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Hellonearth

Am I wasting my time?

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About 6 months ago, I decided to abandon microstock in favour of Alamy. I had not been a big earner in Microstock but nevertheless the earnings mostly paid for my hobby. I decided to ditch uploading to Microstock for the usual reasons of feeling that some of my photos were actually worth more than 35 cents a pop. I am now beginning to feel that I am wrong. In the last 6 months I have uploaded exclusively to Alamy and doubled the number of photos on the site. But, I have only been rewarded by one sale although I have experienced a lot of zooms. I am basically asking for critique. Are my photos not good enough? Are they not interesting enough? What can I do to improve? Any help or suggestions or criticisms are welcome.

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Stately homes, computers, statues, taxis, movie studios, beer, coaches, restaurant bills, courts, grapes, beach huts, airliners, cars, pubs, soldiers, signposts, shopfronts, billboards, amphitheatres, churches, benches, temples, electricity meters, synagogues.

That should be enough to be going on with across 8 countries and 3 continents. I've sold them all in the past year.

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My quick flash through a few of your pages indicates the images are good enough on a technical and visual basis. Now the question is who will buy them? What will the image be used for? What does the customer want and why will he choose your image over some other? These are tough questions to answer when working through an agency.

 

Some of my work sells to textbooks, tour guides, and magazine articles. Do your images "sell" a location? Do they represent the total essence of a given location? Do they strongly invite a viewer to come to the location? Do they invite exploration?

 

I've sold a few "calendar" shots. Are your images enticing to draw people in? Are they of places people recognize and want to visit? Do they look good hanging on a wall of your neighbor down the street?

 

Some images are sold into advertising. Again, how do they connect with the viewer? Are they model/property released so they can be used commercially?

 

We all need to think like a potential buyer (good luck with that!) and shoot towards some form of usage. Even if your mental buyer image is wrong, it is at least a step towards a sales end.

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Took a quick look at the first page and did not go further.

I did not see anything I could not find in a million other places.

I am 95% editorial and Alamy has done well for me for over a

decade.  While most of what I have on Alamy is a decade or

more old, before I go out to shoot anything new for Alamy I

look at what is currently available on Alamy as well as the

other major library.

 

In my opinion you need to take a hard look at the long term.

 

Chuck 

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Hellonearth:  

 

I am in similar boat & also fairly recently posted a thread asking Forum for critique.   I believe lack of sales for Alamy newcomers is 'normal'.  Yes, You lose confidence, you think 'are my images simply wrong'  or 'does Alamy really work'  but feeling I am getting is to give it time.   Somewhere online I even saw opinions of type "Don't expect to sell anything in your 1st year on Alamy".   So it is long(er) term game.  In the meantime, as others mentioned --- build portfolio, diversify, and what I think is very important: Learn to keyword. It is a skill, and not apparent or intuitive right away.   Good tool is to analyze Alamy metrics for given period of time and note all kinds of search terms customers that actually bought something used. 

 

I think this is single most important factor, because there are 1000s of images showing the same thing & if photo is not within first couple of pages --ideally 1st--  it has next to 0 chance of getting attention.

 

Personally I will give Alamy a year, then reevaluate. In the meantime, Shutterstock is generating steady daily downloads and although many images are certainly worth much more it is still > 0 which we currently have on Alamy.

 

Cheers

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Thank you for your replies. I have already learned a few  things from them.

 

It seems to be clear that although my images are acceptable in terms of quality and there are not too many similars, there is nevertheless a lack of diversity which I can readily accept. This is because I shoot what I want to shoot and not what I think people want to buy. Obviously I need to change my mindset and "think like a potential buyer" in order to achieve more success.

 

Taking a look through the portfolios of the people who have replied I can see photos of some quite ordinary things that I would not have dreamed of taking. I can also see the diversity. I am also struck by the comment that Alamy is more about "things" than landscapes and I am going to try and concentrate on this. I live in Thailand so obviously my subject matter can be limited but I can see that I need to think "out of the box" to get more sales.

