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lobro

I am confused: over 600 pics and no sales at all

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Hello everyone,

 

First of all I'd like to thank you for your attention, your patience and your comments about my doubts.

 

I am a newbie here, created an account about more than 1 month ago and uploaded a lot of photos (over 600). QC it´s been very successful, most of the pictures have been fast accepted and ready to be sold BUT, at the moment, I have sold NOTHING. I mean, it is not like I am expecting to be rich, but something testimonial. Same portfolio works in other places about 20 dwls/month (I am newbie too), so I thought, Alamy would be more or less in the same line. I am also putting efforts on keywording, taking care of it, of course, but I do not know why my portfolio is not working. By the way, here it is:

 

http://de.alamy.com/search/imageresults.aspx?pseudoid={97BE7DBE-DA15-4B73-BC7A-4B8569C16A25}&name=Lobro&st=11&mode=0&comp=1

 

I´d be veeeeery happy to hear from you guys, from your advices and experiences. Thanks in advance

 

Lobro

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Lobro,

 

I made my first sale after about 9 months with about 900 images. As of today, I have still only sold 3 images.. but I'm OK with this as Alamy is "fun" for me rather that a serious profession.

You only have 602 images on Alamy and there are over 75 million images on Alamy so your 602 images are a drop in the ocean. So ultimately you need to be patient and increase the number of images that you have.. and photograph as many different subjects as you can... I note that a lot of your images are backgrounds which don't sell so well on Alamy by all accounts.

 

My suggestion is to stick with it, enjoy taking the photos adn hopefully the occasional sale will come along eventually.

 

Matt

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With Alamy it takes time to start seeing any sales no matter how good your images are.  Their client base often has a long lead time between an initial image search, choice of the image(s), usage and finally reporting that usage to Alamy so that an invoice can be raised.  This time lag can be months.  Patience is the key.

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I would reinforce what is being said by others. You will need to be both patient and shoot a lot more, 600 images among 76 million is a drop in the ocean. A rule of thumb of one sale per month per thousand images in your portfolio is often quoted and this has been true to my experience.

 

In addition, your shooting style and subjects look as though they are much more typical of a microstock portfolio than most portfolios at Alamy, which tend to lean towards editorial subjects. There are buyers here for the commercial images you have, but many such buyers look to microstock first as it is generally cheaper. If, as I think is the case, your images are only on Alamy, then you will eventually see some sales: true they will many fewer than microstock, but probably selling for considerably more than the few cents you would get there.

 

What you might want  to ponder is whether you are better off continuing to  pursue this style of image, or to use your talents to shoot material which is better suited to Alamy's strengths. Either way though, you are up against a lot of competition, and that competition has grown and grown through the years and continues to do so.

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Just to take an example- the photograph of the glasses of altbier. In an unbranded glass, devoid of context, it could be almost any dark beer almost anywhere.

Whereas this

kbes-barman-serving-altbier-at-uerige-br

sold. Branded glasses, branded beermats, köbes in branded uniform (Uerige). Probably taken ten feet away from where yours was and couldn't be anything else, anywhere else.

Get the idea?

Edited by spacecadet
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created an account about more than 1 month ago

 

One month! You're not giving yourself a chance...

 

Your pix may already be on clients' lightboxes. You may have sales that haven't yet been reported. The timescale from viewing and reviewing to selling to getting paid is many months.

 

Have patience...

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Provided one has good quality, variety, and quantity (all rather relative terms of course) and one has been scrupulous about good contextual KEYWORDING, one does expect sales trickling in at a portfolio-strength of about 1.5-3K. Hitting around 5K begins to please one with more regular sales, even though the gross/net amounts may be fairly low (especially for distributors' sales). My first sales were recorded when I had just about 500 images. I was slow to submit. And, mailing the image-CDs to London was a long, tedious process. Add to it the image-scanning ritual in that E-6 emulsion era sans any DSLRs. Probability of sales is of course greater if your portfolio is geared more towards real-life, editorial imagery, than washed-n-styled sort of imagery at the 'micros'. Yes, one has to be careful about some oft-mentioned factors that affect one's ranking here as per Alamy's image-contributor ranking algos. Cheers & best of luck.

