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Hello from Riverdale, Bronx, NY


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I am new to Alamy, new to stock photography and I am very much finding my feet. I have a question for anyone who is a bit more established: once a picture sells for the first time, does it become easier to make subsequent sales?


Most of my work is outdoors: landscapes, nature, wildlife, still life, gardens, plants, flowers. agriculture, industrial, occasional architectural, sports, some portraiture and performing arts. I am still trying to figure out what to put up that might lure potential buyers. I am sure the metadata I put on the pictures is as important as the images themselves and one will not sell without the other.


I shoot in RAW and I like my pictures to look natural, in terms of lighting, colour, contrast and composition. I do sometimes convert into black and white. I generally avoid editing techniques involving HDR and, if I use HDR at all, I do so with the lightest of touches.


Anyway, if anybody has any advice, I would be happy to receive it.


Thank you!



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Hi Anthony,


Welcome to Alamy - essentially there are only two things which make selling images on Alamy easier - one is to have a shedload of images, and secondly, and more importantly is to have a good "rank" - which means that for the same keyword search, your images appear earlier in the search than someone with a rank not as good as yours. Alamy keeps the algorithm by which they assign  ranking a secret, but selling images is I suspect, one of the most important parts of it!


So in answer to your question, selling images makes it easier to subsequently sell more images. The question as to whether once an individual image sells, it makes it easier to sell that particular image again is a much more complicated question!


Kind regards



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Hello Anthony,

Welcome to stock photography. A sale of an image can help it in repeat sales, sometimes in the form of re-use by the same publication. However, it's far more important to have good images, well keyworded.


You have a wide variety of interests and you will need to shoot a lot of images to make many sales if your shooting is generic, rather than niche. It may be worth searching the Alamy library to see how much your locality is already saturated (or not) with images and see if you can find any gaps to fill.


A couple of comments. Where you are keywording things like flowers avoid the location in the keywords unless it is because that flower is unique to that area. If a customer searches for 'Bronx' it is unlikely he will want images of flowers popping up in the search. False returns in the search results will, over time, push you down the search rankings.  If you think the location is important then mention it in the description. Also, for flowers, animals etc, include the latin name where you are sure you can identify it correctly - one thing we should avoid though is mis-identification as that can harm the reputation of the photographer and the agency.

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Those few images you have up look promising, but lots more are needed. Watch out for typos, mistakes in key-wording are disastrous but even ones in a title look clumsy. You have a few with very dark shadows, pulling out a bit more detail would help your chances of sales.


Sales beget more sales, whether you are talking about Alamy Rank, or just getting your thinking in line with buyers preferences


Flowers: well if that's your thing, go for it, but be aware there are a hell of a lot of flowers here and at other stock sites.


For sure, your Manhattanhenge (not an term I recognise, but I like it) sunset should be RM not RF. It has people in it which I bet are not model released. I guess the you don't have property releases for the clocks, so, again RM rather than RF.


It's more complex, but basically, if a shot has people or property in it it should only be RF if you have releases. Having said that, I confess to to-day selling an image as RF offending on both counts. It was a very early contribution when things seemed less clear-cut. A pretty modest sale and I don't think I'll lose any sleep over it.

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