Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Mirco Vacca

Future discussion

Recommended Posts

Hello everyone,

 

As we know the industry is not sleeping. I see in the stock industry changes. It is not to overseen anymore. Having seen also the microstock business I don’t know if you noticed that more and more agencies are accepting “not news related” editorial images. The last one that made this change is Shutterstock. Photographers are now able to submit editorial images of people doing shopping or parents having a walk with their children at a park. As long the people are not possed it will be accepted as “Human interest editorial”. Photographers reporting already regular sales from this kind of RF photos. Because of the low prices also low budget magazines publisher will become new clients.

 

What do you think? How far will this affect stock sites like Alamy and co? Should we be worried?

 

Curious about your thinking.

 

Mirco

Edited by Mirco Vacca

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It depends on the law in their home country. Selling this kind of photos in some countries might be illegal.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Mihai,

 

Yes.... this makes me also thinking. The fact is that it is happening. You can upload RF editorial to the agency and it will be available worldwide for download. I know 6 microstock agencies that are selling editorial that why without restrictions.

 

Mirco

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If it's human interest editorial that people are interested in then I don't think there's many libraries that can compete with Alamy on that category :) In fact, it sounds great for my portfolio lol. 

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hello everyone,

 

As we know the industry is not sleeping. I see in the stock industry changes. It is not to overseen anymore. Having seen also the microstock business I don’t know if you noticed that more and more agencies are accepting “not news related” editorial images. The last one that made this change is Shutterstock. Photographers are now able to submit editorial images of people doing shopping or parents having a walk with their children at a park. As long the people are not possed it will be accepted as “Human interest editorial”. Photographers reporting already regular sales from this kind of RF photos. Because of the low prices also low budget magazines publisher will become new clients.

 

What do you think? How far will this affect stock sites like Alamy and co? Should we be worried?

 

Curious about your thinking.

 

Mirco

 

The editorial at Micros will have an impact but to what degree?!?!. Alamy does have a lot of good imagery that is well keyworded (some dodgy ones but overall) that appeals to a broad section of the industry. I think the micros will appeal to bloggers and magazines though and the micros could steal this from Alamy (probably never had bloggers to be honest). If the Micros start accepting a lot of news shots.... well. 

 

As for the photographer, the benefits of being with Alamy for editorial are slowly being eroded. When I see non Newspaper Scheme images being sold for $20 or less (getting $6 via Distributor), I think my time would be better off spent with the micros and submitting to one major RM. If Alamy could give me 2-3 hundred small sales a month then ok, the low prices can be tolerated, but they don't. With Alamy going for the cheaper end of the market, I feel they are backing themselves into a corner against a fighter who is likely to slap them daft. I just can't see them competing with Micros. Time will tell.

Edited by Duncan_Andison
  • Upvote 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My worries about it is just that editorial images will be massive uploaded on microstock that will make an impact on traditional stock sites. On this moment there are far more editorial on Alamy but what about in 1 year? Especially low budget publisher will see a great deal with it.

 

I can also image situation that someone need an image of the shopping mall in his city and decide to take an image himself instead of paying 150 dollars. But microstock editorial for 3 dollars will make the same person decide to stay on his chair and dowload it. Like that will be many more clients. 40 people like that will make 120 dollars. I really think there are many "hidden" costumers with the same idea. This makes me just worried.

 

Mirco

Edited by Mirco Vacca
  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My worries about it is just that editorial images will be massive uploaded on microstock that will make an impact on traditional stock sites. On this moment there are far more editorial on Alamy but what about in 1 year? Especially low budget publisher will see a great deal with it.

 

I can also image situation that someone need an image of the shopping mall in his city and decide to take an image himself instead of paying 150 dollars. But microstock editorial for 3 dollars will make the same person decide to stay on his chair and dowload it. Like that will be many more clients. 40 people like that will make 120 dollars. I really think there are many "hidden" costumers like that. This makes me just worried.

 

Mirco

 

Very true.... it's like the music industry, cost of downloading music is easy and not to expensive now, hardly worth downloading hooky copies. Same with software on your phones. You used to be able to get pirated software for your phones.... probably still can but, is it really worth it when you can get it for a couple of £'s. This approach ups volume of legit downloads. 

 

Now, Alamy I get get a good sale, say $300 (take $150). But out of the group of images uploaded it might be the only one to sell, or takes a while to sell again. Micro relies on a high % of images being downloaded frequently to make up for the lower prices. If they do the same in the Editorial market as they have in the lower spectrum of the creative market, then they will draw a lot more clients for this type of imagery that would otherwise used Alamy. 

 

Now, photographers could refuse to supply this imagery to micros (due to lower prices) but as Alamy lowers the gap in terms of take home income for each sale/volume, then the incentive to stay will diminish. There will be a tipping point..... that point could spell the end of Alamy if they don't find a new unique selling point..... possibly why they are testing out new markets now.

