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I have a question for those who shoot and sell news photos. I'd heard that there was more money to be made with news photos so started shooting some a few months ago, both through Alamy and Stockimo. So far I've had no luck selling any of my news pix. I live in Minneapolis and have been shooting protests (black lives matter, justice for Jamar, animal rights issues) as well as shooting quite a bit of the activity around Prince's death here last week. I guess my question is: does anyone have any advice for increasing sales of news photos? I'm trying to decide if this is worth pursuing further, as it does require a lot more time and effort and pressure than shooting regular stock. Thank you for any advice!

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I think part of the problem, here in the UK at least, is that for the bigger news stories, agencies and newspapers often have their own photographers covering the events. I'm sure the regular news guys on Alamy may correct me if I'm wrong, but covering the smaller stories may give you more scope. 

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Thanks Rob! I appreciate your input :)  I guess part of it is being in the mindset of knowing/understanding what those smaller stories are - it's not my area of expertise. And you're right - there are always SO many other people out shooting the same events. I've seen photos in the newspapers that were taken by someone standing right near me - I've had very similar images uploaded quickly to the Alamy live news feed, but mine aren't selling. Guess the competition is more fierce than I realized.

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competition is cut-throat.......and Alamy's main strengths are in the UK newspaper market, so US based news photos are going to be much more difficult to place

 

 

km

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competition is cut-throat.......and Alamy's main strengths are in the UK newspaper market, so US based news photos are going to be much more difficult to place

 

 

km

Thanks - that's disappointing, but good to know.

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I'm relatively new to 'News', and my outlook has been to put a lot of effort in to the 'Live' element but with the knowledge that the images can still be of use for stock - so never time and effort wasted. As a timely example I went to the London Marathon yesterday and uploaded a dozen images, one of which has been published in the Star today. Even if I'd been unsuccessful, I've come away with a great number of images of elite runners, potential Olympians and all the other mad fools carrying tumble driers etc, which may sell later. Think positive and take the view that all material has potential.

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I'm relatively new to 'News', and my outlook has been to put a lot of effort in to the 'Live' element but with the knowledge that the images can still be of use for stock - so never time and effort wasted. As a timely example I went to the London Marathon yesterday and uploaded a dozen images, one of which has been published in the Star today. Even if I'd been unsuccessful, I've come away with a great number of images of elite runners, potential Olympians and all the other mad fools carrying tumble driers etc, which may sell later. Think positive and take the view that all material has potential.

Thanks - that is really good advice! :)

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funkyworm makes a good point about the time difference. If the UK dailies decided to run a story on Prince, and they're on deadline, they're much more likely to run a performance shot from the files than wait around for whatever might come in. Memorial photos may be good for follow-up stories but UK newspapers may be more interested in memorials in the UK than the US. Here in New York there was a lot of coverage about how Prince is being remembered here - like changing the Prince Street subway station signs to read Prince RIP.

 

I've been submitting photos to Live News since the beginning ( 6 years?) and while photos that appear in the newsfeed  sometimes sell in the following weeks, I'm not aware that I've ever had any sell from the newsfeed.

 

fD

Edited by fotoDogue

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Thanks FunkyWorm and fotoDogue - that's a really good point about the time difference. I really appreciate all the input, it's given me a lot to think about.

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Do Alamy actively push or promote news images, or do all the stock agencies rely on the picture editors to browse for content?
I had something last year involving a twitter row with a local politician, went down town, got all the relevant pictures, headlined, captioned and sent up within an hour of first tweet, but TWO DAYS later SWNS or Ross Parry (can't remember which) had the story in the nationals with their own inferior pics!
I only do a few now and take the same view as others as to them becoming stock shots.

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"Do Alamy actively push or promote news images"

 

yes....but not *all* the stuff sent in goes out....

 

"or do all the stock agencies rely on the picture editors to browse for content?"

 

no

 

km

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Protests and Prince- pretty good subjects

Im not shooting UK news so feel the tide is a little against me - but and as mentioned earlier they do obviously become available for stock - and if you can get a unique perspective or better still be the only shooter there - then overall its worth it

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I'll take the opportunity here to say I have local pride regarding fotoDogue and ann in Long Island's efforts to cover News on Alamy; it's an uphill battle for all the practical reasons given. (And thanks to RedSnapper for his honest, knowledgeable remarks.) 

