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My experience with Alamy coming from a Microstock background but disappointed with earnings after 2 years


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Looking for inspiration ( in terms of travel photography) ? Check the collection of Alamy contributors like Pascal Mannaerts, Eric Lafforgue, Frans Lanting, Leonid Plotkin,...

 

In light of my recent inspiration which has led to keyword perspiration, I've dug through my archives to upload these series of images of a school sponsored by an NGO in a Rio favela.

 

Do you think they would be interesting for buyers, considering it's now too dangerous to go up that favela? I think the one with the little girl is quite powerful, especially due to what's written on her arm. I'm surprised I never uploaded these to begin with, perhaps didn't feel comfortable as its kids and didn't have the consent of the guardian but then again it's editorials. 

 

I have many more of Rio which sometimes seem like non-stories but depending on the way I caption and keyword could be interesting for buyers (like homeless people, street vendors.)

 

I've put them as RM but any merit as RF? (I think not but open to ideas)

 

Ok now tear me apart :) 

 

 

Espaco Crianca Esperanca is an NGO in Rio de Janeiro which helps to educate favela children, literally meaning "Hope Stock Photo

 

Swimming pool at Pavao Pavaozinho favela in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil Stock Photo

A girl (4-6) smiles with Ipanema, Rio de Janeiro background. A message written on a girl’s arm that translates to Stock PhotoA message written on a girl's arm that translates to "I miss you mom". Taken at a favela in Rio Stock Photo

 

Kids playing football in favela Stock PhotoA girl (4-6) smiles with Ipanema, Rio de Janeiro background. A message written on a girl’s arm that translates to - Stock Photo

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15 minutes ago, geogphotos said:

 

 

You coming up here for a cycling event?

No, that's how we get around on holiday.

We don't know it, just like it, been there a time or two. Limit probably Southwold- Aldeburgh sort of distance. Thanks, what can you share- apart from staying away from the NT now they've nationalised Sutton Hoo?. Though there is a public footpath to the tumuli.

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I'm not taking my wetsuit! There was probably more of it when we dropped by 15 years ago.

Thanks for         , that's gone to the top of my list. Just our sort of thing. Cycling distance as well. I see you have it covered so I will refrain. Unless mine are really good of course.

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I'd try and use the photos - especially if there's no likelihood of going back, and especially the one of the young girl.  Have you checked AoA - All of Alamy - in Alamy Measures to see what people are looking for in connection with favelas?  If you alter the date so it covers a full year, and then in 'Search Term' put %favela% it will be a good way to check you have keyworded well.  For example the word 'youth' seems to crop up more than boy, so I would add that into some of those images.

 

Great tip. B)

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On 2017-08-08 at 23:24, geogphotos said:

 

It was just plain obvious to me from the minute that I saw it that microstock was a dead-end.

 

 

 

 

 

Me too. I couldn't understand why anyone would embrace the micro model (except as an act of desperation). But then I felt the same way about RF when it came along...

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18 hours ago, Brasilnut said:

 

 

In light of my recent inspiration which has led to keyword perspiration, I've dug through my archives to upload these series of images of a school sponsored by an NGO in a Rio favela.

 

Do you think they would be interesting for buyers, considering it's now too dangerous to go up that favela? I think the one with the little girl is quite powerful, especially due to what's written on her arm. I'm surprised I never uploaded these to begin with, perhaps didn't feel comfortable as its kids and didn't have the consent of the guardian but then again it's editorials. 

 

I have many more of Rio which sometimes seem like non-stories but depending on the way I caption and keyword could be interesting for buyers (like homeless people, street vendors.)

 

I've put them as RM but any merit as RF? (I think not but open to ideas)

 

Ok now tear me apart :) 

 

 

Espaco Crianca Esperanca is an NGO in Rio de Janeiro which helps to educate favela children, literally meaning "Hope Stock Photo

 

Swimming pool at Pavao Pavaozinho favela in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil Stock Photo

A girl (4-6) smiles with Ipanema, Rio de Janeiro background. A message written on a girl’s arm that translates to Stock PhotoA message written on a girl's arm that translates to "I miss you mom". Taken at a favela in Rio Stock Photo

 

Kids playing football in favela Stock PhotoA girl (4-6) smiles with Ipanema, Rio de Janeiro background. A message written on a girl’s arm that translates to - Stock Photo

 

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23 hours ago, Brasilnut said:

 

 

In light of my recent inspiration which has led to keyword perspiration, I've dug through my archives to upload these series of images of a school sponsored by an NGO in a Rio favela.