Edited by Duncan_Andison
  • Upvote 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Best to take a historical perspective.  In the 1990s we saw the rise of the mega-agencies, otherwise known as Corbis and Getty, helped along by the development of digital storage.   They tended not to do the sort of everyday, ordinary photography you refer to unless released, and preferably machine-tooled.  Getty was top of the pile for commercial stock photography, Corbis for all round quality of content.  And so they remain, even though they have taken a hit.  Smaller agencies were left with the general and specialist editorial market, although some the best had some big-name commercial clients as well.  Then with the development of the internet a British company based near Oxford saw an opportunity to streamline the business for the ordinary buyer looking for ordinary pictures at ordinary prices, who previously might have had to spend the morning on the phone.  And so a new model was developed for the editorial market.  But what is born of new technology dies with it.

 

When the budget is tight, for the small buyer, for publishers who are struggling, for buyers who essentially just want snaps, or the kind of images that any DSLR equipped tourist can take, then the cheaper the better.  In the past Alamy has supplied this market admirably.  What is surprising is how long it has taken micro agencies to exploit this demand (for unreleased editorial content), but surely they will. 

 

Then it’s curtains for any kind of ordinary editorial photography that can easily be replicated.  Meanwhile the firm will exploit new areas of demand, such as for cheap art photography (what's Stockimo all about then?).

 

Robert

  • Upvote 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It is like you said indeed. Many people can take their images themselfes to save 150 dollars. But downloading an image for 3 dollars is still worth of it price. The person dont need to go out to spend time and money. I would even download an image of a rose that i could find in my backyard for 3 dollars. I dont need to edit it. I know it sounds small. But there are like i said many people with this thinking and will download instead of going out or even putting on the camera. This is also creating high volume. I took now a very simple example of a very simple client. People like to have it convinient and cheap. About quality microstock is also to speak high off. Try to pick on agency and you will be suprised about the standards of this days. We only can wait....... :(

Edited by Mirco Vacca

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Best to take a historical perspective.  In the 1990s we saw the rise of the mega-agencies, otherwise known as Corbis and Getty, helped along by the development of digital storage.   They tended not to do the sort of everyday, ordinary photography you refer to unless released, and preferably machine-tooled.  Getty was top of the pile for commercial stock photography, Corbis for all round quality of content.  And so they remain, even though they have taken a hit.  Smaller agencies were left with the general and specialist editorial market, although some the best had some big-name commercial clients as well.  Then with the development of the internet a British company based near Oxford saw an opportunity to streamline the business for the ordinary buyer looking for ordinary pictures at ordinary prices, who previously might have had to spend the morning on the phone.  And so a new model was developed for the editorial market.  But what is born of new technology dies with it.

 

When the budget is tight, for the small buyer, for publishers who are struggling, for buyers who essentially just want snaps, or the kind of images that any DSLR equipped tourist can take, then the cheaper the better.  In the past Alamy has supplied this market admirably.  What is surprising is how long it has taken micro agencies to exploit this demand (for unreleased editorial content), but surely they will. 

 

Then it’s curtains for any kind of ordinary editorial photography that can easily be replicated.  Meanwhile the firm will exploit new areas of demand, such as for cheap art photography (what's Stockimo all about then?).

 

Robert

 

Yes.... constant change but it's a little bit like a reshuffle of who supplies what and how. I've found Corbis to be good, but a lot of that will come from their tight editing etc. Really, we (the photographers) just need to decide on the type of market we want to supply and give the right imagery to the right place. Unfortunately, sometimes the places change.... keeps us on our toes I guess!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As I have said on other threads I believe generic editorial stock will be dead as a source of an income to justify the investment in equipment (even an iPhone). It will become like clip art and will be free to all intents and purposes. I think that will happen within the next two years or so. So the future for Alamy (and other crowd sourced libraries/agencies I can think of) could be very challenging.

 

High end commercial stock will probably continue, might even thrive once liberated from being lumped in with everything else. Such libraries will be very selective and may even start to add value to by acting as a go-between for photographer and client. I guess GI and a couple of others I can think of are already doing some of that. Possibly too late for Alamy to get into that market. Another possibility is that more cooperative type agencies may be formed that act as photographers agents. To be successful ones they will combine photographers and experienced agents/ sale people; the history of cooperatives of just photographers is pretty chequered (that is being kind).

 

I have already started to take a genuinely more journalistic approach combining photography and writing. It is a very different mind-set - I had a very interesting conversation in media room at the Race Retro event  this morning with with an experienced journalist who really challenged me to explain what I did and how I sold my work; along with his comments it started to clarify the thoughts with which I have been struggling in isolation. I am hoping he will become something of a mentor.

 

What is clear photography is no longer just about taking photographs. (Never really has been, just more acute now)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Actually some kinds of photography sell well on Alamy, and very likely will continue to.  The key is to avoid that truly awful editorial stock look.  Skies that have been given a coating of Spray-glo etc.  Make content a starting point and find an appropriate style.  Find the gap between what the news services are covering and what the recently retired armed with DSLRs and travelling club enthusiasts are shooting.  There is no guarantee that it will work but it's a start.