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The other thing to bear in mind is that one Alamy sale may be worth a hundred at microstock, so although more patience is needed here, it will hopefully pay off in the longer term!

 

I have a handful of images with that very big microstock agency and started making sales within a few days of upload. I think i've had about 25 sales now - but my total revenue is about $30 after 5 months. 

 

Whereas I made my first sale with Alamy last week and it's for $200. I have a lot more images at Alamy (but still not loads!) because I made an "in principle" decision a few weeks in that I'd prefer to sell one image at a reasonable rate than a hundred at insulting rates, so I haven't uploaded anything to microstock since about November.

 

There is the odd image I have that is blatantly more commercial than it is editorial, and I agonise a bit over whether to pimp it out to microstock. You might want to try dividing up your collection so that the more "editorial" stuff only comes to Alamy (after all why would a buyer purchase here if you've also put it on Crappystock for 0.001pence) and leave the backgrounds etc on the microstock sites?

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If one of your pictures was bought the day after you uploaded your first batch, it won't have shown up as a sale yet.

As others have said, 600 is not enough to expect regular sales, but even if you are selling regularly, it takes weeks or month for sales to show up in the system. 

Keep uploading and be patient.

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If you allready have editorial on micros i would wait until Alamy introduced the Editorial RF. Then you dont need to remove them from THAT agency. I would not do "there or here"  but take both.

 

My experience is that the other agency creates tremendous amount of revenue and still i am making also sales here. Yes..... i am making sales here of images that are also available on micro. You should also keep in mind that it is not really true that microstock is cheaper for clients. First of all they need to buy packages. Second a RF image on micro is more restricted then the Alamy one. For example the run of prints there is a large difference. To get the same rights you need to buy on micro a extended license and those prices are very equal to Alamy. A general micro sale is like a "mini license". It suits more a individual person rather then large company.

 

I like to have the combination of micro and Alamy sales. Alamy will not suffer from that since they have their own lincenses to fit different clients. If a customer wants a cheap license they also can get it on Alamy with restrictions etc.

 

Mirco

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Hi everyone,

 

I am very pleased to read all your interesting opinions. It´s very grateful to see people with a lot of experience in this business sharing it for the community. I really appreciate that and I will keep in mind your advices for further photo sessions and yes, the key is be patient and focus on interesting subjects. Thanks again and I wish you all the best too! :)

 

Lobro

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MircoV has 21,444. I will need another lifetime to achieve that amount. 

 

Lobro: go to "my alamy", scroll down to "Alamy measures" then click on "all of alamy". You will find a spreadsheet. Set the range of dates to one year (Like 28 May 2015- 27 May 2016) then type in a search term that is present in a subset of your images. For instance I have one or two pictures of Copacabana beach in Rio de Janeiro in my port. When I type Copacabana in the search term, the query returns four pages of search terms customers used in the last year in combination with Copacabana. I also see that, of all those searchers, there were a total of only 6 sales of Copacabana images.

 

I have done that for a number of search terms I have RM images for, and have found that most subjects I have photographed have not been much searched for and don't seem to generate sales. This has helped me answer the no sales on Alamy question I have asked myself.

 

I don't necessarily believe that one needs more images to sell, one needs images that customers want to buy, and it could be just a handful of images. Obviously if you have many images customers want, you will sell more, but 1,000 images of a subject/place no one cares about (for instance in my port I have pictures of Itaipava, Petropolis, who cares) will not help you to sell more.

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MircoV has 21,444. I will need another lifetime to achieve that amount. 

I don't necessarily believe that one needs more images to sell, one needs images that customers want to buy, and it could be just a handful of images. Obviously if you have many images customers want, you will sell more, but 1,000 images of a subject/place no one cares about (for instance in my port I have pictures of Itaipava, Petropolis, who cares) will not help you to sell more.

 

I'd probably need a couple more lifetimes to catch up with Mirco. You have a point about not really needing a lot of images to make regular (but not huge) income. Repeat sellers are what keep me afloat on Alamy. In fact, I'd say that 90% of my income comes from about 25% of my collection. I could probably delete the rest and live happily ever after. B)

 

OTOH, if someone comes along looking for images of Itaipava and/or Petropolis, you might hit the jackpot. It looks like an interesting region BTW.

