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7horses

Obviouslly I'm on the wrong track. Any advice welcome

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I restarted photography as a very old hobby of mine, entered the digital age and joined Alamy two years back. By now my portfolio on Alamy is around 400+ pics so still a long way to go. Last year I got one sale and in 2013 I had an increase in turnover by 200%, 2 sales. Obviously there is no market  for my submitted pictures. Would much appreciate it to receive any advice how to get on track. I'm living in Belgium and full time employed.in IT so my shooting is mainly during weekends and holidays.  Still 10 years to go before retirement so al the time to learn and getting better in this.

 

Dirk De Keyser (aka 7horses)

 

 

 

 

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Nice pictures, which look saleable to me, can only be keywords or rank. More pictures and more relevant keywords should help

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I'm pretty new to photography, so feel free to take what I say with a grain of salt. The thing I noticed most while scrolling through your pages of images is most are very closely cropped, pretty tight. That doesn't leave much room for copy or creative manipulation to use in an ad or such. Technically they look pretty good though.

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Quite agree with Rob. Definitely mainly a keyword problem. I tried a few obvious searches including your pseudonym and your images didn't turn up....

 

Secondly variety and numbers of images will help...

Edited by Niels Quist

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Thank for your kind advice Rob, Charly and Niels. This is my first post on the forum and now I know I had to come earlier here.

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First of all it seems to me you are producing some very nice images and are deserving of some success on that score. I'm not so sure that keywords alone are the issue as your essential keywords seem pertinent for the most part. If you have lots of less relevant kewords in the 'main' keywords box then it could damage your Alamy rank as you will get views but no zooms or sales to go with them, the result of which is your images appear further down the results of any given search. Having said that, I don't think that's the main problem either.

 

I think there are two principle issues for you, and indeed many more of us. The first is that a lot of your images are RF images of fairly common subjects so you are competing not only with other Alamy contributors but with the microstock sites as well. Someone wanting an image of a sliced eggplant (to take one example) can take their pick of hundreds on microstock sites for a cost which is maybe 10% of Alamy's quoted prices. I personally think your image of the sliced egg plant is more attractive than most I saw elsewhere, but if I was a buyer working on a budget I'd probably live with the cheaper image, even it if is not quite as nice.

 

The other issue is simply to do with the number of images you have in your portfolio compared to overall size of the Alamy collection. The general concensus here is that you need in excess of a thousand images before you will start seeing regular sales. I only shoot RM editorial, and I'm not sure if the sales pattern with RF images here is the same, but even with over 1000 images in my portfolio, I still regard one or two sales as a good month. Your 3 sales from 400 images is probably not as poor a performance as you maybe think it is.

 

My inclination is to encourage you to carry on shooting good stuff. You may not sell a vast quantity, but here on Alamy, when a buyer sees your image and it is just the one they need, then you are more likely to get a decent price for it than if you've placed the same image on a microstock site.

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They look quite saleable to me. With so many images on Alamy rank is all important. How many views are you getting in a month? You have to bear in mind that the competition is huge. For instance  I thought your "ostrich hatching" picture was quite eye catching - a dead cert sale for someone looking for that kind of thing. Then I did a search for "ostrich hatching" - I was surprised.

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Moved to private message.

Edited by Lisa Werner

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I restarted photography as a very old hobby of mine, entered the digital age and joined Alamy two years back. By now my portfolio on Alamy is around 400+ pics so still a long way to go. Last year I got one sale and in 2013 I had an increase in turnover by 200%, 2 sales. Obviously there is no market  for my submitted pictures. Would much appreciate it to receive any advice how to get on track. I'm living in Belgium and full time employed.in IT so my shooting is mainly during weekends and holidays.  Still 10 years to go before retirement so al the time to learn and getting better in this.

 

Dirk De Keyser (aka 7horses)

 

The problem is not that you're on the wrong track, Dirk. The problem is you just got on the train. The stock business moves very slowly. Your stuff looks good. Concentrate on building your collection. 

 

Good luck.

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Many Thanks for the possitive advices.

The people on this forum are so helpfull, that is  new to me.

It gives me certainly some motivation to keep submitting.