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Actually some kinds of photography sell well on Alamy, and very likely will continue to.  The key is to avoid that truly awful editorial stock look.  Skies that have been given a coating of Spray-glo etc.  Make content a starting point and find an appropriate style.  Find the gap between what the news services are covering and what the recently retired armed with DSLRs and travelling club enthusiasts are shooting.  There is no guarantee that it will work but it's a start.

 

Basically, research, plan and shoot. I try to shoot stuff 3-6 months before it could be needed and constantly look for possible future needs. I don't like taking stuff on the basis "It might Sell". Fair enough.... my holiday trips are an exception, I take them because I'm there and it would be stupid not to but at home. I timetable what I shoot depending on when it maybe needed.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Actually some kinds of photography sell well on Alamy, and very likely will continue to.  The key is to avoid that truly awful editorial stock look.  Skies that have been given a coating of Spray-glo etc.  Make content a starting point and find an appropriate style.  Find the gap between what the news services are covering and what the recently retired armed with DSLRs and travelling club enthusiasts are shooting.  There is no guarantee that it will work but it's a start.

 

A very valid idea, as is Duncan's approach, but I need reconvincing that Alamy is the route to market for anything at all special anymore. I am working on the content and style approach but it will not generate 100s of images so I don't see how it will get a look in amongst 40+million (soon to be 60+?) images however good it is. Great content and style needs a more focused sales approach in my view than Alamy can provide.

 

Just my 2 cents.

Edited by Martin P Wilson

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Speaking solely from my own experience, textbook sales are what keep my boat afloat on Alamy (six this month ranging from $180 to $221). Fortunately, microstock has not decimated this market. If it does, I'll be heading for Davy Jonses's locker.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Nice to see that you make such sales John. I remember that you had a good january too. You know what you are doing :).

 

Mirco

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Nice to see that you make such sales John. I remember that you had a good january too. You know what you are doing :).

 

Mirco

Thanks for the kind words, Mirco.

 

Actually, I have no idea what I'm doing these days. Glad to see you back in town.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Speaking solely from my own experience, textbook sales are what keep my boat afloat on Alamy (six this month ranging from $180 to $221). Fortunately, microstock has not decimated this market. If it does, I'll be heading for Davy Jonses's locker.

 

Yeah.... they are very nice those. I'm spreading out into different markets to try and protect against one going t1ts up. That said, the images I've sold as Text Book shots are unlikely to create any interest at Micro sites.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

Speaking solely from my own experience, textbook sales are what keep my boat afloat on Alamy (six this month ranging from $180 to $221). Fortunately, microstock has not decimated this market. If it does, I'll be heading for Davy Jonses's locker.

 

Yeah.... they are very nice those. I'm spreading out into different markets to try and protect against one going t1ts up. That said, the images I've sold as Text Book shots are unlikely to create any interest at Micro sites.

 

Yes, please don't post them on microstock sites. The demand is tenuous enough as it is. I cringe when I see editorial/documentary images suitable for textbook use on the micros. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

 

 

 

Speaking solely from my own experience, textbook sales are what keep my boat afloat on Alamy (six this month ranging from $180 to $221). Fortunately, microstock has not decimated this market. If it does, I'll be heading for Davy Jonses's locker.

Yeah.... they are very nice those. I'm spreading out into different markets to try and protect against one going t1ts up. That said, the images I've sold as Text Book shots are unlikely to create any interest at Micro sites.

Yes, please don't post them on microstock sites. The demand is tenuous enough as it is. I cringe when I see editorial/documentary images suitable for textbook use on the micros.

It may happen in time but until then they can't have them :-)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

Actually some kinds of photography sell well on Alamy, and very likely will continue to.  The key is to avoid that truly awful editorial stock look.  Skies that have been given a coating of Spray-glo etc.  Make content a starting point and find an appropriate style.  Find the gap between what the news services are covering and what the recently retired armed with DSLRs and travelling club enthusiasts are shooting.  There is no guarantee that it will work but it's a start.

 

A very valid idea, as is Duncan's approach, but I need reconvincing that Alamy is the route to market for anything at all special anymore. I am working on the content and style approach but it will not generate 100s of images so I don't see how it will get a look in amongst 40+million (soon to be 60+?) images however good it is. Great content and style needs a more focused sales approach in my view than Alamy can provide.

 

Just my 2 cents.

 

 

Agree - Alamy isn't such a route, unless you have work you like, might even think is a bit 'special', but can't get it past the editors.  Most collections (G and C house collections, successful independent agencies) are to some degree curated, take work that fits in, that is compatible with the brand, more so when the criteria are aesthetic.  Another thing about successful collections: a lot of the contributors have quite distinct identities.  There are quite a few whose work I can immediately identify as soon as it appears.  So being consistent becomes important.  More work to edit out.

 

Which is a long way of saying that there is a difference between an Alamy and a recycling bin.  All part of the 'depth'. 

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
Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • 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.