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Having yesterday received advice of my 100th Sale since joining Alamy, I thought I'd post a few thought on the subject of Stock with Alamy (never submitted to another agency)


This post isn't intended to be an 'Aren't I good' or 'Stock is a waste of time' post, just a brief record of how I got here.   I'm sure that many contributors will have much more impressive sales records, so this is mainly aimed at non-professionals just starting out in Stock or thinking about starting and wondering what to expect and is it worth it.  


I joined Alamy in February 2008 - my initial submission failed (Dust), but 2nd attempt was OK.  I was motivated to join by a UK magazine article by an Alamy contributor and wanted a fresh challenge, having started my photographic journey about 18 months earlier when I bought my first camera.  I was looking for a challenge and competitions didn't appeal, so I thought I'd 'give Stock a go'.  Initially, I thought I'd review whether it was worthwhile after a year, but quickly realised that wasn't long enough - Stock is a long term commitment.  I pretty well review this annually now based on how I want to spend my leave/spare time and spare cash in the coming year.  But, I've tried to be as professional in my kit and approach as my time will allow; after my day job, it's by far and away my biggest time commitment (ask my wife!).


I had very few images suitable for stock when I joined, so I pretty much started from scratch.  I made few submissions in my first year, but have submitted about 900 images a year since 2009 - pretty well all editorial travel from places that interest me - I rarely go anywhere just for Stock.   I was lucky to have the encouragement of a sale within 6 months, but for 2-3 years sales were pretty slow.  They've picked up a bit in the last 18 months, but more than 3 or 4 sales in a month is still a good month for me.  I now try to get away for a few trips each year for the sole purpose of Stock and enjoy both the planning and execution.  I've generally had too many problems with QA since the initial failure and haven't had any failed submissions for over a year.


Whilst I think I can see improvement in my photography since I started, undoubtedly, the steepest learning curve has been keywording - if images aren't being seen then they won't be bought.  Must get keywording right.


Has it been worthwhile - 100 Sales in just over 5 years?  My current view is that I still enjoy shooting Stock and plan to carry on for another year at least (already have a couple of trips planned).  I saw a post a while ago (probably on the old forum) where someone described Stock as addictive, I tend to agree as I really miss it when I have to skip potential opportunities for adding Stock, so yes, it is has been worth it - for me.







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Congratulations on your 100th sale, Chris, and hopefully many more to come.


I have just taken a quick look through some of your work, and must say I am very impressed with the quality of the images and the processing, especially as you are relatively new to the game. And so few similars!


Working mainly on the printing side I get to see a lot of other peoples work, and have often thought that advanced amateurs are capable of producing more interesting images, probably because they are not under pressure, either financial or timewise, apart from being free to choose what they do.


One of my best customers is not a profi photographer, but a dentist, with the best photographic equipment!


Keep up the good work Chris, I shall be taking more looks at your shots. :)


PS I didn't like to ask what equipment you use, but are you going to tell Gervais?

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@Essexps: re "Has it been worthwhile - 100 Sales in just over 5 years?"


Though perhaps I should say that it depends on the commission you earned, plus the satisfaction you received from capturing and taking those images, compared to what you could have been doing instead of pursuing stock image career....


....I'll hazard guess that it WAS worth it.


Enjoyed visiting your portfolio, and appreciate how your thumbnails tend to pop, thanks to composition (plus inclusion of blues to balance the browns).


Congrats on 100th sale - Ann

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Thanks for the interest.


I started shooting with a Canon D40, but quickly moved to a Nikon D700.  Most of my portfolio is shot with that, but recently added a Panasonic G5, which I'm quite impressed with. 

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