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Author Topic: Alamy- Tips on getting Sales  (Read 28261 times)

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ShadySue

« Reply #75 on: September 27, 2014, 14:47 »
+1
ShadySue, your numbers are still much better than I was getting in micros... ;) Like 0.216 with 123RF, 0.30 with DP, 0.10 iS (hardcore), etc... ;)
I said non-sub micro prices. I chose not to be in these micros (is it possible for indies to get 10c on iS nowadays? [probably]).
I did, however, once get an insulting 40c from Getty. and of course that Getty Connect thing can net you 1c, but I don't pretend to understand that despite kind attempts to enlighten me.
And of course, now all iStock contributers have been forced into subs there.  :(
« Last Edit: September 28, 2014, 10:19 by ShadySue »


ShadySue

« Reply #76 on: September 27, 2014, 14:50 »
+2
What is my trick? Said so many times before: (1) quality, (2) keywords, (3) description, (4) variety, and somewhere at the end (5) quantity.
Note what Alamy said, "The key thing to remember is that its always the usage that is priced, not the image."
So as I said, it doesn't matter how wonderful or unique your image is, you could still get low prices and you can't shield any images, other than by opting out of the UK Newspaper scheme.

« Reply #77 on: September 27, 2014, 16:54 »
0
^ What constitutes micro prices today?

For example, my 4 most recent sales have been $45, $180, $150 and $44 - of which I get 50%. My lowest ever sale was $8 - but that was for 1 week news item (granted that includes archival - but after a week most articles are effectively dead).

^ I suppose those are micro prices compared with the 90s. But I think it would be unrealistic to expect much more given the democratisation of the whole process of submitting stock in general. And given the on going march of free social media content.

I have a lot of time for Alamy and their steady approach to things. But what are micro prices today ?

^ Why would someone vote down this straight question ? That's weird.

« Reply #78 on: September 27, 2014, 23:19 »
0
^ Why would someone vote down this straight question ? That's weird.

Maybe they don't like the cut of your jib?   ;)

« Reply #79 on: September 28, 2014, 03:13 »
0
Note what Alamy said, "The key thing to remember is that its always the usage that is priced, not the image."
So as I said, it doesn't matter how wonderful or unique your image is, you could still get low prices and you can't shield any images, other than by opting out of the UK Newspaper scheme.

Yes, of course we sell licence not image. It's obvious, it's shorthand.  The points I posted may help client decide if he'll choose your image or someone's else if he has option to choose :) (he mostly has). That's the trick to sell more than others... One of the tricks at least ;)

« Reply #80 on: September 28, 2014, 03:58 »
0
Well said, Red On. Completely different point of view than what we usually read here. We are so obsessed with microstock race (shoot, upload, earn) that we forget about other values of photography.
But, there is only one thing I don't agree with you. Alamy is not the one. You overestimated it's importance. Maybe some other agency.

Yes, of course, but are the minority of the market. That's the point. I would like to have more competition in quality of the information than in price.

« Reply #81 on: September 28, 2014, 04:10 »
+2
RedOn, you can send your quirky pictures to Alamy, but there's no way you can stop them selling for micro prices (at least, non-sub micro prices), as it's all down to what deal the buyer has with Alamy.

Well, I don't think to produce quirky images (in microstock I sell mostly sterotypes), but my best images will not licensed for few money. It's very easy to delete a account. This summer I was called by the picture editor of a mass-circulation newspaper asking my pictures on Yazidis in Iraq. They propose to pay 15 Euro gross bill. I simply refused to publish for thise ridicoulos price. Then I was called by the director of a small monthly magazine (2,500 copies printed), and I sold three pictures for the same price: 15 Euro. It is no matter of microprices, but micro diffusion of the media and adequate price compared to it.

« Reply #82 on: September 28, 2014, 08:00 »
0
My numbers: $0, $0 and $0.

Portfolio consists of 200 top sellers (elsewhere) to test the waters, model shots, objects, locations, lots of variety. Been contributing since January 2014. Not a single sale. Only 4 "zooms".

Files get buried in the search results from their flawed system of accepting an entire batch after checking only one image. So if someone submits 100 nearly duplicate shots, 99 could be garbage, but if the one they look at passes, they all do.

Would really appreciate any actual "Tips on getting sales".
« Last Edit: September 28, 2014, 08:04 by Daryl Ray »

« Reply #83 on: September 28, 2014, 08:10 »
+2
That's also true. There are some photographers that submit daily - also throughout Alamy Live News - real garbage. I don't like to indicate someone specific, but, effectively, I would like to know how many pictures is selling the photographer that once a week submit dozen of pictures shot from the terrace of his home under the description "today weather in Rome".

Alamy: please be more selective!

