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Author Topic: Building up a RM Portfolio  (Read 7971 times)

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velocicarpo

« on: February 02, 2012, 21:14 »
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...lately I just submit the usual microstock type of images to the known agencies and started to preserve all sorts of special images or rare things to build up a RM library. The first shootings I`ve done exclusively for RM had really been fun too, different stuff and different approach :-)

Now, Which Agencies are out there? I submit to Alamy and Zoonar (with all its partner sites) and do not have much more for RM beyond that...any recommendations? Superstock? Getty via Flickr?


« Reply #1 on: February 02, 2012, 22:38 »
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I thought Superstock is exclusive only.

And don't the shots in the Flickr collection also have to be exclusive?

mlwinphoto

« Reply #2 on: February 02, 2012, 23:20 »
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Is there a difference in the type of imagery that sells RM vs. that which sells for microstock?

Basically, what I do is send my RM rejects (as long as they aren't similars to what is accepted for RM) to microstock rather than planning shoots around the market I'm submitting to.  Seems a little less complicated that way.  You never know what a client in a certain market might want, at least I don't.

lagereek

« Reply #3 on: February 03, 2012, 02:10 »
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...lately I just submit the usual microstock type of images to the known agencies and started to preserve all sorts of special images or rare things to build up a RM library. The first shootings I`ve done exclusively for RM had really been fun too, different stuff and different approach :-)

Now, Which Agencies are out there? I submit to Alamy and Zoonar (with all its partner sites) and do not have much more for RM beyond that...any recommendations? Superstock? Getty via Flickr?

Why Getty via Flickr?  thats no good, why not try for the real Getty RM,  if your stuff is original, that is. Also you have Masterfile and Corbis, although Im not sure Corbis is selling anything nowdays.

Wim

« Reply #4 on: February 03, 2012, 03:18 »
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http://www.masterfile.com/info/artists/generalinfo.html

Quote
The artist appoints Masterfile as his/her exclusive agent for licensing accepted images (and similars) troughout the world

velocicarpo

« Reply #5 on: February 03, 2012, 09:30 »
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...lately I just submit the usual microstock type of images to the known agencies and started to preserve all sorts of special images or rare things to build up a RM library. The first shootings I`ve done exclusively for RM had really been fun too, different stuff and different approach :-)

Now, Which Agencies are out there? I submit to Alamy and Zoonar (with all its partner sites) and do not have much more for RM beyond that...any recommendations? Superstock? Getty via Flickr?

Why Getty via Flickr?  thats no good, why not try for the real Getty RM,  if your stuff is original, that is. Also you have Masterfile and Corbis, although Im not sure Corbis is selling anything nowdays.

Thanks,e xactly the advise I am looking for. Masterfile looks very good...I heard about em but they somewhat disappeared from my internal radar.

Corbis: I am still traumatized by the attitude of them from the old times. Before the rise of istock (MS in general) I tried to get in there...

« Reply #6 on: February 03, 2012, 11:01 »
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I'm sorry to interrupt again, but isn't this like the little holy grail for us Microstockers to find non-exclusive RM agencies to spread our "RM" stuff to many trads?

All agencies mentioned (besides Alamy and Zooner I presume) are exclusive agencies or at least require image exlcusive submissions. So I can't imagine that these suggestions qualify to the OP's question.

velocicarpo

« Reply #7 on: February 03, 2012, 11:59 »
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I'm sorry to interrupt again, but isn't this like the little holy grail for us Microstockers to find non-exclusive RM agencies to spread our "RM" stuff to many trads?

All agencies mentioned (besides Alamy and Zooner I presume) are exclusive agencies or at least require image exlcusive submissions. So I can't imagine that these suggestions qualify to the OP's question.

I think many microstockers dream of getting more money for less work or getting their work more honored, and therefore looking out for RM. In my case it is the holy grail not for some kind of illusion, but more because I naturally tend to create iamges which are more creative or higher quality. Very often I have to refocus myself to create the more "sellable" MS content. I oftenly spend 8 entire hours on one image until Im got it like I want t.  I do not think such content is really well placed in MS.

Yes, you are right...I was not exactly looking for exclusive Agencies, but I am willing to opt in to material exclusivity if the agency is able to actually sell my material. Spreading my work out has to do with maximizing profit, not so much with refusing the idea of material exclusivity. What I reject from anyone or anytime is photographer exclusivity - a ridiculous concept of modern slavery.

Any other (probably exclusive) RM agencies which actually sell?
« Last Edit: February 03, 2012, 12:01 by velocicarpo »

« Reply #8 on: February 03, 2012, 12:40 »
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And don't the shots in the Flickr collection also have to be exclusive?

