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Ed Endicott

Are Newspaper Scheme Participants at a Rank Disadvantage?

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We all obsess about our AlamyRank and how many views/zooms we get (some of us like myself check daily). 

 

Looking back through my licensed image history, it appears that the majority of the images I've licensed that were used in newspapers (or where the sales revenue amount is indicative of the newspaper scheme prices) were not recorded as a zoom.  We know that not all of Alamy's customers have accounts that register as a zoom.

 

We also know that sales improve rank greater than zooms.....but initially, do those who supply "creative images" (images created with a slant toward the commercial market - I am not referencing the "creative" Alamy category) over "editorial newsworthy" images (images more indicative of being used by a news outlet) at an AlamyRank disadvantage?

 

***note that Alamy Live News is not included in the newspaper scheme

 

Thoughts?

Edited by Ed Endicott

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Sales top zooms big time. Don't worry!

 

wim

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Wim, I agree....but it's the old "chicken or the egg" conundrum.

 

less views(zooms) = less visibility

less visibility = less sales

less sales = lower rank

Edited by Ed Endicott

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Some of my images turn up in Creative. Thankfully, because every couple of days the search now defaults to Creative.

For some searches that means 35 pages of so-called Creative!  I agree with you that it's no use at all to try compete with those.

So a good strategy is to check before you upload if you have a good chance to get to the first page for that subject. Only then does your image have a fair fighting chance: it's now up to the buyer if it will sell or not. Which means that the quality of the image must be at least as good as the rest on the page. Quality however can mean a lot of things. It's certainly not always calendar postcard pretty stuff that sells, but you will have to find a way to catch that buyer's eye on that page.

 

First rule for contributors with low ranking: make the most of whatever access you have. Have a grumpy cat? Grumpy granma maybe? Work in a hospital? Get to high buildings a lot? Shopping malls? Are you a science teacher? Is your spouse a science teacher? Your mother knows all these old recipes? Your father has collected all these wartime photos? Your kid knows lots of other kids that do weird dance moves? Or play baseball? Soccer? Fly kites? Fight robot wars? Or play games? Your daughter is an engineer? Your son is a teacher? Access can also mean just knowledge: Knowing when the weather will look interesting; when the light will be best for a landmark near you. Access is to photographers what location location location is with real estate. Now the trick is to combine that access with knowing what the market is interested in. And not just what, but also how. If you only look at newspaper images, in time you will start making newspaper images. Newspapers however do not spend a lot of money on images any more. So that market is only interesting when you can consistently produce a lot of what they want. And maybe live in Wales ;-) So go to Barnes and Noble once a week and check what's being used today in magazines and books.

And this is finally where skill comes in: what is different from what I am doing and how is it different and why is it different? Now can I do that? Can I only do that  by copying it, including the subjects, or can I apply it to other subjects as well?

 

All this may just help contributors with higher ranking as well ;-)

 

Second rule: keep track of what sells and what zooms you have got over time. I do it with lightboxes for each year. I wish I could get it with a button push from Alamy though.

Initially that will be info. But it has to become knowledge: why is this stuff not getting zooms? Why does that stuff sell?

 

And then comes 3rd base: edit edit edit.

 

All this will hopefully keep you from having to do the twelve steps ;-)

 

wim

(not saying this applies to you; you were asking for thoughts)

  • Upvote 16

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In my experience newspaper sales nearly always appear as zooms - unless they are re-using an image that they already have on file.

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I have always been in the newspaper scheme, yet today have had  a sale come through for a UK newpaper for $180 (which I saw in the paper itself so was expecting it) and it was also zoomed.

 

Kumar

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I wonder why we don't get re-ranks anymore. I think not since February? Am I right about that?

 

Paulette

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I have always been in the newspaper scheme, yet today have had  a sale come through for a UK newpaper for $180 (which I saw in the paper itself so was expecting it) and it was also zoomed.

 

Kumar

 

Wow!

Great News! ;-)

 

I am in the newspaper scheme too. In the past I have found an image of mine that had been used commercially for at least a year by a UK newspaper and still was only paid a newspaper deal price. So some UK papers can not always be trusted.

Was your image the typical English newspaper photo? Or was it different. Why did they pay more? My guess is: because of the use.

 

wim

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I wonder why we don't get re-ranks anymore. I think not since February? Am I right about that?

 

Paulette

 

There have been claims that there has been a re-rank in May.

Somehow nobody noticed. If there has been one in May and as Alamy claims re-ranks are still being carried out regularly every 100 days, we must have missed one in late August / early September.

 

February re-rank was around Feb 10. So May would have been May 20; August 28; December will be around Dec 10.

Alamy has said in the past that they were working towards a system that was more based on an image to image rank in stead of just pseudo. The inclusion of images into Creative seems to be just that. Certainly with the default search reverting to Creative after a couple of days.

 

wim

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I have always been in the newspaper scheme, yet today have had  a sale come through for a UK newpaper for $180 (which I saw in the paper itself so was expecting it) and it was also zoomed.

 

Kumar

 

Wow!

Great News! ;-)

 

I am in the newspaper scheme too. In the past I have found an image of mine that had been used commercially for at least a year by a UK newspaper and still was only paid a newspaper deal price. So some UK papers can not always be trusted.