 

Yes, Alamy is an international stock agency . . . but for News you would be better off working from a small village in one of the shires than submitting images from this side of the Pond . . . unless of course you have special access. 

 

To cover News in the Digital Age, you have to be super-fast. A few years ago I went out to do some local shopping, and on my corner a swarm of bumblebees had nested on the post box. There were a couple of bee people there, and I snapped some pics. I bought some cheese at the local deli and went back home. The bee swarm was already online. Old News. 

 

Edo

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I'll take the opportunity here to say I have local pride regarding fotoDogue and ann in Long Island's efforts to cover News on Alamy; it's an uphill battle for all the practical reasons given. (And thanks to RedSnapper for his honest, knowledgeable remarks.) 

 

Yes, Alamy is an international stock agency . . . but for News you would be better off working from a small village in one of the shires than submitting images from this side of the Pond . . . unless of course you have special access. 

 

To cover News in the Digital Age, you have to be super-fast. A few years ago I went out to do some local shopping, and on my corner a swarm of bumblebees had nested on the post box. There were a couple of bee people there, and I snapped some pics. I bought some cheese at the local deli and went back home. The bee swarm was already online. Old News. 

 

Edo

 

This is where the photo taken with an iPhone and submitted immediately via Stockimo probably beats the image taken with a proper camera to publication simply because the image taken on a proper camera has to be taken home, downloaded onto a computer, captioned appropriately and then uploaded.

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I cover a lot of news events but I tend to look on them as opportunities to get stock photos, especially if there are a lot of other photographers there - papers won't go to Alamy if they had their own staff there. They are useful for getting shots of politicians, the police doing their work, generic pics of protesters etc.

I've had a couple of immediate sales but most come from stock uses months or even years later - for example when an unknown MP suddenly becomes leader of the Labour Party. I sold one this morning of Prince Michael of Kent that I took two years ago at an event in London - for use on his website.

I do quite well with MPs and minor celebrities who the staff photographers don't bother photographing as they are unlikely to make the next day's headlines.

Edited by Phil Robinson

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I'll take the opportunity here to say I have local pride regarding fotoDogue and ann in Long Island's efforts to cover News on Alamy; it's an uphill battle for all the practical reasons given. (And thanks to RedSnapper for his honest, knowledgeable remarks.) 

 

Yes, Alamy is an international stock agency . . . but for News you would be better off working from a small village in one of the shires than submitting images from this side of the Pond . . . unless of course you have special access. 

 

To cover News in the Digital Age, you have to be super-fast. A few years ago I went out to do some local shopping, and on my corner a swarm of bumblebees had nested on the post box. There were a couple of bee people there, and I snapped some pics. I bought some cheese at the local deli and went back home. The bee swarm was already online. Old News. 

 

Edo

 

You have to pick and choose. Competition is incredibly fierce and there's no point in covering events where there are hundreds of photographers all getting the same shot. I have a number of news photos that have sold quite well over time. Others fade by the time they roll off the newsfeed. 

 

Sometimes I just photograph what interests me and if it happens to sell that's a plus. 

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I've been with Alamy Live News since it started and while I've covered items even of national interest in the US - NYC Marathon, national politicians, Hurricane Sandy and other similar stuff, I find that they are getting to Alamy too late to make the UK news cycle even when I upload nearly immediately - but some of them have sold as secondary editorial even years later.  I now split my images - trying to take different ones so I can - between Live News and one of the micros where they sell frequently - right away and over time - but for far less. I'm looking forward to Alamy's change to allow RF Editorial because I've been putting my best ones on Aamy and as a US-based photographer, I'm not sure that was smart. 

 

I try to shoot stuff that will have legs - and some of it has surprised me - e.g. I was in NYC for the Marathon a few years ago - just in Central Park - it was a last minute thing  - I got groups of runners, funny costumes, people in the crowd, etc. - and while it took a couple of years for one to sell for a book on Alamy - I still also sell several different ones on a US-based site still years afterwards - and no one famous. Surprisingly, my images of Hillary Clinton - which I license from my own Photoshelter site and via US sites often - haven't sold at all on Alamy - and again, I have the best ones on Alamy - I also usually license some of my various news images to local publications, so I'm getting something for all the work, but I wish that the timing wasn't such an issue with Alamy - it would be great if they had a second News Editor/news team in the Brooklyn office - if they're really serious about breaking into the US News market, IMHO that would be a good start. 

