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Hi

 

I'm new here and want to get straight into selling stock pics because who doesn't want to get paid for doing something they love. I know this is a very broad question but from your personal experience what have you found to sell the most? I know a bif percentage would be the actual quality of the images but what subject matters have you had the best results with?

 

Thanks

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I've had the best results with the kind of pictures I shoot. I have no success at all with the subjects I don't shoot.

 

Yes, it's a very broad question... :P

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Hi Marc and welcome. What sells? Your guess is as good as other contributors. It seems anything and everything, as others will tell you, can and does sell through Alamy.

 

The general consensus of opinion on this forum is that you need quantity, as well as quality, in your portfolio. Around 3000 images before regular sales appear. Although one or two may dispute that statement.

 

Allan

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What sells best? what people want to buy.

 

No rhyme or reason, but if you can see through John Jones eyes, you can see what John Jones buys

 

Looking through the thread of reported sales might give you some idea 

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The best answer to your question is for you to look through the various threads that pop up every month "Have you found any Alamy Images...."

 

Here is the June 2013 thread

 

http://discussion.alamy.com/index.php?/topic/376-have-you-found-any-alamy-photographs-june-2013/

 

That will tell you what is currently selling.

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Blimey Marc - how long exactly IS a piece of string? Alamy is a generalist, catch all library/agency/thingy with buyers from newspapers to magazines to books covering a huge range of subjects. Likewise, the zillions of contributors here shoot for their own skills or across all the possibilities so, to quote Lord Morrison of Oop North, yes, it's a very broad question and the answer will be equally as broad (and meaningless).
Sorry that probably wasn't much help. I suggest you shoot what YOU are most comy with for Alamy and go hell for leather at it - different lighting/angles etc etc.

nj

Edited by Nick Jenkins

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Hi

I'm another newby, looking through my Alamy at the sales page, it list 8443 pages, some of these pages show no sales whilst others show the occasional sale, I haven't gone through them all just a random sample.  Do members sell many images? also am I looking in the correct place to see what type of image are being sold.

Mike

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almost anything can sell. Only with some photos can you possibly predict sales, such as if you are the first photographer to get photos of a newly built landmark building for example.

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"What sells. . ." is the wrong question. The right question is, "What subjects can I produce images of on a regular basis that will consistently sell as stock?" 

 

Nick alluded to this in his post. If we were to take Yuri Arcurs as our guide, then the answer would be: model-released images of attractive people doing everyday things. (At least that was true a while ago; the market keeps changing.) Can you find and pay attractive models? If you can't—then forget that.

 

Our own Jeff Greenberg is successful as a travel photographer. For most of us, traveling to make images is no longer a good investment. Let me soften and narrow my statement by saying "for me it would not be a good investment." But, Marc, if you have a few hundred-thousand pounds in the bank that you are willing to spend on traveling and shooting over the next few years, then you can compete with Jeff. (That is if you have his savvy, which you almost certainly don't.) 

 

Ask yourself what subjects you can explore. Don't upload iffy tech images. Learn the odious art of keywording. And hope that the entire stock industry does not collapse on itself. 

 

Good luck

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Mark, while your Alamy portfolio is still in single figures, I think you should revisit your keywords. Good keywording puts your images in the shop window, while poor keywording hides your pix from potential buyers as effectively as if you’d put them in a box on top of the wardrobe.

Of course, I can only see your essential keywords. But dog pic has ‘family’ in keywords. What... as in ‘family dog’? There’s no family in the shot.

Your ‘Lake District’ pic looks like the River Brathay at Elterwater, which should probably be in the esskeys.

Your Spain shot is keyworded ‘castles’... when I can only see one.

Your ‘seagull’ appears to be a herring gull...

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Hi

I'm another newby, looking through my Alamy at the sales page, it list 8443 pages, some of these pages show no sales whilst others show the occasional sale, I haven't gone through them all just a random sample.  Do members sell many images? also am I looking in the correct place to see what type of image are being sold.

Mike

 

The "All of Alamy" section of "My Alamy" is full of all sorts of info, including hints as to "what sells." Be aware, though, that sales can take a long time to register in All of Alamy. Looking only at sales in the past month or two will grossly underrepresent what sells eventually. The vast majority of sales never show up in All of Alamy, but if you're just looking for some sense of what sells in general, you're better off going back a few months at least.

 

Note also that you can export data from AoA to Excel if the results of your search aren't too large. The default search (the one that appears when you first open AoA) returns ALL of the searches for the past month, too much for Excel, apparently. If you narrow that down to look at a single week, though, a button appears at the bottom of the search results giving you the option to export the results to Excel. Once in Excel, you can sort the data by sales (or zooms, or views, etc.). Looking at one week in November 2012, for example, I can see that the following search terms resulted in four sales each: "cash back," "horse anatomy," and "maxim's paris." Adding up the sales column, there are 1,147 sales documented for that week (the actual number would be much higher). Sorting by zooms reveals that the search term "st lucia" resulted in 105 zooms (by only three different click-happy customers) in the same week, absolutely none of which has resulted in a sale so far.

 

How exactly this helps you to sell more photos on Alamy is not so clear. Will you now run out and take photos of different parts of a horse? Probably not. But it's a fun way to pass some time (that would probably be better spent taking photos).

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Firstly thanks for the feedback as you can appreciate coming into a new environment is always a tricky one. I feel the only way is to ask the basic questions to give yourself a feel of the forum and the way in which things work.

 

I had the same feelings as Mike Hesp after looking through the Alamy sales page there didn't seem to be many sales at all going on so that seemed like a reality check as to what this is all about.

