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Russell

A proposed additional News category "Topical"

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As we move into October I planned to upload some shots of pumpkins and other squashes ripening in autumn sunshine that we have been enjoying recently in the UK. I shot the images two weeks ago when I was visiting the West country.

 

I had intended to submit them as "news" in the hope of catching the eye of picture editors preparing their halloween stories.

 

But as I got ready to submit them I noticed the "shot in the last 48 hours" requirement for news images - so I've submitted them as standard stock, but of course they will now disappear into the thousands of similar images on Alamy.

 

There are numerous seasonal events throughout the year and newspapers and magazines often prepare for them well in advance, so we should do the same.

 

How do other contributors feel about an additional "news" category called (say) "topical" to be distributed on the feed to customers who request it containing images of the next seasonal event(s) in the calendar irrespective of when they were shot?

 

Russell

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I'd say these shots are typical, normal stock images at Alamy. Are they not exactly what many contributors upload at Alamy for magazines and newspapers to be used each year?

 

Perhaps some sort of theme and season oriented lightbox would be what you think of - but isn't Alamy already making these?

 

You could make your own lightboxes and make them public in some way.

Edited by Niels Quist

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Maybe have a look in All of Alamy if there are searches for your subject and 2014.

If so include the year in your keywords.

It's probably topical for newspapers only. (And they are not the highest paying clients.) I have had the first Christmas related sales starting in August with some more in September. Actually the first sales for spring next year started in July. And what about the other half of the world? Australia, New Zealand, South America?

 

The other thing is, that many people have reported here that the prices the newspapers pay for news are higher than for stock, which means you should find a news angle for your topical subjects.

For a masterclass contact Keith Morris?

;-)

 

wim

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Could you use the Reportage route? But if they are really Stock that may be frowned upon. Stock uploads go through in 48 hours anyway so if you plan to shoot them - be prepared and get them up straightaway - why wait so that you miss the 48hour news deadline if they are topical? As others have suggested they need an angle to make them truly topical, that places them in the here and now; of course that may reduce their value as archive images so shoot them as well and upload them as stock..

 

Another thought: if you put them up as news I don't think they appear in the main search for at least 48hours, until they cease to be "news". Timely discovery by searchers assumes the contributor has keyworded them so that they are searchable (often I do it on submission, or as soon as they appear in Manage Images)

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BUT remember .. news images only in the feed for 48 hours so doing "news" images of pumpkins etc now, even if valid "news" is not exactly timely... needs to be closer to the date of the holiday imho... (been known to be wrong though ;-) ) 

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Thank you all for your interesting feedback. David makes a good point about recent images. As a newbie, I hadn't realised this. I also take the points that "topical" shots will be no different to normal stock images.

 

However I have a theory that in general people often don't know what they want until you tell them! When I was working in IT I quickly learned never to give a potential client a blank sheet and ask for their requirements. I would give them an outline "I think you're looking for something like this ....." which they would latch on to with "yes, but I'd need this and this changed ...." from which we could work out a detailed specification.

 

I was really wondering if there were a way to provoke a similar response in Alamy customers by confronting them with "topical" images.

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In my experience, there's the IT world, then there's the real world. Picture buyers hover somewhere between the two I believe . . .

 

dd

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I uploaded some news images last night of the DVLA vehicle tax renewal site with messages that it was too busy on the eve of major changes to the tax disc. The Alamy news desk were very strict and moved them to stock. For them they were stock shots and even in the news context the news desk argued they would be more visible in the stock files - despite my protestations! News papers do not search in the Live News Feed was their arguemnt. So I keyworded them and presumably they were searchable from midnight.

 

So for pumpkins, even those taken today, Alamy will regard them as stock unless there is something newsworthy about the image: grown by a celebrity (holding it or at least in shot), largest, smallest, oldest, strange colour or shape, ...

Edited by Martin P Wilson

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I uploaded some news images last night of the DVLA vehicle tax renewal site 

Martin, I did something similar and sent some new tax disc pics to news last night and like you was told it was stock. A little frustrating because all the other news feeds - AP, Getty etc had news pics of tax discs, can't help thinking Alamy are missing out on sales. 

