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Hey everyone,

 

I'm new to Alamy and have about 45 images available for sale as of today. I joined alamy about 4 weeks ago but have not had any zooms much less sales. Most of my photos are related to travel. 

 

I'm stuck in a rut and need some advice from the vets here at Alamy. Any advice on quality of photos, marketability, etc. are greatly appreciated. 

 

Stock photography by Kelley Stanley at Alamy

 

Thanks! 

 

Kelley Stanley

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Welcome to Alamy, Kelley. Your pictures look good, although you are covering regular travel subject matter that has been well covered before. I suggest you hunt around in the forum and look at other members' collections. You do this by clicking on the number next to the word "images." If you click on a thumbnail you will get a larger blowup and will be able to see the keywords. For a newbie, you are not at all bad with your keywording. But don't put sentences and connecting words like "to" and "with" in the keywords -- put them in the caption if you want.

 

Also go to the Alamy home page and read everything they say under "sellers." 

 

Good luck, Edo  :)

Edited by Ed Rooney

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You've got some nice images, Kelly. However, your captions are a bit skimpy. Providing more descriptive info would be a good idea IMO.

 

I wouldn't worry about being in a rut after uploading only 45 images. That comes much later.

 

Welcome aboard and good luck.

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For reasons I'm not too sure about, I don't seem to get zooms (or sales) on pix until they have been on sale for at least three months.

 

45 pix and you're in a rut?? :D

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The old saying on here was get up to 3000 images and you will see things start to take off. Don't know if it still applies as Alamy stock level has risen greatly since that time.

 

I am at 2223 images and sales are still slow.

 

Allan

 

PS Welcome and hope you are very successful with alamy.

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Martin, I've reached the "painfully" part, still working towards "slow." 

 

And Kelley: don't sit by the phone expecting it to ring (a rather dated metaphor). This is a very slow slow business. You're gonna ask, "When can I expect my first sale?" The answer is next week or a year and a half from now, if you stay at it. 

Edited by Ed Rooney

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Couple of things to keep in mind. 

Only one of my sales (not that I have many) was a result of a zoom. It seems the alamy staff searching do not produce zooms. 

My zoom rate is around 1% 

Only one of my sales have been a good scenic shot. The rest of the sales have been plant and animal specific (illustrating a specific plant or animal for a guide).

Dig through the forum one of the big contributors just posted they sold a grab shot in a walmart (from a walk around camera) for be a two page spread in a text book (should have been a good dollar sale). 

Like Ed said you images are already well covered so I would expect a zoom rate very low <1%.

Look at the recent alamy blog post where a contributor has sold $200k of images and then browse through his images. If you have family members that are not camera phobic grab them and spend the day shooting them in every different every day life scenes as you can (shopping in the store, drinking coffee, reading a paper, doing yard work etc.

One thing to remember is the more you put into it the more you get out. If you want to be serious about this treat it like a job and go out everyday and put in the hours (notice I said hours). Take pictures of everything!

-Philip

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Nice pictures, you just need more of them, and I'm sure the sales will follow

Edited by York Photographer
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Couple of things to keep in mind. 

Only one of my sales (not that I have many) was a result of a zoom. It seems the alamy staff searching do not produce zooms. 

My zoom rate is around 1% 

Only one of my sales have been a good scenic shot. The rest of the sales have been plant and animal specific (illustrating a specific plant or animal for a guide).

Dig through the forum one of the big contributors just posted they sold a grab shot in a walmart (from a walk around camera) for be a two page spread in a text book (should have been a good dollar sale). 

Like Ed said you images are already well covered so I would expect a zoom rate very low <1%.

Look at the recent alamy blog post where a contributor has sold $200k of images and then browse through his images. If you have family members that are not camera phobic grab them and spend the day shooting them in every different every day life scenes as you can (shopping in the store, drinking coffee, reading a paper, doing yard work etc.

One thing to remember is the more you put into it the more you get out. If you want to be serious about this treat it like a job and go out everyday and put in the hours (notice I said hours). Take pictures of everything!

-Philip

Thanks Phillip, that's great advice!  Appreciate the reply!

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Best advice anyone can give is get out and shoot a diverse subject matter, upload those images, keyword them appropriately.  Repeat.

