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"I suspect this thread is a storm in a teacup, and Alamy isn't about to start selling credits, or do anything other than carry on as it has been doing - trying to thrive in an impossible market."

 

I suspect you're right. A typhoon in a teakettle.

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 My biggest sales in 2014 ($500+ per licence) have been via these agencies.  I have one set of distributed images both here and at Getty.  At Getty I have sales every month, whereas here: not a sausage. 

 

 

So, you have sales at Getty every month, but here on Alamy you have "Not a sausage"?  

 

Forgive me, but I am not familiar with the use of the term "sausage" as you are using it here, and therefore I am not sure what it is that you mean.

 

 

 

Sausage information.......

 

http://online-english-lessons.eu/wordpress/2010/05/idiom-not-a-sausage/

 

It's a common saying in Blighty (Britain)

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" Is this place really so terrible as that?"

 

Still getting sausages here. Just keep uploading. That's the only way to find out.

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If I were an editorial customer, I also wouldn't love the captions on a lot of microstock images. It doesn't look to me that they have improved much over the years. Many are still inaccurate and virtually useless.

 

 

That problem in not exclusive to micros. In respect to Portugal in all searches I make on alamy there are gross errors of misidentified places, monuments, and all sorts of things. Including messing up world heritage sites names! Sometimes I almost sent alamy a mail, but didn't do it because it would become a full time job.

 

The fact that alamy has an advantage of years in terms of editorial content, which is not a surprise since it's the agency's main focus, obviously gives it not only a larger collection but probably more correction in terms of keywords and captions.

 

In terms of the Micro agencies that may very well change as more and more informed contributors, join the editorial segment. Some agencies even have in place an alert to badly captioned and keyworded images.

 

Oh, mis-identification is a problem all right - and can definitely come back to bite the careless photographer.  I recently found one of my botanical images used in a blog post in a UK newspaper (not reported yet).  It replaced another Alamy sourced photo that had been incorrectly labelled.  This was picked up by a commentator on the piece and the writer then replaced the original image with mine, added an apology and the comment "I shall let the agency, Alamy, know".  I'd love to see that correspondence.  

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 My biggest sales in 2014 ($500+ per licence) have been via these agencies.  I have one set of distributed images both here and at Getty.  At Getty I have sales every month, whereas here: not a sausage. 

 

 

So, you have sales at Getty every month, but here on Alamy you have "Not a sausage"?  

 

Forgive me, but I am not familiar with the use of the term "sausage" as you are using it here, and therefore I am not sure what it is that you mean.

 

Does that mean that out of your 1409 images here at Alamy, you do not have a single sale?  That is hard for me to believe.  Why, then, did you bother to spend all of the time uploading, keywording, etc....if it didn't yield even a single sale.  Is this place really so terrible as that?

 

 

I have sales every month here, Tom.  I am referring to a small bunch of images (a mere 32) that are part of a collection I have that are distributed by a specialist agency, that happen to be both here and at Getty.  Here: no sales, G: sales every month.  I wasn't intending to knock Alamy, just correcting misinformation about C and G.  Since most of my images here are around 20 years old, it shows that Alamy can sell.  It's just not in the premier division.

 

'knock': criticise

'not a sausage'.  Not a penny earned

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I have sales every month here, Tom.  I am referring to a small bunch of images (a mere 32) that are part of a collection I have that are distributed by a specialist agency, that happen to be both here and at Getty.  Here: no sales, G: sales every month.  I wasn't intending to knock Alamy, just correcting misinformation about C and G.  Since most of my images here are around 20 years old, it shows that Alamy can sell.  It's just not in the premier division.

 

'knock': criticise

'not a sausage'.  Not a penny earned

 

Thank you for your explanation, Robert.  I am so glad to hear that you do, indeed, have regular sales here on Alamy.  If you had "not a sausage" to show for 1400+ images, I would completely change my plans about what to spend the next 6 months of my life doing!

 

I have had Getty request me to join them, but declined, due to a lot of bad reports about giving images away for free as some type of foolish "promotional" idea (and giving the contributors ZERO commission), low-balling, and the like.  One contributor I know says that his average commission with Getty is $2.32.....that was over 2 years ago, so it may be even worse now.  

 

On the other hand, an Alamy contributor I know said that while he only sells a couple of images a month, his commission per sale is usually between $130 and $190.  But then again, that was also over 2 years ago, so that might be down a bit, as well.