 

I will spend time looking at what people are searching for to try understand what it is people want and I will also persevere with uploading and trying to improve my keywording, 

 

"Long term" and "diversity" are ringing in my ears!

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Hellonearth:  

 

I am in similar boat & also fairly recently posted a thread asking Forum for critique.   I believe lack of sales for Alamy newcomers is 'normal'.  Yes, You lose confidence, you think 'are my images simply wrong'  or 'does Alamy really work'  but feeling I am getting is to give it time.   Somewhere online I even saw opinions of type "Don't expect to sell anything in your 1st year on Alamy".   So it is long(er) term game.  In the meantime, as others mentioned --- build portfolio, diversify, and what I think is very important: Learn to keyword. It is a skill, and not apparent or intuitive right away.   Good tool is to analyze Alamy metrics for given period of time and note all kinds of search terms customers that actually bought something used. 

 

I think this is single most important factor, because there are 1000s of images showing the same thing & if photo is not within first couple of pages --ideally 1st--  it has next to 0 chance of getting attention.

 

Personally I will give Alamy a year, then reevaluate. In the meantime, Shutterstock is generating steady daily downloads and although many images are certainly worth much more it is still > 0 which we currently have on Alamy.

 

Cheers

You don't have to re-evaluate Alamy after a year. You have to evaluate when you reached 4000-5000 images. The major problem with newbies here is that they haven't got images but yet they expect sales. A few hundred or even thousand images are not even a tiny drop in Alamy's huge ocean. Sure you "sell" at SS. Who wouldn't want images which are given away for "free". Anyway, first you smash in your own windows (sell elsewhere at 1/100th of the normal price) and now you microstockers complain here about sales that suck. Sorry guys, but you ruined your own market (and mine). What's the saying in English? "One must lie in the bed one has made."

 

Cheers,

Philippe

Philippe, I can now understand your opinion about Microstock but at the time, it was an opening into selling photos. We all learn with experience and we all, from time to time, get taken in by things which later prove to be not so good. My naivity in trying to sell photos via Microstock has eventually dawned on me. Hence my decision to try to make a go of it on Alamy and no longer upload to any Microstock sites. I think I and Autumn Sky are both "moving on" from Microstock but still have much to learn which we are trying to do.

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You don't have to re-evaluate Alamy after a year. You have to evaluate when you reached 4000-5000 images. The major problem with newbies here is that they haven't got images but yet they expect sales. A few hundred or even thousand images are not even a tiny drop in Alamy's huge ocean. Sure you "sell" at SS. Who wouldn't want images which are given away for "free". Anyway, first you smash in your own windows (sell elsewhere at 1/100th of the normal price) and now you microstockers complain here about sales that suck. Sorry guys, but you ruined your own market (and mine). What's the saying in English? "One must lie in the bed one has made."

 

Cheers,

Philippe

 

Respectfully, I disagree

 

Many of these "4000-5000 images"  are spam. They show the same thing, just from slightly different angle.   The other day I saw a guy with 10 shots of front facade of Shoppers Drug Mart.  Then I saw someone from Germany having 5 shots of some gas station, all looking the same, and labeling them "Wonders of Nature'.  And then you do a search for phrase "Wonders of Nature" and search engine shows gas stations on 1st page.  This is why new people that like photography, real photography,  and are providing unique images have hard time swimming out of the swamp.

 

.   Add advance in technology and smart-phones that are now mega-pixel hungry and have advanced software algorithms that make point and shot look like real photography and you have true picture.  This is why it is hard to swim out, not because "your portfolio is not big enough"

 

But this is just ages old "survival of the fittest"   Adopt, or become extinct (or swamped, as it is the case in stock photography)

Edited by Autumn Sky
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You don't have to re-evaluate Alamy after a year. You have to evaluate when you reached 4000-5000 images. The major problem with newbies here is that they haven't got images but yet they expect sales. A few hundred or even thousand images are not even a tiny drop in Alamy's huge ocean. Sure you "sell" at SS. Who wouldn't want images which are given away for "free". Anyway, first you smash in your own windows (sell elsewhere at 1/100th of the normal price) and now you microstockers complain here about sales that suck. Sorry guys, but you ruined your own market (and mine). What's the saying in English? "One must lie in the bed one has made."

