.  Sales declined for images you had initially uploaded due to the subsequent re-ranks.  Every new image you uploaded (and continue to upload) is assigned a median rank...and then they are re-ranked months later.  The larger your image collection the tougher it will be to raise a rank.  Because you are ranked against other photographers, and because your image collection is not exactly like every other photographer's your images are being returned in various orders on a search depending on 1) your rank, 2) the amount of similar images in the database, 3) your keywording.

 

The resulting factors are:

 

1) Newer images are more visible by default

2) Diversifying your portfolio and "filling gaps" in the collection will give you better search results in that may lead to more sales

3) Keywording your images as best as you can will give you better search results that may lead to more sales

 

 

Image review times are delayed because of the holidays....results should be back to normal next week.

Edited by Ed Endicott

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Very normal....

 

Upload in 2012 and you automatically get assigned a median rank which allows your images to be more visible in searches.  Sales declined for images you had initially uploaded due to the subsequent re-ranks.  Every new image you uploaded (and continue to upload) is assigned a median rank...and then they are re-ranked months later.  The larger your image collection the tougher it will be to raise a rank.  Because you are ranked against other photographers, and because your image collection is not exactly like every other photographer's your images are being returned in various orders on a search depending on 1) your rank, 2) the amount of similar images in the database, 3) your keywording.

 

The resulting factors are:

 

1) Newer images are more visible by default

2) Diversifying your portfolio and "filling gaps" in the collection will give you better search results in that may lead to more sales

3) Keywording your images as best as you can will give you better search results that may lead to more sales

 

 

Image review times are delayed because of the holidays....results should be back to normal next week.

 

I believe the rank is by pseudonym so new images are ranked at your current rank and all go up or down during re-ranks. I don't know if my experience is typical but I stayed at a middle rank until I had made some sales. Then I sank at the first change because the sales were for small amounts. Then I did well anyway -- maybe because of careful keywording -- and my rank went up to a fairly good one. I don't think images are ranked individually except for those rated "Creative". Ed's advice is excellent. Keywording cannot be overestimated.

 

Paulette

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

While restructuring my pseudonyms I have just discovered that images selected to appear as "Creative" seem to maintain that status when you move them between pseudonyms. What other ranking factors are tied to the image or, potentially more problematically, to the account is not yet clear. If aspects are tied to account then there is reduced scope for fine tuning ranking of images by juggling pseudonyms.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Nice to know that Creative stays Creative. I'm always afraid to adjust the keywords on those images. Some seem to have been individually chosen and some are because a certain client zoomed them and only appear as Creative if the same search term is used.

 

Paulette

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Paulette is correct...I misunderstood the ranking of new images.  The median rank is by psuedonym

 

"When you create a new pseudonym we give it a “median” AlamyRank until we have gathered enough data to establish its actual rank."

 

http://www.alamy.com/contributor/help/image-pseudonyms.asp

Edited by Ed Endicott

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi, it looks like you have a nice variety in your portfolio.   I think it would be helpful to be more specific with some of your keywording.  For example, it may be helpful to identify the trees and location in DGHCGK. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks everyone.... Something I have never understood, does it really help to have more than one pseudonym?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Something I am grappling with as I try to reinvigorate my sales, and photography.

 

One pseudonym: the successful pics lift the whole portfolio (might only be slight in a large collection)

multiple pseduonym if split by most active/ successful image groups, the less well regarded pseudonym will sink to oblivion?

Other groupings may just be for a convenience and have an unpredictable effect.

 

It strikes me as I write this that building a large collection is risky especially if the hit rate is low or the collection is at all specialised - I have a lrge collection of my home town (Nottingham) as do others.. If only a small percentage sell even they will be dragged down. Looking at my sales that is what seems to be happening, a few images keep selling but ranking is overwhelmed by many that do not. I think that can only continue as Alamy approaches and passes 45million. I am not convinced that new images, however good, have much impact overall if ranking is low.

I would be intrigued to know how msny images are licenced each year and how that as proportion of the total available has changed over time. I would be very surprised if the proportion that sells has not declined significantly. Once a search gets past say 10 pages does it really matter to the searcher how many more results pages there are? That all feels very disheartening with regard to most of our futures with Alamy but does suggest other possible directions.

Edited by Martin P Wilson

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Add more images, its the only solution. Just shoot and pray and upload, everything you have. Its a numbers game here, 3000 images is not enough. You need 100k images and even then your sales wont grow. Look at Jeffs earnings graph. Added thousands and thousands of images from all over the world, yet the graph keeps going down. You need truck loads of images. 

  • Upvote 3
  • Downvote 5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

But can we ever have a large enough number of images to have much visibility in 45million? Even Jeff Greenberg's 100,000 is a drop in the ocean (~0.2%) although I guess he has other factors in play as he has built his sizable presence alongside Alamy's growtn and maintains a high rank.

 

Will adding more images if one is at or below median have any real impact, can one still build a high ranking? I don't have enough information to know but my suspicion is that it will not unless we catch a rich seam of current hot search topics.

 

I suspect the secret of meaningful stock income is to find a few strong niches, specialist outlets and direct sales. I think the numbers game has a rapidly declining future for most contributors.Alamy numbers are growing faster than any contributor can keep up with. I do think there are still ways of making a decent income from "stock" photography just not in the way we have previously come to expect. In my case 2014 will tell.

