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I've been contributing to Alamy since 2004 and by 2008 was generally selling about 80 photos a year. OK, not great with about 4000 photos in 2008 slowly expanding to just over 6000 photos now, but sort of consistent with an upward trend in early 2014. Had one of those top 500 contributor emails near the middle of last year and sales have plummeted. Now projecting maybe 40 sales for this year.


 


My photos cover a mix of subjects, but am I totally missing what is now wanted? Has my processing gone to pot with requirements now for much more intense colour, or something? My key wording now all wrong? Any suggestions or comments welcome.


 


Revenue hit a peak in 2009 of $13,490 then, probably like most, this dropped to about a third and down again now.


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2008 was my best year. Since then, we have fallen victim to many more people entering the fray, millions more images to compete against.

 

To stand out and make better sales, one must shoot released people, set up shots. Think what you see in magazines for advertising. The other area is conceptual, a clear idea of demonstrating the concept. Done well, developed well, and above all, keyworded well.

 

I shoot a variety of images as you do. Most unreleased, some just grabbing the opportunity in front of me. I can't afford to pay models. I don't have a studio setup. I don't have the photoshop skills of using some of the refined cutout skills to put together the kinds of conceptual images, for instance, like Geoff Kidd does and sells elsewhere.

I wish I did.

So we are bound to take the back seat in the business of stock. Either muddle along selling less, or make the effort to up our games.

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I'm so sorry Betty, I meant to give you a greenie for your great advice but hit the red button instead!  Darn iPads!  Wish there was an undo.

Edited by MariaJ

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I'm so sorry Betty, I meant to give you a greenie for your great advice but hit the red button instead!  Darn iPads!  Wish there was an undo.

Cancelled out.  Good advice Betty.

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What we all need to do is - before we embark on an idea - see whats in the alamy collection first - if you cant do much better - just forget about it.

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What we all need to do is - before we embark on an idea - see whats in the alamy collection first - if you cant do much better - just forget about it.

With the size and diversity of the Alamy offering its just a bit hard (near impossible) to find unique subjects so its down to upping the game or forgeting it as Betty suggests. Not an easy life. I also don't have a studio, but am thinking about setting up something. Maybe one can no longer be a generalist.

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Maybe its just the numbers? If Alamy's market share is not rising inline with the number of images it holds, then simple math would say we are all somewhat doomed. 

 

I would guess in 2008 there were about 2.5 M images and higher per image rates than now. Last I looked it was at over 50 M.  Lets say you doubled your collection size in the interim (and if all images are considered equal) - there still a 10 fold increase in choice for the customer on Alamy. Rates have not gone up 10x, Alamy's market share has not gone up 10x. The writing is ultimately on the wall for the majority unless some gigantic new media market comes into being.

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I'm so sorry Betty, I meant to give you a greenie for your great advice but hit the red button instead!  Darn iPads!  Wish there was an undo.

No problem, Maria. John fixed it. We all mess up, me more than most.:)

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I'm so sorry Betty, I meant to give you a greenie for your great advice but hit the red button instead!  Darn iPads!  Wish there was an undo.

 

Cancelled out.  Good advice Betty.

Thank you, John. :)

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I'm so sorry Betty, I meant to give you a greenie for your great advice but hit the red button instead!  Darn iPads!  Wish there was an undo.

No problem, Maria. John fixed it. We all mess up, me more than most. :)

 

 

Thanks Betty, I added a few extra greenies to make up for it :)

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What we all need to do is - before we embark on an idea - see whats in the alamy collection first - if you cant do much better - just forget about it.

 

I've seen a lot of recent searches specifying date taken and/or looking for "new" images.  So even if there's some great one's already in the collection, the date may not be what customer's are looking for.

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Five years ago, there may have been only a couple of dozen images of a particular subject. Now there might  be hundreds or even thousands, so sales for individual contributors are bound to go down. The days of indiscriminate uploading appear to be over (as already noted).

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What we all need to do is - before we embark on an idea - see whats in the alamy collection first - if you cant do much better - just forget about it.

 

I've seen a lot of recent searches specifying date taken and/or looking for "new" images.  So even if there's some great one's already in the collection, the date may not be what customer's are looking for.

 

 

That seems to be so. Last week I was surprised to see an image that I had literally just uploaded sell. It was nothing all that unusual, an architectural detail shot. However, the buyer probably used the "new" tab and decided to go for the most recent offering.

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I started in 2005.  Came to Alamy, left Alamy, Came back to Alamy.  I have never come close to $13,490 in earnings from stock images.  Maybe it's what I shoot.  Last Fall, I decided to concentrate on isolated objects so I started shooting my groceries.  In February I decided it was no longer worth it so I sold all my gear, paid off a big tax bill in April and have been shutting down accounts at other agencies.

 

I've decided to keep images up on Alamy just for the fun of it.  I'll be picking up another camera soon just for hobby purposes and I'll submit every once in a while.  One thing I've found though is that my images are actually starting to pick up some steam despite my not submitting.  I guess that's the quirk of Alamy's search algorithm.

 

My grandfather passed in March.  I was left with a Yashica TLR.  I plan on getting it cleaned lubricated and aligned and I'll be shooting film for a while just so I can get back to enjoying it.  I don't see stock as a viable business venture.

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I started in 2005.  Came to Alamy, left Alamy, Came back to Alamy.  I have never come close to $13,490 in earnings from stock images.  Maybe it's what I shoot.  Last Fall, I decided to concentrate on isolated objects so I started shooting my groceries.  In February I decided it was no longer worth it so I sold all my gear, paid off a big tax bill in April and have been shutting down accounts at other agencies.

