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A few year's ago I visited a friend in Rome, a city where I once lived, a city I love. My friend's flat is just outside the Piazza San Pietro, so I did a bunch of shots of St. Peter's Basilica at all times of day, dawn, dusk, day and night; there it was and I kept passing it. My images are good, not great and not particularly creative or different. They come under the old definition of what a successful stock image was—a cliche done perfectly. 

 

So here's my question: why have I never had a sale or even a view on any of my St. Peter's Basilica images? I've sold other stuff, some of them cliches, from that Rome trip, but not one of St. Peter's. I'm thinking it could be a religious thing, that perhaps travel picture buyers would prefer to stay away from the possible controversies of religion. 

 

What do you think? 

 

 

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None of those things are a problem. I'm wondering if anyone has sales of St. Peter's? 

 

I think your Rank is a problem on this particular search. First image of yours I can find returned on a search for "St Peters Basilica" is Page 8 and on "Saint Peters Basilica" is Page 3. In both it's B4YAP3.

 

That's a long way down for a popular travel destination image. They do sell.

 

J

Edited by incamerastock
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Hmm. Really? I would consider having an image or two show up within the first 10 pages to be a good ranking in a medium large grouping. A problem with this particular subject is the relatively large number of search terms that might be used to find it even if I leave out the Italian. And B4YAP3 on both? I just looked on those pages and found two different images. I'm gonna have to take another look at all of this stuff—sporco miseria!

 

Thanks

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For some reason B4YAP3 has been listed as RF which is why it comes higher than your other images in a search that returns mainly RM.

 

A quick look at "All of Alamy" suggests that a few include "Rome" in searches for St Peter's.It's quite tricky to know how to distribute the keywording for this kind of thing. Making "Rome" an essential keyword might give you better visibility for searches of "St Peter's Rome" but might throw up a load of views for general searches of "Rome". I'm not sure how I'd keyword it myself. :)

Edited by JohnB
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Boy, this is becoming a mess. That image should not have been RF. I can clearly see people in the distance. And while I was poking around with this I found that I had mislabeled St. Patrick's Basilica in Lower Manhattan as St. Peter's. Could this be punishment for turning my back on the Catholic faith? Oh, and I do have "Rome" in my keywords . . . I think. 

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Boy, this is becoming a mess. That image should not have been RF. I can clearly see people in the distance. And while I was poking around with this I found that I had mislabeled St. Patrick's Basilica in Lower Manhattan as St. Peter's. Could this be punishment for turning my back on the Catholic faith? Oh, and I do have "Rome" in my keywords . . . I think. 

 

Ed, I believe the official term used by the Vatican is "excommunication." Better face it, you'll never get to heaven unless your ranking improves.

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(To Azure) Really? Well, they're a bunch of no-good lazy SOB's and I'll keep my pictures of St. Peter's or delete them. And just three searches in a month? 

 

Tomorrow I'm gonna phone Members' Services in Oxfordshire and ask them to change that images from RF to RM and then I'm gonna ask them for Alamy's preferred search term for the Mother of Churches.  

 

John, I spent time with the Sisters of Charity, the Jesuits, the Franciscans and then at Catholic University in DC. I see I've broken one of my own rules here: no mention of religion, or politics or Canon cameras. 

Edited by Ed Rooney
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(To Azure) Really? Well, they're a bunch of no-good lazy SOB's and I'll keep my pictures of St. Peter's or delete them. And just three searches in a month? 

 

Tomorrow I'm gonna phone Members' Services in Oxfordshire and ask them to change that images from RF to RM and then I'm gonna ask them for Alamy's preferred search term for the Mother of Churches.  

 

John, I spent time with the Sisters of Charity, the Jesuits, the Franciscans and then at Catholic University in DC. I see I've broken one of my own rules here: no mention of religion, or politics or Canon cameras. 

 

I'm with you on Canon cameras. There is nothing more tedious than the Canon Vs Nikon and Mac Vs PC religious wars.