Edited by Martin P Wilson
  • Upvote 1
  • Downvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The descriptions on your photos are a little on the light side.  They would be more interesting with more detail.   Who, What, When, Where and Why.  From that you should come up with a nice list of keywords.  You have some really great photos so don't get discouraged.  You have a photo of a pregnant womans belly in a hospital with a fetal monitor on and you don't say much about whats going on in the picture.  If you describe whats going on then that can become part of your keywords.  You can't just plop photos on to Alamy and expect them to sell.  Check on your "My alamy" page and the "All of Alamy" section and check the search terms that are being used.  That will give you some idea of what is going on.  You can even check your keywords and see if there has been a search under those keywords.

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest

This is not to complain, but rather to better understand what is wrong with my approach to Alamy.

 

 

 

Simply adding lots more of the same will get you the same results...... why anyone would expect things to change.

 

First thing I notice is you have too many similars, your rank will be suffering. Too many near identical shots or ones where one can be cropped from another. Clients are not stupid, they work with images all the time and can see the potential in cropping an image. The collection is flabby and needs tigher editing which will hopefully improve your rank - if you have a rubbisg rank, nobody will see your images....no matter how many you add.

 

One very obvious issue is lack of real post production on images. Skies are often poor and there's too often a lack of punch in images to lift them off the page as thumbs. Every man and his dog walks along the street snapping images for Alamy, you have to lift yours above the general pile or see the poor results.

 

Content, shots of of non-descript streets are ok but getting more human interest in them and closer to camera will allow you better access to certain markets.

 

There's also lots of issue over RF images which may need releases, clearly shot on private property - that might be putting people off.

 

If you shoot easy to get work, you need to make the very most of it. Walking down a street with a camera taking images can be done by anyone and nowdays is..... you need to elevate work above the norm to make a decent number of sales in this business.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just wondering if a contributor with a large number of images on Alamy, like Jeff, has a single pseudo or multiple pseudos.

 

Would be interesting to hear Jeffs thoughts on this.

 

Allan

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 When I ask the question why my sales dropped, the only advice thrown at me is to add more images. When someone with 3k images asks why he has no sales its all kinds of other stuff but not the number of images. Does no one see it has nothing to do with numbers but with the fact that sales are dropping? Did anyone check Jeffs graph or did you just push the down vote because you dont like the truth? 

  • Upvote 2
  • Downvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree you cannot simply do it with numbers. The scale of Alamy and the nature of the ranking algorithm (as described) is such that a new contributor will not be able to a break out from a median ranking. No one who is not already top ranked can significantly raise their ranking - it would need them to hit a rich stream of current searches with absolutely the right images that no one else had; more than unlikely with nearly 44million images.

 

In fact the mathematician in me says: I don't think a new contributor or anyone with median or lower rank can do it with Alamy by any means. It will just be decline at a faster or slower pace.At best it will be a pin money site for all but a very few. That's crowd sourcing for you.That is not say that one, or more, images may not be licenced for serious money; but then we could win the lottery. I am talking about generally not about the odd exception (which arguably would do better through other channels).

 

Serious photographers need to find a new model; mass stock is dead and I include microstock in that as in the end it will all be the same. In recent years I have seen similar declines in online writing/content sites; in their case exacerbated by changes to Google search algorithms.

 

I have my own, new, plans for 2014.

Edited by Martin P Wilson
  • Upvote 2
  • Downvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hey, Martin:  Have you noticed that we are two guys with white beards who are smiling? I'd like to know what the hell we're smiling about?

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hey, Martin:  Have you noticed that we are two guys with white beards who are smiling? I'd like to know what the hell we're smiling about?

The part time job as Christmas Santas has paid off and the cheque has arrived ?

  • Upvote 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Reading this thread I wholeheartedly concur that Alamy right now is a debacle. 

 

This morning, I've just looked at my views and very are dreadful to say the least. I used to have views in the low thousands but now it is less than 400!!!

 

Is adding more images to the mix the solution? Possibly but it depends on what you are adding. The fact is though that I think Alamy is potentially two things:

 

1) An oversized collection of unedited images that buyers have to wade through before finding what they want.

2) A bit of a dumping ground for all those out of place images that wouldn't get in anywhere else.

 

Last year, I really thought that things were picking up here but these last couple of months are proving to be downright miserable here.

 

My other outlets perform so why not Alamy?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hey, Martin:  Have you noticed that we are two guys with white beards who are smiling? I'd like to know what the hell we're smiling about?

 

We are smiling because because we continue to survive the vicissitudes of life and that is enough. We have been here before one way or another and know we can pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off and start all over again.

  • Upvote 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

Hey, Martin:  Have you noticed that we are two guys with white beards who are smiling? I'd like to know what the hell we're smiling about?

 

We are smiling because because we continue to survive the vicissitudes of life and that is enough. We have been here before one way or another and know we can "pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off and start all over again".

 

 

As popular songwriters ?

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Reading this thread I wholeheartedly concur that Alamy right now is a debacle. 

 

This morning, I've just looked at my views and very are dreadful to say the least. I used to have views in the low thousands but now it is less than 400!!!

 

 

Thats very interesting because I noticed that my views had dropped as well. I had views around double my number of images. Around 800-1000. They dropped to 500-600 now. Thats a drop of about 40%. Sales, views and zooms seem to vanish rapidly. 

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
 

You will do much better if you have lots to say to the viewer. 

 

Have something to say about what is in front of your camera, and then pull all of the photographic levers available to you at the time of shooting, and later in post production to clarify what you have to say.

 

Only recording what is in front of your camera, will not generate sales.

 

You have to communicate, not record.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.