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Lukasz Obermann

How many photos did you have when you had your first sale?

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As a new contributor you are given a medium search ranking. It is likely to fall unless you make zooms and sales.

Take my example. it's taken a while but I believe, with evidence, that I now have an above average rank. So it's worthwhile for me to upload images of popular subjects, because i can be sure they will appear in the first few pages of a search.

How do I know? Well, one of my repeat sellers is on row 2 of page 1 of 200.

So stick to niche subjects.

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First sale with 266 images uploaded. That was in September 2008. I joined Alamy in January 2007.

 

John.

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On 16/6/2017 at 07:19, arterra said:

 

I just wonder what the percentage is that quits after 6 months. How many last years' (highly motivated) newbies still pop up in the forum? I believe that many start with quite naive expectations :mellow:

 

Cheers,

Philippe

I'm still here and I've 7 sales so far this year which puts me ahead of the 1 sale per month per 1,000 images 'standard'.  I'll never quit and, although I've slowed down on the uploading lately, I'm going to renew my uploads with vigour in the coming weeks.  You can't get rid of me that easily! :P

 

On-topic - my first sale was after 4 months with around 250 images.

Edited by Colblimp
Addition.

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44 minutes ago, Colblimp said:

I'm still here and I've 7 sales so far this year which puts me ahead of the 1 sale per month per 1,000 images 'standard'.  I'll never quit and, although I've slowed down on the uploading lately, I'm going to renew my uploads with vigour in the coming weeks.  You can't get rid of me that easily! :P

 

 

Yeah, I remember you started a few months after me so I've found it interesting when you've posted your achievements as it has been interesting to compare. I think you have a better hit rate than me (i.e. number of sales per number of images uploaded) and if I'm honest, I think your images are better than mine which would be why. But I have 6 sales so far this month (my best month so far in terms of volume but only one of the sales broke double digits in price) and I believe this is down to my having 3 times as many images uploaded as you do... so a case of, 'different strokes for different folks!'

Edited by Matt Ashmore
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1 minute ago, Matt Ashmore said:

 

Yeah, I remember you started a few months after me so I've found it interesting when you've posted your achievements as it has been interesting to compare. I think you have a better hit rate than me (i.e. number of sales per number of images uploaded) and if I'm honest, I think your images are better than mine which would be why. But I have 6 sales so far this month (my best month so far in terms of volume but only one of the sales broke double digits in price) and this is down to my having 3 times as many images uploaded as you do... so a case of, 'different strokes for different folks!'

My images are certainly not better than yours, not a hope!  As for 6 sales in a month - I can only dream of that number!  My largest sale was $200 for a snapshot of a 'Ye Olde' Irish shop front and my lowest was $11 for a picture of my two donkeys I used to have, in a field with a rainbow behind them!  I've followed you closely (not in a stalker kind of way!) and you're far more successful than me.  I've tried so hard to upload 20 images per week but that's proved all but impossible, even though I'm a pro.  Must get my arse in gear...

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I had 125 images and had been with Alamy a little over a year when I made my first sale. That was in November 2009. I was new to stock and started as soon as I learned about the concept. Sales really picked up for me in early 2010. They have ebbed and flowed since then, but became pretty steady once I hit 400 images.

 

It's so variable but a rule of thumb I've heard is to expect one sale per month per 1,000 images. I average more than that or I would have left by now, but Philippe is right, it is better to have a good base before you start. I'm hoping to upload a significant number of new images in the coming months as I continue to process a large backlog of files. 

 

Good luck! Stock is a long game, not get-rich-quick. When I started back in 2008, I was told to expect to wait two years before seeing sales and while my first sale here was sooner than that, it took about that long to start getting more regular sales here. Many don't have the patience for it, and they complain they don't have sales after a few months and walk away. It's very different than microstock where I had multiple sales from day one. I started here first, and later experimented with a different portfolio on a few micros. 

 

Alamy tends to license a lot of travel for me, both popular destinations and those off the beaten track, but my first sale was a barbed wire fence and they also license concept images, secondary editorial, and nature images identified with the species and scientific (Latin) name. Good keywords are important and I think the time I've spent keywording and then later refining those keywords has paid off. I've learned a lot about the natural world from doing this work, and have amassed a small library of botanical books and books about birds, insects and various animals and guidebooks from around the world. Online research also helps. You need to enjoy research if you are going to successfully license your nature or travel images, especially if they are taken without a well developed shoot list ahead of time (which also requires research). A love of learning makes it fun rather than a chore.

 

And be open to it if someone points out a mistake. I once identified a jail in Scotland as a castle when I started out - luckily a fellow photographer put me straight. I'm very grateful. 

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I was lucky, about 100 photos and few weeks after I started using Alamy seriously. It was sold for $13 only, though...;)

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I only started in January 2017, knew of stock image sites years ago but didn't think I had the skill, gear or portfolio to bother uploading. Had DSLRs since 2009 but it's really since getting the D800 in 2013 that my images have been good enough for the most part.

 

In January I uploaded around 200 images to microstock sites, then got annoyed at my photos selling for pennies. Been exclusive on Alamy since March and steadily working through my old catalogs, uploading anything I think would be saleable. I'm primarily landscapes and animals so I think I missed a few opportunities on those trips to get the "stock" images people seem to love. I'm trying to capture those in-between getting the shots I want. I used to hate people walking in my shots but now I'll take them too.

 

Anyway I am now up to 1000 images, got a sale at the end of May for the Telegraph when I had around 800 images. 

 

Not many zooms, my CTR is OK. I realise this is long term, at least the images are online instead of sitting on my hard drive.

