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Sunny69

Submitting to Alamy and other stock agencies - RF images

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I have been submitting RF images to Alamy and other agencies for past few months... Images that were sold on other agencies ..none of them did on Alamy.. Beginning to wonder if Clients check to see if the same image is available in other agencies for a lesser price. Anyone had such similar experience... I would like to think these are non subscription based clients. The one's who are on the subscription model, may not care if the same image is available elsewhere coz they have already paid a subscription fee and therefore price does not matter. 

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1 hour ago, Sunny69 said:

I have been submitting RF images to Alamy and other agencies for past few months... Images that were sold on other agencies ..none of them did on Alamy.. Beginning to wonder if Clients check to see if the same image is available in other agencies for a lesser price. Anyone had such similar experience... I would like to think these are non subscription based clients. The one's who are on the subscription model, may not care if the same image is available elsewhere coz they have already paid a subscription fee and therefore price does not matter. 

 

There are no hard facts (that I've seen) that client shop around for price, but (my) logic says that in many cases it would be true - don't you have a look around before buying something on-line? To avoid this - either don't submit the same images to high-priced and budget-priced. Of course there is also the case of what actions/choices could be detrimental for the overall industry...if one does think about longevity, for oneself, as well as others. 

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4 hours ago, Sunny69 said:

I have been submitting RF images to Alamy and other agencies for past few months... Images that were sold on other agencies ..none of them did on Alamy.. Beginning to wonder if Clients check to see if the same image is available in other agencies for a lesser price. Anyone had such similar experience... I would like to think these are non subscription based clients. The one's who are on the subscription model, may not care if the same image is available elsewhere coz they have already paid a subscription fee and therefore price does not matter. 

 

Why are you killing yourself, and other photographers, making pennies at micro stock? I mean, how much do you really do with micro stock?

 

Most buyers will first look at micro stock for what they need. If they don't find it then they come to Alamy. This should answer your question. Of course, once you move everything to regular stock, don't expect the same volume of sales you had at micro... but volume alone means nothing if you are making pennies with a sale that could go over hundreds of dollars.

Edited by Octavio Campos Salles
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Why are you killing yourself, and other photographers, making pennies at micro stock? I mean, how much do you really do with micro stock

 

Oh this debate again! Allow me to throw in my Microstock 2 cents.

 

I estimate that your portfolio consists of 90% editorials.  I strongly believe that duplicating editorial images on here and Microstock is a mistake, simply because 1) there's the always-present risk that a non-corporate buyer will purchase the same commodity and 2) you can license as RM.

 

As for corporate clients, it seems unlikely that newspaper scheme clients will switch to using Microstock in the near future (would be open to hear some opinions on the matter). 

 

As for the more generic commercial images, including (delicious) Indian food, I believe that they would do quite well at Micros and there's probably no harm in licensing them on both, as long as they're RF on here. I won't go into more detail since I may run the risk of "supporting Microstock...or maybe I should so Phillipe can come back 😀

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32 minutes ago, Brasilnut said:

As for corporate clients, it seems unlikely that newspaper scheme clients will switch to using Microstock in the near future (would be open to hear some opinions on the matter).

Why wouldn't they? The Muddle did (and good riddance), why wouldn't anyone else?

Edited by Cryptoprocta
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9 hours ago, Sunny69 said:

Beginning to wonder if Clients check to see if the same image is available in other agencies for a lesser price.

 

Yes some do. I once received email from a client who asked why I did't put all of my images with a certain agency and just let them do the billing.

Price is probably a major factor for buyers with a limited budget. They may also prefer to license all of their images from a single agency and only deal with one bill..

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Why wouldn't they? The Muddle did (and good riddance), why wouldn't anyone else?

 

Good question. I think that a factor is that Alamy provides a more encyclopedic catalogue of people/places/things, as others have pointed out. There must also be some benefits to being within the newspaper scheme.