Edited by John Mitchell

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Bear in mind that the only sales that show in Alamy Measures are the ones that occur immediately. Most buyers make their decisions later.

 

Paulette

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Also bear in mind that the Alamy Measures only go back one year (if you reset the beginning date). It can take years for a particular subject to come up.

 

Alessandra, you might want to add "Pratt truss" to the keywords for your railroad bridge images. You have it only in the Description, which is not searchable.

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OTOH, if someone comes along looking for images of Itaipava and/or Petropolis, you might hit the jackpot. It looks like an interesting region BTW.

 

 

 

That's the plan.

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Also bear in mind that the Alamy Measures only go back one year (if you reset the beginning date). It can take years for a particular subject to come up.

 

Alessandra, you might want to add "Pratt truss" to the keywords for your railroad bridge images. You have it only in the Description, which is not searchable.

 

That's correct. I also need to add the name of the bridge, which only recently I have found. On my to do list. Thanks.

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The other thing to bear in mind is that one Alamy sale may be worth a hundred at microstock, so although more patience is needed here, it will hopefully pay off in the longer term!

 

I have a handful of images with that very big microstock agency and started making sales within a few days of upload. I think i've had about 25 sales now - but my total revenue is about $30 after 5 months. 

 

 

 

Though you might be right, what really counts in the end of the day  is how much you make per image online. That is, divide up how much you made during the years you've been uploading by your total number of images online. Do this for each agency.

 

A while ago I read a blog post from a person who has all her images at another agency. She was very happy to have made 5,000 US in the lat five years. When I divided up the number of images she had online by the total money she made, I realized she made 0.35 cents per image online. 

 

If you upload images online here and at other places, in the end of x years you can compare your yield per image across agencies. In my view it does not matter if I have few sales and make a lot on each image, or if I make many sales at lower prices if in the end what I make per image is the same.

 

Remember that each image represents a total "x" number of hours or minutes of your work. How much do you make per hour of work in stock, that's what matters.

 

A.

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The other thing to bear in mind is that one Alamy sale may be worth a hundred at microstock, so although more patience is needed here, it will hopefully pay off in the longer term!

 

I have a handful of images with that very big microstock agency and started making sales within a few days of upload. I think i've had about 25 sales now - but my total revenue is about $30 after 5 months. 

 

 

 

Though you might be right, what really counts in the end of the day  is how much you make per image online. That is, divide up how much you made during the years you've been uploading by your total number of images online. Do this for each agency.

 

A while ago I read a blog post from a person who has all her images at another agency. She was very happy to have made 5,000 US in the lat five years. When I divided up the number of images she had online by the total money she made, I realized she made 0.35 cents per image online. 

 

If you upload images online here and at other places, in the end of x years you can compare your yield per image across agencies. In my view it does not matter if I have few sales and make a lot on each image, or if I make many sales at lower prices if in the end what I make per image is the same.

 

Remember that each image represents a total "x" number of hours or minutes of your work. How much do you make per hour of work in stock, that's what matters.

 

A.

 

 

Put simply, the impact of digital technology and Microstock has decimated the value of much published imagery in recent years. However, I'm blowed if I'm going to drill more holes in the bottom of the stricken stock photography ship by subscribing to the view that it doesn't matter if you go micro and sell images for a few cents as long as you get loads of sales.

 

I think it does matter because selling photos for cents accelerates the perceived devaluation of the photographer's skill, as well as the ability to invest in time and equipment. The time seems not too far away when there will be no professional photographers to undertake  politically and practically challenging projects, because the images they sell no longer command enough income to fund them. In a similar way there will be no professional investigative journalists to hold politicians and all-powerful business to account, because quality newspapers are dying and nobody is prepared to pay for real journalism when the internet makes everything apparently 'free'.

 

 I don't think it is a brave new world we are entering and I want to resist the transition as best I can. I learned how to be a stock photographer on microstock, but I now regret being part of the beast I participated in creating. I still have an archive of images on microstock, but I will not feed that beast by giving it more fodder. I'm a small voice, but I will not subscribe to defeat.