 

Do you think they would be interesting for buyers, considering it's now too dangerous to go up that favela? I think the one with the little girl is quite powerful, especially due to what's written on her arm. I'm surprised I never uploaded these to begin with, perhaps didn't feel comfortable as its kids and didn't have the consent of the guardian but then again it's editorials. 

 

I have many more of Rio which sometimes seem like non-stories but depending on the way I caption and keyword could be interesting for buyers (like homeless people, street vendors.)

 

I've put them as RM but any merit as RF? (I think not but open to ideas)

 

Ok now tear me apart :) 

 

 

Espaco Crianca Esperanca is an NGO in Rio de Janeiro which helps to educate favela children, literally meaning "Hope Stock Photo

 

Swimming pool at Pavao Pavaozinho favela in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil Stock Photo

A girl (4-6) smiles with Ipanema, Rio de Janeiro background. A message written on a girl’s arm that translates to Stock PhotoA message written on a girl's arm that translates to "I miss you mom". Taken at a favela in Rio Stock Photo

 

Kids playing football in favela Stock PhotoA girl (4-6) smiles with Ipanema, Rio de Janeiro background. A message written on a girl’s arm that translates to - Stock Photo

 

I find they're powerful pictures, I can feel Rio's humidity. I agree that processing needs attention, pull back those highlights.

I haven't checked your captions but there's no reason why they shouldn't sell, they tell a story. Only my opinion. 

 

Good luck.

 

Gen

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On 8/11/2017 at 04:17, Brasilnut said:

True about the highlights but done purposely to give it a sort of "dreamy, heavenly" look...perhaps I took it too far.  

 

Wow you guys are great. Giving me renewed hope :)

 

I think the highlights give the image a humid look, so I would not pull them back. I might add some additional blue to the highlights only, not the mid tones or shadows, to give a more blue hazy humid look. Great images that really do not need adjustment, I am just being picky.

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9 hours ago, Brasilnut said:

Thanks for positive vibes...nice $64 RM today (below). Also been out shooting today with all the advice in mind. 

 

Chanel shop in St. Tropez, France Stock Photo

 

look im not a fan of anyone trying to promote books or other items on here, but well done for bearing the advice in mind - too many people come on this forum - ask for advice - then give two fingers to the advice they receive ( forgetting that someone has taken the time ( unpaid) to give that advice.)

 

keeping the advice in mind - or even better using it - will go a long way on this forum

 

i like the swimming pool shot - definately shows the heat and humidity - i wouldnt change it 

 

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Awesome advice above.

I re-worked this image below from my recent trip to Dubai...is it the sort that would do OK here (RM editorial)? Otherwise, I have another version where it's more of a silhouette and I can submit as commercial (RM) - would the commercial version have more value? Perhaps I'll just submit both. 

A boy and a camel in Jumeirah Beach Residence, Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE) - Stock Image

The following three are from the weekend. Would this be something that's quite interesting for buyers on here? Keeping in mind that the light was slightly harsh. 

 

A traditional 1930s tram in Milan, Italy taken at Bohemian Navigli district - Stock Image

Mother and daughter on the canal in Bohemian Navigli, Milan, Italy - Stock Image

What's the story, morning glory?

Man (60-65) tanning outside at water's edge in Milan, Italy during the height of the summer - Stock Image

Thanks in advance. p.s. Obviously none of the above are being replicated in micros. 

 

Alex

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I disagree! 100% not mentioning any names but there are quite a few famous photographers here who have giant ports in micro-stock and doing very well here, etc! micro-stock have got nothing to do with it. In fact Alamy at one stage more or less asked micr-photographers to join, and why not?

 

My port is small here at Alamy , why? because my pics are of a commercial, creative overtone so they dont sell very well and here lies the secret. You mentioned it yourself: Editorial. thats what you gonna have to do, Editorial.

If I were you I would upload as much editorial as possible.

Unfortunately I myself have a port elsewhere of close to 7000 images but they are all creative! and here they dont sell all that!

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because my pics are of a commercial, creative overtone so they dont sell very well and here lies the secret.

 

Absolutely! Some images do very very very well on micros with repeat low-value downloads, since they're so generic/bland, albeit with commercial value, so why should I stop submitting such images there? There appears to be a prejudice on by some members of this forum against Micros and in many cases a lack of understanding of how that beast works.

 

All my editorials are going on here from now on and as RM. I've done OK with some editorials on micros but I think they would have done a lot better on here (and I had bothered to caption/keyword them properly the first time round). 

 

Better late than never. 

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The more i'm thinking at it the more i'm asking to myself why micro pics (and market) are also "micro" incomes.

