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Author Topic: 1st sale in Alamy  (Read 37872 times)

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« Reply #25 on: November 25, 2011, 17:02 »
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Well, I am photo exclusive, so I can only upload RM anyway.

I wonder if locations from Germany are interesting at all, or if they mostly have customers for the UK/US market.

But if they accept things with hard or suboptimal lighting, it might be interesting to just slowly and patiently build a port there, especially if these are images that usually wouldnt get into istock as RF.

Alamy doesnt show download numbers and I have become very appreciative of the companies that dont advertise to thieves what makes me money. I believe it is an important component of my success on getty - nobody knows what I sell, so noone copies it. So my files seem to have a better shelf life.

Alamy also takes editorial from what I see. Hm. I like the way editorial is beginning to sell on istock. But I might try putting a few into RM.

@karimala: thank you!!


« Reply #26 on: November 25, 2011, 17:07 »
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Just found this on their press page:

http://www.alamy.com/pressreleases/2011/earn_money_from_your_photos.asp

Really impressive.

« Reply #27 on: November 25, 2011, 17:19 »
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cobalt, re "I wonder if locations from Germany are interesting at all..."

Alamy already has an offices in several countries, including Germany.
(In fact, one of my more recent Alamy sales, around $100, was to a German magazine.)

« Reply #28 on: November 25, 2011, 17:20 »
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Very interesting, thank you. So I could upload normal content and just wait and see what happens. This might be easier to leave in RM.

I think Ill browse through the alamy collection a bit more. I think if someone has thousands of images there, they must know what they are doing.

Search Alamy for Jeff Greenberg.  His portfolio has over 78,000 images and counting...mostly street photography.  He's a frequent poster on their forums and openly shares his sales numbers (well over $100K per year in earnings from Alamy alone).

Yeah, but remember that at Alamy they quote the full sale price as their earnings, not their cut, so his "well over 100k" probably works out at $78,000 or $1 per image per year .... just the same as most other people. Even if he was pulling in $150,000 as his share of the sales, it would still be less than $2 per image per year, which is a tenth of what he might get from having a similar number of ordinary images on the micros and represents a very low return on effort.

Alamy's like a lottery. You never know when a fat prize will drop into your hands. But unless you have invested tens of thousands of hours in shooting and uploading you're not going to make a huge pile of cash.
I don't know how anyone could get those numbers up without batch uploading piles of similars, which isn't allowed.

« Reply #29 on: November 25, 2011, 17:23 »
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Based on my experience of uploading editorial to SS for six years, you'll be better off not selling it at IS as RF.  None of my editorial shots SS have covered even basic expenses from the day's shooting, even after six years!  Alamy is perfect for that kind of stuff.

Most sales do originate in the US/UK, but I've had a couple of sales in Germany and one in Russia.

« Reply #30 on: November 25, 2011, 17:25 »
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$1 per image per year for street photography without model or property releases is pretty impressive, IMO. 

ShadySue

« Reply #31 on: November 25, 2011, 17:33 »
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Just found this on their press page:

http://www.alamy.com/pressreleases/2011/earn_money_from_your_photos.asp

Really impressive.


I suspect that's the exception, rather than the rule, which is why they're making such a song and dance about it.

« Reply #32 on: November 25, 2011, 17:34 »
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I am just browsing through the library - they have a lot of German content.

In RM I see images from trade shows, sport events, from inside museums - is there no legal problem with that? Or is everything covered with an editorial license?

""well over 100k" probably works out at $78,000 or $1 per image per year .... just the same as most other people."

Yes, thank you, I agree it looks like that would be the average. And like you say it is an unbelievable amount of work to upload nearly 80k images. When does he shoot?

On the other hand, a return of nearly 80k a year does bring in money to pay for part time help with uploading and keywording.

I am sure I can make a lot more money on istock/getty with RF, but I like the idea of adding a different outlet for images that I could not sell on istock.

I dont travel as much as I used to, but if I can think of a style that might work for alamy, I can just keep that in mind when I walk around town or go anywhere.

I used to enjoy street shooting but stopped when I started with stock.

So I have already enjoyed adding a few images to the istock editorial collection and am amazed that from the 40 images I uploaded this year I got 13 sales.