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Welcome to Alamy, Kelley. Your pictures look good, although you are covering regular travel subject matter that has been well covered before. I suggest you hunt around in the forum and look at other members' collections. You do this by clicking on the number next to the word "images." If you click on a thumbnail you will get a larger blowup and will be able to see the keywords. For a newbie, you are not at all bad with your keywording. But don't put sentences and connecting words like "to" and "with" in the keywords -- put them in the caption if you want.

 

Also go to the Alamy home page and read everything they say under "sellers." 

 

Good luck, Edo  :)

 

 

You've got some nice images, Kelly. However, your captions are a bit skimpy. Providing more descriptive info would be a good idea IMO.

 

I wouldn't worry about being in a rut after uploading only 45 images. That comes much later.

 

Welcome aboard and good luck.

 

 

For reasons I'm not too sure about, I don't seem to get zooms (or sales) on pix until they have been on sale for at least three months.

 

45 pix and you're in a rut?? :D

 

Thanks for all of your inputs! My current photos were taken under the assumption I would only use them for personal use but going forward, I'll be more mindful of the images I'm capturing. 

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Nice photos Kelley. Get some more people in as you go forward.

 

Thanks Gervais, I've been thinking including people is not necessarily a good thing as you don't typically pick up model releases from passer-byers. Does that not scare people away from purchasing an image with people in it?

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Ah, but Alamy sell a lot for editorial use, and we don't need MRs for that. 

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Welcome to Alamy Kelley,

Nice photos Kelley. Get some more people in as you go forward.

This is good advice.

 

The photos are good but there are 50 million photos on Alamy and you need to get yours seen - the answer is in the keywording in which I would include the captioning.

 

The captioning is important for 2 reasons - mainly because when picture editors are looking for subjects they need to have the full details of place, name, etc right in front of them. Less importantly, the caption field is searchable, ie. the words have value in the keywording of your images.

 

In the keywording itself, which is hugely important - get it wrong and the most wonderful images will not be seen.

 

Examples from your images:

 

E6CFAB: captioned "Fortress in the Greek Islands" - What fortress? which Greek island? - Picture editors will rarely want general images of fortresses in the greek islands - much more likely they will want an image of THAT fortress or an image from THAT island

 

E6CEM3: captioned "A windy day at Qaitbay, in Alexandria, Egypt. What is Qaitbay exactly? You have keyworded it as a fort and a fortress, but actually if you Google it , It is called the Citadel of Qaitbay. Use "All of Alamy" to see what searches have been done in the past year - there have been no searches for "Qaitbay" but one search for "Alexandria Citadel" and your image would not have been seen.

 

You have only just started so I hope you will not feel this is being too critical - hopefully intended to be helpful. With so few images on sale so far you have the opportunity to improve the captions and keywords of images that are already there.

 

BTW be aware that images with people or parts of people in, whatever their size and whether they are recognisable or not, cannot be RF unless you have signed model releases for all people in the image (cf. image

E6H6MT

RF for example), and also images with property taking up most of the image cant be RF unless you have a property release (cf Image

E6CEM3 for example)

 

Good Luck and enjoy Alamy - it is usually good fun :)

 

Kumar

Edited by Doc
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Guest dlmphotog

Kelly,

 

I can’t add much too great advice already given other than the need for patience. I find for me it takes about one year after the images are uploaded before they start selling.

 

Try to include people in your images as they provide scale, contest and culture to the images. Sell the images as RM/Editorial and don’t worry about model releases.

 

David L. Moore  

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Hi Kelley,

 

A fairly unique feature of Alamy amongst stock agencies is that it is an unedited collection; as long as your photos meet the technical requirements they will be accepted. This means that your images may be competing against many similar ones from people who have a higher ctr and therefore their images will be seen first and they are more likely to get the sale. Secondly an unedited collection results in images which other agencies may refuse for "having no commercial value" being accepted; this doesn't mean they won't sell (some of my best microstock sales come from images refused by one agency for this reason but accepted by others).

 

Stock is long term and the people who have succeed are those who persevered and amassed large relevant collections. I am a minnow by their standards with almost 1k photos and only two sales this year on Alamy, so as others above suggest you would be lucky to achieve instant success.

 

The good news is that you have some nice and varied work, and if you forget about sales for now and keep doing what you are doing those sales will appear.

 

Just keep at it and good luck

Joe

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Lots of good advice Kelley. Mine is be specific in your flora and fauna. You have images of trees in Brussels, but don't say what type of tree. And always include the latin name as well. Same as for your water buffalo. Need the latin name.