I do believe you're correct here.

« Reply #9 on: February 03, 2012, 13:44 »
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... I oftenly spend 8 entire hours on one image until Im got it like I want t.  I do not think such content is really well placed in MS. ...
Not necessarily. As you can see, some high rollers have photos selling in the thousands or tens of thousands.
You might rake in $2.000 to $10.000 with one image over it's lifetime in Microstock.

I wouldn't mind spending 8 hours on such a photo.

The problem is to identify whether an image will do better as RM or Microstock RF...?

My "problem" is that I spend most of the time producing Microstock content as this is my bread an butter.

I wish I could increase my RM output but the same principle applies here as well: The bigger the portfolio, the better it is for your sales.

So applying to any RM agency with 50-200 really good images is not taking you far either. At least I've made that experience.
You need to pump out content non stop. Also some agencies that shall remain nameless originally were interested in my exclusive RM stuff but dropped me like a hot potato after they found out that I submit the micros as well - they just didn't want to have anything to do with Microstockers.

That's another hurdle you have to take with some agents.

Ed

« Reply #10 on: February 03, 2012, 18:32 »
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click_click....I'd like to see which images (along with screen shots of earnings reports) have earned you $2,000 - $10,000. 

At an average of 80 cents per download, to get to $2,000 you need to license one image 2,500 times.  Divide that by 10 agencies, and that's 250 downloads per agency.  I don't know of many people that have done that more than once or twice (and revenue per image at places like Shutterstock is only about 38 cents without EL's).

I currently submit to 3 non-exclusive traditional agencies...they are out there - you have to work for it.

« Reply #11 on: February 03, 2012, 19:15 »
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click_click....I'd like to see which images (along with screen shots of earnings reports) have earned you $2,000 - $10,000.  

At an average of 80 cents per download, to get to $2,000 you need to license one image 2,500 times.  Divide that by 10 agencies, and that's 250 downloads per agency.  I don't know of many people that have done that more than once or twice (and revenue per image at places like Shutterstock is only about 38 cents without EL's).

I currently submit to 3 non-exclusive traditional agencies...they are out there - you have to work for it.
LOL, as if any other long standing microstock contributor would offer to provide screen shots of their earnings...

You can take it or leave what I have to say, due to my anonymity but amongst other reasons, I don't show off my portfolio because the images that I was referring to in my previous post are niche images and I would shoot myself in the foot posting these on a forum filled with my own competition.

I have 7 images on Shutterstock with either more than 1000 downloads or 2000 downloads on SS alone (yes each image, not added together).

I admit that not many other agencies can show such high download numbers but if the royalties are added up for each image from all the agencies there are few that earned me more than $2000 each just on Microstock.

I don't assume that you would believe me what I'm saying, but you can easily look on iStock (and other agencies that show DL numbers) and there are quite a number of contributors out there that sold a single image more than 2000 times, some on iStock even more than 10.000 times. I'm not making this up, you can check this for yourself.

At iStock you can assume (based on my non-exclusive RPD of $1.5 per DL) that with 10.000 downloads you would make $15.000 - not to mention that exclusives would make significantly more.

Sure, not every picture in my portfolio performs like that, or remotely like that. I'm just saying that if I do my research right and I start working on a concept, I can invest up to 3 days for a single image, knowing I get my moneys worth.

However, it does depend on what the subject matter is, which also determines whether I upload as RM or to the Micros.
« Last Edit: February 03, 2012, 19:17 by click_click »

Ed

« Reply #12 on: February 03, 2012, 19:29 »
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click_click....I'd like to see which images (along with screen shots of earnings reports) have earned you $2,000 - $10,000.  

At an average of 80 cents per download, to get to $2,000 you need to license one image 2,500 times.  Divide that by 10 agencies, and that's 250 downloads per agency.  I don't know of many people that have done that more than once or twice (and revenue per image at places like Shutterstock is only about 38 cents without EL's).

I currently submit to 3 non-exclusive traditional agencies...they are out there - you have to work for it.
LOL, as if any other long standing microstock contributor would offer to provide screen shots of their earnings...

You can take it or leave what I have to say, due to my anonymity but amongst other reasons, I don't show off my portfolio because the images that I was referring to in my previous post are niche images and I would shoot myself in the foot posting these on a forum filled with my own competition.

I have 7 images on Shutterstock with either more than 1000 downloads or 2000 downloads on SS alone (yes each image, not added together).

I admit that not many other agencies can show such high download numbers but if the royalties are added up for each image from all the agencies there are few that earned me more than $2000 each just on Microstock.