 

Others on here can probably elaborate as I don't know what prevents them from licensing at Micros, either partly or completely.

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I have nothing against micro stock for micro uses. The problem is the licence which allows for unrestricted commercial use into the future and print runs of 500,000 for a micro price. That is what is so damaging

 

Agreed, although it's not quite unrestricted since many basic licenses under subscriptions don't allow for use of images in merchandising and use on templates. Buyers must upgrade to have such benefits, which costs relatively more.

 

Anyway, I do see your point and it's become a "cheap all you can eat buffet of images". Unfortunately, the clients are gluttons whi can't seem to get enough junk food.

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It seems that Alamy does not mind photographers duplicating their RF microstock on Alamy, as Alamy is a none exclusive agency. It guess Alamy has decided it is not an issue.

 

From the Alamy Q@A for new photographers:

http://www.alamy.com/contributor/faqs/about-alamy/

 

 “I shoot microstock, can I sell my images on Alamy?
A. Yes! We are a non-exclusive agency, so you can sell your stock images on our website and on any other non-exclusive sites. We accept any style of imagery and have a huge range of image buyers sourcing their imagery from us.”

 

More Alamy Q&A instructions:

 

“Q. If I sell my images on Alamy, can I sell them in other places too? Is Alamy exclusive?
A. We’re non-exclusive so that means there are no restrictions and you can submit to other stock photo sites. If you do choose to submit to another agency, just make sure they’re non-exclusive too.”

 

From the Alamy contract

 

1.3.6 Supply your Images on a non exclusive basis and may therefore sell your Images in any other way you wish as long as you comply with the terms of this contract.

2.2 You cannot submit identical or similar images to Alamy as both Royalty-Free and Rights Managed. The licence type on Alamy for an image must be the same as the licence type for that image and similar images which you have on other agency websites.

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37 minutes ago, Brasilnut said:

 

Good question. I think that a factor is that Alamy provides a more encyclopedic catalogue of people/places/things, as others have pointed out. There must also be some benefits to being within the newspaper scheme.

 

Others on here can probably elaborate as I don't know what prevents them from licensing at Micros, either partly or completely.

My point was that the Mail Group now licenses from at least two of the micros. They were already buying at micro prices on here (and even then not always reporting / paying for uses), but now they seem to have negotiated with the micros so that they don't have to buy higher value licenses despite their high print run. I see their free publication when I'm travelling and arguably the images used are sometimes more generic, but it doesn't always matter.

Other publications use micros from time to time or more, for their secondary editorial, sometimes more than they use Alamy. And where possible, many use free content supplied by readers.

 

 

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It's very easy nowadays to do a web search based on an image and find that image elsewhere. And any serious buyer would surely know this. It's a bit like seeing something on the high street and then checking if it's cheaper EBay or Amazon before buying... many people will do this but not everyone.

 

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1 hour ago, Bill Brooks said:

It seems that Alamy does not mind photographers duplicating their RF microstock on Alamy, as Alamy is a none exclusive agency. It guess Alamy has decided it is not an issue.

 

From the Alamy Q@A for new photographers:

http://www.alamy.com/contributor/faqs/about-alamy/

 

 “I shoot microstock, can I sell my images on Alamy?
A. Yes! We are a non-exclusive agency, so you can sell your stock images on our website and on any other non-exclusive sites. We accept any style of imagery and have a huge range of image buyers sourcing their imagery from us.”

 

It seems illogical to encourage this. Doesn't it just mean Alamy's servers end up hosting lots of images that are available at a fraction of the price elsewhere? This risks driving up Alamy's costs with reduced chance of revenue to cover it? 

 

Mark

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20 minutes ago, GS-Images said:

Alamy need a filter on their forum so when the word "microstock" is used, the system rejects the post.