 

I as well noticed the image from Cairo that is set as RF. Needs to be changed to RM, which you actually can't do unless you email member services and have them do it for you.

 

Good luck,

 

Jill

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Nice photos Kelley. Get some more people in as you go forward.

 

Thanks Gervais, I've been thinking including people is not necessarily a good thing as you don't typically pick up model releases from passer-byers. Does that not scare people away from purchasing an image with people in it?

 

 

Your problem, no matter how good the images are, is that you are shooting images in one of the most oversupplied areas of stock - every holiday now has become a stock shoot, there's now a stock shooter living in every destination thanks to the web. You will need much greater numbers to make a dent in that genre.

 

Content is king in this business, shoot content that is needed and you'll have sales with small numbers. If images are easy to get, every stockshooter and their dog will be getting them. The person who goes the extra mile to get releases is ahead of the crowd.

 

In general it takes a quarter to see sales, more so from RM than RF. If this is a hobby, then enjoy the process and don't get hung up on sales, if you want to make money you need to spend the time looking at what sells (in the wider market) and see how you can supply some of those areas.

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A couple of things:

 

1. Always listen to the previous poster.  He generally knows what he is talking about  (except when he disagrees with me :D)

 

2. I like this one: The path/road ahead, terrible cliche but done properly, will always have universal psychological appeal.  Vertical is good: could be used as a cover.

 

E6H6N2.jpg
Edited by Robert Brook
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Kelley, you have some very nice pictures, a lot of them I wish I'd taken, or at least had the opportunity to have taken. Add another 5000 and you are well on the way.

 

The advice you have been given here is sound and from people who know the industry well, some of them far better than me. However, in my experience, don't be put off submitting pictures to categories that appear "over subscribed". I don't give a hoot in hell how many other pictures are in my field, or how many photographers are submitting to it. If I get a picture that I think is worth submitting I put it in, and I've had sales against some mighty stiff competition over the years.

 

If you are happy with the picture, and it passes QC, then it has the same chance as anyone else's, the buyer decides!

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All of it is great advice. Except maybe to wait until you have 3000 images on Alamy. If you caption and keyword like this you will have sunk to the bottom by then.

 

So let's take your last image: E6H6MT, captioned The many bicycles of Amsterdam.

I would name the canal Leidsegracht, maybe even corner of Leidsegracht and Lijnbaansgracht, that it's a bridge, and that it's autumn. Try to describe what you see. Maybe elaborate on that in the description field.

Try not to tell something we do not see. Like that it is a sunny day. because it doesn't look all that sunny. Your image comes up on row 4 of the first page for the search Amsterdam sunny day, which is great! Except that yours is the least sunny of the whole page.

 

C1B9CF.jpg

This one (not yours) of course is what a sunny day looks like.

However it says it's The Skinny Bridge, which it isn't. That's the bridge to the right, not visible in this image.

So accuracy is important. Not just for you but for all of us, because we will all look like a fool when this one ends up on the cover of a major travel guide, captioned Skinny Bridge.

 

In the keywords I would include canals autumn bikes parked and I would strike the words road transport transportation photography location.

 

Have a good look at the All of Alamy; real searches that you can look at when you press the All of Alamy button on your Dashboard. Put %amsterdam% in the search box and set the date as far back as possible, which at the moment is September 1st, 2013.

Include keywords that seem appropriate. But try to be as accurate as possible, so think hard before you include something like cycling, because yes it is about bicycles, but as far as I can see, there's no one cycling.

Which brings me to something strange: there are people visible in the image, but it's RF. That should not be possible. My guess is, you have not declared the amount of people in the image.

 

From All of Alamy you can also learn if words like travel destination and places (or any of the other words) are really being used. They may be necessary for some other agencies though.

You have a good set of images, if you keep editing this tightly -maybe throw in some more people- you will certainly make sales here.

 

wim

 

edit: typo

Edited by wiskerke
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All good advice. I second John Mitchell's advice about more info in your captions and keywords and then get two more zeros behind the number of images uploaded. It's more of a numbers game, but diversity in subject matter and quality helps a lot too! Good luck.

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"...get two more zeros behind the number of images uploaded. It's more of a numbers game..." MV

 

OR

 

"Content is king in this business, shoot content that is needed and you'll have sales with small numbers. If images are easy to get, every stockshooter and their dog will be getting them" GK

 

The former is received opinion, whereas the latter is a truth for those who actively seek it.

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