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This comes from perhaps having too much time on my hands, but I divided My total sales to date into the total dollar amount that appears on My Alamy Dashboard.  I came up with $103.81.  I thought that was pretty good.  Of course if I used return per image on sale it wouldn't look so good.  Does anyone else want to post their number?  Maybe it will cheer some of the new people up a little.

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I tried searching the forum for different topic variations that I could think of before I posted this. None of the results suggested that they might cover this topic.  Its nice to have the link to the other post though, I will study it and maybe learn something.  I knew there had to be something on the subject, thanks Martin.   

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If I've done the math right - not as much of a slam dunk as it should be, but hey it's 0600 in the morning after yet another night with no sleep - my average comes to $123.96 (plus change). 776 licenses granted for a grand total of $96,195.


Hopefully I'll be able to start working on adding to my rather small Alamy collection in earnest during 2015, at least that's the plan...

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sounds great!


Thanks for posting! So, I'm continue to upload and build a larger portfolio in my rare freetime besides studies and daytime job. If I get 10 downloads per year this would make more than I actually get through other microstock agencies!


So someone told me with a portfolio size of ~100 images one get 1 download per year. Can anyone confirm this?!


Means to get 10 downloads per year I would need 1000 images which seems to be pretty hard anyway, but will try my best!

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RenePi, it's not all just about volume of images held here - it's also how long those images have been here and how good your Alamy rank is.  The saleability of those images is also (of course) very important, so you have to consider what part of the market you want to target (editorial, advertising, etc.)  Keywording and captioning also play a big part in getting those images seen.


There are many factors which determine if/how many of your images are licensed, and you cannot necessarily say that a portfolio of 1000 images which has sold 10 licenses in the last year would yield 1 license if the portfolio size was only 100 images - or vice-versa.  Similarly, exactly the same portfolio of 1000 images might return vastly different results depending whose hands it was in!


There are many threads here in the forum relating to sales, portfolio content, pseudonyms, Alamy rank, image size/quality, QC, subject matter, keywording, etc. all of which will have a bearing on how successful (and happy) you are here.  But regarding volume of sales, then you will have to manage your expectations, as in the short-term they will not be of the quantity which you have been used to with microstock.  With hard work and good fortune, however, hopefully the long-term returns should be considerably higher.


Best of luck! :)

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As others have said, there are no hard and fast rules really. I have a good number of sales quite regularly even though I have a small number of pics on Alamy. My photos are very much editorial and have virtually no typical photographic qualities other than the basics such as sharp, exposure correct, etc. The reasons my images sell and keep on selling are two, and pretty basic ones at that.


1. I have images that few others have in a segment of the editorial stock industry that is in demand on a regular basis. My photographs of law enforcement, prisons, forensics, crime scenes etc are typically used by book-publishers putting out books on Criminal Justice, Forensics, Sociology, etc.


2. My keywords are correct and the publishers looking for "my" type of images know my name and know that I can be trusted not to keyword a photo of a police tactical team as being a SWAT team, that white powdery substance with the keyword heroin is actually heroin and not cocaine, or the scene of a fatality traffic accident not to actually be an injury accident, or a CSI on scene "dusting for prints" is doing that rather than lifting prints off a surface, and so on.

In other words, they know that they can depend on me to get it right for them. Very often, photo researchers know little to nothing about the topics they are trying to find photos for. So when they find a specialized photographer with expert knowledge of the fields/topics covered, they are so grateful that they almost (actually has happened more than once) are on the verge of tears of gratitude after locating something incredibly specific and hard to find.


I've written extensively about editorial stock over the years. I co-wrote the latest (and sadly probably last) edition of Sell and Re-Sell Your Photos by Rohn Engh with Rohn (I wrote it and Rohn edited), and I have studied the editorial stock industry at great length by talking to a huge number of photobuyers, by doing an annual survey of photobuyers for PhotoSource International, and so on.

I have come to the conclusion that it is actually quite simple. Either you go for a large number of images or you decide to specialize and go for hard to find images within one (or a few) categories and become the expert on this (or these) category/ies.


But very general statements such as "you'll make one sale per year per 100 images" are almost always useless. Simply because so much depends on your specific situation.

Very accomplished photographers like Mike Ventura will license his rather outstanding images at one rate, Jeff Greenberg will outsell us all clumped together based on a huge collection of images that are properly keyworded and constantly kept up to date, and I license pics sometimes for the only reason that I'm the only one that have a specific image to offer.

For my personal situation, authors of books on Criminal Justice and related topics often have very detailed and specialized photo needs. The other day someone needed a photo of a police tactical unit (specifically not a SWAT team) serving a high-risk drug related search warrant at a single family dwelling at dawn or dusk. Oh, and the officer on the ram (that 50-lbs door knocker that looks like a steel tube with handles) has to be Caucasian, but officers from at least two ethnic minorities have to be in the photo. Out of the 5,000 or so pics I have of high-risk drug related search warrants in my files I found a few images that fit the needs of the publisher and made the (direct) sale.


My images sell not because I'm an artist but because I can offer photos of eight or nine different kinds of crystal meth in a variety of accurate colors that are keyworded correctly.


Sorry for the babbling, but hopefully this made at least some sense... :-)



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For what it is worth, for the last three years, my number of images on sale (1st June), number sold in the year, and average gross price are as follows:


2012     5200  74   $48.99

2013     6358  76   $45.10


And 2014 year to date (September 29th)


2014     7700  71   $42.53


The rule of thumb I heard of long ago said one might expect one sale per month per 1000 images.   This roughly works for me.


The average prices show a slow downward trend.   


In 2011 I had an advertising sale for $1100, more than 1/3rd of the year's total.   When these nice things happen the average price shoots up rather agreeably.

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