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On 7/6/2017 at 17:15, JamesH said:

I only started in January 2017, knew of stock image sites years ago but didn't think I had the skill, gear or portfolio to bother uploading. Had DSLRs since 2009 but it's really since getting the D800 in 2013 that my images have been good enough for the most part.

 

In January I uploaded around 200 images to microstock sites, then got annoyed at my photos selling for pennies. Been exclusive on Alamy since March and steadily working through my old catalogs, uploading anything I think would be saleable. I'm primarily landscapes and animals so I think I missed a few opportunities on those trips to get the "stock" images people seem to love. I'm trying to capture those in-between getting the shots I want. I used to hate people walking in my shots but now I'll take them too.

 

Anyway I am now up to 1000 images, got a sale at the end of May for the Telegraph when I had around 800 images. 

 

Not many zooms, my CTR is OK. I realise this is long term, at least the images are online instead of sitting on my hard drive.

You have some stellar images. I like your style and software skills. 

Add more people going about their daily lives doing things, and they will come.  It'll happen for you. 

Betty

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On 7/5/2017 at 03:40, JeffGreenberg said:

Better question:

 

Who made their first sale in 2016-2017 & how many images

did you have online when it was made...?

 

IMO, earlier years may NOT reflect current conditions...

+1 Great point, Jeff.

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I made my first sale in March 2017 after signing up in October 2016.

 

It was just a small sale, $20 of which I get $10. But I was pretty excited about it as I only had 28 images uploaded at the time.

 

Unfortunately it was my only sale so far, but it inspired me to go out and shoot more stock, and I am very slowly building up. Fingers crossed I'll have 100 images by Monday. Only 900 to go before all those sales come rolling in!! ( I can hope, can't I ?)

I'm also enjoying lurking on the forum and learning about the industry from all the generous people who are so willing to share their experience and knowledge with us all. 

 

My pre-Alamy portfolio is event photography (equestrian events) and performing arts (theatre) with images full of people (with no releases) so I am starting my stock albums from scratch.

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Joined in February 2017, and have gradually been increasing my portfolio, so not sure how many I had when I made my first sale at the beginning of May, 3 months later. And the second one came later that month. Nothing since then, but very pleased since a perusal of these forums had led me to believe that I might have to wait up to a year. Very little income for them, not even enough to get paid yet, but I will persevere.

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I joined in january 2016, and I had my first sale in august 2016 with about 400 pictures. It was for 70$. My next sale came two months later.

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After 1200 uploads, still no sells. Neither zooms, and slow CTR. It seems it is explained by the low variety of my portfolio, the poor tagging and the kind of photography, somehow no "UK based".

Hope the first one comes in a short term.

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2 minutes ago, txoko said:

After 1200 uploads, still no sells. Neither zooms, and slow CTR. It seems it is explained by the low variety of my portfolio, the poor tagging and the kind of photography, somehow no "UK based".

Hope the first one comes in a short term.

Not with that keywording, it won't. Your Prague images aren't even identified so they won't show in a search.

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On 08/07/2017 at 06:52, Betty LaRue said:

You have some stellar images. I like your style and software skills. 

Add more people going about their daily lives doing things, and they will come.  It'll happen for you. 

Betty

Thanks, been lucky to travel so at least I have some variety.

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32 minutes ago, txoko said:

After 1200 uploads, still no sells. Neither zooms, and slow CTR. It seems it is explained by the low variety of my portfolio, the poor tagging and the kind of photography, somehow no "UK based".

Hope the first one comes in a short term.

As mentioned, your keywords need work. I picked the elephant painting and no keywords for elephant or painting. You need to spend time going through all your images and keyword correctly.

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On 08/07/2017 at 18:20, Sally said:

Joined in February 2017, and have gradually been increasing my portfolio, so not sure how many I had when I made my first sale at the beginning of May, 3 months later. And the second one came later that month. Nothing since then, but very pleased since a perusal of these forums had led me to believe that I might have to wait up to a year. Very little income for them, not even enough to get paid yet, but I will persevere.

Third sale just popped in from a zoom a while ago.  Only a few dollars to go and I might actually get paid for the first time next month;)

Edited by Sally

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On 08/07/2017 at 14:19, MicheleD said:

My pre-Alamy portfolio is event photography (equestrian events) and performing arts (theatre) with images full of people (with no releases)

so why aren't you uploading those?

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1 hour ago, txoko said:

After 1200 uploads, still no sells.

 

How can you sell something when nobody knows what it is?

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7 minutes ago, spacecadet said:

Not with that keywording, it won't. Your Prague images aren't even identified so they won't show in a search.

I am aware of it, but thanks for the quote. However, the rest of images are better tagged, I believe it is rather to the fact that the images are somehow of the same topic.

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3 hours ago, JamesH said:

As mentioned, your keywords need work. I picked the elephant painting and no keywords for elephant or painting. You need to spend time going through all your images and keyword correctly.

Thanks for the positive feedback. It is a pleasure to hear the facts instead of a "you will never sell this way".

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16 hours ago, LawrensonPhoto said:

so why aren't you uploading those?

I haven't uploaded those because I do not have model or property releases for any of them.

MD

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1 hour ago, MicheleD said:

I haven't uploaded those because I do not have model or property releases for any of them.

MD

You list them RM no model/property release

OR

RF/EDITORIAL ONLY 

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3 minutes ago, Betty LaRue said:

You list them RM no model/property release

OR

RF/EDITORIAL ONLY 

Thank you Betty. I didn't realise that Alamy would sell them without a release.  

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