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Scott Mallon

First Sale - Disappointed in Pricing

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Just logged in and noticed I got my first sale on April 24. Finally.

Selling is great, however, the sale was for $20.64. I was surprised at how low the price was so I checked out the licensing. Below are the specifics:

 

Country: United Kingdom
Usage: Editorial
Media: Newspaper - national

Print run: up to 2 million
Placement: Inside and online
Image Size: 1/4 page

Start: 01 March 2013
End: 02 March 2013
One use in a single editorial or advertorial article used within print and /or web versions, with re-use of the article in other titles or web versions within the same newspaper group. Digital use includes archive rights for the lifetime of the article.

 

This said, several things surprise me. The start run date is March 1 and yet the sale shows as April 24. Anyone know why this might be?

Second, I did a price check for the exact specifications shown above - $245. How does an image go from $245 to $20.64? Whatever the reason, I'm not too happy as this "subtle "pricing difference cost me $115. Since when does Alamy take liberties with the pricing or give huge discounts with what is effectively my money? Or is this possibly an error? If I wanted to make $10 a photo I'd do nothing but sell on Microstock sites.

 

If anyone can help me understand this I'd appreciate it. Thanks.

 

 

 

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It is probably a bulk deal with the publisher. Also I believe, in the case of bulk deals, the quoted use is a maximum likely use rather than guaranteed actual use.

This may have changed  - you will need to check with Alamy.

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Welcome to the world as it is ! The price calculator is there to give you a warm feeling - there are now so many 'deals' and 'arrangements' and 'special clients' that I have not seen a sale that matches the 'calculator' - ever!

 

This is a sale to a UK newspaper and the rates still seem to be dropping slowly - I suggest that you e-mail MS and ask specifically for the information in this case - it actually does us all no good to splash price sensitive information all over an open forum ***** - believe it or not there are those who might take advantage of the information when bargaining with an agency !!!

 

Congrats on the sale - may it be one of many - and may they add up to a goodly sum !

 

***** Guilty as charged - I know I've done it myself - many times - we need a "Contributors Only" button for interchange of 'bad deals' on a confidential level.....

Edited by DavidC
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Will definitely email Alamy to find out what the specifics are. Thanks for the help.

Honestly, a photos in a newspaper with a 2 million run for $20? Absolutely ridiculous. 

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Regretably with newspapers you have to look at their profit levels to realise why the 'men in shiny shoes' are squeezing every department to cut costs - in many cases you do in fact wonder why they continue in a loss making situation. 

 

Wonderful things were predicted with the Interweb thingy allowing them to produce online newspapers directly from small editorial offices with daily and w/end staff amalgamated,  and the giant presses, buildings, printers, lorries, newspaper and ink no longer needed at all.  The problem has been that with just a few exceptions people have been unwilling to pay a subscription on the internet when the vast majority of news coverage there appears to be 'free' - I stand to be corrected but I am pretty sure that only one on-line edition is making any profit at all - and a tiny one at that, for the first time last year.  The costs have proved to be small, but so has the income from advertising and subscriptions.

 

Concentratng on the photographic side of the business, it is not widely understood that 'in house' news photography is in dire straights - One major group does not employ a single staff photographer.  Another large newspaper which employed about thirty staff photographers in the UK just ten years ago now has just two.

 

The reasons are clear, dear reader, imagery is cheap and plentiful with suppliers willing to cut their contributors throats in a frantic race to the bottom in the matter of fees. Nowadays one does not have to understand the craft of photography at all, the camera does most of that, and the percieved glamour of press photography has produced a plethora of newspaper photographer 'wannbees' - and why not ?  They can make a few bob - and make a few publications - but they also give the buyers in the business a massive choice - just look at the average film premiere.  Managing editors rub their hands with glee and buy picture uasge for just a few dollars - saving their budgets to pay out the big money for the odd really exclusive crock of gold.

 

No bitterness nor judgement passed - except on the manging editors staff who are often on cost cutting bonuses - this is the world as it is - I'm afraid you have to get used to it..........

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Good post, DavidC. I just roll my eyes when I see that I've made a "Huff" or other newspaper sale for peanuts...the editors just don't have the budgets to pay for images any more.

 

Scott, the reality is lower prices and smaller commissions overall for images. You've sold your first image with only 95 in your collection. You're on the right track. If you want to make money in stock photography, you'll have to work both harder and smarter now. Research what kind of images sell, and keep expenses really low. You can only control what you do.

 

While I love to travel to exotic places to shoot images, I got some good advice from the old forum - some of the best selling images (with sometimes good prices) come from within a one-block radius of where you live...and cost little more than some shoe leather and spare time.  :)

 

Dave

Edited by OneWay
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Thanks Gentlemen...

There was a time when I wrote and shot in SE Asia for every boxing magazine in existence and was capable of paying the bills. Now several of the mags have gone under so I have begun to shoot more of Thailand, where I live, and Southeast Asia but absolutely zero boxing. It's simply not worth the time and effort. I sold sets of photos to HBO a couple of times — they pay well — but these type of gigs are hard to come by. 

 

Dave - I completely understand what you mean about shooting in your neighborhood. The last month I've spent photographing a two-block area of abandoned buildings with graffiti plastered every possible place imaginable. It's a block away from my home and one day while walking to a mall I saw a little bit of tagging and graffiti on some of the buildings. The area was pretty hip for a while but for whatever reason everything has now closed and the graffiti artists have obliterated the place. Now part of the plan is to go around Bangkok to the different areas where graffiti artists are most active. Anyhow...I'm on a budget...and it's not nearly as flexible as it used to be.

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get used to it; prices will keep falling as will sales as the stock houses get diluted with more and more similar photos. Too many photos chasing falling prices. Not much incentive to keep shooting. Just about everything has been shot. You now have to have the best shot of that particular need. Quite difficult. Try selling your shot of the Eiffel tower?? Gotta deal with the buyers perception of what he/she thinks is the best one.

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Sad to say, but, welcome to the real world of stock photography. And congratulations on the sale, may there be many more, and hopefully for better money!

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First, congratulations for your first sale! Anyway, I hope the second one and all the others to come will be much more interesting in terms of earnings!

Unfortunately, this is the current real world of stock photography.

I was involved with Getty Images' flickr collection and after having realized how ridicolous sales were, I decided to quit it and same did lots of pro photogrpahers.

Just to give you an example, I got 14 USD for a 1-page size photo published on a Lonely Planet guide of Italy!!

Sad but true!

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As you are living in Thailand, shoot food - everything from ingredients, preparation, plating, final dish, servers...what an opportunity to shoot real Thai dishes. Food pics sell.

 

With regards to you wanting to shoot graffiti, I just uploaded some a few days ago...something in passing while wandering around, but I wouldn't go out to shoot it specially. Not been much overall buyer interest in my pics of "street art" from any city I've gone to. 

 

In any event, just shoot more, lots more of every kind of subject. Being on a budget will force you to look more closely at things that are at hand. "All of Alamy" has lots of hints for pics of things around your house and immediate neighbourhood that have sold.

 

Prices? Sell a few more images first. When you find the right subjects matched by the right class of buyers, those pics will sell for better prices. Sorry, but that's where the detective work comes in.

 

Good luck.

 

Dave

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