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No Sales in six (6) months


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I have not made a sale yet in Alamy, and I have had two thousand pics on there for 6 months. I put more than 2000 pictures in the Archive section last September. They are scanned from slides on a Nikon V ED dedicated slide scanner.

I have two ideas:
Do buyers 'block' the archive section and prefer digital?
Or perhaps there is really not much call for my subject matter? I have mostly portraits of people in Nepal, although there is some Nepal and Alaska wildlife mixed in there as well.

I have had 3 zooms, and so it is hooked up right. People are seeing them when they click in my keywords.

I just havnt made a sale yet.

Im on my way home from Asia now, back to Alaska, and will be able to work on any part of it I neglected before, if I can figure out what that is. If anything.

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I would suggest you take a look at your key wording. In every image you have replicated the keywords in the caption, esskeys and description which seems illogical. The caption section should be more descriptive of the actual content I.e. "portrait of an ethnic Kalashi hill tribe girl" (if indeed she is).

 

Your images look good to me so clearly the lack of zooms and sales can possibly be attributable to key wording.

 

Hope this helps

Edited by ReeRay
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OK, Ill look more into keywording and description. On the other hand, I have only had three zooms, and all of them were from digital. Yes, she is indeed a Kalaski girl, photo taken in 1991.

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OK, cool. Ill work on it when I get home in 2 days. I think I have more to learn about keywording and descriptions, and have to put some hours into it. I also have many more pics to scan.

Yes, the girl is a Kalashi in Pakistan. I did the Karakoram Highway trip in 1991 when it just opened to tourism.

I see many of your pics are here in Ko San Road, where I am right now.

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I too am sure it is your keywording. You have some wonderful shots of Alaskan wildlife, but in the pics I looked at, you don't specify the animal or bird in the photo. The keywords are to widecscoping and general. For example you have a great shot of two grizzly bears yet no mention of grizzly or bear in your keywords.

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One of your photos of cattle (DEDDM8) is captioned and keyworded "people, nepal, village, himalaya, portrait, asia, travel, rural" even though I didn't notice any people in the image. So yes, I'd say your captioning and keywording needs a bit of work. I would also spell the plural of "Husky" as "Huskies" or use both forms.

 

By comparison, I have about the same number of images on Alamy, with 5 sales so far this month. Two are digital and the other three sales, of one particular image, were shot on film back in the 90s, so I don't think buyers shy away from archive images.

Edited by fotoDogue
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It could also mean that you will have to experiment with shooting different subject matter. AlamyMeasures can be a useful tool for checking out what buyers are looking for in your area. Watch out for similars and duplicates as well. You have quite a few, and they can negatively affect your CTR.

 

Good luck.

Edited by John Mitchell
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OK, Ill work on the keywording when I get home 2 days from now. I didnt ask the question until I was headed home, where I can work on it. Also I wanted to give it some time and see if I made sales before I asked.

The suggestions of keywording have been what I was looking for.

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I have over 1500 images with poor keywording and everymonth sales... Wright now I'm working on my keywords and hope it'll improve my sales. Re-editing 1,5k files is killing me, oh how I hate it!

You have over 2k images... good luck and lot of patience to you :D

 

But lets see... I love flowers and especially this flower DEBC9J

This is (I hope I'm right) Lupinus, commonly known as lupin or lupine.

But your keywords are:

"nature, alaska, landscape, wilderness, alaskan"

 

How should I find your image then? In Poland we have the same plant :) It's blue, purple, with leaves and it's...

beautiful, bloom, blooming, blossom, blossoming, bunch,  colorful, detail, flora, flourish, flower, flowers, fresh, grow,  horizontal, leaf, leaves, nature, nobody, open air, park,  plant, stem, etc, etc.......

 

You have a lot, a LOT of work to do... Please, let me know in next 6 months if something changed? :)

Edited by Arletta
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The composition and content look good to me, but as has been pointed out, there are a number of similars. 

 

In addition to the keywording problem, a lot of your shots appear dark on my screen. For example I took a quick look at DEF9BA  in Photoshop and the histogram is skewed way to the left, confirming my impression. You won't attract picture buyers with dark images of subject matter that should be light, they have to sparkle when compared to the opposition.

 

If you re-process a photo and upload it Alamy will normally delete the original on request, although I'm not sure if that would be the case if you were asking for large batches to be taken out.