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The other thing to bear in mind is that one Alamy sale may be worth a hundred at microstock, so although more patience is needed here, it will hopefully pay off in the longer term!

 

I have a handful of images with that very big microstock agency and started making sales within a few days of upload. I think i've had about 25 sales now - but my total revenue is about $30 after 5 months. 

 

 

 

Though you might be right, what really counts in the end of the day  is how much you make per image online. That is, divide up how much you made during the years you've been uploading by your total number of images online. Do this for each agency.

 

A while ago I read a blog post from a person who has all her images at another agency. She was very happy to have made 5,000 US in the lat five years. When I divided up the number of images she had online by the total money she made, I realized she made 0.35 cents per image online. 

 

If you upload images online here and at other places, in the end of x years you can compare your yield per image across agencies. In my view it does not matter if I have few sales and make a lot on each image, or if I make many sales at lower prices if in the end what I make per image is the same.

 

Remember that each image represents a total "x" number of hours or minutes of your work. How much do you make per hour of work in stock, that's what matters.

 

A.

 

 

Put simply, the impact of digital technology and Microstock has decimated the value of much published imagery in recent years. However, I'm blowed if I'm going to drill more holes in the bottom of the stricken stock photography ship by subscribing to the view that it doesn't matter if you go micro and sell images for a few cents as long as you get loads of sales.

 

I think it does matter because selling photos for cents accelerates the perceived devaluation of the photographer's skill, as well as the ability to invest in time and equipment. The time seems not too far away when there will be no professional photographers to undertake  politically and practically challenging projects, because the images they sell no longer command enough income to fund them. In a similar way there will be no professional investigative journalists to hold politicians and all-powerful business to account, because quality newspapers are dying and nobody is prepared to pay for real journalism when the internet makes everything apparently 'free'.

 

 I don't think it is a brave new world we are entering and I want to resist the transition as best I can. I learned how to be a stock photographer on microstock, but I now regret being part of the beast I participated in creating. I still have an archive of images on microstock, but I will not feed that beast by giving it more fodder. I'm a small voice, but I will not subscribe to defeat.

 

 

 

Your point of view is valid and if held by all of us the stock business might have turned out better. I was speaking from a purely monetary view point, no ethics considered. 

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Put simply, the impact of digital technology and Microstock has decimated the value of much published imagery in recent years. However, I'm blowed if I'm going to drill more holes in the bottom of the stricken stock photography ship by subscribing to the view that it doesn't matter if you go micro and sell images for a few cents as long as you get loads of sales.

 

I think it does matter because selling photos for cents accelerates the perceived devaluation of the photographer's skill, as well as the ability to invest in time and equipment. The time seems not too far away when there will be no professional photographers to undertake politically and practically challenging projects, because the images they sell no longer command enough income to fund them. In a similar way there will be no professional investigative journalists to hold politicians and all-powerful business to account, because quality newspapers are dying and nobody is prepared to pay for real journalism when the internet makes everything apparently 'free'.

 

I don't think it is a brave new world we are entering and I want to resist the transition as best I can. I learned how to be a stock photographer on microstock, but I now regret being part of the beast I participated in creating. I still have an archive of images on microstock, but I will not feed that beast by giving it more fodder. I'm a small voice, but I will not subscribe to defeat.

Very well said!

 

Personally, with the massive drop in prices - thanks to those microstockers - I don't travel overseas anymore, I don't bother to do time consuming projects anymore (like sitting days on end in a tiny hide waiting for a rare animal to appear).

 

I used to shoot for an editor of childrens' magazines. Was well paid till microstock popped up and then the sales stopped because they paid $1 per image instead of $100. I dropped my prices by 50% but while I used to have lots of sales per month, I only got a few per year, only for local subjects they didn't find on microstock sites. Last I've heard from them, they offered me $15 for a shot of a newborn elephant in the Antwerp zoo. I kindly told them to buy a camera and shoot it themselves, because $15 doesn't even pay for the entrance fee........

 

The photography job isn't respected anymore since microstock appeared. That editors don't bother to credit pictures with the photographers' names speaks volumes.