ShadySue

« Reply #84 on: September 28, 2014, 08:25 »
+2
My numbers: $0, $0 and $0.
Portfolio consists of 200 top sellers (elsewhere) to test the waters, model shots, objects, locations, lots of variety. Been contributing since January 2014. Not a single sale. Only 4 "zooms".
Alamy has said more than once that typical micro shots tend not to sell well on Alamy, as buyers know they can get a huge choice of that sort of image on the micros.
OTOH, if your top sellers are selling well elsewhere on Macro sites, why not just stick with these, as you have found your market?
« Last Edit: September 28, 2014, 09:14 by ShadySue »

« Reply #85 on: September 28, 2014, 09:01 »
0
I've seen that written over and over again. "typical micro shots tend not to sell well on Alamy".

What I have not seen is anyone offering a single example of a what a typical "microstock" shot is compared to "what sells" on Alamy or other macros for that matter. Not asking for someone to give away their personal trade secrets, but any sort of comparison or example would be incredibly helpful. Been selling stock for five years and this has never been clear to me. Honestly just sounds like a nicer way to say, "Your shots must suck.". That's just not really a "tip on getting sales".

I don't sell on any macro sites yet, Alamy was my experiment in that world. And so far it's failing. And even if I was already selling elsewhere in macro, like most savvy contributors would probably agree, it's never smart to hold all your eggs in a single basket.

I like the idea of upping the game and selling where they treat us right, but zero is zero.

« Reply #86 on: September 28, 2014, 09:29 »
+2
I've seen that written over and over again. "typical micro shots tend not to sell well on Alamy".

What I have not seen is anyone offering a single example of a what a typical "microstock" shot is compared to "what sells" on Alamy or other macros for that matter. Not asking for someone to give away their personal trade secrets, but any sort of comparison or example would be incredibly helpful. Been selling stock for five years and this has never been clear to me. Honestly just sounds like a nicer way to say, "Your shots must suck.". That's just not really a "tip on getting sales".

I don't sell on any macro sites yet, Alamy was my experiment in that world. And so far it's failing. And even if I was already selling elsewhere in macro, like most savvy contributors would probably agree, it's never smart to hold all your eggs in a single basket.

I like the idea of upping the game and selling where they treat us right, but zero is zero.

My sales used to be about $800 a month gross, say, three years ago. Almost overnight, they went to $600, then $500 then $400 now I am lucky to gross $100-150 a month. This month I am at $73. Pathetic. So for Alamy to say typical micro images don't do well on Alamy is (or used to be) misleading. But to your point about what constitutes micro, that is hard to define today versus when micro started. Stocksy is probably your best source of what "isn't really considered micro". But you can find a lot of that same look on micro, which makes defining "typical" near impossible.  Now, if you want to use the simplest of definitions, isolated tomatoes on white are classic micro. There's probably a bazillion of those on Alamy and my guess is that they don't do so well.
« Last Edit: September 28, 2014, 10:56 by Mantis »

« Reply #87 on: September 28, 2014, 10:09 »
+1
What I have not seen is anyone offering a single example of a what a typical "microstock" shot is compared to "what sells" on Alamy or other macros for that matter.

I think that Alamy can be a good outlet for editorial specifics connected with current themes. Where as RF micro/stock tends to be more about generic themes. Clearly there is going to be lots of cross-over.

eg - a picture which is specifically and authentically about recycling in some particular city in China - vs a picture which has a recycling theme in general.

If I had a set of pictures which were specifically about recycling in China (or anywhere else) then I would be more inclined to send them to Alamy as RM - rather than to RF.

Something I do if I think I have a set which should sell sooner or later - is see how much is already there which is specifically about the same theme.

(I am RF exclusive at iStock. Editorial (apart from product shots) is not a main thing for them from what I can tell. And the prices they pay are quite low. So that is another factor. Also - the controlled vocabulary does not always lend itself to editorial specifics.)

ETA: but I am a very small fish - so what I say might not be the full story
« Last Edit: September 28, 2014, 10:27 by bunhill »

« Reply #88 on: September 28, 2014, 11:35 »
+2
Thanks a lot for those answers. Confirms to me that the content I have been submitting to them is certainly closer to what Alamy "could" want. But, that there really isn't a huge distinguishable difference between microstock and macro anyways, as opposed to the repeated claims that there is. Aside from the obvious isolated fruit shot and the like.

Also, Mantis confirms my theory that the "glory days" are long gone, that those still experiencing any success are probably with photos that have made the long journey to a favorable search result through the masses of passively approved content, over many years. Or current, editorial shots, which I keep seeing folks lament about the low pay for. I really don't shoot much "typical" content, but with the variety I have there, and if they had any life left, I would have made at least ONE sale in 9 months. I'll check back in, in a year or two.

If Stocksy is the defining style for macro, then the 98% of us who don't shoot in that incredibly narrow-focused style, aka "hipster-chic", are kinda screwed.