 

Given the anecdotal info I received from two different photographers that I know personally, can you see why I would think of Alamy as a "premiere" agency, and why I would think of Getty as a "low end" agency?

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I have sales every month here, Tom.  I am referring to a small bunch of images (a mere 32) that are part of a collection I have that are distributed by a specialist agency, that happen to be both here and at Getty.  Here: no sales, G: sales every month.  I wasn't intending to knock Alamy, just correcting misinformation about C and G.  Since most of my images here are around 20 years old, it shows that Alamy can sell.  It's just not in the premier division.

 

'knock': criticise

'not a sausage'.  Not a penny earned

 

Thank you for your explanation, Robert.  I am so glad to hear that you do, indeed, have regular sales here on Alamy.  If you had "not a sausage" to show for 1400+ images, I would completely change my plans about what to spend the next 6 months of my life doing!

 

I have had Getty request me to join them, but declined, due to a lot of bad reports about giving images away for free as some type of foolish "promotional" idea (and giving the contributors ZERO commission), low-balling, and the like.  One contributor I know says that his average commission with Getty is $2.32.....that was over 2 years ago, so it may be even worse now.  

 

On the other hand, an Alamy contributor I know said that while he only sells a couple of images a month, his commission per sale is usually between $130 and $190.  But then again, that was also over 2 years ago, so that might be down a bit, as well.

 

Given the anecdotal info I received from two different photographers that I know personally, can you see why I would think of Alamy as a "premiere" agency, and why I would think of Getty as a "low end" agency?

 

 

I have three different collections at Getty, all distributed, so I only receive a fraction of revenue.  My net average is a damned sight better than $2.32.  My highest gross fee in 2014 was around £1000.   

 

Average gross revenue per sale here is well below the figure you quote for two years ago. 

 

You would be mad not to consider joining Getty if you were invited. It is true that editorial work more than often sells at subscription prices, but if you produce commercially relevant images they can license for hundreds or thousands.

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<>

 

On the other hand, an Alamy contributor I know said that while he only sells a couple of images a month, his commission per sale is usually between $130 and $190.  But then again, that was also over 2 years ago, so that might be down a bit, as well.

 

 

Before 2008 this possibly maybe on a very very rare occasion could have been true for the best of the best on Alamy.

Otherwise: Pics Or It Didn't Happen.

As a total: maybe yes. As an average net: no.

 

Have a look through the threads on this forum that have a month in the topic. like How was your January.

Those are all honest reports from a pretty average bunch. From contributors that sell 3 images a year to photographers that sell 100 images a month.

 

Usually numbers given are gross not net. Part of the total will be through sub-agents netting the contributor only 30%. Think of between 10 and 20% of all sales.

 

If you click on the blue number underneath a contributors name, you get an idea of what subjects, quality and style a collection needs to have to make regular sales.

Size matters, but not always as you would think.

If you look through the forum threads, you'll notice that successful collections need not to be that big and usually are not getting lots of zooms in relation to the amount of sales.

Meaning that if an image gets zoomed, it's highly likely it will result in a sale.

 

No views; no zooms; no sales: this is not your sport.

Many views; no zooms; no sales: You're doing something seriously wrong. Maybe just keywording. Probably more than that. Style? Technique?

Many views; some zooms; no sales: also something wrong, could be technique or style.

Many views; many zooms; no or few sales: definitely style or technique.

Many views: some zooms; many sales: you're a perfect match for Alamy.

Too many views however will lower your ranking on the page: go shoot popular subjects that return less than 5 pages of images; cut back on keywords.

 

There probably are some more truisms about Alamy ;-)

 

wim

 

-and when you start selling, please come and contribute to the How was your month threads ;-)

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Thanks for that next-to-last paragraph, wim. It may have opened up a part of my brain that has been sleeping. 

 

Now that I made you feel good, let me tell you something to make you feel not so good. The largest money sale I had last year was from an image captured at your Amsterdam Flower Market, a casual, mundane snap of closed pink tulips. Hey, I just take 'em; I don't sell 'em.   B)

Edited by Ed Rooney

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Wim, it would appear that this stock business is not my sport, even though it used to be. I am looking to see if there is another game in town :(

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Thanks for that next-to-last paragraph, wim. It may have opened up a part of my brain that has been sleeping. 