 

B.t.w. quite funny that people who support microstock - thus support ruining the photography business - now come here ......... and complain they don't have any decent sales. Yeah well, like kids who break their toys first and then wonder why it ...... :rolleyes:

 

Cheers,

Philippe

 

+100

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Put simply, the impact of digital technology and Microstock has decimated the value of much published imagery in recent years. However, I'm blowed if I'm going to drill more holes in the bottom of the stricken stock photography ship by subscribing to the view that it doesn't matter if you go micro and sell images for a few cents as long as you get loads of sales.

 

I think it does matter because selling photos for cents accelerates the perceived devaluation of the photographer's skill, as well as the ability to invest in time and equipment. The time seems not too far away when there will be no professional photographers to undertake politically and practically challenging projects, because the images they sell no longer command enough income to fund them. In a similar way there will be no professional investigative journalists to hold politicians and all-powerful business to account, because quality newspapers are dying and nobody is prepared to pay for real journalism when the internet makes everything apparently 'free'.

 

I don't think it is a brave new world we are entering and I want to resist the transition as best I can. I learned how to be a stock photographer on microstock, but I now regret being part of the beast I participated in creating. I still have an archive of images on microstock, but I will not feed that beast by giving it more fodder. I'm a small voice, but I will not subscribe to defeat.

Very well said!

 

Personally, with the massive drop in prices - thanks to those microstockers - I don't travel overseas anymore, I don't bother to do time consuming projects anymore (like sitting days on end in a tiny hide waiting for a rare animal to appear).

 

I used to shoot for an editor of childrens' magazines. Was well paid till microstock popped up and then the sales stopped because they paid $1 per image instead of $100. I dropped my prices by 50% but while I used to have lots of sales per month, I only got a few per year, only for local subjects they didn't find on microstock sites. Last I've heard from them, they offered me $15 for a shot of a newborn elephant in the Antwerp zoo. I kindly told them to buy a camera and shoot it themselves, because $15 doesn't even pay for the entrance fee........

 

The photography job isn't respected anymore since microstock appeared. That editors don't bother to credit pictures with the photographers' names speaks volumes.

 

B.t.w. quite funny that people who support microstock - thus support ruining the photography business - now come here ......... and complain they don't have any decent sales. Yeah well, like kids who break their toys first and then wonder why it ...... :rolleyes:

 

Cheers,

Philippe

 

 

Going to play devil's advocate here

 

You can't blame the microstockers.  Many are those that love photography and want to find a place to sell what they take as opposed to just leaving it on the hard drive. And they have every right to do so. Wildlife photographers are probably the hardest hit in this area.  Think of the many many people who take safaris, head out on game drives every day in East Africa. That's thousands of easily processed digital images floating around of lions, zebras, cheetahs, hippos, etc. The list is endless.  We used to be in awe of those amazing images we would find in National Geographic and applaud the time, money and expertise spent by these photographers to capture and process these images.  It is now so easy that anyone can produce a decent image with the great cameras, lenses and just using the automated features in Photoshop and Lightroom.

 

Technology has changed many professions.  Henry Ford pretty much put the horse dealer out of business. Such is progress.  But for every profession that gets hit hard, another profession will crop up. 

 

Photography is a profession that is fading as a main income source.  It is a fact of the digital age.  No individuals are to blame.  You can't stop the train from racing down the tracks.  There will probably always be a demand for that super image, but they will be few and far between.

 

We as Alamy contributors, are taking away the jobs from staff photographers, yet we don't stop submitting to Alamy Live News. We want the money just as much as they do and we have every right to chase it.

 

Internet technology has created a boom in the home business, where people such as I can compete with the large companies on an even keel.  Growth in that area is phenomenal.  Where there is a downside in one area (such as photography) there is an increase in another - the small home based business which photography has become as well.

 

Jill

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Just my two cents. I am one of the people who take safaris and have vast numbers of images of wildlife. I cannot really compete with the likes of Joel Sartore (he is here too) but I try to only upload good images and I do not submit to microstock. Good, clear photos of animal behavior are still needed for books and magazines. Ooops maybe I am giving my competition a useful piece of information.

 

Paulette

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Don't worry, Donald Trump says that he's going to make stock photography "great" again. B)

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