I don't assume that you would believe me what I'm saying, but you can easily look on iStock (and other agencies that show DL numbers) and there are quite a number of contributors out there that sold a single image more than 2000 times, some on iStock even more than 10.000 times. I'm not making this up, you can check this for yourself.

At iStock you can assume (based on my non-exclusive RPD of $1.5 per DL) that with 10.000 downloads you would make $15.000 - not to mention that exclusives would make significantly more.

Sure, not every picture in my portfolio performs like that, or remotely like that. I'm just saying that if I do my research right and I start working on a concept, I can invest up to 3 days for a single image, knowing I get my moneys worth.

However, it does depend on what the subject matter is, which also determines whether I upload as RM or to the Micros.

This gets me back to my point...you can't show me an image that has earned you that much.  Shutterstock - 38 cents per image, I'll give you the benefit of the doubt "I have 7 images on Shutterstock with either more than 1000 downloads or 2000 downloads"  that's $760.  I'll even bump that up to 80 cents per image, with 2,000 downloads.... $1,600.  We still aren't to $2,000.

What am I missing?

« Reply #13 on: February 03, 2012, 19:36 »
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This gets me back to my point...you can't show me an image that has earned you that much.  Shutterstock - 38 cents per image, I'll give you the benefit of the doubt "I have 7 images on Shutterstock with either more than 1000 downloads or 2000 downloads"  that's $760.  I'll even bump that up to 80 cents per image, with 2,000 downloads.... $1,600.  We still aren't to $2,000.

What am I missing?
You do realize that agencies sell ELs?

I'm submitting to more than 20 agencies, focusing on 2000 downloads at SS as a non-exclusive is not really a representative figure considering that the images are selling on 19 other agencies as well.

Maybe that's what you're missing.

Believe me, I'm pi$$ed too that none of my top images come even close to Sean's or Yuri's, so, we're all playing in our own league.

Ed

« Reply #14 on: February 03, 2012, 19:58 »
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OK - show me some of the others that have made that amount...

I've been playing in the micros since October 2005...maybe I've gotten cynical.  The dreams of the $10,000 image at the micros are dead in my opinion...and they are about as easy to get too at traditional agencies as winning the lottery.

« Reply #15 on: February 03, 2012, 20:49 »
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OK - show me some of the others that have made that amount...

I've been playing in the micros since October 2005...maybe I've gotten cynical.  The dreams of the $10,000 image at the micros are dead in my opinion...and they are about as easy to get too at traditional agencies as winning the lottery.
I started in 2005 as well.

Just go to iStock type in "business" sort by downloads and take your pick. Use any other high value keyword and do the same. Plenty of contributors out there who make pretty decent money.

If anyone wants to play microstock, assuming they can pop out images that give them $2000 to $10.000 in return, it's far fetched - but not impossible

« Reply #16 on: February 04, 2012, 03:58 »
+1
It's possible to make $2,000 or more with microstock individual images but not many people can do that with lots of images.  It's easy to get carried away looking at the top selling images but they usually were made several years ago and there's much more competition now.  Some of the really old istock images that have thousands of downloads might of been very cheap or even free in the early years.  Prices went up and downloads slowed down.

I'm only using alamy for RM at the moment.  RM isn't my main income and I don't like the commissions with Getty.  I also don't see the point in working with the site that's run by the same team that's made such a mess with istock.  Alamy accept everything I upload and it's easy to build a big portfolio.  Sales aren't spectacular but I don't get the feeling that I'm being ripped off, like I do with some of the microstock sites that have extremely low commissions.


antistock

« Reply #17 on: February 04, 2012, 10:39 »
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if all you want is quick money you better stick with micros.

RM is paying a lot less than micro-RF at the moment unless you're a super duper creative Getty RM photographer, this means you mainly do advertising, not travel, not still life, etc and to do these shots you need a well equipped studio and gorgeous paid models, it's not cheap.

of course you can score the odd 1000$ sale but you gotta be very lucky.

velocicarpo

« Reply #18 on: February 04, 2012, 11:49 »
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My main point is not fast money nor is it investing lots of time into a commercial image. Not everything is about money. I talk more about "arty" images, creative things, images which are of rare subjects and in which I invest lots of time because it is my passion.

I guess I come to the same conclusion as of before microstock. "They are out there...." "...unnamed agency"....the same nebulous stuff surrounding the Macro agencies which made them lose market in front of the transparent micros...