Tips on getting sales? Sell elsewhere. That's my answer!
« Last Edit: September 28, 2014, 11:40 by Daryl Ray »

« Reply #89 on: September 28, 2014, 13:55 »
+3
Thanks a lot for those answers. Confirms to me that the content I have been submitting to them is certainly closer to what Alamy "could" want. But, that there really isn't a huge distinguishable difference between microstock and macro anyways, as opposed to the repeated claims that there is. Aside from the obvious isolated fruit shot and the like.

Also, Mantis confirms my theory that the "glory days" are long gone, that those still experiencing any success are probably with photos that have made the long journey to a favorable search result through the masses of passively approved content, over many years. Or current, editorial shots, which I keep seeing folks lament about the low pay for. I really don't shoot much "typical" content, but with the variety I have there, and if they had any life left, I would have made at least ONE sale in 9 months. I'll check back in, in a year or two.

If Stocksy is the defining style for macro, then the 98% of us who don't shoot in that incredibly narrow-focused style, aka "hipster-chic", are kinda screwed.

Tips on getting sales? Sell elsewhere. That's my answer!

Daryl,

Believe me when I say that my frustration has evolved to near anger over the continued decline in revenue, not just on Alamy but on the micros as well.  I have shifted my strategy to produce video as well as stills.  But with video, you can fall into the same trap as with photos....shoot what everyone else shooting video shoots.......beaches, nature, etc.  I have uploaded my share of those, too. But in my humble. non-expert opinion to transition into video requires more than a camera to be successful. I have invested around $4k in lighting, software. I've also taken some training in animation, but man that stuff is tricky to do it right....but I'm learning and continue to dabble.  I will say that I uploaded my first video just under a year ago. What I lost through my separation with FOTOLIA I have easily made up in video, plus some. I am up to 200 vids now, but intend to increase that substantially in 2015, along with continuing to shoot stills.  I do bitch a lot in here and I shouldn't be so pessimistic, but it is hard when agencies simply and intentionally rob contributors of their hard earned money. 

« Reply #90 on: September 28, 2014, 14:12 »
+2
my frustration has evolved to near anger over the continued decline in revenue, not just on Alamy but on the micros as well.

The market has declined whilst the number of contributors and the availability of content (often free) has increased. Greater availability = fewer sales and lower prices, inevitably.

The same will happen with video. Also - I keep hearing anecdotally that the market for video is being hit by a bandwidth costs.

« Reply #91 on: September 28, 2014, 15:11 »
0
my frustration has evolved to near anger over the continued decline in revenue, not just on Alamy but on the micros as well.

The market has declined whilst the number of contributors and the availability of content (often free) has increased. Greater availability = fewer sales and lower prices, inevitably.

The same will happen with video. Also - I keep hearing anecdotally that the market for video is being hit by a bandwidth costs.

I agree with you on this, Bunhill.  Video, too, will eventually erode. It's already eroded on sites like Istock, DT, FT, etc.  When the video market moves more wholly into 4k, I anticipate bandwidth might impact costs far greater than today's storage capabilities for 1080P.  Time will tell. I think, however, that video brings in more revenue "per video" than with images so I think that, if anything, we might be looking at lower commission rates if costs to manage video do indeed hit the P&L negatively.  I say this as the alternative to killing video altogether. Or it could just be an excuse to claw more commissions, too.

ShadySue

« Reply #92 on: September 28, 2014, 16:24 »
0
.
« Last Edit: September 28, 2014, 18:35 by ShadySue »

« Reply #93 on: September 28, 2014, 21:40 »
0
My numbers: $0, $0 and $0.
Portfolio consists of 200 top sellers (elsewhere) to test the waters, model shots, objects, locations, lots of variety. Been contributing since January 2014. Not a single sale. Only 4 "zooms".
Alamy has said more than once that typical micro shots tend not to sell well on Alamy, as buyers know they can get a huge choice of that sort of image on the micros.
OTOH, if your top sellers are selling well elsewhere on Macro sites, why not just stick with these, as you have found your market?

Plus 200 pictures is not enough no matter how good.  On Alamy it is a tiny drop in a large sea.

Ed

« Reply #94 on: September 28, 2014, 21:55 »
+2
What I find interesting is that there are a few folks that place the same images on Alamy as they do on Microstock.  There are two contributors that I've found in the past couple of weeks.

Contributor 1 has about 40,000 images on both Alamy and Shutterstock.  On Alamy, those images are listed as RM, on Shutterstock, they are RF images (which is a blatant disregard of Alamy's terms of Service).

Contributor 2 has about 40,000 images on both Alamy and Shutterstock - images on both locations are listed as RF.