 

Cheers,

Philippe

 

Respectfully, I disagree

 

Many of these "4000-5000 images"  are spam. They show the same thing, just from slightly different angle.   The other day I saw a guy with 10 shots of front facade of Shoppers Drug Mart.  Then I saw someone from Germany having 5 shots of some gas station, all looking the same, and labeling them "Wonders of Nature'.  And then you do a search for phrase "Wonders of Nature" and search engine shows gas stations on 1st page.  This is why new people that like photography, real photography,  and are providing unique images have hard time swimming out of the swamp.

 

.   Add advance in technology and smart-phones that are now mega-pixel hungry and have advanced software algorithms that make point and shot look like real photography and you have true picture.  This is why it is hard to swim out, not because "your portfolio is not big enough"

 

But this is just ages old "survival of the fittest"   Adopt, or become extinct (or swamped, as it is the case in stock photography)

 

 

Sure, there are contributors with packed portfolios -- i.e. oodles of similars -- but you can bet that they don't do well on Alamy.

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1. Quality, quantity, variety (diversity), regular uploading and optimized key-wording are the key to scoring sales - wherever you are - Alamy or elsewhere.
2. Of course, while working for your portfolio you must search whatever images are ALREADY available in Alamy archives.
3. It has invariably been seen that what sells well at MICROS, doesn't at all do so at Alamy.
4. MICROS are mostly catering to CREATIVE, royalty free market, whereas Alamy has principally been into the EDITORIAL market.
5 The best sales I have seen at MICROS are usually in the genre of business, finance, food, and concept images.Though for the reason of low-cost pretty much everything sells to some extent.
6. Even though images sell for much less, quite a few of the better-selling contributors at MICROS put in a lot of value into organizing their business/finance/lifestyle shoots ... especially so in the video market.
7. Alamy has quite a few well-selling contributors with a portfolio strength of <10K. But as far as I can see, these contributors are based in UK, Europe and the US. So, an optimized  portfolio of <10K may score far more sales for them than for someone at a relatively more remote location on the globe.
8. MICROS have considerably dropped their 'acceptance' standards, and their pricelines have plummeted accordingly.
9. At Alamy too lot more low-value sales are being scored. All this seems to be the consequence of stiff competition amongst photo-agencies (with multiplicity of low-value sellers). 

Your images seem nice technically & visually. Just keep adding more variety, and be patient and regular (in uploading). Sales will comes, but not at the brisk rate of MICROS, nor at those abysmal licensing rates. 

Cheers,
Kumar. India

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1. Quality, quantity, variety (diversity), regular uploading and optimized key-wording are the key to scoring sales - wherever you are - Alamy or elsewhere.

2. Of course, while working for your portfolio you must search whatever images are ALREADY available in Alamy archives.

3. It has invariably been seen that what sells well at MICROS, doesn't at all do so at Alamy.

4. MICROS are mostly catering to CREATIVE, royalty free market, whereas Alamy has principally been into the EDITORIAL market.

5 The best sales I have seen at MICROS are usually in the genre of business, finance, food, and concept images.Though for the reason of low-cost pretty much everything sells to some extent.

6. Even though images sell for much less, quite a few of the better-selling contributors at MICROS put in a lot of value into organizing their business/finance/lifestyle shoots ... especially so in the video market.

7. Alamy has quite a few well-selling contributors with a portfolio strength of <10K. But as far as I can see, these contributors are based in UK, Europe and the US. So, an optimized  portfolio of <10K may score far more sales for them than for someone at a relatively more remote location on the globe.