I believe the istock editorial collection has a good future, but many images (sports, events) they dont take. And they pay attention to good quality lighting, so you cant upload everything (which is good - I dont mind that they only pick the best files)

Between istock and Alamy it looks like I could squeeze every cent out of normal walk around day shots.

Thank you for all the good information everyone. I have been doing stock for 7 years, but I really dont know much about the wider industry.  :)

 

ShadySue

« Reply #33 on: November 25, 2011, 17:40 »
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I wonder if locations from Germany are interesting at all, or if they mostly have customers for the UK/US market.

Where your pictures sell doesn't necessarily tie to where the photo was taken.
For example, I have photos of:
A Scottish seabird cliff licensed by a Japanese TV channel,
A photo of a church in Madagascar licensed by a Brazilian textbook publisher for the Brazilian market,
A photo of a winter garden in Glasgow for a South African textbook
A photo from Belfast for a Japanese TV company
Two photos from Belfast for "German speaking countries"
Photo from Glasgow for the US.
Photo from Botswana for Germany
Photo from London for France
etc etc

ShadySue

« Reply #34 on: November 25, 2011, 17:44 »
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« Reply #35 on: November 25, 2011, 18:02 »
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Yes, thank you, I agree it looks like that would be the average. And like you say it is an unbelievable amount of work to upload nearly 80k images. When does he shoot?

 

Judging from that article he is also selling on a lot of other sites, so my guess is that he is an image factory. It might be just him shooting but throwing a pile of CF cards at assistants to do the nasty bit,

Anyway, I'm going to see if I can process 50+ RM images and upload them there tomorrow, just to see how difficilt it is.

« Reply #36 on: November 25, 2011, 18:10 »
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Id love to hear how that goes. With 1 dollar a year it will be a numbers game.

And thanks Sue for the interesting examples. Yes, it looks like they have customers all over.

I am going into town tomorrow, we have a lot of xmas markets open now. So Ill try to shoot for istock editorial, maybe take some editorial videos for pond5 and think of what I can do for alamy as well. Ill upload to istock immediatly, maybe it will go live in time to be sold tis year and process the rest over the holidays, or whenever I have time for it.

Alamy will be adding video next year, so that is why I want to learn how their system works. I suppose they will take editorial video as well.

ShadySue

« Reply #37 on: November 25, 2011, 18:16 »
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Yes, thank you, I agree it looks like that would be the average. And like you say it is an unbelievable amount of work to upload nearly 80k images. When does he shoot?
Judging from that article he is also selling on a lot of other sites, so my guess is that he is an image factory. It might be just him shooting but throwing a pile of CF cards at assistants to do the nasty bit,
I can't imagine how he could do it all himself. It takes me ages to research and double check captions, descriptions and keywords for editorial photos, whether for iStock or alamy. I know he just flings some keywords into the Alamy caption field - doesn't even take out truncated words!

« Reply #38 on: November 25, 2011, 18:29 »
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Just a thought...Alamy has a news program that will allow you to get your images online within 24 hours of uploading.  No waiting for days on end in the queue, like at IS.

Greenberg is just one guy...he's not an image factory.  It's just that he's been shooting for a couple of decades and has built a sizeable portfolio over the years.

Quote
In RM I see images from trade shows, sport events, from inside museums - is there no legal problem with that? Or is everything covered with an editorial license?

No problem at all.  However, in regards to museums Alamy does require you to obtain permission from the museum first to avoid potential conflicts later (permission to shoot, which isn't the same as obtaining a property release...the property release only allows buyers to use an image for commercial purposes).  Buyers will have to contact the museum if they want to use the image for commercial purposes. 

ShadySue

« Reply #39 on: November 25, 2011, 18:57 »
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In RM I see images from trade shows, sport events, from inside museums - is there no legal problem with that? Or is everything covered with an editorial license?
When you upload, you have to say whether there are people (even dots or parts of people) in your photo and whether you have MRs, and whether PRs are needed and whether you have them. If you type yes/no to either/both of these, the onus is firmly on the buyer.

There are some 'issues' with the system. For example, if you have some tiny, unrecogniseable people that you don't want to clone out (or you'd have to set 'digitally manipulated') you put in the number of people, for example, "more than four people". That then becomes an option during the search system. But your dots of people are NOT what a searcher wants if they specify, for example, "Glasgow, more than four people" - it's pretty certain they don't want indistinguishable dots.