Again: any solid agency recommendations? Material exclusive or not...I consider both.

steheap

  • Author of best selling "Get Started in Stock"

« Reply #19 on: February 04, 2012, 11:53 »
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Quote
However, it does depend on what the subject matter is, which also determines whether I upload as RM or to the Micros

I've got complete faith that click_click is talking about real earnings so I won't add to that debate..

What interests me is this comment pasted above. I take mainly travel, landscape and still life shots - few model type images. Can you share some basic principles about which images you put into RM (presumably Alamy mainly?) and which go to the other microstock agencies. I have all my images spread on both sets of site, and I do get a few sales on Alamy, but no way could I ever make enough on that one site to compensate for the loss of sales on the microstock agencies. I've always wondered if someone finds my image on Alamy and then goes to buy it on SS or IS, as I get zooms that don't result in purchases, and purchases that don't seem to have associated zooms.

Steve

« Reply #20 on: February 04, 2012, 12:12 »
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... Not everything is about money. ...
What is that supposed to mean? That money doesn't make you happy? Are you working for iStock?

I envy the contributors that have the liberty to work on projects that "are not about money", good for you.

Just in general, do we hear outstanding business secrets on any photography forum? Who would want to share well kept secrets about high selling images/concepts?

Sure, people here help each other out if contributor support is acting funny or if someone's images get rejected for no apparent reason but who is posting concepts here that are selling like crazy? No one does.

Quote
... Again: any solid agency recommendations? Material exclusive or not...I consider both. ...
I've been asking this question before several times and I don't get any answers besides what we all already know: Alamy.

I do know others, which sell quite well, but I'm not going to publish this on a forum with several thousand members who are my competition.
Seriously, I would be mental doing that.

Quote
I've always wondered if someone finds my image on Alamy and then goes to buy it on SS or IS, as I get zooms that don't result in purchases, and purchases that don't seem to have associated zooms.
Of course, not all buyers are stupid. Some are on a tight budget and try to get the cheapest image.

antistock

« Reply #21 on: February 04, 2012, 13:12 »
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Getty, Corbis, Alamy are all good RM agencies.

if they reject you try LonelyPlanetImages, Robert Harding, Mauritius, Blend, Masterfile, etc etc

« Reply #22 on: February 04, 2012, 20:41 »
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The only way I know of is to work with Blend Images, they require exclusivity for the images but distribute non exclusive RM widely.


I'm sorry to interrupt again, but isn't this like the little holy grail for us Microstockers to find non-exclusive RM agencies to spread our "RM" stuff to many trads?

All agencies mentioned (besides Alamy and Zooner I presume) are exclusive agencies or at least require image exlcusive submissions. So I can't imagine that these suggestions qualify to the OP's question.

lagereek

« Reply #23 on: February 05, 2012, 01:36 »
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My main point is not fast money nor is it investing lots of time into a commercial image. Not everything is about money. I talk more about "arty" images, creative things, images which are of rare subjects and in which I invest lots of time because it is my passion.

I guess I come to the same conclusion as of before microstock. "They are out there...." "...unnamed agency"....the same nebulous stuff surrounding the Macro agencies which made them lose market in front of the transparent micros...

Again: any solid agency recommendations? Material exclusive or not...I consider both.


Well this is just it,  there are none,  what you call solid agencies anymore, them days are gone, unfortunately. Back in the film days I earned fortunes with RM agencies, today, its still good but a far cry from yesterday.
To make money in an RM agency isnt easy, its like night and day to a micro. Just look at it, any old generic rubbish will eventually fetch its 30c, in a micro, not so with RM, the successful RM shooter work mostly with conceptual imagery, etc. or extremley specialized portfolios.
If you gave us a hint of what you photograph, it would be a lot easier to point you in a direction.
Personally I still believe, you have to go with agencies like, Getty-house-collection, Alamy and Masterfile, they are well bona-fide agencies and house many fine photographers.

« Reply #24 on: February 05, 2012, 16:25 »
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Hi velocicarpo,

 I own and operate an RM/RF stock agency www.spacesimages.com I am also an owner of another RM/RF agency www.blendimages.com. Both are multi distributed through all the top agencies. From Getty to Masterfile to Corbis as well as the rest of the worlds leading agencies. If you are interested in hearing more please feel welcome to contact me through a PM.

All my best,
Jonathan

velocicarpo

« Reply #25 on: February 05, 2012, 19:05 »
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Hi Jonathan,

Many thanks! Sending you a PM tomorrow..

« Reply #26 on: February 05, 2012, 19:46 »
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Why Getty via Flickr?  thats no good, why not try for the real Getty RM,  if your stuff is original, that is. Also you have Masterfile and Corbis, although Im not sure Corbis is selling anything nowdays.