8. MICROS have considerably dropped their 'acceptance' standards, and their pricelines have plummeted accordingly.

9. At Alamy too lot more low-value sales are being scored. All this seems to be the consequence of stiff competition amongst photo-agencies (with multiplicity of low-value sellers). 

 

Your images seem nice technically & visually. Just keep adding more variety, and be patient and regular (in uploading). Sales will comes, but not at the brisk rate of MICROS, nor at those abysmal licensing rates. 

 

Cheers,

Kumar. India

 

Remark point 7: that's absolutely true and immediately Wim springs to mind with about 2300 images. BUT ...... I'm pretty sure Wim has a huge portfolio. The smart trick he uses is constantly pruning and adjusting what he shows here. Wim and I have two totally different strategies which both works. I'm the captain on my trawler while Wim is the Japanese trimming carefully his little bonsai tree which produces well thought over bestsellers  -_-

 

Cheers,

Philippe

 

 

:lol:

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1. Quality, quantity, variety (diversity), regular uploading and optimized key-wording are the key to scoring sales - wherever you are - Alamy or elsewhere.

2. Of course, while working for your portfolio you must search whatever images are ALREADY available in Alamy archives.

3. It has invariably been seen that what sells well at MICROS, doesn't at all do so at Alamy.

4. MICROS are mostly catering to CREATIVE, royalty free market, whereas Alamy has principally been into the EDITORIAL market.

5 The best sales I have seen at MICROS are usually in the genre of business, finance, food, and concept images.Though for the reason of low-cost pretty much everything sells to some extent.

6. Even though images sell for much less, quite a few of the better-selling contributors at MICROS put in a lot of value into organizing their business/finance/lifestyle shoots ... especially so in the video market.

7. Alamy has quite a few well-selling contributors with a portfolio strength of <10K. But as far as I can see, these contributors are based in UK, Europe and the US. So, an optimized  portfolio of <10K may score far more sales for them than for someone at a relatively more remote location on the globe.

8. MICROS have considerably dropped their 'acceptance' standards, and their pricelines have plummeted accordingly.

9. At Alamy too lot more low-value sales are being scored. All this seems to be the consequence of stiff competition amongst photo-agencies (with multiplicity of low-value sellers). 

 

Your images seem nice technically & visually. Just keep adding more variety, and be patient and regular (in uploading). Sales will comes, but not at the brisk rate of MICROS, nor at those abysmal licensing rates. 

 

Cheers,

Kumar. India

Thank you for your comments which are well noted. I especially thin you may be right with number 7.

 

Kevin

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A noobie view

"start thinking about this business only when you have LOADS of saleable images" I signed up at the beginning of 2014 but didn't feel I had enough images at the time so I left it until late last year, I have been slowly uploading what I have, I made the mistake of adding too many similars at first (since deleted) and I think my caption/ keywording skills are up to scratch.

The most alarming fact to me is that Alamy has over 95m images, mostly RM and Is trying to compete in a market where the cost of an image is priced in pennies not pounds.

I think Alamy is losing clients hand over fist and have insisted that if we are to pay over the odds for images then at least we expect to be able to use them for eternity (RF).

Old timers are moaning about recent sales not being as good, blaming the recent search engine update and new AIM.

I think there is more to it than that, Is Alamy unique in the market place anymore, Kumar made the point of alamy being an editorial image site, I just don't get that since most of the big micros do exactly that!

Anyway got to go.

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I think there is more to it than that, Is Alamy unique in the market place anymore, Kumar made the point of alamy being an editorial image site, I just don't get that since most of the big micros do exactly that!

 

 

I don't agree. Topic, quality and type of images are diffferent for the greater part of the images. Especially seen in the image sales for printed and electronic books, etc.

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You don't have to re-evaluate Alamy after a year. You have to evaluate when you reached 4000-5000 images. The major problem with newbies here is that they haven't got images but yet they expect sales. A few hundred or even thousand images are not even a tiny drop in Alamy's huge ocean. Sure you "sell" at SS. Who wouldn't want images which are given away for "free". Anyway, first you smash in your own windows (sell elsewhere at 1/100th of the normal price) and now you microstockers complain here about sales that suck. Sorry guys, but you ruined your own market (and mine). What's the saying in English? "One must lie in the bed one has made."