This gives a bit more flexibility for sales. For example, recently because of a site bug, I could briefly post on the forums and I asked a question about a particular photo with fairly indistinguishable people. I was assured it would not be accepted in the main collection (despite the fact that indistinguishable people from the same location have gone into the main collection within the past couple of months). However, on Alamy, this photo mightacceptable for a tourist poster/brochure, but iStock would regard that as commercial. At Alamy, the buyer weighs up any risk.

Also, on iStock, you're not supposed to tidy up editorial photos. They specified you couldn't remove a small spot from someone's skin, so I'd infer that would also include bird droppings, small items of litter etc. Tiny editings which don't affect the main truth of the image (e.g. a bit of litter that the wind could blow away) may be acceptible, or if bigger, you can designate your image as manipulated, and the buyer can specify they don't want that (In fact, most of my Alamy photos are not manipulated other than levels, noise etc), and I've never noticed a searcher specifying that they don't want that.)

The sports issue on iStock is bizarre, and I suspect is being dictated by Getty. I had some photos of a local Highland Games rejected, as they were 'professional athletes'. In fact, I knew they were local men who just do this for fun, and it was in a public park. I queried it and was told it was because I didn't have permission to shoot there. That was just rubbish - after all they said they would, and did, accept Pipe Bands performing there. As it happens, I know the organiser quite well, and he couldn't imagine any possible restriction. So I asked what sort of permission would be acceptable, knowing I could get it from him, and they went back to the "we would regard these as professional athletes". So I got the photos released by CR and they and the rest went to Alamy (where they haven't sold yet ...).

Alamy have said that they don't want photos taken in museums without permission. We got emails about this a couple of months back. But they don't seem to proactively go through the collection culling images Or maybe, like at iStock, it can take years). There are a few photos on Alamy of a small Glasgow museum which doesn't allow photos at all (not one of us got permission to shoot inside, even with a camera phone, for our photojournalism course, and the tutor said he was 'just testing us'), some from a place where I got willing permission to take photos for the course but a flat refusal to be allowed to submit as editorial (unless I could specify the publication), and even some from inside the Great Synagogue in Florence, where you have to put your bag and any electronics, including phones, into lockers before you go into the grounds, and go through a metal detector. Intriguing, because these are mostly single pics, whereas if I had permission to shoot and upload, I'd have tons of photos covering every aspect.
« Last Edit: November 25, 2011, 19:19 by ShadySue »

« Reply #40 on: November 25, 2011, 19:15 »
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Fascinating!

I think Ill avoid the museums, I doubt that is a major market.

But if I can upload images from a local and outdoor sportsfestival, like the cologne marathon, that might be interesting.

And if their news service is RM, if I see a good looking disaster near me, Ill upload that as well.

« Reply #41 on: November 25, 2011, 19:22 »
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Greenberg is just one guy...he's not an image factory.  It's just that he's been shooting for a couple of decades and has built a sizeable portfolio over the years.

I don't see how that's possible. Alamy's been going about 12 years, so he would have to shoot, process, upload and keyword 18 files a day every single day including weekends and Christmas since the very beginning to get where he is now. It doesn't seem humanly possible. He must have assistance.

« Reply #42 on: November 25, 2011, 19:26 »
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Fascinating!

I think Ill avoid the museums, I doubt that is a major market.

But if I can upload images from a local and outdoor sportsfestival, like the cologne marathon, that might be interesting.

And if their news service is RM, if I see a good looking disaster near me, Ill upload that as well.

I think you have to be accepted as a news photographer to get into their news stream and then you can't send them commercial work. Certainly, if you have any news images you are not allowed to be promoted in their special commercial section.

ShadySue

« Reply #43 on: November 25, 2011, 19:29 »
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And if their news service is RM, if I see a good looking disaster near me, Ill upload that as well.

Any photo for which you don't have MRs or PRs are automatically RM.
There's also a fast track for uploading hot news, but you need to establish your credentials, or be invited, beforehand.
http://www.alamy.com/Blog/contributor/archive/2011/10/18/4890.aspx

ShadySue

« Reply #44 on: November 25, 2011, 19:31 »
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Greenberg is just one guy...he's not an image factory.  It's just that he's been shooting for a couple of decades and has built a sizeable portfolio over the years.