 

Now that I made you feel good, let me tell you something to make you feel not so good. The largest money sale I had last year was from an image captured at your Amsterdam Flower Market, a casual, mundane snap of closed pink tulips. Hey, I just take 'em; I don't sell 'em.   B)

 

Great! Good for you! I feel a lot less guilty now for all those images I snatched from other people's doorstep. ;-)

 

I was born on the other end of that canal. And though I now live 20 minutes away in the next city, it remains very much my preferred hunting ground. It's always difficult to see especially little details in a well known environment.

 

Now with that out of the way, what was the eye opener for you?

 

wim

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We were lucky to get a very dry May in 2006, unusual for Amsterdam, as you know. We had planned a day in Haarlem, but suddenly, it seemed, it was time to fly home. But I had good luck with the images I was able to capture.

 

I'm having trouble gathering my thoughts regarding 'my enlightenment.' I'll have to talk to myself, first. I'm a right-brained, dyslexic intuitive being, remember. And surely I don't understand me.  :unsure:

Edited by Ed Rooney

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^^ Wim, you missed me out: many views; some zooms; few sales.  I'll go for over-zealous keywording & lazy style or technique :lol::D:):o:unsure::(

 

EDIT: though I am trying to improve ;) .  Difficult to get the impetus what with all the turmoil round these parts right now, though.

Edited by losdemas

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Wim, it would appear that this stock business is not my sport, even though it used to be. I am looking to see if there is another game in town :(

 

Martin,

 

Nothing against that of course.

 

However, there's always the possibility you're just on the wrong field on the wrong day.

You may have taken the wrong turn somewhere.

Or the game has changed while you were not paying attention too closely.

 

I take it you mean the first of my truisms describe your current situation.

That's a tough spot to be in.

 

This is a self test I would do, before drawing that conclusion.

Take a small series of say ten images that you feel represent your best from your salable work. Choose images within two hours travel from home.

 

Hold them each next to a page of images of the same subject on Alamy and Google Images. Use about the same size.

See if you can come up with ways to improve on your own images.

Are the things that make an image stand out on a Google Image page the same as those that would make it stand out on Alamy?

Could you borrow parts of style and techniques from one to make them stand out on the other?

 

Are the ways in which you could improve your images mainly subject treatment or photographic style and/or technique?

 

Sure signs, it's the wrong sport: you feel all the others have worse images.

 

When you see no difference, you need a good critic.

When you see a difference but don't know how to improve your own (already best suitable, remember) images, you need a teacher or coach. Which can be a good book or a video training, but is preferably interactive. Meaning human for foreseeable future.

When you do see a difference, and see what to improve, and decide not to throw the towel after all, you will need practice. Field training. You can be your own coach. Like you can be your own teacher in almost everything. (It will take longer on your own.)

 

Don't change too many things at a time. As a start train on the subjects of your initial series. (Hence the 2 hours; one hour would be better, but we're working with existing material here.)

Even when all this goes well, still go look for that honest critic. Aim at making the definitive image of the subject in a range of circumstances, from which the ultimately definitive image will come. Or will have to be made, taking into account the other already definitive images. Think of that as the next level. After reaching it go for the next subject.

Just as part of the practice, try to emulate style and/or techniques of some of the stand-out images. In the beginning this may take considerable time to nail it, but over the range a couple of weeks your own definitive image will demand most of the allotted time.

 

wim

 

This is the trainer I would choose for myself: http://tinyurl.com/puwha6u.

And no it's not Louis Van Gaal.

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We were lucky to get a very dry May in 2006, unusual for Amsterdam, as you know. We had planned a day in Haarlem, but suddenly, it seemed, it was time to fly home. But I had good luck with the images I was able to capture.

 

I'm having trouble gathering my thoughts regarding 'my enlightenment.' I'll have to talk to myself, first. I'm a right-brained, dyslexic intuitive being, remember. And surely I don't understand me.  :unsure:

 

I would not have been there to greet you anyway, living just down the road from the White House at that moment. Still worth visiting though. However not a lot of searches on AoA.

You have a cat? Just explain it to the cat first. Sometimes a dog or a goldfish will do as well. Alternatively try someone who has no idea what you're talking about. A partner perhaps?

;-)

 

wim

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^^ Wim, you missed me out: many views; some zooms; few sales. I'll go for over-zealous keywording & lazy style or technique :lol::D:):o:unsure::(

 

EDIT: though I am trying to improve ;) . Difficult to get the impetus what with all the turmoil round these parts right now, though.