 

Cheers,

Philippe

 

Respectfully, I disagree

 

Many of these "4000-5000 images"  are spam. They show the same thing, just from slightly different angle.   The other day I saw a guy with 10 shots of front facade of Shoppers Drug Mart.  Then I saw someone from Germany having 5 shots of some gas station, all looking the same, and labeling them "Wonders of Nature'.  And then you do a search for phrase "Wonders of Nature" and search engine shows gas stations on 1st page.  This is why new people that like photography, real photography,  and are providing unique images have hard time swimming out of the swamp.

 

.   Add advance in technology and smart-phones that are now mega-pixel hungry and have advanced software algorithms that make point and shot look like real photography and you have true picture.  This is why it is hard to swim out, not because "your portfolio is not big enough"

 

But this is just ages old "survival of the fittest"   Adopt, or become extinct (or swamped, as it is the case in stock photography)

 

 

Please re-read my first remark of this thread: "diversity, diversity, diversity." (B.t.w. those with loads of similars ..... 99% of the time come from microstock. Their words, not mine)

 

Actually "stock" is quite simple. The word "stock" itself means "supply for use or sale". Too many people start way too soon in this business because they simple have no "supply" ........ and - of course - 100 (even 1000) images don't get noticed because the competition here is HUGE.  No stock >>> you don't sell >>> you get demotivated  >>>> ...... you quit. It happens over and over and over and over again. Just look at the avatars of newbies who started months ago very motivated. How many do still show up?  :mellow:

See it like fishing. A newbie with 100 images is like a fisherman on the pier with one fishing line in his hands while in front of him he sees trawlers with big fishing nets (photographers with large portfolios) roaming the mighty Alamy Ocean. Guess who'll catch the most fish at the end of the month :huh:  

It doesn't take rocket science to understand this business. It's a numbers' game, whether you like it or not.

 

The trick is: 

  • shoot with a customer in mind
  • produce great variety
  • produce great quality
  • fill the gaps in Alamy's archive
  • start thinking about this business only when you have LOADS of saleable images

 

Cheers,

Philippe

 

Great variety and great quality are easily understood. I believe I can and maybe have already started to fill some Alamy gaps. eg. A search for Phuket Old Town reveals 83 of my photos from a total of 496 total views. There were a total of 6 zooms, 2 of which were for my photos.. However are the gaps what customers are looking for and how often are customers looking for them? Time will tell I guess. Shooting with the customer in mind is altogether more difficult and I think something that will come with more experience.

Kevin

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Kumar made the point of alamy being an editorial image site, I just don't get that since most of the big micros do exactly that!

Most micros MOSTLY rely on creative/RF imagery, where you're required to provide model/property/talent release for all such images. The editorial sales even at the so-called BIG Micros aren't even a fraction as brisk or as many as the RF ones. At Alamy, the Editorial market is indeed the primary market, and a huge tonnage of contributed images are licensed as "Rights Managed" where model/property release etc isn't an essential requirement. Of course, if you do provide such releases, your images can well be channelized the 'commercial' way also, and not merely as editorial.

 

Kumar, India

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1. Quality, quantity, variety (diversity), regular uploading and optimized key-wording are the key to scoring sales - wherever you are - Alamy or elsewhere.

2. Of course, while working for your portfolio you must search whatever images are ALREADY available in Alamy archives.

3. It has invariably been seen that what sells well at MICROS, doesn't at all do so at Alamy.

4. MICROS are mostly catering to CREATIVE, royalty free market, whereas Alamy has principally been into the EDITORIAL market.

5 The best sales I have seen at MICROS are usually in the genre of business, finance, food, and concept images.Though for the reason of low-cost pretty much everything sells to some extent.