Many model shots or studio shots cost a lot more money to photographers than some lucky-sunny church snapshots i've seen here.

At least, a studio or model shot took time (and money) to be prepared and it simply cannot be sold for .25.

Editorials are in many cases shots made during a trip, sometimes just for holidays and when is for business, the only costs are flight/trains/gasoline.

In my opinion the business models and revenues should be exactly the opposite.

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6 hours ago, arterra said:

 

Because it is responsible for ALL PRICES to drop to ridiculous levels. ALSO EDITORIAL ONES.

See the newspaper sales and all those editorial agencies that are now out of business thanks to microstock. General prices are only a fraction of what they used to be.

 

Cheers,

Philippe

 

Nah. Its all about supply and demand. Its easy to take pictures to satisfy demand now compared with the film days. Micro stock simply speeded up the process aided by huge advances in technology. If it was not microstock then prices would still have dropped, maybe more slowly, as customers found agencies or individuals prepared to reduce prices.

 

All through the 1990s and into the 2000s I was often contacted by agencies moaning that I was undercutting them and i was perfectly happy to accept 75% of the going rate rather than 50% through them and offer special prices for bulk deals.

 

Regen

 

 

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7 hours ago, arterra said:

 

Because it is responsible for ALL PRICES to drop to ridiculous levels. ALSO EDITORIAL ONES.

See the newspaper sales and all those editorial agencies that are now out of business thanks to microstock. General prices are only a fraction of what they used to be.

 

Cheers,

Philippe

 

I think Brasilnut has it right. He is in both stock income streams. He also writes books, keeps an interesting website, and has a positive attitude.

 

The good thing about Alamy is that it is responding to microstock, and therefore not joining all those agencies now out of business.

 

One of the most financially successful photographers in the world shoots only microstock.

 

RM prices dropped by 2/3 between 1997 and 2001 because the two biggest RM agencies in the world engaged in a price war. Not because of Microstock. They also cut photographer’s commission. Not because of microstock.

 

I hope KODAKovic keeps discussing microstock on this forum because I want to know more about it. Microstock is here to stay. Might as well get used to it.

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Many model shots or studio shots cost a lot more money to photographers than some lucky-sunny church snapshots i've seen here.

At least, a studio or model shot took time (and money) to be prepared and it simply cannot be sold for .25.

 

Keep in mind that a large percentage of Microstock contributors live in low-cost countries such as Ukraine, Russia and Thailand. Models and other services are considerably cheaper than in Western countries. The 25 cents a pop isn't much but if you have images which are being licensed dozens of times a day for months it adds up and someone in Thailand making $500 a month can live like a king! B) I should move to Thailand...

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29 minutes ago, Brasilnut said:

 

Keep in mind that a large percentage of Microstock contributors live in low-cost countries such as Ukraine, Russia and Thailand. Models and other services are considerably cheaper than in Western countries. The 25 cents a pop isn't much but if you have images which are being licensed dozens of times a day for months it adds up and someone in Thailand making $500 a month can live like a king! B) I should move to Thailand...

 

Alex it would be interesting to compare RM RPI with Micro's RPI.

I believe the first one is still better in terms of revenues. Not # of dls i guess

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Alex it would be interesting to compare RM RPI with Micro's RPI.

I believe the first one is still better in terms of revenues. Not # of dls i guess

 

Yes that would be interesting but I don't yet have enough data to draw a conclusion.

 

My friend and fellow author, Steve Heap, has written about this sort of comparison on his blog:

 

http://www.backyardsilver.com/2017/08/image-buyers-search-cheaper-versions/

 

He also releases his monthly earnings, including on Alamy and all Micros sites (large sample):

 

http://www.backyardsilver.com/2017/08/earnings-stock-photography-july-2017/

 

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1 hour ago, Bill Brooks said:

 

I think Brasilnut has it right. He is in both stock income streams. He also writes books, keeps an interesting website, and has a positive attitude.

 

The good thing about Alamy is that it is responding to microstock, and therefore not joining all those agencies now out of business.

 

One of the most financially successful photographers in the world shoots only microstock.

 

RM prices dropped by 2/3 between 1997 and 2001 because the two biggest RM agencies in the world engaged in a price war. Not because of Microstock. They also cut photographer’s commission. Not because of microstock.

 

I hope KODAKovic keeps discussing microstock on this forum because I want to know more about it. Microstock is here to stay. Might as well get used to it.

 

Thx Bill.

I don't want to discuss micro vs nothing.

Just agree with you Brasilnut kept here some good points to think about

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