 

To John's point regarding keywords I fully take on board your views and do see that the most important criteria of the whole process is making images accessible to potential customers. I labelled the dog image as 'family' because that came up as one of the most searched terms. After looking at the search page there were actually shots of single dogs without any other people (family) in shot. The Lake District shot I didn't know what the river was called but looking from an outside point of view do people really specifically search that specific when looking for a landscape shot of the Lakes?

I will go back over the key wording and spend more time but welcome the feedback thus far because you only learn from your mistakes.

 

Thanks for the comments!

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Guest dlmphotog

Lots of good advice so far, I would say having modeled released people helps. No guarantee but I find clients like the security of MR even for editorial use. I also find having people released or not in images also helps as it adds scale and seems more inviting to us social creatures. Anyway just my two cents worth.

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To John's point regarding keywords I fully take on board your views and do see that the most important criteria of the whole process is making images accessible to potential customers. I labelled the dog image as 'family' because that came up as one of the most searched terms. After looking at the search page there were actually shots of single dogs without any other people (family) in shot. The Lake District shot I didn't know what the river was called but looking from an outside point of view do people really specifically search that specific when looking for a landscape shot of the Lakes?

I will go back over the key wording and spend more time but welcome the feedback thus far because you only learn from your mistakes.

 

Didn't know what the river was called? That's what the OS map is for...

 

When people are looking for a shot of the Lake District, they want all kinds of things: a typical landscape, a particular landscape, a named town or village, a famous landmark, a country pub, a group of walkers, etc. If you label all your lakeland pix merely as 'Lake District', they will sink to the bottom of the barrel. 

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Your ‘seagull’ appears to be a herring gull...

 

Hi everyone, As I'm sure most will know this, but for the few who don't, there is no such thing as a "Seagull". A Gull is a Gull and many variations thereof. Audouin's, Black-headed, Bonaparte's, Common, Franklin's, Glaucous, Great Black-backed, Great Black-headed, Grey-headed, Herring, Iceland, Ivory, Laughing, (Yes! Laughing), Lesser Black-backed, Little, Mediteranian, Mew, Ring-billed, Ross's, Sabine's, Slender-billed and, finally, White-eyed.

 

I offer this for information only so please no red ticket.

 

Allan

Edited by Allan Bell

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Yep - seagull is a generic term for these birds - generally the latin name is prefixed with Larus, so Herring Gull = Larus argentatus, Black Headed Gul = Larus ridibundus (riddybiddybunndy etc etc!!).

nj 

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Hi everyone, As I'm sure most will know this, but for the few who don't, there is no such thing as a "Seagull".

That may well be true....but in the last year alone there have been 100 or so searches on Alamy containing the word 'seagull'.......if buyers are using the word, better to have it in your keywords...

 

km

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Absolute sense - but I think Alan Bell was just making an ornithological point. As long as we reckon the word could feasibly be searched on we should include it. 

nj

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There'd be room to include 'seagull' (and 'sea gull', sea-gull'), but a close-up of a bird should include its 'proper name' up front (with latin name someone in the keywords)...

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If the word "seagull" is being searched by potential customers then I agree with Redsnapper and Nick that it be included in our keywording.

Just off to add it in now.

 

Allan

 

 

Done.

:)

Edited by Allan Bell

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Take a look....just some of the top 50 seagull searches for the last 12 months......seems to me that the demand is for 'generic' images of gulls, rather than speciific species.....

seagull
seagulls
seagull ocean
seagull waves
seagull uk
seagull sign
seagull horizon
seagulls bridge
seagulls flock
seagulls ocean
seagull beach
seagulls storm
seagull aggressive
seagull chips
seagull fishing boat
seagull flying
flock of seagulls
seagull gull uk
seagull pond
seagulls Britain
seagulls beach
seagull gull
Flock of Seagulls on the Beach
beach seagulls sky
seagulls ocean sun
seagull ship
seagull uk town
seagull salt
seagull scavenge
seagull fish
seagull marsh
pair seagulls
seagulls sunrise
seagulls city
seagulls sand
soaring seagull
landfill and seagulls
seagull rain
seagull on chimney
seagull shell
seagull macro
seagull attack
pair seagull uk
seagull dog
seagull bath
seagull footprints
 

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Looks like the ornithologists are going to have to bite the bullet and intrduce seagull as a generic term.

 

Allan

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Anything can sell, I sold a pic of an outhouse in a snowstorm that was used to illustrate that in the good old days going to the bathroom was not all that good.  A large oak tree in my backyard died, and after it was cut down I got pics of the stump and it has sold.  I have a book called Photography Best Sellers that is from the late 80s that has the top 100 best selling stock photos from an agency.  That book is mostly commercially oriented but gives ideas.  I don't think you could get the prices they were getting back then. 

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As has been repeated many times - anything can sell - but I do feel that a reality check is sometimes needed for people who are new to the stock industry - and that is the odds factor.

 

You really have to add this little thought  - Alamy has 36 MILLION images in its catalogue - the subject range is massive, if you have a few hundred, or even thousand images available it is rare indeed that you will be the only image covered by a search term.  Have a look at what you are up against, and while I do not say that you should not add to oversubscribed subjects - just be aware of the odds that are stacked against you.

 

Loads of articles have extolled the virtues of selling stock, the road is paved with gold.

 

Well, it ain't, it is damned hard work, and it is easy to become obsessive about figures and methods of improving your sales, instead of improving your images and keywording.

 

Don't regard all of this as a downer, but enthusiasm can often overide reality and produce wildly enthusiastic expectations.....

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