 

I will never understand why anyone with pride in their work (which many clearly don't have) want to sell for pennies. Whatever the type of image, editorial or a model posing half naked, I don't agree with microstock and never will. How about using an agency that isn't mainly editorial but also isn't microstock? AT LEAST don't duplicate editorial type images on microstock sites that are also on Alamy. We have this discussion over and over again and get the same microstock supporters continuing to promote it. It does nobody here any favours at all.

 

Geoff.

 

I think that a lot of this disagreement is simply a matter of age differences among forum members. Most of the microstock people "coming over" to Alamy appear to be young. They have never really known anything but microstock (e.g. some don't even know what "editorial" means). You can't really blame them for this. They have a completely different mindset and perspective from old fossils (like myself) who have been creating editorial images and submitting to agencies for decades.

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How about using an agency that isn't mainly editorial but also isn't microstock?

 

You mean "boutique" agencies? Unfortunately, those aren't open to beginners who are just starting out (majority of Microstock contributors). 

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All these silly phrases that someone has invented like "boutique" are annoying as most people don't know what they mean, and I've never heard of it until you joined Alamy. To me, that word means a place where women go to get beauty treatments. I don't think such a place would know how to license photography.

 

:D 

 

They're usually smallish Agencies within specific niches, usually licensing RM. The focus is more on quality than quantity, with collections. If allowed I can name a few. 

 

Microstock is a good place to start for commercial images then contributors should ideally move towards more of these types of agencies. 

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Whoops! Deleted.

 

 

Edited by John Mitchell

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16 minutes ago, GS-Images said:

 

I do take your point, but I'm not as old as many here (no offence to anyone!) and before I started submitting to Alamy in 2010, I did a lot of research and considered microstock, but decided I didn't want to sell images for pennies and I didn't like the microstock model. I hadn't used any stock agency before Alamy.

 

I could say a lot more about the subject but I've said it all before and don't want to be too moany and keep saying the same things. :)

 

Geoff.

 

Good for you. It pays to do one's research. Too many people wanting to get into stock photography these days don't bother. They just see microstock as a cool way to make some money from their photos without thinking in the long-term. Fortunately, when I started submitting images to stock agencies (circa 1990), the microstock temptation didn't exist.

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Not this again! 

 

Just trying to get Philippe to come back :D

 

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So I guess a good question would be why does Alamy allow the same RF images, that are on a microstock site, to be on the Alamy site.

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5 hours ago, GS-Images said:

 

I do take your point, but I'm not as old as many here (no offence to anyone!) and before I started submitting to Alamy in 2010, I did a lot of research and considered microstock, but decided I didn't want to sell images for pennies and I didn't like the microstock model. I hadn't used any stock agency before Alamy.

 

I could say a lot more about the subject but I've said it all before and don't want to be too moany and keep saying the same things. :)

 

Geoff.

 

Please don't shoot me down.......but I want to add my 5 cents worth. I started with Alamy in 2003, and have a very slow submission rate and a small portfolio. My total payments from Alamy to date are $US 20,843.23 + I have an uncleared account balance of $276.64. In late 2007, I considered sending a few images to micros. After careful consideration I decided on a few subjects that I could easily shoot while shooting my Alamy photos - so if my "experiment" didn't work, there was no real extra cost to me, except for time to shoot and process. I'd retired from work the year before, so I was fine for the time. 

 

Since 2007, I have grown my micro portfolio to between 280 to 328 images (depending on the site and what they accepted), so it can be seen that I really haven't put a great deal off effort into shooting especially for micros.

 

However, thus far, until the end of August this year, my total payment from this small number of images is $US 25,001.84 plus there's another couple of hundred dollars not yet paid. I am on the highest commission rate at one micro, having exceeded $10K in payments. I still get a few sales each year where my cut of the "pennies" exceeds $100.

 

Yes, some of these images are on Alamy, all RF of course, and in a different pseudo. And I do get a few sales of these images.

 

I do hope that I haven't offended anyone, but I felt that I wanted to forum members to hear that it is indeed possible to earn a reasonable amount from micros with minimal effort.