Answering to the question of John, my views a month are more or less equal to my number number of pictures so for the moment around 400.

Don't know if this is good or bad ?

And thanks Lisa for the advice. I only dare to post just a small amount of my pictures as I'm a bit afraid of legal issues.

I do a lot of shooting at events, just for practicing,  but never post them Maybe I  have to submit more of these.

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Have you thought about concentrating more on RM images? I don't know much about RF because I'm not a fan of the licensing model and don't offer it, but the market for RF images must be totally saturated (even more so than the one for RM images).

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You seem to be on the right track, all you need now is the volume of images to be seen and bought from

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Quite agree with Rob. Definitely mainly a keyword problem. I tried a few obvious searches including your pseudonym and your images didn't turn up....

 

Secondly variety and numbers of images will help...

 

Our pseudonyms are not searchable anymore -- unless you used an advanced search. It is a bit awkward now for us but better results for buyers and people whose names used to have their images showing inappropriately.

 

Paulette

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Quite agree with Rob. Definitely mainly a keyword problem. I tried a few obvious searches including your pseudonym and your images didn't turn up....

 

Secondly variety and numbers of images will help...

Our pseudonyms are not searchable anymore -- unless you used an advanced search. It is a bit awkward now for us but better results for buyers and people whose names used to have their images showing inappropriately.

 

Paulette

I thought of adding that I, of course, was searching from the advanced search page, but didn't, should've I guess. :)

 

Yes, it seems a bit awkward, as I often use this kind of search - but, yes, I also think it is going to be an advantage...

Edited by Niels Quist

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Many thanks for looking at my portfolio and the so usefull tips everybody gave me .I got the direction how to improve, where to work at  and what to avoid. This is certainly a motivation to continue shooting and trying to getting better at it. Thanks

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Hi fellow Belgian ;)

 

Your images are technically good, no problem there.

 

What could be improved:

 

1) Not enough stock.

Count at least 3000 varied images for regular sales to appear. One of the Arterra photographers has for the moment 4000 images online at Alamy and sells on a ............ daily basis.

2) You don't do your homework :mellow:

Picture D1K063 shows three French cheeses of which you only name one - camembert - and you name "camembert" twice in essential keywords which is a waste of characters. What are the other two cheeses?

Look up the local names of buildings like windmills, churches, and lighthouses. You show shipyards but forget to add the location.

Look up the Latin names of flora and fauna. Your fish pictures don't even mention the species' name in English.

Add Dutch AND English place names, rivers, etc. like Gent / Ghent, Leie / Lys, Brugge / Bruges (English travel guides often use the French name instead of the Dutch one)

3) The "caption" is also searchable. It has only 128 characters, so use it cautiously.

I notice that you often add a comical caption by which you shoot yourself in the foot. Why? Because you add words that have absolutely nothing to do with what the image shows. Those images pop up unwanted in searches and hurt your ranking. E.g. "jacuzzi" for picture showing surf on beach. "Open surgery" for picture showing cross-section of tomato, etc. Funny? Yes :) but it hurts your sales! :(

4) A bit sloppy in the finishing.

C94N0J - shows distracting dark patches. Also a "true white" background works best (avoid a whitish one) so it blends in perfectly with white paper or a clear white website background.

CB5CFH - look carefully at the edges of the frame and avoid tiny bits of pieces popping up partly in the image. If it doesn't add interest >> ELIMINATE!

5) Don't frame too tight (CP4G2R).

Leave enough room to allow editors to turn a horizontal shot into a vertical one if wanted. Anyway, try to shoot a subject in a horizontal as well as vertical framing to increase your chances to be picked.

 

I know, sounds a bit harsh but don't worry. I often violate my own rules ^_^

 

Cheers,

Philippe

 

There is a gang of useful information here from Philippe. Only the last suggestion about framing makes me a bit uncomfortable. I think that each individual image must be assessed as to the best framing . . . and there are only occasional ones that the buyer can make either horizontal or vertical.

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There is a gang of useful information here from Philippe. Only the last suggestion about framing makes me a bit uncomfortable. I think that each individual image must be assessed as to the best framing . . . and there are only occasional ones that the buyer can make either horizontal or vertical.