6. Even though images sell for much less, quite a few of the better-selling contributors at MICROS put in a lot of value into organizing their business/finance/lifestyle shoots ... especially so in the video market.

7. Alamy has quite a few well-selling contributors with a portfolio strength of <10K. But as far as I can see, these contributors are based in UK, Europe and the US. So, an optimized  portfolio of <10K may score far more sales for them than for someone at a relatively more remote location on the globe.

8. MICROS have considerably dropped their 'acceptance' standards, and their pricelines have plummeted accordingly.

9. At Alamy too lot more low-value sales are being scored. All this seems to be the consequence of stiff competition amongst photo-agencies (with multiplicity of low-value sellers). 

 

Your images seem nice technically & visually. Just keep adding more variety, and be patient and regular (in uploading). Sales will comes, but not at the brisk rate of MICROS, nor at those abysmal licensing rates. 

 

Cheers,

Kumar. India

 

Remark point 7: that's absolutely true and immediately Wim springs to mind with about 2300 images. BUT ...... I'm pretty sure Wim has a huge portfolio. The smart trick he uses is constantly pruning and adjusting what he shows here. Wim and I have two totally different strategies which both works. I'm the captain on my trawler while Wim is the Japanese trimming carefully his little bonsai tree which produces well thought over bestsellers  -_-

 

Cheers,

Philippe

 

 

:lol:

 

 

Don't laugh, Niels  :angry:

Anyway, I prefer the idea of being a tough, in scars covered and fish, cigarette butts and rum smelling trawler captain with a wooden leg over a tiny Japanese Paco Rabanne smelling sissy with a tie and pruning scissors   :lol:

Sorry, Wim  :P

 

Cheers,

Philippe

 

 

It was not that kind of laugh, Philippe.

 

I smiled (and laughed) because you in a few words hit the nail on the head in a humorous way.

 

Niels

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I agree with most the points regarding Microstock and other things. I don't agree that you have to have huge numbers of images though. Of course the more you have, the more likely to sell. You can have a small port though and still have regular sales, and new members shouldn't be put off by the huge number of images available here.

 

I only have about 2500 images at Alamy, and have uploaded 5000 in total since I started here. I've removed most the rubbish, and what remains is fairly good and of mixed stuff that's keyworded well.

 

I've had a payment from Alamy every month since August 2016. If that isn't evidence that a small port can do well, I don't know what is. You just need to do a good job and take topical images, do lots of concepts that stand out, and be imaginative but accurate with tags.

 

Geoff.

Geoff one of the points I hv mentioned in my post above (for contributors selling well with a <10K portfolio) is their geo-location - precisely UK, Europe & the US. If we see the monthly sales report in the forum, quite a few contributors from the aforesaid areas do report fairly decent sales from time to time.

 

Cheers,

Kumar, India

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Of all my sales to-date since 2005, less than 10% sales have come from India-specific subjects. Remaining 90% from geo-neutral imagery - concepts, global technology, wildlife (found elsewhere too) or some non-India images.

Kumar, India

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I create some images that relate to other countries too, such as one relating to the US elections that was used by the Huffington Post, and I believe sold elsewhere in the USA too. So you don't always have to be in that location to produce images that fit, but I do have a niche style that sells very well and could relate to any location.

 

Geoff.

 

Absolutely ... agree entirely. While mentioning "geo-specificity" I implied the 'subject' of the images as much as the location of the contributor. 

 

Cheers,

Kumar, India

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Coming in a bit late here but there is a lot more choice than either Alamy or the Micros. But sometimes you have to give them what they want.

 

Even within Alamy's market... if you only provide images which is most likely to be used for the travel pages... then you are limiting yourself to the travel pages.

 

Having said which... it is not an easy market at the moment. Anyone making money is doing well.

Edited by funkyworm

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I have a small port but have regular sales.  Could I make a living at it right now? No, but that isn't my aim at the moment.  My goal is to cover the costs of my equipment, Adobe CC, and extra costs incurred just to do photography, although I don't do much of that at the moment.