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In Vietnam, everyone from everywhere carried only two types of cameras, Nikon F's and a Leica M2 or M3. If you were over there long enough, you fed them to the war. Only one rather famous British shooter was said to use Olympus for a time. But I never met him.  

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In Vietnam, everyone from everywhere carried only two types of cameras, Nikon F's and a Leica M2 or M3. If you were over there long enough, you fed them to the war. Only one rather famous British shooter was said to use Olympus for a time. But I never met him.  

 

Ed, good luck with your St Peter pictures. I was there in 1964 and carried an Instamatic at the time, Swiss Guards wouldn't let any of us take photos.  Rome was very much the  La Dolce Vita scene back then.

Don McCullin lives in this part of the world these days. This is a slightly frivolous, but interesting look and talk from Don a year or so ago. With a Canon and not an Olympus this time, I hasten add.  :D

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Psnp2vXblfQ

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Thanks, Gervais. I did watch that McCullen Canon ad a while ago. 

 

I lived in Rome, mostly in Trastevere, from 1964 to 1971 and it was indeed la dolce vita. 

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In Shutterstock there's 3439 images with the search: Peter basilica Rome

 

If you only search; Peter Rome; you get 4321 photos.

 

In a very quick look over the first page of results I could see some fantastic pictures from a multitude of points of views as better if not better than the first page of photos in alamy.

 

If you go to flikr you may get tenths of thousands of pictures probably with some awesome ones too, and lots of people giving them away.

 

These are probably the most important reasons why you haven't sold pictures of this theme. Excellent pictures for free, or very cheap, beat the scary alamy standard calculator prices any day.

Edited by Jose Elias
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In Shutterstock there's 3439 images with the search: Peter basilica Rome

 

If you only search; Peter Rome; you get 4321 photos.

 

In a very quick look over the first page of results I could see some fantastic pictures from a multitude of points of views as better if not better than the first page of photos in alamy.

 

If you go to flikr you may get tenths of thousands of pictures probably with some awesome ones too, and lots of people giving them away.

 

These are probably the most important reasons why you haven't sold pictures of this theme. Excellent pictures for free, or very cheap, beat the scary alamy standard calculator prices any day.

 

Jose, I just did those same searches on Alamy: Peter Rome, 12,124; St Peter Rome, 6,864 and so on. 

 

So, with regard to this subject (I hope not all subjects) I will have to dumb down my keyword thinking? Obviously most buyers are unfamiliar with the Vatican as a city state, and they don't know the difference between a church, a cathedral or a basilica. "Peter" is enough . . . Peter Pan, Peter Fonda, Petter Rabbit, all the same. 

 

I'm going to leave this issue alone for a while—maybe forever. I'm not going to call Alamy and ask for that RF to be changed to RM, and I'm not going to ask for an effective search term for Il Basilica di San Pietro in Vaticano. Basta!

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Would the person who rated my previous comment with a negative note, care to comment what was so bad about it? What did you disagree with it? Or have I said a lie, was rude to anyone? Anything?...

 

I'd really like to know as I provided a possible answer to the original poster, among possible others, on why his photos haven't sold, with solid facts. The competition is just too strong in numbers and price to have a sale guaranteed on this subject.

 

Or is it just a personal vengeance for mentioning a reality some people don't like to be reminded of? That there thousands of cheaper or even free photos out there available to anyone who decides to send a couple mails promising simply attribution?

 

To give more info, on iStock there's 1860 images for the words, Basilica and Rome. The first one has more than 1200 downloads, The following 14, from 100 to 500 downloads. Most of them are excellent images. Maybe I shouldn't say they are good. Maybe that's the problem,,, Well, check for yourself...

 

And that the online calculator of alamy may be scaring more customers than bringing them here, when many sales are in reality made with 80, 90 and even 95% discount over the calculator price for 10 years licences and more? I actually have problems in sending clients to alamy, since I do not like to work on the sale part, as the calculator will make customers quit.