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Russell, don't forget that after you upload them as stock, your ripening pumpkins will show up at the top of Alamy searches when clients click on the "New" tab.

Edited by John Mitchell

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Once again thanks for your continued feedback.

 

I'm intrigued by the DVLA/Tax Disk stories. I'd have thought those images real "news" and I know a number of both broadsheets and tabloids used such images from a variety of agencies. Similarly I had an image of the "panceltic flag" (all the Celtic races including Brittany) rejected as "News" even though it was the day of the Scottish referendum. My reasoning was that editors might be looking for something to illustrate the likely clamour for independence from the other regions of the UK following the Scottish vote. But my reasoning was apparently wrong.

 

Back to the central point. Pumpkins are not the issue, and yes as you rightly point out John, an editor can search for them by date. My theme was more that there are dozens (hundreds? more?) of events that occur regularly each year. I just wonder if sales could be boosted if Alamy offered editors a prompt "do you realise that xxx date is yyy anniversary, and here are some images to illustrate it".

 

Just a thought, although I know of course that the editors are all so on top of their game they need no such prompting!

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I uploaded some news images last night of the DVLA vehicle tax renewal site 

Martin, I did something similar and sent some new tax disc pics to news last night and like you was told it was stock. A little frustrating because all the other news feeds - AP, Getty etc had news pics of tax discs, can't help thinking Alamy are missing out on sales. 

 

 

Mine weren't tax discs but screen screen shots of the web site messages (I was trying to retax a car) - I thought if they were in the news feed they might trigger a story and get used. Instead they went into stock, I am not convinced they would have been more visible as I was told..One paper used a different screen shot of a message ...

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I uploaded some news images last night of the DVLA vehicle tax renewal site with messages that it was too busy on the eve of major changes to the tax disc. The Alamy news desk were very strict and moved them to stock. For them they were stock shots and even in the news context the news desk argued they would be more visible in the stock files - despite my protestations! News papers do not search in the Live News Feed was their arguemnt. So I keyworded them and presumably they were searchable from midnight.

 

So for pumpkins, even those taken today, Alamy will regard them as stock unless there is something newsworthy about the image: grown by a celebrity (holding it or at least in shot), largest, smallest, oldest, strange colour or shape, ...

 

Martin, didn't your images have to pass regular QC before being moved to your stock collection? That has been my experience with photos rejected for being not newsworthy. In 2012, I spent a month in the sin bin due to a single rejected image that subsequently failed regular QC. This flip-flop seemed very unfair to me because I would not have uploaded that particular shot as stock.

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No John, They (3) went straight across, bypassed QC, and I did what was needed to make them ready. They briefly appeared in the News feed so it was more like the 48 hour process except it was more like 48minutes. It was acknowledged there was some topicality to them but that they would be more visible as Stock.

Edited by Martin P Wilson

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No John, They (3) went straight across, bypassed QC, and I did what was needed to make them ready. They briefly appeared in the News feed so it was more like the 48 hour process except it was more like 48minutes. It was acknowledged there was some topicality to them but that they would be more visible as Stock.

 

Interesting but strange move since they would have spent only 48 hours (I believe) in the news feed before being transferred to stock.

 

Methinks I should have protested more.

Edited by John Mitchell

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No John, They (3) went straight across, bypassed QC, and I did what was needed to make them ready. They briefly appeared in the News feed so it was more like the 48 hour process except it was more like 48minutes. It was acknowledged there was some topicality to them but that they would be more visible as Stock.

 

Interesting but strange move since they would have spent only 48 hours (I believe) in the news feed before being transferred to stock.

 

Methinks I should have protested more.

 

 

Yes, all my others spend around 48 hours in the news feed (it is probably 48 hours + time to the next index update, around midnight was the indication I was given). Interestingly changes to the caption etc in News images seem to go live immediately while they are in the news feed.

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