 

I still submit to Live News - regular and Stockimo - and try to upload as early in the day as possible, but I see it more as building up my long-term editorial portfolio. I haven't sold a single thing from the Live News feed. Lately, I've been doing those "photo of the day" lovely or bad weather photos which can sell later as regular stock. It forces me to process new photos quickly and get them online. But I don't really expect much in the way of quick sales. 

Edited by Marianne

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"Add an early start, wet weather, on a weekday and an event which doesnt look like it'll be fun then ... where is everybody?"

 

 

here...competing with me.....

 

 

km

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it would be great if they had a second News Editor/news team in the Brooklyn office - if they're really serious about breaking into the US News market, IMHO that would be a good start. 

 

 

I agree. Both the Guardian and the Daily Mail have offices in New York. In fact, I think the Daily Mail is only a few blocks away from me on Greene Street. Having a news person, or team, in the Brooklyn office might help them better sych-up with their deadlines and allow Alamy to further tap in to the US news market.

 

fD

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I shoot 98% news as a freelancer. Have been for years. Have worked with several agencies over the years before Alamy opened that channel and also since. I closely follow what gets published, by who and through what channels, worldwide.

 

In regard to breaking news, spot news, or even second life reporting on an issue, publications need 'an' image to illustrate whatever it is they want illustrated. It doesn't matter if it's a good image or the best image. They will use the first 'ok' image they see.

 

In my experience two factors come into play, and only two; (1) photographer dependent - speedy submissions to agencies, and (2) agency dependent - marketing.

 

I do my best to submit quickly, sometimes, when there is competition or an urgent event, from my iPad with cellular in the field.

 

Now comes the agency's part - getting contributors' photos quickly in front of the editors. I am greatly disappointed with Alamy News in this regard. Only once over many years were Alamy able to license my photos to publications within first 24 hours. 99.9% of my news publications are through other agencies including to The Guardian, The Daily Mail, and The Telegraph, all in the UK. I am 1-2 hours ahead of UK (Jerusalem, Israel) so that gives Alamy plenty of time.

 

A small selection of my publications found online (check the credits):

http://www.imagesofmythoughts.com/Photography/Publications-Exhibitions/

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I shoot 98% news as a freelancer. Have been for years. Have worked with several agencies over the years before Alamy opened that channel and also since. I closely follow what gets published, by who and through what channels, worldwide.

 

In regard to breaking news, spot news, or even second life reporting on an issue, publications need 'an' image to illustrate whatever it is they want illustrated. It doesn't matter if it's a good image or the best image. They will use the first 'ok' image they see.

 

In my experience two factors come into play, and only two; (1) photographer dependent - speedy submissions to agencies, and (2) agency dependent - marketing.

 

I do my best to submit quickly, sometimes, when there is competition or an urgent event, from my iPad with cellular in the field.

 

Now comes the agency's part - getting contributors' photos quickly in front of the editors. I am greatly disappointed with Alamy News in this regard. Only once over many years were Alamy able to license my photos to publications within first 24 hours. 99.9% of my news publications are through other agencies including to The Guardian, The Daily Mail, and The Telegraph, all in the UK. I am 1-2 hours ahead of UK (Jerusalem, Israel) so that gives Alamy plenty of time.

 

A small selection of my publications found online (check the credits):

http://www.imagesofmythoughts.com/Photography/Publications-Exhibitions/

 

My experience is similar albeit with much lower numbers.

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. I am greatly disappointed with Alamy News in this regard. Only once over many years were Alamy able to license my photos to publications within first 24 hours.

I missed the bit where Alamy claims to be a specialist news agency

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. I am greatly disappointed with Alamy News in this regard. Only once over many years were Alamy able to license my photos to publications within first 24 hours.

I missed the bit where Alamy claims to be a specialist news agency

 

 

 

This is what I have essentially said in another thread. Alamy are trying to play the game in all playgrounds. This is no reason not to expect them to aspire to the actions of the specialist in whatever area they wish to serve and match their performance.

 

Allan

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I've sold scores of images via Alamy Live News in the first 24 hours

 

In some cases where i've filed on location the images have been licenced and are running online on editorial sites before i've finished the job

 

ymmv

 

km

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As far as I'm concerned, it doesn't really matter if images sell in the first 24 hours. What matters is that they sell. I've never had a Live News sale but I find images that appear in the newsfeed often sell in the following weeks. Live News  highlights Alamy's news oriented images and that's a good thing.

 

fD

Edited by fotoDogue

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