I know this discussion is about RM, but anyway:
Corbis IS selling things. Through one of my RF-agencies, I've got images with Corbis. They're doing alright.

I'm debating whether Getty RM is still worthwhile my time. Sometimes I get a real good sale there (3-4 digits), but most of them are selling for less than RF, thanks to their Premium Access scheme. Quite a lot of sales for a low 2-digit figure with licensing times of 4-7 years... which kind of makes it RF anyway.


« Reply #27 on: February 05, 2012, 19:49 »
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All agencies mentioned (besides Alamy and Zooner I presume) are exclusive agencies or at least require image exlcusive submissions. So I can't imagine that these suggestions qualify to the OP's question.

Corbis is not image exclusive, at least not if you don't want to.

antistock

« Reply #28 on: February 05, 2012, 21:26 »
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talking about Masterfile, are they still alive or what ? i haven't heard a single positive feedback about them since a long time.

lagereek

« Reply #29 on: February 06, 2012, 01:33 »
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Why Getty via Flickr?  thats no good, why not try for the real Getty RM,  if your stuff is original, that is. Also you have Masterfile and Corbis, although Im not sure Corbis is selling anything nowdays.

I know this discussion is about RM, but anyway:
Corbis IS selling things. Through one of my RF-agencies, I've got images with Corbis. They're doing alright.

I'm debating whether Getty RM is still worthwhile my time. Sometimes I get a real good sale there (3-4 digits), but most of them are selling for less than RF, thanks to their Premium Access scheme. Quite a lot of sales for a low 2-digit figure with licensing times of 4-7 years... which kind of makes it RF anyway.

Nowdays, Corbis will just refer you to Veers, their own RM section hardly sell anything. I know a few of really prolific suppliers to the Corbis RM and they hardly see anything worthwhile.
No matter how you twist and turn it, when it comes to RM, the actual Getty-housecollection, is the place to be in. They do sell indeed.

lagereek

« Reply #30 on: February 06, 2012, 01:35 »
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talking about Masterfile, are they still alive or what ? i haven't heard a single positive feedback about them since a long time.

Oh they are about alright and have some really impressive names and stuff. They are a bit differant, like to keep things close to their chest.

« Reply #31 on: February 13, 2012, 11:15 »
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Back to the topic of making money on RM, i read on this forum the other day that there's a guy who has 80,000 photo's on alamy.   Ok, that's alot, but it does present some great possibilities.  He doesn't really edit his photo's, and just posts and keywords them.    I suppose if you have some talent, go to some interesting places and post THOUSANDS of photo's to alamy, you can make some serious $.   I know it's alot of work, but isn't preparing each individual photo for MS alot of work?  I'd rather take  more photo's and not spend my life in photoshop personally.    but i could be wrong, i am not making any $ off my work yet.   I think i may try the "throw alot on Alamy" method, if they let me.   

« Reply #32 on: February 13, 2012, 13:05 »
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... I know it's alot of work, ...
If you want to be successful (or want to make a decent amount of money) it's always going to be "a lot of work", no matter if your produce quantity or quality...

antistock

« Reply #33 on: February 14, 2012, 23:03 »
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Back to the topic of making money on RM, i read on this forum the other day that there's a guy who has 80,000 photo's on alamy.   Ok, that's alot, but it does present some great possibilities.  He doesn't really edit his photo's, and just posts and keywords them.    I suppose if you have some talent, go to some interesting places and post THOUSANDS of photo's to alamy, you can make some serious $.   I know it's alot of work, but isn't preparing each individual photo for MS alot of work?  I'd rather take  more photo's and not spend my life in photoshop personally.    but i could be wrong, i am not making any $ off my work yet.   I think i may try the "throw alot on Alamy" method, if they let me.   

yes, he's Jeff Greenberg, he often writes in the Alamy forum, he reported 5-600 sales per year on alamy.
it's a lot but it's also a very small payout if you think he's got 80K images in store !

his pics are basically snapshots straight out of the camera, he probably just set Auto Levels on photoshop, save the file as JPG, and upload to alamy.

he's definitely showing us that there's indeed a market niche for his obscure subjects but i wonder how long it takes to do all the keywording !

antistock

« Reply #34 on: February 14, 2012, 23:11 »
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I suppose if you have some talent, go to some interesting places and post THOUSANDS of photo's to alamy, you can make some serious $.   I know it's alot of work, but isn't preparing each individual photo for MS alot of work? 

it all depends on the location.
images about UK seem to be the top seller, and my Thailand pics are outselling my ones made in vietnam/burma/laos/cambodia  on a ratio of 20:1 !
china is doing ok too.


 

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