The common denominator of both contributors is they have multiple similar images (Alamy says no more of 5 similars).  Contributor #1 is HUGE on similars and I'm surprised the other micros that she contributes to also allows this.  I mean seriously, 30+ images of different angles of notebooks is out of hand.  Contributor #2 has multiple food images - sometimes 15 or so images of different angles of the same shoot.

Those images aren't going to sell well on Alamy.  That many similars are going to get buried at Alamy based on their search algorithm.

What do they need?  Look through the zoom list at Alamy at what buyers aren't finding.  A few weeks ago it was an image of a mop and bucket.  Seriously.

Don't over think it - everyday life, people doing everyday things, people living their lives in different places.  Those are the images that get licensed.  Those are the types of images that I've licensed at Alamy.

I have only licensed two images of models at Alamy.  Stay away from the easy subjects (kiwi's and strawberry's on a cutting board, a squirrel in your backyard, etc., etc.)  Go out and shoot folks going about their everyday business.  Those are the images that get licensed.

« Reply #95 on: September 28, 2014, 23:20 »
0
My numbers: $0, $0 and $0.
Portfolio consists of 200 top sellers (elsewhere) to test the waters, model shots, objects, locations, lots of variety. Been contributing since January 2014. Not a single sale. Only 4 "zooms".
Alamy has said more than once that typical micro shots tend not to sell well on Alamy, as buyers know they can get a huge choice of that sort of image on the micros.
OTOH, if your top sellers are selling well elsewhere on Macro sites, why not just stick with these, as you have found your market?

Plus 200 pictures is not enough no matter how good.  On Alamy it is a tiny drop in a large sea.

Not that I was expecting earth shattering numbers of sales, but with 200 solid shots in a variety of concepts, ONE sale over 9 months isn't a lot to ask. How many images should be uploaded and for how long should they sit there, just to GAUGE a site's worthiness of ones time?

With a little over twice that amount I easily average a dozen or more sales a DAY in microstock. On Alamy, zero sales in 300 days.

Mop and bucket eh? So that's an example of the "not typical micro" selling macro shot on Alamy? Again, that just further confirms that there really is no difference in a micro and a macro shot, just how a contributor chooses to classify it. I don't have a personal issue with Alamy, as a matter of fact if they showed an inkling of promise I'd drop most micro sites in a heartbeat and sing their praises happily. 50% is as good as we can hope for. But there's nothing there anymore. No sales, and a terribly lazy review system that is causing a bloated search to drown anything new in that "sea".

I'm not over thinking it, but when there's a lot of vague misinformation going around and repeated non-specific claims that get shown to be BS with a minimal amount of scrutiny, I get it, it's not for me, probably not for most people getting into this now or in the recent past. Maybe 5-10 years ago, but it's just not worth the time in 2014.

About the video being more profitable, I totally agree, I'm a video guy originally in stock and 80% of my income is video sales. Alamy reps have sent a few direct messages asking me to add my videos. And if they got out of the 1990's and accepted uploads via FTP, I'd give that a try too.
« Last Edit: September 29, 2014, 00:19 by Daryl Ray »

« Reply #96 on: September 29, 2014, 08:52 »
0
I had 2 sales with just over 40 images and decided to upload everything that meets the size restrictions so just over 100 now.  I would never expect anything particularly regular but netting $85 for a single crap isolation every now and again is a nice bonus.  I actually think the strange ranking system might suit a small diverse port where very few sales and "zooms" have a big effect.

Valo

« Reply #97 on: September 29, 2014, 10:19 »
-1
When you submit as a new contributor you get an average CT ranking, when you hit the first CT reshuffle, your stats will start to come in effect and you will probably be hit hard and pushed back in the search. Happened to me, and I never recovered.

As for the Alamy size of their library, Shutterstock is as big, but my new files do get found there and get sales. And every now and then I still manage to produce a 'stayer'. Although I agree with the drop and the sea theory, it seems that Alamy has a completely different working search compared to Shutterstock.

ShadySue

« Reply #98 on: September 29, 2014, 10:21 »
0
Alamy, like FAA, ranks the artist.
I'm guessing that SS ranks each image.

« Reply #99 on: September 29, 2014, 12:12 »
0
When you submit as a new contributor you get an average CT ranking, when you hit the first CT reshuffle, your stats will start to come in effect and you will probably be hit hard and pushed back in the search. Happened to me, and I never recovered.

As for the Alamy size of their library, Shutterstock is as big, but my new files do get found there and get sales. And every now and then I still manage to produce a 'stayer'. Although I agree with the drop and the sea theory, it seems that Alamy has a completely different working search compared to Shutterstock.

SS is still mainly a subs site.    Customers will download more than they need because it doesn't cost them extra.  On Alamy, buyers buy only the images they need, so you don't get the volume.  Without cheap volume sales, is unlikely a small port will sell.  Not impossible, but not comparable to micro sales and subs.


 

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