 

So, take a look at your processing, sort out the keywords and delete the similars and you should be in business.

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I recall a chat with Sal Shuel some years ago when she was administrator of BALPA. Photographers would regularly ask her advice about placing their lovingly crafted photos with agencies, at which point she groaned "NEPAL, if I get one more call from a photographer just back from Nepal I'm going to scream!" or something along those lines.

 

Alamy has lots of images from most places, but it has 73,420 for Nepal and charming as it may well be, there is only so much demand for your chosen area. I'm afraid Alaska might be a similar tale. 152,804 images.

 

Scans from Slides isn't your problem, I'm one of many doing OK from our archives of transparencies. Key-wording should improve your prospects and TIME may bring some sales. Six months from start is not very long, but I'm surprised you are stuck on zero.

 

The depressing thing is, some photographers seem to do better from snapping their lunch or still-lifes of nick-knacks rather than journeying to the ends of the earth.

Edited by Robert M Estall
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Hey Dude - a quick of total Nepal images indicate only 7 sales over the last 12 months with 73,420 on offer.

 

The same check on Alaska showed 25 sales from an offering of 152,812, lost count of the zooms.

 

You are in a niche sector and need to be spot on with your keywording and quality to get noticed.

 

Good luck

 

dov

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A lot of shots seem rather dark, with blocked-up shadows; some are really gloomy... to the point where I can’t really see what they’re supposed to be. Some of the landscapes have the ‘over-polarised’ look. They really don’t ‘pop’ as thumbnails. On any searched page, you pix won’t be zoomed. Some pix are the wrong way round. There are too many similars; just pick the best one (or two) and delete the other. Some shots seem identical.

 

Keywording is the window we create, so clients can find out pix. Your ‘bird in Alaska’, and ‘insect in the jungle’, for example, need common name and latin name in esskeys. I don’t know whether it effects sales, but I’d use the caption to paint a picture of what the pic shows... rather than in the form of ‘one size fits all’ keywords. Copy/pasting the same keywords into other fields seems self-defeating. Good keywording is key to making sales.

 

I would re-address your post-processing before uploading any more. Some shots look too dark to sell as stock shots; I would delete them. Most of the others would benefit from being brighter, opening up the shadows, making them look more attractive as thumbnails.

 

The time element? I tend not to make sales from Alamy pix till they have been 'live' for a few months. I don't know why this is. But it may be another reason why you haven't had any sales yet...

Edited by John Morrison
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Lazy keywording I'm afraid, as already pointed out. You need to be more specific especially with the wildlife.

 

Even when you get that sorted out, as Robert mentioned, you are shooting many subjects which have low requirements in stock photography. Portraits of people in Asia, please...no more.......you could have gotten one pic, at least, of one using a mobile phone to illustrate global communications. Been done before but always a call for that.

 

Ditto as John on the processing, if a client has to squint to see the image....you've already lost the sale!

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I recall a chat with Sal Shuel some years ago when she was administrator of BALPA. Photographers would regularly ask her advice about placing their lovingly crafted photos with agencies, at which point she groaned "NEPAL, if I get one more call from a photographer just back from Nepal I'm going to scream!" or something along those lines.

 

Alamy has lots of images from most places, but it has 73,420 for Nepal and charming as it may well be, there is only so much demand for your chosen area. I'm afraid Alaska might be a similar tale. 152,804 images.

 

Scans from Slides isn't your problem, I'm one of many doing OK from our archives of transparencies. Key-wording should improve your prospects and TIME may bring some sales. Six months from start is not very long, but I'm surprised you are stuck on zero.

 

The depressing thing is, some photographers seem to do better from snapping their lunch or still-lifes of nick-knacks rather than journeying to the ends of the earth.

Yep, thats what I was sort of thinking. Nepal...Alaska...its sort of been done. I read the posts, and it is true there are a few dark ones, but there are many correctly exposed as well. There may be some problems with keywording, but there have been many views and so buyers have seen them. If there was an interest, someone would have bought, or at least zoomed on a few.

Im afraid that I was right in the first place: There is just not too much interest in the subject, and there is far too much material available already

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Keywording is your problem, the pics are lovely.