 

I've decided to keep images up on Alamy just for the fun of it.  I'll be picking up another camera soon just for hobby purposes and I'll submit every once in a while.  One thing I've found though is that my images are actually starting to pick up some steam despite my not submitting.  I guess that's the quirk of Alamy's search algorithm.

 

My grandfather passed in March.  I was left with a Yashica TLR.  I plan on getting it cleaned lubricated and aligned and I'll be shooting film for a while just so I can get back to enjoying it.  I don't see stock as a viable business venture.

 

For me, at 66, it's now an enjoyable (and necessary) way of supplementing my other income -- pensions, part-time teaching, occasional freelance writing, etc. Fortunately, I don't have to (or want to) worry about viable business ventures at this stage of the game. I've actually never really liked the term "stock photography." I just think of it as photography.

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I can sort of accept the math of the expanding library, but I seem to have drasticly sliped down the results pages all from about the same time. I have had a spell of not adding many more photos while rebuilding a house so guess that might also have affected things. I also changed monitors and even though colour corrected wondered if my photos were not good colour. So many things to worry about  :) .

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I can sort of accept the math of the expanding library, but I seem to have drasticly sliped down the results pages all from about the same time. I have had a spell of not adding many more photos while rebuilding a house so guess that might also have affected things. I also changed monitors and even though colour corrected wondered if my photos were not good colour. So many things to worry about  :) .

It matters whether you regularly upload. Call me an idiot, because maybe I'm wrong, but I've had some times when I got into other things, or had stretches in the sin bin, and my zooms and sales dropped.

Recently I've been working like a dog at it, and my zooms are the highest they've ever, ever been, and sales are on the uptick.

If you are busy with other things, find time to upload 5 a week. Spend a day shooting and working up a nice batch, then dole them out a few at a time each week. One day of hard work, the rest of the month off other than the uploads.

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I have noticed the same thing. If you dont upload they think you have died or something. It is rather weird! Your activity seems to spur accounting activity! . . Do they think you died so its not necessary to pay you?

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As for some of the above comments - i am seriously thinking of selling off my canon dslrs full frame included. I think i will just use a sony rx100 and carry it everywhere for just opportunistic shots. I am tried of dragging around camera bags for so little money from stock. I am not that impressed with canon image sharpness even with L lenses. When you can get perfectly acceptable shots for stock with a little sony camera - why the hell bother!

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I said earlier that I had borrowed my wifes Mk 1 however IQ is just not anywhere near as good as my Nikon gear as you'd expect. I only borrow it if it's impractical to use a DSLR. I also find zoom is limited with the RX Mk1, don't know about the newer versions.

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You could go for one of the small mirrorless cameras. Some are pretty tiny. Images are sharp. I have an Fuji ILC, but I know there are single lens offerings, just not sure if any of them have a zoom lens. Worth checking out.

 

As far as the RX100 goes, there is someone here who does all of his work with one, and he has great images. You might find who I'm speaking of if you're good with searches, then you can check out his work. Or somebody reading this has a better affinity for remembering names than I do!

 

I think it comes down to understanding the gear you have, and figuring out what settings give the best results. I'm not good at that.

Betty

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Over the last year I've used a Sony RX100 Mk I and a Nikon D5300. No QC failures on either (I know that's tempting fate!). I like the RX100 for its small size and the fact that I don't have to worry about dust spots. I prefer the D5300 for action shots or if I'm out with the sole purpose of taking photos.

 

The image inside the Church at Steeple Gidding (currently on page 1) was taken on the RX100 at ISO 1600 as a JPEG. I applied some noise reduction in Lightroom and then reduced the image to 3600 pixels wide for submission. But it wasn't one of those images that I thought was marginal in terms of quality, otherwise I would have binned it. 

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Had one of those top 500 contributor emails near the middle of last year 

 

Revenue hit a peak in 2009 of $13,490 then, probably like most, this dropped to about a third

 

 

Discouraging to find out that someone with revenue of $4500 per year would be in the top 500

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I've been contributing to Alamy since 2004 and by 2008 was generally selling about 80 photos a year. OK, not great with about 4000 photos in 2008 slowly expanding to just over 6000 photos now, but sort of consistent with an upward trend in early 2014. Had one of those top 500 contributor emails near the middle of last year and sales have plummeted. Now projecting maybe 40 sales for this year.

 

My photos cover a mix of subjects, but am I totally missing what is now wanted? Has my processing gone to pot with requirements now for much more intense colour, or something? My key wording now all wrong? Any suggestions or comments welcome.

 

Revenue hit a peak in 2009 of $13,490 then, probably like most, this dropped to about a third and down again now.

 

 

It's about subject matter, unless you spend time researching what is being used by clients, especially clients who pay well....same results but with increasing competition. The easy to pick shots are shot by everyone, doesn't matter what you used to do, new realities in stock every year.

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I can sort of accept the math of the expanding library, but I seem to have drasticly sliped down the results pages all from about the same time. I have had a spell of not adding many more photos while rebuilding a house so guess that might also have affected things. I also changed monitors and even though colour corrected wondered if my photos were not good colour. So many things to worry about  :) .

It matters whether you regularly upload. Call me an idiot, because maybe I'm wrong, but I've had some times when I got into other things, or had stretches in the sin bin, and my zooms and sales dropped.

Recently I've been working like a dog at it, and my zooms are the highest they've ever, ever been, and sales are on the uptick.

If you are busy with other things, find time to upload 5 a week. Spend a day shooting and working up a nice batch, then dole them out a few at a time each week. One day of hard work, the rest of the month off other than the uploads.

 

 

 

I have discovered the same thing. Have been through a couple of periods where other businesses just kept me away from the camera for awhile. Man did views and zooms drop like a stone. It may just show how often searchers are using the new tab.  Finally getting a few up this weekend, and planning on a few outings in the next few weeks as well.

 

Jill

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