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Author Topic: Alamy and microstock - Opinions wanted  (Read 5508 times)

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« on: May 16, 2007, 08:53 »
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Well,

I just prepared by 10 QC photos so I hope (and I probably will) be accepted in given that these photos were accepted at iStock so I hope that they get accepted.  The reason I'm turning to Alamy is two-fold - RM seems to still be very popular (70 something percent of their sales were RM in Q1 2007) so the potential to make more money is there as well.  One sale at Alamy could potentially double or triple my earnings for a month.  I also believe my photos themselves lend to the RM more than RF.  I have somewhat of an excellent set of baseball photos I took in September of last year, and after doing a search on Alamy, there's no editorial stuff of pro baseball players (Blue Jays and Devil Rays) playing.  As well, my travels to Banff will hopefully (surely?) produce some photographs that will be more appropriate for Alamy than SS and IS.

The second reason, is that I'm sick and tired of the bad reasons for rejection.  I just had 16 photos go through review at SS, and only 3 were accepted.  My all-time rate of acceptance is about 65%, and I know what works and my technical quality is quite good.  Its 65% because I used to upload everything I took, and my early pictures were really crappy too.  My skills have gotten better, yet the rejections keep getting worse.  I got "Composition" for most, then one was "the focus is not where we'd like" but it was a macro of a cloth texture which was perfectly flat, and "Limited commercial value" is another one that blows my mind.  Best part was I was trying to be creative and trying to be inventive, capturing food from different angles and some random portraits - one of which got accepted.

This is one of the reasons that exclusivity is becoming so much more appealing.  iStock is very good to their exclusives and they have preferential treatment, better downloads and such.  Plus, its probably easier to submit just to Alamy and iStock than to have to go through SS and FT and DT and BS and LO, so many with small returns.

Just wondering what your thoughts are on this.  As well, who submits to Alamy?  What kind of success have you had?  How have sales been?
« Last Edit: May 16, 2007, 08:56 by ichiro17 »


« Reply #1 on: May 16, 2007, 10:09 »
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Good luck. I guess I'm more of a realist in that I don't see photo of professional baseball players as a potential big seller. For one, only newspapers could buy and use the photos. Newspapers want shots from the night before, not shots from a year ago. Also they normally get those shots from either their own photographers, the AP, or Getty.

Anyway, be sure to tell us when you have your first sale.

« Reply #2 on: May 16, 2007, 10:24 »
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The baseball players aren't the only thing I have, but its something that is not there currently.  And its also not just newspapers, for example, sports sites need pictures, not necessarily from the night before.  Regardless, one sale would in the end make it worthwhile, especially if its for more than $200.

But, there is also more to my portfolio.

I'm just looking for other ways to make some money - I'm also talking with a publisher in Canada about publishing a small book on Banff/Lake Louise.  They seem interested, but I'm not getting my hopes up.

« Reply #3 on: May 16, 2007, 22:03 »
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And its also not just newspapers, for example, sports sites need pictures, not necessarily from the night before. 
Ok, maybe I should have said news outlets because the photo still has to be used in relation to an article or editorial, otherwise it's a violation of the player's right of publicity and everyone gets sued.

« Reply #4 on: May 17, 2007, 03:29 »
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...  I have somewhat of an excellent set of baseball photos I took in September of last year, and after doing a search on Alamy, there's no editorial stuff of pro baseball players (Blue Jays and Devil Rays) playing.  As well, my travels to Banff will hopefully (surely?) produce some photographs that will be more appropriate for Alamy than SS and IS.

The second reason, is that I'm sick and tired of the bad reasons for rejection ... 


A couple of points about Alamy ...

1)  They are mainly focussed on the UK/European markets, which is why there are so few baseball images with them. Baseball is almost completely unknown in the UK/Europe, and there is virtually zero interest in the game. So, I would imagine sales potential for those images is somewhat limited.

2)  It sounds from what you write as if you consider Alamy an easy option for submissions. Be aware that they do reject, and savagely. You can only submit by CD/DVD at the moment (which is a real pain to begin with) and if 3 or more images on your submission disk are below standard they reject the whole lot ... boom! I know. I've had it happen to me. It's pretty sickening to wait a month or more (which is how long it takes them at present) and then have the whole lot thrown out with minimal explanation.





« Reply #5 on: May 17, 2007, 07:10 »
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I recently removed all of my RF images from Alamy and only kept about 100 RM. I've had one RF sale in 2 years. The reason I'm keeping my account is that I'll be uploading more RM images in the near future that need to be area-specific which is something the micros don't offer.

« Reply #6 on: May 20, 2007, 02:46 »
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I have about 2,000 images of Alamy not overly impressed with their sales, two so far and even less impressed with their payments I am over the $250 dollar mark for over a month and still no check and they will charge me $8 to write it.

On a positive note it is a good place for obscure stuff and if you find any holes in their portfolio why not fill them pictures of baseball. They  have a better chance of selling there than they do on an external hard drive in your house.

I had never a DVD rejected thank goodness  and I have submitted some 500 image batches. I think i will stick to smaller portions in future.

« Reply #7 on: May 20, 2007, 10:23 »
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...
As well, my travels to Banff will hopefully (surely?) produce some photographs that will be more appropriate for Alamy than SS and IS.
...
The second reason, is that I'm sick and tired of the bad reasons for rejection.

I hate to rain on your parade, but of all the photography markets, landscape photography is the most flooded. Your images will have to be extremely exceptional in order for them to sell. Unless you are very lucky with light and weather, showing up at a location for only a few days will not yield the results you need. Success in landscape photography is also highly dependent upon on your name. Even if you make a better shot than say, Rowen/Briot/Reichmann/Adams, people will prefer to buy the work of a recognized/established artist for the cachet. A lot of landscape photographers market their work locally by making pretty postcards and greeting cards.

With respect to your rejections, the easiest thing in the world to do is dismiss the reviewers as being unjust. It's much harder to accept and learn from their (commercially biased) opinions. Rejection is never easy to take, and you will doom yourself to enduring more of it by not adapting/changing the way you make images.

... good luck!

« Reply #8 on: May 20, 2007, 16:05 »
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Its okay, it rained on my parade today-literally.

Yes I know landscape photography is very flooded, and I know all about having to fight with bigger names for time/space in the minds of people.  I also know that there is a very low to zero probability that my stuff will become popular enough for it to make a massive difference in my life financially.

In the end, all I'm looking for is the occassional to frequent sale (whether it be from microstock or Alamy) and just looking to make some cash to allow me to keep doing this.  I'd love to bring up my income to $100 a day in microstock, that would be awesome, but I'm quite a ways away.  However, good quality images from Banff/Lake Louise will not hurt my portfolio and will definitely increase my exposure on the sites.  In addition, there is also some wildlife that I hope to capture and in the end, it should all balance out.

Who knows, perhaps maybe one day this may be my primary source of income.

As for Alamy, I know that its mainly European and big on European stuff, so thats why I don't expect too much.  However, if for some reason it helps my overall sales increase by $10-15 a day, then I'm more than happy because over a year the trip would be paid for. 

One last thing to sharply_done's comment, if they would be looking for top named photographers, they wouldn't be looking at Alamy so there's a market for everyone to sell stuff.  But I do get your point.
« Last Edit: May 20, 2007, 16:46 by ichiro17 »


 

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