Edited by cbimages
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18 minutes ago, cbimages said:

 

Please don't shoot me down.......but I want to add my 5 cents worth. I started with Alamy in 2003, and have a very slow submission rate and a small portfolio. My total payments from Alamy to date are $US 20,843.23 + I have an uncleared account balance of $276.64. In late 2007, I considered sending a few images to micros. After careful consideration I decided on a few subjects that I could easily shoot while shooting my Alamy photos - so if my "experiment" didn't work, there was no real extra cost to me, except for time to shoot and process. I'd retired from work the year before, so I was fine for the time. 

 

Since 2007, I have grown my micro portfolio to between 280 to 328 images (depending on the site and what they accepted), so it can be seen that I really haven't put a great deal off effort into shooting macro.

 

However, thus far, until the end of August this year, my total earnings from this small number of images is $US 25,001.84 plus there's another couple of hundred dollars not yet paid. I am on the highest commission rate at one micro, having exceeded $10K in payments. I still get a few sales each year where my cut of the "pennies" exceeds $100.

 

Yes, some of these images are on Alamy, all RF of course, and in a different pseudo. And I do get a few sales of these images.

 

I do hope that I haven't offended anyone, but I felt that I wanted to forum members to hear that it is indeed possible to earn a reasonable amount from micros with minimal effort.

 

Very valuable comment. Would you say that the same images that sell well on the micros, sell here as well?

My guess is that a lot of the contributors that have come in from the micros recently are expecting huge sales from the same images hat have sold  on the micros.

While that may only be true for a certain type of images.

 

Mind, I have been with Alamy from 2004 and my portfolio is not bigger than yours. My uploading is on par with yours too. However I did manage to join the 100K club earlier this year.

 

wim

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Wim, the RF images sold via Alamy are random, I don't really see a pattern. On the micros, some images sell well at one, others sell well on another.

 

And congratulations on joining the 100K club too. I'm guessing that your location (and ability to travel to nearby areas) helps a lot with your ability to shoot more in demand subjects (and shoot them very well I might add). I live 12km south of a regional town in Australia, which has had just 2 searches on Alamy this year. Health issues mean I can no longer walk long distances or drive either, so I tend to concentrate on underwater images in the main, and we can only afford around 3 trips a year, and those always to the same areas as I know I can the assistance I need to enter and exit the water. 

 

It's a bit of a bummer getting old!

 

 

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Besides the difference in average price level the huge thing that differentiates Alamy vs micro agencies is the effective commision i.e. Alamy's 50% vs micros 15-20%, sometimes even lower. Some people only care about whatever lands in their pocket and look at it purely from an RPI perspective, but I personally find it difficult to comprehend why a business arrangement would be slanted so much in the favour of the middleman/the broker/payment processor and find artists that even when they realise this, find that acceptable and not an insult? Puzzling. 

 

The profit margins aren't slimmer for the microstock agencies, on the contrary - there are millionaires, even at least one billionaire made - off the back of creators. Even if using the argument that it became more of success than ever anticipated - has any of them ever shifted the commission in the favour of the artist, no - there are constant underhanded ways of making their effective commission greater and greater.

 

So creators might not in general be the savviest of business minds, but even the most uneducated, unworldly, naive people know when something isn't a fair deal, regardless of net monies exchanging hands.

 

(FYI - close industry comparable would be Apple's "app store" (selling apps) where the commission is 30% (Apple's cut), creator gets 70% royalty. )

Edited by Martin Carlsson
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10 hours ago, Bill Brooks said:

So I guess a good question would be why does Alamy allow the same RF images, that are on a microstock site, to be on the Alamy site.

 

Sorry for my newbie question but is the option "Only available on Alamy" don't make any difference for the search engine ? 

I use some of my images available on MS to build a portfolio of a "decent" size, but I am trying to offer the maximum number of exclusive photos I can make here.

I would mix up to get a size of about 1000 images and then I would propose only exclusive images here.

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