Yeah guilty on most accounts myself I'm afraid.

Try: dividing views/sales.

My guess is that anything lower than 500 is OK.

Most of mine is not. Needs work. Quickest would be the trashcan. Don't you love the sound of crushing files in the morning.

[Wagner&Coppola of course]

 

wim

 

edit: sorry about Youtube opening live in this post. I will try to remedy that.

Edited by wiskerke

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A dog? A cat? No, not even a goldfish.  :(  I love both cats and dogs, wonderful creatures. But my situation will not accommodate either. Goldfish are a pain in the butt. You look at them and they drop dead. 

 

I love Amsterdam. It's a totally charming city. Well, the pubs along most canals could try to do a better lunch; you're lucky to get a toasted cheese with your beer. That and the rain are my only complaints. It's almost embarrassing that everyone speaks such good English. I can say hello and thank you in 41 languages, but Dutch is not one of them -- no need. Maybe I like Copenhagen a bit better? But I was younger then and had a few adventures there.

 

As far as AoA goes, I shoot what I have access to. And I don't worry about what I don't have access to. I don't travel anymore, and I spent no money shooting stock. 

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Christ! I've been in a Huey with the First Cav . . . and it wasn't a movie either.  :ph34r:

Edited by Ed Rooney

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Even though I've had a couple of whisky's, I am going to try to be civil, try.

 

Over the years I've had no use for "stock photographers" even though one

of my best friends, also a current contributor to Alamy, is a "stock photographer"

with over 5,000 images on Alamy.  I have no time for anyone who complains

about their life or their "sales" (sic) for RM, it is licenses.  In my opinion (IMO) all of the

Alamy contributors are responsible for the problems in the profession, industry

as is Alamy. I've spent the last ten years sitting at a computer, scanning and retouching

images from the 70's, 80's, 90's and early 00's to post on Alamy and I am seeing

reasonable rewards from that, but on the other hand I am now doing assignment

photography for corporate executives and I make more in a day on assignment

than I make in a month from my stock sales on Alamy in a month. 

 

Photography can be a hobby, for many on Alamy. for me photography is a

profession and I practice it  every day.  I am proud to be a contirbutor

to Alamy

 

The bottom line is that I am a "professional photographer"  I make images for

compensation, my work adds value to the company that hired me or the licensed 

my images and I do not give that away.

 

If I thought that Alamy was a sub standard agency (Micro) I would not be posting

on this forum or have any of my images represented by Alamy.

 

In 2015 anyone can take a digital image, the real issue is can they take an image

that illustrates or tells a story. Can they caption and keyword it quickly?  Can they

edit a RAW take and find the smallest number of images that illustrate the story?

 

That is what "digital imaging" is about in 2015,  IMO it is about the image and the

IPTC information.  IMO in 2015 if you create great images there is a much greater

market for them now then there was in 1985.  It is about the images, IPTC info, and

distribution are the base level keys.

 

Chuck

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"...or their "sales" (sic) for RM, it is licenses."

 

Technically, you're correct, Chuck, they are licenses rather than sales because there is no transfer of ownership. However, Alamy and all the other stock agencies that I know prefer "sales" and "sell" -- e.g. "how to sell your images" and "how to make more sales."  I guess it sounds snappier than "how to make more licenses." The English language has taken a real beating in the online world, and sometimes one just has to go with the digital flow.

Edited by John Mitchell

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Alamy et al are selling licences, but not images.

 

So I can't say "my licenses" either since they (the licenses) belong to Alamy. What's a real photographer to do? B)

Edited by John Mitchell

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Alamy et al are selling licences, but not images.

 

So I can't say "my licenses" either since they (the licenses) belong to Alamy. What's a real photographer to do? B)

 

 

Deal direct, or perhaps deal yourself into a poker game.

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Alamy et al are selling licences, but not images.

 

So I can't say "my licenses" either since they (the licenses) belong to Alamy. What's a real photographer to do? B)

 

 

Deal direct, or perhaps deal yourself into a poker game.

 

 

Personally, I don't care what they're called -- sales, licenses, leases, whatever -- as long as they keep happening.

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I always think that RM market will always exist.

 

Microstock is good for costumers that just need an image for cheap price. But i can immagine that there are also costumers that needs a more "exclusive" photo for their product. A image that is not so frequently downloaded as Microstock RF. For this clients Alamy is the right place.

 

Mirco

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