 

At first I was like any newbie, kept reading it was a numbers game so slapped on any image that was technically going to pass QC.  The first 500 or so of my images are dark and muddy as I didn't have a calibrated monitor.  Bought a new monitor, calibrated it, became much more discerning on what images I would upload and did some heavy video watching on using ACR and PS.  My PP skills have improved by leaps and bounds. I love doing PP, so that helps too.

 

My rank has slowly risen to where no matter what search I do for images of mine, 90% of the time I will have an image on page one.  I have yet to crack CN Tower. I still only get page two.  Gotta work on that somehow.  :)

 

I was patient though.  I knew it was a long game, not a short game so patience would be a distinct virtue.  I haven't culled a lot of images, because I've actually sold a few of the dark muddy images, so have just left the old images alone.  I have re-uploaded them fixed up, with a reference to the original, but not deleted the original if it has sold in the past.

 

This month Philippe has motivated me with his monthly challenge to try and get some urban wildlife shots.  Haven't made it to the city yet, but hopefully will before the challenge ends.

 

Jill

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You are not wasting your time if you can make images with more feeling for your subject matter. I checked out your portfolio and I think you would do a lot better if your images had some atmosphere, and you expressed a point of view on the subject matter.

 
Your present portfolio is mostly processed high noon lighting. You are recording the subject, but you do not seem to have an opinion on the subject. Go beyond recording, and make a statement with your photography. If you think Hong Kong is crowded, then use your photographic skills to show just how crowded it is. Lots of Hong Kong night life, then shoot at night.
 
You have some shots of wrinkled old women taken under a diffused flattering light. Why not take those shots in a strong cross lighting that would emphasize the wrinkles?
 
Your shots of historic sites in Rome would be better if they had a sense of history. They look brand new instead. Try warm sepia tones, low sun to give cross lighting, and three dimensionality.
 
Interact more with the subject. Get close. You seem to be standing back with a normal or telephoto. Smile a lot at people, get informal permission, then get real close with a wide angle lens.
 
Click on any one of your images to get the buy page, and then look below at “Similar stock photos” to see your competition.
 
I write this because I think you could be on the cusp of success in either microstock or conventional stock. You should not do more of the same. Go to the same places, but stop recording, and start making a statement.
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You are not wasting your time if you can make images with more feeling for your subject matter. I checked out your portfolio and I think you would do a lot better if your images had some atmosphere, and you expressed a point of view on the subject matter.

 
Your present portfolio is mostly processed high noon lighting. You are recording the subject, but you do not seem to have an opinion on the subject. Go beyond recording, and make a statement with your photography. If you think Hong Kong is crowded, then use your photographic skills to show just how crowded it is. Lots of Hong Kong night life, then shoot at night.
 
You have some shots of wrinkled old women taken under a diffused flattering light. Why not take those shots in a strong cross lighting that would emphasize the wrinkles?
 
Your shots of historic sites in Rome would be better if they had a sense of history. They look brand new instead. Try warm sepia tones, low sun to give cross lighting, and three dimensionality.
 
Interact more with the subject. Get close. You seem to be standing back with a normal or telephoto. Smile a lot at people, get informal permission, then get real close with a wide angle lens.
 
Click on any one of your images to get the buy page, and then look below at “Similar stock photos” to see your competition.
 
I write this because I think you could be on the cusp of success in either microstock or conventional stock. You should not do more of the same. Go to the same places, but stop recording, and start making a statement.

 

Bill, Thank you so much for this advice which does strike a chord with me. I will give this a try especially as I will be in Bangkok in a few days time with the opportunity to go to one of my favourite shooting areas - Chinatown. Perhaps I should take off my zoom lens and use my 50mm to force me to get in close. I do also have a wide angle. With either lens I will get some different shots in any case. I have been a little wary of say using sepia tones as I wondered whether or not Alamy would consider them as over processed. Thank you again for taking the time to really look at my photos. It is very much appreciated and you have given me a lot of encouragement.

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