 

Look at your image: DEDCJP and this are your keywords: people, nepal, village, himalaya, portrait, asia, travel, rural

 

Problem is, it's probably Boudhanath Stupa - which is in Kathmandu. It's decorated with prayer flats etc. It's not a portrait of a person. The region is called Himalayas. The town, probably Kathmandu. There is no travel in this image - can you see cars etc? Rural? Why? How do with know. Are there any arable fields in the picture? People? Yeah, right!

 

You've left out what's important - eg NAMES. Where on Earth is this? What is it called? Same with animals. What's the animal's name - and here you should add both the common name eg Brown Bear and the latin equivalent (Ursus arctos). 

 

Hope this helps.

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I recall a chat with Sal Shuel some years ago when she was administrator of BALPA. Photographers would regularly ask her advice about placing their lovingly crafted photos with agencies, at which point she groaned "NEPAL, if I get one more call from a photographer just back from Nepal I'm going to scream!" or something along those lines.

 

Alamy has lots of images from most places, but it has 73,420 for Nepal and charming as it may well be, there is only so much demand for your chosen area. I'm afraid Alaska might be a similar tale. 152,804 images.

 

Scans from Slides isn't your problem, I'm one of many doing OK from our archives of transparencies. Key-wording should improve your prospects and TIME may bring some sales. Six months from start is not very long, but I'm surprised you are stuck on zero.

 

The depressing thing is, some photographers seem to do better from snapping their lunch or still-lifes of nick-knacks rather than journeying to the ends of the earth.

Yep, thats what I was sort of thinking. Nepal...Alaska...its sort of been done. I read the posts, and it is true there are a few dark ones, but there are many correctly exposed as well. There may be some problems with keywording, but there have been many views and so buyers have seen them. If there was an interest, someone would have bought, or at least zoomed on a few.

Im afraid that I was right in the first place: There is just not too much interest in the subject, and there is far too much material available already

 

The fact that you say "there have been many views and so buyers have seen them" does not mean that you are doing something right, it means that because of your bad keywording your images are being presented to the buyer for the search term that your images do not represent. You don't have "some problems with keywording".  You have major problems with all your keywording.

A lot of the your images are incorrectly exposed, not just some.

BTW, within the last 3 years I had 12 sales of images from Nepal.  Half of them was the same image.  None of them were portraits.

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It is not what it seems alaskadude.

 

My biggest sale last month (not Alamy) was for $550.  Subject: a nondescript urban park late at night back in October, 40 minutes from where I live, so obscure it doesn't feature in any guides. Nothing much to see except a few lights and shadows.  My biggest sale of the last two years on Alamy: drizzle, a worn sign, some dirty looking tanks, 1 hours drive ($1064: AFW904).  At another UK agency I have a picture of a drainage ditch in Kent filled with algal scum.  Sold 51 times.  Recent brochure usage (same agency) of a full frontal of a liquid nitrogen tank on a dreary industrial estate: 656 British pounds.

 

I am not suggesting that grunge or minimalism will make your day.  But that going to Nepal, Alaska or any other damn place is probably a complete waste of time until you have learned to explore your own back yard. 

 

And don't be pessimistic.  You can still make good sales if you find at least one good niche.  Things aren’t as bad as some are making out.

 

RB

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The depressing thing is, some photographers seem to do better from snapping their lunch or still-lifes of nick-knacks rather than journeying to the ends of the earth.

 

I'd agree with that. Though I find it less depressing now I've started snapping my nick-knacks and lunches. Travel images are still selling for me but I find my 'studio' (kitchen table) stuff is far outselling it and hugely more cost-effective. Even if I buy most of the stuff on ebay, it's still cheaper than the airfare to Prague. (Coincidentally I did find a picture of my lunch on a Danish website last week - with luck it might just cover the cost of the meal).

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And don't be pessimistic.  You can still make good sales if you find at least one good niche.  Things aren’t as bad as some are making out.

 

RB

 

This has been my experience as well. If you can find a good niche or two, it is possible to make regular sales on Alamy. The images don't have to be spectacular either, they just have to be what a particular group of clients is looking for.

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On the other hand UK - over 3 million: USA - nearly 4 million. That doesn't stop people uploading (and selling) more and more images from those regions. You have to assume that people are not just searching for images that are representative of the area. For instance  if I want (say) a picture of a dog or horse it really doesn't matter where it is. Why not buy one with some nice Nepalese scenery in the background? That's why accurate keywording is a must.

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