 

So, if you care to explain to me why is may previous comment negative (and possibly this one too), I would appreciate it.

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Jose, I just did those same searches on Alamy: Peter Rome, 12,124; St Peter Rome, 6,864 and so on. 

 

So, with regard to this subject (I hope not all subjects) I will have to dumb down my keyword thinking? Obviously most buyers are unfamiliar with the Vatican as a city state, and they don't know the difference between a church, a cathedral or a basilica. "Peter" is enough . . . Peter Pan, Peter Fonda, Petter Rabbit, all the same. 

 

I'm going to leave this issue alone for a while—maybe forever. I'm not going to call Alamy and ask for that RF to be changed to RM, and I'm not going to ask for an effective search term for Il Basilica di San Pietro in Vaticano. Basta!

 

Ed, from my experience on using the alamy measures functionality, as well from another agency that relates keywords to sales, I think that almost all buyers use two or three keywords max, and in the simplest form possible.

 

I don't know why this happens, but maybe poor keywording from the vast majority of contributors (using English as second language many time poorly, spam, etc.) led buyers not to overcomplicate the search terms with the danger of missing good images. For example, some photographers may only use the saint word, others only the st and others both. In this case I bet buyers will use peter vatican, or peter rome, to avoid the basilica/church "trap".

 

And then there's the "peter's" "peters" question. Apart from native english speakers I have serious doubts other people will use these terms, preferring "peter". But I may be wrong. There's almost as many "peter" has you have "peters" in search results.

 

Buyers themselves may also not know the difference between a cathedral, basilica or church, so they will also avoid using more terms than peter rome, or peter vatican.

 

I think you should put all the correct keywords and variants, but I would keyword differently the first image you have (B4YAP3). I would demote landmark and catholic and put rome, peter, vatican and saint or any of the ones that would fit into 50 characters.

 

I would also consider putting church in the keywords as many people don't know the difference or even the correct exact names of some locations or subjects.

Edited by Jose Elias
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I hope you're not referring to me, Jose? I'm very grateful that you went to the trouble of looking up those searches.

 

What happened? Did you get a red ticket? I wouldn't worry about that. Anyone who would give anyone else an anonymous red ticket is a spineless coward. It's a bad system and should be ended. 

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Hi Ed,

 

I'm not directing that comment to you, unless you've given me the red ticket. :)  EDIT: (I trusted from the beginning it wouldn't be you)

 

I don't really care about the votes as I have no cravings for popularity contests. I simply dislike having a comment marked negatively without knowing the reason why. The fact that many are attributed by simple vengeance despite the usefulness of the comment is what irritates me. And I get like this too when I see red tickets on other peoples comments. So it's nothing personal.

 

I'm totally against the negative voting system from the start as I several times mentioned to alamy, or any type of voting for that matter. But having one, simply allow the positive vote. For "negative" actions we already have the report button.

 

But this is another issue.

Edited by Jose Elias
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I hope you're not referring to me, Jose? I'm very grateful that you went to the trouble of looking up those searches.

 

What happened? Did you get a red ticket? I wouldn't worry about that. Anyone who would give anyone else an anonymous red ticket is a spineless coward. It's a bad system and should be ended. 

 

Jose indeed should be attracting kudos, not gutless sniping from totally unseen losers.

 

At the risk of attracting another red vote myself, it's quite ironic that Alamy seem intent on disallowing anyone to post anonymously, but seem quite satisfied thank you very much for sad, spineless little folk to red-vote anonymously. A topsy-turvey arrangement of priorities methinks.

 

dd

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Maybe the answer is to ignore it. I don't know my 'score' anyway so I wouldn't know even if I were blackballed.

Alternatively, you have 0.65+ per post whereas I have only about 0.19 so you are well ahead. OK so I do know it.

Edited by spacecadet
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