 

Agreed. I don't shoot any horizontal pix with the idea that a client can trim the sides off to make a vertical composition. Better to upload a vertical shot as well...

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Ah, yet another Belgian here :-) 

I have the same issue as you, about the same nr of views as the nr of images online. And a lot less sales unfortunately :-)

I've also started building up portfolio on Alamy now, and training myself a bit in keywording, which is sometimes not as easy not being a native English speaker.

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I restarted photography as a very old hobby of mine, entered the digital age and joined Alamy two years back. By now my portfolio on Alamy is around 400+ pics so still a long way to go. Last year I got one sale and in 2013 I had an increase in turnover by 200%, 2 sales. Obviously there is no market  for my submitted pictures. Would much appreciate it to receive any advice how to get on track. I'm living in Belgium and full time employed.in IT so my shooting is mainly during weekends and holidays.  Still 10 years to go before retirement so al the time to learn and getting better in this.

 

Dirk De Keyser (aka 7horses)

 

Hey :) 

 

I work in IT too, as my main job and as you'll know it takes up most of your time. 

 

Getting out in the mornings, lunchtimes and weekends is great for taking pics, however thats all it lends itself too. Once you've edited your pics and uploaded them, there's not a lot of time to do much else. 

 

Imagine being at an IT conference and the head speaker asks if there's anyone who can put Microsoft System Centre Configuration Manager in from scratch. You can do it, but you just don't tell them you can. How are they going to know?

 

This is how I see keywords. I think keywording is actually one of the most important parts of this whole thing. You've images are a lot better than mine, and I've had 4 sales in the last year, but I put that down to my efforts in keywording of late. More sales, more zooms and more views. 

 

I've been plotting an excel graph since I started and it's on the up and up. 

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Being not a native speaker is not as bad as it looks. A lot of clients aren't either. Now you only have to turn that into an advantage. ;-)

 

wim

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I have roughly the same amount of images, I started uploading one year ago I had 9 sales for gross $868.06 since then. Netting me $392

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You guys should be paid for advice alone.

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My 3 sales till now were RF pics. Gross earnings were 70.80$ and 36.01$ net

I will try to reach 1000 pics in my port with more RM pics (and better keywording) and then I will do a recount.

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Because we've been on Alamy for a decade and gradually increased file presence, it's hard to judge how it works for a new contributor. But we can look at exactly one year ago and see what had been added. In the year we sold 160 or so times - but many were multiple or repeat sales, only around 100 images out of 16000 (for the last year - now over 18000) actually sold, but some just sell again and again. Total around $8000.

 

However, if you consider only the work loaded up just before a year ago (from various locations including Adriatic coast) we'd be fairly happy with the dozen or so sales from one shoot; and if you consider the work done a year ago, but not finished and uploaded/keyed until late 2012 (USA) we have only just made the first sale (a decent $180). By way of contrast one image from the very first test batch I sent to Alamy sold again this year, again for a fair enough $138, continuing its run of occasional sales over a ten year period.

 

I'd conclude that I shoot a hell of a lot of stuff which will never sell in order to find the ones which are in constant demand - and when I find out what those are I am always surprised. I have now learned enough to know exactly when to get a shot because it is a sure seller. However, I do not really want to take only one picture a week...

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However, if you consider only the work loaded up just before a year ago (from various locations including Adriatic coast) we'd be fairly happy with the dozen or so sales from one shoot; and if you consider the work done a year ago, but not finished and uploaded/keyed until late 2012 (USA) we have only just made the first sale (a decent $180). By way of contrast one image from the very first test batch I sent to Alamy sold again this year, again for a fair enough $138, continuing its run of occasional sales over a ten year period.

 

I'd conclude that I shoot a hell of a lot of stuff which will never sell in order to find the ones which are in constant demand - and when I find out what those are I am always surprised. I have now learned enough to know exactly when to get a shot because it is a sure seller. However, I do not really want to take only one picture a week...

 

It's like the old adage: "Everyone knows that half of every advertising budget is wasted... but no-one knows which half"...

 

I sold a shot yesterday ($180) which I was going to delete. Some of my favourite shots have yet to sell on Alamy. Go figure, as the Americans say...

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