I don't see how that's possible. Alamy's been going about 12 years, so he would have to shoot, process, upload and keyword 18 files a day every single day including weekends and Christmas since the very beginning to get where he is now. It doesn't seem humanly possible. He must have assistance.


This is his port:
 http://www.alamy.com/search/searchresults.aspx?qt=Jeff+Greenberg&ct=&submitsearch=Search&go=1&a=-1&archive=1&size=0xFF

« Reply #45 on: November 25, 2011, 20:56 »
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Greenberg is just one guy...he's not an image factory.  It's just that he's been shooting for a couple of decades and has built a sizeable portfolio over the years.


I don't see how that's possible. Alamy's been going about 12 years, so he would have to shoot, process, upload and keyword 18 files a day every single day including weekends and Christmas since the very beginning to get where he is now. It doesn't seem humanly possible. He must have assistance.


This is his port:
 http://www.alamy.com/search/searchresults.aspx?qt=Jeff+Greenberg&ct=&submitsearch=Search&go=1&a=-1&archive=1&size=0xFF


I don't know how long he's been shooting, but it's well over 20 years.  It will be interesting to see if he met his goal of 5,000 new photos this year (he met it last year without known assistance).  I know a man who along with his wife and son have a portfolio of over 700,000 stock photos, some of which are on Alamy.  http://www.tommyersphotography.com/  They've been shooting for about 40 years now.

« Reply #46 on: November 25, 2011, 20:58 »
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[....]

I think you have to be accepted as a news photographer to get into their news stream and then you can't send them commercial work. Certainly, if you have any news images you are not allowed to be promoted in their special commercial section.

Here's a way to apply for Creative if you have both Editorial and Commercial images:
  Put your Commercial images in a pseudonym different from one(s) used for Editorial images.
  Open a 2nd account
  Ask Alamy to move images under your Commercial pseudonym to 2nd account
  Apply for Creative through that Commercial images account
« Last Edit: November 25, 2011, 21:02 by ann »

Ed

« Reply #47 on: November 25, 2011, 21:00 »
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@Baldricks - he is only one guy.  He travels to different places and shoots there.  Recently he spent two or three days in New Orleans and added 450 images to his port.  He does not edit much - he barely learned how to use the burn and dodge tool this year.  He recently mentioned in a thread of another guy (topic of procrastination or some sort) that rather than a 1 image per day commitment, the guy should consider a 10 image per day commitment - as he does.  It's not hard...think like a photographer, not a micro shooter and you'll find it to be relatively do-able.

It's not hard to get 1,000 images up on Alamy.  This is especially true if you prove yourself and get accepted to upload either via the news/archival route or the creative route.  If you commit to go out and shoot, you can create a fairly large portfolio quickly.  I've added over 1,000 new images since May myself and my goal is another 4,000 by the end of 2012.

I have to be honest...and I know I'll stir the pot with this comment, but editorial images do not belong on the micros.  These images are unique and your choice is to earn less than $5 or $6  US for these images on the micros, or earn (net) $40 on the images at a macro agency like Alamy for editorial licensing.  This includes both newspapers and textbooks.

Creative images are different.

ShadySue

« Reply #48 on: November 25, 2011, 21:06 »
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 If you commit to go out and shoot, you can create a fairly large portfolio quickly.
... if you don't live in a rainy area, having one of its rainiest years on record. But also you either have to live in an area with photographic/saleable things around and/or going on or travel. Even the travelling takes time! If you live out in the boonies, your saleable shots are going to be limited in scope and variety.

I keep hearing a legend about some bloke who only shoots on some (un-named) small Scottish island and allegedly does "very well" on Alamy - but I've never seen it substantiated, i.e. by a post by the bloke, or a link to his port, or even his name. I suspect that's an apocryphal tale, but I'd be intrigued to be proved wrong.

« Reply #49 on: November 25, 2011, 21:37 »
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I can tell you that in Minneapolis, in the winter, your scenic and travel shot possibilities are somewhat limited. :-)


 

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