Jump to content

Recommended Posts


great thanks Goodmorning everyone I have Photography course online long time ago I thought that i know photography now very well, but when im reading other photographer advice and comment to my portfolio i decided to continue studying thankyou 


Nobody should ever stop learning - this applies to the most seasoned photographer as well as the beginner. It's all about learning, re-learning, doing new stuff, improving on what you think you know, striving for perfection. When one stops learning, enthusiasm vanishes, stagnation sets in and photography becomes boring. This will be evident in what one produces for oneself or for clients.  There is no destination really, it's all about the journey.




Very philosophical, but true. :)



Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yes, it's rough.  You may not make money.  I am naive and new.  Signed a few years ago. Right off the bat, there was negative press about low prices and no money.  I put my efforts elsewhere.  Run Away.......from stock.  Now, adapt some of those salesman numbers.  80% of the sales will come from 20% of the images.  Extended >> 95% of sales will come from 5% of the photos.  I wanna target that 5%.  With the negative, also consider Keith Morris.  Find the article about him topping $350,000 signed with Alamy after losing newspaper job just a few years ago.  He's in coastal small town Wales guy.  I'm in Memphis.  I connected with the head guy at Graceland yesterday.  Didn't make a shot.......but I'm brewing a connection and friendship.  How much research are you doing for your shoots?  If you are employing the technique to shoot everything and maybe something will sell, you should look elsewhere.  If you plan to put the work in on the planning and producing sellable shots then you can plot a future.  Alamy plays the numbers.  They know there will be many that don't make money.......but some will.  


I mean no disrespect and I truly wish you all the best.  We have to make the decision to make it or not.  It will take a major effort.  BTW I'm kinda the technical sort and if I can ever help you, I'd be glad to.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...



Anna -- it is still possible to make money from photography. As example, have a look at this:




I don't know if this is legit of course, but I looked at his portfolio and it is very high quality.  Thing to note is that these amounts are from micro-stock which pays significantly less (but sells comparatively more) than Alamy.  I also believe he sells through his own website as well.


Bottom line is:  You have to find a way to stand above the crowd, which is not easy in this age of "smartphone photographers".  It is best done through quality, not quantity as many would suggest.  It is also hard and time consuming work.  Good thing is that once portfolio (and skills!) are developed,  it becomes passive income.


In your place I'd suggest keeping day job and treating photography as hobby initially, trying through different agencies (not only Alamy where you are not likely to sell anything first 6-12 months) and then make your own decisions.  At each case, good luck!


And this is the quality that earns him these $1000 a month. (I assume it is net, but before taxes. He may have a day job or a working spouse.)

From >>5,500 photos with Shutterstock and 2,500 photos with iStock<<

He started around 2010 with stock.




What to do if you do not have that quality (yet)?

Practice practice practice. Those infamous 10.000 hours is no myth.


In the mean time: have a look at All of Alamy where all the searches by all the clients are being logged.

You can go back a whole year. (You have to be logged in.) There's a help section on the right hand side.


Now I assume you're based in or close to Vancouver.

Set AoA as far back as possible. This month that's May 1st 2016. As a search term choose %vancouver%. (Include the %% - it's a database thing.)

You can click on sales and zooms, but however interesting those are, for the moment you will be looking for views. More precisely the search terms with the least views (just click on it - maybe twice). Everything up to 99 views is a good subject to shoot. 100 views will only tell you the client did only look at the first page of the results.

If you click on the search term, you get to see what there's already there.

Now only go out and shoot if you can do better or at least as good. No strike that: do go out and shoot it, but only upload when your images as good or better.

- Learn how to judge that.


Also shoot what you have access to. Your child is an obvious subject. Trawl All of Alamy for what to shoot in the same way as with %vancouver%.

Sign releases.

Access can be things; buildings but also knowledge.

Being a local shooting locally means you can wait for the best opportunity. Like the best weather; the best season; the best light.


Maybe also apply with some of those microstock agencies. They do judge your images for quality and saleability. Alamy only judges the technical quality.

Do you use Instagram? If not start now.

Look for photo critique sites online.


Don't expect any income the first year. Coffee money would be nice.

However there's always that lottery aspect as well.

For that it's important that your images can be used commercially. So they should be model and or property released.

Canada is a special case when people photography is concerned. This is a overview of property and (commercial or editorial) photography.


Oh and your yellow tulip is a daffodil.

Captions and keywords are maybe at least as important as the images, because this is how your images can be seen in the first place. Not the exact good keyword: no view. No views: no sales. Here the wrong views will lead to a lower ranking. putting your images at the back of those 80.000 images that are daily added.

This is why you at first will be concentrating on subjects with less than 100 views.


good luck!


wim, thanks so much for these instructions. In different threads, All of Alamy searches were discussed, but never did I see every step of how to do it. And I guess I'm too dumb to figure it out.

After your comprehensive instructions here, the light came on. As a result, I had a good search and found a couple of gaps with little competition. I got all over it and shot two of them last evening. In gorgeous evening light. They are awaiting QC.




Me too, I'd also read about AofA but didn't get it now I understand

Thanks +1


Link to comment
Share on other sites


This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.