Was your image the typical English newspaper photo? Or was it different. Why did they pay more? My guess is: because of the use.

 

wim

 

Hi Wim

 

I think they paid more because it was used as a full spread on the front of a specific supplement...It was a photo of a building, and I have a feeling the paper it was used in may not be in the "Newspaper Scheme" - I suspect the scheme may only cover some newspapers, not all of them?

 

Cheers

 

Kumar

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I wonder why we don't get re-ranks anymore. I think not since February? Am I right about that?

 

Paulette

The last re-rank I am definitely aware of was 24/4/2013. If there have been re-ranks since then, then I have not moved at all

 

Kumar

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I guess I'm not moving these days. I was unaware of anything happening. I work hard on my keywords and have some Creative images so I am usually reasonably happy with where I show up in searches. 

 

Paulette

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I think they paid more because it was used as a full spread on the front of a specific supplement...It was a photo of a building, and I have a feeling the paper it was used in may not be in the "Newspaper Scheme" - I suspect the scheme may only cover some newspapers, not all of them?

 

Cheers

 

Kumar

 

 

Kumar, yes, that's exactly right.  So images licensed to the Daily Mail (some do get zooms others don't) and images licensed to The Telegraph (haven't had images zoomed) are part of the newspaper scheme.

 

Wim, that was a good post, but when I say "creative" I am not referring to Alamy's "creative" classification.  I'm referring to images created with a slant more towards commercial advertising as opposed to images created with a slant toward news or even textbook sales.  I would describe myself as an "editorial photographer" - that is, I don't like creating released images of business folks in meetings and I would rather create images of unreleased people and things.

 

Funkyworm - my reference isn't to the new feed - news feed images are not relevent to the newspaper scheme.  Alamy has stated this on multiple occasions.  One thing you will also notice is that the big news agencies are also marking their images as "editorial use only" which Alamy advises us to do.....I don't do it for two reasons - the first being internal corporate commercial use and personal use are also allowable without releases and the second being that subdistribution may be affected.  Though I have also wondered if this may have an affect on visibility/rank as well.

Edited by Ed Endicott

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In my experience newspaper sales nearly always appear as zooms - unless they are re-using an image that they already have on file.

 

Not my experience with sales to the DM website. I can't ever remember a zoom before a sale, but there's always new evidence of a view, even if they have used the shot in the past.

 

Guess it differs between papers, or maybe between on line and print use?

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Ed,

 

that is exactly the way Alamy's Creative collection was set up to be: fully released material for advertising.

I'm sure this is how American buyers understand it.

European buyers think it's the photographer being creative. (In stead of the intended use.)

 

So now for London you get this:

 

E8GJ9B.jpg

 

Oh well, fair enough, everybody knows cats rule the internet.

 

wim

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One of the key things for news is to edit tightly - I rarely upload more than 10 but I appreciate it is almost impossible for sport. A day or weekend at the races with perhaps 15 classes and just 1st, 2nd, 3rd is 45 pics then add in incidents, misplaced championship contenders and other newsworthy competitors and you are soon well over 50. I am in the prcess of backing off from sport, at least for Alamy, as the viewing rate is the lowest of all my pseudonyms, even my recent travel pictures in obscure parts of France do better!

 

I have pretty much come to the conclusion that the main elite sports are pretty much a waste of time unless you are serving that sports main agency partner (or are actively working to do so). Local and minority sports may be viable as an event photographer selling prints with editorial sales as an occasional modest bonus; I have my doubts about that as well :( . I earned my living that way for a couple of years many moons ago before all cameras had long telezooms.

Edited by Martin P Wilson

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I went to the trouble of signing in so I could give Wim a +1 for that fantastic post. It is now at +12,  and that is too low !!

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One of the key things for news is to edit tightly - I rarely upload more than 10 but I appreciate it is almost impossible for sport. A day or weekend at the races with perhaps 15 classes and just 1st, 2nd, 3rd is 45 pics then add in incidents, misplaced championship contenders and other newsworthy competitors and you are soon well over 50. I am in the prcess of backing off from sport, at least for Alamy, as the viewing rate is the lowest of all my pseudonyms, even my recent travel pictures in obscure parts of France do better!

 

I have pretty much come to the conclusion that the main elite sports are pretty much a waste of time unless you are serving that sports main agency partner (or are actively working to do so). Local and minority sports may be viable as an event photographer selling prints with editorial sales as an occasional modest bonus; I have my doubts about that as well :( . I earned my living that way for a couple of years many moons ago before all cameras had long telezooms.

Last year I uploaded a sports photo (I don't normally do sports), me with the humble NEX and stood alongside the guys with the big Canon cream lenses etc. It did nothing as a Live News photo, but was subsequently used. You can never tell.......

Edited by Bryan

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I went to the trouble of signing in so I could give Wim a +1 for that fantastic post. It is now at +12,  and that is too low !!

+1 thanks Wim

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All my 'news' images are on their own pseudo - though,of course not all images used by papers are 'news' images. The ranking of that pseudo is pretty good - certainly compared to other news photographers. 

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